Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle

Fall/Winter 2015

Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle Magazine

Issue link: http://read.dreamscapes.ca/i/586302

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Page 16 of 63

but other perks as well—such as your own dedicated restaurant, reception area, check- in, concierge and even your own private beach area with Bali beds for the ultimate relaxation. The modern rooms are also super luxe, with 24-hour room service for Royal Club guests and a wooden door that slides back to reveal a glassed-in shower so you can enjoy a full view of the ocean as you bathe. Certainly, the Royal Club suits me because I like intimate boutique resorts and, because it's a resort within a resort, I still get all the amenities of a larger property. Over the last few years, the resort under- went a huge makeover. The property shut down for a year from December 2010 to December 2011, and owners have added more upgrades since then. Spending a whopping US$14 million, their improvements include renovating all the guest rooms, building a new state-of-the-art theatre, and adding a kids' club and an adults-only pool. (I appreciated the latter: if I'm not going to holiday with my kids, why vacation with anyone else's?) Aside from kids' activities, there's plenty of entertainment for adults too. Nightly shows include karaoke and a Miss Occi- dental talent show another evening. During the day, I while away many relaxing hours with a book on a chaise longue next to the pool, which has its own concierge, bar, per- golas and outdoor showers. Scheduled activities include stretch and yoga classes, aqua aerobics sessions and any number of other organized options, ranging from kayak lessons, beach volleyball or a bike tour to Spanish lessons, painting work- shops or cooking classes. If it's too hot, head indoors to the new fitness centre. Of course, food at an all-inclusive is key. While it was not the fanciest of the resort's four restaurants, the outdoor à-la-carte Mexican restaurant, La Hacienda, serves the type of food I travel to Mexico to enjoy—tra- ditional tortilla soup and large-sized plates of delicious tacos, burritos and enchiladas. Los Olivos is another à-la-carte restaurant featuring breathtaking views of the ocean and offering excellent Italian and Mediter- ranean fare, which includes a wide range of pastas as well as an excellent seared tuna and beef tenderloin. FROM NUEVO TO PUERTO VALLARTA All-inclusive resorts give guests that safe, leave-your-wallet-at-home kind of feeling, however, sometimes it's good to step off the compound to experience the local culture. Since downtown P.V. is only a 35-minute drive away, it's well worth a day trip to stroll along its malecón, which borders the shore- line. Or—far more interesting—leave the tourist hub and meander through the town's historical district. We visited the impressive Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe and climbed P.V.'s hilly cobblestone streets, passing many adobe houses with tiled red roofs and the remnants of Casa Kimberley, where Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton once enjoyed a romantic tryst. Our day ended with a candlelight dinner at the River Café. Entertained by live jazz and surrounded by iguanas and trees on the Rio Cuale Island in downtown P.V., we dined on rainbow shrimp breaded in coconut and pecans, followed by asparagus soup, mahi mahi and a delicious deep-fried ice cream. FALL/ WINTER 2015 DREAMSCAPES 17

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