Velas Vallarta Remains a Top All-inclusive Stay in Puerto Vallarta

When it comes to selecting a place to stay in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, the choices are endless. According to, there are almost 1,000 properties, ranging from private apartments to independent boutique hotels to sprawling all-inclusive beach resorts, all nestled in and around the city’s touristy central district. One popular destination for American visitors and one of Puerto Vallarta’s most well-established oceanfront accommodations is Velas Vallarta, part of the Velas Group, with hotels throughout Mexico.

A view of the resort from the courtyard gardens

Situated on 10 lush acres along Banderas Bay, Velas Vallarta is ideally located for that relaxing vacation where you want to get away but still want things to do. It’s about 10 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from El Malecon — the beachfront promenade that’s the epicenter of downtown. A taxi or Uber ride from the resort to downtown costs about $10 US.

Whether you want the option to head out for sightseeing and shopping or you want to spend your days soaking up the sun poolside, Velas Vallarta offers something for all members of the family. That’s right, the resort is family-friendly, with plenty of places for kids to play and eat. And, you can choose from an all-inclusive vacation or book individual nights with all meals and amenities extra.


When you arrive at Velas Vallarta, you’re greeted by a massive open lobby with dramatic barrel-vaulted ceiling and towering brick archways. The property, which opens to the beach, is set in a U-shaped formation around manicured gardens and azure swimming pools. To one side of the property are timeshare rooms; to the other are the resort guest rooms. As such, all rooms face toward the center of the resort.

Stone archways and vaulted ceilings define the resort's spacious lobby

There are 345 suites, ranging from 386-square-foot studio suites with an open living space and kitchenette, to the 1,388-square-foot three-bedroom family suite. This large accommodation includes a king bed, a queen bed, two twin beds, two bathrooms, a living area, and a fully equipped kitchen. For the ultimate luxurious experience, the 5,478-square-foot Presidential Suite overlooks the ocean, features four bedrooms, and can accommodate 8 guests.

I stayed in an 861-square-foot one-bedroom suite. The room included a king-size bed, a living area, a dining space, and a fully equipped kitchen. It also had a spacious terrace with multiple lounge chairs and a small bistro table and chairs.

While the room was clean, comfortable, and generously sized, it did seem dated. The decor, while simple, felt as though it hadn’t been updated since the hotel opened in 1990. In addition, the tile countertop in the kitchen had seen better days. That’s not a problem for me, as I spend very little time in my room, but for others who may be expecting a more high-end experience, it could be a bit of a disappointment. For a more luxe option, check out Velas’ sister property, the adults-only Casa Velas, located about 10 minutes walking distance from Velas.

A seashell-shaped headboard dominates the bedroom decorA view of the living room and terrace


The tropical grounds at Velas Vallarta are stunning. Peacocks and iguanas roam freely about the property. Bubbling streams and ponds stocked with colorful koi meander through the gardens. For fun, purchase fish food at the on-site convenience store and feed the koi. Plant lovers will spend hours exploring the verdant landscape. All of the plants and flowers are labeled, like in a private botanical garden.  

Head toward the beach, and you’ll pass two large pools that are connected by a lazy river. There’s also a small kids’ pool. The beach offers rows of covered cabanas with lounge chairs, but most guests seem to enjoy relaxing poolside, where friendly waitstaff serve drinks and snacks.

Multiple dining options are available. The open-air oceanfront La Ribera, which sits adjacent to the pools, offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No reservations are required. Here you can find traditional Mexican dishes, such as tacos and chilaquiles, fresh fish, and even chicken nuggets and hot dogs for the little ones. I had lunch here a couple times during my stay. It’s what I expected from a typical all-inclusive resort — standard fare that caters to Western taste buds. For a tasty lunch, I recommend the short rib tacos.

For a more formal dining experience, Andrea Restaurant also offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Reservations are required for this elegant dining room. Dishes range from local seafood to Italian and Mediterranean fare. I did not get a chance to eat here, however, as I wanted to sample Puerto Vallarta’s many famous restaurants. And according to Velas’ website, a Mexican cantina will soon be opening at the resort. Also, the room service menu offers many of the same dishes found at La Ribera.

The resort rooms surround the pools and gardens


All-inclusive guests receive a beaded bracelet, which must be worn at all times on the property. For those who aren’t doing an all-inclusive option, meal prices are printed on all menus, and tips are extra. 

Rates at Velas Vallarta start at around $400 per night and can go as high as $1,000 per night. The all-inclusive experience includes breakfast, lunch and dinner; 24-hour in-room dining; in-room minibar; access to the gym, pools, tennis courts and beach; a Kids’ Club; nightly entertainment; and all taxes and gratuities. You can compare rates and look for a better deal on,, or Expedia.

For more places to stay in Puerto Vallarta, check out our review of some of the area’s top hotels.  

A sunset view of the ocean from a swimming pool



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