Puerto Vallarta has been a popular resort for many years, and the downtown area surrounding the Malecón is where it all started. It became famous world-wide when they shot the 1964 movie Night of the Iguana, starring Richard Burton and Ava Gardner. I’ll always associate Puerto Vallarta with Francisco Haghenbeck’s wonderful novel Trago Amargo, in which his hard-boiled detective hero Sunny Pascal is hired to watch over Sue Lyon during the production of the film.
The Hotel Encino dates back to well before 1964, and has that delicious old-world tropical feel, including a roof-top pool and bar. With original tile in the bathrooms and balconies for every room, it’s built to let the air flow freely, and clearly, the air conditioning was installed as a gesture toward modernity. The location is great – just 2 blocks from the southern end of the Malecón