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Where to stay in Puerto Vallarta: 6 BEST Areas & Hotels

Where to stay in Puerto Vallarta: 6 BEST Areas & Hotels

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Puerto Vallarta is such a stunning place in Mexico. Imagine pristine beaches, beautiful architecture, and luxury hotels and resorts – it’s paradise!

The city of Puerto Vallarta spans approximately 15 miles from the resort town of Nuevo (New) Vallarta to the quiet, tranquil beaches of Amapas. This means there are a few different areas visitors can choose to stay. In fact, there are six main areas in Puerto Vallarta to book a hotel – each offering visitors something completely different.

If you’re new to Puerto Vallarta, then deciding where to stay is nothing short of overwhelming. With many different neighborhoods and hundreds (if not thousands) of hotels to choose from, picking the right hotel for you in Puerto Vallarta is difficult.

Luckily for you, we’ve spent a ton of time in Puerto Vallarta exploring all of the different things to see and do. We’ve also stayed in more hotels than we can count spread out across different areas of the city. It’s safe to stay we have a lot of info to share!

In this blog, I’ll break down the best places to stay in each of Puerto Vallarta’s vibrant neighborhoods so you can be precisely where you need to be to enjoy your Puerto Vallarta vacation.

Where are the BEST Areas to Stay in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta from Mirador de la Cruz at sunrise
View looking over central Puerto Vallarta

There is a lot to consider when deciding on the best hotels in Puerto Vallarta. You really need to choose an area that best suits the type of vacation you want to have. You also need to choose the areas that are best when it comes to safety in Puerto Vallarta.

If you’re more of a laid-back traveler who loves cobblestone streets, a vibrant nightlife, lots of shopping, and cultural dining, a hotel in Zona Romantica, downtown PV, or five de Diciembre is the place to stay.

If kicking back and getting pampered in an all-inclusive hotel with day trips to do some of the best things in Puerto Vallarta like hiking, horseback riding, snorkeling or ATVing is your thing then it’s better to centrally locate yourself in Nuevo Vallarta, the Hotel Zone, or the Marina district. These stays not only offer you the advantage of a pick-up point when scheduling your daily activities, but these hotels have a wide variety of four-star amenities.

For a more detailed breakdown, keep reading for a deeper dive into each area in Puerto Vallarta and the best hotels (for all budgets) to choose from!

Nuevo Vallarta (New Vallarta)

riviera nayrit sign in Nueveo Vallarta
Although technically in a different state than Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta is very close and one of the best areas to stay in if you want a nice beach!

Nuevo Vallarta, aka New Vallarta, is for the resort-loving traveler. Some of the best hotels in Puerto Vallarta nestled tight against this long stretch of pristine beach.

In the heart of the state of Nayarit, this trendy vacation spot is a 20-minute hop from the airport. Better yet, its next-door neighbor is the state of Jalisco, where you can discover the colonial architecture and cultural realness of the notoriously tranquil and romantic heart of Puerto Vallarta’s charming Old Town.

But, if you want a wider range of options and a chill ambiance, Nuevo Vallarta has everything you need for the perfect vacation getaway.

Advantages to staying in Nuevo Vallarta:

  • You’re located on a long, beautiful, continuous stretch of beach.
  • There are several opportunities to see marine life. From whale-watching safaris to swimming with sea lions and dolphins! You can even see the baby sea turtle release if one is scheduled while you’re visiting.
  • You can visit the neighboring town of Bucerias to experience the vibrant local food and art scene.
  • Play golf on some of the most elite courses in the world.

Disadvantages to staying in Nuevo Vallarta:

  • Resort-like, gated community vibe.
  • Culturally less appealing.
  • Hotel prices are typically higher.

The BEST Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta

$$$ – Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta All Inclusive

Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta pool area at sunset
How epic is that pool area? Photo credit: Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta.

Synonymous with niche amenities and extra memorable touches, Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta boasts exotic international cuisine from six uniquely themed restaurants. Hungry for authentic Mexican food, Asian teppanyaki, or truly scrumptious Italian? Hard Rock has the flavors you crave and more!

Hard Rock’s all-inclusive reservations include, but are not limited to, 24-hour room service, daily cooking lessons, Zumba, and nightly rock concerts. Want to make new vacation friends? Get in on the action with Pictionary, water volleyball, ping-pong, or Giant Jenga tournaments. Start the morning with surfside yoga, then enjoy a delicious breakfast.

Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta rests next to the azure waters of Bahia de Banderas in the heart of Riviera Nayarit, Mexico. The hotel boasts 362 unique Mexican and musical-themed guest rooms, many with pristine views of Banderas Bay.

Treat yourself to signature amenities, including HDTVs and marble bathtubs. Luxuriate in the hydro spa tub, call room service, sip champagne, and enjoy the sunset on your suite’s private balcony.

The average price for a deluxe room for two, all-inclusive, will cost about $420 USD per night. For an additional $100 USD per night, you can enjoy a selection of daily tours of Puerto Vallarta and the surrounding area or wind down with and select a luxurious and relaxing spa adventure. Views and prices will vary depending on room location/view.

$$ – Villa del Palmar Flamingos Beach Resort

Villa del Palmar Flamingos Beach Resort exterior surrounded by palm trees.
Should we hit the pool or the spa first? Photo credit: Villa del Palmar Flamingos Beach Resort.

The Villa del Palmar Flamingos Beach Resort has Mexican-European architecture and its attributes will immediately catch your attention. The tiered architecture of the resort offers every room’s balcony a sweeping view of the jungle and/or vast blue ocean.

They have an inviting lagoon-style pool which has features such as private cabanas, poolside bars, and it’s steps from the ocean.

Snuggled against Banderas Bay in Nuevo Vallarta, Villa del Palmar Flamingos creates memorable 5-star vacations. Your spacious suite includes a kitchenette and a dining area, a fully furnished balcony, and stunning ocean views.

Awaken your senses and experience the exceptionally relaxing Tatewari Spa, or power up at the resort’s state-of-the-art gym.

After a day of sightseeing or shopping, dine at one of the resort’s restaurants, offering authentic Mexican, lagoon-side Japanese, or Italian cuisine.

Delight in French flavors at The Creperie or order up a MIchelada and a slice of gourmet pizza tucked into the tropical garden pagoda near the lagoon bar. They also have a taco bar, and The Palmita Market offers picnic foods, cappuccino, handmade pastries, and a light breakfast.

A basic Junior Suite here starts at just $106 USD per night.

$ – Marina Banderas Suites Hotel Boutique

Marina Banderas Suites Hotel Boutique junior suite.
The 70’s charm really makes this spot stand out! Photo credit: Marina Banderas Suites Hotel Boutique.

The 70s throwback charm, enticing marina views, and traditional palapa roof adorning the Marina Banderas Suites Hotel Boutique make this one of the best hotels in Puerto Vallarta!

Your roomy suite includes a full-service kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances. A shower in the travertine marble bath compliments the suite’s luxury design and architecture. Enjoy a margarita and marvel at the unique tropical sunset from your private balcony.

Explore the hotel and discover Maizul, the hotel’s dockside, open-air restaurant. For lighter fare, check out the Parisian-style cafeteria, shrouded under a bright canopy and hanging tropical plants.

Extra amenities include VIP benefits to visit an exclusive beach club and golf course, along with a lovely spa. Check with the front desk for the hotel lists of daily activities or if you’re interested in signing up for an excursion.

Studios and Junior Suites start at around $80 USD per night. You can upgrade to a Premium Suite, which sleeps up to 6 people for about $140 USD per night.

The Marina (Marina Vallarta)

the marina in Puerto Vallarta with a catamaran in Puerto Vallarta
The marina is a convenient location in Puerto Vallarta – especially if you’re planning on going on lots of boat trips!

Vallarta’s marina district also features some of the best hotels in Puerto Vallarta. It is a special place, a living, breathing, independent floating community.

The inception of the marina began in 1980 and has remained an inspirational institution at the heart of Puerto Vallarta, growing into a thriving attraction for tourists and developers looking to boost the Mexican economy.

The mix of fishing boats, sailboats, yachts, and the occasional catamaran all make for a unique skyline. Walking along the piers, the myriad lights reflecting and glistening off the water are mesmerizing at night. The marina features a large water park with slides and a super-fun wave pool that is great for the entire family.

During the day, the marina is buzzing with locals, captains, deckhands, and tourists. In the balmy evenings, serenity falls over the marina. It transforms into a unique carnival-like community where you can dine, shop, relax, and gaze upon the majestic cruise ships.

Many of the best tours in Puerto Vallarta (boat trips) depart from the marina, making it a convenient location for ocean lovers.

Puerto Vallarta’s marina district is known as a “resort within a resort.” Here are our picks for the best hotels in Marina Vallarta.

Advantages to Staying in Marina Vallarta:

  • Some of Puerto Vallarta’s best hotels can be found here.
  • Most of the hotels here are located right on the beach with sweeping ocean views and access.
  • Access to many great restaurants and shops.
  • Visit the neighboring town of Bucerias to experience the vibrant local food and art scene.
  • You’re located right next door to Nuevo Vallarta, so you have easy accessibility to all of the excursions and fun in that area as well.

Disadvantages to Staying in Marina Vallarta:

  • Culturally less appealing.
  • If you don’t stay at a hotel with beach access, you won’t have access to the beach.
  • Higher per night/per person prices.
  • Lacks spontaneous “spur-of-the-moment” enjoyment.

The BEST Hotels in Marina Vallarta

$$$ – Casa Velas (Adults Only)

Casa Velas exterior garnished with lovely flowers
It’s hard not to fall in love with the architecture. Photo credit: Casa Velas

For the adults-only crowd, Casa Velas offers luxury exemplified. The gently crashing surf constantly plays just outside your suite. Spend the afternoon dipping in the plunge pools. After a luxurious spa experience, make nap time and events by stretching out across the fluffy premium down comforters. Casa Velas’ mantra is “relax, play, indulge.” You might like an afternoon playing on a championship golf course.

Or, visualize yourself sipping top-shelf poolside cocktails at the Táu Beach Club with complimentary Bali beds, sun loungers, and deluxe showers. You also have the option to soak up the view of the stunning bay and Vallarta Marina on a private salon balcony with complimentary four-star snacks, premium wines, and a few competitive rounds of billiards.

Casa Velas aims for one thing: attentive service throughout your stay. The knowledgeable staff can recommend the perfect on-site restaurant for a special occasion, set you up with a first-class EnSuite lunch or dinner, or a once-in-a-lifetime city or jungle excursion.

The split-level Wellness Suite comes complete with a jacuzzi spa and personal massage therapist, nutritional and fitness consultations, and sweeping views of the gardens and ocean.

Master Suite packages with Garden or Golf Course views, for two, with King bed start at $650 USD per night. Upgrade to a Grand Class Suite with a private terrace, lounge, and private plunge pool starting at $680 USD per night.

Casa Velas is truly one of the best hotels in Puerto Vallarta you’ll experience, and it’s Puerto Vallarta’s best-kept secret.

$$$ – Velas Vallarta Suite Resort All Inclusive

Stunning views of the pool, resort, and ocean from Velas Vallarta Suite Resort
I could get used to those views! Photo credit: Velas Vallarta Suite Resort.

Perched on the edge of warm white sand beaches, the Velas Vallarta Suite Resort has so many amenities and so much to offer. It’s akin to a cruise ship permanently anchored on the shore.

Enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets at two of Velas Vallarta’s premier family-friendly restaurants, or take your romantic selves to a gourmet à la carte dinner at Foodies Cantina for classic Mexican favorites with a twist. 24-hour EnSuite dining is also available on those really special evenings – perfect for anybody visiting Puerto Vallarta on their honeymoon!

Ask your personal concierge or the friendly front desk staff for excursion ideas or for assistance booking a tour, or check out our list of the best tours and excursions in Puerto Vallarta. The resort’s tropical gardens and terrace are picture-perfect backdrops to capture memorable family photos or real-time social media posts.

Two beautiful lagoon-style swimming pools and a children’s pool make cooling off an afternoon delight. Wild peacocks roam the property, so be on the lookout! Play tennis or basketball, and let the kids find plenty of on-site activities. The resort offers babysitting and child care for the day while you enjoy your excursion.

Colorful, modern one-bedroom suites start at around $600 USD, and a family of four can enjoy a spacious family suite with views of the pool and the Pacific Ocean starting at around $1,000 USD.

$$ – Westin Resort and Spa

Westin Resort and Spa Puerto Vallarta junior suite
With views like that, I don’t know if I’d want to leave the room! Photo credit: Westin Resort and Spa Puerto Vallarta.

Westin Resort and Spa is known as the “oceanfront crown jewel of Puerto Vallarta hotels.” Experience 14 acres of luxurious, verdant gardens. Enjoy the lush property, and the modern, sleek hotel style.

Westin Resort and Spa provides family-friendly activities for all ages. The private beach is a pristine playground oasis. From intimate beachside massages to strolling the grounds and shopping for unique souvenirs, and planning all of your excursions with the super-helpful concierge team, you will find endless paradise delights at this renowned Puerto Vallarta hotel.

Choose from a fine selection of both local and international cuisine at the hotel’s on-site restaurants. Are you feeling like a memorably elegant five-course steak and seafood dinner? Arrecifes restaurant is the best bet. Enjoy the sunset and gaze out over Banderas Bay, sipping a freshly shaken tropical cocktail. Or select from their incredibly diverse fine wine list for an international flair that combines comfort foods “with a twist,” head over to La Cascada Restaurant & Bar.

The charm of the marina steps away. Suppose the kiddos don’t want to partake in the marina festivities for $40 USD. In that case, the Westin Kids Club provides professional supervision and the fun of creating Mexican arts and crafts, sandcastle competitions, board games, movies and popcorn, and hotel tours.

Rooms with ocean views and comfy beds start at $200 USD per night.

The Hotel Zone (Zone Hotelera)

Skydive Puerta Vallarta in the hotel Zone
The hotel zone is where you’ll land if you go skydiving in Puerto Vallarta.

Just south of Marina Vallarta is The Hotel Zone, boasting some of the most prominent hotels in the city. Hop on the bus for an entire shopping day and head over to the largest mall in Puerto Vallarta, Galerías Vallarta. There you will find the latest fashions, authentic Mexican food, and over 91 retail shops.

If that isn’t enough, check out Plaza Peninsula and La Isla Puerto Vallarta Shopping Village. It’s where to stay in Puerto Vallarta with more stores, cafés, movie theaters, and tropical gardens in all of PV. It even has a dolphin pool! You’ll even feel somewhat at home shopping at Vallarta’s Walmart and Costco, so don’t forget to bring your club card!

After a day of shopping, you’ll most likely want to chill at one of Hotel Zone’s four pristine, soft, sandy beaches.

Advantages to Staying in the Hotel Zone:

  • The shopping!
  • Long stretches of beach for strolling.
  • Closest to Old Town Puerto Vallarta.

Drawbacks to Staying in the Hotel Zone:

  • It’s called Hotel Zone for a reason, there’s not much more to do or see.

The BEST Hotels in the Hotel Zone

$$$ – Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive & Spa

Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta pool area on a sunny day
Who wouldn’t want to unwind here?! Photo credit: Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta

Where to stay in Puerto Vallarta if you’re looking for something a little “Mextraordinary?” Fiesta Americana is that place. This is one of the best all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and a favorite getaway for families and couples alike.

Enjoy 18 rounds of golf on one of Puerto Vallarta’s premier courses. Then, spend the day being pampered and find inner wellness with a therapeutic massage at the luxurious Nakawé Spa.

The selection of fine cuisine is endless. Fiesta Americana has the dining scene covered whether you’re up for the mysteries of Asian cooking, the colorful flair of authentic Mexican, robust Italian flavors, or a buffet filled with light, local selections.

The friendly 4-star staff is eager to help book your excursions and day trips. So don’t be shy and ask them to help with all the preparations for a day of zip-lining, horseback riding, boat tours to a neighboring village, whale watching, or a tour of one of Puerto Vallarta’s prize-winning tequila distilleries.

You can also hang out at the hotel, play darts, take a dance lesson, or cuddle up on a super-soft lounge chair and read your new book beside the sparkling azure blue lagoon pool.

Superior and Deluxe Suites at the Fiesta Americana (all-inclusive) start at $300 USD per night.

$$ – Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta

Villa del Palmar Beach Resort double bed suite
These rooms are so fun with the pops of color! Photo credit: Villa del Palmar Beach Resort.

Resting on the shores of Banderas Bay in the heart of the Hotel Zone, find your paradise at Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa. It’s where to stay in Puerto Vallarta to enjoy a wide variety of nightly entertainment, as it’s close to downtown Vallarta. Including a new celebration of everything Puerto Vallarta: the jubilant Mexican Experience!

The gorgeous and tranquil outdoor swimming pools are cool and inviting—the perfect place to spend a long lazy afternoon. The top-notch service Villa del Palmar provides is what its regular guests have come to expect.

From crepes and homemade ice cream, authentic Mexican, the finest distilled tequilas, to the delectable tastes of Japanese and Italian cuisines, poolside, the dining at Villa del Palmar will tantalize your senses. The resort also offers an optional all-inclusive resort package in the event you don’t want to worry about counting pennies.

If you’re traveling on a budget, the inclusive packages at Villa del Palmar are for you. The resort’s tours, excursions, and activities list is as varied, fun, and unexpected as each family member’s personality. Take a Spanish lesson together, then go to a Karaoke party! There is truly something for everyone!

Rooms at Villa del Palmar are very affordable. Junior Suites start at $220 USD per night, and you can upgrade to the all-inclusive package for an additional $150 per night! Treat yourself.

$ – Fiesta Inn Puerto Vallarta Isla

Fiesta Inn Puerto Vallarta Isla King Suite
Enjoy the sleek, modern rooms at Fiesta Inn Puerto Vallarta Isla. Photo credit: Fiesta Inn Puerto Vallarta Isla.

FIesta means “party” in Spanish, and when you’re in Mexico, a little partying and celebrating is a must! So, where to stay in Puerto Vallarta other than the extremely affordable Fiesta Inn Puerto Vallarta Isla and do just that. Fresh, modern, and compact, Fiesta Inn is nestled in La Isla shopping center. With 144 guest rooms, the hotel strives to be both a world-class travel and business destination.

At the innovative 360° Lounge, you’ll find the B-On business center, La Isla restaurant, a convenience store, and a new and improved self-service area. Order up some room service from 7 am to 11 pm.

Swing by the grab-and-go the morning of your scheduled excursion or tour, and load up on snacks, treats, and bottled water. Take a break and relax with Fiesta Inn’s special daily surprise offerings! Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the choices often feel endless and are incredibly delicious.

The ambiance of the hotel is bright and filled with fresh, inspiring colors. Enjoy high-speed wireless Internet, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and personal laundry and dry cleaning service. Other amenities include a beautiful relaxing pool, and you can even request a guide dog for travelers that need a little extra comfort and TLC.

A 5-night vacation for two in a deluxe room with king-size bed costs around a total of $400 USD. That’s only $80 USD per night – an amazing deal.

If you want a budget hotel in the heart of The Hotel Zone and lots of shopping adventures, Fiesta Inn Puerto Vallarta Isla is your best bet. Your affordable paradise awaits!

Downtown Puerto Vallarta (5 de Diciembre and Centro)

the central plaza in downtown Puerto Vallarta
The church and plaza are stunning.

Suppose you’re in the mood for authentic Puerto Vallarta neighborhood vibes, crisscrossing cobblestone streets, and gorgeous architecture. In that case, downtown Puerto Vallarta, or as it is commonly known, five de Diciembre y Centro, is a full dose of urban living at its finest.

A little off the beaten path, the central part of the city, is mostly blue-collar, but the selection of eateries and shops is as authentic Mexican as it gets.

If you’re wanting to stay in the “touristy” area of these neighborhoods, stick to the hotels near the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta. Here, you’ll find plenty of restaurants, shops, and even nightclubs. Yes, this is the best area for clubbing in Puerto Vallarta.

Advantages to Staying in Downtown Puerto Vallarta:

  • Central to everything and steps from the ocean and shopping.
  • Plenty of affordable eateries, cafés, and bars.
  • Exciting nightlife.

Disadvantages to Staying in Downtown Puerto Vallarta:

  • Nighttime can be a little on the noisy side.
  • Not the best beaches here.
  • Less relaxing than some of the other areas around Puerto Vallarta.

The BEST Hotels in Downtown Puerto Vallarta

$$$ – Bellview Hotel Boutique

Bellview Hotel Boutique king suite with small table and chairs by the window.
This is one of the most unique rooms! Photo credit: Bellview Hotel Boutique.

Bellview Hotel Boutique is a lovely hideaway vacation spot tucked away in the central most section of downtown Puerto Vallarta. The hotel is surrounded by mountains and sea and perched above the city; and features inviting clawfoot bathtubs, ornate handcrafted furniture, hand-laid terracotta tile floors, arched doorways, bright open spaces, and floor-to-ceiling folding balcony doors.

The hotel is steps from the Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe and a stone’s throw from the Malecon boardwalk and the spectacular crystal blue Pacific Ocean.

Bellview’s signature contemporary Italian restaurant La Cappella features an open-air dining room overlooking the downtown and Banderas Bay. Dine alfresco while being serenaded by beautiful violin music. A touch of elegance meets a touch of informal ambiance.

The hotel’s complete bar crafts delectable house specialty cocktails which infuse local fruits, herbs, and spices. Find all the enticements of a four-star hotel in the quaint boutique setting in the heart of downtown Puerto Vallarta.

A deluxe room with a king-size bed for two will cost approximately $200 per night. A Suite will cost a little under $300 per night, and the upgrade is well worth it if you want lots of romantic, authentic Mexican charm!

$$ – Hotel Rosita

Hotel Rosita entrance at dusk.
A great location with an affordable price. Photo credit: Hotel Rosita.

Chances are you’ll stroll the Malecón boardwalk while visiting downtown Puerto Vallarta. If you select Hotel Rosita as home base, you’ll be situated at the northernmost end of the Malecón. And there is no better way to start your morning than with a quick trip to the café for a freshly brewed coffee and a brisk sunrise walk next to the ocean.

Everything about Hotel Rosita screams traditional Mexican. From the architecture to the furnishings, the cuisine, and the lush tropical grounds surround the pool. Agave restaurant offers both light fare and delicious authentic Mexican cuisine. Be sure to enjoy the enticing weekend breakfast buffet on Saturdays and Sundays, then lounge by the pool or walk out to the beach and swim in the surf, build sandcastles, and drink in the warm tropical sun.

Hotel Rosita is where to stay in Puerto Vallarta with oceanview rooms for two starting at $100 per night. You’re in the center of the action for a very affordable price. Welcome to Hotel Rosita!

$ – Chanclas Hostel Vallarta

People relaxing in a common area at Chanclas Hostel Vallarta
You’re sure to meet new people at Chanclas Hostel Vallarta. Photo credit: Chanclas Hostel Vallarta

If you want less luxury and more of a grittier adventure, and meet the friendliest backpackers, book your stay at Chanclas Hostel Vallarta in Puerto Vallarta. It’s where to stay in Puerto Vallarta if you like bare-bones accommodations, but don’t be fooled; the rooftop bar is bustling with activity and conversation. After a long day, the shared lounge lets you wind down and have warm and friendly discussions and cocktails with other guests.

Linens, towels, free wi-fi, security lockers, luggage storage, and a continental breakfast are all included. A full kitchen is available to cook your meals and a washer and dryer to wash the sandy beach clothes and towels.

Relax in the TV room or hang out with the international staff and talk about their favorite local activities, like whale watching, PV’s hidden beaches, waterfalls, and maybe a surprise romantic sunset cruise!

Select between all-female or mixed dormitory-style rooms. One top/bottom bunk bed for 2 starts at $36 USD per night. Each room has a maximum capacity of 6 people.

The Romantic Zone (Zona Romantica)

cobblestone street in the Romantic Zone of Puerto Vallarta
The Romantic Zone takes you back in time…it’s beautiful!

As you enter Puerto Vallarta’s Zona Romantica, you’re instantly transformed. The cobblestone streets are narrow, and the myriad cafés, shops, bakeries, and restaurants are jammed together to make for one incredible experience.

Stop and order a freshly made agua sabada or a shaved iced. Duck into a chocolatier shop, pick up a bottle of Mexican vanilla, or treat yourself to the endless selection of homemade baked goods at some of the best Panaderias in town. Many of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta are located here – the perfect destination for foodies!

If you miss Zona Romantica, you’re missing out on what made Puerto Vallarta such an infamous vacation destination.

Advantages to Staying in the Romantic Zone:

  • The remarkable concentration of shopping and authentic Mexican cuisine and cocktails.
  • Saturday Farmer’s market (in season).
  • Lots of shopping opportunities.
  • Cheap hotels to choose from.

Disadvantages to Staying in the Romantic Zone:

  • You won’t experience the resort perks.
  • The beach isn’t the most beautiful.
  • Can be busy and noisy at times.

The BEST Hotels in the Romantic Zone

$$$ – Casa Nicole Boutique Hotel

Casa Nicole Boutique Hotel King Suite
You’ll feel right at home here! Photo credit: Casa Nicole Boutique Hotel

Casa Nicole Boutique Hotel is where to stay in Puerto Vallarta to experience modern luxuries intersecting at the cultural crossroads of downtown Puerto Vallarta.

The sleek contemporary design of smooth marble mixes with colorful Mexican tiles to create the most romantic ambiance. The view from the rooftop patio is one of the best in the city and overlooks the bustling Zona Romantica neighborhood. Sit for a spell and watch the sun drop into the Western horizon, then head down to Casa Nicole restaurant.

A wonderful selection of American-style dishes with plenty of Mexican twists awaits. From the fantastic chilaquiles to a heart selection of pastries, to the wide variety of Egg Benedict combinations and fresh fruits. Make sure to start your day at the hotel’s restaurant so you’ll have enough energy to head over to the hotel’s gym, or step into your daily adventures, enjoying the endless sights of Puerto Vallarta’s exquisite Zona Romantica.

King Suites, King Superior Suites, and King Suites with a beautiful garden view for two range between $123-145 USD per night.

$$ – Tres Marias Luxury Suites – Adults Only

Tres Marias Luxury Suites king suite.
Kick back and relax at Tres Marias Luxury Suites. Photo credit: Tres Marias Luxury Suites.

Tres Marias Luxury Suites boasts a rooftop pool with sweeping views of Zona Romantica and the Pacific Ocean. This adults-only hotel has 11 elegantly designed rooms featuring colorful folklore and traditional Mexican design elements.

You’ll be steps from the beach and boardwalk, as well as the amazing cafés – Johnny’s Diner, The (infamous) Pancake House, and Fredy’s Tucan, which serves an endless basket of warm Mexican sweetbreads and pastries!

Make sure to grab an ice-cold, homemade Agua Cebada at the drink stand just outside Mundo de Cristal pottery market. Or, head over to a mercado to pick up some fresh fruit and hit the rooftop pool while sipping on homemade margaritas and reading a book!

Tres Marias Luxury Suites is a gem of a hotel. Select from a King Suite with mountain and city view for about $200 USD per night.

$ – Posada de Roger

man laying by the pool in the garden at Posada de Roger hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Daniel enjoying the pool at Posada de Roger – we love staying here!

You might find yourself catching your breath upon entering the lobby of the Posada de Roger. The temperature drops about 10 degrees. Look down at the cardinal red floor tiles. Notice the white iron furniture, then gaze in a circle at one of the lushest tropical gardens in Zona Romantica. Yes, the parrots are real!

Everything about Posada de Roger – from the gardens to the architecture to their adjoining restaurant Fredy’s Tucan is authentically Mexican. The service is exceptional. Enjoy a day at the swimming pool and roof terrace overlooking the charming neighborhood. If you’re up for cooking your own meals while vacationing, head over to several of the local markets, stock up on provisions, and enjoy the hotel’s community kitchen.

We often stay here when we are in Puerto Vallarta. We love the location, staff, and affordable price. Oh ya…and the pool!

You’re two blocks from the pier, Malecón boardwalk, and steps from shopping and internet cafes. Book any one of the staff’s favorite excursions, including swimming with dolphins, a day trip to San Sebastian, and Rhythm of the Nights.

Double rooms start at around $80 USD per night.

The South Zone

view from above of a hotel in the South Zone of Puerto Vallarta
The South Zone is all about peace and quiet…and stunning beach bays!

The South Zone of Puerto Vallarta is a collection of the best hotels in Puerto Vallarta. The hotels are world-class, and nestled together in their little paradise oasis. The South Zone is close enough to a day trip in Zona Romantica; however, renting a car makes sense if you decide to stay this far south in PV.

Of course, this slice of paradise is so unique that you may find yourself planted in one spot, on the soft, tranquil beach, lulled by the soothing surf, sipping cocktails, and gazing into the endless stretch of ocean.

Advantages to Staying in the South Zone:

  • Dozens of extraordinary beaches.
  • The ultimate privacy.
  • World-class accommodations and dining.

Disadvantages to Staying in the South Zone:

  • Limited shopping and markets.
  • Rental car suggested because of its distance from other areas.

The BEST Hotels in the South Zone

$$$ – Hilton Vallarta Riviera All-Inclusive Resort,Puerto Vallarta

Aerial view of Hilton Vallarta Riviera on a sunny day
What a grand location! Photo Credit: Hilton Vallarta Riviera.

Rising from the sand, this contemporary white monolith with a traditional terracotta roof bares the infamous Hilton Brand. Hilton Vallarta Riviera will offer you one of the most memorable stays in Puerto Vallarta. For starters, every room is bright, open, and welcoming, and features a private balcony facing the ocean.

Dining and drinks are all-inclusive, and it may take most of your morning to decide where to eat. Will it be wood-fired Italian, Vela Food Hall International buffet, a grilled duck salad with papaya chutney at Sunan, traditional tableside Cesar salad, and carne-stuffed baguette at Seasalt Grill, ceviche tostadas and handmade empanadas at Cocomar or fusion delights at Azulnida?

Treat yourself to a luxurious massage, complete body treatment with sea salt scrub, hot stones, or a refreshing facial at Hilton’s Eforea Spa. Hilton concierge can help book all of your daily activities, including whale watching, a trip to the marina district, Mismaloya, and Los Arcos day trips from Puerto Vallarta by boat!

Oceanfront King rooms for two start at $600 USD per night! Hilton has thought of everything. Show up, and relax.

$$ – Grand Miramar All Luxury Suites & Residences

Grand Miramar All Luxury Suites King Suite with ocean view
Cozy, luxurious, and unforgettable views. Photo credit: Grand Miramar All Luxury Suites.

Miramar means “ocean-view”. From every vantage point at Grand Miramar All Luxury Suites and Residences, all you will see are the inviting crystal blue waters of Banderas Bay. Every detail is in place to make your dining experience unforgettable.

From the traditional haute cuisine selections at Eugenia Restaurant, the memorable culinary tour of Mexican delights at Cielito Lindo, to the luxuriating pool area, La Terraza pampers you with unique, tasty treats and chilled beverages. Wind down a long day of sightseeing and excursions with a stop at The Gin Joint. Enjoy the chill vibes of the live lounge music and exquisitely mixed house cocktails.

The View Spa offers a 180º panoramic view of the bay whether you choose a floatation experience, facial, manicure, or full body massage with hot stones.

Choose a Junior Suite with oceanview for two; breakfast included starting at around $325 USD per night.

$ – Playa Conchas Chinas

Playa Conchas Chinas double suite.
Simple, yet cozy. Photo credit: Playa Conchas Chinas.

Steps to the water’s edge, near a private beach, the charming colonial style of Playa Conchas Chinas offers stunning ocean rooms and balconies on which to sit and marvel at the Mexican sunsets. Each suite is simple yet modern, colorfully elegant, and inviting.

Your suite comes complete with a small kitchenette and large ceiling fan to help keep the night cool should you decide to leave the window open and fall asleep to the crashing waves.

The lush grounds and hotel architecture are fun to experience and explore to spend the day at the beachside or poolside. The adjacent restaurant below the hotel serves delicious local fare, and the friendly staff at the hotel’s front desk is happy to help get all of your daily activities planned.

A Deluxe Double Room at Playa Conchas Chinas starts at around $225 USD per night.

Important Considerations before Deciding Where to Stay in Puerto Vallarta

woman sitting on the edge of a hotel pool in Puerto Vallarta
Pool-life is the best life!
  • Think about the type of holiday you want to have and what you want to experience. Somebody looking for a relaxing beach vacation should stay in a different area of Puerto Vallarta than somebody looking to experience culture or nightlife.
  • What is your budget? There are hotels for every budget in Puerto Vallarta! You can find nice hotels for as little as $50 USD a night if you want, or splurge and spend several hundred at an all-inclusive.
  • Consider the attractions that interest you and where they are located. Want to go on many ocean-excusisons? Consider Marina Vallarta. Are you a foodie? Stay in the Romantic Zone or Centro.
  • Some hotels cater to those looking to spend most of their time at the hotel, while others don’t. If you want to enjoy days poolside at your hotel be sure to choose a hotel with lots to do onsite. Some hotels feature several pools, restaurants, cafes, and even fun free activities to take advantage of.

Why we use Booking.com

rooftop pool at a hotel in Puerto Vallarta
There are some really amazing hotels in Puerto Vallarta!

Everyone has a booking website they know and love. It can be hard to change, I mean you get used to the website and know how to find a great place. To be honest though, I’ve used them all and Booking.com is by far the best when it comes to price and selection.

Here are a few other reasons we book our hotels using Booking.com:

They price match

They also price match which means until you’ve checked in you can send them a price on another website and they’ll match it. This actually happened to some friends of mine. This one website had a sale so I emailed Booking.com to match this sale price and my friend saved $500 on a $1500 booking (30% off)!

It means you can check prices last minute and if they’ve had a cancelation (and decide to put it on sale last minute) you get that same deal even months after you booked.

They have a “genius” booking rewards system

Make 3 bookings (and complete them) in one year and you’re a “genius.” This means up to 15% discounts, free breakfasts, and early and late check-ins on participating hotels. This literally saves us so much! Many of the hotels above offer genius savings!

Thanks for reading!

a couple in a rooftop pool overlooking Puerto Vallarta
We hope you enjoy your stay in Puerto Vallarta – we love this city!

Puerto Vallarta is full of vibrant, unique areas sure to fit whatever vibe and need you are looking for during your Mexican vacation. Each has it’s own charm and appeal! I hope this guide on where to stay in Puerto Vallarta helped you determine which area was the right fit for you. I am sure you are going to have an amazing and relaxing time.

Before you go, be sure to check out some of our other Mexico posts!

Best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta

The BEST Things to do in Mexico

Things to do in Mexico City

10 BEST Things to do in Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica & Guide to Visiting
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