Larry Turns 70
In celebration of this milestone, Larry Grossman is hitting all seven continents with the help of THIRDHOME. For more information on Larry and his exciting plans, check out the first installment in this blog series here.
I decided to celebrate my 70th year on this planet with friends and family at a “destination birthday party” in my favorite city in the world: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. This was the official kickoff for my 7 at 70 (7 continents at age 70 World Tour).
The guest list, which started at 8, grew exponentially over the last few months until a crew of 50 people said, “count me in” and showed up to partake in the festivities. A bash of this sort requires just the right setting, and with assistance from my THIRDHOME consultants, I scored several condos at the Vidanta resort across the bridge from PVR in Nuevo Vallarta.
My birthday party destination requirements were the following:
- Great restaurants… Check! From tacos to sushi to French cuisine, Vidanta has it covered.
- Swimming pools of all shapes and sizes… Check! Choose from 27 pools on the property, including the Grand Mayan Lazy River and several swim-up bars.
- Luxury accommodations… Check! Vidanta was recently named the #8 resort hotel in all of Mexico by Travel and Leisure magazine. For good reason, amigos.
- Directional assistance for lost and disoriented Gringos… Check! Great customer service on the property, which is helpful to navigate the 9 miles of boardwalk that wind through the lush, tropical jungle setting.
- And finally, a beautiful and wide beach for morning walks and meditation time… Check! Each day began with a stroll on the widest beach in Vallarta.
My birthday guests arrived from Seattle, Chicago, Tucson, Puerto Rico, Virginia Beach, Baltimore, Denver and several Mexican localities, all intent on participating in The Larry Fest Birthday Bash 2021, so-named by my good friend Fiesta. (Everyone who vacations in Mexico should be so lucky to be joined by a friend named Fiesta.) We had all the essentials covered, including sunscreen, cigars, a kick-ass Spotify “Old Guy Playlist”, sipping tequila, and, of course, extra-strength Tylenol for those who had one too many margaritas the prior evening at happy hour.
Our crew selected 3 “off property” adventures that proved to be trip highlights.
We began with a boat ride to the small town of Yelapa with Vallarta Adventures. This outing is a mandatory component of any Larry-initiated Mexican adventure. We snorkeled, kayaked, and banana-boated our way up and down the Bay of Banderas. Yelapa is also one of the few places in Mexico that produces raicilla, an agave cousin to tequila and mezcal. This 100-proof liquor is used in Yelapa beachfront restaurants to make margaritas that are not for the faint of heart. Our Yelapa adventure culminated in a hike to the waterfall with a group plunge into the cold water under the falls. The walk to the falls is both picturesque and challenging as the narrow road features donkeys, ATVs, and numerous vendors selling souvenirs, fresh pie, and carved wood products. En route is a beach town surrounded by jungle that time forgot. It is every photographer’s dream to travel this path and find the abundance of tropical and colorful shots around every corner.
The second off-the-resort highlight was a trip to downtown Puerto Vallarta to walk the Malecón, PVR’s pedestrian-only boardwalk. It was a hot, humid, and sunny afternoon, and the Malecón and downtown market were hopping. COVID was not stopping tourists from visiting the unique statues and sculptures that decorate downtown Vallarta. Nor was the pandemic stopping mariachis from singing, street vendors from selling, and the Flying Men of Vallarta from doing the Danza de los Voladores, the native Mexican pole flying exercise that dazzles the imagination. Combined with tacos on the beach, it was the perfect south-of-the-border afternoon experience.
Rhythms of the Night is a PVR cruise and dinner show not to be missed. The evening combines a sunset cruise on Banderas Bay, a spectacular Cirque du Soleil-like acrobatic and musical performance, and a delicious candlelight dinner on a romantic and tropical beach named Las Caletas. It is an unforgettable night that always reminds me of what a unique and spectacular spot Vallarta is.
Finally, we met one of my personal heroes, Lalo Gomez, Sheriff of the small town of Colomo, located 45 miles northwest of Vidanta. Lalo and his family provide support services, food and clothing to some of the poorest families living in the Sierra Madre Mountains. I was extremely proud that after spending time with Lalo, my crew agreed to help sponsor a “Christmas in Colomo” event happening this December.
Conclusion: Best birthday of my life, can’t wait til 71!
To read more about Larry’s adventures with THIRDHOME, click here. Stay tuned for more of his travels!
THIRDHOME members can swap their second homes for incredible resort stays, in prime Mexican destinations, at the fraction of the regular booking cost.
Since 2009, members have been able to exchange time in their second home to travel to unique and inspiring destinations. Convenience, top-of-the-line service and stunning properties keep bringing members back to THIRDHOME‘s resort stays in Mexico.
Keep scrolling to see these amazing stays.
Trade a stay for luxury on Banderas Bay
Beside Puerto Vallarta, on Mexico’s Pacific coast, you’ll find Nuevo “New” Vallarta. And new is an understatement. Nuevo Vallarta’s Vidanta Grande Luxxe resort boasts some of the most modern and luxurious residences in Mexico. Thanks to a recent partnership, THIRDHOME members have access to these incredible properties by exchanging time in their second homes.
“The Luxxe Chairman’s Villa was the perfect spot to experience all that the Puerto Vallarta has to offer.
Let me just say that once my friends and I checked into the villa we really didn’t want to leave. This is quite simply the nicest and most luxurious condominium I have ever experienced. The rooms are huge and the furnishings and decorations comfortable and beautiful. The outside deck was expansive with separate areas to dine al fresco or just sit and read while admiring the view. The entire staff at the residence was extremely friendly and helpful and even provided an in-room coffee service at 6 am each morning. In addition, there is a rooftop bar, restaurant and pool with a view of the entire Banderas Bay that is breathtaking. The Villa is located inside of Vidanta, a large Mexican resort with numerous restaurants and pools and tons of activities for adults and children including nightly entertainment in ‘The Sanctuario’ an extraordinary outside venue. David, the owner, was extremely helpful prior to the visit and provided us with everything we needed to seamlessly register and enter the resort. This property is highly recommended. “Larry G. Member since 2013
“Where do I begin.
We had an amazing time staying in this 4br Grand Luxxe residence. We used this property for our kids Spring Break this year and could not have been more impressed with the Residence and the property in general. We were 9 total(4 adults and 5 kids) and couldn’t have spread out more if we tried. Everything was perfect and everyone was so nice and helpful. They treated us like as we were the owners…The rooftop pool at the Residence Tower was where we ended our days each and every day. There is a restaurant there and a pool and 2 hot tubs… If the opportunity arises again I will jump at the chance to stay at this amazing property again. Thank You David [the owner] and Thank You THIRDHOME for allowing this opportunity for me to come together!”Mark L. Member since 2017. Second home in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Experience paradise on the Riviera
The Riviera Maya, with hot spots like Playa del Carmen and Cancun, has become one of Mexico’s hottest destinations. Easy access for U.S. east coasters, and calmer Gulf waters, makes this sliver of the Yucatan one to rave about. THIRDHOME‘s Vidanta partnership has also opened the doors to amazing properties on the beaches of the Riviera Maya. You’re just one deposit away from booking a stay in one of the residences pictured below.
“Totally fabulous resort and villa!
This was the most incredible travel experience. This 5-star resort was very high end with the most amazing villa, 18 restaurants with fabulous food, a beautiful beach club that served wonderful tropical drinks and impeccable service. The contemporary villa was very large with an amazing balcony including a plunge pool. We all had several spa treatments and there was a nice workout room. The owner gave several perks with the reservation and had great recommendations for restaurants and activities. The Grande Luxxe status gave guests extra perks within the resort. Our family had a wonderful relaxing vacation. It takes a bit to impress us but this was over the top. I highly recommend Vidanta Resorts. ”Lynn B. Member since 2018. Second home in New Orleans, Louisiana.
“A Luxury Paradise.
The Grand Luxxe apartment is so beautiful, comfortable, big, has great service, it’s real luxury, and the common areas are great. At the beach club, you’ll find anything you need, from any kind of food in the various restaurants, to a really nice mini-market for the comfort of eating something in your place or just have a bottle of wine. The Spa is fantastic! We had a great massage. I higly recomend it. Scott, the owner was very helpful and easy in everything we asked and needed. Thanks, Scott for letting us enjoy this beautiful place.”Katyna M. Member since 2018. Second home in Venice, Italy.
Cabo San Lucas
Relax at Land’s End
Picture yourself at the furthest reaches of the world, away from the stresses and noisiness of the city. Now realize that vision at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Surrounded by Pacific waters and the Sea of Cortez, you’ll feel a sense of ease wash over you as you settle into a THIRDHOME oceanview residence. Partnerships with lavish resorts like Solaz los Cabos has made swapping your home for a sun-kissed Cabo stay a reality with THIRDHOME.
“Solaz los Cabos: You will love it.
We just spent 2 sun-drenched amazing weeks at Solaz and we could not be happier. The entire staff was warm, welcoming, and eager to help… One of the best amenities is the beach, and it is swimmable!! Many options as far as pools are concerned and the fitness center was ideal. The roof top desert gardens were unique and much more aesthetically pleasing than typical roof tops. Architecturally, a master piece. The interiors of the suites were perfect and the beds were the best ever… Overall 5 stars, and we look forward to our return visit.”Michael M. Member since 2015. Second home in Gilbert, South Carolina.
The kind attention to every detail in preparation of our stay by the Owners was unprecedented. That level of service and thoughtfulness met us at the property with an informative check in and thorough tour of the stunning home. “Welcome Home” was the kindest greeting! The impeccable design and cleanliness was only outweighed but the spectacular view. We enjoyed the fine services of the restaurant, activities center, beach club and poolside—gracious and unobtrusive. We slept luxuriously and enjoyed the well-equipped kitchen for preparing breakfast. Loved our stay so much we are ready to return and make it home! ”Frank K. Member since 2018. Second home in Dencarik, Indonesia.
Interested in visiting Mexico soon?
Click the link below to see all available stays in Mexico! Remember, you must be logged into your account to see availability.
Nearly 12 million international tourists visited Mexico last year, reflecting former president Vicente Fox’s vision to make tourism, “…a top priority activity for federal government, which is why [Mexico] invests millions of dollars a year in…projects that promote Mexico’s culture and natural attractions.” This cultural investment has obviously paid off in making Mexico the go-to beach resort location of North American tourists and many others around the world. Luxury Travel Mexico.
But now that the word is out on Mexico’s beautiful destinations, where does one go for luxury travel in Mexico? Avoiding crowded beaches and hand-picking a special experience is vital to a luxurious Mexico trip, and THIRDHOME has compiled the best destinations and properties to help you feel less like one in 12 million, and more like the unique member that you are.
A THIRDHOME membership allows access to homes in all of these fantastic destinations in Mexico below, and all over the world! Members of The Club book trips every day for a fraction of the price by using their THIRDHOME membership.
Luxury stays in these Handpicked Mexican destinations are available now! Plan your trip today!
What to do: Welcome to the original Mexican beach resort, graced by the likes of Elvis, Sinatra, and President Kennedy, this ‘Pearl of the Pacific’ drew plenty of crowds in the 1950’s. Acapulco is one of the older Mexico resort destinations, but it still retains an old-timey Golden Age charm. With beautiful cliff sides, delicious food and gorgeous views Acapulco is sure to deliver a serene getaway on your next Mexican holiday.
Click here to see all Acapulco properties
Bahias de Huatulco
What to do: Crucecita, in the state of Oaxaca, was once only home to one small fishing village. In the late 1980’s, development began on several resorts and golf courses. Development was heavily regulated, leaving large swaths of land untouched, and limiting the height of resorts. This left Crucecita with much of its original Southern Mexican charm. Bahias de Huatulco refers to the nine bays on the coast of Crucecita, around which many resorts were constructed. Due to limited air access, only about 20% of Huatulco’s tourism is foreign, making this a perfect getaway from the average coastal tourist city. Bahias de Huatulco has been praised for its sustainable practices in tourism and is gaining more popularity due to its coffee plantations, music and hiking routes. Although air access is limited there is a small airport about 20 minutes away from the resort area.
Click here to see all Bahias de Huatulco properties
Cabo San Lucas
What to do: On the tip of Big Sur, Cabo San Lucas has some gorgeous natural wonders. Hike out to El Arco, a gorgeous natural stone arch that dips into the sea. On your way, pick between visiting Lovers Beach or Divorce Beach, depending on the mood (choose wisely). Take a dive into Chileno Bay to snorkel among the tropical fish and sea turtles. If you are feeling a little wild, Cabo San Lucas does have the best nightlife variety out of any Big Sur city.
Click here to see all Cabo San Lucas properties
What to do: Set on the edge of the Yucatán Peninsula is the world-famous tourist destination of Cancún. “The Glistening City” was established in 1970 and is located about an hour South of Playa Del Carmen. The area was a large gamble for the Mexican government who had to fund the first 9 hotels on its own due to hesitance on part of investors, but it has most certainly paid off for Mexico and tourists alike. Many modern, pyramid and tower-like resorts decorate the virgin beaches of Cancún.
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What to do: In the southern region of Baja Sur, La Paz is an upbeat and international town. The quirky Baja settlement was first home to Neolithic cavemen, then to Hernan Cortez’s conquistadores in 1535, then to William Walker’s Republic of Sonora in 1854, and finally to Mexican citizens and foreign ex-patriots. Its remote location and rich history have made the city a fan favorite among international travelers. If you’re looking for an unforgettable stay on the Sea of Cortez, look no further. With one of the highest standards of living and quality of life in Mexico, La Paz lives up to the inherent luxury of other Baja resort destinations. You can also travel from La Paz to the UNESCO protected Isla Espíritu Santo, which features impeccable diving, snorkeling and kayaking.
Click here to see all La Paz properties
What to do: The Jalisco-based city of Manzanillo faces the beautiful waters of the North Pacific. Unlike many of the cities on this list, tourism is not the mainstay of this city. Seaport trade is the real business in town, and recreational fishing is the primary tourist draw. Manzanillo is known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World” and hosts The Dorsey Fishing Tournament every year. Besides numerous fishing opportunities, the city also has a view of the optical phenomena known as the “Green Flash.” Appearing for only a second or two, these green lights occur as the light from the setting sun diverges into many colors, making for a magical sunset.
Click here to see all Manzanillo properties
What to do: Founded in 1992, Nuevo Vallarta was built for the sole purpose of attracting tourists to its modern infrastructure and attractions. The resort sits about 15 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta and attracts mostly U.S. and Canadian tourists. Nuevo Vallarta stores typically accept pesos and USD making it an easy place to travel from the states. Home to a beautiful marina, a PADI Dive Center and many individual resorts Nuevo Vallarta is perfect for those looking to enjoy the beach and an array of watersports.
Click here to see all Nuevo Vallarta properties
Playa Del Carmen
What to do: Besides relaxing pool or beachside with a tropical drink in hand, Playa Del Carmen is full of exciting and unique activities. History lovers can step back in time and explore the mysteries surrounding the amazing Mayan ruins at Tulum and Chichen Itza. But, make sure you don’t miss your chance to see Rio Secreto! Very few places in the world boast the perfect conditions for an underground river, and Playa Del Carmen is one of them! Rio Secreto has carved out a massive system of caves underneath Riviera Maya over the years. Guests who are looking to stay on resort property can play the Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course at Vidanta’s Riviera Maya.
Click here to see all Playa Del Carmen properties
Punta de Mita & Riviera Nayarit
What to do: This tiny fishing village is now home to several resorts, golf clubs and private beaches. The Pacific Coast offers pleasant breezes throughout the year and is home to a diverse ecology of marine life. Many old fishing ports have since been turned to upscale resorts that merge gracefully into the azure coastal waters. This region of Mexico is big with surfers but is still primarily known for its calm and luxurious accommodations.
Click here to see all Punta de Mita properties.
San José del Cabo
What to do: Some refer to San José del Cabo as the quieter version of Cabo San Lucas. The downtown area has nice shopping, adobe houses converted into restaurants and several golf courses. The area is also home to some very modern and avant-garde developments, redefining the Mexican beach resort and raising expectations for Cabo travel veterans. For peaceful relaxation, San José del Cabo is the Cabo for you.
Click here to see all San José del Cabo properties
San Miguel de Allende
What to do: This gem of a city was almost a ghost town by the end of the 20th Century, but when local artists recognized that the Baroque colonial architecture had potential, a number of initiatives were moved to the city to ensure its continued existence. Post World War II, many U.S. soldiers studying on the G.I. Bill would come learn art in San Miguel de Allende thanks to the city’s commitment to education and the arts. Founded in 1541, San Miguel is now a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its architecture and role during the fight for Mexican Independence. There are no beaches in San Miguel de Allende, but the lack of waterfront is made up by its rich history and artistic appeal. Festivals, such as The Day of the Dead, are celebrated with a special zeal in San Miguel, which is accentuated by the town’s Mexican fairy tale aesthetic. This city was just voted as Travel & Leisure’s Best City in Latin America, and Best City in The World.
Click here to see all San Miguel de Allende properties
Valle de Bravo
What to do: Surprisingly enough, Valle de Bravo is not a coastal resort town. On the shores of Lake Avandaro, Valle de Bravo is where the capital’s elite go to play. If you really want an authentic upscale Mexican experience, Valle de Bravo is the place to go. Historic temples, parishes and museums harken back to colonial times, and even to some Aztec heritage. In 2005, Valle de Bravo was dubbed Pueblo Mágico by Mexico’s Secretariat of Tourism, to recognize the city’s “…symbolism, legends, history…in other words, ‘magic’ in its social and cultural manifestation, with great opportunities for tourism.” The city has also hosted world-famous events including El Circuito Avandaro (auto racing) and La Festival de Rock y Reudas (rock music festival). Come live, play and eat like a local at Valle De Bravo today.
Click here to see all Valle de Bravo properties
What to do: Far from the prototypical coastal party town, Zihuatanejo is a small-town getaway which had been relatively unheard of until Ixtapa was built next door and tourists flocked to the Pacific Coast of Mexico. It still retains much of that fisherman village charm with plenty of local shops, restaurants and cafes. Lounging on the beach, exploring the historic cobbled streets and enjoying the peaceful quiet of Zihua are some of the best ways to spend your vacation. It’s still a well-kept secret, so book your trip before the rest of the world finds out.
Click here to see all properties in Zihuatanejo
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