My husband and I just got back from 5 days at Casa Velas. We have been to resorts all over Mexico, in Cancun, Riviera Maya, Cabo and now Puerto Vallarta. We stayed in a Grand Class suite from April 19-24th. We wanted to give this review a 4 star but just couldn't due to: small outdated bathrooms, inconsistent service, inconsistent food and they allow smoking.
1. RESORT AMBIANCE: The resort is beautiful. The main pool is one of the best we have seen, design-wise. It had lots of relaxing, bed-like areas where we could lie back in the water and relax. The swim-up bar was great.
2. SWIM-UP BAR: The bartender at the swim-up bar was really nice and great at keeping all the drink orders organized. They did not have premium liquor though. I am pregnant, so it did not matter for me since I can't drink, but my husband wanted either Belvedere or Grey Goose vodka and they did not have either. They had cheap vodka. But they did have good tequila, so stick with tequila drinks.
3. ROOMS: We were two room class upgrades and I was still disappointed, mainly with the bathroom. The good: The room itself was large enough and comfortable. The bed was comfortable. The air-conditioning worked really well. The Bad: But the bathroom only had one sink and was very small. There was just a shower, probably because we had a private plunge pool on our balcony. But the small bathroom had very old and dirty tile. The light was awful. It would not take much to put in a decent, elegant light. There was also no closet. There was some tiny open area in the bathroom where I could hang a few dresses but they were jammed up against the safe. My husband and I could not get 75% of our clothes out of our suitcases, which was really annoying. Normally we take longer trips and really need to get our clothes out of the suitcase. We could handle it for this shorter trip, but it was still annoying. We had to leave our shoes overflowing in the main room just sitting out. There was space in the main room to build a closet beside the TV and would not be hard.
4. FOOD: The food was inconsistent. First, to be clear, the breakfast was fantastic. It was really good, cooked, well, fresh and really well done. Our problems arose with lunch and dinner. The first dinner we had at Emiliano, the soups were good, but the entrees were literally un-edible. I had Mahi-Mahi and I don't know how someone can mess up fish that bad. It was so hard, it was like a rock and it was completely dry with some crusty dry stuff on top of the filet. The restaurant was notorious for providing nothing with the entree but a hunk of meat. I had a fish filet, that was it. I had nothing to eat with it, no fingerling potatoes or vegetables. I think the fish might have been frozen and microwaved or something. I asked for risotto on the side because I noticed a mention of risotto on the menu with something else. My husband's pork chop was also hard and un-edible. However, the desserts were good.
But on our third day at the resort the lunch and dinner at Emiliano's was really good. The meat was cooked well and there still was not much to accompany the meat, but if you asked for potatoes, they would provide you with mashed potatoes. We spent a day at the beach at the other pool, the Ocean Club. The lunch food there was cooked really well. I had chicken fried rice and my husband had a burger. The service the Ocean Club was also fantastic by the pool. However, we had dinner at the Ocean Club and had the same problem with the food. They had weird pairings with the meat, and they had no vegetarian options. I was raised a vegetarian but have started to eat some chicken and fish because we love to travel and it can be tough to get vegetarian dishes. But it is still nice to have something on the menu for vegetarians. And the dishes need to have other food with them, then just a hunk of meat. Again, I got a chicken dish and it was plain chicken with some basic bbq sauce and a few small deep fried slices of vegetables. This was supposed to be a Thai chicken dish. It was pretty pathetic. My husband and I both went home and ordered room service. I wanted some pasta and they at least had some pasta on the menu. The pasta was pretty good and edible, thank goodness.
Another food problem was with the pool bar at the main pool. One day the drumsticks that my husband ordered were cooked through, but the second day they were un-edible. They were clearly not cooked and he would have gotten very sick if he would have eaten them. He also ordered a crispy chicken taco that he could not eat because there was something wrong with the meat. Our onion rings seemed microwaved, gross.
5. SERVICE: The people were really friendly and clearly wanted to do a good job, but the problem lies with management. They have cut costs and have one person acting in multiple roles throughout the day. The activity desk guy ended up serving us dinner one night. The concierge had to help check people in, shuttle people between the beach and the resort, and he acted as a waiter one night. Of course, this caused service issues. People got confused at dinner that night when the concierge was serving. They forgot that we needed to order dessert, then we ordered and they forgot that we ordered and asked us if we wanted to order dessert. It was just a mess. But then another night, the service at Emiliano's was much better.
We also put out the breakfast order on our door at night so that we could get a light snack early before we exercised at the gym from room service. Then we would have a full breakfast later. But the first morning they only brought one of our meal orders and not two. When we said we ordered two and were missing one, the guy just kept saying, "so everything is ok?" So I just told him to leave. He clearly was not going to bring us more food. So we tried again the next morning and again put out the breakfast sheet on our door. It was picked up from our door, so we know they got our order, but it was NEVER DELIVERED. We waited 25 minutes over the time it was supposed to arrive and it never arrived. This is a huge problem, because at times past in other resorts, we have needed room service before we go out to an early excursion. If we had scheduled an excursion on this particular morning, we would have had no breakfast.
6. SMOKING: Another huge problem is that they allow smoking EVERYWHERE. I have never been at a resort where they allow this. Most resorts are non-smoking, but if they do allow it, it is in a very small area away from the main sections of the resort. In this modern day, smoking should be limited to a small space away from the rest of us. We could not sit out in the lobby area one night because two people were smoking and it ruined the entire sitting area.
Overall, we really liked the ambiance of the resort. If they fixed the issues mentioned above, we would go back. But not until they fixed them.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Imagine the perfect resort retreat in the Mexican Pacific Riviera, where luxury and romanticism combine in perfect harmony. Resembling a private estate, Casa Velas offers Condé Nast and AAA award-winning service in a casually elegant and intimate boutique atmosphere in Puerto Vallarta. This boutique hotel enjoys a garden setting surrounded by the Marina Vallarta Golf Course. A beachside experience waits just three minutes away at your private Ocean Club, with stunning sunsets and memorable dining. Unlimited transport is available day and night to whisk you to the golden shores of the Mexican Pacific. The Ocean Club is a place of supreme peace and tranquility for enjoying an infinity pool, jacuzzi and terrace with impressive ocean views. Our luxurious getaway invites you to enjoy the comforting sounds and vibrant colors of the tropics as you discover the true meaning of relaxation and luxury at an all-inclusive Puerto Vallarta resort paradise. Recently chosen as one of the Top 10 hotels in Mexico and the Caribbean in three categories - Luxury, Relaxation/Spa and Hotel for Romance - by TripAdvisor®, Casa Velas is an enchanting destination where simple pleasures rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Casa Velas Boutique Resort
- Hotel Casa Velas Boutique