Just returned from a week at the wonderful Lindo Mar Resort. Stayed there for the first time last year. We have stayed elsewhere in Vallarta previously (always south of town), but having discovered Lindo Mar, there is no reason to go anywhere else! It is an older property and doesn't have a lot of fancy bells and whistles, and we are glad of that. It is very clean and well run, the open-air restaurant situated directly above the beach offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, good food at reasonable prices with attentive service and amazing views. The bar rings a cowbell twice a day (at noon and again at 5PM) to signal two-for-one Happy Hour (Hora Feliz) and it definitely gets everyone's attention. They will even do drink service down at the beach or by the pool. The beach is small and all but disappears at high tide, but it is a lovely spot with several small coves for swimming, and nice shady palapas under which to lounge/read/nap. These are popular and do go quickly on a first come basis. The towel attendant is happy to assist with the lounge chairs and appreciates a nominal gratuity for his service. The beach has just a few vendors that come by. They offer some nice things and are respectful if you are not interested. One fisherman in a kayak beaches in front of the resort most afternoons and is willing to sell his catch (including lobsters) right off the boat. His arrival always attracts a lot of pelicans looking for a hand out. Fun to watch. There is also a small pool as well as an infinity hot tub, both overlooking the stunning view of the whole of Banderas Bay. The location in Conchas Chinas is perfect. Close enough to town for a short bus or taxi ride, but far enough removed that one can avoid the hustle-bustle. The units are quite comfortable and spacious, with colorful and charming Mexican-style decor. Each has an ocean view balcony (except those on the first floor, but they also have an outside space, albeit next to the pool). A dated but decent kitchen with gas stove/oven, fridge, enough cooking implements, dish towels, as well as a blender, coffee maker (with filters provided), paper towels and powdered dish soap (we bring some liquid). The units are air conditioned with a separate control in the bedroom(s), and have ceiling fans as well. There is a small TV, but we don't bother to turn it on. Why would you with the great view! The beds are quite firm, which we like, but the pillows are rather rock-like, so we bring our own. The bathrooms feature tiled tub/shower combos and have plenty of shelf space for toiletries. Towels are basic but plentiful and refreshed daily. The units are cleaned every day by the unobtrusive but friendly maid staff. We love everything about this resort, but the very best thing about it is the wonderful staff. They are all genuinely friendly, helpful and eager to please. Maria Elena at the concierge desk is a real gem! This resort seems to have a lot of return owners/visitors and most are a more mature crowd. Maybe in the summer months there would be families with kids, but not when we were there in early December. It is also probably not the place for someone looking for a flashy place with lots of partying, which I think is a good thing. It is instead, the perfect destination if you are looking for a place with a genuine Mexican feeling, gracious staff, beautiful views and a quiet place to relax and enjoy.
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