We were recently hosted by the Villa Premier Hotel in Downtown Puerto Vallarta. Like many press trips this visit was more about the city than the hotel, but we found ourselves wishing for more time at the hotel. Here’s the breakdown of what we liked about it.
Getting there: 5 stars
Getting to Puerto Vallarta is easier than ever. The smallish airport is now served by major airlines, including Southwest. We flew in on Aero Mexico via Mexico City and out on an American non-stop to DFW. Aero Mexico offers a round of free drinks– including tequila shots. How fun is that? Both airports were easy to navigate and we encountered no difficulty. We had lunch on departure day in the Vallarta airport. There were plenty of choices, including Johnny Rockets! Transportation to the hotel can be arranged in advance, or rental cars are available. The hotel has free onsite parking, making the rental seem like a good idea if you plan to do much exploring.
The room: 4 stars standard room/5 stars for the suites
Our room was light and airy. We enjoyed leaving the balcony door cracked at night in order to hear the sounds of the waves crashing on the jetty below. The view of the water was spectacular. The bed was comfortable and we appreciated the pillow choices. The coffee and tea service via the in-room coffee maker was great, but as usual, housekeeping did not replenish the used tea bags. What’s up with the discrimination against tea drinkers?
Though we were in a standard room, we did get the opportunity to see some of the suites, and those definitely rated 5 stars. They include indoor Jacuzzi tubs, extra sitting space, and the Master Suites had outdoor Jacuzzis with stunning views. Spring for a suite and you will not be disappointed.
The Master Suites, with extra living space, larger bathroom, and outdoor Jacuzzis that shout romance.
The bathroom: 4 stars
It was an obvious remodel, but it was well done in marble and tile. The towels were fluffy and robes were provided. The guest amenities were average size, but were a nice fragrance. We loved that terry slippers were provided along with the robes– a definite plus at a beach hotel where sand wanders everywhere.
The hotel interior: 5 stars
The muted colors on the walls were relaxing, but also contrasted beautifully with the ocean-colored and themed art and warm wood accents throughout. The breezy feel of the public areas married the indoors and outdoors perfectly. There was air conditioning where it was appropriate, but warm salty air elsewhere. The stonework and fountains leading outdoors were lovely and artfully crafted.
The pools: 5 stars
Though our trip did not allow time for lounging poolside, the visual aspect of the twin pools was welcoming. The infinity pool with not only a swim-up bar, but an incredible view of the Pacific was one of the best we have ever seen.
The beach: 4 stars
The beaches here are public, so there is a fair amount of traffic traversing the area, but not enough to be an inconvenience. The fairly narrow beach was clean and groomed frequently. The Bali beds were inviting, making us wish we had one more day to relax by the sea. Except that if we had had one more day we probably would have spent it scuba diving. But it’s nice to have the image of those comfy beds in sight of the waves as a back-up plan.
The food: 5 stars
We enjoyed breakfast every morning during our stay, sampling a variety of American and Mexican favorites. The food was both visually appealing and well-seasoned. Breakfast was accompanied by fresh pastries– always a plus in my book. The journalists we were traveling with were treated to an evening group meal that was a whimsical feast for the eyes and the palate, wrapped up with a dessert disguised as breakfast. It is easy to see how the chef will be a hit with guests– if for the beauty of the food alone.
The service: 5+ stars
The service was near perfection. Except for the in-room teabag fail, there were no missteps. Only the upper management of the hotel was aware that we were travel journalists, so the service was a genuine treat. From waiters to bellmen at the door, we were greeted with smiles, assistance, and a comfortable courtesy. There was an easiness about the staff that was relaxing and welcoming. Even the smallest details were tended to. One example of that is that at turndown in the evening, a terry mat and slippers were placed on the floor on each side of the bed. Something that I do at beach accommodations in an effort to keep sand out of the sheets. It was a nice touch to have it done for us.
The spa: 5 stars
We enjoyed a couple’s aromatherapy massage pre-flight on the morning of our departure. This was a smart move that we plan to repeat on future trips. I was afraid that it might put us in a time crunch, but after a 60-minute massage, who really cares about time crunches? We reached the airport feeling relaxed and still smelling faintly of fragrant oils.
The spa itself was a warm and inviting space with glowing candles and soft music. Every effort was made to ease you into the proper frame of mind for a luxurious hour of relaxation. The staff was knowledgeable and well-versed in the art of massage.
Would we return to Villa Premier, or even Puerto Vallarta?
Absolutely! There is no doubt that we intend to return to Puerto Vallarta and I can’t think of a better place to stay than the Villa Premier. It was luxurious, yet comfortable and inviting. Both the hotel and the city kept a piece of our hearts, guaranteeing a return trip.