PHOTO: The Velvet suite at Casa Kimberly. (Photo by Janeen Christoff)
The incredible romance of star-crossed lovers comes alive at Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s home (or homes) in Puerto Vallarta. Casa Kimberly has opened as a nine-room boutique hotel property in the former homes of the two stars. The project was a long time coming, but the end result is with the wait.
The property gives its visitors a peek into the secluded lives of the two stars and access to some of its most unique features such as the famous “love bridge,” which connects the two homes – his and hers houses, so to speak. Guests can also book Taylor’s own private suite and soak in her original pink marble, heart-shaped bathtub.
Apart from the bathtub, the entire property was gutted, refurbished and lovingly restored to its former grandeur by Janice Chatterton, who also owns the nearby Hacienda San Angel, another iconic property. Located in a heart of Puerto Vallarta in an area that is often referred to as “Gringo Gulch,” the hotel is situated on a hillside among the windy, narrow roads of this dense neighborhood. Despite being surrounded by buildings and neighbors, the property feels a million miles away from everything as guests stand and look as terracotta rooftops give way to the sparkling waters of Banderas Bay.
READ MORE: Experience Frank Sinatra’s Palm Springs
The piece de resistance is certainly the Elizabeth Taylor suite, which has its own, private pool and spa, her original soaking tub and sweeping views – just as Taylor and Burton would have seen them. The space is expansive with almost as much outdoor space as indoors and windows bring the outside in. Dark wood furnishings in a Mexican Colonial style and a crystal chandelier give the décor a feeling of timelessness.
Even if you are not in Taylor’s secluded suite, rooms (named after Taylor’s movies) at the property are spacious and private, while at the same time letting in an abundance of light and offering up excellent views of the glittering bay below.
No two rooms are alike, and each room has its own unique decor. Some have expansive balconies, many have private spas, some feature clawfoot bathtubs, some have rain showers backed by striking tile walls. Common among them is their attention to detail and their tasteful decoration. Each suite comes with a plush, king-size bed, Italian linens, fine art and furnishings, Bulgari bath products and complimentary Wi-Fi access. All of the modern features of the 21st century are tucked away discreetly so that guests feel as if they are stepping back into time.
Dining on property is at the on-site Iguana Restaurant & Bar. It is the only restaurant on-site and serves guests breakfast, lunch and dinner. The resataurant is also popular among locals and visitors not residing at the property who want to, perhaps, get a feeling for the bygone era the property represents.
Atmosphere isn’t the only driving force behind the desire to dine at the Casa Kimberly. The cuisine, headed by chef Eduardo Lucero, perfectly blends traditional Mexican cuisine with modern culinary influences, using fresh, local ingredients.
With a spa on-property, there is very little reason for guests to leave. The CK Spa includes two treatment suites, each with private spa and each large enough for two guests. Available treatments include skin care, nail care, specialty spa baths, aromatherapy and massage.