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“Hillside Retreat in Beautiful Vallarta” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Cupula

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Casa Cupula
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   129 Callejon de la Igualdad, Puerto Vallarta 48399, Mexico   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Healdsburg, California
Level Contributor
101 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Hillside Retreat in Beautiful Vallarta”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

This is a very comfortable, beautiful place up in the hills a short walk from the beach. The comfortable bed, and quiet, gave me some truly great sleep, the pool outside my door exquisite, and the very friendly and attentive service throughout was top notch.

That said, there's a certain rustic quality to the place, maybe due to the humidity or the tropical location, but areas of paint rusting etc, leaves quickly clutter pool furnishings, a certain mustiness, etc all comes with the territory. I think they could do just a bit better job on patio area upkeep, as used beverage glasses often spent a day or two before being picked up.

Also, I stayed here as a single based on TA reviews, but I see Casa Cupula as more of a romantic retreat for couples. The single traveler might be better off closer to old town or the beach. The walk isn't that bad but it's the kind of walk you only want to do once per day. It's easier to the beach than to old town bar scene which involves walking along a busy highway with no sidewalk. Easy to get a taxi back at night though.

Finally, I agree with others that the idea of charging for the empty covered lounges around the main pool was just a turn off for me. I like nice, comfortable places, but please, include it in the room fee, why the extra charges, just makes the place feel stuffy and pretentious. Same with the breakfast coupons, which combined with $3 coffee etc means you'll pay as much as any other place, just a gimmick. The restaurant staff was great however!

Room Tip: Rooms in the villa have their own patio pool, beautiful.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
optionsf, Owner at Casa Cupula, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Thanks for sharing, we are glad you got caught up on your sleep - that's what vacation is for!

It's true that leaves, birds, and a certain amount of humidity come with a jungle location, which causes rust and paint peeling from time to time. That's true of all Vallarta where salt air and humidity makes maintenance a huge job! On our last period of guest surveys, guests overall gave us a 4.65/5 rating for maintenance, so we're doing a pretty good job.

As for our luxury cabanas, different room rates get different benefits. In this day and age, where every hotel must compete to show the lowest rate on online booking sites, it is impossible to include everything (breakfasts, luxury cabanas) for free for everyone. It's the same reason airlines now charge extra for everything: add $10 to the price and the hotel gets pushed to page 25. The guest failed to note that our gym, along with many other amenities like luxury bathrobes, slippers, and bath amenities are included at no extra charge. If you get a specially discounted rate, it may be non-cancelable, pre-paid, or not include breakfast. Pay full price and those things are likely included - if you're not sure ask when you book by calling our toll free number. For any suite reserved in April, a free day in the Cabanas is included. We note that one major hotel in Vallarta charges $300 pesos a day for a cabana which is only a mattress with a curtain. Ours offer fans, furnishings, plugs for your iPhone, and upgraded towels and we only ask a minimum consumption at the pool for the day - a few drinks or lunch for two will do it. We don't think it is unfair that to use a facility that cost thousands of dollars to build (and more to maintain!) buying a few cocktails is too much to ask.

Thank you for your comments!
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333 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (84)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Seattle
Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

So, this hotel is tucked up on a hill, but within reasonable (yes, nearly negligible) walking distance to the fun parts of the beach of PVR. Yes, it's a hill, but yes, you'll need the workout. I actually like the fact that it was up and away - quiet and breezy. Well, quiet, except for nature (those birds in the morning, I'm telling you, but heck, that's just the luscious trees around the hotel). I like heading down to the beach, walking past the stores, etc. This part of town is nice and the night life is good. During the day, we did both the Blue Chairs and Lido - recommend doing both at least once for a different perspective of 1) being jammed together vs. evenly spread-out and 2) having a bunch of guys around you, which is fun as we ended up talking to a lot of people, vs. having higher quality drinks and food.

So my party consisted of one gay couple and two non-gay couples =P. It's fine - don't be a prude and you'll be fine. The people are very friendly. The advice they offer is much appreciated - yes, if you're alone, late at night you should use a taxi. Keep in mind, this is a boutique hotel, so the front desk is not like the front desk at a larger hotel. You may have to wait a few minutes, but the view from that waiting area is great, and someone will find you within reason and will alert the appropriate parties to come help you. If you're trying to plan something, my suggestion is to do it the day before, or in the email exchanges they have with you prior to your trip. (Having the email exchanges prior to the trip was actually quite useful and gives that personal touch.)

The owner is nice, got to meet him (Don) at the Friday shindig and the Sunday Brunch. The brunch is awesome, by the way - we got the tucked away table on the veranda that had the bench seating. That was great and relaxing way to complete our stay.

The rooms are clean - the weekend we went was completely packed at the hotel, reservation wise. There were only three rooms available, each at a different price point. I chose the expensive one (which was about the mid/high on their range of rooms) - great room. Don't know how the others felt about their rooms, but I know that they loved the hotel, especially the available sitting areas. The hotel is a maze, which is kind of cool, because you have these nooks to relax in - they'll bring you a drink anywhere. The bathroom amenities are nice. The gym is bigger than the pictures on their website - it's clean, high ceilings - I was pleasantly surprised.

Oh, and sorry for the long review, this is the most important. i left my iphone while in a rush heading out to the beach. they found it and secured it. awesome.

Anywho, great experience, and would recommend this place to anyone who understands what gay-friendly means. and yes, straight couples on this trip had a great time too. Next time, we'll stay longer and add in a horse ride or something.

Room Tip: We had room 321 for the first two nights and then 301 (I think) for the last night. Both were compa...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
optionsf, Owner at Casa Cupula, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Thank you so much for your review, it is really nice to see since your group had several different rooms.

We love organizing parties, events and get togethers for guests, so if you have a group and are interested in celebrating, just ask either reservations or the concierge!

We'd like to comment on one thing you said: Casa Cupula is a boutique hotel, not a huge facility with 100 rooms exactly alike. Like Puerto Vallarta, our property is unique, quirky, and personal. We actually return forgotten iPhones (3 in the last month, try that in another hotel), and take care of our guests personally. As that might take a moment, the receptionist or concierge on duty, or pool boy might be running around, but you'll be given that same attention promptly. It's a pleasure in this day of hotel kiosk check ins and fast food, that someone cares enough to cook what you want, bring it where you want, and help you plan your vacation the way you want...nothing cookie cutter here.

We hope to see you again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
140 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

We spent a week at Casa Cupula, and were completely blown away by this marvelous hillside slice of paradise. The facility is one block off the main Hwy 200, and about a 10 minute walk down to the beach. The hillside location offers spectacular views of both the sunset as well as the city below. Our room was clean and comfortable, but honestly we only used it for sleeping and showering, as there is so much to see and do outside the doors. Our private patio featured a large table and sofa, overlooking one of the swimming pools. The views from the patio were worth the price of the room all by themselves!
The on site restaurant, Taste, was wonderful. The Sunday brunch was a great bargain, and the food was uniformly excellent. Their outdoor patio is an excellent place to either start or conclude your day.
The other guests we met were all friendly. This place just seems to bring out the best in people.
Above all else, however, we felt treated like family by the owner, Don, and his excellent staff. They did everything to make our stay memorable. I can't speak highly enough of how friendly and helpful they were. By the time we checked out I considered them to be friends. We can't wait to return.
Puerto Vallarta is a wonderful vacation destination, but we would return to Casa Cupula even if it were located in the middle of the desert or just the middle of nowhere. It was that wonderful!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
32 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

I travel a lot for work and pleasure and this is truly a unique, special place! I knew no one who had been here before, so I spent hours of research for the perfect birthday getaway. I'm used to the minimum standards of nice business hotels in large cities so I was blown away by the extra details and attentiveness here. I've never found such a place in Boston, key west, carribean or ptown that compare.

From the moment you're there, Tina the manager lets you know that if something is not perfect just speak up and they'll correct it. This sentiment is reiterated by the owner Don who is readily visible throughout your stay.

Fernando and logan made sure that our vacation was what we wanted, not what the catalogue dictated. Great restaurants and fun activities were booked at our request with ease and they were comfortable experiences living up to the expectations set by concierge.

Marcos the marketing manager put together the must-not-miss Friday night party to meet the other guest. They also had a nice birthday moment for me. He went above and beyond his job duties and was a true friend during our stay with help navigating the local nightlife spots.

Both the city and the hotel have so much to offer. Whether you want late nights or peaceful sleep, days at the pool or beach, time alone or new friends.....you can make it happen here! I will be booking again and it may be a yearly thing! I typically like to try new things rather than do revisits, but this felt like home.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

We spent 11 nights at Casa Cupula. First 2 nights in the Villa Sevilla section of the hotel. A lovely house with 6 or 8 rooms. Our room opened onto the patio with a small, lovely pool right outside the door. Very quite and it seemed like we were the only ones there although we did see other guests. We moved to another room for the remainder of the stay which was closer to the main pool area. This room was slightly larger, clean and well appointed.
Spent a few days by the hotel pool. It was relaxing and a welcome change from the onslaught of vendors on the beach! Had lunch by the pool and it was delicious and beautifully presented.
Dinner in the restaurant was also wonderful.
Enjoyed having a coffee pot in our room.
I would recommend this to hotel and would love to stay again!

Room Tip: Room 204: Bathroom doesn't have a door as part of the design otherwise very cute Room 101: Loca...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

We were 2 couples staying in a suite. Well it was just a little tight with four guys, it was a good experience overall. First off the staff at Casa Cupula were amazing. Fernando, was amazing and all of the staff were very welcoming. Breakfast was great, I'd highly recommend the Sunday morning brunch, yum!

While the hotel is not on the beach, it's about a 10 minute walk from the gay beach. It's a steep walk, uphill, back to the hotel. However, if you want to take a cab, it's about $4. The room was well equipped and in decent shape. The bed was comfy, and the A/C worked very well to cool the room down.

I would recommend Casa Cupula to anyone considering it.

Room Tip: Room 302 (Milagro Suite) is a great room with two bathrooms and a huge balcony. However, it is locat...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

This was my first trip to PV. I Google searched for a place in PV away from the noise and crowds yet close enough to walk to the activities. I found Casa Cupula. I checked TripAdvisor and noticed that any negative comments (very few) were 4+ years old and that all of the updated reviews were Excellent. I seem to always read the bad before the good.

After arriving at Casa Cupula I knew I was going to LOVE IT!!

FERNANDO is the ultimate concierge!!! I had sent him an email of my IDEAL trip and from the moment I arrived he had everything (y más) ready for me. On arrival I had my first stress releasing massage from Jorge (Hombre guapo con el estrés fuerte liberación de las manos) in my beautiful, spacious room which had an amazing view, through the canopy, of the ocean. I will be selfish and NOT tell you the room number. I had requested a Jeep rental and guide for my first full day to explore the area (you should all try this!). Fernando had the Jeep delivered (NICE!!) and had arranged for my tour guide, Joey (www.urbanassets.info) to arrive shortly after.

CASA CUPULA...
Front Desk...Edwin was very attentive with a magnetic personality (and a cutie)...A++
Grounds...Beatuful and serene...A+
Room...Relaxing and spacious...Definetly more than I expected...A++
Spa Services...with Jorge & Daniel...A+(try them all...I did!!... you will not be disappointed)
Taste Restaurant...A+(I am disappointed I was never around to try the lunch menu)
Road upto Casa Cupula...A(pull up your big girl panties and stop complaining!!)
FERNANDO...Amazing, First Class and thorough!!...He is the ultimate concierge!!!...A+++

ACTIVITIES made through Casa Cupula (Fernando)...
Jungle Zipline...Awesome...A++(Jimmy!!!)
Royal Dolphin Swim & Sea Lion Interaction...A+(go early to avoid groups of kids)
Vallarta Eats Food Tour(vallartaeats.com)....A+(Memo!!!)
Personal Tour Guide with Joey...A++(knowledgeable with a great personality...oh and cute!)
The Studio I(studiotattoopv.com)...Clean and professional...A+

Everyone and everything else that I may have forgotten...A+.

Overall, I would recommend Casa Cupula to anyone that is looking for Serenity...A++!!!!

I am planning my return trip!

Room Tip: Although I have onlybeen in 1, whichever you choose...you will not be disappointed
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Cupula

Address: 129 Callejon de la Igualdad, Puerto Vallarta 48399, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
#13 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Casa Cupula 3.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa Cupula is one of the most luxurious boutique hotel resorts in the world, welcoming gay men, lesbians, and friends of our community. We offer the services of a five-star mainstream resort in four boutique properties: Casa Cupula, luxurious Villa Sevilla (great for groups), Private Residences and Owner's Villa. Gourmet food compliments four pools, a gym and sophisticated modern design. Located in Amapas, walking distance to gay beach clubs, nightlife, restaurants and cafes. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Cupula Puerto Vallarta
Casa Cupula Hotel Puerto Vallarta

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