We’re not big fans of all inclusive but based on the great reviews of Casa Velas we thought we would give it a try for my significant others birthday weekend.
Somehow the original online reservation got duplicated, fortunately I checked ahead so we didn’t end up with 2 rooms and extra no show charges on arrival, Karen was helpful in straightening things out.
From prior Mexican resort experiences we made quite clear our desires and had very good and prompt feedback from the concierge (Denisse).
VIP transfer from airport to resort worked fine but was really a waste, a regular taxi would have been just as good and not so expensive.
Check in was fine although we were very disappointed with Alaska Airlines as 1 of our bags was delayed so all a bit of a blur.
Room 202 was noisy from music outside but otherwise quite nice although fridge didn’t work, spent next while on phone trying to get bag returned with no success so needed quiet and relaxing.
Flowers arranged months in advance not available day before so had to substitute but the lily’s were very nice.
Asked about an alternative room and Vanessa was very helpful and showed us 509A which was quieter so agreed to upgrade fee and bellman moved everything over, concierge advised of a store so we went shopping for clothes for and toiletries for the next day.
509A turned out to be a dark dungeon, nice size and layout but musty / moldy smell, felt was having an asthma attack and hardly slept all night.The shower was very odd with sloping side where you get in and out, easy to slip on and basically dangerous, it also smelled almost of sewerage. Room was basically run down and in need of renovation, other rooms and newer windows so looks as though they had been updated. Requested extra fridge with water which was delivered but didn’t cool. WIFI not working, no / very little signal.
Next day looking for an alternative 305 was supposed to be available after maintenance but status was unclear as was what work was being done (didn’t want to move to a room smelling of fresh paint), other alternatives had 2 beds that we didn’t want, Vanessa was again very helpful. Finally moved to 401 bit small but great location. Fridge again didn’t work but was fixed plus an extra one full of water which was great. Bathroom door unless closed solid opened all way by itself. Not much storage space or room to open suitcases, closet had little room to hang clothes.
Lotion poor quality, robes were tiny, not sure whether they were for kids.
Housekeeping had some issues, very late on Saturday, did not replenish Q tips, no shower soap, requested several times, tried to ask but she didn’t understand English so had housekeeping call us back to find out what we wanted, nice initiative but not great service.
Spa reservation made months in advance not in system but easily made new reservations, concerning on many levels. Went to buy lotion in evening but nobody had the key so went back next day and no good lotions worth buying. Massage was however very good although some patrons didn’t understand the meaning of tranquility and the staff said nothing.
No real lemons even though requested in advance, did get on second day and was nice with beer, tea and fish
Skimmed milk requested in advance and had sometimes, other times given semi skimmed or something else
Nice flexibility in cooking things not on the menu
First night dinner at Emiliano had great appetizers and main course were perfectly cooked but poor quality meat plus pork was over salted. Asked concierge as to whether same meat would be at the steak night at Velas Vallarta and he confirmed it so we skipped that.
Slow and inconsistent service even for late breakfast, 1 day we asked for 1 small orange juice that never arrived, next day again asked for 1 small orange juice and got 2 large ones. Last morning was by far the best with no complaints other than the smoker.
Room service quite good but they had difficulty understanding my accent
Lunch was good each day at the pool, slow but flexible, menu not good and mainly unhealthy food, fresh and tasty special order food worked out well though
Pool nice with decent service bringing around water etc.
Seemed odd there ash trays in rooms when they’re supposed to be non-smoking, not that any of the rooms smelt smoky. Very disappointed to find people smoking at the pool and in common out door areas, even in the outdoor seating at Emiliano restaurant at breakfast the last day.
Adults only includes 15 year olds!! To be fair the youngsters we rarely saw and they were well behaved and not an issue.
Bit loud and some unsavory characters especially later in the day after lots of drinks by the pool.
Lovely hotel and grounds and in general very well maintained, nice lobby.
Concierge (Rangel) especially helpful with restaurants, shopping and chasing our missing luggage, bell boys and front desk were all incredibly helpful and nice also.
Beds very comfortable, nice towels
Tennis was good but weren’t aware it was at Velas Vallarta however shuttle worked well and we walked back as so close
Vanessa was a great help trying to get a room to make us happy even with very limited inventory, went beyond her to help us and we’re very happy because of her.
Bit surprised no Corona or pacifico beers. Wine list was disappointed so very glad we brought some of our own.
Andrea restaurant, after trying Emilianos and then restaurant in town we decided to go to Andrea for Italian night. Very surprised that there was buffet appetizers/salad and with not much choice
Menu nothing like what we were shown, quite poor choices, fortunately they agree to make something a bit different for us. Very poor wine list so pleased we brought our own. Food and service were OK, nothing special, had to keep asking for water. No dress code (enforced) with folks in shorts and flip flops, we were way over dressed.
At checkout we were a little late so had little time and found a bunch of internet charges (that we were told that despite their odd system requiring accepting charges would not be on the bill), as a car was waiting didn’t have time to escalate at time so sent in via their web page and no response however seems to have been credited back per our credit card.
Casa Velas has amazing potential with fantastic location, great grounds and rooms and excellent staff. But it’s missing in basic management and coordination to make it a 5 star resort which is a shame, maybe this is normal for all inclusive to focus on quantity versus quality but we didn’t expect nor appreciate that approach. Done correctly this place could be amazing, just needs the right management and a bit more investment and in our opinion getting out of all inclusive package, and if asking a total non smoking policy would be ideal.
Would we come back?
Probably not, Cabo is closer and PV isn’t as nice, not big fans of all inclusive and the smoking plus limited options for good food all negatives even though the resort and staff were very nice.