When I travel, I love to research a place thoroughly, and then find the off-the-beaten path things to do and experience. I’m a seeker of the undiscovered – and enjoy reporting back to others my experiences. I recently had the opportunity to travel back to Mexico this fall – this time to the Pacific coast to visit Puerto Vallarta.
For the last two nights of our week-long stay, we stayed at Villa Lala. I wanted to find a boutique hotel in the Puerto Vallarta region, as I was seeking a similar vibe to Howlita in Tulum . I did a lot of research on “boutique hotels”, and was struggling with options – until I stumbled across Villa Lala. It had all the markings of what I wanted; ocean views (check!), jungle vibes (check!), remote but not isolated (check, check) – AND a TREE HOUSE ROOM? (TRIPLE CHECK!!).
Villa Lala is located in Boca De Tomatlan – about 30 minutes south of central Puerto Vallarta (or 45 minutes from the airport). It’s not that far by distance, but there’s always a bit of traffic in the city. Once you get past PV itself, the road clears of cars, and you’ll follow a beautiful and meandering coastal highway. We had a rental car, and found the drive to be easy and pleasant – even though we got in after dark.
When you first arrive at the hotel you’ll drive down a steep driveway to the front entrance. You’ll be greeted by the beautiful jungle and an exceptionally friendly staff. There is free on-site parking, and the premises are ultra secure. You will have a few options when you arrive for dinner on your first night – Villa Lala provides on-site meals, or you can head up to Le Kliff restaurant (walking or driving), or go down into the village of Boca De Tomatlan.
What to do on your first night at Villa Lala,
- Drink a fresh made starfruit margarita on site
- Sit on your balcony and enjoy the stars
- Eat a delicious fresh meal, prepared by their staff
- Visit the fishing village of Boca
- Experience fine dining at Le Kliff
- Take a long bath and never want to leave your room!
The little village at Boca de Tomatlan is so charming and will give you the full experience of being a local – with impeccable service. Boca serves at the starting point to take boat shuttles to Yelepa and other towns south of PV. Boca is essentially the last coastal town you can reach by car south of Puerto Vallarta. It is quaint and beautiful – and a lovely way to slow down and enjoy Mexico.
On our first night we headed straight to the beach and chose to eat at Los Mangos. We were immediately greeted by our server Rueben who pulled up a table and chairs right at the edge of the water! We enjoyed a delicious dinner of fresh fish tacos and coconut shrimp. Rueben also provides private guided boat tours of the area. We highly recommend looking him up if you are staying at Villa Lala. (feel free to email me for Rueben’s information).
What to do on your first day at Villa Lala / Boca De Tomatlan
- Enjoy fresh coffee – delivered at 8:30am right to your room
- Take breakfast on the community terrace
- Book a guided boat tour with Rueben
- Enjoy the on-site hammocks, pool and your room
- Never want to leave!
Villa Lala itself is an incredible hotel, full of charm and INCREDIBLE hospitality. What was once the personal home of the owner Cachi (and architect), has now been converted in a 6 suite hotel, suited for adults only. The ambience is quiet, relaxing and leaves you feeling tucked away – without feeling isolated. We had the extreme pleasure of staying in the newly built Love Nest rooms – which I can unequivocally can state is the BEST HOTEL ROOM I have ever stayed in.
We stayed in the Jungle Love Nest, located at the bottom of the tree, with incredible ocean views and privacy. Completed in late 2018, the Love Nest rooms are built right into a 400 year-old fig tree. Fresh coffee was delivered to our room each morning, as well as breakfast. There is literally no need to leave the room at all during your stay if you so choose. You’ll have everything you need to relax and enjoy your stay!
Each and every detail is carefully considered from the private balcony with a hammock, to the soaking tub – and private outdoor tub). The king-size bed is incredibly comfortable, and the sound of crickets at night will sooth you to sleep. Each morning there is ample hot water to the shower, complete with a view of the ocean. Tiny details from robes and slippers to incense, to fresh filtered water throughout the hotel greeted us at every turn.
On our second night we ate dinner at the hotel. Tables are set at various spots throughout the property to ensure a private and romantic experience. Your concierge Alba, will ask what you would like to eat, and dinner is prepared by the private on-site chef. We enjoyed a delicious dinner of mahi-mahi, and tuna – on the patio overlooking the ocean. The food was absolutely delicious, perfectly prepared, and a truly unforgettable experience.
What to do on your last morning at Villa Lala
- Soak up the view from the patio
- Kayak to a nearby beach
- Go for a swim in the private pool
- Walk along the private beach
- Dream of your next trip!
Ultimately our trip to Villa Lala felt way too short! There are so many things to do in the quiet town of Boca, and so many beaches to explore. The hotel also provides access to kayaks, which you can take to the various beaches. (We did not use the kayaks as we took the private boat tour with Rueben instead.) Villa Lala is the perfect romantic getaway, and was the perfect ending to a week-long stay in Puerto Vallarta. We will definitely be back!
To summarize with a list of all the things we enjoyed (I literally have ZERO cons),
- A/C in every room
- Filtered water throughout hotel means it’s safe to brush your teeth etc.
- On-site private chefs
- Coffee to your room every morning
- Hot water
- Private pool, beach and boat launch
- Free on-site parking (perfect if you have a rental car)
- SAFE and secure
- Quiet and private (no kids allowed)
- Remote without feeling isolated
- Outstanding hospitality