Casa Kimberly, a Puerto Vallarta legacy restored

Prior to the 1960’s, Puerto Vallarta was a small port town with a mere 10,000 residents, until it caught the eye’s of Hollywood.

In 1964 director John Houston chose Puerto Vallarta as the location for his new film ‘Night of the Iguana’ staring Richard Burton and Ava Gardner. During filming Burton brought his then mistress and soon-to-be wife, Elizabeth Taylor, where by all accounts they fell in love.

On Elizabeth’s 34th birthday, Burton purchased a home in Puerto Vallarta for Taylor as a gift, known as Casa Kimberly (previously spelled as Casa Kimberley). He purchased the house across the lane for himself and connected the homes with a bridge so the two could easily be together without paparazzi eyes. Elizabeth visited the home often during the 60’s and 70’s, through her two marriages, and divorces, from Burton. According to the daughter of a housekeeper, Elizabeth stopped visiting the house after Burton’s sudden death in 1984 but had visited a couple of times after their final divorce.

Taylor sold the home in the early 90’s leaving everything inside, including clothes in the closet. She said the return to the home would be just too painful, according to friends. The new owners created a museum/B&B at the property with each room named after Taylor and Burton films.

Over the years Casa Kimberly (Casa Kimberley) was neglected and eventually the museum and B&B closed, leaving the house empty until local Hotelier, Janice Chatterton, who owns the nearby Hacienda San Angel hotel in another of Mr. Burton’s former homes, took on the home and renovation project.

On December 1, 2015, Casa Kimberly’s legacy was reopened boutique hotel, including the preservation of the original bridge connecting the two properties, as well as Taylor’s bedroom suite featuring a heart-shaped being reconstructed with today’s amenities, and a pink marble bathtub and a private pool and Jacuzzi on the wraparound terrace. Other rooms feature colonial-style four-poster beds and chandeliers, and shared amenities include a swimming pool, a two-treatment-room spa, an open-air restaurant and a sun terrace that overlooks the terra-cotta rooftops of town. In all the property has opened as a nine-room inn.

The original home of Elizabeth Taylor as it stood has been replaced by the new Casa Kimberly mimicking some of the original architecture but built as a functional boutique hotel, spa, and restaurant. Casa Kimberly, according to it’s website, is a tribute to the love shared between Taylor and Burton. Casa Kimberly may be a different place today, but its commitment to quality fit for Hollywood royalty can be seen in every detail.

More information at casakimberly.com

Edited on December 10, 2015 to further clarify that Casa Kimberly is a new construction paying tribute to the original home. Casa Kimberly, nor it’s staff or ownership contributed to this article or have misrepresented the new Casa Kimberly to the best of this publications knowledge. 

24 Responses
    1. Ian Hayden Parker

      Gringo Gulch. The last sentence has a link to their website. Take a look at the contact page, it has a map for the exact address and location if you are unfamiliar with Gringo Gulch.

  1. It can’t be?? It looks completely different!!!!! I had the pleasure of touring this home when it was in ruins, you could clearly see the beauty of the past. I met the caretaker one day as a fluke , right place at the right time, and we managed to communicate to each other that I wished to see the home and that he was thirsty … Hence the deal was done. My friend and I leisurely wandered through each room, the pink marble bathroom was our fav. We were led across the bridge to Richard Burtons home, and wandered there as well, taking the time to read each of the name plates of the legends etched into the tile of the rooms surrounding the pool . It was easily the best memory of puerto Vallarta that I have. It I was my friends first time travelling ever, so it was very special. The caretaker and I exchanged a few bucks at the end of the tour, and , with a gracias and a de nada, we left with one of those once in a life time experiences. I think the “property” looks stunning, and will go take a peek at my next opportunity. However I’m forever grateful to have walked the same halls as the movie star who called it her home, and who helped to put this amazing town on the map.

  2. Had a great dinner and evening, the food, service , ambience and mariachi were spectacular
    I agree the building is nothing like it was a few years ago but worth experiencing. Might be on our New Years Eve plans.

  3. Glad to see it has been restored, I remember the last time I was told it was up for sale, I was sad & didn’t know it had been flooded, but these are nice photos, Burtons bridge is still here, glad of that, I have a photo of his old bar, will see on my next trip..

  4. only thing I recognize now is the bridge over to Richard Burton’s house. Shame on CK employees on misleading customers! They must have been coached by Janice Chatterton, the owner!

    1. I just want to remind you I don’t tolerate my site being used to launch personal attacks against anyone. Casa Kimberly did not write this article and the words are not theirs, they are mine if you have an issue. The bridge was restored, as you said, the tub was restored, Taylor’s suite was rebuilt and so was the terrace. That is all that I am aware of being in original form and is in the article. Buildings throughout history have been destroyed and rebuilt but maintain their history. Even the White House in the USA was burnt in 1814 but it maintained it’s history and name when it was rebuilt. It does not erase the history or significance of a landmark because it had to be rebuilt, in fact it strengthens it’s standing in history. Please don’t use my FB page to misrepresent facts or make attacks on people, that’s all I ask. Thank you.

    2. I did not ignore the facts! As a customer I was informed of the facts by employees there…..some factually pointed out what was destroyed and what was saved. No personal attack against anyone…..just the facts!

    3. Looks so much better! If Janice is the owner, that would explain why. Her Hacienda San Angel is also beautiful. I am happy that it has been restored. It was in such disrepair.

    4. I visited the Casa Kimberly hotel website and nowhere does it even say it used to be the home of Elizabeth Taylor. The only mention is the hotel is inspired by the love of Taylor and Burton, so I don’t find it believable that the owner is coaching people to lie about the hotel. Her own site does not even make any claims that the hotel is the former home of Taylor, so it would seem the owner is being over cautiously truthful about the hotel, not lying as you claim. She very much downplays Taylor’s history in the house.

  5. Hardly Elizabeth Taylor’s place Same property is about it. I was there during construction and the original house was destroyed for construction. Richard Burtons house is all thats original. What a shame :(

    1. Her bedroom, bath, and bathtub, terrace and the bridge are restored originals on her side of the property. I think most of the lower portions of the house suffered from too much flood damage :(


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