A few weeks ago, I jetted down to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for a long weekend at the Hard Rock Vallarta Hotel. While I was technically there for work, my stay honestly didn’t feel like work at all. From the start, I was greeted by the extremely friendly staff before being led to my room. As I opened the door, the stunning view from my balcony immediately caught my attention. I pushed the sliding doors opened and soaked in the sweet smell of the ocean and the sound of crashing waves just steps from the hotel. After taking a few minutes to unpack and close my eyes after an early flight, I headed downstairs for dinner.
Dinner was served al fresca on the beach, and I couldn’t help but smile as I took in the gorgeous scenery. We were seated at a rustic table adorned with fresh flowers intwined with driftwood. A jazz musician played tunes from the classics to pop setting the mood for the night. Before my arrival, I let the hotel know I was gluten-free, and they went above and beyond to accommodate my diet. Not only were there TONS of gluten-free options, but they even made a few special dishes just for me. The first dish was a play on beef carpaccio that combined thinly sliced beets (instead of beef) with avocado and cucumber rolls and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. For the second course, jellied tomato squares topped fresh tomatoes with fried shallots, pesto and a balsamic vinegar reduction. What even is jellied tomato? I don’t know, but I like it! I ordered the beef as my main dish and was beyond impressed. Tender beef medallions paired with sautéed mushrooms, baby carrots, golden beets and a tangy savory bouillon sauce. The meal finished with a decedent gluten-free chocolate cake covered in a rich ganache.
The next morning, I went to The Market at the hotel for the breakfast buffet and piled my plate with fresh fruit, scrambled eggs and sautéed veggies and washed it down with the Glowing Skin fresh pressed juice. After breakfast, I set off to a day trip to Sayulita, a hidden gem of the area just 45 minutes from Puerto Vallarta. I’ll be writing more about my trip to Sayulita in another post! After returning to the hotel, I got to tour one of the amazing suites, and check out what truly makes Hard Rock Vallarta special. I loved pretending to play one of the guitars that you can check out and also trying my hand at DJing! After sips of champagne and appetizers in the suite, I made my way to Ciao for a little Italian indulgence for dinner. I was pleasantly surprised to find gluten-free noodles on the menu. I ordered the seafood pasta, which was filled with shrimp and mussels in a tomato sauce. The night ended with a surprise of chocolate covered strawberries and a relaxing soak in the giant jacuzzi in my room!
I am not sure if there is anything better than room service! I started my next day with a delicious veggie omelet, side of bacon, potato hash and a fresh pressed juice. After breakfast, I headed to the Rock Spa for a deep tissue massage and for some extra pampering. Slipping into a comfy robe, the attendant guided me through the hydrotherapy circuit. From the steam room to the sauna to the bubbling jacuzzi to the final cold water plunge, I loved the extra time to relax and soothe my muscles before my massage. Speaking of massage, my deep tissue massage was amazing! My awesome masseuse Caty applied just the right of pressure to get into my tight knots without being painful. I left feeling relaxed and rejuvenated as I headed to the beach to soak up some sun. At the beach, I was greeted with a toast of champagne at the cabana. With unobstructed views of the ocean, I let myself unwind even more listening to the sounds of the ocean.
For my final night, I went out on a sunset cruise with Mike’s Charters & Tours. The crew was so amazing serving up delicious ceviche and mango margaritas. As we cruised into the Banderas Bay, the crew stopped the boat just in time for us to see dolphins playing in the water! I couldn’t stop watching the pod playfully swim around the boat. It was the absolute perfect ending to an awesome trip. After the sunset cruise, we headed to Zen for a tasty Asian meal. I devoured my spicy gluten-free noodles, but still saved a little room for the gluten-free chocolate cake!
On my last morning, I reluctantly packed my bag, ordered room service one last time then headed to the airport. I enjoyed every minute of my stay at Hard Rock Vallarta, and I was more than sad to leave the little slice of paradise that is Puerto Vallarta.