There’s no shortage of Puerto Vallarta luxury resorts and hotels to consider, whether you want a historic boutique hotel downtown or one that’s perched over a perfect stretch of white sand once you go north or south far enough. Unlike nearly all the other beach resorts, however, Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel is on the water, but is walking distance to the center.

Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta proper is a compact zone of restaurants, shops, and bars separated from the Pacific by a long malecon dotted with sculptures from some of Mexico’s best-known artists. It’s a fun place to walk around and get a real feel for coastal Mexico, a city meant for strolling. If you want to do that for more than an hour or two on your resort’s “city excursion,” however, the best upscale resort to reserve is Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel and Romantic Getaway.

Yes, that’s the full name of the place and they live up to the billing with an adults-only policy, honeymoon suites, and a colorful romantic sunset each night that you can watch unfold from your balcony. The staff is happy to set up a meal for two in the perfect spot, including this one with water on three sides:

Villa Premiere Puerto Vallarta pier

I was leery about adding this property before staying at it on this recent trip because I wasn’t very impressed the first time I stayed there more than a decade ago. The furniture seemed dated, there were those annoying no-theft hangers in the closet, and the food was just so-so. A lot has changed since then, I learned immediately, and both the food and service are on par with many of the other high-end resorts in this region. With a price tag that’s easier to digest as well.

Villa Premiere does have a few built-in handicaps, like a limited footprint and rooms sizes designed before such large ones as you see in new builds now were common. They’ve countered every handicap in every way possible, however, making the standard rooms bright, airy, and loaded with amenities. Plus that view at the top makes up for a lot. Upgrade to a larger one if this matters to you and you’ll get a bigger balcony with a whirlpool also–well worth it.

The two swimming pools here are very attractive: one rectangular one surrounded by lounge chairs and day beds, the other a constant whirlpool with a swim-up bar. There are more lounge chairs and daybeds down on the beach and energetic, bilingual waiters are continually making the rounds for drinks and food.

The food is a real highlight here, worth the modest all-inclusive add-on even if you’re going to be out for one meal a day. The main La Ceiba restaurant is on two levels, both with an ocean view, attractive by day and looking totally different at night when you can see the lights of the city and up to the marina zone. The other dinner-only restaurant is air-conditioned behind a wall of glass and another indoor one should open back up once safety restrictions allow. There’s clearly a talented chef in the kitchen now as the meals are consistently good and even the most humble ones are dressed up in an attractive presentation.

Take a tour here to see what Villa Premiere is like: by the pool, in the restaurant, in the room, and even at the gym. (There’s also a full spa on site and you get a quick chair massage gratis when you check in.) This is not the most high-end, exclusive property in the region–head up to Punta Mita for that–but it attracts a wider range of visitors than most and is a lively place to stay that’s near the city action.

Check out that video to get a feel for what it’s like to stay in this downtown beach resort. Then see our detailed review of Villa Premiere Boutique Hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.