Casa Velas in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is one of the most Instagrammable resorts on the planet right now. It’s adults-only, so crying kids wearing water wings won’t show up in the background of your photos. The all-inclusive price accounts for nearly everything — even the “handbag bar,” where you can choose a different designer handbag to wear to dinner every evening. You can take an intuitive-painting class and have your artwork framed (anything looks like artwork when it’s framed). You can get a manicure with a painted lotus and peacock feather, or a smattering of Huichol beads made by the local indigenous Huicholes, famous for their beading work. At the weekly Casino Night, you can win money at the blackjack table without spending a dime. Staying in Puerto Vallarta, you'll be in a city famous for its sunsets; standing outside the resort’s private beach club, you'll be surrounded by swaying palm trees as the sun drops into the ocean like a fiery disco ball. And if you book your trip to Casa Velas for September, you’ll get to experience the second-ever “Guacamania,” a month of all-avocado-all-the-time, for the most enviable food porn photos on earth.
As everyone knows by now, avocado is the perfect food. Its monosaturated fatty acids are good for the heart; its high potassium levels help our nerves and muscles; it’s packed with fiber, vitamin K, folate, and just about everything else you need; and it’s so delicious, it tastes unhealthy. Mexican avocados are the best (“the softest and the creamiest,” says Chef Alejandro Goche, who designed the Guacamania menu), and they pair well with margaritas. Goche created an avocado margarita especially for Guacamania: blended avocado, lime, Triple Sec, and tequila, garnished with a sliver of avocado peel. In fact, he created an entire avocado-inspired drink menu, including an avocado electric lemonade.
“Avocados are so dynamic,” Goche says. “You can do anything with them.” Eat breakfast or lunch at the resort’s restaurant, Emiliano, and choose from every possible avocado dish, including a waffle with avocado jam and roasted pecans, avocado ceviche, a shrimp and avocado burrito with avocado salsa, a salad with avocado-cilantro dressing, or a peanut-butter-and-avocado sandwich.
Later, if you’re in the mood for a mid-afternoon snack while you’re lounging in the (heated and perfect… seriously perfect) pool, watch the resident “guacamologist” prepare a variety of guacamoles poolside. Order an avocado smoothie, and break out the tortilla chips. I’d recommend the tropical guacamole (sweetened by pineapple) and the Jalisco-style guacamole (flecked with dried shrimp). When the sun gets extra-strong, have an avocado snow cone.
If you’re full after a day of eating guacamole, you can keep enjoying avocado by having it rubbed all over your body at the spa. Your spa therapist will exfoliate your skin with avocado bone, envelop you in an avocado-yogurt wrap, and even moisturize your hair with avocado.
Everyone loves avocado, and anyone who doesn’t love avocado should at least love it for its health benefits — and learn how to love it more at Casa Velas. After attending the first Guacamania in March, I was reminded that there’s so much more to do with the fruit than smear it on toast or mash it up with tomatoes and garlic. Although Guacamania wasn’t nearly as manic as its name implies (I spent most of my Guacamania floating in a pool and lazily stuffing my face), it did inspire me as a cook. And it did improve my Instagram account.
The meals and resort stay that are the subject of this review were provided at no cost to the contributor.