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“Very pretty view of the ocean and right in the heart of the historic district.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Playa Los Arcos Hotel Beach Resort & Spa

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Playa Los Arcos Hotel Beach Resort & Spa
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Olas Altas 380 | Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta 48280, Mexico   |  
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30% off room rate
Ranked #49 of 121 hotels in Puerto Vallarta
green bay wisconsin.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Very pretty view of the ocean and right in the heart of the historic district.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

We stayed at this hotel after requesting a room change from the casa dona Susana. We had a bad experience with bugs at the casa dona susana and were a bit worries about what we were going to get when we changed to this hotel..we were happily surprised! The playa los Arcos has a great view of the ocean and is in the heart of the historic district. Because i have a job that requires i work online, i was concerned about wifi connection after reading the reviews. I had full access the entire time. The hotel is clean and it has nice private balconies. It does not have the big screen led TVs or other whistles and bells of a five star hotel ( with an ocean right out front, who needs that anyway!) the staff keeps it clean, welcoming and friendly. The beach is kept clean the boardwalk is right outside the hotel door. It was a very pleasant place to stay. I would absolutely stay there and recommend it. The historic district is addition is safe, friendly and a great place to visit!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (154)
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English first
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

You're going to read through these reviews and see repeatedly people urging you NOT to do all inclusive. Then, like me, you are going to see that it's only about $15 a day per person and think "hmm, that's cheap, might as well get it, even if just for the drinks"... I really regretted getting it. We had gone there intentionally to try different restaurants and bars in the area and ended up drinking and eating at the hotel too much because it was included. The drinks were totally random, some times so watered down you couldn't even taste the liquor, sometimes so strong you felt like throwing up. NEVER brand name liquor... pretty much all that was included came from plastic bottles with no labels. The nights we drank at the hotel I woke up feeling like death, the nights we actually went out and bought quality drinks we had a way better time and felt way better the next day. The food was repetitive and came in 2 flavours: tasteless and super spicy hot.

I emailed and live chatted and phoned them starting 5 weeks before our arrival to request a fridge and a pool view room with a king size bed. Was there for 9 days. A fridge never appeared. I don't think they actually have fridges or if they do there is only like 2 of them.

The first room we got was actually an “upgrade” to an ocean view because they had no pool views despite my requests. Ironically, my friend had payed for an ocean view and they put him in a pool view that night. The “ocean view” room was tiny, dusty and dirty. It had a large communal ground floor patio with 2 other suites and their children played loudly right outside our patio door. The woodwork was coated with dust and cobwebs, there were old take out containers and beer bottles on the patio when we arrived and were still there the next day when we changed rooms. At about 9 am some loud pump started (washing machines below us or something???) and didn't stop all day.

Then we were offered a king size pool view room that overlooked the lobby and was literally the size of the king size bed itself. We finally settled on a “street view room” with 2 rock hard double beds that actually had a nice view of the ocean. Again, my friend who had payed for the ocean view upgrade was offered the exact same room a floor above us and they told him it was ocean view. He ended up sticking with his pool view room because it was nicer. He did NOT get a refund of his ocean view upgrade. This room was cleaner, the woodwork wasn't all dusty and cobwebby like the "upgrade" room.

Every morning at 8:30 AM the housekeeping staff would assemble at the linen closet next to our room and chat very loudly for the next two hours as they cleaned the hallway or organized their cleaning carts or god knows what they were doing but they were having a good time doing it. They woke us up every morning. A dirty plate of food sat in the hallway for a full day and night.

The day we arrived I asked what was included. They said “buffet only”. On our second to last day there other guests told us we were entitled to a meal at the restaurant and grill. I complained to the front desk and they said “it was really busy here all week, we didn't have time to tell you.” ???? I don't even know what that means. The meal can only be redeemed on 3 days of the week so it was too late for us to use as we only had one of the days left on our stay and already had plans.

Other notes: the pool is nice and it's heated. There were only lots of kids on the weekends, during the week it was more adults. The beach is nice and the waves are fun but the vendors literally harass you non-stop. I had a really good time on this trip for the people I met, this hotel does attract a wide demographic and we made more friends that I have ever made on a trip before. And the location is fantastic.

We did check out their sister hotel Casa donna susana and it looked a lot nicer and all the rooms had fridges. I wish I had gone with my original instincts and just stayed there with the non inclusive option. The area has a lot of bars and restaurants, and if you had a fridge in your room, which playa los arcos probably WONT give you, then at least you could stock it with your own good drinks and snacks.

Room Tip: What the hotel calls "ocean view/street view/ or pool view" seems to change with who they...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Villas, New Jersey
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

We love this hotel. We've been here 5 times and have booked our next trip already. We usually come over Christmas/New Year's and meet up with a lot of friends we've met over the years. Our group is probably close to 40 people now. We love it because the hotel is quaint, charming and located right on the beach. The rooms are colonial and plenty big enough for your needs with a great bathroom, excellent service and most have a great view of the beach/water. You can do an all-inclusive for your entire trip or a day at a time if you want to explore other great restaurants in Old Town. This year, we helped plan a surprise wedding for a friend of ours, with the help of Rogerio (Manager) and Magda (customer relations). We couldn't have pulled it off without them. They were great to work with. It was the same night of the new pier opening, so there were a lot of people on the beach along with fireworks. Everything was exquisite & perfect from the preparations to the tent on the beach to the food & service. If you are looking for a relaxing vacation, great beach, friendly & accommodating staff (especially Martha at the front desk), a place that's not "stuffy" (like other all-inclusives), comfortable rooms & a great party on New Year's Eve right in front of the hotel in the street with fireworks on the beach, then this is the place for you. You won't be dissapointed. You can contact the hotel directly & ask for Margarita - she's the best!

Room Tip: When you walk through the lobby to the pool area, the rooms to the right are great, especially from...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
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Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

This was my first trip and stay in Puerto Vallarta and booked with Expedia.
Upon arriving at the hotel, they couldn't find my reservation but gave us a crappy room and told us to come back to the desk the next afternoon when more people check out to get a better room. We were upgraded to a free Superior Room with 2 dble beds and a balcony view of the pool area/beach. I found the beds to be ok to sleep on, not too hard not too soft but I was comfortable. You are not here to sleep all day while on vacation. The water pressure in the showers isn't the greatest and the water does sometimes go out here and there but it wasn't a problem, was still able to get a decent shower when I wanted too. I didn't get the all inclusive plan because there is so many local restaurants and bars in the area which gives you better fresher food than the hotel restuarant itself so I wouldnt advise call all inclusive. We never ate at the hotel rest and the buffet choices were not that great to choose from anyways.

This hotel is advertised as a family friendly oriented hotel so they were families, kids, older people seniors and LGBT people as well as the Gay Village is right in the whole area of the hotel and the romantica zone. The hotel pools and hot tub were great. Maids cleaned our rooms everyday and the rooms were in good condition, had Air Conditioning, TV, and a free safe to use. Never had any problems with the room or housekeeping, friendly staff.

The only complaint I have is the Wi-FI in the hotel is AWFUL!. It only really works by the lobby and pool area but no where else. It also keeps cutiing out here and there throughout the day so this was very inconvienent. I would stay at this hotel again but only if the wi-fi was in better working condition.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Pleasant Hill, California
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

My girlfriend and I just came back from a wonderful week staying at the Playa Los Arcos. We had, for the most part, a great time. We had a nice room with AC overlooking the ocean. The best beach in Puerto Vallarta is in front of the hotel, and we were surprised how many people from other resorts and hotels were paying for the privelege of sharing the beach with us. Yes, there are alot of vendors on the beach bugging you, but remember, this is Mexico, and unemployment is out of control. Just learn to say "no gracias" every three to four minutes and you will be fine. The inclusive plan is the way to go!
The quality of the food ranges from fair to very good, but the money you save on both food and the bar over the course of the week is significant. The pools and grounds were nice, and helped create a nice, relaxing, vacation experience. We had two massages during our stay, and both were very good. The only complaint I had was the lousy wireless internet, which I hope management will repair soon.

We had a great week there, came back to work relaxed and rejuvenated, and hope to go back soon!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Chicago
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

Our travel agent found this place for us after we told him we were not interested in an all-inclusive resort but preferred to stay in an area where we could walk and explore and find our own restaurants and watch the people. Playa Los Arcos fulfilled all those expectations. The room was billed as "superior ocean view" and gave us a direct view of the beach even though we were close to the street. It was fairly small, and linens and towels were quite worn. Water pressure was unpredictable, leading once to a stopped toilet and to a short-term lack of hot water several times. Maid service was excellent, and we left a tip each day. Never did go in the pools, as they seemed to be on the cool side. Beach is only a few steps away, and the towel stand guy was very helpful in terms of finding us loungers and an umbrella to use all day (he got a good tip also). We bought coupons for the breakfast buffet, but would not do so again since it would be easy to find breakfast at nearby restaurants for half the price. Location is perfect for exploring old Puerto Vallarta, the restaurants, art gallery district, Rio Cuale Island, and people-watching. Find a good nearby restaurant for dinner (e.g., La Palapa, Daiquiri Dicks, Si Senor, etc.) but save room for dessert. Then walk north on the Malecon until you find the seaside food vendors; one of them sells desserts, including flan and cheesecake. Room tip: I agree with those who suggest upgrading to a larger room. For lots of sun, choose a room on the north wing (might be too hot in midday.) Upper floor balconies on the south side offer shade in midday, but no sunset views. Don't bother with the hotel restaurant. PLA advertises itself as "family-oriented" and we saw lots of families with kids. People were from everywhere in Mexico, Canada, USA, and Europe. Some were in their 80's and had been coming the last 40 years. There also appeared to be many gay couples.

Room Tip: North wing, upper floors: full daytime sun and sunset view South wing, upper floors: daytime shad...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Tyler, Texas
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

I have stayed at the Playa Los Arcos 4 times in past 10 years. I had booked a "superior ocean view, king bed room" back in October with all inclusive plan. Upon arrival last Wednesday, I was taken to a extremely small room with 2 double beds and alley view. I had previously stayed in my requested room type before so I knew what I thought to expect. I was given a second room, with a king bed (oh, the beds in each room compared to lying on slate steel), the second room overlooked the top of the lobby, no pool or ocean view, and no air conditioning. I was then "upgraded" to a suite. It was a very old and small entrance area, a restroom only large enough for one person to walk into, turn around, and again, an extremely steel type mattress. No air conditioning. I again went back to front desk, and again told no rooms like the one I had requested and verified with the "manager" one week prior. I requested a fan to try to sleep the night as it was late, no fans. I slept with windows open, did not get but about 2 hours sleep because of party noise, dogs barking and heat! At 0700 Thursday morning I checked ouit and went to the Sheraton Hotel, which I got a great hotel with free breakfast each morning cheaper than the Los Arcos. The food and drinks the first night there were "canned" type, and weak. I will NEVER stay at this property again regardless of its proximity to the best dining spots, terrible beach vendors, dimpy pool with lots of kids. This hotel needs to be bull dozed down and built back from scratch!

Room Tip: If you like sleeping on a pool table soft bed, this is place for you!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Playa Los Arcos Hotel Beach Resort & Spa

Address: Olas Altas 380 | Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta 48280, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#18 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#26 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#29 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Playa Los Arcos Hotel Beach Resort & Spa 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A charming colonial Boutique Style Hotel designed and tastefully decorated to reflect style, refined hospitality and the unique flavor of the Mexican "Haciendas" of the 19th century. The recent decor is uniform and upgraded to compliment its charm and displaying the handiwork from Mexico. If you want to capture the true essence of Mexico this is the perfect place to stay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playa Los Arcos Hotel Beach Puerto Vallarta
Playa Los Arcos Hotel Beach Resort And Spa
Playa Los Arcos Puerto Vallarta

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