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Sleeping with Elizabeth Taylor in Puerto Vallarta

For our 3-day stay in Puerto Vallarta, I chose a hotel that has been on my bucket list ever since it opened 3 years ago, Casa Kimberly.  Casa Kimberly is the former residence of actress Elizabeth Taylor and actor Richard Burton.  He actually bought the house across the street first when he fell in love with PV while filming The Night of the Iguana with Ava Gardner.  He and Elizabeth were having a very scandalous affair at the same time after meeting on the set of Cleopatra, so he bought her the house across the street from his and built a bridge between the two houses so they could avoid the paparazzi.  The original bridge is still there and is locally called the “Puente del Amor” or Bridge of Love.  We watched so many couples getting their photo taken on this bridge and our room’s terrace overlooked it.  The hotel itself consists of both houses and there are private rooms and suites on both sides.  On the “Richard” side of the bridge, there is also the hotel’s main pool and sun deck.  The “Liz” side where we stayed had the restaurant and the larger private suites.

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View of the Puente del Amor from our room’s terrace
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View of the Love Bridge from our hotel’s street

The hotel is located in the hills of the Zona Romantica but is still only a 5-7 minute walk to the Malecon boardwalk and main beach area.  It’s on a quiet cobblestone street known as “Gringo Gulch” because lots of expats lived in this area.  You enter by ringing the old bell and entering the stone archway where you’re greeted by a statue of Liz and Richard Burton.  Then you walk up the tiled steps to the original living room area, which is now the reception area for the hotel.

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The hotel has only 9 rooms and most of them are suites with large terraces and views.  I splurged and booked the Elizabeth Taylor Suite, which was her original master bedroom and located in the old part of the house.  I was not disappointed!!!  As we walked up the steps towards the restaurant and our room, they had a wonderful large format painting of Dame Elizabeth and a gorgeous courtyard with fountain and memorabilia movie posters.  The restaurant area was originally their main living room, game room, bar and kitchen area of the old house.  The hotel kept the original architecture of this area, including the large portals with expansive views of the old town and the original tile work.

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In the upstairs courtyard looking into the restaurant, which was the original home.  Back in Liz’s day, this back courtyard was their garden-like backyard with small fountain.  As part of the remodel, they enclosed the backyard into a paved courtyard, kept the fountain and added a building behind it to house 4 new suites.
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The new “back section” of the hotel, which was built in 2014 and now houses several suites.  Our room was in the original home and was Liz’s master bedroom.
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Painting at the restaurant entrance
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Loved the old pictures of Liz and Richard – this was taken at the house

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We then headed into our suite where we were blown away!  The Liz Taylor Suite is the largest suite on the property and it features a huge terrace with private plunge pool, jacuzzi and sun deck.  The bedroom was floor to ceiling windows with the most incredible views of the mountains and the ocean. The painted cupola with chandelier was so beautiful and romantic.  I think my jaw hit the floor when we walked into this room and view.  The room was also decorated with antique furniture but had all modern amenities, including A/C.

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Walking into the suite from entrance!!
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The cupola was added as part of the remodel but this is the original bedroom
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View from the bed – the room had A/C but it was so comfortable temperature-wise during our stay that we mostly left it off and let the doors open for fresh air and a nice ocean breeze
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King size bed (and Steve)
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View from our private terrace
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View from other side of our terrace – looking down towards Richard Burton’s old house across the street

Now, onto one of my favorite features of our room – the bathroom.  That probably sounds silly to be excited about the bathroom but this one features Elizabeth Taylor’s original pink “heart-shaped” marble bathtub that Richard Burton had commissioned for her.  Apparently there was a little problem with the tub, though.  Richard’s Spanish speaking skills were not the best so he wasn’t very happy when the tub arrived not looking like a stylized “Valentine shaped” heart like he expected, but was rather in the shape of a pink blob – an anatomical heart.   At that point, he gave up due to the cost and they kept it and it became a joke of theirs.  When the home was sold and turned into a hotel, the new owner was insistent that this tub be kept completely as-is.  And yes, I took a bath in it.  But seriously, look at this bathroom, too. It was as large as the bedroom and just as opulent.

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Pink “heart-shaped” tub
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Largest bathroom ever – tub was moved to a pedestal position by the windows and is flanked by two separate showers
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Couldn’t get over this bathroom – it’s bigger than my living room and dining room at home put together! Toilet room was through the small door to the back
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Drinking a margarita in the tub…because, why not?

And my other favorite part of our room?  Our huge outdoor terrace and view.  Each day we came back up the hill and cooled off in our amazing plunge pool and soaked up the afternoon sun.  This is definitely one of the most romantic hotels that I have stayed in and Steve said it’s in his top 3 favorite hotel rooms ever. It’s easy to see why.  The terrace was also part of Liz Taylor’s original bedroom but back in that time, she did not have a plunge pool on it.  The terrace was instead set up as a garden area with lots of tropical plants and a sundeck and the plunge pool was added as part of the remodel for the hotel.

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Looking out from our bedroom – we had our breakfast out here every morning
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Our huge plunge pool with covered seating.  The back area of the plunge pool is actually a heated jacuzzi with jets, which was awesome in the evening after the sunset and it cooled down.
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View from the pool looking over the Old Town
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Steve loving the pool
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View looking down to Richard Burton’s house and the bridge
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Sunset view was the best part!

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Our stay also included a free continental breakfast each morning with coffee, tea, fresh fruit, yogurt and pastries.  We also usually ordered one egg dish a la carte and shared it.  We ate at the hotel’s on-site restaurant, The Iguana, which I also highly recommend.  It’s more upscale and has a dress code but we still didn’t find it to be overly expensive.  The hotel also offers room service lunch and drinks for hotel guests only (dinner and brunch are open to the public but the hotel is otherwise closed to non-hotel guests during the day so it was very private).  We ordered a few margaritas and Corona Lights to our room in the late afternoon while we got ready for dinner and enjoyed the sunset views.

This room was a bit of a splurge but actually was less than I have paid for much smaller rooms with less amenities in Europe and large cities.  Puerto Vallarta is very affordable overall.  The hotel also offers several other slightly smaller suites with views, large terraces and jacuzzi tubs on the balconies as well.  We were more than pleased with our hotel and I loved the movie star connection and the Taylor-Burton love story made this hotel even more romantic.  I would book this hotel again in a heartbeat but now I am spoiled by this suite!!

6 thoughts on “Sleeping with Elizabeth Taylor in Puerto Vallarta

  1. Wow, what an absolutely unique travel experience. And truly perfect for the ‘love’ theme!! Imagine being wealthy enough you could buy houses across the street from each other and build a bridge in between… crazy! It must have been so romantic to stay there, though 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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