It’s been almost a year since Hilton’s splashy new all-inclusive resort opened on the shores of the Bay of Banderas in Puerto Vallarta. And, it seems, things are going very, very well. After a recent visit, this resort has become one of my top recommendations when visiting Puerto Vallarta.
Typically, I shy away from recommending resorts “out of town” in Puerto Vallarta because there is so much magic within the city itself. But I make an exception for the resorts that are truly special, and the Hilton Vallarta Riviera is one of them. Perched overlooking the southern corner of the bay, guests are greeted by an airy, bright lobby with soaring ceilings and a view directly out to the horizon.
The resort sits about 10 minutes outside the Zone Romantica along Highway 200, south of Puerto Vallarta. It’s the only resort on this stretch of beach, meaning guests are getting the best of both worlds: privacy and easy access to the energy of downtown. Ubers and taxis are readily available, so it’s not hard to go off-property. That said, the all-inclusive nature of the resort means your clients may not want to leave, and they would be totally justified because the resort is quite simply a lot of fun.
The 444 rooms all offer ocean views and private balconies. Opt for the Premium Level rooms, which are located on the top floors and have access to the private Club Lounge on the 13th floor. The views are stellar up there, too. If clients really want to splurge, the 31 suites also have access to the Club Lounge, as well as furnished terraces, two bathrooms and some with a jetted tub on the terrace.
But guests can get that jetted-tub experience without booking a suite by whisking up to the rooftop Sky Bar. This adults-only escape features two hot tubs overlooking the bay as well as an exclusive bar area. It’s one of 12 all-inclusive food and beverage experiences at the resort.
What’s for dinner at the resort?
A favorite perk at the resort is its afternoon sushi lounge. Every day at 4 p.m., the Azulinda grab-and-go market transforms into a sushi lounge, serving a variety of fresh rolls, nigiri and sashimi. With prime oceanfront views, this quickly became one of my favorite spots to have a relaxing appetizer before moving on to dinner. For dinner, I highly recommend the Seasalt steakhouse or Sunan for Asian-inspired street food.
Guests are greeted in the lobby with direct views of the Bay of Banderas. Photo Credit: Hilton Vallarta Riviera All-Inclusive Resort
Service and attention to detail is fantastic here, as well. My husband and I were freshly engaged when we visited, and the resort made it a point to make us feel special, from an in-room truffle amenity to a bottle of Moet and chocolate-covered strawberries in our beachfront cabana. We also arranged for a couples massage in the Eforea Spa. The deep tissue massage is a must.
Hitting the pool and the beach
Out on the pool deck are two oceanfront infinity pools, which are at the heart of the action. The swim-up bar is always buzzing with activity. For guests who love to make friends when they travel, this is the spot to be. The social scene here is truly energetic. The pool level is also where guests will find the fitness center, which is equipped with every machine one might need.
The only “drawback” to the resort is that the beach is not as large as others in Puerto Vallarta. But seeing as it’s the only hotel on this beach, it offers a lot more privacy and seclusion. Truthfully, it’s tough to find something about this resort that isn’t great. From the location and the food to the activities and service, it is simply done well. From first timers to Puerto Vallarta to those looking to kick back with a beachfront getaway, the Hilton Vallarta Riviera delivers.