Introduction to Puerto Vallarta's Hotel Zone
The largest concentration of hotels in Puerto Vallarta
can be found in the aptly-named Hotel Zone, a stretch along the city’s main thruway, Francisco Medina Ascencio, that extends from the Puerto Vallarta Maritime Terminal at its north-most point and the Sheraton Buganvilias Resort at the opposite end. Medina Ascencio runs parallel to the beach, making the vast majority of hotels in the Hotel Zone ideal for family vacations. Downtown Vallarta is just minutes away, a walk for some of the hotels or a bus/taxi ride for those closer to the marina. This is also where you'll fine most of the tallest buildings of the bay, with high-rises, offering oceanfront full-time condominium living, being the latest addition to the Hotel Zone stretch.
The Hotel Zone was a natural extension of downtown Puerto Vallarta as the destination became more popular and needed room to grow. It allowed the downtown area to remain pretty much the same as its been for many years, with many of the original buildings (although obviously renovated) still remaining. The long stretch of beach from town to the marina provided large parcels so that much larger hotels could be constructed.
The Hotel Zone is approximately 10 minutes away by car from Puerto Vallarta’s International Airport. Many of the city’s public bus routes travel through the Hotel Zone as they head to points north and south of it, making it easy to rely on public transportation. In addition, just about every major hotel in the area has its own taxi stand right at the entrance, making it easy to move about the city.
Where to Stay
Most of the beach is lined with hotels, with the most well-known hotel brands being the Sheraton Buganvilias, the Holiday Inn, Krystal Vallarta and the Hilton. Other hotels are Hola Vallarta, Crown Paradise and Plaza Pelicanos. There are more hotel rooms on this stretch of beach than anywhere else in the bay. Most hotels offer all-inclusive packages. Rental properties are also available, primarily condominiums. See our accommodations page for more information.
Culture: Arts, Music, Cuisine
Where to Eat
While all hotels feature their own restaurants, there are several excellent dining options in Puerto Vallarta’s Hotel Zone. In addition, there are several franchises familiar to visitors from the United States. The Sheraton Buganvilias Resort features one of the city’s most popular sunday brunches, with a live mariachi band and other amenities.
Landmarks, Sights and Activities
It’s not uncommon to find people exercising by walking or jogging along the main road. Fluvial Vallarta, across from the Holiday Inn is a peaceful residential neighborhood often preferred by joggers as well. The city is presently closing the main vehicular lanes along Medina Ascencio during certain hours on Sundays to allow cyclists, walkers and joggers to enjoy themselves. The city’s public stadium, Agustín Flores Contreras, is located across from the Sheraton Buganvilias Resort.
There are several commercial plazas located within the Hotel Zone where you will be able to find everything you might need, from bathing suites to groceries. Most Mexican banks have a branch located somewhere within the Hotel Zone. Here is a breakdown of the larger shopping centers located within the Hotel Zone (north to south) and the amenities you can find within them:
- Plaza Galerías—large department store (Liverpool), movie theaters, eateries, sporting goods and casino. Next door to Walmart and Sam's and across the street from Puerto Vallarta’s Maritime Terminal.
- Plaza Peninsula—fine restaurants, boutiques and night clubs. Between the Krystal and Holiday Inn hotels.
- Plaza Caracol—groceries, movie theaters, and smaller convenience stores. Across the street from the Friendly Hotel.
There are several beaches within the Hotel Zone, most of which are associated with the hotels near them. North to south:
- Playa de Oro is located between the Maritime Terminal and the Pitillal River.
- Playa Holi is on the other side of the Pitillal River, and while it’s an extension of Playa Las Glorias further south, it’s nicknamed Holi due to its proximity to the Holiday Inn.
- Playa Los Tules shares its name with the condo resort Los Tules.
- Playa Las Glorias is located behind Plaza Las Glorias, a smaller shopping plaza, and it serves area hotels
- Playa Camarones is located behind the Mega Comercial Mexicana grocery store and extends south until it reaches the Sheraton Buganvilias Resort.
There is public access to the beaches in the Hotel Zone with parking between Plaza Peninsula and the Holiday Inn. Most of these beaches are interconnected, making it possible to walk them continuously. However, many resorts along the way use rocks to fence their own areas.
The Hotel Zone has traditionally been a place dominated by hotels, hence the name "Hotel Zone". However, starting around 2003, a number of high-rise oceanfront condominium buildings, all over 20 stories tall, have been built. They offer exception views of the bay, easy access to the airport and downtown, and plenty of shopping centers situated very close by. With regards to homes, there are not many options available along the beach. Most homes would be in the traditional neighborhoods across the Medina Ascencio highway, such as Los Versalles and Fluvial.
For more information about Hotel Zone real estate, visit MLSVallarta.com or VallartaRealEstateGuide.com.
Hotel Zone Beaches
: This wide sandy beach stretching from Marina Vallarta to the Rosita is lined with resort hotels, Puerto Vallarta's original and still growing tourist playground.
Experiencing Vallarta: Where to Stay
: One of the most alluring features of Puerto Vallarta as a destination is that — unless you are traveling onboard one of the many cruise ships that dock for the day at our Maritime Terminal or are simply driving through on your way somewhere else — when the day is done and it’s time to get some well-deserved rest after exploring our town, the lodging options are as plentiful and varied as our restaurant choices.
The Unique Neighborhoods In and Around Banderas Bay
: It’s impossible to paint all of Banderas Bay with the same brush, so to help you get a taste of the different neighborhoods around the bay (“colonias” in Spanish), we’ve created this handy list of some of the most popular.
Puerto Vallarta: A Real Estate Success Story
: What we can establish as being “a success”? Well, in 2000 Puerto Vallarta had roughly $50 million in resort real estate sales (“resort real estate” is defined as real estate purchased primarily by retirees or second-home purchasers). There were rarely homes selling for more than $1 million and few large real estate developments.
The Personality of a Street
: Who were Ignacio L. Vallarta, Francisca Rodríguez and other personalities that have become street names in Puerto Vallarta? Here are a few anecdotes behind them.
Best Way to Paint Our City: 5000 Bouganvillea
: Sometimes the best ideas blossom slowly. But when they do, they glow and inspire. In the case of the 5000 bouganvillea specimens recently bestowed on our city by the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens, it is finally happening.
Best Commercial Makeover: Plaza Caracol
: You’re in for a big surprise on your next visit to this popular 17-year-old plaza in Puerto Vallarta’s northern Hotel Zone, an incredible number of exciting recent changes and additions making it Banderas Bay’s most comprehensive plaza by far.