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“Truly Paradise”
Review of Casa de los Arcos

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Casa de los Arcos
Certificate of Excellence
Gig Harbor, Washington, United States
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Truly Paradise”
Reviewed March 17, 2013

I could not imagine a more perfect place than Casa de los Arcos. My husband and I have stayed here twice within the past four years and both times have been magical. The property is amazing and each casa is uniquely different offering something for everyone. We have stayed in the Casa Palapa and the Casita -both offer stunning views of the city and bay.
Susan and David are wonderful hosts and will do whatever they can to help you make the most of your vacation, from arranging airport pickups to dining advice and daytrips, they are very knowledgeable and will help to make your trip magical. We can't imagine staying anywhere else!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank TravellingBella2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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218 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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  • Japanese first
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  • Any
English first
olympia, wa
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed March 8, 2013

What can I add that hasn't already been said about this lovely piece of property? The casas are nestled one above the other on a wooded hillside located above the old town section- a mere 15 minute walk into town and yet high enough to hear the church bells, but still away from the din of traffic and city noise. It is a sanctuary and a peaceful retreat much appreciated after a tiring day of shopping or excursions into the countryside. If you were to chose a place to live in Puerto Vallarta, this would be it.
The local neighborhood is a mixture of condos and private homes. Steep cobblestone roads discourage speeding vehicles and we found walking to be a safe and pleasant exercise. I really enjoyed greeting the local residents along the way. It gave me a feeling of acceptance. The area is hilly- that's part of the charm. But you can always take a taxi for $4 or $5 especially in the evening when the legs start to feel it and you can't wait for that beverage of choice while relaxing on the patio with the city at your feet.
Susan and David are simply amazing. They have a zest for life that is contagious. The villa is kept polished like a rare gem. Accomodations are exceptional. Dave took us out on his boat one day to watch the whales- what an experience! I offered to help pay for the gas, but he wouldn't accept a dime. Susan took us into town to grocery shop and stood by while we prowled the aisles. Very nice. When we said goodby at the airport, it was like leaving old friends. Lovely people, lovely villa. We shall return.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank cheezemaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Level 4 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2013

Casa de los Arcos is a true shangri-la and hidden gem. Old Town Puerto Vallarta is filled with wonderful culture and beauty from the nature to the people. Susan and David are wonderful hosts with the best stories and hospitality! Susan was so helpful in coordinating some of our plans for our trip to PV. It's so easy to book reservations and coordinate trip activities because she corresponds so quickly. Our transportation form the airport to Casa de los Arcos was coordinated by Susan and she took us to the market once we arrived so we could get some basics. We were able to check out the walking path as we drove out to the market and she gave us great tips on getting into town. Susan was excited to share her lists of favorite places to eat and a referral for a really cool tile shop in town. She also made sure we knew how to coordinate taxi rides and get around town. It was so comforting to have all the local insight that she so openly shared with us.

Upon arriving, Carlos greeted us at the door and helped us with our baggages. He was always available to help out and greeted us with a wonderful smile each time. The property was well maintained and very welcoming. The casas were nicely laid out with decent privacy for all the guests. We originally asked for Casa Palapa, but it was already booked so we reserved the Casa Grande and were so happy that we had the chance to enjoy the lovely space. It was alot of space for just my husband and myself, but it was so nice to have it all to enjoy for the five days that we were staying there.

The casa was adorned with lovely paintings made by Susan and other tasteful art pieces. The beds were comfortable. The bathrooms were clean and decorated with beautiful tiles. The kitchen was fully equipped with a lot of great basic supplies which made it easy to cook and prepare a variety of snacks and meals. I was also amazed at how clean the space was and noticed that Felipa came daily and managed to make sure everything was refreshed and cleaned well. I finally got to meet her on the last day and only wished that I got to spend more time chatting with her. She was super friendly and welcoming.

Our first night there, we enjoyed a delicious homemade feast made by Nena a local lady in the neighborhood. Guacamole, Salad, Tortillas and Salsa to start then came the chicken enchiladas with salsa verde, chiles relleno with queso and salsa roja, rice w/ corn & chiles and creamy flan for a sweet ending. There was so much food, that I made homemade chilequiles for breakfast during our entire stay.

We wanted to check out the local food scene so we took Susan's recommendation to book with Vallarta Food Tours (see our review) on our first full day. Later in the evening we met up with Susan and David for margaritas on their terrace along with other guests. We had a blast getting to know each other and sharing stories of travel and interests. Their dogs were so friendly and entertaining!

Unfortunately we were unable to join David, Susan and some of the other guests for a day trip out on their boat because we already reserved prior reservations with Ocean Friendly Tours (see review). David was so kind to loan me one of his telephoto lens for my SLR so that I could take better pics on our whale watching trip.

We often walked down into town and took the path with the stairs or side streets if we were headed down during the night. The streets are extremely uneven and cobbled stoned so it's best to wear comfortable flat and closed toe shoes. It is a good 15 minute walk down right into Old Town. The walk up is a great workout, but is not meant for people who can't handle steep inclines. The walk down is not ideal for people with weak ankles or knees. We live in a very hilly area so we were comfortable walking up and down the hill. We also took the taxi several times, but make sure to get enough small change for fare.

It was so challenging to get enough small change since the ATM dispensed larger bills and so many places didn't want to break large bills. So make sure to get enough change in smaller bills if you intend on riding the taxi often or going to smaller mom & pop shops.

It's a 15 min walk down the stairs and across the highway to the closest bus stop if you want to explore the Botanical Garden (30 min ride). I would ride the bus to the garden, but take a taxicab back. If you decide to stay until the end of the day at the Botanical Garden and take the bus back, be prepared to be for a speedy winding ride in a jam packed bus. I would recommend talking the bus during non peak hours.

Casa de los Arcos is centrally located, it was an easy ride to and from the airport, to and from the port/marina, Centro, Old Town, Botanical Garden. There are a variety of bars, restaurants and shops to explore within walking distance or a very short cab ride up and down the hill.

The days flew by and we loved having the peaceful and scenic settings of Casa de los Arcos. It truly was our home away from home. Susan, David, Carlos and Felipa were all so welcoming and warm, they all took such great care of us throughout our stay. Susan was so gracious to let us check out later in the day since our flight was not leaving until late afternoon and there wasn't anyone checking into our casa that day so we got to enjoy it for a few extra hours which made it possible for us to explore the town a little bit more and relax in the casa before we headed back home. Susan and David went above and beyond throughout our stay and I just can't list everything that they did to make our trip so memorable and enjoyable. It was so special to have a place like Casa de los Arcos to stay where we could truly relax and enjoy the peacefulness. If I could manage to take enough time off to plan annual visits to Casa de los Arcos I would, maybe I will need to...

If you are looking to stay in a hidden paradise with some of the best cityscape and ocean views that's close to the culturally diverse Old Town scene, then Casa de los Arcos is the true Shangri-La in Pto Vallarta for you!

Room Tip: Each casa with a balcony/terrace has a great view of the city and ocean.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank mcaabaybrokstein
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2013

This place is perfect. It is perfectly clean, the beds are comfortable, the kitchen is well stocked, the decor is tasteful, the bathroom.... oh, I dream of having a bathroom like this.

The location is quiet with amazing views. It is up a hill and through a peaceful and safe neighborhood. The walk up the hill is the perfect little exercise after eating tacos all day or if you don't want to walk, take a cab which are easy and inexpensive. If you need a taxi from the house, they are there in seconds.

Susan and David were amazing. So helpful, but not at all overbearing. When you want, you feel like it is your place alone, but when you need help, they are there for you.

Susan and David--- thank you so much. We will be back. Hopefully in time to see your new botanical garden.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Scott G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2013

From the beginning Casa de los Arcos has been my doorway to Mexico. Through it I have encountered endless adventure, natural beauty and enduring friendships.
Susan and David are not just welcoming hosts, although they are indeed that, but even more, they are cultural historians, wxuberant explorers generous with their time and knowledge. There is never a time of year when visiting the Casa does not hold something special to see and do. And that holds true for my most recent stay. I arrived during the festival of Our Lady of Guadaloupe. Running over many days and nights, it is a religious pilgrimage that brings the faithful from near and far, to the old cathedral in the the heart of old Vallarta,. Illuminated by the light of handheld candles, pushed along to the beat of their choral hymns, thousands share their joy in song. The scene is timeless and endless.
In David’s words; “ On nights like this you can see what this town is made of, Vallarta’s pueblo roots are rising to the surface’.
Back at the casa, new roots are being dug in! Susan and David have nearly completed their embrace of the jungle garden that surrounds the property along its north. What an amazing idea this is – replanting the indigenous flora, clearing out the view-blocking scruff and creating secluded viewing terraces. . I can hardly wait to return to it.
On this trip there was also a marvellous day spent boating across the bay to explore the mariettas. Here among the rocks that connect Vallarta to its techtonic ripped core, live protected species – the blue-footed boobies, frigate birds and ... other stuff that David told me, but I forget. It is a raw blue wonder.

All ‘roots’ lead to home. These are special memories and rare moments. Each one would be worth the trip, but none of it would hold me. so fast were it not for the comfort and beauty of staying at Casa de los Arcos. It feels like my second home. I know it well, I think of it often and I will always return.

Room Tip: check out the website to pick which casa works best for you. All are good. they differ in size not q...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank MoKittyToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2013

Casa de Los Arcos is a ten minute walk from the old (nicer) section of Puerto Villarta. I stayed in the lowest room, so not much of a view, but the room itself was incredibly spacious, well-decorated and very clean. Susan and David are very friendly, and go out of their way to help. They offered to drive me to the supermarket (which I declined) and offered me drinks on their deck (which I accepted). David showed me photos he took of whales, and offered to take me whale watching (declined, sadly). Both David and Susan have great stories to tell and seem to genuinely enjoy company. But, they also did not impose. All in all, this is a great place to stay in a good location.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank Eastonlow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2013

We have fallen in love with Puerto Vallarta and Susan/David's Casa de los Arcos! This boutique hotel is nestled into the side of a hillside, offering a quite place to "get away" and a restful retreat from all the great fun down the hill in Zona Romantica. We could not have asked for more. We highly recommend you experience this kind of rare hospitality AND visit and enjoy Puerto Vallarta. Spread the word, PV is safe, clean, extremely friendly and welcoming. We are planning our next trip immediately!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Erdabus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa de los Arcos

Property: Casa de los Arcos
Address: Calle Hortencias 168 | Colonia Alta Vista, Puerto Vallarta 48300, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 91 Specialty Lodging in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa de Los Arcos is a luxurious villa nestled into the hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean,with incredible unobstructed views of Los Muertos Beach, the jungle and old town Puerto Vallarta. The villa has 4 spacious suites. Rent the suites individually, or rent the whole villa, and it can sleep 10 people. There are 5 bedrooms with en-suite baths. There is lots of privacy, and large entertaining and dining areas. We will gladly arrange all your airport transfers, and once settled at the villa, we head off to the grocery store to stock your fridge. Margaritas, to follow! We are happy to arrange activities, tours and car rentals for you. Treat yourself to home spa day, with a massage, facial, manicure and pedicure. We can arrange this for you upon arrival or set it up in advance. For the nights that you do not wish to dine out, have a private cook brought in to create a wonderful Mexican meal. Our high speed internet and telephone guarantee that you can stay in touch (bring your laptops). ... more   less 

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