My husband and I recently returned from a week stay at Casa Velas. From the moment we arrived until the minute we left we had a fantastic time. Here is our review of our week at CV...
AIRPORT ARRIVAL: Literaly 30 minutes from the time the airplane touched down until we were sitting in the reception area at Casa Velas, where we were greeted by the reception staff with a cold drink and refreshing hand towel.
CHECK-IN: Our plane arrived two hours before check-in time. We quickly settled in on the patio and started reviewing the Casa Velas information provided to us by Stefano, the concierge. We then headed to Emilianos for lunch and before we knew it, Eduardo greeted us by name and informed us that our room was ready.
ROOM: We stayed in a Grand Class suite with a hot tub/jacuzzi on the outdoor patio/deck, which we used every day after returning from the Beach Club. Our room was immaculately clean every day and the mini-bar and snacks were always replenished as needed. One down side of our room was that there were no dresser or bureau drawers to store clothes or other items in. We made do with the drawers in the bedside tables and the two shelves in the closet. We also called down for extran hangers which were delivered immediately. Another thing that would have made our room just a little better would have been the addition of a sofa to sit on. We only had two straight back chairs and a table to sit at, so if you wanted to relax and watch tv, you had to sit/lay on the bed.
BEACH CLUB: By far our favorite part of the resort. The foold and drink was always excellent--especially the shrimp tempura and tuna salad. The staff go out of their way to provide cold bottled water, fresh towels, food and beverages to the CV guests. We ate lunch at the Beach Club every daya and dinner one evening It is a bit cool in the evening, so bring a wrap or a sweater as the staff move the tables out by the pool and you can definitely feel the ocean breeze. Jorge at the Beach Club was awesome. He was always right there ready to take our order or refill our drinks before we had to ask.
PATIO BAR: A great place to relax after returning from a day out in Puerto Vallarta or the Beach Club or before dinner. The manager's cocktail party was very nice and the magician was incredible! Benny at the Patio Bar always served drinks with a smile.
EMILIANOS: The food was excellent. Two morning, breakfast was served buffet style, otherwise everything was a la carte. On Friday evening, they had a barbeque menu. This was probably my least favorite meal at Emiliano's--not because the food was bad, but as it was our last night at CV, I was looking forward to having some of my favorite things that I had tried throughout the week and the normal a la carte menu was not available. My husband and I had dinner two evenings at Velas Vallarta. We did the Sunday Mexican Fiesta and the Italian night at Andrea. The food was very good at Velas Vallarta as well, but we preferred the Casa Velas atmosphere. One complaint I have about dining at Casa Velas is that it always seemed like it took a long time to get the "check" at the end of the meal (and we are not ones to rush in and rush out of a restaurant). As this is an all-inclusive resort the "check" seems unnecessary. I suppose this is one way of keeping track of inventory as well as a way to tip the wait staff if you feel so inclined,. One evening we grew tired of waiting and simply left our tip on the table and left without signing our "check".
AREAS THAT NEED IMPROVEMENT (in my opinion): 1)The room doors seem to slam shut--making for loud disturbances in the night as the doors and hallways are not very sound proof and you can hear people coming and going at all hours of the day and night. There was a business group having some sort of retreat for two days while we were at Casa Velas. After much door slamming and continued partying in the hallway by the group, my husband had to call the front desk to complain. It would have been nice if security could have stopped all the commotion before we had to make a 4 a.m. phone call to see what was going on. 2) The Beach Club closes for private parties--be warned that the resort does close the Beach Club for private parties It never really affected us during our stay, except for one evening when we were unable to dine there due to a private dinner. We left on Saturday, but had heard that the Beach Club would once again be clcosed that afternoon due to a wedding. If you are like us, and this is your favorite place to hang out during the day, you might be disappointed during your stay if you can't use your favorite facilities. 3) The Spa is still closed dure to a fire. They moved the exercise equipment outside. Get up early if you want to use it prior to starting your day. There are only 2 ellipticals, 3 treadmills and 2 bikes. Most days the equipment (especially the treadmills) was being used by 8 a.m. I have to wonder how long it will be before the Spa reopens as there did not seem to be much happpening the way of repair the whole week that we were there. 4) Concierge service--it quickly became apparent that as we had booked our own excursions prior to arriving at Casa Velas and had no interest in theCasa Velas time share presentation that the concierge, Stefano, had little time for us. On our second day at Casa Velas, we met Stefano in the hotel lobby on our way to the Beach Club. He asked how our stay was going. My husband mentioned that we did not have adequate hot water in our shower that morning and his reply was "Welcome to Mexico!" Not the best customer service approach...
5)Surprise charge for return trip to airport. Upon checking out we were informed that an extra charge of $30 was added to our stay for the Casa Velas hotel bus to take us back to the airport. We must have missed the fine print, as we assumed this was a "free" service--to and from the airport. If we would have known, we would have taken a cab to the airport for half the price.
Overall, despite a few little bumps along the way, my husband and I loved our week at Casa Velas. We are already talking about returning next February--this time for 10 days as a week of sun and fun in Puerto Vallarta wasn't quite enough!