We just returned from a 1 wk. stay at the timeshare part of this resort...and fell even more in love with it. The location is perfect for those who don't mind walking to the Malecon or for nearby groceries and shopping (or a short cab or bus ride). In the 3 yrs. since our last visit the sidewalks have been much improved (although the same CANNOT be said of the cobblestone streets) and widened for much of the 5 blocks or so from the Malecon which allows for a safe and leisurely walk. The entire town is very safe feeling even late in the evening. Bring comfortable footwear...the streets and unexpected curb dropoffs will maim you if you don't pay attention.
Those who are reading these reviews and have never been to this resort need to understand that some of the issues people write about are related to rooms in the (5) "hotel" buildings, and maybe not the timeshare condos.
We found our condo to be exceptional: kept meticulously clean by housekeeping, very comfortable with high thread count bedding, a firm and comfortable mattress, relaxing balcony with ocean/city views to die for, and the sound of waves lulling us to blissful sleep.
The dining room and kitchen were well equipped for preparing breakfast or a light snack and you can walk to the incredible Mega grocery store down the street.
The grounds throughout the resort are spectacular...like a botanical garden and are kept in pristine condition. The 2 pools are huge and offer plenty of space for children to splash in their area, and also lots of room for adults to actually swim or congregate at the swim-up bars without overcrowding. The timeshare pool (also available to hotel guests) has a large hot tub area accessed by a footbridge with waterfalls into the pool. Iguanas like to hang out on the pool islands and that adds to the fun to try and spot them.
The margaritas here are the best I've ever had, hands down! Order the Nachos Natural for a light pre-dinner snack that is awesome. Service can occasionally be "leisurely" but hey, chill a little--you're on vacation and a short wait won't kill you!
We had breakfast (timeshare presentation) at the buffet and it was plentiful and very good. Had to wait a while for the scrambled eggs, but once a new tray was delivered they proved to be well worth the wait. You can also order breakfast off the menu which offers some wonderful alternatives. Do order the "green juice" for breakfast--it's a unique flavor of pineapple, celery, carrots and a ton of other healthful things and I think it's only available here...yummmmm!
Had dinner one night at Las Gaviotas and it was somewhat pricey (although dinner for 2 was at 50% off with VIP discount) and very good, but I would recommend venturing out into the town for variety and other less expensive options. Service there was excellent and everyone we encountered throughout the resort was very friendly and helpful.
If you are staying in the timeshares, they usually have a wonderful welcome party with great food, entertainment and giveaways. We didn’t attend this year because it is scheduled to begin mid-November, but in the past I won a great zipline trip.
The lobby timeshare "predators" can seem oppressive, but by politely holding your ground and explaining that you are not interested, or have already attended, they will back off. The one thing I did NOT like was later in the week when a woman with a clipboard asked us on our way out the building for our room number to check to see if we did attend a presentation already. Uh-uh...you do NOT need to know our room # and the fact that we will be away from it for the day.
If you do attend the presentation, it will not take up your entire morning unless you offer too much information that will prolong their selling opportunities. Go in there on YOUR terms (i.e. you’re meeting someone at the airport at _____, you have back/leg issues from sitting too long, etc.) and stick to it! Be aware that there are approx. 7 levels of personnel that you will be "handed off to" before you are finished. Once one of the final salesmen determined that we really were not interested, we were dropped quite abruptly (and somewhat rudely). Afterward, you will get a VIP card for resort discounts on food and drinks (bring to the pool) and spa massages, and discounts for booking excursions (at the resort desk), and also a certificate for a future 1 wk. trip (might be worthwhile--it will not be FREE, but I haven’t yet checked out the selections and pricing). Don’t know if the discounts on Vallarta Adventures excursions are the same as those available elsewhere or not.
Sheraton Buganvilias Resort offers incredible beauty, activities--or just sheer relaxation, recreation, and a pleasant cultural experience. We hope to return here again…it is so beautiful and rejuvenating.
--Plan on going to a wonderful restaurant about a 10 minute walk from the resort. EL ANDARIEGO RESTAURANT is about 3 short blocks toward downtown on the opposite side of the street and is fantastico! We had a couple of breakfasts and dinners there… the service is wonderful, the food extraordinary and the prices quite reasonable. On some evenings from 6-11pm there is entertainment and Solomon is a talented singer and guitarist. Always an enjoyable time going there—morning or evening!
--Do NOT under any circumstances eat at the Mission Hotel Restaurant (across the street from El Andariego). Had a horrible breakfast experience…NO greeting, NO coffee, then too weak coffee, they had NO fruit that day, and NO waiter to take our order after 30 minutes!!! We gladly paid to just get the heck out of that place and go across the street for a wonderful breakfast.
-An excellent canopy/zipline tour is at LOS VERANOS CANOPY TOUR which is available I think from Vallarta Adventures. This place is about 40 minutes out of town off Route 200 in the tiny village of Las Juntas y Los Veranos about 15 miles South of PV. We had a rental car this time and the topas (speed bumps) are numerous and road construction can be daunting but the drive out of Mismaloya is spectacular. While driving the dirt road to their facility which is literally at the end of the road, we almost stopped at another one (Paradise Adventure Park) just down the road from them but soon realized it was not the one we wanted. The guy tried to tell us how they were much better—but we wanted to return to the same place we had a blast at 3 yrs. ago. They have 14 ziplines thru the trees, over valleys and the river and the best equpment and guides around! The on-site restaurant has fantastic and reasonable food and awesome mango margaritas. While waiting for your friends, you can just hang around the outdoor restaurant or wade into the river and sit on the huge boulders. They also have some photo opportunities for animal encounters with a tarantula and boa constrictor, among others.
--On Saturdays from 9:30am-2:00pm (beginning Nov. 3) go to the wonderful OLD TOWN FARMERS MARKET at Pino Suarez between B. Badillio and V. Carranza. Artisans living within 50km of PV offer homemade foods and breads, handmade artwork, jewelry and clothing in a lively street setting. Beautiful and unique gifts can be purchased there.
--SAYULITA is a wonderful day trip to a funky beach town north of PV. We took the loooong bus ride last time, but opted for a rental car this year and it was a good investment. Capitan Cooks on the beach offers palapas and chairs for the day and exceptional food, drinks and service (thanks, Alberto!), and clean restrooms. You can paddleboard, surf, boogy board, walk toward the deserted end of the beach or just chill out here. The vendors are plentiful and somewhat pesky, but you can kid with them or just politely refuse their wares.
Corner condo units offer a spacious patio overlooking the ocean and city.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.