Friday, January 20, 2012

Puerto Vallarta Scenery

Our trip to Puerto Vallarta last week was actually my first trip to Mexico ever. I've been to a bunch of tropical places including the Caribbean, Central America, Asia but somehow never made it to Mexico, even while growing up in Southern California. Puerto Vallarta is nice, but definitely has the feel of a big tourist resort town. The beaches are dominated by a row of large resort hotels curving all along the bay. We stayed at one, the Westin Puerto Vallarta. I much prefer smaller, more private boutique hotels or villas; my favorite places that I've traveled to are places like Bali and St. Barths. It just feels too overdeveloped and corporate otherwise; it feels like we could be anywhere. We stayed on the 9th floor of a huge 14 story resort with several pools and restaurants. I know a lot of people like this kind of experience, but for me, it was just too much people, too much stuff, not enough peace and privacy, all the time. The Westin was fine; we got a great airfare / hotel package through Orbitz, so I can't really complain too much. It definitely wasn't as nice as some of the other Westins that I've stayed at, particularly in the rooms and bathrooms. The beds and pillows weren't "heavenly bed" soft and the rooms and bathrooms could just use a little freshening up. I'm just happy it wasn't too noisy in the hallways. Many of the water features in the front of the hotel were turned off, but the pool grounds with all the palms were pretty. I wasn't too pleased that they charged for internet, although it seems to be the norm for all the hotels in the area. The beach was rather rocky with a strong current so we never ventured into the water, although I'm not a fan of going in the ocean anyway. When the sun was out though, it was really pretty, the water just sparkles and shimmers intensely blue, though different from the Caribbean turquoise. We strolled around the Marina a lot for meals and ventured to the Centro district downtown for a stroll along the Malecon around sunset followed by dinner a few blocks up the hill. The Malecon along the water was lined with huge nightclubs and touristy restaurants but a nice place for a stroll before dinner. The sunsets in Puerto Vallarta are gorgeous, particularly when there are a bit of clouds; fiery pinks, reds and oranges over the bay. All in all, we had a nice vacation, though it's not a place that I would be rushing back to return to since there are so many amazing places in the world to travel to.

Shots of the Westin Property:
View from our balcony
The Malecon at sunset
The marina. Calypso St. Barth x Target dress; I've actually gotten a ton of use out of this dress while on vacations, nice coverup from the sun

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