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“You get WAY more than you pay for!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Holiday Inn Resort Puerto Vallarta

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Holiday Inn Resort Puerto Vallarta
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Francisco Medina Ascencio KM 3.5 | Zona Hotelera Norte, Puerto Vallarta 48300, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #72 of 121 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Sherwood Park, AB, Canada
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“You get WAY more than you pay for!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2012

We scored this cheap vacation (airfare, accommodations and all inclusive plan) with Transat Vacations and stayed here for 2 full weeks. I have so much to say about this place so I'll break it down by category. I have stayed at a 4 star before, and this place does not compare, but it does have it's own charm and welcome feel. If you don't want to keep reading, and are stopping here - then yes, you should stay at this hotel. I would recommend it to my friends, and I will stay here again.

Check In/Desk Staff - Mario checked us in in the middle of the night, and he was fast, and attentive. He made changes to our rooms without any hassle. We were traveling with an other family, and he put our rooms right beside each other. He also gave us a lunch box that had a can on pop, sandwich and banana. A welcomed snack after a long night of travel. Anytime we needed something, the front desk attended to it right away.

Rooms - We paid extra for a suite, and were in room 1238 in the Sea River Tower (formerly Hoteles Valle Grande). The rooms in this building have the entrance on the road side, and the balcony on the ocean side. The are very large, and have 2 queen beds, and a pull out couch. The beds were VERY hard. My husband loved them, I hated them. I also thought all the pillows smelled like a dirty locker room. Our room was very clean, and cleaned daily. We didn't have a coffee maker, our friends did. We had an empty mini-fridge, our friends did not. What you have is what you get because they will not add things if you don't have it. The view of the ocean was spectacular, and we saw dolphins every morning swimming in the bay. The sad thing is that it's quite loud on the balcony with some kind of fans coming from the alley to the left of the building, or the hotel next door. We had a TV in our room, it had a lot of channels - but only about 2-3 english ones. Didn't matter, we didn't go for the TV.

Concierge - Karine is the one who makes the reservations for the a-la-carte restaurants. You can only book the day before you want, and she only does reservations from 10am-2pm.

Change Counter - They will take your USD or CAD and change them for pesos, and no other currency can be purchased. They give a fair rate. If you want the best rate, walk to the Plaza Peninsula about a block a way and use the Scotia Bank ATM. We got a great excange rate there and could draw out 3,000.00 pesos per transaction for a 24 pesos fee. You can also get American quarters here for the laundry.

Laundry Room - on the second floor of the smaller building there is a laundry room with 2 washers and 2 dryers. It costs 2.00 USD per load for washer, and the same for the dryer. There is detergent for sale in a vending machine, but we bought ours at the local store "Soriana" or Walmart for a couple of dollars. You have to get a key from the front desk to open the door for the laundry room.

Time Share Counter - BEWARE, these ladies stand at a counter as you exit the elevators to the Sea River Tower. They bug you EVERY day unless you finally tell them "NO" firmly and don't make eye contact every again.

Lobby Bar - Open from about 6pm to 1am. Grab a comfy seat and make friends with the server Rafael. He is an older man, but don't be fooled by this. He is quiet and will sneak up and make sure your drinks are always full by replacing them as often as you'll let him.

Los Mariaches - the Mexican Restaurant. We loved it so much we ate here 3 times during our stay. I'm still dreaming about the tortilla soup.....and the fish entree is delicious! The fajitas were very tasty too. Steer clear of the empanada appetizer (greasy and bad tasting), and the turkey entree (driest meat you'll ever attempt to eat). If you get to sit at Adan's table, he's very friendly and fun.

Piaceres - The Italian Restaurant. Delicious! Enormous portion sizes, and all the food was flavorful and tasty. The pasta carbonara, the mahi-mahi and the steak were our favorites.

Activities Staff - Let me start off by saying that this is a team of 3 people who work their tales off from 10am to 11pm most days. They do just as much as a team of 20 do in a larger resort. They put up a white board at 10am every morning by the towel hut that will give you an hourly list of activities for the whole day. They do so many fun things, you have to join them - Cooking Class, Dance Lessons, Beach Volleyball, Blackjack, Crazy Games...the list goes on and on. Special Gold Star goes to Sayuri. She is a FANTASTIC leader and gets everyone involved so easily. She lead the water aerobics classes somedays and I enjoyed every minute she spent with me and my family. Her Sunday night Karaoke in the Lobby bar is extra fun too. This is a woman of many skills....she also runs the kids club on Sundays the regular girl Miss Yessica's day off.

Kids Club - My children are 6 and 4, and wanted to go to the kids club ALL the time. The main caregiver is Miss Yessica, and has a full arsenal of crafts and games to play with the kids. They are open from 10am to 2pm, and 3pm to 5pm (for movie time). I can't say enough about this lady...she's amazing!!! They take kids ages 4-12 I think.

Main Pool - Clean and has a great span to spread people out. The are areas of varying depth for all ages of guests. There were a lot of broken tiles, and we did cut our feet a couple of times, but they do clean and remove them daily. The is a BIG problem with the loungers. I can't say how terrible this situation is. People go head to head over "saving" a lounger for the day. It's horrible. People head down to the pool after 7am and put their towels on the loungers to "reserve" them all day. And they maybe will use them for an hour or two all day. If people just used them when they needed them - or the hotel upped the quantity at the side of the pool, there wouldn't be a greedy need to save one for when you will need it later in the day. There are maybe 100 loungers out beside the pool for at least 500 guests.

Pinocho - The Snack Bar. They offer hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and either tortilla chips or french fries all day from about noon until 6pm. The food is quick, if you have kids or are not too picky about your food, you'll get along just fine here. You can also order drinks from a server here too.

Kids Pool - Right beside the Pinocho Snack Bar, it has a large knee deep pool with a waterslide. My kids LOVED this pool. They felt very safe here and spent MANY hours going up and down the waterslide. It also had a large amount of shade which is a HUGE perk for their pale skin.

Swim Up Bar - Woooo Weee....watch out for Gustavo!! He'll get you tipsy before you can ask what you're even drinking!! He has all kinds of drinks he makes, and if you're trusting, he'll make you some of the most delicious, refreshing concoctions you can imagine. They are open at 10am.

Isla Bar - Open from 10am to 6pm, you can get every kind of drink her while you enjoy your day. The bartenders are fast and pleasant, and will remember you and "your drink" and will start to make it when they see you coming!!

Pool Servers - Make friends with Enrique. He is so much fun, friendly, and will keep you laughing all day long. They are all very kind and quick!

Guacamaya - The Buffet. I was really impressed with the options at this buffet. They have plenty of options to suit all tastes - and always lots of fresh fruit at every meal. They are open 7am-11am for Breakfast. You HAVE to get an omlette from Ishmael. He's amazing!! And he'll get you eggs cooked however you like them....just ask! Lunch is from 12pm-5pm. And the young man at the pasta station is very friendly and will make you some really tasty pasta!! Dinner is from 6pm-10:30pm - and they have a different theme every night! I was really impressed at the different options. Look on both sides of the hot foods, they sometimes have different food on each hot/cold food bar. If you can sit in Jose Luis's section, please do! This man will remember what drinks you like and will get them for you as soon as he sees you! He's fun and attentive, and is very kind.

Beach - Amazing. Clean, fun and swimming in the ocean is a feeling like no other. The loungers and palapas run out by 8am sadly, but if you're happy to sit on your towel, you can really soak it all in. The vendors are a plenty, but are no pushy after you tell them no.

Massage - TOTALLY A MUST. They have a gorgeous ocean/beach palapa and can do up to 3 massages there at a time. They had a steal of a deal while we were there for $65 USD or CAD you got 2 ONE hour massages!!!! And they were SUCH amazing massages!! Don't pay in pesos, it will cost you a little more at 850 pesos for 2 massages. You won't regret getting a massage.

Fitness Center - Small but does the job of providing all that you need to keep up with your routines from home. The have weight center, treadmills, crosstrainers, bikes, and a balance bar. The only thing I wished they had was a dance studio and could offer aerobics classes - maybe Zumba or something?

Business Center and Wi-Fi - There are 2 very old and slow computers near the lobby bar. They'll get the job done if you need some internet access. The front desk will provide you with a code for each device that you need to hook up to wifi, but ours only worked on our patio or in common areas. The lobby bar or pool side is where we picked up the best signals.

Adults only area - Small, I never used these areas, but did walk through several times. The jacuzzi's were rarely filled or open, and the pool is very small. Maybe 4 meters by 4 meters.

Taxi's are readily available and will take you almost anywhere in PV for 40 pesos, the bellman will get you one with a nod. This hotel is within walking distance to a lot of amenities - and right along public transit routes.

I congratulate you if you have read this far, all in all I would recommend this hotel, and would definetly go back. It's not a 4 or 5 star resort, so don't have the expectations that you are going to one and you'll get along just fine.

Room Tip: Ask for a higher floor in the Sea River Tower, rooms ending in 39-44 have the best view.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1,557 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (274)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Canmore, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2012

This beachfront hotel exceeded our expectations. Yes, it's the classic HI chain hotel and the staff are great; from 'Mario' at the Front Desk to our room attendant to the pool attendants and security, they treat you with courtesy and as their guest. The hotel itself is well kept given its age; the grounds are well manicured and are maintained daily, the pool is cleaned daily and is surrounded by 120(?) pad lounge chairs however, the problem still exists with guests rising early to lay claim to the chairs for the day - to which a solution may never be found without imposing rules. Our 5th floor end room overlooked Banderas Bay and the pool area. The balcony is deep and has two wood paneled chairs and a side table that allowed us to have our morning coffee while enjoying the view or reading the newspaper. Large balcony doors allowed us to sleep with these open to enjoy the ocean air and the sound of the waves. Coffee is provided free of charge in-room and/or poolside. Bottled water is left in the room every day and our in-room bar size refrigerator was used often. The room was spacious, very clean, and secure, with free use of an in-room safe. The one improvement needed is an upgrade to the bathroom tub area but other than that, it serves its purpose. We were on a European Plan so we did not experience the hotel's several restaurants. Internet is available in the lobby area with two computers for guest use, albeit the connection is slow. I recommend booking a massage with the hotel spa that is outdoors under the canopy tent on our beach - it can be booked as a couple as there are two massage tables. The masseuse is skilled and will ask you what level of pressure you wish to experience - a definite highlight of our stay! Would we stay at this resort again? The short answer is yes. - The Deans, Alberta, Canada

Room Tip: Ask for the 5th floor or higher for more privacy and a better panoramic view. Mention if you are...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belleville, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2012

We stayed at Holiday Inn Resort PV from Jan. 28 - Feb. 5th. We had a great room, junior room with ocean view. Great room setup. loved the lounge room with view of Banderas Bay from our balcony. The service was great, Bruno in the Buffet restaurant alwasy had a smile and was ready to serve, all the chefs did an awesome job, cannot complain about the food at all. Manuel kept us well refreshed with drinks as well as another fellow serving drinks. The fellow who looked after volley ball was great too, I think his name was Richardo, or it started with an R anyway, he showed us some baby turtles that hatched our last morn in PV. There was a young fellow who looked like he was in training, was the "gopher boy" and he had such a good spirit about him, he worked collecting cups, and dishes and all around did lots, but I did not get his name, but had a great attitude.
There were no hourly activities happening, but there was volley ball on the beach at 4, and that was fine. I think sometimes when there are hourly activities, one does not feel relaxed because then we feel we need to take in all the things going on. We felt so relaxed and rested after our holiday. Took our teen daughter along, she parasailed for the first time. She was able to meet other teens her age at the resort and got volley ball going in the pool daily.
Would I recommend this resort... yes, we would go back again. and we would recommend it to others. It was not big, that one gets lost, it was not brand new, but afffordable. Oh and yes we had bacon everyday.

Room Tip: Most rooms are ocean view, request your ocean view.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2012

We went to this hotel and chose the room based on our need for a third bed for a teenager. When we arrived it was very late in the evening and it took a long time to get checked in. This couldn't be helped but the long trip and the additional long wait near the front desk was straining. The staff at the desk were great, in fact all the staff at the resort were awesome the whole time we stayed. The problem started as soon as we went up the elevator to our room. True, this isn't a 5 star resort but it appeared very old and in diss-repair. The first thing I noticed was the light fixture was hanging out of its fitting, and the front doorlocks for every room very sketchy, you could see how the doors had been jimmy'd with a screw driver or something as if they had been broken into numerous times giving us an insecure feeling. The safe in the room was good and easy to use so no big deal I guess but when you look around you can see alot of little maintenance items were in need of attention. When we looked at the beds we were shocked. The pull out sofa was a JOKE! It had no linen or pillows and of course not made up, but the mattress was a torn and tattered pice of dirty foam that no one would even dream of sleeping on. When we folded it out and risked laying on it we couldn't believe they would ever expect any person, (or animal) to sleep on a broken piece of crap that we saw in front of us. The main beds were like hard cardboard and so our first impression was aweful. Being so late and very hungry we went down to the buffee and grabbed what we could before it closed and went to the front desk to complain. I must say that they did offer to make up the pullout immediately but we decided to just use the 2 beds for the night and have them look for a better room the next day.
The next day we did in fact find a better room with a slightly better pull-out and they brough in extra foam mattresses to make the bed far better. The main beds were very hard but amazingly when we woke in the mornings we found them to be quite nice. (never slept on a hard bed like that before and now suprised at the comfort).
From that point on things were pretty good. we thought the food was very good and lots of it. (although we never once went to the snack shack as the food there looked terrible)
We also found that many of the loungers were usually un-used with towels on them as "reserved". Typical of this type of resort I think. You have to get up early and do the same if you want, but I find this annoying, just have more of them would be good or first come first serve would be better but I understand the problems of enforcing this. More than enough beach area is a good thing as we found laying on the sand and the towel exchange totally fine.
Unfortunately we were there for 8 days and only had 2 warm days. The weather was awful for us but there is nothing you can do about the weather. Everything else at this resort was great. We tipped out maid each day and tipped our waiter as they were fantastic at serving us and being happy and pleasant. We liked the market near Wallmart nice to shop for gifts as well as dealing with the locals on the beach.
Entertainment was not bad, some nights better than others, but think they can do better than the one man band act. I think if I went to an all inclusive again in Puerto Vallarta I would spend a little extra for a nicer / up-to-date facility.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2012

Just returned FEB 13TH-20TH
first time visit to P.V
Hotel staff excellent. Food buffet is typical A.I. No surprises. Something for everyone..including children.
Stayed in family junior suite. Good extra space if you have kids. two double beds large bathroom. lower level has a pull out sofa, two chairs and a coffee table.Nothing fancy but very clean and A/C works well. Jr. suites located in the 18 story tower and face directly over the ocean. Nice large balcony (5 WIDE BY 10FT LONG). The updated rooms are in the adjacent building--standard doubles-- looked very nice. ocean view from these rooms as well.
Pool is large, clean and warm. Wonderful Spanish music played poolside.
Waiters are prompt with drinks-- quicker if you tip. Pesos or U.S bills (they accept both).
P.V seems very safe. Old town and Malecon great places to visit for dinner and evening stroll. Shops..restaurants...street performers. It was filled with tourists from Canada...U.S and Mexico.
Now the bad news. Weather was awful! Didn't see the sun first 2 days. Cloudy and overcast. 3rd day it rained. Finally, blue sky and sunshine which lasted one day. Then clouds returned. Regulars and locals say they have never seen weather like this in February.
The Holiday Inn can't control the weather. It is a nice hotel with a lot of repeat customers which says something about the quality. Enjoy.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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vancouver, bc
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2012

I have read several reviews on this hotel and I must say I am glad I had the opportunity to stay at the Holiday Inn and decide for myself on the rating.
When we arrived we were greeted by friendly staff. The first room they gave us was still under some renovation and when we requested a change they were very accommodating. We changed rooms the next morning and couldn't have been happier. The only complaint about the room are the beds. They are very, very firm! We asked for foam to be put on top of the mattresses and they were done that morning. Understand that this is not a 5 star hotel so go in with the right attitude. We were all-inclusive which we had never experienced before. The food was decent - again not 5 star but we knew that going in. For breakfast there was always fresh fruit, yogurt, toast, oatmeal, cereal, eggs (made any way you wanted), refried beans, bacon and a variety of Mexican cuisine as well as a chef who specialized in breakfast tacos. Lunch was always a great variety of foods including several fresh salads, pasta (made to your liking), ribs, chicken, etc. Dinner again was a variety of foods that were very palatable. Desserts were lacking, but what was there was not unpleasant. Beer and wine flowed continually if you so desired. Margaritas were good but when I asked to change them up to the way I make them they were delighted to do so. The restaurant and bar staff were always there and very pleasant and chatty.
The swimming pool is very nice. It also has a swim up bar which was used by a few. The beach area is clean and always busy with beach vendors. The only thing lacking is the need for more lounge carts. It would also be nice to be able to take your food to the beach.
The hotel is close to so much. Starbucks is down the street, shops and banks as well. The bus is right out front and costs 6.5 pesos to go to town. Internet is free which is unusual as most hotels charge $70/week.
We would stay there again.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 5
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Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2012

The hotel was nice and the staff was super friendly. I really enjoyed the activities that were organised by a Mr Ricardo Ramirez. He was very helpful in getting us equipemtn to use like the kayaks and organising games of beach volleyball. He made our trip very fun and full of activies. Me and my girlfriend had a blast on the night out to the foam party.
Ricardo is the man!

Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Resort Puerto Vallarta

Address: Francisco Medina Ascencio KM 3.5 | Zona Hotelera Norte, Puerto Vallarta 48300, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#19 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#43 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Holiday Inn Resort Puerto Vallarta 3.5*
Number of rooms: 220
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy a wonderful view to Banderas Bay, one of the best beaches in Puerto Vallarta, surrounded by friends who will make your stay unforgettable. We have 220 recently renovated standard rooms, each of them with a wonderful sea-view and a private balcony. It is located just a few minutes away from the airport and downtown, near shopping malls such as Caracol, Peninsula and Galerias Vallarta. Free wireless Internet throughout the hotel. Choose between our European or All-Inclusive Plans. In our a la Carte Restaurants, Piaceres, Italian Mediterranean Cuisine, Mariaches, Mexican Cuisine or Guacamaya s Buffet Restaurant, quality in service is our distinguished feature. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Puerto Vallarta Hotel Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn Puerto Vallarta Mexico

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