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Puerto Vallarta is slowly reopening with new precautions in place, as Covid-19 continues to plague the world. Visitors need to expect a “new normal” and have patience with the government health requirements.
Travel with caution. While the beaches are open with social distancing in place, be aware that masks are required for entry into almost any business. And the state of Jalisco is warning the residents of Jalisco (Puerto Vallarta is a city within the state of Jalisco) to stay home unless necessary, as health officials fear the pandemic is not over. Jalisco has recorded more than 1,000 active cases and 488 deaths, with that number changing daily. You can view maps of the spread of COVID-19 and its impact here at the official government website.
If you are planning on visiting Puerto Vallarta, if you are driving, you’ll find that the USA/Mexico border is still closed (both ways) until July 21, 2020 (and could be extended. If you plan on flying you won’t experience any problems and the Puerto Vallarta airport is open.
Businesses that have opened have undergone inspections and have many restrictions in place, in order to receive the health certificate required by the state to reopen. Business owners are urging tourists to be patient with the restrictions, and to expect a new “normal” for the time being.
The following are general requirements and restrictions that we won’t repeat for each business. Each business may have more requirements in place, and please be prepared to follow their safety guidelines for your health.
For most all businesses, plan on wearing a mask or shield face covering or be denied entry.
Bars and Food:
Bars are not allowed to open unless they also serve food, and if you order an alcoholic beverage you must order at least one item of food from the kitchen. This is part of the new government health regulations so be prepared to order food with alcohol!
Time Limits and Social Distancing in Bars:
There may be limits of people per table and the ability to push tables together will be limited. You will only be able to stay up to 1.5 hours. Business hours are limited per government requirements.
Some live entertainment is not permitted at the time of this article so check with the venue to see if they will have entertainment. Continue to support your favorite artists via their social media accounts and be sure to tip when they do their social media live performances. They are depending on you!
Dance floor areas are not open at the time of this article. Check with your favorite club via social media to see if/when dance floors are open.
Here is a partial list of businesses in the Zona Romantica area of Puerto Vallarta that are open or plan on opening soon (in no certain order) along with things the businesses owners want you to know and be aware of. This list is by no means complete, and you are encouraged to check the social media or websites of a particular business to make sure they are open and if so, what restrictions they may have in place.
Beaches in Jaliso are open and restrictions that are in place are under the direction of the city municipalities that they fall within. Most restrictions center around protocols to prevent an over-saturation of people. At popular LGBTQ beach Playa de Los Muertos, you’ll find social distancing in place and all beach vendors are required to wear masks.
Reopened June 25, limited hours (6 p.m. to Midnight).
La Margarita Cantina:
Reopened June 25, limited hours (2 p.m. to Midnight)
Reopened June 25 and serving food from The Swedes. Limited hours, open from 6 p.m. to Midnight
Reopened June 25, limited hours (2 p.m. to Midnight)
All Access Sports Bar
Apache’s Martini Bar
Has received permission to reopen but waiting. When open, will provide food from area restaurants. Here is their statement from their Facebook page:
“With the current climate of cases rising and more tourists entering our city, we are choosing to wait until we are certain and comfortable that it is safe to open as your health and the health of our team is priority. We are assessing this and will hopefully be open within the next few weeks if it continues to be safe to do so.”
The Swedes Bar and Bistro
Reopened in early April. Social distancing in place, staff wearing masks.
Opening soon – watch their social media pages.
Reopens July 1, with limited hours. Check social media page.
Reopened June 25 with limited hours (2 p.m. to Midnight)
The TOP Sky Bar:
Restaurant reopened on June 1, 2020, social distancing in place. Open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Shawn and Dino report that they will wait a few more weeks before opening the two locations of Blondies. They want to make sure their employees and customers are safe and will continue evaluate on a daily basis.
No Way Jose! Restaurant:
Currently closed, watch social media for updates
Mantamar Pool Club:
Opened June 15
Kooky Karaoke & Drinks:
Opening soon. Check their social media page for more information
Anonimo Video Bar:
Will open in the next few weeks, watch social media for opening date.
Anonimo will open first floor, which is open to the street with a front terrace, and an expansive second level patio to our patrons.
Will open next week (first week of July) with full menu and all guidelines followed and restrictions in place. Jax is open air and thus basically a huge outdoor terrace for your dining pleasure.
Ritmos Beach Club:
Boat tours are operating at 50% capacity and can manage a party of any size, depending on the size of the boat reserved. Tour guests can opt for private boat tours, which allows the group to remain private if there is concern about being around others not in the group party.
Naked Boat Tours are operating on Fridays for public tours.
“We can always upgrade the boat size to accommodate the party size,” explained owner Jet De La Isla. “We are following safety protocols and require crew members to wear masks, use of antibacterial gel and temperature checks.”
Guests are not required to wear masks.
The hostel is open and operating at 50% capacity with social distancing measures in place.
Rates at the hostel are $250 per person per night.
For more information:
Hotel Mercurio (hotel, bar and restaurant)
The hotel has been open since June 1 and the bar-restaurant opened the last week of May.
Hotel owner Paul Crist said an extensive list of precautions has been put into place, for the protection of staff and for guests. He encourages anyone planning on visiting to make sure they understand all of the precautions that are in place, to not be surprised by any new health requirements.
“Does all this seem like a lot to read,” Crist explained. “Sure. It doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker. But before you travel, isn’t this the kind of detailed information you need for your planning and decision making?”
Crist said the hotel has taken a number of actions that exceed the protocols set up by the state government.
“We have completed all state health department protocols and procedure and have received our decal authorizing our reopening. This decal confirms our compliance with all requirements. Inspectors have already visited several times and can arrive at any time for continuing inspections,” Crist said. “We are impressed at how seriously the state government is taking this matter and are confident that it is helping to protect the public. But we have implemented protocols beyond those specifically required by the government by taking a comprehensive look at every part of our property and operations.”
Crist added that while he was happy to reopen, his hotel, like many others, has been dramatically impacted and that the financial impact continued with the expensive safety requirements.
“As you can imagine, these extra sanitation measures are costly to provide, at a time when there is still almost no income and tremendous price competition from properties that, frankly, are doing less than we are to keep you safe,” he said.
“Financially, we’re far from out of the woods yet. But we are confident that we are on the path to recovery. We believe that our cleaning and sanitizing protocols are essential to rebuilding our brand and convincing you that you’ll be safe when you stay with us! Many small, independent hotels like ours will tell you they’ve implemented new cleaning and sanitation procedures, but few will provide you with an extensive itemized checklist like the one above. And when you arrive, you’ll see that our staff – signed cleaning logs are available to anyone for inspection.”
Hotel Mercurio Poolside Bar and Restaurant:
Limited to 24 guests
In order to order an alcoholic beverage from the bar, you MUST order food from the kitchen (new government requirement as part of the health restrictions, as bars only are not allowed to open just yet).
The popular Sunday “Beers and Burgers” has been canceled until further notice
Occupancy is limited to 30%
- Extra disinfecting of “high touch” areas throughout the hotel
- In public areas, this includes reception counter, doorknobs, lobby sofas, stairway railings.
- In lobby bathrooms, this includes faucets and toilet handles, sinks, floors, soap dispensers, paper towel dispensers and doorknobs.
- Kitchen and bar sanitation protocols also include sanitation of “high touch” surfaces multiple times daily.
- In rooms sanitization of “high-touch” surfaces include, nightstands and other furnishings, countertops, door handles, toilet handles, and faucets. TV remotes and air conditioner remotes are wiped down with sanitizer in daily room cleaning.
- Rooms are cleaned after a check out and left vacant for at least 24 hours between check-out and check in.
- Air conditioner filters are cleaned after each check out.
- No one enters the room after it has been cleaned until you check in.
- Mattresses, pillows and curtains are sanitized with a spray sanitizer after each check out.
- Masks and distancing are required in public areas except when eating or drinking at the pool. That includes staff and guests.
“Please understand if a staff member feels it necessary to remind you that we must follow these protocols,” Crist said. “We offer spray sanitizer for your suitcase on arrival. We have a sanitizing mat for your shoes at the hotel entrance, and everyone who enters the property must have a mask on, use our sanitizing gel at the entrance, and have their temperature checked. This includes staff and all visitors, suppliers and guests.”
Floors in public spaces (lobby, pool, hallways) are sanitized multiple times daily. Tables and chairs in the pool area are sanitized between every use.
“We recommend giving us your travel clothes to wash after you arrive and get settled. (Remember we only ask that you tip the housekeeper to do laundry at Hotel Mercurio. Free laundry service. Who does that?),” he said.
All staff are responsible for cleaning. Keeping everything sanitized is everyone’s job at Hotel Mercurio, it’s not just the housekeeping staff.
The hotel and restaurant are open
- Occupancy is limited to 30%
- Restaurante and Pool bars are open for guest, and outside visitor with previous reservation
- Will have a talent show on each Saturday with limited capacity and streamed via Facebook live
- Pools are open
- Gym is open with restrictions to guest only and limited capacity and time restrictions. All gym equipment is sanitized and cleaned after each use.
The hotel has extensive protocols in place to help protect it’s staff and guests.
“Casa Cupula is presenting a new era for travelers to visit us, and we want to make sure everyone feels safe and they can also feel happy about being here,” said Gustavo Silva, Operations Manager. “The intrusion of COVID19 into our lives has forced us to adjust to an unwelcome new reality but we are ready for it.”
“Casa Cupula’s mission is to treat every guest as a friend, no matter who you are or where you come from.”
Here is Casa Cupula’s 10 Point plan for COVID19 prevention:
- Pre-Arrival Room Cleaning: Including nebulizing each room, and sanitizing A/C filters. Your room will be sealed when it is sanitized. Even your pillows will be sanitized.
- Daily Room Cleaning: Procedures include using shoe covers when entering guest rooms and airing out rooms thoroughly.
- Common Areas: We clean high touch point surfaces several times a day, and installation of no touch hand soap, gel and paper towel dispensers.
- Bistro: We cover each table with fresh kraft paper for each guest. Draw on it with crayons if you feel the need to express your feelings about COVID19! By next season, our Bistro will embrace a new lounge concept for safe socializing: stay tuned!
- Pool Club: With new socially separated seating areas, lots of fresh air, and extra sanitary procedures. Unfortunately for now, we will have to require swimsuits, without our usual parties.
- Transportation Procedures: Sanitizing our cars before each use and spraying down your luggage.
- Check-In Procedures: We’re installing a new handwashing station in the lobby. But like big corporate hotels, we’re not using COVID as an excuse to avoid sitting down with our guests and getting to know you. Masks on, of course, and we’ll check your temperature.
- Check-Out Procedures: We have to make checkout a bit earlier at 11am to leave more time for room cleaning.
- Gym Safety: Pump Gym will be limited to four persons at a time by appointment with equipment cleaning after each use.
- Staff Training: Each staff member takes a three-hour certification course, wears masks and gets temperature taken daily.
“One-time use items like magazines, maps and our guest guide will be handed out in a new guest welcome kit which will also include fabulously fashionable Casa Cupula facemasks and gel. And a few other goodies to amuse you,” Siva added.
For more information visit www.casacupula.com
Open. Visit their website for more information: https://almarresort.com/en
Opened June 1. For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/bluechairspv/