Ariel Grunwald: Vallarta · Nayarit has a Very Special Energy
Originally from Santiago de Chile, Ariel Grunwald defines himself as a spiritual person who always looks after the welfare of his family and tries to bring something of value to those around him. For him, the day starts at 6:30am, when he gets up with his wife to take care of their young children, play, have breakfast and meditate with them to give thanks for another day of life.
Partner of Toro Rosso Developers (developers of Pier 57, as well as Avalon Residences & Spa, Horizon, Paramount Bay and La Cima I and III), Grunwald arrived in Puerto Vallarta in 2015 after having lived five years between Los Angeles and New York, eight years in Mexico City and one year in Miami.
His passion for real estate began during his childhood. “When my friends came to the house, I liked to rearrange the furniture, plants, lighting and music. I realized how spaces affect and define the relationship and interaction between people,” he says.
Almost three years after arriving in Puerto Vallarta, Ariel Grunwald tells us what makes the destination so special, why it is an excellent option to live in and some of his favorite places in the bay.
First Encounter with Puerto Vallarta
“Because for a long time I was focused on spiritual leadership and coaching and inspiring other people, I came to the city several times to give talks and lectures. The first time was in 2006. Then in 2007 I came for family vacations, and in 2012 I came on my honeymoon.”
Arrival to the Destination
“When I was living in Mexico City, I decided to rethink my life, which involved moving to Miami. A day before leaving, my current partner called to invite me to work with him on a real estate project that was to start here in Puerto Vallarta, but I told him that I wanted to do other things at the moment, and I went to the United States. Little by little, over the months, it became clear to me that the opportunity to come to this paradise to work, learn and enjoy my family was a gift, and we finally arrived in mid-October 2015, just after visiting my family in Chile.”
Favorite Places in the Bay
“I have gone through different phases, but one of my favorite activities is going to Punta Mita to spend the day at the St. Regis Hotel beach club. Then we eat at an El Anclote establishment such as Punta Mercedes, Si Sushi or Sí Señor. The best ice cream I’ve ever tasted is at Naef Café, which is also in that area. I like to eat, and my favorite restaurant in the bay is Spice Market, inside the hotel W Punta de Mita, where the ambiance and atmosphere is incredible. I like to take my children to ride along the Nuevo Vallarta bike path and then go to Nicksan to eat, or stay at home, enjoy the pool and an afternoon walk on the Malecón. The plan should always revolve around a little beach time and eating delicious food.”
The Best of the Local Culture
“Vallarta · Nayarit has a very special energy. I think it is one of the few beach towns in Mexico that has such soul, spirit and heart. As it is not a manufactured destination—that is, it is not a Cancun or Los Cabos, where they saw a beautiful place and then made it—people here have their food, their customs… they have their town, their church, their patasaladas (those born in Puerto Vallarta), and that makes you feel the warmth of the social fabric.”
Ideal Places to Take Family and Friends
“Once again, the highlight of everything is eating well. Obviously, some days, going to La Palapa or El Dorado, with the pier, the lights, the sand and the tiki torches, is quite an experience. I like to take them to Salud Super Food, to Veggitalia and at least once to Café des Artistes, so they can experience the garden, the hanging lights and the atmosphere, also, spending a day in Sayulita, which is a charming little town. You cannot miss a boat ride to Casitas Maraika or to go snorkeling at both Majahuitas and Los Arcos. If my guests bring children, I like to take them to the Vallarta Zoo, because besides being a great adventure in the open air, I have always believed that living with nature and animals is very beneficial for the little ones.”
What Has Changed in Puerto Vallarta
“Despite my short time in the city, I have noticed its growth a lot. The low season is no longer felt, as there are always people in the streets and restaurants. There are nice initiatives from the community, for example, the construction of the sidewalk on Highway 200 South that the Amapas Neighborhood Association is making to benefit the large number of visitors who walk from Paramount Bay to the Romantic Zone. Puerto Vallarta is a prominent destination, very successful, with very low insecurity rates, without hurricanes… it is a very kind destination, a very generous bay.”
Why Puerto Vallarta Is Special
“I think it is the only place where you can see people of any nationality, sexual preference, age, social status and origin in the same place, interacting with each other, and it works well. Generally, in the other cities where I have lived, wealthy people are on one side, the not so rich on the other side, straight people on another and so on. Here, on any given Sunday, you go to a restaurant and you can sit next to a retired couple from Quebec, who are in turn next to a 35-year-old gay couple or a local family. That feeling of warmth, belonging and vocation for service makes Puerto Vallarta unique.”
Tips for Those Thinking About Moving to the Destination
“Mexico and the Mexicans are incredible, especially if they are from Puerto Vallarta. The lifestyle one can have here is really hard to find elsewhere. The people of Vallarta are super affectionate, warm and generous. That standard of living is available to many people because it is not as expensive here as in other places in the world. In addition, there is a beautiful community, ready to receive them.”