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.
- Also Known As:
- Gaviota Vallarta Hotel Puerto Vallarta
- Gaviota Vallarta Puerto