Fodor’s Choice Puerto Vallarta: Lodging

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Dreams
Dramatic views of the gorgeous, rock-edged beach is just one reason that this all-inclusive is special. Theme nights go a bit beyond the usual Mexican fiestas: there are salsa dancing classes, reggae and circus nights, and for sports night, ball games with hot dogs and beer, and movies on the beach. Instead of buffet restaurants there are four a la carte eateries and one with pizza, taco, pasta, and other stations. All of the charming suites, decorated in aqua and white, have fab views but only the newer ones have balconies, some with a hot tub. There are tons of activities for both kids and adults, and no wristbands to clash with your resort-casual clothes. www.dreamsresorts.com. $$$$

Quinta Maria Cortez
This B&B has soul. Its seven levels ramble up a steep hill at Playa Conchas Chinas, about a 20-minute walk along the sand to the Romantic Zone (or a short hop in a bus or taxi). Most rooms have balconies and kitchenettes; all are furnished with antiques and local art. Other draws are the efficient and welcoming staff, the fortifying breakfast (cooked to order) served on a palapa-covered patio, the nearly private beach below, and the views from the rooftop sundeck. It’s popular and has few rooms, so make reservations early. Minimum stays are five nights in winter, and three nights in summer. www.quinta-marina.com. $$-$$$

Four Seasons Resort
The hotel and its fabulous spa perch above a lovely beach at the northern extreme of Bahia de Banderas, about 45 minutes from the PV airport and an hour north of downtown Puerto Vallarta. Spacious rooms occupy Mexican-style casitas of one, two, and three stories. Each room has elegant yet earthy furnishings and a private terrace or balcony, and many with a sweeping sea view. The Jack Nicklaus–designed championship golf course has a challenging, optional 19th-island hole; the gym is first rate; and a good variety of sporting and beach equipment is on hand. Just offshore, the Marietas Islands are great for snorkeling, diving, whale-watching, and fishing. This is the place for indulging golf and spa fantasies, exploring beaches and small towns to the north and south, or doing absolutely nothing. www.fshr.com. $$$$

El Tamarindo Golf Resort
More than 2,000 acres of ecological reserve and jungle surround this magical resort along 16 km (10 mi) of private coast. The architecture utilizes simple design elements (with a Mediterranean flavor) and local building materials; world-renowned Ricardo Legorreta was one of the architects. Many villas have outdoor living rooms. All have dark-wood floors, king-size beds, wet bars, ample bathrooms, and patios with plunge pools, hammocks, and chaise lounges. Sofas are upholstered in rich textured fabrics, and all furnishings and details are spare and classy. At night the staff lights more than 1,500 candles around the villas to create a truly enchanting setting. The hotel receives our highest accolade, Fodor’s Choice, for its stunning location, gorgeous rooms, and excellent golf course. www.ycwtamarindo.com. $$$$