Subject: Re: Puerto Vallarta
Good morning Judy and fellow Ziners - I can wholeheartedly recommend Los Cuatro Vientos Hotel, our home away from home whenever we go to Puerto Vallarta. It's a little out of the way and not on the beach but the view of all Vallarta is worth it. It's in an actual Mexican neighbourhood up on Matamoros behind the cathedral. The American owner, Gloria Whiting, lives onsite and it also houses one of the better restaurants in Puerto Vallarta, Chez Elena. A do it yourself breakfast is supplied every morning (except Mondays) consisting of fresh fruit, toast, cereal, juice and coffee.

We love this place and found out about it through word of mouth some years ago. The price is very reasonable also. Ask for the corner room on the 3rd floor - you will be able to have a view all the way down to the marina on one side and the view in front will be towards the Cathedral and Los Arcos.

Here also is my list of recommended restaurants - I have no monetary interest in either the hotel, nor the restaurants.

Archie#s Wok # Francisca Rodriguez 130 between Avenue Olas Altas and the beach. Originally started by John Huston#s personal chef, Archie Alpenia and now run by Cindy, his wife and her daughter. Thai coconut fish, barbecue ribs Hoisin, spicy fried Thai noodles. Open Monday-Saturday 2-11PM. Moderate to expensive. Excellent!

Café de Olla** - try the seafood platter for two (about $30 U.S.) # excellent!! Basilio Badillo 168 a few doors uphill from the Olas Altas corner. Chicken, ribs and steak from the street front grill. Always a crowd but doesn#t take that long to get in and they will bring you a beer while you#re waiting. Open daily 8am-11pm. Budget to moderate # highly recommended.

The Red Cabbage # owned and operated by Lola Bravo, former manager of Los Cuatro Vientos Hotel # regional, authentic Mexican cuisine. It#s a bit out of the way but an excellent little spot.

Restaurant Chez Elena** - Los Cuatro Vientos Hotel, Matamoros 520 up on the hill behind the cathedral. Go up for a drink just before sunset to El Nido, which is the rooftop bar. On the way up, ask Gloria Whiting, the owner/hostess to hold a table for you for dinner. This is the hotel we stay at on the third floor corner room and the view is to die for. The restaurant is among the oldest in Puerto Vallarta and it#s a lovely spot # very warm and inviting with lots of neighbourhood atmosphere.

Pietro#s # right beside the cathedral # has great pizza and pasta and really good sangria. Very inexpensive but very good.

Café des Artistes # very romantic and expensive. Candlelit tables, tuxedoed servers, classical music, gourmet international cuisine # 740 Guadalupe Sanchez.

Also recommended # take a whale watching tour if you can. We went on a privately arranged one and really got close to the whales and were followed by dolphins. They also have a wonderful home tour that you can take # I think it#s $20 U.S. and the money they make goes to provide cleft palate operations for poor children. Last but not least, take one of the little boats from the main pier at Los Muertos Beach over to Yelapa for the day # it#s a kind of hippie place where a lot of draft dodgers went years ago and really laid back. You can get a fresh fish lunch on the beach for about $5 US.

Pat Pain Court, Ontario