From the Blog
Visiting Puerto Vallarta at the end of February and looking for a party? You’re in luck! Every year, just prior to Lent, cities across the world indulge a longtime tradition and vibrant celebration known as Carnaval, often culminating with a Mardi Gras parade. And, Puerto Vallarta is one of them. On Tuesday, February 28 at 8
PM, the city will host its ninth annual Mardi Gras parade to observe the occasion.
Promising to be bigger and better than ever, the festivities commence at the Hotel Zone’s Sheraton Hotel, then head south on the Malecón, ending just south of the Los Muertos pier. Throughout the celebration, onlookers will be dazzled by whimsical floats and vivid costumes adorned with sequins, feathers, and bold colors, in an affair that unites the city.
Last year’s Carnaval attracted 30,000 locals and visitors from all walks of life. The event is open to all ages. Masks and costumes are welcome.
Fun fact: Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, refers to the day when Lent-observing individuals eat fattening foods and stock up before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which commences the following day on Ash Wednesday.
When you think of Puerto Vallarta, you probably envision white sand beaches and a blue-green ocean, maybe a chaise under an umbrella and a frosty drink cheered up with tequila. All good thoughts and right on the money. But PV also has a beloved theater, Act II, and this season is packed with crowd-pleasers. Broadway’s Tony-winning musical Avenue Q debuts November 12, followed by the musical revue Starting Here, Starting Now on the 14th and Canadian folk-pop singer/songwriter Jeffery Straker on the 17th. Then, on November 27, giving us ample time to digest our Thanksgiving turkey, the 4th annual Voice of Vallarta contest, whose winner wins $20,000 pesos, begins. If you’re looking for more reasons to visit PV beyond this month, the Act has plenty more shows in the wings: Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps begins Jan. 7, the Neil Simon classic Plaza Suite, starring multi-Emmy winner Eileen Matthews, debuts March 4, and the curtains open on Harvey Fierstein’s Tony-showered Casa Valentina, about a Catskill’s resort that caters to transgender visitors, April 4. Check out the Act’s full line up and reserve tickets here, and book your rooms with us!
October’s an idyllic month in PV, and although we hardly think anyone needs an extra excuse to come to visit paradise, if you’re a Day of the Dead fancier, the celebrations this year are going to be off the charts. We wrote all about it on the latest Hacienda San Angel post (that’s our sister hotel, but you knew that), so no need to elaborate here. But now’s the time to plan for another great event: the 22nd annual International Festival Gourmet, which will be held in and around PV from November 11 – 20. A dozen restaurants and 15 hotels, including Casa K, will participate with everything from theme to progressive dinners and tastings. We’ve invited Chef Jason Fullilove
(contender for the world’s best name or what?) from Los Angeles. Some of you may know him from his creative soul food pop-up, Barbara Jean, or recognize him from his days in the kitchens of Campanile and Patina), but at Casa K he’ll be overseeing the kitchen with a special menu of his globally inspired soul food accented with local ingredients: fresh uni toast, pan-roasted snapper, fish-crowded bouillabaisse and divine desserts.
Is it all getting to be too much? The blustering, the back-and-forthing, the competitive tallies of military brass in their respective corners? If it seems you’re feeling the wear and tear of the presidential race as acutely as the candidates themselves, you’re not alone. And we’re here to help. Casa Kimberly’s Election Overload 2016 package is all about restoring your serenity in a barking mad world. The therapy begins with free round-trip transportation from the airport, five nights in one of our elegant Diamond or Sapphire suites, and complimentary poolside cocktails each day along with snacks—taquitos, ceviche, or maybe guacamole and corn chips—sent out by our chef. And, just to ensure that your relaxation regimen is complete, we’ll throw in an hour-long couple’s aromatherapy massage and a private meditation or yoga class. The trip back to the airport is on us, too, so by the time you float back home, you’ll be cool, calm and collected, and able to cast your vote without losing your mind.
The Casa Kimberly Escape Election 2016 package includes:
- Five nights in a luxury Diamond or Sapphire suite
- Daily round of cocktails and chef’s-choice poolside afternoon snacks (such as house-made ceviche, taquitos or guacamole and totopos
- 60-minute calming couple’s aromatherapy massage in the CK Spa
- Private meditation or yoga session for two with local Vallarta yogis
- Round trip airport transfers
A bronze sculpture of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton captures the romance of this star-crossed couple.
As anyone who’s visited can attest, Casa Kimberly is filled with striking furniture, from ornate mirrors and antique crystal chandeliers to exquisite carved wood beds in the elaborate Mexican Colonial tradition. Each piece is hand-picked by owner Janice Chatterton, each room unique in its appointments. Our collection of photos, paintings and sculptures is pretty remarkable, too (can’t help but boast a little), many inspired by or depicting the famous couple whose love is the cornerstone of the property. The life-size bronze statue of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton together on a bench, placed at the entrance of Casa Kimberly so passersby can also enjoy it, has become something of a local landmark. Commissioned by Chatterton, the statue was created by artist Jim Demetro, who’s known locally for three other bronze works in town: “Vallarta Dancers,” one of the most photographed statues on the Malecon; “Andale, Bernardo,” a beloved bronze sculpture of a burro (which tourists can mount for a photo) being egged on by two boys and a dog, and “The Washer Woman,” depicting a woman at an age-old task. While conceiving the idea for Casa Kimberly’s commission, “Mr. Demetro studied many images of Richard and Elizabeth,” says Chatterton, “and was inspired to do this particular pose, which captures their passion for each other. The body movement is what captivates me in all of his work.” In fact, the couple appear so animated, you may be tempted to squeeze in and join their conversation. We won’t stop you.
We can go on for days about the beauty and charm of PV and the myriad things to do here, from shopping to dining to lazing. But we hate to hog all the spotlight all the time. To that end, we magnanimously suggest a day trip. Sayulita, just about an hour’s drive north, is a surf-centric, boho-vibed town with all the fixings for a day of fun in the sun. Our concierge will be happy to help you arrange transportation. Whether you’re a confident surfer or have yet to see a board up close, Sayulita’s Lunazul Surfing School is a great place to head—they have the best/broadest selection of surf and paddleboards in town. Book a lesson and you’ll get a board, rash guards and other wave-riding accoutrement along with top-notch instruction—and a free extra hour of surf time on Lunazul’s equipment after the teaching’s over. If stand-up paddling is more your thing, they offer SUP tours as well, as long as the water’s calm.
Book a private lesson or arrange instruction for the whole family, little kids to intrepid grandparents. When it’s time to put the boards aside and reacquaint yourself with maneuvers on land, cruise around the shops on Sayulita’s cobblestone streets and keep an eye out for the elaborately beaded Huichol
handicrafts. Then it may be time to return to the beach and people-watch, staying cool with a fruity frozen paleta (popsicle), or maybe a sip of something with a higher proof. Then head back to PV. We miss you already!
It’s heating up in PV, and on days like these there’s really only one answer: The Margarita. More to the point: Our Margarita, because it is, quite simply, perfect. A classic at heart, with a brash dash of OJ that boosts the citrus notes of the triple sec, this spirited elixir is stirred, not shaken—it’s not a martini and you’re not Bond, so please don’t argue. Unless of course, you want it shaken, then, by all means….make our marg yours. You can even whir it around in a blender, or try all three versions in succession. Responsibly, of course.
Here’s all you’ll need:
1 ½ oz Sauza Hornitos Tequila (or another pure-agave tequila of your choice)
1 oz triple sec
1 oz fresh lime juice
⅓ oz fresh orange juice
Pour the ingredients into a 10-oz glass with ice and stir.
How simple, and transporting, is that?
And, because it’s well established that we’re a teeny bit obsessed with Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, we’ll be remembering the devoted-when-not-duelling couple on June 26, the 42nd anniversary of their first divorce. The good news, of course, is that they married again less than a year-and-a-half later. Just one more reason to raise a marg.
Granted, not everyone thinks Puerto Vallarta when it comes to a summer getaway. Which is exactly why summer in Puerto Vallarta has a distinct charm. It’s hot, no question, but there’s no end to the water sports (boats, skis, snorkeling and scuba excursions) or the pools and beaches at your disposal for zero-action lazing. Because it’s a quiet season, you’re apt to feel more like a local—and believe us, it’s a fine line—a good chunk of our residents are ex-pats who came down for the proverbial weekend and couldn’t bring themselves to leave. It’s a longstanding tradition. If Liz Taylor and Richard Burton hadn’t fallen in love with the place during the Night of the Iguana shoot, chances are slim they’d have bought homes here and made the place famous. Speaking of those two—June 12 marks the 53rd anniversary of their first film together, Cleopatra. It was on that set that Burton, playing Mark Antony and Taylor, as Egypt’s way-ahead-of-her-time queen, fell in love and launched a scandalous affair, two marriages (each with a matching divorce), and decades of headlines. Through it all, they came to PV to recharge. But we digress.
To encourage you to experience the unique idyll that is summertime PV, Casa Kimberly’s offering a super-sweet deal. Come for two nights and get the third night free. Even the paid nights are discounted! It looks like this:
The Elizabeth Taylor Suite, $550 a night, our creme de la crème with a private pool, patio, and the rose marble tub Dick gave Liz as a surprise gift.; the Diamond Suites, $445 a night, each appointed with a crystal chandelier, king bed, and terrace with Jacuzzi; the Sapphire Suites, $395 a night, with more of the Casa’s luxurious touches, including beautiful antiques, king beds and elegant baths; Opal Suites, $290 a night, gorgeous rooms with hand-selected antiques, Oriental carpets and showers with clerestory windows that bring in the stunning views. (Tax will, of course, be applied to the room rates.)
To entice you even further, summer guests will receive a complimentary daily cocktail, along with hors d’oeuvres, delivered to their room, patio or the pool. And each morning they’ll receive our sumptuous complimentary breakfast. A free night, the town at its most authentic, cocktails and breakfast on the house —when will we see you? Give us a call or reserve online. Hasta pronto!
If you’re one of those types who takes a while to relax on vacation, who has to step down with a few intermediary activities before feeling good about sipping a cool bit of courage on a beach towel and thinking of nothing important, we’d like to point out a hidden gem on . Yes, PV has its own island, a tiny affair formed in the fork of the Cuale River that separates the Zona Romantica and downtown. There are a few footbridges connecting to the Isla (the most colorful is on Cuauhtemoc Street not far from the hotel), where rows of shops sell everything from silver jewelry and handblown glass pieces to a wide variety of ceramics and Talavera pottery, that richly colored and eminently collectible majolica whose dishes, vases, mugs and the like are as cheerful and artistic as they are practical—all crafted with the 16th-century techniques used by the Spanish potters who made the style famous. Nestled in amongst all this buy-able goodness is the Museo del Cuale—this is a cultural excursion after all! Tiny and free, the museum displays Pre-Columbian artifacts, including hunting and gathering tools, and some fascinating info about indigenous groups like the formidable Purépechas who gave the Aztecs a run for their money back in the day. After all that history you may be have worked up an appetite. Time for a bite at the Isla’s River Café, Le Bistro Jazz Cafe or Oscar’s, perhaps. Or maybe you’ll feel you’ve earned that cool sip of courage and a blissful blank stare on a beach blanket, after all. In that case, the Casa’s pool is at your disposal.