Elizabeth Taylor would have approved of the newly renovated Casa Kimberly, her holiday home in Puerto Vallarta for more than a quarter century. In 1964, then lover Richard Burton gave Casa Kimberly to Elizabeth Taylor as a birthday gift, and within the walls of this luxurious Mexican hacienda, the two shared a heady and hedonistic life, the essence of which still shines bright in Puerto Vallarta. It is their love affair in this very special Mexican (then sleepy) fishing village that put Puerto Vallarta on the world map. The history in this place is palpable; it feels royal and rare, and I reveled in every moment that I spent at Casa Kimberly. Set over the sparkling blue waters of Banderas Bay, amidst the Sierra Madre Mountains, and surrounded by a city known for its terracotta rooftops (one of my favorite things about PV), Casa Kimberly is nestled in the residential hillside neighborhood of Gringo Gulch, and offers discriminating guests an exquisite escape.
With just nine suites, the property boasts an inner courtyard, original swimming pool and terrace, spa, dining, bar and of course, all the old world Hollywood glamour you could ever want!
The fine dining restaurant, aptly named The Iguana Restaurant is open air, offering diners beautiful evening views of Puerto Vallarta, and a menu that expertly blends delicious regional and continental fine cuisine. Luckily, even if you cannot stay overnight, The Iguana is open to the public by reservation.
Named after Elizabeth Taylor’s starring role in National Velvet, the 1944 movie that truly made her famous, we stayed in The Velvet Suite and it was magnificent.
Our bedroom (previous page) featured a stunning carved bed and antique early 19th century decor including crystal chandeliers and oriental rugs. Even the massive claw-foot tub in the opulent bathroom offered breathtaking views from a soaking position.
Large wooden paned sliding doors lead to an incredible terrace (opposite page) with a raised 2-person Jacuzzi and stellar views of Banderas Bay and the city of Puerto Vallarta below. End of day is a special time here. In fact, this room could have been named The Velvet Suite because of the way the velvety, warm sun washes over the terrace at sunset.