The Mexican getaway city of Puerto Vallarta has a long history, but what really kicked things off for tourism was when Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor came to town to film Night of the Iguana. The two ended up in two adjacent houses connected by a bridge and now you can stay there—at Casa Kimberly Hotel
For many years the owner of Puerto Vallarta’s storied Hacienda San Angel has been working on a project to transform the former homes of Richard and Elizabeth into a second hotel. It was a long process of purchase and permits, restoration and reconstruction, but she recently unveiled the new property and it was worth the wait.
The story goes that the two lovers couldn’t stand to be away from each other so a bridge connected their two separate homes. The Burton side is quieter and contains the swimming pool, lounge, and sun deck, plus several of the nine suites. Across the bridge is the Taylor side, with more public spaces and the top room option.
Suites with a view of Banderas Bay and the mountains to the east are on the Elizabeth Taylor side of the complex, with the most impressive by far being the Taylor Suite itself. This penthouse-style room has its own private outdoor swimming pool with lounging deck, boveda ceilings with cherubs flitting about, and a massive King-size bed. The pièce de résistance is Taylor’s bathroom built for a queen.It’s as large at the sleeping area of the suite, with a heart-shaped pink tub and a circular couch in the center for taking a break during your mid-morning beauty routine.
Rooms are some of the best-equipped in the city itself and some have a whirlpool.
The Iguana is the restaurant on site and it was a big hit with locals from the start. While the hotel itself takes its cues from the Spanish colonial era (the owner is a big collector of colonial art), the restaurant is more international in its menu options. Choices including lambchops, grilled salmon, ceviche, lobster tacos and sea bass. There’s a good dessert list and and an extensive wine list. A trio serenades diners at night to add a romantic element.
If the popularity of Hacienda San Angel is any indication, you will need to make reservations well in advance for Casa Kimberly after the word gets out. While the masses coming to Puerto Vallarta want to be on the beach, some guests who prefer unique rooms and personal service in the heart of the old city will be delighted by this option on the hill.
See our full review of Casa Kimberly Hotel in downtown Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.