On the north side of Andando Huanacaxtle, the kindly owner of Hotel Posada del Sol (tel. 327/274-0043, fax 327/273-1319, $45) offers 30 tastefully furnished kitchenette bungalows around a palmy garden pool patio. Best are the upper-level units, on the north side, with air-conditioning and garden-view patio-balconies. Economical long-term discounts are negotiable. This charming place, as you would expect, is very popular and full in winter with a crowd of long-time returnees. Get your reservations in early.
A good beachfront choice is the neocolonial-style Hotel Posada La Misión (Retorno Tabachines 6, tel./fax 327/274-0357, 327/274-0895, or 327/274-1000, posadamision [at] prodigy [dot] net [dot] mx, www.guayabitos.com.mx/lm/), whose centerpiece is a beachview restaurant/bar. Extras include an inviting azure pool and patio, thoughtfully screened off from the parking. Its rooms are high-ceilinged and comfortable except for the unimaginative bare-bulb lighting; bring your favorite bulb-clip lampshades. Rents range, from the smaller but comfortable economy double-bed rooms for about $40 to larger kitchenette suites sleeping six for about $65, all the way up to a pair of big kitchenette bungalows for about $80, all prices higher during Christmas and Easter holidays. Amenities include the good El Campanario restaurant out in front, oceanview restaurant/bar, air-conditioning, ceiling fans, and parking; credit cards are accepted.
It will be good news to many longtime Mexico vacationers that Motel Russell (La Peñita, Calle Ruben C. Jaramillo 24, tel. 327/274-0959) remains open and ready for guests. The scene is vintage tropical Mexico—peeling paint, snoozing cats, lazy palms, and a beautiful beach with boats casually pulled onto the sand a few steps from your door—all for rock-bottom prices. Come and populate the place while octogenarian owner Mary Cárdenas Nichols is still around to tell stories about “the way things used to be.” There are about 15 clean, spartan apartments (most in need of repair) with one bedroom ($15) or two bedrooms ($20), all with fans, kitchenette, and refrigerator; discounts negotiable for one-month rental. Great fishing from the front yard, and it’s two blocks from practically everything else in La Peñita. For a fee, you may also be able to set up a tent or park your self-contained RV on one of the old beachfront trailer spaces. Get there by driving to the beach end of La Peñita’s main street, Emiliano Zapata. Turn right and parallel the beach for about two blocks.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition