A woman stands on a balcony overlooking the mountains

Once in a while, you will discover a place that is simply magical. I have found that place, and it’s Hacienda San Angel. It’s full of old-world charm, romance, and beauty. This is one of the most luxurious small hotels in the world, and their attention to detail is unforgettable! Topping Gringo Hill in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, your experience begins as you drive up the steep hills on a very narrow, curvy, cobblestone street.


What really sets Hacienda San Angel apart is its world-class service and exquisite interior. It is breathtaking with its Mexican Colonial architecture, lush gardens, antique furnishings, and exceptional restaurant.


You will be wowed from the minute you pull the rope that rings the bell to enter through the hand-carved, massive wooden doors. Immediately, you’ll be greeted with a warm welcome and a cold drink. Then the pampering begins with Hacienda San Angel’s exceptional staff.

Photo credit: Terri Guthrie
The courtyard of the Hacienda San Angel hotel
Photo credit: Terri Guthrie

When thinking of your next romantic getaway, what’s more perfect than an intimate yet sophisticated hotel with a history filled with love, glamour, and romance?


There are 12 romantic suites to select from that offer panoramic views of Banderas Bay and the Sierra Madre Mountains. Scattered about the hotel are fountains and vibrant foliage and flowers.


We were fortunate to have a beautiful bridal luncheon at Hacienda San Angel for our daughter last October when she got married in Puerto Vallarta. It was dreamy, and one of the highlights of the entire wedding weekend!


History of the Hacienda

A group of traditional Mexican musicians hold their instruments and wave hats in the air
Photo courtesy Hacienda San Angel

During the 1960s, several prominent individuals were spending time in Puerto Vallarta. This included Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco; Roger Moore, the suave 007 James Bond; John Huston, the acclaimed film director; and popular movie stars Ava Gardener, Elizabeth Taylor, and Richard Burton, to name a few.


So, what put Puerto Vallarta on the map in the 1960s? For so many celebrities and dignitaries, this was their vacation hotspot. Many credit the 1964 cult classic movie, “The Night of the Iguana,” which was filmed in Puerto Vallarta. Also, the public and tabloids had a great fascination and intrigue with the new “it” couple, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, who were spending much time around this exotic city on the Pacific Coast. This legendary Hollywood couple, their public romance, and the picturesque setting of Puerto Vallarta certainly added to the allure of their famous love story.


Over a decade later, Richard Burton purchased the hacienda’s main villa as a Valentine’s Day gift for his then-wife, Susan. Interestingly, ex-wife, Elizabeth Taylor, had a home just a few blocks down the street. The Burtons named their home “Casa Bur-Sus.”


Susan Burton sold Casa Bur-Sus to entrepreneur Janice Chatterton in 1990. Through many renovations and purchases of neighboring villas, Casa Bur-Sus eventually evolved into the beautiful Hacienda San Angel in 2003.


Staying at the Hotel Today

Fireworks burst behind the Hacienda San Angel in Puerto Vallarta
Photo courtesy Hacienda San Angel
A table is set with mimosas, fruit and coffee
Photo courtesy Hacienda San Angel

Today, Hacienda San Angel is one of the top luxury boutique hotels in the world, and it has continued to welcome a host of international guests over the years, drawn by its historical charm, stunning views, and exquisite cuisine.


Some key features of Hacienda San Angel are traditional Mexican architecture, including arched doorways, colorful tiles, and lush gardens. Here you will experience warm, welcoming, professional 5,-star service. This charming hacienda has a delightful blend of colonial charm with modern comfort and amenities. The rooms and suites are individually and elegantly decorated. There are three pools, including an infinity pool that offers panoramic views of the bay and the city. You can also enjoy art and antiques throughout the hotel, as well as a stunning rooftop.


The cherry on top is the gourmet dining. The on-site restaurant, Hacienda San Angel Gourmet, serves delectable Mexican and international cuisine. Guests can dine on the scenic rooftop terrace, listen to a magnificent Mariachi Band, and watch a nightly fireworks display. All of this adds up to an exquisite, romantic, and unforgettable experience, to which I can personally testify. Hacienda San Angel is not only unique—it’s truly magical. It stands as a testament to the past, with traditions, elegance, romance, and culinary excellence all tucked away in the historic heart of Puerto Vallarta.


For more information, visit their website.


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