Missing Mom (La Doña)

La Dońa and her daughter sitting at table in restaurant

The making of Hacienda San Angel

This past 8th of March 2019 Puerto Vallarta lost a legend. A woman who so many looked up to. A woman who had philanthropy running through her blood. A controversial mysterious woman who always had a vision and a mission. And………her missions were always accomplished! The world is a better place because of Janice Chatterton who touched so many lives.

Her daughter Paula Castañeda has been left that legacy and like her Mother, it is now her and her children’s mission to make sure Hacienda San Angel continues to thrive, grow and cater to the special guests all who are treated like VIP better than ever now because………….Mom would have wanted that! The doors to Hacienda San Angel are now wide open and Paula and her team of enchanting concierges invite locals and tourists alike to come and view the magic that is still happening in every corner of this iconic destination nestled high up above the church of Guadalupe on the narrow cobble stone streets of Puerto Vallarta where you will find one of the world´s most elegant and romantic luxury boutique hotels.

¨Many thanks to HSA guests for your patronage over the years. And a very sincere thank you to all who have reached out with heartwarming sentiments and stories about my mother. It has taken some time to be able to publicly acknowledge the loss of my Mother, Janice Chatterton, creator and founder of the Hacienda San Angel Boutique Hotel and the Gourmet Restaurant. Mom was an amazing force in her lifetime that is impossible to sum up in words. Daily I walk the paths of the Hacienda enveloped in my Mother’s presence all around me. We are committed to keeping true to my Mother’s vision as she wanted it! My children and I will strive to carry forward Mom’s legacy and beauty of the Hacienda as one of the ways we will keep her spirit alive for all of us. Thanks to my Mother’s passion for antiques, inspiration and ambitious energy, multitudes will continue to bask in the beauty and delight in the flavors of HSA Gourmet for years to come! I am honored to and look forward to meeting more friends and patrons who have shared this vision with my mother. Thank you again for your patronage keeping her memory and legacy alive.

Paula Castañeda

Janice touched so many lives with the creation of a masterpiece of a hotel and opening up the Puerto Vallarta SPCA.

Enjoy some memories and comments from her supporters and friends who were touched by Janice´s passion

Janice Chatterton’s influence in PV was profound, and it goes beyond saving abused and homeless animals. As you well know, there’s lots of science that documents the human animal bond and how our lives are so enriched by having animals be a part of it. Janice understood the importance of reaching young people, knowing that learning to be kind to animals at a young age then is related to being kind to one another. Hacienda San Angel is a special place. The moment you step inside you are hugged by history. A warmth envelopes you, which is Mexican culture from a bygone era. You are surrounded by and living with the furniture and trinkets that are hundreds of years old. Each has their own story, which now you – as a guest – are a part of. It’s true, many of the pieces here were owned by dignitaries and celebrities, maybe even Royalty. The mariachis performing at Hacienda San Angel´s restaurant aren’t “tourist mariachis,” they are the real deal. Not only do they represent excellent musicianship, their strolling performances is what those dignitaries and celebrities might have experienced more than a century ago.

Steve Dale


Most of my interaction with Janice has involved dogs, so I find it hard to think of her outside that context. She always had what I describe as understated elegance. Her jewelry was lovely but not flashy or looking like she was looking to show it off. The Hacienda too is elegant with its antiques but not ostentatious. It is so welcoming when people enter, the staff were always friendly and hospitable especially considering that most of the time we were there courtesy of Janice. The offer of a drink on arrival was especially nice. I absolutely love the sound of the church bells chiming. Everything is immaculate, and it is wonderful to crawl between crisp sheets at night. Little touches like robes, slippers, lovely soaps and of course candy at night make it extra special. We love to open the windows to the breezes and sound of people playing music and enjoying each other’s company. The continental breakfasts are delicious and so attractive. It was nice to be able to enjoy them in our suite or with other people downstairs. Honestly, had it not been for Janice’s hospitality we would not have been able to afford the Hacienda. I think that’s probably true of everyone from Alberta who spent time there when bringing dogs back. It was a real treat.

Back to Janice – I spent 5 weeks in the hospital this winter. During that time Janice kept in touch with Bruce, and when I was recovering, she and I chatted by email. It was during this time that she became quite ill, and despite that had to take on part of what I should have been doing. At one time she could hardly get enough breath to take her dogs out in the middle of the night, but still was concerned for me. Another thing….last summer Bruce and I had planned on going down for a week to bring dogs back. Our dog sitter was unavailable so I brought my sister. Sylvia has MS and while it hasn’t had much impact on her mobility Janice was kind to let us stay at Hacienda San Angel. I think Janice was a complex person. I guess we all are. I know she could be tough and demanding, but she was never like that with us. Whenever we said goodbye, she had tears in her eyes and always let us know that our efforts were appreciated.

The restaurant at Hacienda San Angel- was very well run. Food was exceptional, delicious and beautifully presented. The view is lovely. Wait staff were attentive while unobtrusive. One of the nicest places we have ever enjoyed a meal.

Carole Conaway Thom

What didn’t I love about her is the question. Her strength, determination, loyalty, knowledge and her kick ass attitude. She could be gracious and loving or hard as nails. She was always right, had an uncanny sixth sense about things. She was there for me during a difficult time in my life when all seemed lost. Most of all…. when I spent all those months searching for Sydney the Puerto Vallarta SPCA Rescue dog that went lost in Alberta, she believed in me when others had lost hope. Janice always made me feel welcome whether it was in her elegant dining rooms, sitting on her bed chatting like girlfriends or cuddling sick puppies together at the sanctuary. I will miss her always.

Robin McCaffrey

She’s really gone.
Pancho sat at her bedroom door and I was sitting on the floor behind him, crying of course.
He didn’t cross the threshold; I imagine Janice was sitting on the bed telling Pancho to stay and comfort me.
That’s something she would do.
I’ll miss you furrever
I love you boss

My heart is broken. Today they lay to rest my boss, my friend, my confidant, my mentor, my ‘other’ mom, MY rescuer.
At a time in my life when I had no reason at all I found purpose. She gave me purpose. The SPCA PV gave me purpose. I found my passion. My heart started to beat again and it beat hard and fast and strong. I’ve been crying ever since and if you are a rescuer you know why and I wouldn’t forsake one tear.
I can’t look around my home without seeing a trace of her in everything. Morado, my heart dog, Chilo, my life, Paz, my breath. Noelle, another ‘challenge’ she entrusted to me to either love forever or love until…
One morning I ran and woke you up, I was crying, ‘what’s wrong?’ you asked, ‘nothing i said, I have no pain!’, and you cried with me. I shared everything with you, and you listened. Sometimes you would advise me, sometimes you would shake your head at me, sometimes you would comfort me, sometimes you would cry right along with me.
We talked about the wins, the losses, and we shared our regrets.
We would argue and yell, and then we would share a dessert. It wasn’t personal, it never was, it was business, serious business, it was rescue.
I am the rescuer I am because of you. Because of the opportunities you offered me, because of the love you gave me, because of the passion and fire we shared.
‘Oh god Janice’, I’d say, ‘this is so hard.’ ‘It’s not for sissies’, she said back. ‘Nope, it’s not’.
Thank you for giving me my life back. Thank you for every life saved. Thank you for the brutal honesty. Thank you for your love and compassion. Thank you for your never ending generosity.
I will miss you forever. I love you so much.
How do you thank someone who has taken you from crayons to perfume …

Stephanie Dubinsky

Janice, I thought you were invincible and would be my mentor for the rest of my life! My time spent with you at Hacienda San Angel brainstorming about how we could bring more people to the sanctuary while we enjoyed a filet mignon in the restaurant was iconic and I cherish the memories. I know you would be very proud of the work Paula is doing and your staff are working harder than ever in your honor to keep Hacienda San Angel Grand. Every time I visit I say hi to Pancho and he kisses me. He is doing very well, yes missing you but he is getting loads of love. Rest in peace magnificent lady. You are my inspiration. Thank you for letting me serve you. It was and will always be my greatest honor.

Nicole Martin

A past filled with glamour and romance has led to a present brimming with intimate sophistication at hacienda San Angel thanks to the passion of Janice Chatterton and now Paula who will make sure Hacienda San Angel serves you and your loved ones better than ever.  You will still be greeted by your furr host Pancho, Janice´s prize poodle who will kiss your hand upon arrival if the concierge has not already led you to your room or dining table to enjoy!

Thank you for sharing in our passion and living the legend created by Janice Chatterton Hacienda San Angel. Follow up dates here.


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