By Bonnie Carroll | April 21, 2018
Enjoying the pleasures of Puerto Vallarta at the adults-only Casa Velas boutique hotel can leave you dazed by everything that’s good in Mexico, including great golf at nearby courses. Sitting by the Casa Velas pool with a good book or walking the fairways at Marina Vallarta Golf Club becomes otherworldly. The food is fresh, with spices right out of the hotel herb garden, and the menus accommodate every taste.
Reminiscent of a Spanish hacienda, Casa Velas is just five minutes from Puerto Vallarta International Airport. The resort offers guest unlimited play at courses owned by ClubCorp, the Marina Vallarta Golf Club next to the hotel, and the Nicklaus and Weiskopf courses at Vista Vallarta Golf Club. The guests only cost are $57 cart fee.
All Inclusive Adults Only Says it All!
The Casa Velas is bliss from sunset until sundown. With no kids thrashing in the pool yelling ‘Marco Polo’ while enjoying a private estate like ambiance, where peace and quiet reign supreme. Refreshing to find the staff at the pool seem invisible until they’re needed, and then they pamper you, often two at a time.
The Presidential Suite we shared was spectacular. With a private patio plunge pool and ultra-comfy lounge chairs, it was an ideal spot to cool down after golf or meditate in the morning. Four separate rooms, off a center hall, were beautiful with all the bells and whistles.
The stunning blue tile swim up pool bar at Casa Velas, and the built-in loungers for pool tanning were irresistible. Our most memorable adventure after golf was sitting in the pool at the Ocean Club, watching the waves break on the beach, pondering a sushi or burger for lunch. Sunset dinner at the Ocean Club or Casa Velas has everything, live music, delicious entree items filled with fresh herbs from the hotel garden, and perfecto mundo sunsets.
Our group also shared an art class given by local artist and gallery owner Federico Leon De La Vega that was a totally spontaneous and relaxing art adaptation session. In the lobby before dinner a tequila tasting accompanied by live music was relaxing.
Whether you play golf for pleasure or for pain you will find something challenging at Casa Velas. I enjoy competition, but also am smart enough to let my spirit go with the flow on a course like Marina Vallarta with its tricky water hazards, yet it is mellow enough for a ‘not so killer’ baby boomer like me.
The 6,573-yard layout offers a variety of looks. The 1989 Joe Finger designed Marina Vallarta is still a beautiful lady despite needing a face lift on cart paths and bunkers, where she is showing a little age. However, what this course is missing in aesthetics it more than compensates for with some excellent holes. The easy logistics of Casa Velas makes it a no-brainer. You roll out of bed, grab a quick breakfast, and easily make your tee time at the clubhouse, located conveniently behind the hotel pool.
The island like green jutting into a pond on the par-3 fourth hole was a challenge, named by locals for the two palm-tree trunks that crisscrossed behind the green. The “X hole” on back 9 is a short par 4 at no. 11. Players are pre-warned about the par-4 12th hole, where a family of crocodiles enjoy swimming, and super views reign at the signature par-3 13th hole that skirts the beach.
The Spanish hacienda clubhouse at Vista Vallarta is a 20-minute cab ride from Casa Velas. The 36 holes of Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf golf blend well, but with a different feel. This hidden golf escape is located in a mountainous s jungle destination where the 1980s action movie ‘Predator’ was filmed.
The Nicklaus course hosted the 2002 World Golf Championships-World Cup won by the Japanese team of Toshimitsu Izawa and Shiegeki Maruyama over the American team Phil Mickelson and David Toms. We enjoyed this course, which seems to be the most popular. The back nine from holes 12-15 are known for dramatic views, making it hard to keep your eye on the ball.
Please note my friends that it’s safe here! I’ve traveled to Puerto Vallarta for over 15 years without incident. I will be back again because the people, food, music, golf and spirit of Puerto Vallarta make me happy. Join me in celebrating their 100th anniversary this year, and bring your clubs.