Velas Vallarta: a great place to stay in PV

I hadn’t been to Puerto Vallarta (fondly known as PV to those who know and love this beautiful Mexican resort community) for many years. But I jumped at the chance to join my colleagues at the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) annual conference, which for the first time, was being held at this popular beach destination on the Pacific coast. Of course, when you attend a conference and have a good dose of research time thrown in, you rarely have time to enjoy the beach. But I certainly enjoyed the amazing view from my suite at Velas Vallarta!


A view of Banderas Bay, palm trees, and the pool at Velas Vallarta made my time in Puerto Vallarta remarkable.

We spent five glorious nights at the Velas Vallarta beachfront resort and I never tired of waking up and sitting out on my veranda to soak up this view while I sipped my morning coffee and got ready for each busy day. The all-inclusive hotel is situated on 10 acres of property that is meticulously groomed with gardens, swimming pools, and fish ponds. The guests weren’t the only ones to enjoy the amenities! Velas Vallarta is home to a number of peacocks and iguanas that make every day an adventure!


This four-foot long iguana (including tail) seemed to be attracted to the beautiful blue of the pool at Velas Vallarta.

Although I never had time to swim in the pool, the iguanas certainly enjoyed their time around the pool! I never saw one in the water, but they sunned themselves by the pool and enjoyed eating the flowers in the nearby bushes.

The peacocks were equally abundant, and woke us up every morning with their calls. I was touched that this peacock tried to get me to extend my stay by giving me this private show on the morning of my departure.


The peacocks at Velas Vallarta really like to strut their stuff.

You could always find a peacock or two hanging around the hotel’s spa. I followed them there one day and was treated to a delightful chocolate wrap. There’s nothing better for a chocolate writer, than to discover another spa that appreciates the healing benefits of chocolate. The Velas Vallarta Spa is small, but a lovely place to spend a few hours on self-care.


The chocolate wrap body treatment at the Velas Vallarta Spa left me feeling energized and pretty as a peacock.

I also loved the personalized service our group received from the staff at Velas Vallarta. Each afternoon, when we returned from the events of a busy day, we were treated to a shot of tequila in a lovely ceramic shot glass that was ours to keep–accompanied by a treat of the day! A great way to get our second wind and get ready to head out for a busy and always enticing evening.

Each day we were treated to an in-room shot of tequila accompanied by a pastry and touch of fruit.

Each day we were treated to an in-room shot of tequila accompanied by a pastry and touch of fruit.

These are just a few of the reasons I loved my stay at the Velas Vallarta in Puerto Vallarta. The only criticism I had of the resort is that the internet reception is spotty, and I couldn’t get internet in my room (even though I’d spent considerable time on the phone with their technician to try and rectify the problem.) I could get reception (on occasion) if I was on my balcony and pointed my iPad toward the main building, so I was satisfied with that. But keep this in mind if you absolutely must get work done during your visit, as I’m sure that reception is better in some rooms than others. I was in room 3517, and would give this property an overall rating of 4 stars out of 5 on a global scale, and a 4.5/5 by Mexican standards.


Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I researched and wrote Volume I of Chocolatour that won a Readers' favourite Award in 2014. Always enjoy experiencing new destinations and flavours.

51 Responses

  1. My sister in law would love that peacock picture. She adores them. Looks like a fab place to visit!
    krystle cook recently posted…Two In One Meals | Cheesy Baked Ziti Recipe and Italian Vegetable Beef Soup RecipeMy Profile

  2. How neat that you get greeted by peacocks and iguanas! Must be a great sight to see 🙂 By the way, I think it is cool that you get to have daily tequila shot, that’s quite unique
    Stacey Valle recently posted…What You Can Ask When Meeting Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing PeopleMy Profile

  3. Looks like you’re in a 5 star hotel in Hawaii, but better! Mexico is truly beautiful!
    Trisha Velarmino recently posted…Is it worth to quit school and travel the world?My Profile

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Okay I was thinking it was pretty good when I saw the views, then I got to the peacocks! I love peacocks. We stayed at a place in Tasmania many years ago that had peacocks on the property. Lovely.
    Elizabeth recently posted…Ushuaia to Punta Arenas aboard the Via AustralisMy Profile

  5. Hi Doreen.
    Wow, what stunning pics. Especially the iguana and peacock. Beautiful!
    Also love a drop of Tequila 🙂
    James | The Globe Wanderers recently posted…The Bermuda Triangle and other Secrets of the DeepMy Profile

  6. It’s been 15 years or more since I was in Puerto Vallarta…it was a lovely experience. Wish I could recall the name of the resort. Ah, the beach, the sun, the pools, the ocean. Just wonderful. Thanks for bringing back a good memory.
    Rose M Griffith recently posted…The Chaos of FamilyMy Profile

    • You’re welcome, Rose. Yes, with the world having opened up so many destinations, I
      ‘m finding that many people (like you and me) who may have visited the popular resorts of Mexico in the past, have not been been there lately. I was thrilled to revisit PV so much so that I am returning next month to be a speaker at the Vallarta Botanical Gardens’ Chocolate & Vanilla Festival. Can’t wait!

  7. Tuhin says:

    Hello Doreen,
    Seems like you had a great time. Can there be a better venue for a conference! wow!
    I loved your snaps.. especially the Iguana. You could have added some more pictures of this beautiful place.
    Tuhin recently posted…Protect your child from sexual abusersMy Profile

    • Hi Tuhin ad thanks for your comment. Yes, I could have added more photos of the resort itself, but having included the link to Velas Vallarta in the post, they have a huge assortment of fabulous photos to entice you.

  8. Oh my this looks absolutely wonderful Doreen! I haven’t been to PV in SO many years and I can tell from your photos it’s really grown since our last visit. I’ve always loved Mexico, in fact my husband and I were thinking about relocating there and went on vacation to visit friends in Maui and that’s how we ended up here instead of south of the border!
    Marquita Herald recently posted…Create a Personal Motto to Stay Focused on What Really MattersMy Profile

    • Hi Marquita. Indeed, Puerto Vallarta has grown and changed tremendously over the past 30 years. Stay tuned for future posts, when I’ll deal with the street art and galleries, the culinary scene, incredible nature attractions, and some chocolate diversions.

  9. Reading your post took me back to the days of when I was in the Coast Guard. I could still see that gorgeous blue sea and I could still smell that salt air.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

  10. The view and the little cup of tequila are the best!
    It is so nice to see that even being a big resort they still look after little things, to make the guest experience unique and memorable.
    Natalie Deduck recently posted…How Much Does It Cost to Travel in London?My Profile

    • Hi Natalie: Yes, I think that’s the sign of a good resort. When they can add/do the little things that make you think you’re in a small boutique hotel, while still providing you with all the benefits and amenities of staying in a large resort. I absolutely loved having the wrap-around balcony where I could have my breakfasts, as well as my afternoon shot of tequila!

  11. Mixing business with pleasure – my kinda girl! That peacock is hypnotic, great shot. I have never been able to get a picture of the beaut of the bird spread out like that.
    Gemma Two Scots Abroad recently posted…Slow Travel: Not Just for TortoisesMy Profile

    • My job is absolutely mixing business with pleasure! That’s true of most travel writers, but when you throw chocolate into the mix … how can you NOT enjoy yourself? 🙂

      Those peacocks at Velas Vallarta lead such a charmed life that I think they are exhibitionists! I don’t think I’m the only lucky one who got the full monty!
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…Velas Vallarta: a great place to stay in PVMy Profile

  12. I have been to Sayulita but never to Puerto Vallarta. Should have though, after seeing your post!

    It’s like the peacock’s got so many eyes on his feathers staring at you!
    Amaury Martiny recently posted…9 Life Lessons I Learned After One Year of TravelingMy Profile

  13. Gorgeous pics Doreen! I have yet to return to Mexico, anywhere, after a less-than-impressed stay years ago. I do totally enjoy reading about others great adventures.

    Like many people, I’ve traveled the world. Wi-fi is spotty in many hotels and properties, worldwide. I totally see less signal strength and reliability when we leave the USA. No resort though is immune, in our travels anyway.

    Love that peacock!
    Patricia Weber recently posted…Staying focused, brain on technology, smell the roses, introvert in graphs #Blog Round-up from #introvert inspirerMy Profile

    • Hi Pat and welcome to my new site! I don’t think you’ve been here for a long while.

      Yes, I recommend you give Mexico another chance. Each place is so different. Just like in the US, right? One’s experience in New York is likely to be very different than one’s stay in LA. Same with Mexico. It’s a very larger country with varied landscapes and personalities. Keep exploring, and you’ll find a spot that you love. Cheers!
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…Velas Vallarta: a great place to stay in PVMy Profile

  14. Esther says:

    Love the photography! Sounds like another successful trip. Your life is such a fabulous adventure!
    Esther recently posted…Adrenal FatigueMy Profile

  15. OMG, a chocolate wrap? I don’t know if I could lay there and not lick the chocolate off my body.

    I’ve noticed the same – Wi-Fi is spotty in Mexico. 🙁
    Debbie @ Traveling Well For Less recently posted…How to Share Instagram Photos on FacebookMy Profile

    • Hi Debbie, and welcome to my site. Yes, the chocolate spa treatments are really amazing. Some more than others. So far, the best has got to be the Pure Jungle Spa in Costa Rica. That one was literally intoxicating and the chocolate really did smell good enough to eat as it was made with pure locally grown organic cocoa. Absolutely delightful.
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…Velas Vallarta: a great place to stay in PVMy Profile

  16. Hi Leora: Yes, when I’m in a city and doing business, I do expect the internet to be fully functional. But when I’m at a resort location, I just roll with the punches and hope for the best. The internet did function fine in the lobby, but in my room, it was often on siesta!

  17. Leora says:

    I just love the iguana! I hate when the internet is spotty. I like when I can travel *and* report!
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  18. Wow! What a stunning view! I haven’t been there in so many years that I have forgotten where I stayed. This place looks divine, but appreciate the heads up about the internet.
    Jacqueline Gum recently posted…Karma… Where’s The Justice?My Profile

  19. Lenie says:

    Doreen – you mentioned you learned to take better photos – well, it certainly shows, they are gorgeous. The view from your room would have been well worth getting up an hour earlier for – what a wonderful way to start the day.
    Leave it to you to find a place that offers chocolate wraps – bet you enjoyed.
    Lenie recently posted…Cooking Tips for Reluctant CooksMy Profile

    • Hi Lenie, Karla, and Catarina. Thx for your comments.

      Lenie, I think the new template that Sherryl Perry created for my blog really helps make the photos look great. It automatically sizes them correctly for maximum impact. And the colour saturation is great, too. It’s really upped my enjoyment in blogging.

  20. Karla says:

    Omg! Those views. This is definitely something to visit. It will make it worth it.
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  21. Catarina says:

    Sounds and looks great, Doreen. Glad you could have a chocolate wrap:-)
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  22. Phoenicia says:

    The photographs of the peacock and Velas Vallarta resort are simply beautiful.

    The iguana looks a little scary!

    I am yet to visit Mexico. It is on my holiday go to list.
    Phoenicia recently posted…Contentment – do you have it?My Profile

    • Hi Phoenicia. I have yet to see an iguana do anything aggressive. they are usually just lounging around, or eating some vegetation. I had one slide down a waterslide with me once in Ixtapa, Mexico, and that had me screaming, but for no reason. He just swam away when we hit the pool. 🙂

  23. Ken Dowell says:

    Have never been to Puerto Vallarta but it looks beautiful. Great view from your room of the beach. Just a little bit of coolness is starting to slip in where I live so it’s time to start thinking about destinations like this.
    Ken Dowell recently posted…Can Techies and Makers Save Our Cities?My Profile

  24. Chris says:

    Wow, stunning views (of the ocean and the peacocks)!

    We thought Puerto Vallarta was a pretty place, although it felt like there was a pretty big foreign contingent there which never made it feel truly Mexican…

    So glad that you, a chocolate lover, got to indulge in another chocolate treatment! 🙂
    Chris recently posted…How we spent 4 nights in a Latacunga basement…My Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Chris. Puerto Vallarta is a wonderful example of contemporary Mexican culture. It is a hybrid of the traditional and the new, and I find that quite exciting. The art galleries and street art are absolutely amazing. For that reason, and the fact that the culinary scene is exploding, make Puerto Vallarta a really cool Mexican destination to visit.
      Doreen recently posted…MUCHO Museo del Chocolate, Mexico CityMy Profile

  25. Oh, wow. That’s a huge iguana and peacock. That place seems like paradise. I’m sure you had fun! 🙂
    Isabela Mariano recently posted…Things Off My List | I See BelaMy Profile

  26. Tami says:

    I do like chocolate, and it’s great that you get to explore all chocolate possibilities! Loved the views from your hotel room, but I can’t imagine not finding the time to swim in that scrumptuous pool!
    Tami recently posted…Doing the San Diego HarborMy Profile

    • Hi Tami: I know it’s shocking to some. But I very often don’t have time to enjoy the amenities of many of the places I visit, as I’m often on such a tight schedule that I barely have time to take in all of the things I MUST do for my research. It’s only when I’m in one place for a longer period of a week or more that I can find the time to play. 🙂

  27. Indeed it does look like a great place. Thanks for sharing 😉
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  28. Linda Paul says:

    Lovely photos, Doreen.
    Linda Paul recently posted…Grief, the dark side of loveMy Profile

  29. Ok, I’m hooked. The views alone are enough to entice me to jump on a plane and spend a bit of time. What a treat that must have been to have that bit of a surprise in your room to greet you each day.
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Beringer Winery and Wines: #WineMy Profile

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