Casa Velas Jan 2-6, 2012 “Where Everyone is SPECIAL and treated like Royalty”
We drove at 7:30 am, Monday Jan 2, 2012 from Lake Chapala to Puerto Vallarta, we encountered barely any traffic thru Guadalajara etc. The temperature upon leaving here was 57F and upon arrival in Puerto Vallarta about 1:30p it was 83F. Very nice. We noted more traffic than we have ever seen heading North, most likely Nationals returning home from a long holiday spent at the beach.
As we drove down the road and saw the scrolled iron gates and Casa Velas sign, we knew we were at our home away from home! We were greeted at entrance to lobby by Roberto and Pablo. They unloaded our car with my overabundance of luggage. As usual they greeted us in English, were so friendly and welcomed us home.
We sat in the lobby on the couches to be checked in. Ana Maria was our check in girl. She applied our lovely AI bracelets and then told us about our room but alas it was a room with 2 double beds and we wanted a king bed, no problem. Ana Maria changed our room without any issue and gave us a great room…with the direction of Gabriella, the afternoon concierge.
Our luggage was brought to our room, which was lovely. On first floor overlooking golf course. Large bathroom with Jacuzzi, outdoor plunge pool and patio area and dining area, king size bed, and couch,..indoor dining area, mini frig., stocked with water, sodas, beer and juice. Plus a snack tray with chips, nuts, granola bars and such. The room was also stocked with shampoo, hair conditioner, body rinse, soap, dental rinse, tissues, an alarm clock and mini coffee maker. It is all explained to you if you are new to Casa Velas but being repeat, time and again, visitors, we needed no explanation.
Our first day was spent unpacking, enjoying our room, and eating and drinking along with mingling with other guests and of course saying our hellos and Feliz Ano’s to staff members who we have become friendly with. We were given the usual humble salute by staff, referred to by name, always nice touches. Everything was beautiful as usual, well maintained and with the ambiance of luxury and specialness. We had a great lunch at Emiliano Restaurant Spinach Salad Spa with Hazelnuts etc…and hubby had his favorite Shrimp Burrito which is just loaded with shrimp….We just relaxed during lunch after our long ride and Edgar our waiter was attentive but not intrusive.
There is one change and that is throughout I believe the Velas Resorts. The Internet is now handled by a third party so you go onto computer and pay by credit card. The fees are $10. Hr, $16/day, $64./5 days, or $79.95 per week US. You could at times get a weak signal in the lobby…without paying.
We dined for dinner again at Emiliano’s, which by the way is our absolute favorite restaurant in Puerto Vallarta. Gourmet food without the gourmet portions. International menu and always wonderful. It is open to the public, adults only and with previous reservations. The live music, while dining outside alongside the Koi ponds across from the pool was just so romantic. The Filet Mignon was so tender you did not need a knife, the Portabella Mushroom appetizer was so different and very tasty. The chef sends out a small sampler before your meal and it is always something very unusual and special. The Lamb Barbacoa was quite different, being shredded lamb, cooked in bag per say, I believe…You could eat it plain or in tortillas. Not my favorite meal but surely tasted good this first night. The Lobster and crab roll appetizer is always a favorite of mine…Dessert was another favorite Crème Brullee. So romantic dining, outside by candlelight accompanied by live music, good service by our long term waiter Bernadino, great drinks, and we are happy to be home. It feels good to feel so special in such a special place. Sometimes I wonder how it is I can feel like Royalty when I am just a commoner, but this is what Casa Velas Excellent service does to you! You will always find many repeat visitors…no wonder why! After dinner we sat in lobby bar and had a few drinks served by the infamous Benny, the bartender. A nice time was had and we called it a fairly early night after a long drive and early morning…..plus we could not wait to crawl into a Velas bed, they are always so comfortable, I truly must get one for my home…or maybe not since it is type of mattress that you crawl into and never want to get out of…so, so comfy! So we are at our home away from home Casa Velas for our first vacation of the new year, how fortunate we are…Feliz Ano!
Jan 3 Tuesday…Not a morning person so room service breakfast is my usual choice but today we have plans to meet with friends in Emiliano Restaurant for breakfast. A delicious, plentiful, and wonderful breakfast is spent with our friends. We have no big plans for the day except to talk with some staff we have not seen yet and to spend the day by the pool enjoying the resort and its service. We find Jesus, the best concierge ever. We have become friends and so we spend some time chatting with him. We have a few questions on some things we need and such and he is most informative. Later we spend a bit of time chatting and enjoying a drink in the lobby bar with Mr. Bonin, the manager. He is always so pleasant and wiling to talk and share information or such. He truly sets the example for a well run ship so to speak. In between we spent the time by the pool, under the cabanas on our loungers. Of course, no towel game here, the towels are on the loungers, replaced when you wish, and water in a small ice bucket is brought to you at your lounger, as are any drinks you order and even lunch. Hector was our waiter for the most part today and as is the trademark at Casa Velas his service was excellent. We had our lunch right by the pool. Cerviche, shrimp I think and it was very full of seafood and incredibly tasty. Later we went to our room which was all cleaned and restocked and we lounged on our patio, took a dip in our plunge pool and just relaxed….This is the life. Tis night we attended the Cocktail party in the lobby bar by the X-Mas tree, so pretty. Cuban music, a display of diamons and such from Diamonds International ( no sales pressure though), champagne, making friends, cigar rolling, hubby enjoys that. We befriended a nice honeymoon couple who were just loving Casa Velas. Imagine having your honeymoon here…wow! We have spent birthdays here and anniversaries but honeymoon, that would be a lifelong memory for sure. Dinner was great as we expected in Emiliano and our special treat for us tonight was Duck crepes, which we like a lot..The rest of our meal was delicious and drinks with Benny in the lobby bar were good as well.
Jan 4 Weds. This is the morning we had our breakfast via room service on our patio dining table…overlooking golf course. Took our time enjoying the relaxation and privacy and then we decided to head to reservations and make our plans for our return visit. We booked our next stay for a week after our anniversary so we will hold off and have a belated anniversary. We did this thru Carolina and we were unsure of what room we wanted so we made arrangements to return next week while at Velas Vaallarta to check out the Governor Suite, otherwise we love the Grand Class Plus suites/Villas. (We went back the following week and checked out the Governor Suite which is really nice and has a lovely view but in the end, hubby likes the Grand Class Plus Villa better so that is what we booked. I think maybe our visit after July we will try the Governor Suite. We got a little surprise while there and I did not have my camera of all times. Carolina showed us the Presidential Suite. No words to describe it except…WOW, WOW. It is on 4th floor, has 4 bedrooms, massive bathrooms, dining table for many, living room for many, overlooks all of grounds, is private , has incredible closet space and a huge balcony with a pool, not a plunge pool but a pretty good sized pool. You literally could just stay in the Suite and never leave. It is just incredible and they offer specials on it many times. I have made it a goal to one day stay in this Presidential Suite. ) Okay back to current vacation, we roamed around taking pictures and took some of the staff as well. Pablo & Jorge, the bellboys, greeted us each time we passed and asked if we needed anything at all…Jesus as always checked with us for any needs and Mr. Bonin is always appearing out of nowhere and checking on guests etc.
Now we had to head over to the Beach Club for sun and lunch. We had to get our Shrimp Tempura fix. Into the shuttle van we went and in moments we arrived at the beach club, with its pool, loungers, changing rooms, bathrooms, cabanas by pool and on beach, the ocean, the hot tubs, the service again. Our waiter Daniel made sure we had our Shrimp Tempura, helped us with some pictures, got our drinks, and we also had California Maki Sushi, which is surami, cream cheese, rice and fish sushi. Hubby ate that as I am not fond of sushi. The service was good, maybe a little slow on getting the drinks but nothing to complain about.
We again dined for dinner at Emiliano restaurant. Yurida , the hostess was just so sweet, friendly and accommodating to our wishes for seating. Bernadine was our waiter again along with some other great waiters and we even asked if the Chef would come out and take a picture with us and he did. We spent the later part of the night in the obby bar being waited on by Benny and socializing with the homeymooners we had met and some other folks.
Jan 5 Thursday…Time is just flying and frankly we have just been relaxing, de-stressing and being pampered. Today I am doing the Spa Ritual with an 50 minute Holistic Massage. This is my first time utilizing the spa facilities since the renovations. Wow, it is just wonderful. I was greeted by receptionists and filled out paperwork. Then introduced to my Spa Valet, Emma. I told her I wanted to take a lot of pictures in the area so would she help and she was all smiles. We went to the lockers, where I changed into robe and slippers, locked up my personal belongings and had a key to my own locker, a pretty one might I add, decorated with beads and such. Always a special touch around every corner here at Casa Velas. The Spa ritual is a mixture of different experiences before ( or after if you prefer) your massage. You wear you bathing suit for this part of the experience. First a cool rain shower in a round shower with cool water and a rain water showerhead…then onto the sauna ( nice and warm, I liked that), then another rain shower, not sure I am too fond of that though it is refreshing, the to the steam room , and another rain shower…then on to the Jacuzzi, which you do 4 stations or corners of, wonderful for working those muscles. Emma gave me a glass of chlorophyll water to drink while in the Jacuzzi, I could have stayed all day but hubby was waiting by pool or so I thought. Next we went down a spiral staircase, after I changed out of my wet bathing suit..to the masseuse, her name was Azucena and she did an incredible massage. You could choose a scent you liked, I chose Clove and it starte doff with a foot water ritual, then the massage and tingling chimes, soothing smells and sounds, oh maybe I should never leave. My massage was one of the best I have ever had..( you must get a massage here and try the spa ritual as well) but yes it ended and I relaxed I spa area afterwards and then much to my chagrin finally left and went to pool looking for hubby. There he was under a cabana, not waiting patiently for me but sleeping…LOL. He is not into spa or massages but he does love the gym at Casa Velas. He uses the machines, walking and weights etc. He said it is never busy or packed and always a very relaxing environment working out looking out at the lush foliage etc. He told me hector took good care of him and upon sitting there was Hector with a drink in hand for me. Yes, they remember what you drink here as well, so cool. We lounged the whole rest of day, knowing our royalty status would soon be up as tonight was our last night here tomorrow we moved over to Velas Vallarta, another excellent resort, sister to Casa Velas, but family oriented and not as personal. For dinner to our surprise they had the regular menu at Emiliano or a special Mexican Platter Variety for two. We ordered that and it was delicious. Came on a huge platter and had a variety of Mexican foods like tacos, empanadas, sopas, beans, tamales ( have never liked them but I tried them anyway and I loved how they were made here). The Platter was very heavy and large and we wanted a picture so we had poor Renee our waiter, hold it up a few times for our pictures, he was more than happy to accommodate us, even making suggestions for the pictures…After dinner we went to lobby bar for our last night and usually I begin to get sad thinking of leaving this special place but not this time since I already had my return reservations planned. ( well maybe a little sad, okay yes I was sad to be leaving …even though Velas Vallarta is wonderful too but in a different way). We spent the last night in that lobby bar till 2am taking with newly made friends. Finally we returned to room and packed…
Jan 6 Friday..Room service breakfast, walked around and said our goodbyes, had the bellboys load up our car for the 3 minute ride over to Velas Vallarta. Check out was a simple and quick process. Our stay was wonderful and we will be back over and over and over again.
Any negatives..uh..having to leave, being treated too special, seeing so many folks feeling like royalty, actually chatting with the manager, staff and Concierge and not so much about business, some nights a little slow on refilling those drinks, big complaint huh, okay just one, I know hard to believe but the only negative I had was the internet changes, otherwise as my other stays it was wonderful….I recommend this for honeymooners, anniversaries, special occasions, any vacation, romance, celebrations, recovery from an illness. It is for couples or girls trips or even guys trips since they have some incredible golf packages. Pretty much this hotel/resort is perfect for any adult since adults only!!!
Give this place a try and like Puerto Vallarta it gets in your soul and you will become part of a special family and be like me a repeat visitor!