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When Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa debuted in the heart of Puerto Vallarta’s Hotel Zone in 1992, it was among a handful of vacation retreats perched on Banderas Bay’s golden sands. Despite heavy development in the area since then, the beachfront escape has retained the same charm it brought to the scene some 23 years ago.
Of course, not everything has remained exactly the same. The 511-room property — the pioneer among Villa Group Resorts’ portfolio of nine coastal resorts — recently emerged from a multimillion-dollar cosmetic renovation. The resort’s Spanish colonial details have been livened up with a fresh and bright color scheme, as well as pop-culture-inspired artwork and rich textures.
According to general manager Mario Chavez, Villa del Palmar has always welcomed a large number of return guests who appreciate the property’s prime beachfront location and proximity to the city’s historic downtown and Malecon boardwalk. With the resort’s new look, there’s even more reason to come back.
“While the resort has always been well-maintained and has seen upgrades in the past, it was time to create a cooler style for the property through bright colors and new furnishings,” Chavez said. “Our guests have welcomed the changes.”
Noting the importance of first impressions, Chavez says that one of Villa Group Resorts’ top priorities during the redesign was to shed the property’s “fortress-style” entrance. The refreshed entry now incorporates the brand’s signature flowing waterfalls and lush, exotic gardens.
The lobby reflects that same airy attitude — its central atrium rises eight floors to a skylight that illuminates cascading bougainvillea. And the staff is as welcoming as this sight, always genuinely hospitable, smiling and ready to assist guests with their every need.
Visitors are also sure to notice Villa del Palmar’s bold new look once they’ve found their rooms. When restyling the accommodations, local designer Karoll Gonzalez aimed to immerse guests in the comfort of a cozy and colorful Mexican home. White walls juxtapose dramatic pops of pink, turquoise and indigo. The effect is punctuated with iconic Frida Kahlo and loteria-style artwork.
All suites have been spruced up with furnished balconies and kitchenettes. Guests can stock refrigerators with goodies from the on-site Palmita Deli & Market or opt to dine at restaurants El Patron, The Market and La Trattoria.
The central courtyard has also been elevated with newly tiled free-form pools and shade umbrellas. Take note, though: The larger pool buzzes with guests participating in complimentary afternoon activities, so those looking for a quieter setting should hit the beach instead.
The resort’s Bay Breeze Spa also takes advantage of its scenic surroundings, offering beachside cabanas for outdoor treatments with the waves as a naturally serene soundtrack. In the future, the fitness center’s wet areas will be moved into the spa, and its indigenous treatment menu will be refreshed.