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“Wonderful, friendly home away from home”
Review of Casa Cupula

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Casa Cupula
Ranked #11 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco
1 review
“Wonderful, friendly home away from home”
Reviewed 26 May 2010

I recently spent a week in Puerto Vallarta. Besides all the new friends I made and the amazing beach time, a key to my great vacation was my hotel. Casa Cupula is a boutique hotel located about ten minutes up the hill from the beach. There are approximately 20 rooms in total, and this small size is exactly what makes it so appealing. By the second day I knew all the staff by name and vice versa. I also made friends with some of the other guests over breakfast and spent time with them at the beach. Casa Cupula is warm and friendly, and feels like home.

Because the hotel caters specifically to the gay community, you can relax and let your rainbow flag fly high. Oscar and Jose, the concierge staff were fantastic and welcoming. Pancho was the friendly waiter who greeted me each morning during breakfast. Elliott, the restaurant manager, joined several of our conversations, including one about comic book movies. Junior could be spotted happily dancing around the hotel while attending to the mini bars. Marcos, who is in charge of marketing, had a great conversation with me about comics. (He’s going to dress as The Flash this coming Halloween. Which was fun to learn, because I want to dress as The Green Lantern.) Carlos kept the gym clean and even showed me how to plug my iPod into the sound system so I could workout to my music blasting over the speakers.

It was also nice to meet Don, the owner of the hotel, and have him ask for candid feedback on what could be improved upon to make sure our stays even better. As you can tell by the prominence I’ve given it, the staff excels at Casa Cupula. Their friendliness and excellent service made my stay enjoyable and memorable. When I return, I will look forward most of all to seeing the staff of Casa Cupula who I now consider my friends.

The hotel itself has been built in phases, and each building houses a couple of rooms. The rooms are very nice — nicer than I expected to be quite frank. The first few nights I stayed in a room in the original building. It had a King bed, icy cold air conditioning (which I appreciated a lot), and was a spacious room with an equally spacious bathroom. I welcomed the cabana-like aesthetic. When I’m on vacation, I like to feel that I’m somewhere unique. And, this room had a distinct beach community feel.

There’s a pool on the ground floor for everyone to use. Next to that there’s a hot tub which is also situated near the outdoor gym. I used the gym a number of times, and was pleased with the weight machines and free weight options. On the third or fourth floor there’s a small infinity pool that’s open to all guests 24 hours a day, and is a perfect place to watch the sunset. The restaurant serves decent breakfast options, fantastic drinks, and light lunch/dinner options from Noon to 7:30pm. The prices for the meals are very affordable and the drink prices won’t break your bank either.

In the final few nights when my friends arrived, I stayed in the penthouse suite with them. In the newest building there are a number of suites, but the penthouse takes the cake. It has a full kitchen, there’s an amazing bedroom and living room, and the living room can easily convert into a second bedroom. The bathroom has laundry facilities and a private outdoor jacuzzi. There’s a beautiful balcony on which you can enjoy the colorful sunsets. And then there’s the icing on the cake: The rooftop deck, BBQ, and private infinity pool. The pool is heated, which is perfect for taking a late night dip. It’s also a great carrot to dangle in front of cute boys at the beach. “Hey, come on over to my penthouse suite and we’ll take skinny dip in my private rooftop pool.” Let’s just say that worked more than once for me during my stay at Puerto Vallarta.

One of the unexpected bonuses of the stay at Casa Cupula was the Friday night free cocktail party. The party is open to anyone in town, and the staff uses the event to promote the hotel to the other gay tourists in Puerto Vallarta. Because we were visiting during the off season, the party wasn’t overly packed. But apparently during the high season, Friday night sees hundreds of hot gay guys enjoying free cocktails at Casa Cupula. I’ll definitely have to return during the high season to witness that!
Casa Cupula more that makes up for being just slightly off the beaten path. The gay friendly staff (most of whom are gay themselves), the fantastic amenities, the gorgeous views, and a sense of being home away from home, are all reasons why I’ll be returning to Casa Cupula on my next visit to Puerto Vallarta.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank loganotron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (126)
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English first
San Francisco
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 17 April 2010

Casa Cupula has an amazing design both inside and outdoors that stimulates your senses and nurtures your soul. The rooms inside feel like a W Hotel. There are various outdoors spaces, common areas with several swimming pools located throughout the vast villa and its property. The patio outside our room is very private making you feel like you are in your own villa with views of much of the bay and PV (see pictures).

The views of the bay are spectacular since the Casa is on top of a hill, and it is only 2 blocks away from the gay area in town. You can relax in the pools and have panoramic views.

(I've been to PV before, but unfortunately stayed at hotels that have fabulous websites that don't show their actual reality, plus their reviews are old/outdated just like their rooms and property.)

Casa Cupula's staff are great hosts that make sure your stay is pleasant and fun!

We are definitely coming back to PV and Casa Cupula plays a big part in it!

Kris & Tristian

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank KrisSanFrancisco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
modesto, ca
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2010

I stayed 5 nights at Casa Cupula in early March. I must say, the backbone of the operation appears to be Tina. She really went out of her way to ensure my stay was memorable. The suite I had was very well done. A tranquil oasis. When I was leaving, I was questioned on my final tab. I paid cash for all incidentals including meals. I had two Canadians up for the Price Fixe Dinner and Wine and paid in cash approximately $300 USD. The hotel had no record of my dinner and questioned how I paid. The food servers collected my money at the close of the dinner, but my bill was unaccounted for as welI as my payment and was lost when I checked out.. Moral of the story, if you pay in cash and don't charge, get a receipt. I was limoed back to the airport feeling really mixed and uneasy. If it weren't for this very uncomfortable mishap, I would give them a top notch rating. I still have yet to be contacted to the hotel to have closure with this incident. A five star would definitely close the loop with their guests to ensure they return.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank markloeser_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
optionsf, Owner at Casa Cupula, responded to this review, 1 April 2010
We regret the problem this guest mentioned, but do want to be clear that the guest was not contacted because he was not charged for the amount in question.

As a small operation, we do not yet have proper facilities in place to accept cash anywhere but at reception. This hasn't been problem since usually guests do not pay in cash. Our menus and procedures have been revised to make clear that all restaurant charges must be made to a room bill so there are no more problems with cash handling.
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toronto
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2010

This is in my opinion a five start boutique hotel that surpasses the meaning of customer service in the Hospitality Industry. The staff Don, Tina, Poncho and their crew go out of their way in attention to detail. The overall feel at this complex is sophisticated tranquiltiy. Freindly and helpful. The In house Restaurant us top notch, the food is fresh, homemade and healthy. I have never eaten better at a North American five star...was happy to just eat there, and could not believe how reasonable it was priced. The entire complex was neat, tidy, landsaped beautifully, immaculate. It was a great place to make new freinds from around the world, everybody seems to go back....as we will... because it was a week of paradise ...I could have stayed within the complex the whole time...
I would recommend this realaxing hotel to any single person or couple looking to relax in a beatiful, sumptious setting with total attention to detail. A great place to chill at all day, meet new freinds, and dine and party at night in town, come home after it all and just chill at the hot tub or pool. Would definenitely return!

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank pianoman22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2010

We've been to Puerto Vallarta four times and this is by far the nicest place we've stayed in. It's a bit of a hike from the beach, but definitely worth it. The rooms are wonderful and the grounds are stunning. The hotel is well run, the staff is friendly and professional and the breakfasts are delicious. We'll be back.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Duncan100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oregon
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2010

My partner Mark and I visited Casa Cupula in Puerto Vallarta last week. We had heard it was a great hotel, but we had no idea how great it actually was until we had spent six phenomenal days there.

First, the property itself if phenomenal. The design is a soothing fusion of classy Mexican with contemporary European. We stayed in the Sayuri Suite, which is hands down the most comfortable, luxurious room I've ever experienced.

We made a lot of friends with the other guests while we were there, so we were able to show each other our rooms. One of the great things is no two rooms are alike - even a little bit. The other suites that I saw were fantastic. I saw the Milagro and the Cupula suite. And in my opinion the extra charge to upgrade to one of these suites (Sayuri, Milagro or Cupula) is WELL worth it. After seeing the other suites, I think the Sayuri is the best of all of the suites (and maybe even better than the Penthouse which runs about $100 more).

We had a cold and hot breakfast included with our suite and the food was stellar. It's served in a quaint, indoor/outdoor cafe that has the unusual vibe of being both casual and elegant. Great space and great wait staff there.

Besides eye candy, the one thing that there is plenty of at the hotel is pools. I counted no less than 4 pools, and there are only 20 rooms. That doesn't even include the small pool that was in our room! There's a gorgeous, sun-filled pool in the middle of the hotel, a shadier, lush pool outside of the Villa rooms, a large pool with sweeping views of the bay above the gym AND a rooftop pool in the main part of the hotel. I think there's actually another pool on the other level of the villa, but I'm not 100% sure of that.

I found the staff to be very attentive and friendly. There also seems like there's a LOT of people working relative to the number of guests at the hotel. I would guess the ratio is very close to 1:1.

The beach is about a 5-7 minute walk down the hill. In my opinion this is the ideal location as it's just far enough away from the beach yet close enough to be there or back to the hotel in just a few minutes.

Another thing I really liked was how quiet the hotel is at night. I'm a pretty light sleeper, and it is very calm and peaceful in the canyon where the hotel is situated. There were earplugs in the bathroom, but I never even thought about using them.

The only negatives I would say are:

1 - There's not a 24-hour front desk. It's really not that important to me, but it is nice to see someone at the front desk when you come back from a late night out. They leave a list of contacts for after hours, which would probably be fine if any emergencies were to arise.; and

2 - Breakfast doesn't start until 9am. I get up pretty early and would like to eat by 8 or 8:30 every morning. I'm not sure if this is a local custom, or just more common among gays but it would have been nice to eat and get going with my day a little earlier.

Overall, this hotel far exceeded my expectations in nearly all aspects. If you are gay, lesbian or a cool straight person, I can't imagine you wouldn't love this place. Kudos to the management and staff!

David

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank dokny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
optionsf, Owner at Casa Cupula, responded to this review, 25 March 2010
We're glad you enjoyed your stay! Your comments about an earlier breakfast raise a good point: people love our restuarant but would love longer hours for both that and reception. Unfortunately with such a small property it's hard to afford even more people than our 1:1 ratio.

That's why we're working to expand our restaurant and open to the public next high season (October). This requires a different license from the city and more staffing, but we expect by next season to expand our service considerably. In addition to this, we are now building a new gym with steam room and hot tub, and expect to lengthen our front desk hours.

Every year, we work to improve our services and facilities to you, and hope you'll come back to enjoy them!
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Princeton
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 March 2010

My partner and I were referred here by our friends and we were very satisfied. The hotel sits high up on the hillside and has spectacular views of the ocean. This view comes with a price....steps! The hotel does not have an elevator yet but there is an elevator shaft and according to management one will be installed in the future. We had a basic room on the pool level. The room was large neat and very clean. Only issues we encountered were tiny ants in the bathroom. There was a can of raid and we used it. There appeared to be mildew in the shower stall and in the sink. We used the hotels safe and after a couple days all of our items were damp. Couldnt figure out the source of the moisture but my partners black berry was totally wet. Fortunately our friends were in the next room and we transferred our valuables into thier safe for the duration of our stay. Other then that the room was great. The bed and pillows were extremely comfortable. The shower had great pressure and tons of hot water. The restaurant was great for breakfast with traditional mexican dishes to basic eggs and toast. The continental breakfast was very nice, fresh fruit, yogurt, granola and muffins. This is served to you and is not a self serve set up like many other gay BB's. Lunch was great too we had yummy fish tacos. The guacolmole and chips are delicious too. Make sure to ask Pancho to make his famous Margharitta Pancho style. The rest of the facility is beautiful. I would recommend spending the the additional money and upgrading to the ocean view suites. We will be back!

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NJRealtor08540
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
optionsf, Owner at Casa Cupula, responded to this review, 16 March 2010
Thank you for your kind words!

Unfortunately, the minibar over this guest's room safe sprung a leak! It has since been replaced.

Also unfortunately, with this year's wet weather, we have had to cope with more than our usual share of junge insects which, like the green plants, are thriving in the unusual moisture we've had this season.

We do plan an elevator, but it is only for the Residences building's next phase which is on hold until we see more stability in the economy. Fortunately, it is easy to take a taxi back up to our main entrace for about US$3, and then walk down to the rooms. Our location in the hills just above town affords great view and nice ocean breezes and gets you away from the hustle and bustle of the "centro". But we do have to pay for it with an uphill return!

We look forward to seeing you back again soon!
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Additional Information about Casa Cupula

Property: Casa Cupula
Address: Callejon de la Igualdad 129, Puerto Vallarta 48399, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#9 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#13 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Casa Cupula 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa Cupula is one of the most luxurious boutique hotel resorts in the world, welcoming gay men, lesbians, and friends of our community. We offer the services of a five-star mainstream resort in four boutique properties: Casa Cupula, luxurious Villa Sevilla (great for groups), Private Residences and Owner's Villa. Gourmet food compliments four pools, a gym and sophisticated modern design. Located in Amapas, walking distance to gay beach clubs, nightlife, restaurants and cafes. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Cupula Puerto Vallarta
Casa Cupula Hotel Puerto Vallarta

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