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“Solid no frills vacation” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Villa del Mar

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Villa del Mar
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Blvd. Fco. Medina Ascencio Km. 3 | Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta 48380, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #53 of 121 hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Solid no frills vacation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013 via mobile

We just arrived home from our 7 day stay at this resort.

My family was looking for a family friendly resort with decent food and access to the beach and our wishes were fulfilled.

Our spacious one bedroom suite was perfect for our needs.

We got a great deal on the package and it could be because the resort is undergoing some updating. Two of the adjoining Villa del Palmar buildings were being renovated with what looked like new floors, paint and new furniture.

The food was fine and the service was excellent. The nightly shows are a fun diversion if nothing else.

I would recommend this resort to those interested in a relaxing quiet vacation with their family.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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58 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Diego, California
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

The hotel and resort was very nice. Rooms were spacious and well kept. However, please be wary of the people who hang out by the exit of the airport they are all trying to get you to go to a resort presentation. They will even pose as representatives of a car rental company (that's how they got us). We were harassed pretty much every day we left the hotel for whatever reason. Everyone wanted to give us $$$ off of dinner, free tours, free breakfasts, but it all came with a resort tour and pushy salespeopls who won't take no for an answer and berate you when you don't buy. One man out front named Arturo, he will grab you and yell at you if you are being picked up by any company but the hotel's.

While you're in town though check out Cafe Belen and get a guarache, walking distance from the hotel. It's the best and most authentic place to eat in all of Puerto Vallarta!! It's a hole-in-the-wall restaurant ,not a place that caters to tourists.

Room Tip: Don't need to upgrade to get a good room.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
irvine
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

Had a fantastic week in PVR. The resort needs a little updating, but who stays in their rooms when you have the beach and pool. Poolside service was great. Lots of happy hour drink specials. Activities throughout the day to keep everyone busy and happy.

Room Tip: Again, I can't complain about our room. Even though it was towards the front of the resort it wa...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Rafael, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

We were a group of 6 and had originally booked 2 rooms, but upon checking in they told us that those rooms were not available anymore and they upgraded us to a 2 bedroom suite, which turned out to be nice since we had booked our rooms one day before. Checking in was a bit of a hassle, long lines, and the check in process takes a while. The rooms were nice, the AC worked and kept the rooms nice and cool, since it was about 90 degrees outside and Humid. They two pools they have are very nice, they are big and are nice for kids to swim in. The food was great, they have different options, the Buffet was great, especially for breakfast. Just make sure you ask to see what they have, because everyday is a different theme. Only down side is the room we got was located in the front of the hotel, by the main street, and it is a bit noisy. I speak spanish so it was easy to speak to the resorts employees, but it seemed that the majority of the employees spoke english too. I would stay here again, the beach, hotel rooms, and service were great. I recommend this place for family's with kids.

Room Tip: ask for a room that is not in the front of the hotel
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antwerp, Belgium
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

every year we go to hotel Villa del Mar so we can compare year by year.
as uswal the reception, dining-room, bar,maintenance and cleaning staff were more than OK !
Joaquin and his staff deserve a big promotion ?
In 2011 we had the pleasure to meet the manager Edwardo Doménech. he was so kind and helpful. during the weekly manager's cocktail he talked with every guest !
but this year we were disappointed. manager Virginia Fernàndez de Marcos didn't showed up at the manager's cocktail. nevertheless we don't think that a manager's job is from 9 to 5 ! we ever must get our first 'hello'.
the readingroom +1 level was often occupied for meetings. we thought that this room was meant for the guest and not for personal ?
we also hope that next year the 'wifi' connection is improved because now it is disappointing.
hopefully the wellness-area is next year again free of charges like in 2011 and before.
regards

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

Del Mar & Villa del Palmar, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

If you are in a hurry to read reviews, this this is a long one. The short answer is this place is excellent. Be aware that it is a time share facility, so you are getting small apartments, with kitchens, not just a hotel room. The “all inclusive” does not apply to most guests, so you are presented a bill to sign for each meal. These bills are not charged to “all inclusive” guests.

The trip down from Toronto with Sunwing was smooth. The travel information they supplied did not mention it was Terminal 1. That would be a good idea to include. The information did say that the 20kg weight limit was the total of both the checked bag and the carry on bag. Since I was bringing down a load of work files to review, this was a concern. They did not weigh my carry on. Good thing.

The arrival in Puerto Vallarta was very smooth. By the time I got through customs and immigration (which was quick) the luggage was already coming through. On the way out of the terminal there were a bunch of counters with people calling out hotel names. I went to the one calling Del Mar and got a map and a good briefing on the hotel location, bus routes and cost, and the shopping mall across the street. As it turns out, those guys were time share hustlers that had nothing to do with the hotel. I got away easily when he discovered my wife was at home. They don’t pitch unless both husband and wife are available. One thing he pointed out that there was a card tucked into my passport. This was the Visa into Mexico and had to be turned in when I left. He warned me not to lose the card.

Outside the terminal were 4 Sunwing buses to take passengers to the various hotels. My name was not on any list (booked trip the day before) so they just put me on the right bus and delivered me. For the trip back to the airport, sicne I was the only Sunwing guest at the hotel traveling, a Sunwing rep came in a taxi to fetch me. Good service.

Hotel check in by Carla was smooth. Migual took my bags to the room and showed me where everything was and how it worked. There is a special spigot at the kitchen sink that dispenses drinking water. I brushed my teeth at the kitchen sink...

Since I am alone, I got the basic room, not a suite. It is larger than the average hotel room. It is equipped with excellent air conditioning plus a ceiling fan, a small kitchen that includes good sized fridge, micro wave, stove, blender, toaster and a full sized coffee maker. The fridge was empty, but had a couple trays to make ice cubes. I was glad to see the trays, because I usually travel with a dollar store ice cube tray in case the freezer is empty. I forgot to pack a tray.

The bathroom has a tub/shower, 4 wash cloths, 4 hand towels and 4 bath towels. Used ones were replaced each day.

The bed is firm, not hard. It has 6 pillows. One is sure to please. First night I slept in until 10:00 am, so I guess I was comfortable.

The TV gets 50 channels, mostly in Spanish. But it does have ABC, NBC, CBS, HBO and CNN. In other words, I won’t hear a word about Canadian news. Many of the Spanish channels carry old English language programs with Spanish sub-titles. I watched a few movies this way. I could have also watched Bonanza and Little House on the Prairie and The X Files.

I am in the Del Mar. There are two hotels on the property – both are run by the same outfit and are time share units. The Villa del Palmar is a six story complex on the beach. It has several bars and restaurants. That is where the beach volley ball is, the aqua size classes, etc.

The Del Mar is behind the Palmar, next to the road. It is a very short walk from the Del Mar to the Palmar, bars and the beach. The Del Mar also has pools and a hot tub. Things here are quieter.

The grounds are spotless. A big crew is constantly cleaning and trimming the grass. The public washrooms are also spotless. When you step inside a public washroom the lights are off until the motion sensor turns them on.

Food is very good. Breakfast is a buffet, with real fresh orange juice, all the usual foods, including fresh fruits, yogurt and an omelette station. For lunch and dinner you order off a good menu. The fish dishes are very good.

There are two adult pools, one kid’s pool, one big hot tub and a good sandy beach. Something for everyone.

I came here to work for a week, reading files in preparation for a trial. Almost any place would work, so long as the room has A/C and the food is palatable. I have gone to Cuba for this kind of study session, with no real complaints. This place is far beyond “acceptable”. It is one of the better hotels I have stayed at. The staff is attentive, friendly and speak excellent colloquial English. Twice my keycard failed to open the room door. the front desk lady suggested that maybe the battery in the door lock was failing, so she asked service to replace the battery. That solved the problem. Nice to see staff showing initiative and service.

I went shopping at the shopping center a block south of the hotel and a fellow there recognized my bracelet and said he worked at the hotel. He said “You are my boss.” I told him I thought he was doing a terrific job. Good staff attitudes clearly indicate good management and leadership.

The shopping center includes a very large department store, something like a WALL-Mart. I bought Coke, Rum, limes and beer at attractive prices. They had a ATM machine near the check-outs that gave me Pesos on my debit card. There are 12 pesos to the dollar, so the final cost of something in dollars, including GST, is about one tenth of the price tag. Limes were 28 pesos a kg, or a bit less than $3.00. A litre of Barcardi rum is 155 pesos, about $15.
Why did I buy rum and beer if I am an all inclusive? If I am at the pool or one of the bars, I can get a free drink and relax. But If I am working in my room 12 hours a day, sometimes I don’t want to take a break and go for a walk. I have cold beer in the fridge. Plus a pot of fresh coffee. I pocket some extra creamers at each meal.

The hotel has a mini-mart with the essentials, at about 20% higher cost than the mall.
Two suggestions about any trip to Mexico. Bring a travel mug. It is perfect for getting a beer or mixed drink to take to the pool or beach. Some hotels serve their drinks in small plastic glasses. Get a big drink that will stay cold.

On arrival, go to the local “Pharmacia” (I went to the one in the department store) and buy some Bactrim. This is a mild antibiotic tablet. One a day is a prophylactic dose to keep you healthy. If you get sick (I had an earache, once) 2 tablets a day will cure the problem. No prescription is required.

I bought the generic, at one tenth the cost. 14 tablets cost 20 pesos, or about $2.00.
I am here in late May. Place is probably at 20% capacity. Most guests are Mexican, with a few Americans and Canadians. I have no idea how good the service and facilities would cope in peak season.

My only complaint so far is that the drinks don’t seem to have much booze in them. But, I am here to work and I still have my own beer and rum, if I need a shot.

Room Tip: For the Del Mar, Building "C" backs onto the main road. "A" and "B" a...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Campbell River, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

A great place for a relaxing holiday. The best food I've had at an all inclusive( quite expensive if your paying out of pocket), clean spacious rooms, comfortable bed, good service from all hotel staff, beautiful beach and an excellent location for what we wanted. The only down side ts the pushy conciege spiel on arrival to get you to tour the Flamingo resort but as long as your prepared for that it's an excellent value .

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa del Mar

Address: Blvd. Fco. Medina Ascencio Km. 3 | Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta 48380, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#21 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#32 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#53 Business Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Villa del Mar 3.5*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Villa Del Mar Hotel Puerto Vallarta

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