Why is Puerto Vallarta a tourist destination? - Part 2 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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Why is Puerto Vallarta a tourist destination? - Part 2
While the filming of the movie was still happening Richard Burton decided that he like the area and villa very much. So much so that he purchased Casa Kimberley, which had nine bedrooms and was on Zaragoza Street for £37, 000. He had made this purchase as Elizabeth Taylor’s 32nd birthday present which was a few months before they married. Now this is what makes the story more interesting today. As a gift to himself, and to ensure he would always have somewhere quiet to sit and read, he purchased the house across the street.
Taylor lived in Casa Kimberley with her personal rooms on the top floor. Richard Burton lived in the house across the street. He then built a bridge, nicknamed the Lover’s Arch, which linked over the street to his lover’s home. This was just so he would not need to cross the street to get there. It was said to be inspired by ' The Bridge of Sighs' from the Italian city of Venice. However on closer examination it actually looks more like ' Ponte della Paglia' .
The couple were almost as famous for their fights, which they seemed to enjoy. So the bridge was also called then called the “Reconciliation Bridge” for obvious reasons.
What was left of the houses around 2005 could be found by climbing some steep cobblestone side streets, in what is known as Gringo Gulch. You could easily spot them by the ' pink' bridge connecting both sides of the street and a crumbling plaque with the name.
In 2012, Casa Kimberley was behind a fence and there were signs saying that it was being completely remodelled. At the time no one seemed to know what was going on with the villa but it was in such a state that it was impossible to make it any worse. The house owned by Burton across the street was also being “remodelled”. There was little of it left other than the bridge and that was also very neglected with the pink paint peeling off in large chunks. The crumbling “Casa Kimberley” sign and some tiles mentioning the house of the stars were barely hanging on.
All was revelled later when it turned into a luxurious nine suite boutique hotel, with an open air rooftop restaurant, tequila bar and pool. All this was created from the quaint across the street houses once owned by the couple and now you can stay there for $300 to $500 a night.
So to answer the original question it was thanks to the Taylor and Burton romance, and their love of the town, that Puerto Vallarta started to appear in the media. Once that happened business started to move in and now you have a modern resort area with lots of interesting places nearby.
If you want find out more about Puerto Vallarta now then have a look at the series of articles about the town.
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