Half a mile south, the Hotel Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta (P.O. Box 270, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco 48300, tel. 322/226-2100, U.S./Can. tel. 800/FIESTA-1 or 800/343-7821, fax 322/224-2108, www.fiestamericana.com) is for many the best hotel in town. The lobby palapa, the world’s largest, is an attraction unto itself. Its 10-story palm-thatch chimney draws air upward, creating a continuously cool breeze through the open-air reception. Outside, the high-rise rampart of oceanview rooms ($120 d low season, $240 d high, two kids under 12 free) overlooks a pool and garden of earthly delights, complete with a gushing pool fountain, water volleyball, swim-up bar, and in-pool recliners. Beyond spreads a 150-foot-wide strip of wave-washed yellow sand. Amenities include air-conditioning, TV, phones, all sports, aerobics, three restaurants, huge pool, three bars, wheelchair access, and parking.
Next door to the north, the all-inclusive Hola Puerto Vallarta, formerly the Qualton Club (Km 2.5, Av. de las Palmas s/n, tel. 322/224-4446, toll-free Mex. tel. 01-800/327-0000, fax 322/224-4447, www.holapuertovallarta.com), offers an attractive all-inclusive option for vacationers who enjoy lots of food, fun, and company. On a typical winter-season day, hundreds of fellow sunbathing guests line the rather cramped poolside, while a few steps away dozens more relax beneath shady beachfront palapas. Nights glow with beach buffet theme dinners—Italian, Mexican, Chinese, and more—for hundreds, followed by shows where guests often become part of the entertainment. The list goes on—constant food, open bars, complete gym and spa, tennis by night or day, scuba lessons, volleyball, water sports, free disco, golf privileges, stress therapy, yoga, aerobics galore—all included at no extra charge. If you want relief from the hubbub, you can always escape to the greener, more spacious Fiesta Americana poolside next door. The hotel’s 320 rooms ($110 pp low season, $150 high, kids 7–11 $30, 12–17 $50), all with private view balconies, are luxuriously decorated in pastels and include air-conditioning, cable TV, phone, and wheelchair access; credit cards are accepted.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition