We booked a week in a 2 bedroom at the Villa Del Mar through RCI. At first we were very confused since there is the Villa Del Palmar at the same address. They are sister resorts, and part of the same complex, so you get to use both resort facilities. When you check in, you'll do it at the Villa Del Mar. Check-in went very smooth, lots of genuinely nice people to help with luggage and answer all your questions. We are a group of students in our mid-twenties, and had an awesome time.
The best parts of the resort are the pools, resorts grounds (very pretty with palm trees, all of the grass and bushes are in great condition), exercise facility, public grill and location. The VDP pool has a fun slide and its warm, they also have two jacuzzis (one at the VDM and one at the VDP) which is awesome to relax in the evening. The workout facility has brand new cardio equipment with plasma tvs, and a good weight area. In the locker rooms they have a jacuzzi and sauna too, and free purified water. The rooms are very homey and we had two balconies. When you arrive just ask to be in a building that is not facing the street, tell them you are a light sleeper and its very important. There are four building kind of a circle around the VDM pool. We were in D which hugs the parking, and we really liked our room. Fully functional kitchen (minus oven, nice big fridge with separate freezer), large rooms, two bathrooms. It was just what we needed. I heard that the VDP has newer rooms, but I know they have updated some VDM units. The VDP is louder with lots of kids running around and music from speakers, and some units don't have as full of kitchen. Other perks are the free BBQ gas grill that you and your friends/family can grill on in the evening. Just pick up some meat from gigante which is a block away, and you're set. The bus going to el centro (downtown/malecon) stops right in front of the resort and is only 50 cents US. Cab drives are about 5 dollars to get downtown. Its the perfect location because its 5-10 minutes to downtown, but also close to walmart and sam's club, and the marina is a short bus ride too.
This was our second time visiting in the past year. Our favorite areas to visit, were old town and sayulita.
-to get to old town take the centro bus until it ends and then just wander around. Or you can walk along the malecon going south and then just keep walking. It has the best restaurants and a lively bar scene. Wonderful little shops and is definitely less touristy.
-sayulita is my favorite place to go in puerto vallarta. You take a bus to walmart then take a bus to punta mita/sayulita. It takes about 45 minutes. Sayulita is a little surfing town that has great waves, a beautiful secluded beach, and a great trip. When we go back we plan on staying half a week in the town. If you've never surfed, they have teachers that will take care of you. There is a little sandwich shop that is open air, and a huge one was only 15 pesos! Get the cuban. Then they have little family owned ice cream and popsicle shops, get the horchata (milky cinnamon drink that taste kinda like rice pudding) it will rock your world! Take my word for it, do this side-trip, it will be the highlight of the trip.
All in all we loved the Villa Del Mar, it has a relaxed cozy feel, and had everything we wanted in a resort.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.