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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 fashion designer and host per excellence Xavier de la Torre.

Our magical colonial villa has great stories to tell. Dive on the best tales of the oldest standing building in Vallarta. (late 1800s).

Villa Leonarda’s Story

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.

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Libro Amarillo: A Love Story

What’s in that box labeled with Elizabeth’s name? I asked with curiosity. – Dozens of memories in form of old newspapers and photos, would you like to see them?. This is how my chat begun with Sergio Toledano, adopted child of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, whom being only 12 years old, conquered the heart of Vallarta and Liz Taylor herself.

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The Burtons

Elizabeth and Richard began their relationship in 1962 during the filming of the movie Cleopatra, but it was in Vallarta where they lived the best years of their romance.
‘I always say that Elizabeth and Richard fell in love in Puerto Vallarta, but also fell in love with Puerto Vallarta’, says Sergio.
At first, Elizabeth and Richard rented the ‘Kimberly house’ -called that way in honor of a former owner- it was a huge and traditional brick and tile house, – Jalisco style -. Which was later joined to another property with a color bridge (A replica of the ‘Bridge of Sighs’ in Venice), where they built the pool and guests rooms.

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Night of the Iguana

The 1964 movie, filmed in Mexico, launched Vallarta to fame as a touristic destination, which it was off the map until the film release. Thanks to ‘The Night of the Iguana’ film starring by Richard Burton, Vallarta became known, in those days, as a choice destination for Hollywood stars.

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Mexico’s finest fashion designer

My uncle Xavier was of the zodiacal sign Leo, so all his friends always gave him figures of lions. That’s why he named his house “Villa Leonarda”. In addition to being an extraordinary designer; he had an outstanding talent to create friendly atmospheres, to cook and to decorate, -the reason why the meetings were always made in Villa Leonarda-. He was a splendid host. From fashion to interior design, and from there to sculpture or cooking. Everyone knew him and he knew everybody. His home, Villa Leonarda, was a true creative mecca.

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Our distinguished visitors

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.