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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!

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!

The city of Puerto Vallarta is approximately 15 miles (24 km) from the resort town of Nuevo (New) Vallarta which is where you will find the quiet, tranquil beaches of Amapas. This means there are a few different areas you can choose to stay in. 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.

So 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.

Don’t have time to read the full article? If you’re staying in Puerto Vallarta’s Hotel Zone, we recommend booking a room at Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa. They have a sports bar and a delicious restaurant onsite, swimming pools, a spa with ample services, and a tour desk to help plan your excursions. With all these amenities combined with a beach front view – you can’t go wrong staying here.

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 fits 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, vibrant nightlife, lots of shopping, and cultural dining, then 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 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 are right here on this long stretch of 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 rent a car in Puerto Vallarta and drive to 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 of staying in Nuevo Vallarta:

  • You’re located on a long and beautiful 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 of 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.

Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta rests right next to Banderas Bay in the heart of Riviera Nayarit, Mexico. The hotel has 362 unique Mexican and musical-themed guest rooms, many with amazing views of the bay.

Hard Rock’s all-inclusive reservations include but are not limited to, 24-hour room service, daily cooking lessons, Zumba, and nightly rock concerts.

If you want to be more social you can play water volleyball, ping-pong, or join a Giant Jenga Tournament. Or start the morning with surfside yoga, then enjoy a delicious breakfast.

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

At the Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta, you won’t get bored with the food as there are six restaurants all serving different types of international cuisines. From authentic Mexican food to Asian hibachi, or Italian the Hard Rock has the flavors you crave and more!

The average price for a deluxe king room for two that is all-inclusive will cost about $835 USD per night. For an additional $100 USD per night, you can enjoy a selection of daily tours/activities at the hotel or around Puerto Vallarta.

You can view prices or book Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta on Booking.com.

$$ – 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 is located right on Banderas Bay in Nuevo Vallarta.

It has Mexican-European architecture that will immediately catch your attention as you walk in. The resort offers every room’s balcony a great view of the jungle and/or ocean.

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

Your spacious suite includes a kitchenette and a dining area, a TV, a marble bathroom, and a fully furnished balcony.

You can start any given morning relaxing at the Tatewari Spa or sweating at the resort’s state-of-the-art gym.

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

There’s also the Palmita Market which has picnic foods, cappuccino, handmade pastries, and a light breakfast.

A basic junior suite here starts at just $345 USD per night.

You can view prices or book Villa del Palmar Flamingos Beach Resort on Booking.com.

$ – 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, marina views, and traditional thatched roof of 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 modern appliances. The shower in the marble bath matches the vibe of the suite. It’ll be too easy not to enjoy a margarita and watch a sunset from your private balcony.

Explore the hotel and discover Maizul, the hotel’s dockside, open-air restaurant. For lighter meal options, check out the Parisian-style cafeteria that’s right under a bright canopy with 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 $85 USD per night. You can upgrade to a superior suite, which sleeps up to 6 people for about $291 USD per night.

You can view prices or book Marina Banderas Suites Hotel on Booking.com.

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, and independent floating community.

The founding of the marina began in 1980 and has remained an inspirational institution at the heart of Puerto Vallarta. It has grown 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. You can walk along the piers and at night the lights reflecting off the water are mesmerizing. 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 evenings it transforms into a unique carnival-like community where you can dine, shop, and relax, with the cruise ships in the background.

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 of 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 ocean views and access.
  • Near 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 it is easy to do all of the excursions in that area as well.

Disadvantages of 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 is a fantastic luxury option on beautiful grounds.

Casa Velas’ mantra is “relax, play, indulge”, so go spend the afternoon dipping in the plunge pools and sipping top-shelf poolside cocktails at the Táu Beach Club with complimentary Bali beds, sun loungers, and deluxe showers.

There is also a championship green where golf lovers can play a round. Then have a luxurious spa experience and after head back to your room for a nap on the fluffy premium down comforters.

You also have the option to leisurely enjoy the view of the stunning bay and Vallarta Marina on a private 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 staff can also recommend the perfect on-site restaurant for a special occasion, set you up with a first-class ensuite lunch or dinner, or plan a city or jungle excursion.

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

Master suite packages with garden or golf course views, for two, with a king bed start at $729 USD per night. Upgrade to a grand class suite with a private terrace, lounge, and private plunge pool starting at $831 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.

You can view prices or book Casa Velas on Booking.com.

$$$ – 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 right next 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 have a romantic 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 for social media posts.

Two beautiful lagoon-style swimming pools and a children’s pool will make it hard to leave. 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 $913 USD, and a family of four can enjoy a spacious family suite with views of the pool and the Pacific Ocean starting at around $1,993 USD.

You can view prices or book Velas Vallarta Suite Resort on Booking.com.

$$ – 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 lush gardens. Enjoy the property and the homey yet modern feeling that different spaces have.

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 incredible 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 while 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. The kids can partake in the marina festivities for $40 USD or instead over at the Westin Kids Club they can create Mexican arts and crafts, sandcastle competitions, board games, movies and popcorn, and hotel tours with professional supervision.

Rooms with ocean views and comfy beds start at $203 USD per night.

You can view prices or book Westin Resort and Spa on Booking.com.

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 soft, sandy beaches.

Advantages of Staying in the Hotel Zone:

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

Drawbacks of 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 extraordinary? 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 or 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 Asian cooking, authentic Mexican, Italian, 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 blue lagoon pool.

Superior and deluxe suites at the Fiesta Americana (all-inclusive) start at $820 USD per night.

You can view prices or book Fiesta Americana on Booking.com.

$$ – 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, you can find your own slice of paradise at Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa.

It’s where to stay in Puerto Vallarta to enjoy a wide variety of nightly entertainment because it’s close to downtown Puerto Vallarta.

The gorgeous and tranquil outdoor swimming pools are cool and inviting – the perfect place to spend a long lazy afternoon. There is even a separate adult-only pool so you don’t have to worry about kids doing cannonballs in front of you. 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 mouthwatering tastes of Japanese and Italian cuisines, and poolside service, the dining at Villa del Palmar will exceed expectations! 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 an activities list are varied and there is sure to be something that everyone in the family will like.

Rooms at Villa del Palmar are very affordable. Junior Suites start at $248 USD per night, and you can upgrade to the all-inclusive package for an additional $200 per night – treat yourself!

You can view prices or book Villa del Palmar on Booking.com.

$ – 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, there’s no place better to stay in Puerto Vallarta other than the extremely affordable Fiesta Inn Puerto Vallarta Isla.

Fresh, modern, and compact, Fiesta Inn is conveniently located 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 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! For 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 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 a king-size bed costs around a total of $500 USD. That’s only $100 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!

You can view prices or book Fiesta Inn Puerto Vallarta Isla on Booking.com.

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, cobblestone streets, and gorgeous architecture. In that case, downtown Puerto Vallarta, or as it is commonly known, five de Diciembre y Centro, is the urban place to stay in Puerto Vallarta to be among all of it.

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 of 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 of 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.

This old-world style hotel is surrounded by mountains and sea and sits 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. As you dine there is often a live violinist to listen to – the perfect touch of elegance if you ask me!

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

A deluxe room with a king-size bed for two will cost approximately $256 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!

You can view prices or book BellView Hotel Boutique on Booking.com.

$$ – Hotel Rosita

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

Chances are you’ll walk down the Malecón boardwalk while visiting downtown Puerto Vallarta.

If you select Hotel Rosita as your 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 is simple yet traditional Mexican. From the architecture to the furnishings, and the lush tropical grounds surrounding the pool. Agave restaurant offers both light fare and delicious authentic Mexican cuisine.

Be sure to enjoy the weekend breakfast buffet on Saturdays and Sundays, then lounge by the pool or walk out to the beach and swim in the surf and drink in the warm tropical sun.

Hotel Rosita is where to stay in Puerto Vallarta with oceanview rooms for two starting at $161 USD per night. You’re in the center of the action for a very affordable price. Welcome to Hotel Rosita!

You can view prices or book Hotel Rosita on Booking.com.

$ – 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 are more interested in a backpacking adventure to meet other friendly travelers, 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, relax in the shared lounge and have 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.

Find out from international staff about their favorite local activities such as whale watching, the hidden beaches, waterfalls, and maybe a surprise romantic sunset cruise!

Selecting a mixed dormitory-style room starts at $14 USD per night. Each room has a maximum capacity of 6 people.

You can view prices or book Chanclas Hostel Vallarta on Booking.com.

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 cafés, shops, bakeries, and restaurants are jammed together to make for one incredible experience.

Stop and order a freshly made agua cebada or shaved ice. 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 bakeries in town.

Many of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta are located here – the perfect destination for foodies! Some of the top food tours in Puerto Vallarta also leave from here if you want a guided experience to find the best local spots.

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

Advantages of Staying in the Romantic Zone:

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

Disadvantages of 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 in downtown Puerto Vallarta.

The sleek contemporary design of smooth marble mixes with super plush beds to create a comfortable and clean feeling. The view from the small rooftop patio will give you a nice look at 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 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 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 $179-200 USD per night.

You can view prices or book Casa Nicole Boutique Hotel on Booking.com.

$$ – 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.

Rooms have very comfortable beds, their own kitchen, dining table, a washer and dryer, and a balcony with a view.

You’ll be an 8-minute walk 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 market 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. A superior king suite with mountain and city view will cost about $219 USD per night.

You can view prices or book Tres Marias Luxury Suites on Booking.com.

$ – 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!

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

You might find yourself catching your breath upon entering the lobby. The temperature drops about 10 degrees. Look down at the bright red floor tiles and notice the white iron furniture, then look at the beautiful tropical gardens on the property. Yes, the parrots are real!

Everything about Posada de Roger – from the gardens to the tile to the architecture and their adjoining restaurant Fredy’s Tucan is authentically Mexican. The food is great but even more exceptions is the service.

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.

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

Double rooms start at around $129 USD per night.

You can view prices or book Posada de Roger on Booking.com.

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 own 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, sipping cocktails, and admiring the view of the endless stretch of ocean.

Advantages of Staying in the South Zone:

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

Disadvantages of Staying in the South Zone:

  • Limited shopping and markets.
  • Having a rental car is 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 because there are 5 different restaurants where you can find impressive dishes, casual fare, light bites, or cult classics like Italian or American dishes.

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

Oceanfront king rooms for two start at $490 USD per night! Hilton has thought of everything, just show up and relax.

You can view prices or book Hilton Vallarta on Booking.com.

$$ – 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” and 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 whole experience unforgettable.

The Grand Miramar is located in the Conchas Chinas area which is only a 7-minute drive to the boardwalk in Puerto Vallarta.

The two restaurants at the hotel serve traditional and international cuisine and you can request pool-side snacks from La Terraza or order 24-hour room service.

The pool situation here is extra. There are three pools on the main terrace and two hot tubs and a heated pool on the adult-only terrace. You’ll definitely want to go for a dip in the infinity pool that overlooks the entirety of the bay.

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 $214 USD per night.

You can view prices or book Grand Miramar All Luxury Suites and Residences on Booking.com.

$ – Marboka Hotel & Suites

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

Steps to the water’s edge, near the private Conchas Chinas, the charming colonial style of Marboka Hotel & Suites 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 a large ceiling fan to help keep the night cool if 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 Markboka Hotel & Suites starts at around $300 USD per night.

You can view prices or book Marboka Hotel & Suites on Booking.com.

Things to Consider Before Picking 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 excursions? 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 free fun 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 at 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 at participating hotels. This literally saves us so much! Many of the hotels above offer genius savings!

Other Activities to do While You’re in Puerto Vallarta

Daniel and Bailey on an ATV on the El Eden ATV Adventure in Puerto Vallarta
ATV tours are so much fun!
Seeing whales this close is surreal!!

There’s a good reason why Dan and I keep coming back to Puerto Vallarta! Now that you know some of the best places to stay, it’s time to fill up your itinerary with fun activities!

From cruising around on an ATV tour to strolling down the Malecon (boardwalk), you’ve got plenty to see and do. Here are a few of our personal favorite things to do in Puerto Vallarta:

  • Enjoy a swashbuckling show on a pirate ship – Ahoy landlubbers! Ever wanted to live out your dream of being a pirate, sailing across the seven seas? Or maybe you’ve got a little one who is swinging around their imaginary cutlass like a pro? This pirate ship cruise includes a dinner fit for a pirate king with cannons, fireworks, and all kinds of jolly entertainment to boot!
  • Explore the jungle on an ATV tour – One of my all-time favorite activities in Puerto Vallarta was going on an ATV tour. Dan and I went on this half-day Jorullo Bridge ATV experience that takes you to some of the most scenic natural spots in the area, as well as over the longest suspension bridge in Latin America!
  • Go whale watching – Going whale watching in Puerto Vallarta is a pretty popular activity (and a favorite of mine!). Not only is it one of the best places to see humpback whales, but you might even see grey or blue whales too. This 4-hour whale-watching tour is ideal for those on a budget but is also capped at just 12 passengers per tour!

Renting a Car in Mexico

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie while driving around Mexico
A rental car means freedom to go to the beach whenever you want!

Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to get around Mexico is in a rental car. 

I struggled to get around by bus and taxi for the longest time. But after renting a car in Cancun in 2023, I never looked back. It allowed me to explore the country without worrying about tours or taxis. It was why I fell in love with Mexico and eventually decided to live here periodically. 

I refuse to use local services whenever I rent a car in Mexico. The truth is they sometimes can’t be trusted or come with hidden fees (or costly insurance that doesn’t make sense.) There are even rental car scams! So instead, I use Discover Cars, the company most experienced travelers or ex-pats in Mexico recommend. 

The rates on Discover Cars are cheap, too, with the average rental costing around $25 USD per day. Full coverage insurance can be added for an extra $10 USD a day too. 

Driving in Mexico also only requires a driver’s license using the Roman alphabet. If yours uses another like Japan and China, you simply need an international driving permit. 

Insurance is required, but if you book with Discover Cars and get the full coverage, that’s all you need! Oh, and being over 18 is required, and if you’re over 25, your rental will be much cheaper! 

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 needs you are looking for during your Mexican vacation. Each has its 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

15 Things to KNOW About Snorkeling in Puerto Vallarta

The BEST Things to do in Mexico

Things to do in Mexico City