Hola Carl and Lorena,
This letter originates from near Seattle, Washington, USA. I have recently purchased a condominium in Puerto Vallarta. My decorator and friend Jan will be going to PV, and then on to Guadalajara to shop for furniture, etc. for the new condo.
Jan will need help getting around in Guadalajara; translation; and also need help getting the furniture shipped to Puerto Vallarta. At this point Jan has a place to stay, but that is it. She is non-Spanish speaking.
I am wondering if you have any helpful information regarding shopping as well as shipping from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta.
I also wonder if I might find a reliable, trustworthy and honest man or woman to drive her around to the various factories and/or shops where furniture can be purchased; to translate for her; and to help with arranging for shipping to Puerto Vallarta. Obviously this person would have to have an excellent knowledge of what is available in Guadalajara.
Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you:)
There are a handful of professional "shopping guides" in this area, so I asked our friend Teresa Kendrick for a recommendation. Teresa is the author of an excellent book, Mexico's Lake Chapala and Ajijic, knows Guadalajara shopping quite well, and also has a background in art, design and museum work.
Take a look at her website, http://www.chapalaguide.com
So... I value Teresa's recommendations highly. Here they are:
José 013 121-2385; J. Antonio Iñiguez 013 634-8180; Tours with René 013 762-0127 email: email@example.com
I'm quite sure that any of these people will be able to help with accommodations, as well as shopping and shipping.
Could you please let us know if this information works for you?
By the way, Lorena and I are refugees from the mountains east of Bellingham. One of the high points of my day is to check the Seattle Times weather report!
Hola again Carl and Lorena,
After much consideration, I have decided to limit the decorator's shopping to Puerto Vallarta. However I really appreciate your information regarding Guadalajara, which included information from Teresa Kendrick.
Having decided to stay with Puerto Vallarta merchants only, might you have any recommendations? I'm looking to furnish my condo, and will need: furniture, a light fixture, miscellaneous items, as well as 'artsey' kinds of things. Any suggestions you might have to facilitate Jan's shopping for me will be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
I have already purchased appliances at Sam's Club, and ceiling fans at Ventiladores y Candiles Gomar, so I don't need any information in those areas:)
Hello again Tom,
Hmmm... you're the second person this week to mistakenly assume that we live in Puerto Vallarta, so I guess we'd better take a look at the website and see "what gives"! Actually, we're currently in Ajijic....
Teresa is in Texas right now, and out of touch, and I'm not a shopping expert but.... depending on how much you plan to spend, you might want to reconsider Guadalajara. I know that many people in PV prefer to shop in Guadalajara, so there may well be significant savings there.
But... we need a second, more expert opinion. I'm forwarding your message to a higher authority, our resident experts in PV, Robert & Deborah Foster. Please stand by....
I tend to agree that the small savings you'd realize by shopping in "the G. spot" might not be worth the extra time and effort. A serious furniture-shopping trip to Guadalajara usually requires a minimum of two or three days of hotel stay, meals out, transportation costs, etc.
Then, there's the cost of transporting all the stuff back to PV, and the risk of damage in so doing. Of course, if you have your own big, covered truck, a cheap (or free) place to stay in G., etc., it might be worth it.
As far as where to shop here in PV, as always, depends on your taste and budget. Do you like fine, beautiful (but pricey) rattan furniture? (Not talking Pier One stuff here, but really nice work.) Look at the Rattan of Guadalajara's store in PV, at the Plaza Marina. But prepare for sticker shock. They deliver and take plastic, by the way.
Prefer the more-affordable rustic Spanish-style stuff? We bought a lot of ours at a furniture store called Rustico, close to the venerable old accessory shop called Alfareria Tlaquepaque. (It's just beyond the big supermarket Ley, on the main road into downtown, on the left.) Rustico seemed to be as cheap as anywhere in town two or three years ago, when we bought several pieces. Even cheaper than the "factory outlet" in Pitillal, and cheaper than many of the roadside, under-tent places. Rustico also takes plastic and delivers.
Rustico even sent some guys over to repair a new wooden lamp that needed rewiring, no hassle, no charge. But, again, that was, maybe three years ago. Or more. Might be a table dancing joint there now for all I know. (Actually, I'm pretty sure it's still there.)
By the way, the aforementioned Alfareria Tlaquepaque is the best place for reasonable pottery knick-knacks, plates, glasses, petates, etc. But, it's standard quality stuff that you see everywhere. They just have more of it, and a little cheaper.
Finally, Kim Cawood Interiors has somewhat more-original rustic pieces, plus a warehouse full of "whimsical" rustic accessories. (Shrewdly selected to catch the romantic gringo eye). It's on the main highway out of town, just a few hundred yards north of the PV airport, on the right.
By the way, always verify that the price for big ticket items like furniture includes IVA (15% sales tax) and delivery. Generally, the quoted price does include these, but some places (if you don't ask) will try to add on another, surprise charge at the last second. (This rarely happens but it's still a good idea to just casually verify that IVA and delivery are included.)
Gotta go or this PV lighting storm is gonna fry my computer. Again.
Good luck, Robert Foster