First All-Inclusive Hilton Nears Debut

As if a trip to Puerto Vallarta itself weren’t enough to quicken the pulse of incentive groups, the brand-new Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort will open for business on October 2. It’s the first property in Puerto Vallarta ever to fly the Hilton flag and the first 100 percent all-inclusive hotel in the entire Hilton portfolio. And it’s a beauty—or will be in a couple of days.

I found scores of workers at a fever pitch of activity during a visit on Saturday, September 15. With only two weeks to go, there was still tile- and stonework to finish in the lobby and spa, final coats of paint going up everywhere you looked, most lights in place but still wrapped in paper from the manufacturer, and mattresses—presumably enough Hilton Serenity Beds for all 259 guest rooms and suites—stacked almost wall to wall and floor to ceiling in the Vallarta Ballroom.

My guide, director of sales Beatriz Smith, told me not to worry as we sidestepped the cables and scaffolding and rounded the pool near the beach. “These are just the last-minute touches,” she assured me. “It will be finished in time.”

From the end of the pool it was easy to take in the whole clean-lined, cutting-edge design by EliasElias, the Guadalajara-based architectural firm well known for its work on numerous Quinta Real hotels across Mexico, Le Blanc Spa Resort in Cancún, and Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, among others. And it was easy to feel the guest-friendly atmosphere of a relatively small property for this stretch of beach. If it weren’t so open and airy, you might even call it cozy.

The resort will feature five all-inclusive restaurants (truly gourmet, including one practicing molecular gastronomy); an up-to-the-minute fitness center by Precor; a pampering spa complete with Jacuzzi area, sauna, and dreamy saltwater flotarium; the palm-lined pool as a central focal point; and instant access to the beach along beautiful Banderas Bay. A business center will cater to guests who need to work on-site, and a kids’ Adventure Club will keep children of all ages entertained.

From a meeting planner’s standpoint, the hotel’s 60 spacious suites, all with balconies and some with private rooftop terraces, make it especially ideal for upscale incentives and executive groups. The meeting space, housed in a building by itself, includes the Vallarta Ballroom (holding up to 600 people or divisible by four) plus three additional breakout rooms. Oh, and did I mention it’s all-inclusive?

Annette Burden

Annette Burden

Annette Burden has written and edited for Elite Meetings International since 2007. In addition to writing on travel for other publications, she founded and edited Meeting Traveler, Resorts & Great Hotels, and Destination Weddings & Honeymoons magazines.

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