By Eileen Ogintz

Can I just sink into one of the lounge chairs?

Think beachfront pergolas providing shade for your lounge chair, pools surrounded by swaying palms. No wonder so many cruise passengers come to spend the day at the Westin Resort and Spa in Puerto Vallarta—the pools! The spa!  The beach!

View from the Weston Puerto Vallarta
Westin Resort and Spa Puerto Vallarta

If you think Mexico is only about all-inclusives, think again.  The Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta, with its contemporary décor and just 280 rooms, offers all-inclusive options, though many also like to explore Puerto Vallarta’s lively dining scene.  (How about a tour of Puerto Vallarta’s famous taco trucks?)

The resort’s bright tropical colors and contemporary Mexican décor  is designed to make you feel happy—and relax  which is part  of  Westin’s philosophy to come to a place that can help you rejuvenate as well as relax.

You might see dolphins off shore.  Every year Humpback Whales migrate here to breed from September to April and you can watch them in the Bay of Banderas, Mexico’s largest bay.

Westin Resort and Spa Puerto Vallarta
Westin Resort and Spa Puerto Vallarta

I can’t think of a better place for a couple or girlfriend getaway, though this resort is certainly popular with families too. Another plus: The Westin is just five minutes from the airport. You’ll no sooner have your luggage than you’ll be sipping your first margarita in the Lobby Lounge, enjoying the ocean views and the music while you decide what you want to do on your well-deserved getaway.

What I especially like about Puerto Vallarta is the choice of so many things to do. Of course you have the beach, the beautiful resort pools and water sports but Puerto Vallarta is also home to one of the fastest growing art scenes in the country with more than 30 galleries and public art—the giant sculptures like the nine-foot high Seahorse–that line the Malecon, the town’s seaside boardwalk that’s as popular with locals as tourists.

That’s if you can force yourself to leave the resort. Let’s start with the state-of-the-art WestinWORKOUT, with plenty of cardio machines, free weights and a separate room where there are spinning, yoga and Pilates classes.

No adult getaway would be complete with some spa time The Spa at the Westin Resort & Spa at Puerto Vallarta is inspired by the resort’s beachfront setting with rejuvenating treatments—everything from facials to wraps to massages. How about a seaweed wrap with Guarana or an Aromatherapy Salt Glow?  An oceanfront massage, maybe?

Another margarita, please!