By Susan Romero
Casa Velas in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, is a rare combination of a luxury hotel that feels like home. From the moment you enter the lobby, you’re welcomed to check in while seated on a sofa, where you’re given drinks and cool cloths to wipe your hands and face. Then you receive a mini neck and shoulder massage, to relax you after your travels. After checking in, you begin a vacation that is unlike any other.
As we walked to our room, I was struck by the grounds, which looked like the back yard of a grand Mexican estate. There are lush botanical gardens and ponds, with peacocks roaming the grounds. Our room had a plunge pool on the balcony, and others have a Jacuzzi. I truly felt like I was in Mexico with the colorful tiles around the plunge pool, and décor of the room. There was even a straw basket to take with you to the beach or pool.
The pool is heavenly, and as I later discovered, addictive, with lounge areas inside the shallow part that allow you to get the sun and cool off at the same time. I really enjoyed the swim up bar as well. If you prefer to visit the beach, a short shuttle ride takes you to the private Ocean Club, with a pool, Jacuzzi, and restaurant. There are cabanas and lounge chairs by the beach where you can have drinks and food.
At Casa Velas, you will never need your wallet for food or drinks, including alcohol and cocktails, because the resort is all-inclusive. Here, the term all-inclusive means amazing food. This is not the typical all inclusive resort food that is generally mediocre at best. Rather, you will find that Emiliano’s Restaurant is a haven for fine dining and impeccable service, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have to say that breakfast, with its fresh squeezed juices, yogurt, granola and fruit, was my favorite meal. I couldn’t stay long enough to sample all of the different fresh juice blends with names like Cold Cure, No Stress, Insomnia Aid, Anti-toxin and Skin Boost. I tried the Cold Cure my first morning, because I felt congested after the flight. I am certain that the blend of carrot, ginger, lemon, apple and Echinacea, helped me fight off a cold. By the next day I felt fine.
I truly felt as if I was in a wellness retreat at Casa Velas, and made sure to visit the spa to continue the pampering. Although just being at Casa Velas feels like a spa itself, I had a wonderful massage that was a perfect complement to my stay. There is also golf at the Marina Vallarta Golf Club, and a fitness center available. Although I was not there to enjoy them, yoga classes are offered twice a week, as well as other special events like cooking classes and tequila tasting. We did venture off site into Puerto Vallarta for an afternoon, but you really never need to leave the comfort of Casa Velas, which is truly your home away from home.
For more information, visit http://www.hotelcasavelas.com.