One would be hard-pressed to find a prettier spot in Mexico than Puerto Vallarta's Bay of Banderas. One would also be hard-pressed to find a spot in Mexico that is equally trendy and authentic. Puerto Vallarta's Costa Sur Resort & Spa is a neat little boutique hotel where travelers can have it all.
About seven minutes by taxi from downtown, south along coastal Highway 200, sits Costa Sur Resort & Spa, perched on a cliff and built directly into the rock face that overlooks the sweeping bay. To the right are views of Centro, all the way to the hotel zone, the marina and over into Nuevo Vallarta. To the left, it's open skies and magnificent sunsets.
Costa Sur's suites are all ocean-facing on a quiet stretch of beach that is only accessible to hotel guests. It's private and tranquil for that coveted secluded getaway but not so far from town that getting to sceney restaurants and after-hours parties become a chore.
The resort renovated 48 suites in 2017, transforming 36 units on three floors of the hotel's North Tower into Deluxe Studios. A floor with 12 Honeymoon Suites was also renovated. All of Costa Sur's suites have terraces offering front-row seats to Puerto Vallarta's flawless sunsets.
One of the pools at the resort, which also features a spa, a gym and a snorkeling lagoon.
There are two pools at the resort as well as a section of beach that has been carved into a snorkeling lagoon. The main restaurant has tables poolside overlooking the bay. Diners can choose a buffet or a la carte dining (the fish tacos are worth bragging about), and the restaurant often has theme meals like Italian Night or Mexican Fiesta.
The hotel offers an all-inclusive option for an additional $70 per day for adults and $35 for kids. A spa and gym are available, but the more outdoorsy guest will want to take advantage of the hotel's kayaks, paddleboards and prime location near some truly beautiful hiking trails.
And for those who wish to explore what makes Puerto Vallarta so electric, a quick taxi ride puts travelers in the heart of the Zona Romantica. Costa Sur welcomes all guests but is particularly popular with the LGBTQ community because of its proximity to the Zona Romantica, which is known for its gay bars as well as its restaurants and beach clubs.
But all bars and restaurants in Puerto Vallarta are welcoming to (and fun for) travelers of any sexual orientation. In fact, the Zona Romantica is the neighborhood to explore after dark for its lively restaurants, all-night nightlife, street food and people-watching. And when the party is over, escape quickly back to your oceanfront oasis for a much-needed (and supremely quiet) good night's sleep.
Rates at Costa Sur begin at $84 per night. See www.costasurpuertovallarta.com/en.