Just one and a half blocks from the beach, and 5 minutes walk to the well-known Gay Beach in Puerto Vallarta. We are in the charming and Gay-popular "Zona Romantica," where you can easily walk to all the local Gay and Lesbian bars, clubs and activities.
Hotel Mercurio is located on a quiet side-street just off the lively street, "Olas Altas," where you'll find restaurants, cafés, bars, bistros, discos, banks, pharmacies, laundries, little super-markets and all sort of shops.
There's a wide variety of gay friendly accommodations available in Vallarta. Room rates range from about $30 per night at the Adagio Vacation Apartments up to $330 for the penthouse suite at the upscale Casa Cupula. Many hotels offer lower rates starting around mid spring through the summer and fall.
The aforementioned Hotel Mercurio is in a perfect location in the center of the Zona Romantica. With room rates in high season starting at $70, including tax, it is one of the best bargains around. The 28-room hotel offers free Continental Breakfast at poolside. This is a nice time to meet and chat with friendly fellow hotel guests. When I stayed there, there was a great mix of gay men, a lesbian couple, a single woman, and a straight couple.
The six-story Blue Chairs Beach Resort hotel sits directly in front of the famous Blue Chairs beach. It features 40 rooms and is a great place to fall asleep to the sound of crashing surf. Rates there start at $115.
The San Franciscan Resort and Gym is owned by San Franciscan David Rhodes. It is on a hill behind the Blue Chairs beach. David is a semi-retired physician well known for his civic and charitable work. The San Franciscan is one of the newest and most upscale resorts in Vallarta. With rates starting at $110, it is also one of the best values for those who like to travel in high style without busting their budget. Its gym is available free for guests and $5/day or $20/wk for visitors. The San Franciscan features a rare amenity: free local and long distance phone calls to the US and Canada.
The ultra luxurious Casa Cupula is owned by another San Franciscan, Don Pickens. It's perched high on a hill with sweeping waterfront views. Rates start at $190. Its spectacular $330 penthouse suite features two levels with a semicircular bedroom and an ocean view. The Vallarta Cora is on a hill two blocks from Blue Chairs Beach and is known as "party central." The12-room men-only hotel has a high-sexual temperature like many of the resorts in Palm Springs. Its daily, 4-11pm pool party is open to the public. The cover charge is $3 and you will get a free drink. High season rates start at $95.
Alaska Airlines and United offer nonstop flights from SFO. Roundtrip fares start about $335 but watch the sales for deals better than that. A cab from the Puerto Vallarta airport to the Zona Romantica will run you about $17 but the fare is only $8 going back. That's because only special permitted cabs are allowed to pick up fares at the airport and they are allowed to charge extra. I paid $25 for a shuttle service arranged by my hotel, Hotel Mercurio. They had someone waiting for me at customs to whisk me away to a waiting van to go directly to the hotel.