Passport to Paradise: Unveiling the Allure of Casa Velas Hotel Puerto Vallarta

Merilee Kern
9 min readFeb 12, 2024

Nestled within an upscale residential neighborhood, just a short five-minute drive from Puerto Vallarta airport, the AAA Four Diamond Casa Velas stands as a serene, adults-only boutique resort exemplifying standards in the luxury all-inclusive sector. As part of the prestigious Velas Resorts portfolio — renowned for being the only chain with four properties in U.S. News & World Report’s list of the top 25 all-inclusive resorts in Mexico — Casa Velas continues to exceed expectations with its unique charm and bespoke hospitality. Unlike traditional hotels, this Spanish hacienda-esque resort feels like a private estate replete with attentive staff members who add a personalized touch to the guest experience.

The 80 traditional, artwork-adorned Mexican-styled suites at Casa Velas are designed for utmost comfort, each featuring a private terrace with a plunge pool or in-suite Jacuzzi, hypo-allergenic pillows, goose down feather duvets, free WiFi, satellite TV, safe deposit box, coffee maker, bathrobes and slippers and L’Occitane bath products, as well as a fully stocked mini bar. Guests can choose from five room types: Master Suite; Grand Class Suite; Ambassador Suite; Governor Suite or the Presidential Suite.

For those seeking copious privacy and space to spread out, the 3,000-square-foot, four-bedroom Presidential Suite is a haven offering a top-end luxury escape. The space, suited for up to eight guests, boasts original artwork by Mexican artist Sergio Bustamante, a large dining room, living room, master suite with a spacious marble-laden bathroom and an expansive terrace with an oversized plunge pool and Jacuzzi. It also comes complete with its own butler and bartender. It’s worth noting that Casa Velas actually has Bustamante’s sculptures in the majority of the suites, allowing most guests to enjoy the captivatingly authentic artwork.

Amidst its Spanish-style architecture and captivating interior design, the resort is ensconced in a lush garden setting on the 18-hole Marina Vallarta Golf Course. The tropical landscaping and abundant flora and fauna woven throughout the entirety of the hotel create a breathtaking setting, attracting wildlife — including Koi ponds and “pet” snapping turtles.

For golf enthusiasts, Casa Velas guests receive special access and discounts at Marina Vallarta and Vista Vallarta Golf Clubs. For its part, the par 71 layout of Marina Vallarta’s 18-hole golf course, designed by Joe Finger, is rife with flourishing vegetation, wildlife-laden lagoons and beautiful views of Banderas Bay. Guests can also enjoy discounted golf privileges at two other top 18-hole, 72 par golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf located at the Vista Vallarta Golf Club only 20 minutes away.

Casa Velas guests can soak up the sun at its private pool cushioned in a tropical landscape that overlooks the golf course. Its swim-up Aqua Bar ensures refreshments — including local brews, tropical drinks and classic Mexican cocktails crafted from premium liquor brands — flow all day through.

The newest offering at Casa Velas in Puerto Vallarta allows guests to experience pure relaxation with their own “Wellness Cabana.” Available in the intimate space of their suite, or at the botanical garden adjacent to the spa labyrinth, wellness-focused amenities include aromatherapy, a personal speaker with calming meditation music, spa water, a MUSE meditation headband and mandala adult coloring books, among other items.

For those desiring to unwind and explore off-site, the resort also provides complimentary shuttle service to the private Táu Beach Club, offering guests a beachside retreat with cushioned loungers, cabanas, food and beverage service for lunch and dinner and a pristine infinity pool and Jacuzzi area proffering idyllic panoramic views of the sparkling sea. Plus, the property is a mere fifteen minutes from the popular downtown area, where there are art galleries and the famed El Malecon boardwalk.

Also making Casa Velas a standout is its elevated gourmet food and beverage program, which raises the bar for all-inclusive hotels globally. The on-site, AAA Four Diamond Emiliano restaurant offers guests unlimited access to gourmet cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The intimate, romantic indoor/outdoor dining space provides lovely vistas of the pool and vibrant golf course beyond. Each evening, Emiliano features a five-course gourmet tasting menu created and overseen by head chefs from its sister resort, the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit. Rotating each night, menus include Mexican, French and Italian-Mediterranean.

A novel offering is the resort’s “taco therapy” — Casa Velas’ latest food and beverage offering for guests assisting in anxiety and stress relief, improving sleep quality and boosting antioxidants. The new tasting experience features four curated tacos that provide holistic benefits for the mind, body and soul.

There are an array of other activities at the resort as well. “Workshops range from arts and crafts such as natural jewelry and abanicos, to culinary workshops such as the Molcajete option, where guests explore Mexican culinary traditions,” said Enrique Sinencio, the resort’s General Manager. “Another activity is DIY Botanical Cocktails, where guests can pick their ingredients for their drink at the onsite garden. Perfect for creative beverage concoctions, the garden features rosemary, lavender, mint, basil, lemongrass, peppermint, a Mexican tea called epazote, aloe vera, sage, nopales cactus pads, thyme, tamarind, jackfruit, mango, guava and more. Our mixologist will use the selected ingredients to make a personalized botanical cocktail to enjoy on the Koi pond-dotted terrace. Varieties of fruits, herbs, vegetables and botanicals are also used in the cuisine and spa treatments at Casa Velas.”

For the health conscious, a spa food menu is available as well. Casa Velas’ commitment to excellence extends to its impressive on-site organic botanical garden, where the resort grows its own herbs, flowers and vegetables. These fresh ingredients find their way into cocktails and culinary creations, adding a farm-to-table element to the dining experience. The beverage offerings at Emiliano, and throughout the entirety of Casa Velas, are equally impressive, featuring premium domestic and international premium wines and liquors. Also enjoyable are sprit-induced nightly events like wine pairings and beer, tequila, wine, martini and other F&B tastings that foster socialization among guests.

Relative to in-suite victuals, the resort’s in-suite mini bars also depart from the ordinary by offering healthy, freshly-made options on-demand. This includes two different selections of crudités — a “Mexican turnip” with a combination of carrots, cucumber and jicama; and another including celery, beetroot and pineapple. These come complete with three different choices of dressing: mango, chipotle or basil, to enhance flavor while keeping the snack light and healthy. Guests can also choose from a menu of freshly made juice options available year-round.

Speaking of health, also included in the daily rate for all-inclusive Casa Velas guests is access to its fully equipped gym. A visit to the property also would not be complete without experiencing services at its on-site ABJA Spa. The 6,500 square foot sanctuary offers a wide variety of massages, body wraps and facials, a hydrotherapy area, spa boutique and beauty salon.

Notably, Casa Velas is just as committed to the environment as it is to providing impressive guest experiences. “Our luxury resort’s environmental responsibility is a driving force behind the entire operation, from conservation efforts and recycling, to planting our own herb garden,” Sinencio notes. “From natural composting and fertilizing of our on-site gardens, to water-saving initiatives, solar heating and meticulous separation and processing of all waste and recyclables, Casa Velas sets the benchmark for green tourism and hospitality in Puerto Vallarta and beyond. We also recycle burned cooking oils to a supplier for conversion to biodegradable fuel. Local companies are in charge of processing glass, plastic, metal, cardboard and toxic material to handle their recycling, and proper disposal.”

“In addition, we clean the sand daily of any foreign debris,” Sinencio continued. “Teams of more than 30 employees are organized monthly to thoroughly clean, sweep, dig and sift the sand for extra cleaning. Designated containers are strategically located for the recycling garbage around the property. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Casa Velas has implemented rigorous health and safety protocols in accordance with local and international guidelines. This includes enhanced cleaning procedures, regular sanitization of common areas and the adoption of contactless services where possible. We keep our guests informed through various channels, including our website, social media and direct communication with booked guests. We want everyone to be aware of the measures in place and feel confident in choosing Casa Velas for their stay.”

So pristine the locale, it’s become a highly-coveted option for weddings and other important events. The resort boasts a 3,600 square foot Convention Center that is ideal for meetings, seminars, formal banquets, cocktail gatherings or a spectacular and elegant wedding for up to 300 people. The center of the space is adjacent to the resort’s garden area and the Marina Vallarta 18-hole championship golf course. To ensure a memorable, hassle-free event, Casa Velas provides professional services for planning weddings from beginning to end. With settings by its beautiful pool area or the Táu Beach Club terrace surrounded by sand and sea, Casa Velas offers unforgettable scenery for the special wedding day.

For utter and complete privacy, groups requiring up to 80 suites can take over the entire hotel to ensure fully private access to pools, beach areas, gardens, activities and restaurants. While at the restaurants, the “bubble buyout” offers a group their own personalized menus prepared with everyone’s diet in mind. Along with having the resort to themselves and custom cuisine, group activities range from DIY mixology with ingredients from the onsite botanical garden, yoga, Mexican wine and craft beer tastings, casino night and more.

With various international dignitaries and multiple Mexican presidents having experienced the resort’s hospitality, Casa Velas continues to redefine the all-inclusive category. This pristine property is an ideal choice for discerning travelers who value a personalized and pampered luxury travel experience.


Merilee Kern, MBA is an internationally-regarded brand strategist and analyst who reports on cultural shifts and trends as well as noteworthy industry change makers, movers, shakers and innovators across all categories, both B2C and B2B. This includes field experts and thought leaders, brands, products, services, destinations and events. Merilee is Founder, Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List” as well as Host of the “Savvy Living” lifestyle TV show that airs in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Atlanta and other major markets on CBS, FOX and other top networks; as well as the “Savvy Ventures” business TV show that airs nationally on FOX Business TV and Bloomberg TV. Merilee also hosts the Savvy Ventures Podcast & Radio show available globally on W4CY Radio — the #1 ranked live streaming radio station — among others as well as all major podcast platforms, including Pandora, Audible, Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Streamyard, iHeart Radio and dozens more. As a prolific lifestyle, travel, dining and leisure industry voice of authority and tastemaker, Merilee keeps her finger on the pulse of the marketplace in search of new and innovative must-haves and exemplary experiences at all price points, from the affordable to the extreme. Her work reaches multi-millions worldwide via broadcast TV (her own shows and copious others on which she appears) as well as a myriad of print and online publications. Connect with her at and / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIN

***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided or arranged at no cost to accommodate if this is review editorial, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***