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“Great familly vacation!” 5 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 #71 of 120 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Calgary, Canada
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Great familly vacation!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012

We had a blast! Simple place, simple people, great service and food. If you`re looking for a low cost vacation, leaving room on your budget for activities around PV, ìt's a great place. If you consider yourself the prince or princess of somewhere, this place is not for you: this is an aging hotel but very clean with a very friendly service.We just came back yesterday.

Service:
A lot of nice people. We particullarly appreciated the service we've received by Eleno, a real gentleman. Can you please plan a budget for tips when you receive good service? Those guys work like crazy for a terrible wage and some people were just leaving without giving anything? Are you kiding me? We, North Americans find normal to tip properly a waiter in a hometown restaurant but think we can avoid it in a place like Mexico; just makes no sense.

Rooms:
Our AC wasn't working when we arrived at 2:30 in the morning: it took 10 minutes for them to change us in another room without problems. The room is very clean, convenient and comfortable but obviously needs some reno. But again, very clean and this was, for us, the most important point when we were shopping for this trip.

Food:
We travel the world, we go to a lot of restaurants, we love food and I just don't understand all those comments about the bad food; in fact, if you go on the comments left by people about the food at this location and other comments they've made in the past about other locations, you'll find they complained about food in every hotel (and about everything everytime)... People say it's always the same thing: yes every night there's chicken, beef, pork and pasta... Always different flavors, different recipes, but what else would you like to have? It's very complete and suitable for everybody, kids and adults included.

The mexican food is amazing: they cook tortillas live in front of you, Fresh Pico de Gallo, salsa, gamacole and refried beans: wow! Bread is great. Sushis: surprisingly great and freshly made in front of you also. Food in Mexico tastes like food in Mexico: for example, corn is not the same variety than in North america, it tasted different: same for milk: cows don't eat the same thing, milk doesn't taste the same. If you're looking for your usual Shepherd Pie for sure, you'll be disappointed.

Location:
Hotel: Great beach, great pool. The first half of the week was pretty quiet but when the Mexican spring break begun on Friday (Good Friday), it became very crowdy north or our semi private beach. I don't see any problem there but I know some will do so you better know spring break hits at this time of the year. The bar in the pool is good. If you're planning a family vacation like we did, this is a great location. If you have a problem with having kids around, you may want to avoid a place where kids are allowed.

Area: Close to everything: 10 minutes from airport, 10 minutes from downtown (30 minutes walking distance). A lot of restaurants walking distance. There's even a Starbucks, 3 minutes walk north of the hotel...

Transportation: Easy!
Bus (blue line) 6.5 pesos per adult, free for kids under 12. There's a bus every 2-5 minutes just in front of the hotel. Take the Centro one to go downtown and the Wal Mart one to come back to the hotel.
Taxi:
Airport: 80 pesos
Downtown: 50 pesos
Marina (main): 40 pesos
Marina (secondary) 50 pesos
Nuevo Vallarta: 210 pesos

Activities:
We booked from a small activity/travel agency located in a mall connected to our hotel. We delt with Enrique that gave us great advice and took care of everything. Because we were buying 4 activities we were able to negociate the price (total $868 CND instead of roughly $1200 CDN).

Unique ATV Dune Buggy tour: 4 hours ride, you need to drive manual transmission. In a group of 5 vehicles. By far our favorite activity. Don't be afraid to do it: some activities brokers will try to discourage you to do it, telling you some people died in the past months with this tour: don't listen to them. They just don't carry this tour! Try to find any info about dead tourists in that on the web, you'll find nothing. We had a great tequila tasting (El Molino de mi Pueblo Tequila factory - very friendly and generous staff!) and they took us to a good restaurant in the jungle (not included in the price). We also went to the Predator's movie set. The buggys were in good shape and our guide, Alex, was very nice.

Dolphin encounter: Great, great and... great. 30 minutes in the water with a dolphin in a group of 8. The only thing: you can't take with you your waterproof camera because they have a photograph and the pictures are a rip off: $19US each or the whole pack for $199US!!!

Sierra Madre South tour: maybe the weakest one we've done: long drive for average activities. This tour is 8 hours but should be rearranged to be 4-5 hours. All the visits on the way were in a hurry, having a very short time everywhere. But the visit of an artisanal cheese factory was cool... and the cheese so tasty... !

Las Caletas: Beach accessible only by boat. 1:15 ride on a boat to a paradise place. They have a kid's adventure park included in this activity that was great. Kids can ride a donkey, pet parrots, ducks, monkeys and a 15 foot snake! They finally go on a zip line. After this part, we went to a snorkeling activity that was not the best we ever had: the water is kind of fuzzy so you see more fish shadows than fishes; nothing to compare with Hanauma Bay in Hawaii. If you don't own your snorkling equipment, you can borrow it for free by leaving your hotel room key as a deposit. The food was ok (all included in the price).

Massage: there is a really nice lady that sets her massage table and umbrella on the beach everyday roughly from 10 am to 8 pm. She is very good and very affordable (380 pesos for full body massage, close to 90 minutes). Try it!!

Restaurants
Our most disappointing:
Pipi's mexican restaurant, on Pipila street: tourist oriented restaurant. Food was just ok. Mexican food tasting like mexican food in any north american mexican restaurant (including taco Bell). Useless oversized plates. It cost us over $100 US and I don't feel this was worth it.

Our best surprise:
Pollo Feliz, on Honduras street: simple local restaurant for local people. Hum... Try the Pollo Assados (marinated chicken cooked on charbroil with homemade tortillas and gacamole). Cost for 4 of us less than $20 CDN.

Conclusion: this is a good hotel, with good equipment, good service, good value, surrounded by all kinds of activities, wether you want to stay in your comfort zone or want to step out of the box. Would definitely go again. :)

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
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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 (225)
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English first
Calgary, Canada
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2012

We stayed at the Holiday Inn PV from the 1-7 April - terrible mistake. This is Semana Santa in Mexico (like the US Spring break) and was so busy it was insane. The hotel couldnt keep up with the influx of Mexican guests and their noise, drinking and general mess.
We aren't complaining about the time of year that we went, but definitely wont go to Mexico again at this time of year, but the Holiday Inn were struggling with the weight of a full-to capacity hotel, which, by the way - is about 70% time share condos anyway.
The issue with the influx of guests was mainly the noise and the garbage. The beach was a mess of plastic cups, cigarette butts, food, wrappers etc, as well as the general grounds being pretty bad...and the noise that went on all through the night until 5am..screaming and singing and just loud, drunken louts everywhere.
Another problem is that at least 70% of the guests were not all inclusive. On the first two days, things seemed good; the beach was fairly quiet, the drink service on the beach was prompt...there was a little coffee table where you could help yourself to coffee and it seemed like they had a varying selection of food at the buffet. As soon as all those guests arrived, the coffee table disappeared and barriers sprung up around the restarants becuase the hotel were concerned with the non-all inclusive guests getting a free meal. The quality of the food in the buffet became awful and very boring and they ran out of it very quickly, becuase the volume of people was insane. They started bringing out old food from lunch that they didnt even attempt to disguise - they re-use a lot of food, which i understand and dont mind, but when they just re-heat old pasta again and again, you dont feel like eating it.
Breakfast was awful - the same every day so by Saturday i didnt even want it...the quality was bad too. They ran out of cups for coffee and by Saturday the buffet staff didnt even bother to seat us any more or even offer us coffee - probably becuase they knew it was a lot of peoples' last day and the tips would be in short supply.
The food wasnt great in general - lots of Mexican food, which i get of course; it is Mexico. But I cannot stomach sloppy refried beans at EVERY meal. Burger bar was good - but with burgers, pizzas and hotdogs - you cant really go wrong. They did try some theme nights with sushi etc but the sushi dissappeared right away and they bought out the old faithful refried beans and nacho chips after about an hour.
The rooms dont have fridges but apart from that are ok. Beds are like rocks but the air conditioning worked well. The rooms need some repairs and touch ups - things like crumbling grout and exposed pipes in the bathroom, wobbly railings on the balcony.
The hotel in general needs re-furbishment - the gym is tiny and about 15 years old and my husband sliced open his hand on some of the equipment in there - it was a bad cut (probably needed stitches). Once he told staff they did go in there and file metal on the equipment down, but they need to replace it all anyway - only a few machines actually work.
I didnt even want to touch the pool. It was full of god knows what - people spilling food and drinks in there and full baby-swim nappies floating about; young Mexican kids smoking all over the place and dropping ash in the pool.
They have two a-la-carte restaurants but when we were there they closed the Mexican one. BUT they didnt tell us this when i made the reservation - so we all went and they let us go in and sat us down like lemons until the head waiter came over and said 'oops sorry we didnt mean to take your reservation; the restaurant is closed all week'...the Italian restaurant, however, is great - great food, great service but VERY dark in there lol - you cant even see your way to the bathroom...
Good points are that the staff TRY to serve you well. Once you give a good tip you tend to get a few members of staff who will go the extra mile, but all the staff were just so under pressure it was hard to tell...
One last point - It was so busy that personal space was not at all sacred. If you ever go to Mexico at a busy time of year, guard your chairs and your umbrella with your life. A lot of the time, you will wake up from an aftenoon nap in the sun to find a huge mexican family suddenly camped out under your umbrella with you and your family in an attempt to get a bit of shade - it could be comical, but we have a 3 year old, so when we needed the shade for him, it became quickly irritating.
In short, nowhere near a 4 star hotel, needs refurbishment and more, trained staff.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Puerto Vallarta, responded to this review, May 15, 2012
khasan,

Thank you for your review regarding your recent stay. It is regrettable you were not satisfied with the service you received. I would like to address this with you further. I have sent you a private message to obtain more information about your stay. I look forward to hearing from you and being of further assistance.

Ben J
IHG Care
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prince George, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2012

Well I am sitting in the room in Mexico writing this review. Like I have said in past reviews we travel 3 or 4 times a year. I would have to say that this is the worst place that we have stayed at. This hotel is not a 4 star by any means. We are traveling with our two teenage kids. The first night we got here, we were supposed to have connecting rooms which didn't happen. The kids room the lock was broken on the door and the air conditioning in our room rattled so bad the first night I didn't sleep and was very musty smelling. Next morning I got up early only to be told that I would have to wait till one in the afternoon for the room that we requested in the first place. The second set of rooms were so much better no musty smell thank goodness as I have asthma.
The food at the buffet was terrible, usually I can eat the buffet food but not this time. The breakfast has been the same every morning and the dinners were the same. We ate in town a lot and went to Soriana (grocery store 3 blocks away) bought some food and we have been eating in our rooms. The burger bar is okay they have hotdogs, hamburgers, no fries and chips with salsa. The service was very hit and miss... more miss than hit thats for sure. Ha ha I asked for a pepsi and got a bottle of water mmmm something wrong there thats for sure.
Now because it is Spring Break down here for the Mexican people there are kids running and screaming up and down the halls at all hours of the night and day. Also making prank phone calls to peoples rooms and of course can't be found because they can't track that stuff. Kids Kids everywhere I mean we have kids but this is ridiculous.
Location is great close to downtown....Bus is the best way to get to town and cheap to ride and so much fun lol.
The management needs to take some of the complaints into consideration and make the proper upgrades to this hotel.
Buffet - needs improvement and if they are having a theme night better representation
Rooms - bathrooms need to be upgraded and beds needs better mattresses and patio doors need to be worked on so they close properly.
Staff - need to be more attentive and service needs to be improved
Front Desk - needs to help in anyway they can instead of saying there is nothing we can do for you.
These are just some suggestions .... I wish that I could sit down with the management here and voice my opinions and maybe give them a few pointers. Oh well the only thing you can do is make the best out of a bad situation. But we will never stay at this resort again and I am not recommending this hotel to anyone.

Room Tip: Ask for the key or card to your room and go look at it first. Then go back down and tell them whethe...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
GERENCIAGHIR, General Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Puerto Vallarta, responded to this review, April 9, 2012
Dear Sr. or Madame
Thank you very much for take the time in express your opinion. We agree that this in for us in Vallarta the biggest opportunity in serve the local and foreigner visitors we know that taking your comments in consideration we will become better every day.
Be so kind in contact me as soon you can in order to verify every single detail of you reservation and avoid this kind of experience for any other guest.

We love to do the best for our guest and your opinion is extremely precious. Thank you and regards.

Sincerely Luis Rodriguez
gerenciahinn@vallartamexico.com.mx
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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2012 via mobile


For a Holiday Inn I was exepecting more.
The family room we got was very uncomfortable. Very small closets and a lack of effort room. We did complain and get moved to the other side the next day. Big difference! The rooms on the other side were what you would expect. But we never got a refund of $200 extra we paid for a family room. Management took no action. Food was okay, burger place was good. Service was a hit and miss. Seemed they were under staffed? Location is great close to downtown, and airport. Staff and management just need to put some more effort to make the stay enjoyable.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GERENCIAGHIR, General Manager at Holiday Inn Resort Puerto Vallarta, responded to this review, April 9, 2012
Dear Sr. or Madame
Thank you very much for your comment . We appreciate it and let us fix the issue of your over payment just please contact me in order to solve it immediately.

Thank you again and we will put our best effort in make our guest happy.

Sincerely Luis Rodriguez
General Manager
gerenciahinn@vallartamexico.com.mx
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Saint Paul, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2012

Since this was a family reunion I didn't choose or research the hotel but it turned out to be a highlight of the trip. I knew the beach, pool and restaurants would be fine but would it be too busy and large for my 84 year old mother? Would there be physical barriers and would she have a place to rest?
When I saw our condo it ended all my worries. Located on the same floor as our family's condo, it was an elegant, clean design with interesting art and thoughtful touches. My mother set up her 'nest' with a comforter in the living area where she could chat with visitors away from the hubbub of the younger set and enjoy the view. The elevators were convenient, just steps from our 12th floor condo. There was beach access without stairs and friendly staff who greeted and guided her. Everyone was so responsive, they made her feel welcome.
I would go there again in a heartbeat for the convenient location and beach, but this time was about family being together to celebrate an anniversary and it worked very well for all of us.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Saint Cloud, Minnesota
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2012

Just got back from a 7 day business trip to Puerto Vallarta and I had the pleasure of staying at the Holiday Inn in. With this hotel you have a few food options but the one thing that is nice is that you can use both of their Ala Cart restaurants as many times as you wish.

Room Tip: I had room 929 which had a great view of the pool and of the ocean. I had two sliding glass doors wh...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grenfell, Canada
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2012

We have been coming to the Holiday Inn for many many years and have always enjoyed our stays - this last one was for 5 weeks. The staff are exceptional - very friendly and very hard working - Miguel our waiter/bartender is a super person very friendly and very hard worker who helps make our stay great. The minute you arrive at the hotel you are greeted by Jorge who is probably the most friendly person in PV. We rented a condo on the 17th floor - gorgeous rooms and spectacular views - Italian Restaurant and Snack bar delicious food. A lot of work has been done to improve the appearance of the hotel and grounds since last year and we understand more work will be done. Can not wait till next year to return - just a fantastic place.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
Amenities:
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:
#28 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#40 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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