Villa Leonarda is the recreation by present owner Sergio Toledano of a favorite hangout for Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, John Huston, Rock Hudson, Burt Lancaster, Peter O’Toole and other movie legends, friends of clothes designer and host par excellence Xavier de la Torre.
A sofisticated and well-read man born in the DF, Xavier had discovered this jewel on the Pacific coast a few years before the filming of Night of the Iguana.
When he bought Villa Leonarda in the 1950s, it was one of the oldest standing buildings in Vallarta, with the original structures going back to the late 1800s.
Seduced by its whitewashed adobe walls, hardwood beams and red tile roofs, Xavier refurbished the property and installed colorful tile floors, built the bathrooms and worked his magic throughout the two buildings divided by the large patio and pool area.
Sergio Toledano, his nephew, has maintained the atmosphere that charmed the celebrities whom he knew so well. He remembers director John Huston spending the afternoons in the villa playing poker, and recalls asking Liz—who was probably wearing one of uncle Xavier’s creations—if she and Richard would be his godparents for Holy Communion.
In fact when the paparazzi chasing Liz and Richard spread the rumor that the glamorous couple had adopted Sergio, Puerto Vallarta was catapulted to fame and on the road to become the world-class destination it is today.
Time has gone by but the magic of the place still exerts its power, and today Villa Leonarda welcomes the traveler who wishes to experience the beauty of Puerto Vallarta surrounded by the fascination of these old walls and the warmth of the Mexican people that has captured the imagination of many.
Experience the magic of the Villa!
The staff at Villa Leonarda, led by Delia, will receive you with a welcome refreshment of guacamole, salsa and chips, with a round of lime margaritas.