Los Cuatro Vientos charms

Sometimes we like to avoid the four-star resorts and all-inclusive wonderlands that pervade Mexico’s coasts for smaller residences where we are awakened by the crowing of roosters and the stirring sounds of city-life as the sun reaches overhead. The pretty Los Cuatro Vientos Hotel in Puerto Vallarta is just such an abode. Twisting bougainvillea wraps its way around three floors of bare-boned, but tasteful studio rooms overlooking a spacious courtyard halfway occupied by a pool and the rest by a local, casual management of considerable kindness who are happy to arrange nearby spa visits, or beach and jungle tours. Beds are not necessarily dressed with Frette linens or Egyptian cotton, but are perfectly soft for mid-afternoon siestas and sleeping off myriad bottles of red consumed at Café Des Artistes. In addition to Chez Elena restaurant, an open-air dining room serving native specialties, the hotel’s rooftop terrace is a gorgeous setting for drinks and wedding celebrations, the majority of which will be spent gazing at 360 degrees of green mountains ringing colonial majesty and an aquamarine bay. Summer specials are currently available at Los Cuatro Vientos for two guests to spend six nights and seven days, including continental breakfasts and tours of a beautiful exclusive beach for $220, a true bargain. For $299, they’ll throw in a boat trip for two to Yelapa. Los Cuatro Vientos Hotel makes no illusions that it is the Four Seasons, but with authentic décor, impressive landscaping and a commitment to service, there is no denying that it is Mexico at its most genuine. Los Cuatro Vientos Hotel is located at Matamoros 520 in central Puerto Vallarta and can be reached at 011-52-322-222-0161 and at www.cuatrovientos.com.