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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkTravel & Outdoors 

An Introduction to Mexico: Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta

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September 3, 2013

With a penchant for rock-'n'-roll, the Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta is just one of the many Banderas Bay area all-inclusive getaways that are popping up on travelers' radars.

Granada Hills, CA - Confession: I am a Mexico virgin. After living in Southern California for 11 years, a mere few hours away from the border, I have never set foot on the vast territory known for its exotic locales, delicious cuisine and gorgeous beaches.

Everything I learned about Mexico I learned from film and TV (just like any good pop culture junkie). Steven Soderbergh's Traffic taught me to never attempt to smuggle party favors over the border. Babel demonstrated what would happen if I tried to smuggle Brad Pitt's kids across the border. And then there was the first Sex And The City movie, which educated me on the dangers of opening your mouth while taking a shower (no Poughkeepsie-ing in my pants, thank you very much).

But that's Hollywood for you. I knew the exotic country would have other wondrous features waiting for me when I journeyed down to Puerto Vallarta and visited Riviera Nayarit, but just how LGBT-friendly are these places?

First off, the welcome sign on the side of the highway near the airport is decked out in rainbow letters. Check out Puerto Vallarta's official website, and you'll also be treated to a delightful display of color. And then there's the all-inclusive resort at Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta, my luxurious accommodations in Riviera Nayarit (right outside PV). Known for their fabulous amenities, each room comes with a two-person Jacuzzi and a minibar that's far from mini: They've got whiskey, vodka and other top-shelf liquid goodies stored away underneath the HDTV.

With a penchant for rock-'n'-roll puns (a "Champagne Supernova" cocktail mixer and a "Start Me Up" breakfast, anyone?), the HRH Vallarta is just one of the many all-inclusive getaways that are popping up on travelers' radars. For more than 20 years, Hard Rock has excelled in service. And now, in these fast-paced 2010s, it's catering to a diverse group of vacationseekers, including couples of all kinds—all blended together under one festive sky. With properties opening up in the Caribbean, like the one at Riviera Maya, Hard Rock is aiming to stand out and redefine luxury.

Taking elements from its own exotic location and fusing them with some Hard Rock aesthetics and an upscale ambience, HRH Vallarta comes loaded with plenty to see, eat and do. In short, it's a destination within a destination.

Upon checking in, I was greeted with a glass of champagne at the front desk, and above me hung a collection of 2,800 album covers that formed a mosaic of legendary Mexican-born rocker Carlos Santana. It's just one of the many art installations and pieces of authentic music memorabilia found throughout the hotel. My faves: Katy Perry's candy-themed dress from the MTV Video Music Awards and, of course, a framed portrait of Gaga.

From there, I was more than happy to receive some "rock star" treatment.