Premiere Hotel, Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
I was looking for an alternative to the generic hotels that line Puerto Vallarta’s Zona Hotelera, so I decided to follow a friend’s advice and check out the Premiere Hotel and Spa instead.
Located along El Malecon, PV’s oceanfront main drag, the five-year old Premiere is a white, breezy, art-filled, 83-room boutique hotel offering sedate, charming rooms filled with the kind of cool bath products you (okay, I) can’t help but hoard in your suitcase. And who needs the beach when you can kick back in your own ergonomically-designed, cobalt blue tile Jacuzzi for two on your balcony while sipping a margarita and gazing out at the Bahia de Banderas?
One of the best things about the Premiere, besides its proximity to some truly great taco stands, is its spa, which offers an array of edible-sounding body treatments designed to soothe your sun, sand, and tequila-ravaged soul.
Spa Premiere is immaculate and elegant, with first-rate aestheticians and massage therapists. You can indulge in everything from a tropical papaya hydrotherapy treatment to the supremely orgasmic Mayan wrap, a massage, body scrub, and mask of milk, vanilla, and orange essential oils that will leave you smelling like a Creamsicle and softer than a freshly steamed tortilla. I admit it: I couldn’t stop stroking my arms and legs for at least four hours after my Mayan wrap. Granted, that behavior garnered me some strange looks on the plane ride home, but it was worth it to feel so smooth.
Even if you just kick it in the hotel pool, which is one of those uber-hip, rimless affairs that looks like it morphs into the Pacific, life is pretty good. Suck down some cocktails at the poolside bar, or eat al fresco at Manglar Restaurant. For indoor dining, you can try the informal La Ceiba Restaurant, or the more intimate Los Murales. If you overindulge on the tortilla chips, you can always work them off in the hotel’s large, spotless, fully-equipped gym. But you’re in Puerto Vallarta: go for a stroll along the Malecon instead, visit some of PV’s internationally-famed art galleries, then hit the empty beaches and shallow waters of Playa Destiladeras for an afternoon of swimming and you can be back at the Premiere in time for a massage and happy hour. See? Everybody wins.