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First trip to PV - where should I stay?

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posts: 1
First trip to PV - where should I stay?

I am planning a 3-4 day trip to PV in June and have never been. I’m looking for suggestions on where to stay. I’ll be traveling alone but a friend from Mexico City will be meeting me there, probably on the second day. Safety and comfort are my primary concern. It’s really important to me that the hotel be clean, with working air conditioning etc. I’ve read a lot of horror stories about seemingly nice hotels that stink, have mold issues, air conditioners that can’t keep up etc. I would prefer an adults only hotel but it’s not a necessity. I’m also trying to determine if I should purchase an AI package or not (and how that would work since my friend is meeting me there – would we just work directly with the hotel?). As far a location, I don’t necessarily need to be where all the action is as long as I can do a little exploring by a short taxi ride. Any ideas on where to stay would be greatly appreciated.

posts: 29,195
reviews: 12
1. Re: First trip to PV - where should I stay?

Even with everything you request in your post, there are still dozens & dozens of hotels or resorts that would fit. If you can narrow down about the adults only requirement, for sure or not all inclusive or not, and location of hotel (a "short taxii ride" still includes all of Zona Romantica/southside, Centro/downtown, Hotel Zone both north and south, and The Marina).

As far as your worries about: <horror stories about seemingly nice hotels that stink, have mold issues, air conditioners that can’t keep up etc>

Of course you need to read posts and specific reviews of your final hotel possibilities, but I've stayed in budget hotel and apartment in PV for many years and never once had any of those problems. suze

Great Neck, NY
posts: 2,668
reviews: 32
2. Re: First trip to PV - where should I stay?

The "stinky" issue - even a good & spotlessly clean hotel can have some mildew smell issues because of the heat & humidity there - open the windows & let a good breeze go through & it should be fine - i also sometimes buy a bouquet of flowers to brighten my room & give it a nice smell -

Concord, California
Destination Expert
for Sacramento, Puerto Vallarta
posts: 9,109
reviews: 107
3. Re: First trip to PV - where should I stay?

That's a great idea, lopo, as far as the alternative *scents.*

I stay in PV a couple of months a year and go between hotels --- some fancier than others. In the past year, I've stayed in 5 different hotels, for usually a week to two weeks each. What I've found, in the tropics, is what lopo says. It's humid and, let's face it, Mexico smells different than your home town. Over the years in Mexico, when I smell something a little different (either the moisture or various cooking smells, etc.), it just means I'm back in Mexico. Yay.

It's harder for new people to adjust. Understood. Also, there is a limit for health reasons. But, in various reviews, we all seen people who say the tile had mildew in PV when it just isn't as lily-white as at home. That happens regularly in humid, tropical climates --- even though the places are clean. Spotless in many cases. Also, the worst A/C situation I ever had was at Los Tules where individually owned condos (thus the owner was responsible to maintain them) were roaring and sputtering, just because they were a little old.

Nice resorts will have functional A/C. No guarantee they don't smell like Mexico though. That's part of the charm, even though they may be spotless.

Suze made a good point that there truly are many dozens of places which meet your criteria so if you could get a little more specific about priorities and vacation goals (since you are traveling with a friend and since you are only there for a long-week-end), it would be easier to help you. If you pick out 4 or 5 places which have what you want (LOADS of information all over the TA forum and websites), we could help you zero in.

Good luck in your research. Hopefully you know that June will be hot, humid and possibly rainy (depending on when this year's storm season starts).

PS: Villa Premiere comes to mind, on first thought. Close-by, adults only. Nice facility.

Edited: 4:20 pm, March 31, 2013
Calabasas, CA
posts: 1,454
4. Re: First trip to PV - where should I stay?

Since you are only going to be there for such a short time & never been to PV I would not suggest an AI. There are so many great dining places in all price ranges that will satisfy you appetite and also give you the true experience of PV.

Poland, Ohio
posts: 5,340
reviews: 32
5. Re: First trip to PV - where should I stay?

you can stay at playa los arcos on los muertos beach--best location imo or one of the sister properties. they are a half block from the beach and you have exchange privledges. casa susana dona is adult only.

lots of great places to eat in the area. and the bus stop is 2 blocks away for exploring.

pv is very walkable and you can explore just by walking around.

i'll be there in june 8th-22---have a blast

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 146
reviews: 8
6. Re: First trip to PV - where should I stay?

I stayed at Casa Don Susanna, an adults only hotel, on a solo trip last year. I was very happy with it and felt safe the whole time. Its not the Ritz and it does have a faint musty smell even tho it is spotlessly clean. It had all of the basic comforts including a comfortable bed, a quiet rooftop pool, if you want escape from the busy beach. Its a block from the beach in the old town, which is the best place for a first timer to be to get a sense of the basic charm of Puerto Vallarta, at least IMO. If you want luxury you'll have to go elsewhere because there are no luxury hotels in the old town. The hotels are so numerous that you will just have to take a chance and pick one after you've done your research. I've chosen Canto del Sol for my upcoming trip in April which is in the hotel zone and has great reviews and falls within my budget and also only a 5 min bus or taxi ride to the Malecon which is probably where I will spend a lot of my time in restaurants and bars.

An all inclusive for a 3 or 4 day trip doesn't make sense because restaurants for every budget are plenty.

Make sure you get to the Malecon and stroll it from one end to the other. You will get definitely get a sense of being on a tropical vacation.

Best of luck.

great neck, Ny
posts: 129
reviews: 2
7. Re: First trip to PV - where should I stay?

Garza Blanca without a doubt. Ten minutes to town and I believe they have a free shuttle service. Worth your time to look them up. Not adults only but in my experience, people with kids don't flock to this place. Otherwise, Casa Dona Susana in town. One block from the beach, no kids, sexy roof top pool, and you get the use of Playa Los Arcos pool, beach, towels, massage. AI, forget about it. The restaurants and street cafes are too good to miss. Enjoy

Great Neck, NY
posts: 2,668
reviews: 32
8. Re: First trip to PV - where should I stay?

free shuttle service i believe depends on the season & how full the hotel is at Garza Blanca - we had it in May last year & later in the low season, it wasn't offered/

9. Re: First trip to PV - where should I stay?

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Chapala, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Chapala, Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta, Ajijic
posts: 7,823
reviews: 177
10. Re: First trip to PV - where should I stay?

"Safety and comfort are my primary concern. It’s really important to me that the hotel be clean, with working air conditioning " per OP.

PV is a safe tourist destination so do not worry. Use common sense all will be fine.

I highly suggest Casa Velas...In June kids will still be in school so most likely will be adults only. You will be alone for a day so they will pamper you beyond belief. You can do All Inclusive or European ( NO AI)...you will have access to sister resort Velas Vallarta and will be staying in Marina Area of PV. They are located next to a golf course with such beautiful tropical grounds...and though not on the beach they have a private Ocean/Beach Club , minutes away by shuttle, with food, drink, service, pool, beach, bathrooms, and anything you could want. A day at Beach Club or half day, a day down on malecon or boardwalk, for shopping, sightseeing, drinking, eating etc... a cheap taxi or bus ride..a half day at on site pool, and maybe one tour of your choosing...with so few days and a friend coming a day later I think Casa Velas is perfect...




Girls trip to Casa velas August 2011


Casa Velas July 28-Aug 3, 2012

I have had no mold issues, no strange smells there, although sometimes as mentioned it is just a matter of airing out an unused room. A/C has always worked fine....and if something is not to your satisfaction they are there to please and will...check it out...worth a look...