The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta


After graduating from UCLA, JIll traveled the world looking for unique destinations. She’s been writing about her travels for almost 30 years in various publications.

She writes a weekly restaurant review for the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News. It’s inserted into the Los Angeles Times every Thursday and delivered to subscribers from Hancock Park to Beverly Hills, Hollywood Hills to the Wilshire Corridor.

The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta



Mexico is one of the easiest vacation getaways during the winter months for those seeking warmth and sunshine. During January through May, the temperature is pleasant and dry, without the rain and humidity the area receives during the summer months.

Last month I discovered The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta, where the Pacific Ocean and mountain landscape unite. Less than three hours by airplane from Los Angeles, the resort is a short ten minute drive from Puerto Vallarta International Airport.

What used to be a former palm tree plantation in the 1980s, became one of the leading modernistic architectural wonders in Puerto Vallarta in the 1990s. Today the well preserved hotel is painted in orange and yellow tones with a splash of pink and purple to provide a pleasing and exciting ambiance.

The centerpiece of the resort is two sparkling blue tiled swimming pools with small islands among lush gardens. Hotel whirlpools help guests relax after a day of sightseeing and traveling.

There are 279 spacious guest rooms and suites at this 14 floor hotel. Each room features wood accents, serene earth tones, and comfortable Westin Heavenly beds to ensure a good night’s sleep. Each private balcony overlooks hundreds of towering palm trees, swimming pools, and the Pacific Ocean beyond.

The resort features an array of wellness amenities starting with wellness yoga or Zumba in the morning before a buffet or a la carte breakfast at El Palmar Restaurant. Outside on the tile patio is a taco station with a culinary staff member making custom tacos filled with your favorite ingredients.

Beachfront pergolas await for those seeking sunshine and shade reclining in comfortable lounge chairs. Fresh towels, bottles or water and an attentive staff deliver food and beverages from the nearby palapa design Cebichería Arrecifes restaurant and round bar.

There is a luxury Westin Spa offering his and her locker rooms, a heated indoor pool, sauna and steam room. Guests can select from a dozen soothing spa treatments, wellness massages and facials.

Since mid-December through March is prime whale watching in Puerto Vallarta, the nearby marina is within walking distance offering boats to cruise along the coastline of Bandera Bay.

Within a ten minute cab ride is the historic 12 block Malecon boardwalk. Along the one mile walk is an array of unique art, sculptures, murals, shopping and restaurants. Start at Puerto Vallarta’s Centro (Center) towards Zona Romántica (Romantic Zone) and ends at Old Town.

One city activity I enjoyed that starts in Old Town is the Vallarta Eats Food Tour. It’s an informative walking adventure with a local guide. We stopped at 8 of his favorite Mexican street eats and seafood restaurants to taste a variety of tacos, quesadillas, agua frescas, churros, and Mexican ice cream. It’s reasonably priced and a great way to get an insiders view of the area.

Another fun Puerto Vallarta activity is a zip line adventure with Canopy River Tours. We soared through a forest canopy of trees above a flowing river to 11 different zip stations for picturesque views. The friendly guides made sure we were safe on each zip adventure and provided mules for a ride back up to the top. There is a Mexican restaurant for lunch, and a fiesta dinner every Tuesday evening. This area also has the longest suspension bridge in Mexico that visitors can walk across or drive over on an ATV.

Make a reservation for The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta online at


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