I was staying at Casa la Ventana during November and December because I was going to start writing a screenplay. I wanted a modern and quite place that provided good Internet access. I was not disappointed with theses demands. The owners and the local staff provided great service and support. The property is gorgeous with all of its plants and vegetation. The room had a comfortable bed with great lighting, climate control, storage and fantastic bathroom with a very nice shower. The top floor of Casa la Ventana is unique because one can view the whole village, the steep Sierra Madre Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. I had a couple of meals that were cooked by one of the owners, which were outstanding because she gets the fish, tamales, cheese and other food from local vendors.
Casa la Ventana is located in Boca de Tomatlan, which provides an authentic atmosphere of a small working community with its commerce, schools, churches and people. The town has some grocery stores that provide fresh fruit and vegetables and other items at reasonable prices. Wanting more variety is a twenty- minute public bus ride for sixty-five cents into Puerto Vallarta; affording an opportunity to practice one’s Spanish with local riders. There are numerous restaurants that cater to local residents and people from Puerto Vallarta spending a day on the beach for the weekend. Ramon’s beach restaurant is excellent example of a place that a person brags about after the vacation to others, with great seafood dishes, friendly and funny staff and a great jukebox with Mexican songs. It is also the local hangout for the non-Mexican residents that live in Boca de Tomatlan.. Both non-locals and locals provide good conversation and stories. The weekday ritual of the school children in their uniforms going to school and playing conjures nice images of one’s earlier schooling years. While the ritual of firing the cannon to announce the commencement of Sunday services is something most people may have not had while growing-up, it is an event that will always be remembered. The people of Boca de Tomatlan, Mexican and non-Mexican, are a delight that enhances the emotions of traveling. These are people that truly love living in this community, which, without sounding trite, makes a person appreciate the communal aspect of life.
Unique Quality: It is nice to travel to a place like Casa la Ventana that meets one’s expectations for lodging and location while providing a couple of nice surprises that were not anticipated.
The surprises of the trip were the following: 1. The local soccer field provided a great area to do my daily jogging – it was almost like a college track for softness of ground. 2. There is a private beach that is a thirty-minute walk through the mountains, which is good for swimming and snorkeling. 3. The zoo at Mismaloya provided the necessary animal accommodation while maintaining a great environment to observe the animals, which the majority is indigenous to Mexico, according to the zoo brochure. 4. The Botanical Gardens, a couple miles south of Boca, with its’ orchids, other flowers and plants, especially the vanilla plants, were something that I didn’t think that I would like; I was wrong. The zoo and gardens offer some unusual settings for photographs. Especially nice was that I didn’t get sick for two months, always felt safe, and the accommodations, food, drink, attractions were well within my budget.
My husband and I enjoyed a wonderfully relaxing stay at Casa La Ventana last year and have already booked two more weeks for this upcoming winter. Our quarters were incredibly well furnished with French doors opening onto a covered balcony looking over the lagoon which was framed by the Bay of Bandaras at one end and the Los Horcones River which flowed out of lush jungled mountains.
At our request, a gentle knock on our door about 7:30 each morning would signal that a tray of Coffee was waiting at our front door. Then, about 9:30 each morning a different and delicious breakfast was served to us on our balcony by Christina, the proprietor. Gentle breezes and morning sunshine warmed us and a quick shift to the shade of a mango tree next to our balcony cooled us.
For a small tip, Chapa, the helper at Casa La Ventana would set up our beach umbrella and beach chairs on the beach which was less a minute or two from our front door. We enjoyed cervesa and shrimp from one of several beach restaurants. When we wanted to go into Puerto Vallarta, we hopped a bus for 6 pesos which left every 10-15 minutes, and enjoyed the scenic drive which followed the bay into town. We also visited the Vallarta Botanical Gardens, only 10-15 minutes south by bus or car and had a wonderful lunch there.
Located about a city's block down a trail from our guest quarters, was a four star restaurant at two star prices, called Diego's.
We highly recommend this tranquil and private get-away to anyone wanting an enchanting alternative to a crowded resort.
Unique Quality: During the "cocktail hour" (4 til dark), the owner's of Casa La Ventana open what they call the "Tree House" level of the casa to their guests where we were invited to bring our refreshments or could purchase a bottle of very tasty Casa La Ventana tequila for sipping and enjoying the 360 degree views of the Bay, lagoon, river, mountains and gorgious gardens below. I have not experience a more peaceful place to enjoy magnificant views. There were hammocks, hammock chairs, a puzzle and game playing table for our enjoyment, and if we had to check in to the real world, wireless Internet.
We both had wonderful massages in a private, open-air setting looking out to the jungle and the bay for reasonable prices in the "Tree House".
Yes, we found paradise. Don't miss this!
The price is a more than some of the other places in Boca de Tomatlan, but an incredible value of unpretentious luxury.
Directions: The pueblo of Boca de Tomatlan is divided by a mouth of a river. Casa La Ventana is the burnt-orange colored hacienda peeking out from the jungle on what is referred to locally as "the other side of the river" from the town.
Jalisco, Boca de Tomatlan, Jalisco, Mexico