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“Pretty amazing!”
Review of Verana

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Verana
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Yelapa
Certificate of Excellence
Mission Viejo, CA
Level Contributor
27 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Pretty amazing!”
Reviewed 24 April 2012

My fiancee and I booked four nights at this amazing boutique hotel set high in the jungles of Yelapa, a town which is conveniently remote and removed from Puerto Vallarta. The journey to Yelapa was exceptionally straightforward and easy. Once at the hotel, there is no reason to leave. The grounds are gorgeous, tasteful, comfortable and relaxing. We stayed in the Pool House and loved the fact that we were never actually indoors throughout the duration of our trip. Also, the large plunge pool in the Pool House was a fantastic experience. Meals were all delicious and the meal plan is reccomended as there is nothing else (you're in the jungle) unless you take the 40 minute walk into Yelapa. With my compliments to the chef, who cooked up our lunch and dinner, there is also no reason to eat elsewhere. The atmosphere is warm and inviting. Each night we had dinner by candle light set amongst a backdrop of the beautiful bay while eating delicious local foods. If you need to get away, disconnect and relax without the big tourist resort then Verana is the place.

Room Tip: Pay for the meal plan and their car service to/from the Boca de Tomatlan. It's worth it.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank CocoFranco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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186 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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  • Any
English first
Canandaigua, New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2012

Our third visit to the Verana spa, now relocated upon the hilltop overlooking the stunningly beautiful ocean expanse and tiny beachside town of Yelapa provided our richest experience yet. Ours was a day trip by water taxi from Boca which in itself offered exquisite views of the tropical ocean - Mediterranean forest interface. The design and construction of the intricate winding trail to the peak of the hill revealed a rare attention to minimum impact upon the forest floor. This intimate blending with Nature characterizes the entire facility.

Wonderfully warm, pleasant and efficient staff persons provided us with an exquisitely appointed space to relax and change for our massage. Thoughts of this most original, functional yet unpretentious architecture as well as the artful decoration of the space itself trigger wonderful memories.

My own frequent self-indulgence with therapeutic massage causes me to rate the Verana experience as absolutely outstanding. The spiritually rejuvenating and relaxing qualities of such a session defy accurate verbal description.

The meal of the fresh and healthy ingredients earns the outstanding rating as well.

My mind drifts back to the long moments we relaxed upon the comfortable furniture looking over the gardens, vegetated pools, sun-drenched clattering palms and then out across the Bay of Banderas far below and beyond. I have difficulty imagining a scene that could be more serenely beautiful

Room Tip: Check out options; a huge variation exists
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Earthspirit_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
46 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2012

I'm so glad I put aside my irrational fears about bugs and drug lords to spend a week in this serene and gorgeous place. Verana's combination of stylish design, excellent cuisine, and rugged outdoorsiness make for a one-of-a kind experience. A short list of do's and dont's:

Do:
* Bring a sweater and long pants--nights can be chilly
* Bring a book or two or three. Lounging by the pool or in your house is wonderful.
* Take the cooking class. Chef Fabian is amazingly talented.
* Take the tequila tasting class. You're smack in the middle of the state of Jalisco--one of the few places in the world that is authorized to produce tequila. So, when in Rome...
* Mingle with the other guests. Verana attracts diverse and interesting people. We had a blast meeting and talking with everyone.
* Get the meal plan. Fantastic cuisine is one of Verana's greatest strengths.

Don't:
* worry excessively about bugs. We saw almost no bugs during our stay. No mosquitoes or biting bugs. We saw one scorpion. No other guest that I spoke to saw one, so I'm convinced that those critters are fairly rare.
* Don't take the trip to the Marietas Islands. The islands are overrun with tourists from Puerto Vallarta and that took away from the experience of the islands.
* Don't leave food in your house. Most houses are not enclosed so the resident coati will sneak in for a visit and make off with any snacks you might leave around.
* Don't be afraid of the coati. He's cute and harmless.

Room Tip: Loved the pool house!
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank DomenicaA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sunnyvale, California
Level Contributor
48 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2012

Well, after completing ten visits to Verana it seems time to add our review to the long list. We have been fortunate to be able to return to Verana year after year since 2002 and continue to enjoy the evolving story of Verana.

What got us to Verana was desire for something different than your regular big name resort, and Verana does deliver on that. What keeps us coming back are the straightforward logistics of a non-stop 3hr flight from San Francisco to Puerto Vallarta (and by now the taxi to Boca and boat to Yelapa have become routine), the staff and guests at Verana, who are always integral part of the experience, and the knowledge that as soon as we set foot on the panga, it’ll be time to relax.

Verana is one with its surroundings, and as a guest you will become part of its rhythm: the sights of the Bay of Banderas and the village of Yelapa, the sounds of the jungle, the smell and taste of the wonderful kitchen, the conversations at the bar.

As many reviewers have noted, Verana is not for everyone. While Puerto Vallarta airport has improved a lot over the years, it’s still quite a trip by taxi to Boca, and by boat to Verana. Verana now offers a private pick-up service from the airport, which makes that part of the journey more efficient. Thanks to the piers at Boca and Verana one does not get wet anymore when getting on and off the boat, and the 20 minute ride along the coast remains enjoyable every time.

The walk up the hill to the resort is a bit strenuous, rooms without walls take a bit to get used to, and the tejons - raccoon-like local creatures - will get into your food if not stowed away. Scorpions have apparently mostly retreated, but you will be closer to nature than you might expect.

Verana offers both relaxation (an excellent spa) and activity (organized by the staff). Don’t miss a walk down to Yelapa, a quirky mixture of Mexican fishing village, beach town (with daily boats from Puerto Vallarta) and ex pat hangout. The staff at Verana is usually recruited both locally and from around the world and is very casual, friendly and engaging, however, don’t expect Verana to be traditional Mexican.

We have usually visited between later December (Christmas) and early March, and have enjoyed mostly consistent weather and temperatures in the high 70’s (or high 20’s centigrade), usually dry and partly cloudy.

Many thanks for Veronique, Heinz, and everyone at Verana for making this such a special place, we are planning to be back in December.

Room Tip: Do your research on line before picking a room. There are no bad rooms, but all are different.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank Raoulsch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 January 2012

I have stayed in a lot of high end resorts as well as "eco" type resorts and this place is a wonderful combination of the two. Verana is only accessible via boat and it sits high up on a hill overlooking the most stunning vista. You really get a sense of being in a remote, beautiful, exotic locale.

Almost all the rooms are open air style palapas and at night they are mostly illuminated by candles the staff lights. The setting is extraordinary, the staff is friendly, attentive and a lot of fun to talk to. They are extremely knowledgeable of the area and can take you on lovely hikes and remote day trips. The food was out of this world fresh. The sushi we had was caught that day, as was everything we consumed. One night we had tacos with twenty salsas made that day.

Verana is extremely initmate and the small own it its above is a charming old style Mexican town that has no roads going in or out (that I know of).

I would want to stay in the "pool House" if I went there again. Go if you can! It is an experience you will not forget. A++++

I could not think of one thing to complain about. Oh but just a tip, if you have trouble walking or find going uphill a problem, this is NOT the place for you. The whole resort rests on a steep incline.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Phadfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Verana

Property: Verana
Address: Calle Zaragoza No 404, Yelapa 48304, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Jalisco > Costalegre > Yelapa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Yelapa
Price range (per night): $269 - $605
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located 30-miles south of Puerto Vallarta floating above the Bay of Banderas, embraced by the mountains of the Valle de la Sierra Oriental, carved out of lush Mexican jungle on a hillside rests Verana. It is as unusual as it is remote. Unique design that is rustic yet sophisticated. Designed for travelers with a sense of adventure and appreciation of tranquility and natural beauty. An indoor/outdoor Spa adds to the amenities of a luxurious getaway. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Verana Hotel Yelapa
Verana Yelapa

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