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“Good if you like all inclusive” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa

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Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   Blvd. Francisco Medina Asencio Km 2.5 | Zona Hotelera Norte, Puerto Vallarta 48333, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #26 of 119 hotels in Puerto Vallarta
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Good if you like all inclusive”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

We stayed one night before heading to Sayulita. It is a large property, beautifully maintained with a # of food options and pool options. The food is very expensive if you aren't staying as part of the all inclusive package. While we didn't venture beyond the property when we drove in and out it didn't appear there were a lot of other food options around the property.

We did have some issues checking in, they didn't have our reservation. It took well over an hour to check in.

Wifi is not free, this was kind of a bummer.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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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 of 5 stars
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Winnipeg
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

Had a great vacation at the Del Palmar. Everyone was friendly and helpful. Claudia at check in was great. Grounds are nice and right on the beach.Rooms are nice. Food is good although if you are not on the all-inclusive, could be pricey.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

We recently went to this hotel under the referral of my friend. It ended up being a BIG mistake!

The hotel was refurbished some time in the recent past, and we were assured we would have a room in this area. The room we got was not well kept as we found hairs of the previous tenant on the sheets! The staff was not very accommodating when this was brought to their attention and even made it seem like it was our fault for wanting to change rooms!

The pool area was very nice, but the service to get towels or food was almost as if we were irritating them! Originally, I thought I was having a problem with just a single staff member having a bad day or such. However, I think it is throughout the entire location. This may be acceptable from a lower-priced resort, but at over US$220 a night, it is pathetic. We cut our stay there short and opted for an earlier flight home just because the vacation was getting to be so bad.

I do not wish this sort of experience on anyone. I sincerely hope my experience can serve as a warning to anyone looking for good service from an area that supposedly is known for its hospitality.

Room Tip: All rooms face the ocean
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
San Jose, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

My boyfriend and I visited Villa Del Palmar (VDP) during the week of New Year’s Eve and it was less than desirable to begin with. We arrived on 12/29/2012 that was our first mistake. We were properly prepared for the chaos at the airport, (a much nicer airport than Cabo San Lucas!) and we knew to avoid the men in white shirts (timeshare reps). We walked so fast through the timeshare area that we missed our pre arranged transportation with Olympus tours. When we got outside to where the taxis were, a very nice gentleman was able to find our transportation rep for us. Unfortunately the Olympus tours rep tried to set us up for a timeshare presentation in the disguise of needing to meet with the guy, on day 2 of your trip in order to get your return ticket for your ride to the airport. We did try to meet the Olympus tours rep in the lobby of VDP on day 2 at 1pm, but after waiting 15 minutes, we didn’t see the orange shirt, so we went back to the pool. It turns out the ride from the airport is 80 pesos ($7 US dollars), and like 15 minutes. So I don’t think it was necessary to arrange prior transportation like it is in Cabo San Lucas, where the airport is something like $50 US dollars each way. I don’t think they tell you this anywhere on the travel sites. So if given the option, I say you just take a taxi, they’re everywhere and very easy!

So we get to the hotel, we’re greeted by some nice staff who are trying to expedite the check in by taking your luggage and putting it in one place, and they promise you they will watch it for you. Our luggage was fine, but I kept my eye on it anyway. Also, on Saturday mornings only, they have a guy manning a beer stand in the lobby for the folks who have not checked in yet, and a cold beer for $2 US dollars sounds awesome! Unfortunately we came during one of the highest peak times of the year, so it took us over an hour to get through the check in line. I think there were 3 people at the desk. Again, we were weary of timeshare presentations, so as soon as we got our room keys, we declined any “welcome orientations.” It turns out it might have given us some information about when restaurants were open and what was included in our all inclusive meals, drinks, and shows.

About the all inclusive package: The food was either very good or very bad. The El Patron “Mexican food” restaurant was hit or miss. We thought the enchiladas with mole sauce was very good, and the shrimp fajitas. I also enjoyed the “shrimp and fish tacos” which were like mini chimichangas, deep fried and served with fresh guacamole. Everything else was too salty, too cheesy, soggy or just plain bad. And we are not picky eaters. The other restaurant (there’s really only 2 even though they say there is 3), the Cuciana Italiana was almost never open for lunch or dinner, but I think they combined it with the Market restaurant which was on the other side of the same restaurant, closer to the beach. They served breakfast buffet every day, which is part of the all inclusive, a huge buffet of fresh sliced melons, pineapple, papaya, and various breakfast items, eggs, sausage, ham, and some Mexican dishes, they also had fresh coffee and fruit juices. We were rarely at the hotel for lunch time, so can’t really comment on that. For dinner, the Market served a dinner buffet some nights, and they had an AMAZING dessert buffet. Like serious 5 star desserts, just beautiful and delicious. I loved the flan and the tiramisu. And there must be a great bread baker on staff as well, they always had fresh rolls and really good table bread. The last night we were there, we had a fantastic seafood meal (for some reason it wasn’t a buffet night). This might have been the only day we actually spent more than $50 each to properly take advantage of the all inclusive $50 per person per day. Be aware of the times the restaurants are open, see your check in card holder, a lot of good info on that insert. The whole food experience was very guess and check. Many of the other hotel guests were not on all inclusive, and they were usually repeat guests. That was a red flag that it is not worth the price. If only we had known the food at the Market restaurant was stellar, but only on Friday nights? We are still unsure, it is not posted anywhere we could find.

The drinks were pretty good, Eduardo at the bar was great. We were told by other guests that service is always very slow at the pool, so it’s best to just go get your own drinks at the bar. I generally drink whiskey and coke, however, sometimes when you’re laying out, there’s nothing quite like a pina colada! And we made sure to get a bottle of water with every meal, so we always had plenty of water on hand. The water in the rooms, and in the resort are said to be filtered, so the ice and water on tap should be good to drink. What is NOT included in all inclusive is the deli (good sandwiches!) which is located on the street side of the huge resort, and the market store, where you can buy anything you forgot for twice the price of the Sorianos which is another block South. Or if you prefer Walmart, there’s one about 2 blocks north of the hotel. I think next time we will skip the all inclusive package and just go to the Sorianos and pick up food and drinks. You can just bring a 12 pack of beer to the hot tub or pool, and they will not say anything. Also, it’s more fun to go downtown and eat street tacos or really authentic Mexican food!

More about the hotel. Due to the high volume of guests during the first part of our stay, the service was very slow, and it seemed like the food was worst. Once the New Year’s crowd left, the service got MUCH better, the staff was actually smiling, and we didn’t feel ignored. The rooms appeared to be clean... but my 2nd and 3rd night I woke up with multiple bug bites. We were never really in bug infested areas, so there was nowhere else that I could have picked it up. So I’m going to have to assume there were bed bugs. On the 3rd night, I felt the biting, so I woke up and pulled the sheets back and found a little black bug. Ew! So the next day we asked to speak to the manager, Claudia. She was barely apologetic, but she did switch our room rather quickly. We had originally signed up for a pool facing King sized bed, but we had a parking lot facing 2 double beds room – so we were switched to the correct room. The rest of the stay was rather uneventful, once we figured out where to eat, and I obsessively checked the bed for bugs every night, and made my boyfriend shower before climbing into bed from the beach. We also met a lot of fun people in the hot tub, great place to meet people if you’re just 2 people traveling on your own! Turns out most of the other people we met were teenagers traveling with families. So I reiterate.. this is a great hotel if you have small kids, there is a lot of kid’s club activities, and the location of the hotel was really great, it was a $6 peso bus ride into the downtown area, otherwise known as the Malecon. A closed off street full of bars, restaurants and a few hotels. If you have been to the Los Angeles area, it’s similar to the Promenade in Santa Monica. Really cool, and some street performers, and tons of vendors of course. You learn to say “no, gracias” rather quickly. If you are not as daring, you can take a $50 or $60 peso taxi ride into the area too. However I think the bus ride is more fun, and it’s very safe. Make sure to take the Centro bus, and you can get off at any stop closer to the downtown area, or stay until the last stop, which will drop you off in the “zona romantica” or the gay district. We spent New Year’s Eve there at a great bar called “Apaches.” The bartender was awesome, as were the waiters, very high energy. Of course the drinks were twice as much as usual $10 US dollars, and the cab ride home was $40 US dollars! So it was a typical mark up for New Year’s party. After midnight, they close off the street and there’s a big dance party in the street and there are sparklers on sale for $10 pesos each.

Malecon/ downtown area/ other activities: The restaurant at the beginning of the Malecon/ downtown area was really good, and you can eat on the beach if you want. But beware of timeshare salesmen at the Malecon (restaurants, bars, tequila store) they are everywhere! It’s hard to know if one of the locals just wants to chat, or if they are trying to sell you something? So frustrating. There is also a great taco stand under the bridge .. further down on the Malecon, its 5 palm sized tacos (carnitas, beef or chicken) for $35 pesos? About $3 US dollars! We also enjoyed $22/ 75 minutes massages at the place on the Malecon, very professional, but the “deep tissue” was more like regular massage strength. And lastly, there is a place that shucks fresh oysters further down on the Malecon, its road side, and it looks a little sketchy, but we didn’t get sick from them, and the oysters are very fresh, and very good! Add lots of lime (should kill anything right?) and hot sauce!

If you want to do any adventures that require a boat ride, you will generally be meeting at the Marina Pier, $40 pesos taxi ride about 10 minutes from the hotel. We did the Outdoor Adventure with Vallarta Adventures ($100 each?) which includes boat ride to Boca Tamatlan – very rural fishing village, 4x4 truck ride to base camp, and mule ride up to the top of 9 zip lines, 2 waterfall rappels and a couple of ropes bridges. Amazing staff and a really fun day even in the rain! We also did the Rhythms of the Night show ($100 each). If you like Cirque du Soleil, you will love this. It includes a boat ride to Las Caletas island, a beautiful candlelit (like candles everywhere!) buffet dinner with dessert, and a fast 1 hr show, lots of acrobatics, fire dancing and synchronized dancing.. very Cirque. We also did an ATV tour, I forget the name of the company since we bargained on the beach, they paid for our taxi into Viejas Vallarta and it was $40 US dollars for 3 ½ hrs, and at the restaurant lunch spot, the waiter does a little spiel on how tequila is distilled and you have a couple shots of tequila and then you get back on the ATVs. At that point, it’s mostly roads, and not too dangerous. The ATV’s were fully automatic and I had a 350, so much power!

Our last adventure we took the water taxi from Los Muerto Pier to Yelapa. Everyone kept telling us to do this, so I’m sooo glad we did. It was the most beautiful and secluded of all the coastal cities we visited. I recommend just taking the water taxi, its $15 US/person each way from the Los Muertos pier. Just tell the taxi driver where to go. And you should go early in the morning so you can spend all day there, but don’t miss the last water taxi back at 4:30pm! Sometimes they run out of room too, so don’t do it on a day you have to be somewhere? If you are adventurous like we are, I would recommend spending a night or 2 in Yelapa in the Laguinitas hotel right on the beach. Its pretty bare bones, no bathroom door, no real window coverings! Only shutters or a curtain! However it’s very authentic, non commercialized, with straw roof and brick walls. You can lay out on the coarse sand beach with just a few vendors bothering you. The pie lady’s pies are really good! You can also do the waterfall trail through town, meet the locals, check out the grocery store that’s a 10 minute hike from the beach! There’s also a beautiful wood shop that is open sometimes where they make some beautiful wood pieces from rosewood? A very unique gift, but we didn’t check prices. The road is either dirt or cobblestones, like a lot of Puerto Vallarta, very old Mexico, there no cars, only ATVs or mules! I don’t think the hike is too strenuous; there are some uphill, so definitely not wheelchair friendly. But the waterfall is so worth it, and there’s a restaurant at the top of the hill that serves ice cold “cerveza” when you want it! The trail is a little hard to find unless you know where you are going, or focal the locals across the “river” that feeds into the ocean. The “river” is at most 3 feet deep and it’s probably safer to cross where the current is stronger, not standing, where there might be leeches.

Anyway, sorry for the novel, but I wished we had known a lot of these things prior to our trip, but now you know! We would only stay at this hotel again unless we had kids and it was not peak season. For now, being late 20’s travelers with no kids, we might seek another hotel close by. And next time, go without the all inclusive package.

Room Tip: The best views are on the west side, but you will have to pay more for ocean facing rooms, there are...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

Reception area is rather bland. No one explained the layout of the resort eg. Four eating areas, a gym next door, special nightly events. We were just left to get on with it. The room was large but could do with a sofa instead it just had two wood dining chairs and a small round table plus the king size bed. Great new flat screen tv, very clean, and quiet. Room door very tough to open. A child could never do it. Lobby area also very uninteresting. Could do with art pieces such as sculptures and wall art. Beach area crowded and way too many traders interacting with guests to encourage a sale. They were never rude and moved on once told, no gracias, never the less, it is trying. Food could be served hot rather than cold especially the buffet. For that reason I did not enjoy my meals. Mexican feast night held indoors because the weather was cool was excellent, the burlesque night held outside was very bad because the sound system was too loud and thus distorted. The costumes looked shabby (holes in panty hose) and men's jacket over sized so that it all looked tacky.
Felt very safe. Bus stop close to the entrance.
Waiters are all wonderful, attentive and caring. I noticed lots of space given to "elite" customers that were hardly used at all. It gives the impression that these elite customers do not exist so why make a fuss over nothing? And why not allow this space to the majority of customers who feel squashed?

Room Tip: Best rooms face the ocean but since the majority face the pool, or the street, you will have to put...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
South Bend, Indiana
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

Checkin very slow at the desk.Got a ocean veiw room with two full beds room 3638. If I wanted a king bed I would have to take bottom floor at the villa mar.I said no.So we pushed the two beds together in made one. The next day are maid Carmnn put a blanket so you would not feel the crack.The room had a strong odor of bleach. So we open the slidding door which had a screen which was a plus. The resort has a mexican flare to it. The rooms are dated, but clean. The grounds are well mancure. The beach is great for swimming.The room service was great.I also enjoyed the beach party with the live music!!! My favorite restaurant was mexican. The buffet was better for breakfast which you could not get bacon. also lunch buffet was limited and you could not get ice cream at this resort.The waiter service was excellent at the restaurants. These are waiters that did a outstanding job,Austin Tapia Eriberto carlos beach waiter. omelette lady Rosaro. And many names I did not mention.I loved the waiter service on the beach. The bartenders are overworked. They need two guys working the bar. I could not get captain morgan spiced rum or amaretto.I did a sun fun getaways vacations.which was to get a cheap ALL-Inclusive for 599.00 plus mantory tip fee.which was about a 100.00. I did not like that, because you dont see were the money goes. I still gave extra tips.Also I did a timeshare presentaion with the understanding Sun fun getaways to pay for my New Years Eve Party. Had a letter stating that which ment nothing. So when I went to the sales pitch and they left hanging in the dark. I decided thats why I should not buy into the vacation club. You should of took care of this. Because I Ioved the flammigo resort!!You lost a sale!!! Also I was told this place is going to be leveled to the ground to make a new resort. You need to make the rooms with mexican flare not modern look.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Long Island City, New York
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013 via mobile

The staff was rude and annoying about the timeshare presentation. They were harassing us even though we said numerous times we did not want to do the presentation. Especially Ana at the front reception area. She actually followed us out if the resort to question us about the timeshare. The market was overpriced and staff stood outside the market entrance to bother you about timeshare. We found a bug in our crackers and went to return the box at the market and jose and javier were also very rude, telling us we shouldnt have eaten any of the crackers. who opens a box of crackers snd inspects every one before you dip into the box??? plus tge box eas $10 for triscuts! The concierge even called our room to ask.... So RUDE. I will contact the owners of the Villa Group to complain. The resort was nice and location was great but the timeshare rude people ruined it...

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Jose Miguel D, Gerente at Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 12, 2013
Dear Guest.-

On behalf all the Villa del Palmar, Pto Vallarta Team, I want to apologies for any inconvenience experienced during your stay with us, well work harder in order to fulfill your expectations, and we can assure you’ll be delight with our services.

Your feedback is really important to us, for improve the areas that you kindly point to us.
If you’ll be so kind to write us to: jdiazu@villagroup for a more personal assistance.

It’s our pleasure to assist you.

VDP Pto Vallarta Team.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa

Address: Blvd. Francisco Medina Asencio Km 2.5 | Zona Hotelera Norte, Puerto Vallarta 48333, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#13 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#16 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#26 Business Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#35 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa 3.5*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Villa Del Palmar Beach Resort And Spa
Villa Del Palmar Beach Hotel Puerto Vallarta
Hotel Del Palmar Beach
Villa Del Palmar Puerto Vallarta
Resort Del Palmar Beach
Puerto Vallarta Villa Del Palmar

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