Hotel Boutique Rivera Del Rio
Storied celeb favorite guesthouse on Puerto Vallarta’s Rio Cuale, with an indoor lap pool and a rooftop hot tub
Picture yourself in a photo shoot at this all-villa boutique resort in Puerto Vallarta’s Old Town. The four-room, four-suite property has hosted such Hollywood celebs as Raquel Welch and served as the backdrop for spreads in Vogue and Italian Elle. It’s easy to see why: The individually decorated residences are like something from Alice in Wonderland. In the Green Room you'll find pastel cherubs painted on the walls, a giant brass chandelier and a deep green soaking tub in the black marble bathroom. The two-story Candelaria suite skews pink, with a black-and-rose checkerboard floor, pink-and-turquoise satin linens and an ornate trompe l’oeil headboard with (real) candelabras on either side of the bed. And in the Carlotta suite, a huge Venetian crystal chandelier hangs above a cherrywood dining table, and twinkling wall lights bounce off the room’s handmade mosaic flooring (don’t worry, the lights have a dimmer). One thing all the rooms have in common: pillowtop mattresses, deep leopard-claw soaking tubs and access to outdoor pools.
Rivera del Rio’s prime location in Puerto Vallarta’s Old Town, just south of Rio Cuale, makes it easy to get around this bustling beach town. Wander down to Playa los Muertos, Vallarta’s most popular beach, for a day of sunbathing and beach bar hopping in this quaint, cobblestoned neighborhood; city ordinances mandate the district’s white buildings and red tile roofs, and they prohibit neon signs. Or venture north of the river to explore the renowned Malecon and the picturesque Gringo Gulch neighborhood; Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton reportedly began their affair there while filming The Night of the Iguana in 1963. To get away from the touristy zone, take a 45-minute water taxi ride to Yelapa, a no-car island village with only 1,500 residents, many of them hippies and artists. Water sports aplenty are on offer, but no one would blame you for spending the day on the beach, feasting on fresh coconut slices and chocolate pie sold by vendors on the beach.