Casa Velas in Puerto Vallarta Mexican Luxury Meets Old World Heritage
Story by Marika Flatt
One of the greatest privileges of being grown-up is that we can choose to escape the daily rat race to a serene, adults-only, all-inclusive resort and savor the senses of paradise even if only for a few days! When you combine “adults-only,” “all-inclusive” and Puerto Vallarta you know you’re treating yourself to the best that Mexico has to offer. Casa Velas Boutique Hotel has distanced itself from the hotelier pack that caters to Americans by creating a truly unique getaway. Nestled within the pristine Marina Vallarta golf course, the three-story hotel is surrounded by lush landscaping complete with exotic plants and towering palm trees. A short five minutes from the Puerto Vallarta Airport, Casa Velas is Mexico’s only adults-only, all-inclusive resort to be honored with AAA’s prestigious Four Diamond Award and for good reason.
When it opened in November 2005, Casa Velas Boutique Hotel was assured superiority as a member of The Leading Small Hotels of the World. General Manager Luis Rodriguez and his staff work very hard to treat guests to an experience of a lifetime.
Spoiled Rotten One aspect that separates this boutique hotel is its dedication to customer service. The hotel employs 2.1 staff members for every guest and you feel the difference at every turn. From the waiter to the hotel operator, the staff is ready to please and make your living easy. And, most of the 80 suites include their very own patio plunge pool or Jacuzzi. This touch adds a great deal to the overall excellence of the hotel. Simply grab a cerveza from the mini bar and relax in your personal hot tub, overlooking the golf course below and staring at the stars above.
Mindless Relaxation If you really pay to attention to how your dollars are spent, this is the place. At Casa Velas, all meals, snacks, drinks by the pool, and even tips and gratuities are included. Casa Velas goes the extra mile for their guests and also includes 24-hour in-suite service. So if you get the munchies at midnight, simply call down and order whatever you want off the menu. And, a real favorite of guests, the mini bar stocked with sodas, beer and snacks, is also included.
Muy Bien Mexican Cuisine Casa Velas Executive Chef Santiago Perez Ontiveros oversees Emiliano Restaurant, the poolside Aqua Bar and the all-suite service. Emiliano Restaurant is open all day and evening for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Start the day by enjoying a breakfast of eggs, their signature breakfast tamale and a basket of sweet breads while sipping on hot coffee and remember what it means to be on vacation. Beautiful streams teeming with a variety of fish and trees which host beautiful yellow birds and overlook the golf course and pool surround the patio of Emiliano. A favorite choice for lunch is to order off the snack menu poolside, choosing from Mexican appetizers of fresh guacamole and pico de gallo to tacos or even hamburgers. Beer, margaritas and other drinks are also available.
For an elegant dinner, most guests choose to dine at Emiliano, which requires a reservation in the evening. Live piano music from 6 to 10 p.m. is a nice complement to the wide range of choices including salads, pastas or steak. Emiliano’s wine selection boasts whites from Chile and reds from Argentina, to name just a few.
Golden Golf Privileges Guests at Casa Velas can enjoy one of three award-winning golf courses. In this golfer’s paradise, players can enjoy these courses yearround due to the local weather. In January, it is not uncommon to have sunny days in the lower 70s and evenings in the lower 60s. Marina Vallarta, the course surrounding the hotel, offers beauty and convenience. The Joe Finger-designed course offers 6,701 yards and a par 71 layout. Twenty minutes away, the Jack Nicklaus par 72 course offers 7,073 yards of grassy hillsides, a dense forest of palm trees, giant Ficus trees and natural creeks; and the nearby Tom Weiskopf course is also a 72-par with nearly 7,000 yards of more extreme terrain surrounded by dense jungles, deep ravines and swift creeks.
Hitting the Spa Another award-winning aspect of the hotel is the Spa Casa Velas, a Leading Spa of the World a quaint, boutique spa with top-quality customer care. The relaxation room comes equipped with your own heated aromatherapy neck pillow and a “guardian” who sees to your every need, whether you desire chlorophyll water or hot tea. The spa has its own hydrotherapy regimen that includes sauna, steam room, deluxe shower and Jacuzzi.
Spa treatments, such as the Options Facial, are designed with the person’s skin type in mind. You can choose from hydrating to fruit-infused to antiaging. An extensive spa menu includes massages, facials, balancing therapies, contour treatments, body wraps and salon services.
The spa also includes a state-of-the-art fitness center containing cardio machines with individual TV screens, free weights and stretching stations. The fitness center is open from morning till night for any guests to work up a sweat.
Experiencing the City Casa Velas’ guests are also welcomed at the nearby Private Beach Club, which is located directly on the white beaches of Puerto Vallarta. The Beach Club is also included in the all-inclusive package and you can order from both a deli and sushi menu. Also included are the amenities and restaurants of the sister hotel, Velas Vallarta, which is also on the beach for guests who want to experience some actual sand and surf.
Casa Velas is a half-hour drive from El Malecon, the boardwalk and shopping area downtown, which boasts art galleries, markets, shops, restaurants and bars for those looking for nightlife.