A Weekend in Puerto Vallarta

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My first time to travel to Mexico was in 2011 on my honeymoon. Clayton and I had an amazing trip and although I enjoyed it, I didn’t know how much I would fall in love with Mexico until the following year when I got really serious about planning Destination Weddings.

Mexico is a beautiful country with options for every type of traveler. The culture and the Mexican people have my heart. When they say “welcome home” when you arrive, I really do always feel at home.

For the past six years, I have visited hundreds and hundreds of different hotels, resorts and private villas in Mexico but I had never been to Puerto Vallarta.

I had heard really wonderful things about this part of Mexico but just hadn’t had a chance to get out there to see for myself. When I saw that the Fiesta Americana in Puerto Vallarta had just opened a new addition that accommodated luxury travelers and weddings, I knew I needed to visit this property.

My husband doesn’t always get to join me on my adventures but he decided to join me on this one since we went on my birthday weekend and we had blast getting away for a few days without kiddos!

Puerto Vallarta is a short direct flight from Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport so we flew out in the morning and arrived by lunch time.

Upon arrival to the resort, we were warmly greeted and our bags were gently taken as we checked in. As I mentioned before, I have been to a lot of properties in Mexico and around the world. I consider myself a luxury traveler and enjoy high standards of service and accommodations.  The lobby of the resort is a little dark and dated so my first impression wasn’t memorable. However, as the day progressed my expectations continued to be met and exceeded.

We arrived before check in, but were given access to our room early. A friendly young man gave us a tour of the resort and showed us to our room. Our bags were promptly delivered. This is something I loved because I hate having to wait a long time to get my luggage. I have been known to go back down to the bellhop and carry it up myself just so I don’t have to wait.

Fun travel fact: My husband Clayton loves to immediately unpack his bags. He puts things in drawers, lays out clothes on shelves, hangs outfits on hangers and sets up his toiletries in the bathroom. I am kind of a teeny tiny germaphobe and try to touch as little as possible. I will hang my clothes up but I keep almost everything nice and tidy in my own suitcase.

We stayed on the 9th floor (highest floor) which comes with a few extra perks including the best views from the balcony, a private cocktail hour daily with a nice selection of snacks and my favorite was the preferred seating at breakfast overlooking the beach each morning. The room was basic but very clean. A fresh coat of bright paint and updated furnishings would make this room an excellent choice. We loved having the balcony overlooking the beautiful Pacific ocean and the bathroom was extra spacious. Look how pretty the amazing blue ocean is. This photos has no filter!

After we unpacked, we headed downstairs for lunch. One of my favorite things to do on vacation is to dine overlooking the ocean. I always look for resorts that have at least one restaurant where I can enjoy my meal and watch the waves. The La Cevicheria at Fiesta Americana didn’t disappoint. Steps away from the beach, with a covered pavilion, was the perfect location to enjoy shrimp tacos, fresh fish and of course chips and salsa.

Following lunch, we headed to the beach. I am a beach girl at heart and love being in the sand and swimming in the ocean. The beach area had plenty of lounge chairs and I loved the palapas and rows of palm trees for shade. I didn’t love the local vendors trying to sell you something but unfortunately this is common is so many locations because most beaches are public. The resort does have a rope that creates a barrier from the public beach, but you can still hear and see the vendors doing their best to sell you anything and everything.

Clayton tried to snorkel but he said the water wasn’t ideal due to the strong currents. After a few hours on the beach we decided to check out the brand new Sonne Club. The Sonne Club has only been open for about six months and it is fantastic. The Fiesta Americana is a family resort but the Sonne Club is for adults only and is a wonderful escape.

Wow! This space is really incredible! They have private cabanas for rent, comfortable lounge chairs, covered daybeds and additional seating overlooking a gorgeous infinity pool. The Sonne Club is an additional fee but the small cost is 100% worth the expense. Spending a few days here will leave you feeling pampered and relaxed. The staff at the Sonne Club was highly attentive and thoughtful throughout our entire stay. They provided complimentary sunscreen, fresh towels, a delicious menu and your choice of creative drinks from the bar.

Can I tell you a secret? I may or may not have been ‘one of those’ beach girls who just couldn’t understand why people would hang out at the pool when they are at the beach. If you have ever sat at the pool at a beach resort, I have most certainly passed judgement on you. I’m sorry. But you know what? The Sonne Club gave me a brand new appreciation for how luxurious and enjoyable a pool can be while still feeling connected to the ocean. I could have spent all of my time here and been extremely happy. It really is that good.

After a relaxing by the pool for a few hours we decided to head back up to our room to shower and get ready for dinner. The first night we ate at the sushi restaurant and it was very good. I really enjoyed the Kambu sushi and Clayton loved the fried ice cream. We went to sleep early and woke up refreshed and ready to enjoy the Sonne Club again.

Because our room was on the 9th floor, we were able to enjoy preferred seating at breakfast each morning at the Veranda. This space overlooks the beach, is absolutely gorgeous and my favorite part of the the new renovation.  The design and details of this area are some of the best I have seen as a frequent traveler and destination wedding planner.

Breakfast was a full buffet typical of what you might see at any all inclusive however the kitchen offered a few thoughtful touches that I think always make the displays more inviting including colorful mosaic dishes to clay mugs for Mexican hot chocolate.

Let’s talk about Mexican hot chocolate for a moment. Ya’ll. It is soooo good. I love hot chocolate but I always enjoy Mexican hot chocolate in Mexico. The touch of cinnamon and creamy milk tastes a little like heaven. And drinking it out of a clay mug makes it that much more fun!

After breakfast I was given a private tour of the resort and got to check out all the spaces for events including their two penthouse suites. Even though this is a smaller intimate hotel, they offer a variety of unique spaces available for private events and weddings. The penthouse suites were beautiful with a large balcony, incredible views, a private jacuzzi and lots of space to entertain and relax.

    

Once I had seen all the wonderful options the hotel offered for events, I was ready to head back to the Sonne Club and get some pool time! My husband, who refuses to be an ‘instagram husband’ and also hates taking photos period, obliged me since it was my birthday and agreed to take just a few. He took five. Literally just five. Then he handed over the camera and went back to his lounge chair to finish his book. Can you hear my annoyed tone or is that just me? I am grateful he took five. Here they are. The Sonne Club is gorgeous at every turn and was the perfect backdrop to celebrate another turn around the sun!

      

One of my favorite surprises each day was the snack served every afternoon around 1PM by the main pool. The first day of our arrival they had a chef making pizzas, one day they served fresh fruits like mangos and pineapples, another day they served juicy, well marinated fajitas and last but not least they showcased fresh fish and grilled it right in front of us. The fish was delicious and we had a little fun with the display too! Special touches like this are one of the many reasons I loved this property!

             

For dinner on our second night we enjoyed the Italian restaurant with friends that we met at the Sonne Club. They only have outdoor seating for this location and it was a little too hot for me to enjoy eating outside but overall our meal was enjoyable.

The next day we relaxed at the Sonne Club again and then ventured out into the city by Taxi. A short 10 minute drive got us dropped off at the boardwalk. We strolled the boardwalk and did some shopping until we reached the Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

      

Directly in front of the church, was a really nice square that was full of tourists and locals. There were a variety of food stalls, souvenirs and great people watching. We found yummy tacos and churros at one of the stands and found a seat on the white benches around the square. You can read more about why I love eating Mexican street food, including the tacos and churros we enjoyed in Puerto Vallarta, here.

   

I absolutely loved our time in Puerto Vallarta. I definitely didn’t have enough time to explore everything I would have liked to – mainly because the Sonne Club was amazing and we thoroughly enjoyed just relaxing here all day! But I will be back to this beautiful city and hope you will visit one day soon too! Add the Fiesta Americana to places you must visit and you have to go to the Sonne Club!

Our 4 night stay was sponsored by Fiesta Americana but all opinions and reviews of the resort are my own. I was truly delighted by our stay and will definitely be making another trip back to this resort. The Fiesta Americana would be a wonderful place for a family vacation, romantic getaway, or honeymoon. I would be honored to plan a destination wedding here and hope to be back very soon! The mountains, beautiful green grass, white sandy beaches and clear blue waters are a magical combination. If you want to visit this resort or have any general questions, please let me know. I love talking about Mexico! 

All photos were taken by me. Please do not use any photos without permission.

Thoughtfully, Chelsey