Even non-mariachi fans are bewitched by the harmonious musical meanderings of the 12-piece, stunningly uniformed, brass-and-string band that serenades diners most nights from the second-floor terrace overlooking Banderas Bay and the velvet hills of Puerto Vallarta. Ivy climbs blond, hacienda-style columns, and chandeliers bathe in a romantic light the second-floor dining room of this stunningly restored boutique hotel-restaurant. The chef has a restrained hand when it
comes to salt and spices; recipes are straightforward yet not bland or boring. Recommended is the red snapper with polenta, tender filet mignon, or cabrería (a choice cut of beef on the bone) served on a bed of mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach. You might start with delicately battered and fried calamari served in a cone of crisp nori; for dessert indulge in an ice cream sundae, coconut crème brûlée, or peach crepes.