Architectural details like the bubbling fountain in the cobblestone courtyard and the pool illuminated by a tree of candles at night, as well as prompt and professional service by the entire staff, are among the things to love about this luxurious hideaway. »A painting of Elizabeth Taylor, a statue of Dick and Liz, and candid photos of them in Puerto Vallarta pay homage to the former residents. Each suite is decorated with grand antiques and reproduction pieces, chandeliers and oriental rugs. Some have clawfoot tubs, others tiled walk-in showers that span the width of the room. Most have floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open to private terraces with Jacuzzis and chaises. Both The V.I.P.s and Elizabeth Taylor suites have wraparound terraces; the latter also has a private pool. A complimentary breakfast of freshly baked pastries, fresh fruit and strong Mexican coffee is served each morning on your terrace, also a lovely place for cocktails at night.
Casa Kimberly’s modern Mexican restaurant may be the prettiest place to dine in Puerto Vallarta. On beautiful days, the retractable glass walls are opened to views of the mountains, city and bay. Executive chef Eduardo Michaga Lucero uses traditional ingredients in his modern Mexican dishes—e.g., chile poblano filled with shrimp, scallops and lobster and laced with a black bean and chipotle sauce. Try the stuffed squash blossoms served over breaded panela cheese. A seared-toperfection Angus filet wrapped in hoja santa leaves and served with a dried chile sauce. A traditional mariachi band plays six nights a week in season. The six violinists, guitarrón player, trumpeters and singers dressed in charro outfits spill into the courtyard and wander between the tables. Their performance is outstanding.
Over the years, chef Thierry Blouet has added Mexican inspiration to the menu and rooms to the space, but the cuisine, cocktails and décor (chandeliers, Mexican art, modern furniture, white lights strung through the trees in the courtyard) reflect his artistic approach to life. The eclectic menu has a lot going on— chef’s tasting menu, three-course bistro menu, à la carte—but you can expect artful presentations of the local fish and regionally sourced meat and vegetable dishes. STANDOUTS: Suckling pig confit tacos laden with beans, avocado cream, pork rind and ranch cheese. A rich tomato risotto with truffle and roasted corn foam. The “Flowerpot” dessert, literally a flowerpot of chocolate mousse dusted with cocoa powder and chock-full of sweet surprises.
Chef Bernhard Güth, who honed his culinary skills at Michelin-starred restaurants, and chef Ulf Henriksson are European transplants who helped pioneer the foodie scene. They use Mexican ingredients in their European-style dishes and house-made pastas. The dining experience is refined (Tiffany style lamps, antique furnishings, white linens) yet casual (a hand-painted mural by a local artist in the dining room, tropical plants in intimate courtyard). DELICIOUS: Pappardelle with garlic shrimp, sun-ripened tomatoes and basil. Grilled rack of lamb and ravioli on eggplant and pepper. Calamari in a cilantro-ginger marinade served with smoked tomato and jalapeño salsa. Service is highly attentive.
Walk the Malecón to see the sculptures by famous Mexican artists that dot the seaside esplanade. Break for a margarita and shrimp cocktail at Daiquiri Dick’s.
Shop for silver at Cassandra Shaw Jewelry for one-of-a kind designer pieces.
Take a cooking class with the chef at the Red Cabbage Cafe, a neighborhood restaurant known for Chiles en Nogada and other authentic regional dishes.