An Oasis in Paradise Casa Velas July 28-Aug 3, 2012
Sat. July 28, 2012: We arrived at Casa Velas after a very short drive from another resort stay in Puerto Vallarta. How incredible those iron scrolled gates and long driveway looked to us…we were home once again. We entered with a little trepidation knowing there had been some management and staff changes, would it all still be so wonderful? As usual we were greeted at door by bellboy, Jorge ( one of our favorites) and check in staff, a nice Hibiscus drink on the couch as they checked us in. The bracelets for the AI had changed slightly, just a tighter weave but still classy with a silver medallion. We had been booked to be in Room 501, but to our surprise we were upgraded to an even more spacious unit Room 504, a Royal Suite. Oh I do love space, and such. As is typical now a days they asked for passports and an open credit voucher.
We met the new concierge Angel Garcia, who actually came from Grand Velas. He surely seemed nice which was great as after many years we had become good friends with his predecessor. I had made a few pre-arrival requests of him so will see if they have been done. He did email us ahead of time stating he did not have our flight info for pick up, very nice touch, but as most of you know we drive.
Jorge, the bellboy, with a personality to boot, drove our car to be parked and brought in our loads of luggage, nope I still have not learnt how to pack light. The Royal Suite was just wonderful, larger than Grand Class Suite, 3 bathrooms, one on main floor with stand up shower, sink , toilet. Huge walk in closet, 2 sliders out to large terrace, table for 4, 2 loungers and of course a private plunge pool, we love those. Also on this first floor was a couch, end tables, side chairs, telephone, coffee maker, table inside for 4, open concept, plenty of space, overhead and table lighting and as requested a bottle of champagne chilling and chocolate covered strawberries with some berries and nuts and a welcome from the General Director Manuel Oveido. Very nice touch. I had told the concierge we were celebrating our anniversary upon arrival and wanted something special in room, it was perfect and hubby though not the romantic himself, loved it. Yes, we are at our home away from home…
The suite is very light , sunny and airy, ceiling fans and A/C keep it cool…okay let us check out the upstairs….nice staircase….and two bedrooms at top, one a Master with king bed, flat screen TV, armoire with slippers, robes, iron, full length mirror ( another request fulfilled ). Lots of closet space, sliders onto a small balcony overlooking golf course, two chairs and small table. A desk, coffee maker, electronic safe, large enough to fit many things including a 15” laptop, mini frig stocked with water, beer, sodas and juice, and a snack basket with regular and spicy chips, granola bars and nuts, and a huge bathroom with Jacuzzi tub, shower, sink and high end shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, cotton pads, mouth wash, shower cap, sewing kit, loofah sponge, plenty of towels, soap, a scale ( yes that nasty thing to weigh yourself LOL), toilet, magnifying mirror and yes more closet hanging space.
The second bedroom has two double beds, an armoire, flat screen tv, mini frig, snack draw, lots of closet and draw space as well. And yes another bathroom with a regular tub and shower. Even another safe.
Each bedroom also had an alarm clock and ipod docking station. The décor is classy older Mexican I would say, not ultra modern but marble throughout and warm feeling as opposed to sterile modern. We are very pleased with this upgrade. Hubby has a room to be messy in, yes you hear that right and he also has his own TV. He is an early bird and I a night owl so 2 TV’s is almost a must for us.
The unit itself lacks nothing, more than sufficient space, in suite menus, reading material, amenities, snacks, drinks, pool, Jacuzzi, we are very content…
The weaving paths, and walkways, the spread out way of the village area of the property, the tropical feel, the views over the golf course all tend to just bring your stress level tumbling down, you are no win a tropical oasis where your wish is their command…you now have to do nothing but what you wish..we amble our way along to Emiliano’s Restaurant for lunch. Special touches everywhere you look , a unique shrub, a roaming peacock, a sole lily in a vase. It is hot and humid so we dine inside Emiliano’s today. We order a cold cerveza, and one of our favorite lunch treats Shrimp burritos. We can feel ourselves just winding down, de-stressing…this is the life. Oh something new, they wheel over a table/cart and are making homemade, fresh guacamole tableside. What a nice touch, and what great flavor as you like, spicy, not spicy a little spicy. All of the staff are wonderful and attentive without being overbearing. WE enjoy a relaxing, long lunch and then since I have had many requests we ask to take pics in Presidential Suite. First we ask for ice to be delivered to our room for when we return, there are no ice machines but they will gladly deliver an ice bucket office for you.
Angel takes us up in the elevator to the 4th floor where the Presidential Suite is. Talk about privacy, there is no need to leave, thus why many very famous people have stayed here no doubt. You step into a huge impressive living room, with a dining room for 8 or 10 to the left and all glass to the right,sliders and a huge patio with a pool and not a plunge pool but a good size pool. It is very very impressive. Has 4 bedrooms, classy modern with impressive bathrooms and a master en suite bathroom to die for. There would not be a reason to leave this suite if you so chose. What an incredible time 3-4 couples or more could have in here or a retreat for Breast Cancer survivors. Would love to get a group together and stay here but n the meantime…I plan to one day stay in this suite and I took many pictures to share with all of you which will follow later..
The concept here is tranquility, rest and relax, be pampered. The pool is heated with a swim up bar…cabanas and teak loungers….water in small ice buckets, no towel cards, no chair game, Koi ponds all around, palms, beautiful grounds. There is a botanical garden onsite where they grow some veggies and herbs, solar panels are many, but not seen, a great indoor and outdoor lobby with free wifi in that area, a nice gym ( yes we actually used it), ad a wonderful spa which if you can believe it I actually was so relaxed ( mind you this is with thoughts of a failing parent at home and a surgery upon return home) and in a no appointment mode I forgot to even schedule a massage. We did rebook our next stay though for 4 nights in Oct. as we will be in Puerto Vallarta at that time…already excited. There is a small boutique sore on site and a cultural center with books, a computer and info on Mexico.
You can dine in your room, on your patio, by the pool at Emiliano’s Restaurant, at the private beach Club or over at the Restaurants at Velas Vallarta the sister resort.
The best things about Casa Velas…the service, the food, the rooms, atmosphere..okay everything.
We dined each night at Emiliano Restaurant. We consider it to be the best restaurant in PV, it is open to the public with prior reservations. The food is always consistent and excellent the service superb. Some things you must try…lobster and crab roll appetizer, Duck crepes appetizer, Artichoke soup, shrimp and octopus salad, Filet mignon, Duck, Veal, Crème Brulee and Paris Delight and the 3 cheese ice cream was to die for. There is an extensive wine list but not being wine drinkers we can give little input on that. The alcohol is top shelf though. We became friends with Brieselda the night hostess. Bernadino, the head waiter we have been friends for some time, Hector the Rest manager was very friendly and attentive and the rest of the staff…wow…From the above mentioned to Daniel, Rene, Leonel, all superb,all polite, professional, respectful and friendly with good English.
We had breakfast daily on our terrace delivered by Rene (with the glasses as there are 2 Rene’s). He was always pleasant, polite, friendly and set the table up outside as though we were in a gourmet restaurant. The last day I think Omar served our room service also very good.
Lunch we had either by the pool or at Beach Club or at Emiliano. Hector and Freddy and Gerardo served by the pool. Benny, the infamous Benny served drinks in lobby at night along with Hector. Benny has been making me cork animals for some time now and he made me a crocodile this time…pictures will follow of course, what talent!!!
The front desk, more like a lounch area, the girls check you in and out quickly and efficiently, answer any questions and even make change for you, something I have heard can be an issue at some resorts. Carolina handles our reservations usually, we have know her for some time. Lluvia and Yuridia always pleasant.
The Beach the beach you say what about he beach…ah yes..Casa Velas has a very special unique beach area. They have their own private beach club. They provide transportation in an A/C van or suburban 3-5 minutes away. You are greeted at entrance….no crowds, no bothersome vendors, (I actually like shopping from my seat but many do not) just pure luxury. The beach club has cabanas, loungers, an infinity pool all raised above the level of the beach, along with changing and bathroom facilities and a full service restaurant with an Asian inspired theme. Sushi, salads,shrimp, chicken what have you. I liked the new shrimp tempura tacos….yum yum…Mixed cerviche excellent and loaded with seafood, fried calamari excellent. Service also above and beyond….Rangel was our waiter and he was just great. Oh yes free wifi at the beach club as well.
You can go down a few steps and be right on the sand where there are more cabanas, loungers ad umbrellas. Wait service there as well. We spent one whole day at the beach club. Standing in the pool by ocean side, laying on cabanas,eating, checking out passing vendors wares etc…and until 4pm we had the beach club almost to ourselves….incredible….to us the beach club is better than on the beach, if we want the beach it is there if not away we go. You can also dine there at night, directly on the beach or up above, very romantic. Beautiful sunsets…
This resort is not loud and full of adventure, but in high season they do offer some activities like tequila tasting or cooking classes, but they only do this by request or in high time. They did have Mexican Night and we had the mexican Platter for 2, which had tamales, sopes, tortilla soup, flautas, chili rellenos empanadas, rice, veggies and of course beans, so a sampling of much, very filling but good. They also have a barbeque night on Fridays. People sit around lobby at night having drinks and socializing, watching tv, or they go out into town, just s short cab ride away. Some even go over to Velas Vallarta for some of their entertainment, a Mexican fiesta , Casino Night, Mariachi’s etc.
So in essence this resort is everything packed into one, gold, spa, awesome rooms, romance, fine food and dining or not, beach or not, romance or not. Superb service, staff that are there to please you yet can also become your friends…oh yeah did I mention adults only…
Sounds too good to be true I know, well that is why I keep on returning and returning. The food always consistent and the staff superior. Let me think of a negative something..oh wifi free in lobby and beach club where as I feel it should be free throughout resort for the caliber of resort it is. Not on the beach , not a con to me, I like it with the private beach club even better than on the beach. New management and some staff, yes I was apprehensive, have made so many relationships over the years but the new staff and management seem very concerned over customer satisfaction as well so I am pleased. Casa Velas remains my favorite place to stay in Puerto Vallarta. Yes, we stay all over but when we stay here we know what to expect, we will get our money’s worth and it will be a wonderful experience. Try it, it is a place you must experience to understand. The Best of the Best-Casa Velas!!
Oh a very special surprise from he Emiliano Restaurant staff our last night after dinner they presented us with black and white tears cake on a platter that said “Have a Nice Trip” presented to us by Briselda the hostess as the waiters loked on, how very sweet and touching…yes I was home and sad to leave…but October will be here quick….J