Concierge.com's insider take:
Punta Mita's El Anclote neighborhood is a fun, laid-back community where shoes (and shirts) are optional. And this waterfront hotel is the classiest place on the beach, jammed between casual restaurants and water sports shops—perfect if you're into surfing, paddle boarding, or sipping an icy mojito under the sun. Don't let the unimpressive entryway fool you: The dirt street leads to an art gallery, a fitness center, a full spa, and a four-story building housing 12 apartmentlike suites that have front-row seats to primo surf and a lively beach. Most of the suites are fully equipped with kitchens and multiple bedrooms, and are decorated by individual owners (styles vary from urbane granite, glass, and steel to clubby brown-leather sofas and yellow-ocher walls). Chef Thierry Blouet, a star among Puerto Vallarta's finest, oversees the superb Café des Artistes del Mar. Bikinis are the outfit of choice at the hotel's rooftop El Cielo bar, where the view of the crowded beach scene is enhanced by an infinity pool, several lounging areas, and chill-out tunes. Both destination weddings and surf clinics take over the property at times, testimony to its beach-chic vibe.—Maribeth Mellin
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