Sunday, October 30, 2016

What is the Best Town for Your Mexico Wedding: Puerto Vallarta or Bucerias?

We are so happy for you! You are getting married in Mexico! Great choice. We will already assume you know what great advantages a Mexico beach wedding in Puerto Vallarta area has over Cancun area weddings: Such as our amazing weather and virtually rain-proof winters, great beaches and amazing value and savings compared to equal quality in USA or Canada.

So you are now only deciding on what location within the Banderas Bay is best for your guests and your amazing fiesta: Puerto Vallarta or its Northern neighbor Bucerías. (See map below) What is best for your guests? Well let's get into it: Let's  compare the towns themselves, their beaches, nightlife, outdoor adventures and overall safety. In order to really give you a micro view of these towns I want to defer the details to links you can check out. Many web sites go into details and give more pictures of the towns themselves and beaches. Also, this post is for you as a bride/groom and not just as a tourist. Click on the linked areas in you want more  detailed information on the subject. OK so let's get started shall we.

Puerto Vallarta and Bucerías are equally amazing and culturally rich wonderful towns. Amazing colonial feel for both and nothing like the Cancun area that is more like Miami. Puerto Vallarta and Bucerías are old souls. Tourism came organically to our town via word of mouth and some movies that made it famous after the towns had already been here for decades. In contrast for example, Cancun and other resort areas are created to attract tourists. So if you like culture and "real Mexico" feel then Vallarta and Bucerías are very good choices. You will see real city town life, culture, shopping and night life. I think it is a tie here as far as what town is prettier or more interesting. Both towns are very colonial and typical Mexico beach towns. Bucerías is much smaller and has less traffic. But you are here to vacation and not commute so who cares, right!

The beaches are a different story, Bucerías is much better than Puerto Vallarta for beach lovers and swimmers. Specially when you have families. Bucerías and Nuevo Vallarta area have an amazing beach with virtually zero undertow. Perfect for swimming. Puerto Vallarta is rocky and many beaches are very small and man-made. The views are spectacular in Vallarta because the mountains meeting the ocean are a spectacular scene. Nothing like lush beautiful mountains over seeing the blue-green ocean. So, in this case, beach wise, Bucerías is a hands down winner.  Now, around Puerto Vallarta there are amazing beaches of course, on the south side and some here and there. But not for "hotel beaches" I believe. The beach is much better than in some other places in USA or places I have seen, but we are comparing here Bucerías to Vallarta, not a bad beach vs a great beach. I mean they are both nice. Just Bucerias is better.

Your guests like to party and chase girls and guys or dance all night to hip-hop and DJs? They want to go bars and dancing? Well then, Puerto Vallarta is the town for your wedding. Just like Bucerías is the winner for beach quality, PV is the victor regarding nightlife. No contest. "PV" has much more action and options for night life than "Buce". There are bonafide world class clubs and bars everywhere. You can sit on the Malecón (sea wall) area and find many bars that turn into dancing clubs or just go to straight up clubs. There are many options and all are within about 15 minutes from your hotel. A cab ride is about 10 bucks
or less.
However, I must say, for people over 40 it is a much closer call. Maybe even Bucerias can edge out Vallarta if you just want to find locals and want more secluded vibe. Bucerías is full of ex-pats with great little hole in the wall bars and restaurants. Not so much clubs, but more for mature adults who are not looking for a date and are more into enjoying the view and their friends and the person they went with to your wedding. It is like comparing downtown USA to a beach town in the USA. So, Bucerias may not be as hip for the young crowd but it has it all for those who just want to hang out and party and there is dancing for sure. Just not "club style". I always remind my couples that there guests are here for their wedding, if they want a stag party or girl trip to go clubbing they should do that another time anyway. You do not need a bad experience or a fight the night before your wedding right?

As far are outdoor adventures and tours, they are both about the same. Both are within less than 30 minutes from any site seeing tours and boat rides across the bay. If you are a bit more South of Vallarta proper you may have some nice snorkeling areas. But then again, if you are a bit more North of Bucerías you will have the same and also surfing. So I think this is a tie. Both towns are within driving distance to any tour in the bay. Puerto Vallarta may have a bit more organic entertainment because all you have to do is walk down to the beach or Malecón and people watch, and Bucerías is more secluded and less rowdy and populated.

Safety is a key issue for your wedding guests, and when you are traveling with a group in general. Both are very safe for tourists as far as the cartel stuff or gang crime. I am not even worried about that, I am speaking about over all safety  as far as traffic, fights for girls or just guys being guys (the single dudes in your guest list), ocean floor and surf, etc. It is not the same to go on vacation and party with your boyfriend or girlfriend or spouse or a few single friends than be responsible for a group of 100 guests. If you want to lower your chances of an unexpected mishap, then smaller is better I believe.

For me both towns are safe. I just think the more temptations there are, the more trouble can occur for a young inexperienced guest. Or a drinking night gone bad. So I think Bucerías would probably be a safer choice for a large group simply because there are less variables. Unless everyone is just going to hang out in the hotel
all day then it does not matter anyway. But I am speaking about going out at night and during the day to explore, Bucerías is just a small beach town compared to Puerto Vallarta, a full blown city with clubs and everything that clubs and partying brings to the mix. So, like I tell my clients, if you want to make sure no crazy incidents occur then, try and keep people away from bad areas and clubbing after 5AM. Nothing good happens after 5AM. They can always come back when they are on their own. This is your wedding trip, not a party trip.

OK amigos, I hope this helps to decide what is best for your guests and where to stay for your off-resort wedding in Banderas Bay area. Vallarta-Nayarit is a great area because we pretty much have something for everyone. And remember that Bucerias is only 30 minutes away from Puerto Vallarta club scene and Bucerias' beaches are only 30 minutes away from Puerto Vallarta; So you can always just go visit whenever you want. Martoca Beach Garden, our wedding venue, is in Bucerias area. So your guests can stay in Puerto Vallarta, or Nuevo Vallarta or Bucerias and enjoy both a private garden venue on the beach and the clubs and nightlife of Puerto Vallarta. Best of both worlds. A short drive away for all.

Visit for free wedding advice in Mexico or Vallarta area. We specialize in private venues. No hotel weddings here :). We like privacy and originality and not corporate

scenarios. Gracias- James

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Best Luxury Hotel Options For Guests of Non-Resort Private Weddings in Bucerías, Nayarit

Martoca Beach Garden in Bucerias Nayarit
You have done your research. Finally after working hard, or maybe getting lucky, you guys have decided to get married in an amazing tropical location like this one you see in the picture on the left. So now you sit in your family's living room as you break out the news-"We are getting married in a place called La Martoca in Bucerias". Everyone is very happy for you, but immediately ask you,-Where is "La Martoca" or, Bucerias!? So you explain: It is an intimate venue, in a charming fishing village that is on an amazing beach in on the West coast in tropical Mexico, inside the Bahia de Banderas bay; only 30 minutes North of Puerto Vallarta. Bam! They hear the key words "Puerto Vallarta". Now they feel they recognize a familiar name. But since it will not be a hotel wedding, where should they stay? Well, read on and let's help you and your guests find out all the luxury resorts that they may not know exist and where they can stay in within close driving distance to Bucerias, Nayarit. 

When you decide to have a non-resort wedding it is because you want to be original, private, intimate, free and have a truly special fiesta. Sometimes this requires a bit more effort than just picking a hotel for all to stay in and have a cookie cutter wedding. But is well worth it. You need to find some hotels or condos that your guests can stay in that are relatively close to the venue. 

Amazing private wedding venue weddings
The most important thing to remember is to not become a travel agent for your guests. I suggest you lean on your planners for support and have them supply you with some great options for your guests and point them in the right direction. Let them know you did the vetting and research and the options available and step aside. If you fall into the trap of booking rooms for them you will add extra stress and perhaps create problems with your friends and family. So stay away from travel agent mode. 

Just point them to amazing hotels and links to such places and maybe find some group rates in the main hotel. It is after all one of the best advantages of a private wedding venue wedding: The fact that guests can stay anywhere they want without restrictions or extra fees. So once you find a wedding venue then help them find a few good recommended hotels or condos and other than that, just point them to the right direction and let them book their own vacay! 

North side of Banderas Bay area near Bucerias
Before you concentrate on the hotels themselves, learn about the different areas that are available in the surrounding villages and beaches. The following link and previous post is a great guide for those who do not know about the Banderas bay area. Please take time to review the area here before we move forward with specific hotels in Bucerias area: 
For the sake of this post, we are focusing only on top class hotel choices that are strictly within a 30 minute drive from Bucerias. Anything outside the 5 star category, or further than 30 minute range, is excluded in this post just for the sake of abbreviation. Your guests can stay anywhere they like and do not have to stay in luxury hotels of course, that is the best part of a private wedding venue. Your guests can stay anywhere it suits their budget and style best. However for those that like high end luxury or special places the following is the best list I could come up with for you.

The brand new W hotel which is about 15 minutes from our Martoca venue is on a magnificent beach. A surf spot is close by so that is a huge bonus. It is a boutique hotel. In Punta de Mita area which is North of Bucerias.
Here is the link for that one:

The Four Seasons and the St. Regis' reputation as top class hotels is well known. They are also in Punta de Mita area and are within 30 minutes range from our venue. The W is 15 minutes which is half way between us and the 4 seasons and St Regis. So some guests can stay in the W and some in St Regis or Four Seasons and they would all still be easy to pick up and drop off by our shuttle service. Here is the link to these amazing resorts:
The common factor these hotels share is they are all on the North tip of the bay. We are on the North side of the bay as well.  In the map below, you can see we are located in the light blue part called Bucerias. And these hotels I am showing you are on the upper left side of the blue in the Orange section called North Coast. 
 Banderas Bay. Bucerias is on top section in blue

If guests do not want to stay in an area that is closer to Puerto Vallarta's downtown area and the airport, then Nuevo Vallarta is a great choice. It is exactly in the middle between Bucerias and Puerto Vallarta. A very convenient location. That is the pink section you see on the right of the blue Bucerias area in the map on left. Nuevo Vallarta has a great beach and is full of All-Inclusive Resorts that have packages that are affordable for those who do not want luxury. It is 15 minutes south of Martoca wedding venue. 
For those who do want luxury in Nuevo Vallarta we recommend the Grand Velas Resort and the Villa la Estancia Resort. These are amazing properties and the kid friendly beach and location is perfect. You have towns and local bars and restaurants on either side and Down Town PV is about 20 minutes away. . 

I love the Grand Velas Resort. Not a large chain. All Inclusive and amazing. All top shelf brands and amazing restaurants. 
Marival Residences is an independent hotel. Amazing condo style rooms. The only setback is the fact that the beach is across the street. It is an outstanding resort. About 266 per person per night All-Inclusive. You can use the beach of course but you just have to cross a boardwalk style road. No biggie.

Villa La Estancia is also a great location and top class independent resort. 1 mile walking or biking distance from Bucerias and the shops and actual town life. You will love the pool!

After all is said and done... Have a Corona in Martoca!
For top class hotels I think any of the previous ones will more than satisfy your most demanding guests. For those who like luxury but do not want to pay 700 dollars per night, I have also heard many people love Dreams Villamagna and the Marival Residences. They offer the same level of service as Four Seasons and St Regis, but for less money. About 30%-40% less. Take a look... It is also in Nuevo Vallarta. I have had many wedding groups stay here and they never had a complaint. I would say offer any of these hotels to your guests with complete confidence. They are very close to the same top level as the previous hotels mentioned.

Rancho Banderas in Punta de Mita area. I love this hotel. Not luxurious but just right. Full of rustic charm with the same beach as the W Hotel. This is a 166 dollars per person range All-Inclusive. So for those who cannot afford the W it is basically walking distance from each other via the beach. if you want some guests to stay in luxury and the rest in a viable middle range hotel this is a great one-two punch! Here is the link to Rancho:

Make sure your guests have many options for lodging
And of course there are many standard All-Inclusives in Nuevo Vallarta's hotel zone to choose from that are solid commercial type 5 star providers. These are in the 130-150 dollars per person All-Inclusive range. Among these I recommend two hotel locations.
Hard Rock Hotel for those who want fun and a theme:
RIU Hotels are a chain that has solid options for mid level hotels. 3 different hotel levels all next to each other next to Bucerias area and this website they have is full of good information on locations and beaches to visit.

OK amigos, this covers all the major names in luxury hotels and a few nuggets for mid-level hotels for your guests and all are within 30 minute drive from Bucerias, Nayarit where La Martoca Beach-Garden is located. I also like to suggest private condos I know personally for those who are seeking maybe a non-hotel option. Please email me and I can help you locate some amazing private condos for your guests if that is your preference. I have found that a private condo that provides a chef and groceries, housekeeping and a rental car for the week may cost less than a normal AI hotel. So it is a matter of looking around...

Have fun and enjoy your wedding. Refer this link to those who need advice or if this is for you, well, congratulations on your amazing wedding journey amigos!- James.