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“Cleanliness, location and value - blasé front desk staff.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Gaviota Vallarta

Gaviota Vallarta
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Gaviota Vallarta
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Fracisco I. Madero 154, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #99 of 120 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Dallas, Tx
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Cleanliness, location and value - blasé front desk staff.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2011

The Hotel Gaviota Vallarta remains a good bargain and is extremely clean. The location is excellent, just 1/2 block from the Malecon extension and a good beach; 2 blocks south of the Rio Cuale in old town. Older and built in a traditional Mexican style, but well maintained. Furniture is quite dated, but clean and kind of reminds you of the old days. It even has a small parking garage, a real plus in old town Vallarta.

Usually as a stop gap before I stayed in a condo or went to other towns I've stayed here for a few days at a time over the last several years (two times, three weeks apart this year) and at 580 pesos (cash) for a single traveler, it is a deal given its a great location. They seem to have a very low occupancy rate and I've always been able to get a room as a walk-in guest.

Unlike one other review here, I feel the place is very safe and have had no problems with theft; even left stuff out just to check that. To be extra safe, use the hotel's security room with safety boxes and two keys (like at a bank) - access is secure and professional. Coming in one afternoon I was asked to show my key, which is also good secuirty (even if she wasn't very polite).

Other reviews are right in that it seems to cater to Mexican families. Rooms not on the street are quiet unless unsupervised kids are making lots of noise in the pool. Since it is a U shaped high rise, closely built around the pool, noise echoes badly. This has happened more than once and when I pointed out the hotel's own rules to the staff they were pretty much "so what?"

Which brings me to my only other complaint. As opposed to last year, the front desk staff is very blasé and prefer to watch TV rather than be courteous to guests. Tip to management, losing the TV might go a long way towards solving the coutesy problem - surely you cannot be happy with what looks to be an 80% vacancy rate.

Even in Spanish, using all rules of Mexican etiquette (buenos tardes, como estas, etc) before any interaction yields only a perfunctory response with desk personnel. Housekeeping and Maintenance personnel are far more "educado" (well mannered and raised) than Front Desk.

I find this sad, so am motivated to write this review and address the problem. Maybe it is just my own bias, since I do know Mexican culture and courtesy, but I feel its loss from the days when people in Mexico were more old school polite than US and Canada. I can assure you other hotels in Mexico have not lost that touch and it need not be so at Gaviotas.

Since that is my only major complaint and the other pluses far outweigh this, for the price, I will rate them a "3". I will also send a copy of this to the hotel, titled : ¿Olvides la cultura? (have you forgotten your culture) - because this retired hotel consultant with a Mexican background truly wonders.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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16 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2010

Great location, and good value if you don't mind older furnishings and slightly ratty linens. In Nov 2010, I stayed at Gaviota Vallarta for one night. I walked in and was offered a room with 2 beds and a tiny balcony for $45 (M$550). No A/C, but an effective fan and a nice breeze from the ocean, which is just a block away, across a popular pedestrian walkway. The pool is small and unheated, but clean and pretty. It's a block away from a park/ zocalo, but fairly quiet at night because it overlooks a street that dead-ends on a small craft market and the beach.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2010

Small pool, but great since you are not at the hotel much really at all. I really enjoyed Puerto-Vallarta very much. Beware of salespeople on the beach... don't take at first price, you can usually haggle for about less than half of the price or more...

Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2008

If you wanna get ripped off, this is the hotel to stay at...literally. The taxi's and hotel staff seem to have something going because someone was able to sneak into our room and stole not only my money but my passport too! This was after the taxi driver recommended this hotel. I was stuck in Puerto Vallarta because of tehm. And they had the nerve to call the police the next day and try and tell them that I didn't pay the night when I prepaid the ahead of time. Never ever ever again...please spread the word ...this Hotel is not trustworthy at all. We thought it was a nice looking place when we got in, but should have known something was up when our room had two beds yet only one towel...and then the front desk literally went into vacant rooms and took those towels when we asked for a couple more (how ghetto!). Yup, spend a few dollars more for someplace safer and more secure...and be sure where you go you have a safe or security box. Good luck and guard your passports and valuables.

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Pittsburgh, PA
1 review
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2008

Reading all of the previous reviews, even though some are older, i have a lot to disagree with. The staff here are awful! Every time I bought a Fanta the same staff person would change how much it would cost, one day 8 pesos, the next 10. i mean 2 pesos isn´t a lot, but it´s the point of it all. We just finished our stay there and if we hadn´t paid with out card, we would have moved to a different hotel. they told us that since we paid with a credit card, they could not refund the days we didn´t use. however, the first night, we paid with our card and then they said that if we paid in cash, we could get 10% off, so they swiped our card again and they took it off. the pool is awful! it is cold and smelly, it is not heated and the tile is broken and i cut my toe the first time swimming in it. Also, make sure that you don´t leave any money out that you don´t want the maid to take. there is a little card saying <´thanks for the tips´<´so we left the tip there. when we came back that night the maid left the 20 peso tip there and took the 50 pesos on the tv stand underneath my husbands watch!!!

now there are a few good things about it. we got a simple room with fan and tv for 60 dollars a night. they are per person here, so one person is cheaper. also, if you don´t want a toilet that is soaked after a shower, don´t stay here because the only thing that separates the shower from the toilet is a curtain and 5 of our the loops were broken. if you´re not going to be in your room so much then it´s all right, it´s right off the beach, and you can hear the waves at night. the pillows are hard and we had a few ants. also, the beach right out front is beautiful but if you want to swim in it you better be wearing those ´swim shoes´or whatever they´re called because it is all rocks-pebbles and ´very rough, at least when were were there. we finally found out about the ´day pass´at playa los arcos and for the cost of the day pass you get it all back in food and drink and two gorgeous pools to swim in and smooth snady beach to go for a dip in. this wasn´t the best experience hotel wise, but we came to deal with it and if you´re looking for a basic place, without much service, or amentities then this is the place for you...we only slept there so it wasn´t so bad. also, if you have any questions about places to eat or go, ask other guests, the staff at the front desk was awful. as we were in the computer lab the other night, my husband saw the young guy take 30 bucks out fo the drawer and put it in his pocket. so this is a bit of a rant, but the weather outside was gorgeous the food in the area around us was great and we´re looking forward to returning to puerto vallarta....just not the hotel gaviota.

  • Liked — nothing
  • Disliked — smelly pool and staff
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Top Contributor
181 reviews 181 reviews
83 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
249 helpful votes 249 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2007

Stayed here over Xmas 2006. It is a "family" hotel meaning it caters to Mexican families primarily - but of course foreigners. I did notice gay travellers in the hotel - who always recognize a great bargain.

Rooms are basic, pillows terrible, beds OK, room size generous by local standards. With the newly completed extension of the Malecon - this is only a few feet away, and as a result, demand for this hotel will increase. Best to call directly and get a cash rate over the phone, which may was in fact better than a credit card rate by a good 10%. The website often does not bring up the "rack rates".

I found the Gaviota to be good value -and we visit PV often. Room cleaning service was OK; room was kept very clean with daily maid service etc. No phones at least not in my room, some rooms with TV others without, all effect the price. They have a website under hotelgaviota.com, which presents the hotel in the 'best" possible way. Actually, however, it is very laid back, but on a noisy street, the front of the hotel faces some bars that run late in the evening.

Downside is the locks on the doors are TOTALLY inadequate, and anyone could push these in, or use a card to break in. The hotel front desk safety boxes worked some days and others not. Would I recommend it - yes for value travellers looking for good clean accommodation. If you want more than that - try elsewhere.

  • Liked — Value and Location
  • Disliked — Room Door Security, and lack of a beach ON the property - but beach was 100 ft
  • Tips/Secrets — Phone them for best rate, offer to pay cash
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2006

If you want the holiday inn, then stay there. This is as a great place to stay. It feels like Mexico when you are staying there. The rooms are clean and comfortable. The maid service was superb, and she left the towels in a decoration on the bed everyday. I tipped them 20 pesos everyday which is nothing to a tourist. The pool isn't great but you are right on the beach anyway. The location is fantastic. If you want a great Mexican experience for a great price, stay at the Gaviota.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Gaviota Vallarta

Address: Fracisco I. Madero 154, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Kitchenette Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #99 of 120 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 80
Also Known As:
Gaviota Vallarta Hotel Puerto Vallarta
Gaviota Vallarta Puerto

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