Where exactly are you located? We are located on the South Shore of the Bay of Banderas. The South shore is the most accessible to Old and Central Puerto Vallarta with fantastic restaurants, shops and night life. The South shore is less crowded, simply because the steep Sierra Madre mountains in this area make it very difficult to build. It is far more scenic, lush and beautiful than the other areas of the bay. To get an exact location, take a look at the Satellite Photos.
Are there other costs not included in the Villa rental quote that we need to plan for? The nightly room rate includes all taxes, fees, etc. If comparing pricing, make sure that rates are quoted with taxes and fees as some nightly rates do not include these. Not included is the cost of transportation back and forth from the airport and the cost of food and beverage and gratuities to the staff. We purchase the food and drinks for you and present receipts for reimbursement. We can arrange transfers to/from the airport.
What is the Cost of food and beverage? – We prepare two meals and you pay for the cost of food and beverage which on average runs about $20-$25 per person per day for each member in your party.
What is the Tipping Policy? – Not mandatory, but expected in Villas in Puerto Vallarta and runs about $10-15 per person per day for each member in your party.
Is there a sandy beach near the villa for swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving? Is the beach accessible from the Villa? First of all, when most people sit on the pool terrace, lounge in the infinity pool, hear the surf crashing, sometimes with splashes going up higher than their heads, they quickly forget about the beach, sand fleas and trinket salesmen. However, there is a sandy beach just 200 yards to the north of the villa. It requires walking up the road a couple lots over and down the embankment to the beach. Our friends----all in their mid-fifties---have managed to successfully traverse the trail down to this beautiful secluded sandy beach many times.
Depending on the time of year, snorkeling can be very good a short distance from the beach. Just a five-minute drive (Sergio can drive you there) to the south of the villa you will find Mismaloya Beach—(film location for Night of the Iguana)-one of the nicest beaches in Puerto Vallarta. You can swim at this beach---or if you choose negotiate a price with one of the many Panga (small boat) that will take you on owners that take you and charter your own cruise. Afterwards, go get a snack or beverage at one of the simple beachside open-air restaurants. There are many beaches between downtown and Villa Esplendora. Another option is to take boat excursions to beaches only accessible by boat such as Yelapa or Animas. These are nice trips to get your "sand fix".
Are there sunsets visible all year round? There are spectacular sunsets all year round. The sun sets directly over the water from about May thru September. The rest of the year, the sun drops behind the Sierra Madre mountains that extend into the Pacific just to our south. In our opinion, these are the most spectacular sunsets as the sunsets last longer and or more beautiful.
Is the beach directly in front of the Villa accessible? Not really. The waves sometime crash within 20-30 feet of the pool terrace onto the rocks which is great to watch and hear but it is not an area that safe for walking. This set up also allows for a maximum amount of privacy.
Do we need to rent a car? What are transportation options to/from the Airport? When we go to Puerto Vallarta we never rent a car. Taxis are plentiful and the bus transportation is very convenient and easy to use. Taxis are $10-$13 from our Villa to town and the bus transportation from the Villa is 50 pesos or $.45 per person. Villa Esplendora is located about 30 minutes from the Airport. Taxis or vans are readily available at the airport for 1 to 3 people ($25 USD) 4 to 6 People ($50 USD) 7 or more $90 USD plus $9 per person over 7 people.
Will there be dinner served the day of our arrival? Do we order food & beverages prior to our arrival?Just depends upon your arrival time and whether you want dinner service upon your arrival. Approximately 3 weeks prior to your arrival, you will be sent an Arrival document where you will fill in flight arrivals and information about your party. You will also be able to request some food and beverage items prior to your arrival. We will provide cold beverages, margaritas and beer and Mexican snacks, tortilla chips, guacamole. We also will send a several page document with directions and other information about the Villa and Puerto Vallarta .
Once we get to the Villa, will someone always be there to let us in upon our arrival? How do we get keys to the Villa? At least one member of our staff will always be on hand when you arrive. You will be given a tour of the villa as well as other helpful instructions regarding the house. A set of keys will be given to you at that time along with complementary Mexican snacks, soft drinks, beers and cold margaritas!
What services do the staff provide and what are their working hours? The staff consists of 5 people; a fantastic houseman, Sergio, fabulous chef (Concha), maintenance man, José, head maid, Carmen and assistant maid Meche. Normally, a minimum of two people are at the Villa from 8:30 until about one hour past dinner. In addition to normal maintenance, gardening and housekeeping, our staff will prepare and serve meals, clean all rooms each day, serve beverages, do laundrey for guests, shop for food and beverages, arrange tours, arrange transportation, etc. etc. Basically, their job is to spoil you a bit and make your trip relaxing and memorable. NOTE: Staff works Monday thru Saturday. Sunday service can be provided at additional costs.
What are my options for communicating with my family and business in the U.S. while I am in Puerto Vallarta ? Phones? Internet? Fax services? The Villa is equipped with broadband wirreless throughout the Villa and pool terrace. In addition, the Villa is equipped with phones, fax, copy machine and printer.
How do the meals work? Do we have menus to choose from? We have an extensive menu ranging from traditional Mexican dishes to American cuisine with chicken, shrimp, lobster, crab and beef options. Ranulfo and Conchita will work with you to plan to menus. Whether it is a hamburger and cokes for the kids or Lobster and fine wines, the meals are excellent and beautifully presented. The desserts are worth the visit alone. If there are any special off the menu requests, we can accommodate special requests as well. They will shop daily for fresh food and vegetables and anything else you may need including liquor, beer, wine, cigars, etc. They will present receipts and you simply reimburse them.
How is the weather in Puerto Vallarta ? Is the area affected by hurricanes? The weather from Nov thru April is very dry, with minimal rainfall with temperatures ranging from Mid 70’s to mid 80’s. The middle summer months can reach temperatures in the 90’s and there are regular afternoon/evening showers in July, August and September. It is more humid in the summer but also very beautiful with lush green jungle, abundant waterfalls and flowing rivers. While there can be tropical storms/hurricanes in the Pacific in July thru October, they are not as frequent on the Pacific side of Mexico compared to the gulf side. Puerto Vallarta is in the Bay of Banderas and surrounding Sierra Madre mountains typically provide good protection, particularly on the South Shore area where Villa Esplendora is located. Generally speaking, you have much less to worry about in Puerto Vallarta than the Carriebean and other areas such as Cancun.
How accessible is the Villa for people that have problems with steps and stairs? The Villa is on two levels, so there are steps to negotiate between floors. However, compared to most Villas in Puerto Vallarta built upon multiple levels following the hilly topography, Villa Esplendora is relatively easy to navigate. The lower level, for example, has dining room, kitchen, family room and one bedroom and is only about 6 steps to the pool terrace.
What do we need to bring with us? Not much. The Villa is equipped with hair dryers, beach towels, binoculars, wireless broadband Internet, copy machine, fax, DVD’s, CD’s, XBox, etc. Also, Mexico is on 110 electrical current, same as in the U.S. , so no adapters necessary. About the only thing you may want to bring along is a laptop computer if you want to keep in touch via the Internet while at the Villa. If not, there are numerous internet Café’s in town.
Is Puerto Vallarta safe for tourists? In a word—absolutely. Puerto Vallarta is extremely safe. Night or day, we walk around anywhere in the Malecon area downtown or Old Town area of PV and never worry. The city of Puerto Vallarta is VERY protective of their tourists. You will see a police presence but they are very friendly and reassuring--not intimidating.
Do we need passports to travel to Puerto Vallarta ? YES