Around Town PV
Funding for Forest Protection in a New Sustainable Mexico
Mexico has just received almost $400 million from the World Bank in the form of a loan and from the Forest Investment Program (FIP) in order to develop a stronger forest protection plan. Read More >>
The Road to the 2012 London Olympics Runs Through Mazatlan, Mexico for Beach Volleyball’s Continental Cup
The Continental Cup Olympic Qualifying Tournament is happening in Mazatlan, Mexico. Read More >>
Check out two of Mexico’s Gorgeous Magic Cities
Two weeks ago a new friend contacted me through info@simplyvallarta and told me he and his family have a house in Huatulco and that he wanted to stop in PV for a night on the way back to California as he’d never been here before. In his email, he said something like, “I want to stay somewhere cool in town and I figured you guys where who to ask.”
I was flattered at first but then kind of panicked because I couldn’t think of a hotel that I would endorse as being really cool. I ended up sending him a list of a few hotels downtown that I thought were “nice” but the best I could do in terms of selling them as awesome was to say that they are downtown, close to all the awesomeness. He actually ended up staying at the German place, Hacienda Alemana, (which I didn’t even think to put on my list as I’ve never stayed there) and he totally loved it. Checking out their website (which is really clean, straight forward, and well optimized in design – nice work guys. More notes below*), Hacienda Alemana looks really nice, though I’m not sure I’d say it’s “fucking awesome.”
And that’s what I’m getting at – the lack of a super hip hotel in Puerto Vallarta. Acapulco has Boca Chica, the Riviera Maya has Be Tulum, Mexico City has Condesa, NYC has The Ace… Gossip Girl has The Empire (what? it’s a great show). These places are hipster havens to which the young and the beautiful flock. In the intro to our new podcast series, there’s a soundbite where I say, “In my opinion, Puerto Vallarta is gonna be huge,” and what I really meant by that is that I think Puerto Vallarta is already huge for the retiree age group but that it’s going to explode as an international hot-spot for the younger generations who are coming to realize that their home countries may not be all they crack themselves up to be.
Having a super-hip hotel in PV would accelerate this influx. So what does it take to make a really cool hotel happen. In my opinion, it takes artists. You need a couple of really creative people who “get it” to find some money. And here in PV, I don’t think you’d really need to find that much money. The beauty of all things cool is that people seek them out, meaning you could build an awesome, boutique hotel a few blocks off the ocean or in a slightly “seedy” part of town and people will still go. There’s a small hotel for sale in Cinco de Diciembre that would be perfect and in this economy, I can’t imagine once couldn’t get it for a bargain. If done correctly, local artists (or visiting artists) are asked to paint a room or design a fixture, they leave and tell all their cool friends about the hotel, and so on. The staff is obviously cool and their bosses are even cooler, so they’re encouraged to tweet and post about all the cool shit that happens at the hotel. Soon models and hip-hop stars start showing up and it’s all downhill from there, but these hotels don’t rely on just selling rooms to survive until that happens. The hotel quickly becomes “the spot” where the hip go to hang by the pool or to pre-game on the roof lounge before hitting town. And when these locals have friends coming to town, where do you think it’s recommended they stay?
What do you think? Where is the hippest place you’ve ever stayed and do you think it work here in Puerto Vallarta? Let us know in the comments below.
*Hacienda Alemana – I see that you are re-posting articles from other blogs, which can be great as long as you are using canonical=rel tags to let Google know you’re not trying to claim them as your own. If not, Google is most likely penalizing you in the search results for publishing duplicate content. If you are not using canonical=rel tags, check out this plugin that (in the “advanced” tag) allows you to easily add the link to the original post, to which the plugin then adds a canonical=rel tag for you: http://yoast.com/wordpress/seo/)
For those reading, the professionalism and elegance of Hacienda Alemana’s website is a great example of why I always recommend that people have their websites built on the WordPress platform as opposed to going with a developer who only wants to write his/her own code (which, in my experience is always more expensive and disappointing).
Getting change, well, not getting logical change I should say, here in Puerto Vallarta drives me insane! And it’s not a Mexican thing at all as American and Canadian business owners/workers are guilty of this annoyance as well. Please allow me to elaborate…
1. Not having change – This happens to me all the time. You go into a store to buy a soda or some chips, the cashier tells you the total, you pull out a 100 peso bill (the equivalent of about $7 usd), and the cashier tells you, “Sorry, we don’t have change for that.” Like… really? You can’t change seven bucks? Your business model for today didn’t include the possibility of someone paying with (the equivalent of) ten dollars?
If I were trying to pay with a 500 bill, I’d understand – well, I’d kind of understand because even that is only like 40 dollars. The way I see it, if you’re not planning on someone spending fifty dollars in your store at any given time, you might want to re-evaluate your business plan.
2. Not giving change to make an appropriate tip – This one blows me away. Here’s the scenario: You get your check and it’s, let’s say, 98 pesos, so you pay with a two-hundred peso bill and the waiter brings you back a hundred-peso bill and a two-peso coin. My initial reaction to this every time it happens is: Why the fuck would bring me this? Will you be happy with a shitty two-peso tip, or did you really think that I’d leave a 100-peso tip for a 100-peso check?
So now, because I’m not a dick (even though every time this happens, I feel like just leaving the two pesos), I have to wait around longer to flag down the waiter and ask him to make change for the change he/she just brought me. Business owners of Puerto Vallarta – Please teach your staff how to make change. Thank you.
3. Giving all-coin change – I’d say eight times out of ten when you pay for a small item with a fifty peso bill, you get your change back in all coins. This is especially annoying because the ten-peso coins in Mexico are surprisingly heavy. If you pay for something that’s ten pesos with a fifty and you get four 10-peso coins back, you now have what feels like a small brick in your pocket to carry around all day.
Sometimes you’re lucky enough to get all five peso coins back so now, you’re basically a walking arcade game. Is there a shortage of 20 peso bills in the town or what?
4. The AMEX mistery – This one doesn’t really have to do with change but I know it drives my buddy Paul crazy, so this one’s for him. You know those little black-padded-foldy things that restaurants bring your change in? Have you noticed that in a lot of restaurants here (and I think every restaurant we went to in Guadalajara), those things have American Express symbols stamped on them, but the restaurant doesn’t accept American Express? One place we went to literally had a plastic sign in clear display saying they accepted AMEX yet when we went to pay, they didn’t and had no reason as to why. Weird.
Do you guys feel my pain with all this, or am I just being a little baby?
I stopped by the Botanical Gardens of Puerto Vallarta on Saturday and had the chance to chat with Robert Price, founder and curator. For more information about the botanical gardens, visit www.vallartabotanicalgardensac.org
In this Around Town webisode, I sat down with Memo, the owner of The Pancake House, in Old Town, Puerto Vallarta. Memo is quite the character and was the first person to do a breakfast only restaurant in Puerto Vallarta. If you’re looking to go out for breakfast this weekend, stop by the Pancake House and introduce yourself to Memo!
Simply Vallarta TV visited the new Quiksilver store in downtown Puerto Vallarta. Update: Quiksilver Corporate called Chuy and told them they can no longer honor the Simply Vallarta discount that was mentioned in the video. Sorry!
The Quiksilver store in Puerto Vallarta is located at Avenida Mexico 1320 & Nicaragua in front at the Buenaventura Hotel. You can email them at: email@example.com or call them at: 322.222.9453.