This was my first time to stay in Mexico. I was amazed at how great a place this was to stay at. We really enjoyed our stay. It was clean, the staff was pleasent, and there was plenty to do. I would stay at this resort anytime.
This was my first time to stay in Mexico. I was amazed at how great a place this was to stay at. We really enjoyed our stay. It was clean, the staff was pleasent, and there was plenty to do. I would stay at this resort anytime.
We stayed at Sunset Plaza for the first time from Jan 11-18. Our flight was very late and we didn't arrive at the hotel until 5am on the check in date. Upon arrival the hotel staff was waiting to greet us, check us in and a bell boy was there to take our luggage.
The hotel has very nice street appeal and is impressive when you drive up to it. It's not a big resort but every room is ocean view. We had a standard deluxe room that included 2 double beds a bathroom with a large shower and a balcony facing the ocean with a table and chairs on it. The one end of the room is all windows facing the ocean. The room was very clean and modern and had a nice smell. There was a flat screen TV in the room that had a few english channels to choose from.
We spent most of our time around the "adult pool" lounging in one of the day beds during the heat of the day. There was usually a server at the pool that would bring you any drink you ordered or any food you wanted from the restaurant anytime of day. We usually give the waiter a tip every other time he delivered us drinks. I believe this pool is optional topless as there are no kids allowed in it and it is blocked off from the other open areas by shrubs but none of the females chose to remove their tops.
There are 2 restaurants on the property and a deli. We went to the fancier restaurant "Luciano's" in the evening a couple of times. This restaurant is only open in the evening. The service at this restaurant is amazing and as soon you are seated they are bringing bread to the table. The menu at this restaurant was limited and the higher end dishes had an all inclusive surcharge of around 10%. The food overall was not that impressive at this restaurant but the presentation was very nice. The desserts at this restaurant were better than the main courses.
The pool side restaurant known as Aquos had a better menu overall and the meals were usually better as well. We went to this restaurant for breakfast, lunch and most of our suppers. The menu at this restaurant had everything from burgers and chicken wings to traditional Mexican food. The service at this restaurant seemed very good in the morning but wasn't as good in evening. One evening we waited for about 45 minutes for our food to arrive and the restaurant wasn't overly busy. We preferred Aquos over Luciano's but everyone who is staying at the resort should give all the restaurants a try as they all have something good to offer.
The main reason we chose this resort was because there are no buffets. All your meals are ordered from menu and are hot served.
We had a sandwich from the deli one day and it was good.
We went for a couples massage at the spa and chose one of the packages that are offered only inside the spa. The massage was very relaxing and professional but was fairly expensive. Some of the massage packages can be done down at the ocean in a grass hut.
I ended up getting sick while on our trip but it only lasted for less than 24 hours. I have no idea what caused the sickness and do not believe that it was from anything I ate or drank at the resort. The day after I was sick when I was back to normal I went on a kayaking trip with the resort Activity's organizer and I was talking with another person who had also been sick. The resort Activity's worker obviously overheard us talking about our sickness because that evening in our room I got a call from the butler asking me about being sick and he wanted to know if I thought it was because of anything I consumed at the resort and if it was the resort would be willing to do whatever to assist me. I explained that I did not believe my sickness was due to the resort and thanked him for the call. I then received a call from the butler again the next day with the same concern. This was very impressive to me for the resort to follow up with this.
We went to the bar inside the lobby of the resort a couple of times. The service was also very good here but there was usually not much of a crowd inside; which is too bad because it has a nice atmosphere. One night at the Lobby bar there was live music and the band was quite good, but again there were only a few people there to enjoy it.
We found that the night life at the resort was somewhat lacking. There wasn't much to do in the evening.
We also believed that the average age of vacationers at the resort was around 55-60. Although there were some younger families there with their kids. The resort has a nice kids area with fun things for the kids to do. Everyone we chatted with at the resort was very pleasant. It seemed most of the people at the resort were from Canada or the USA.
The main pool was nice and big and had a swim up bar. I tried the swim up bar out one day and the service was quick and the drinks were good.
The resort is very secure with the main entrance of the street being gated with 24 hour security. If you chose to lay on the small beach you would have to deal with the beach peddlers that walked by through out most of the day. If you ignored them or just said no they kept walking.
The beach at this resort is very small and most people chose to lay around the pools in chairs or day beds.
Most every employee at the resort spoke very good english so communication was no issue at all.
Housekeeping come in and made the room up in the morning when we would leave and then they would come back in the evening to make the room up again from daytime use.
Overall we both really liked this resort and would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to stay at a 5 star resort in Puerto Vallarta.
My husband and I stayed in a 1 bed/ 2bath suite for a week in January. The room was better than advertised. Huge with 2 walk outs, nicely equipped kitchenette and the 2 baths were convenient. We could have lived comfortably in it permanently. Nice view over the ocean though looking directly down was ugly, worn rooftop with really loud rusty fans. Hotel has nice pools, an adults only area, 3 jacuzzis and a gym. Food was fine and service was ok. We didn't do the all inclusive option because we like to get out for dinner. The food choices at the hotel were a bit limited. Unless you drink a ton, the european plan will be more cost effective even if you stay on the resort for every meal. Many good restaurants downtown. Hotel has a nice butler service which was very helpful. The concierge was nothing more than a time share peddler. She called several times the first two days and when we wanted to schedule an excursion, she offered tours at above market price only to offer deep discounts for going to a presentation. We were willing to go but she argued with me over the dates so I walked. The encounter was really obnoxious. It was probably bad enough that I won't go back to this hotel despite the very nice rooms.
This was our first time at Mexican All Inclusive resort. The Sunset Plaza was a wonderful first experience and we would highly recomend that hotel. The accomodation was very comfortable, very modern and clean. The staff is usually very attentive (although they can be busy during rush meal hours). This seems to be a smaller resort in comparison to others and we much enjoyed the feeling of not having over-crowded pools, restaurant and beach area. We found the food to be delicious with just the right size servings; we especially loved having the poolside/swim up bar lunches.
There were activities daily, from stretching/yoga first thing in the morning, to volleyball, cooking classes and blackjack. There is also a very nice gym in the middle of the resort. We tried the massage at the Spa (as a couple) and we both agreed that this was one of the best we had. We would highly recommend it the ZenSet massage, which comes with a facial. The deli restaurant is a little hidden spot, but we really enjoyed their sandwiches and desserts, too bad they don't seem to get the same patronage as the other restaurants.
We loved the location of the hotel which is about a 45 minutes walk to the Malecon and downtown (or a US$0.50 bus ride...). Every room seems to have an ocean view with a balcony, giving the chance to enjoy beautiful sunsets.
I have just read another reviewer's comment regarding the air conditioner units on the North side of the building. We were on the 6th floor and didn't find the noise overwhelming, although it is noticeable. So I would echo his comment that you should keep that in mind.
As a parting note, I would highly recommend trying a Spanish or Mexican (with Tequila) cafe at Luciano. It is extremelly tasty and the "flambee" show is really worth it!
We just returned from a week at the Sunset Plaza Beach Resort and Spa. This will be our third trip to PV and first time staying at a resort. We have historically rented a villa as well as a car but wanted less stress on this trip so chose the Sunset Plaza Resort based on the rating and reviews on TA.
To put this review in perspective:
We travelled as a family of three (this trip) my wife, myself and our 12-year old daughter. We live in Brooklyn, NY and work in Manhattan. We are not snobs nor do we ever look down the wrong end of a slice of pizza, but we definitely have a sense of finer things, great restaurants/food, great hotels, and luxury amenities. We live relatively modestly to NYC standards but want, and feel we work hard to deserve a 5-star resort vacation and expected it from The Sunset, based on the touts.
I wanted to give this resort 3 ½ out of 5 but TA only offers full stars so I gave it 4. I think 5-star ratings should be left for distinguished hotel properties. The finer hotels like the Four Seasons or St Regis that go the extra mile for their guests and of course at a price commensurate with that level of service. Here goes…
The Sunset is a very handsome and safe property with a very friendly and extremely accommodating staff. You're greeted by the Manager Javier upon arrival. Well done Javier.
While we were waiting to check in, we were provided cold towels with a hint of star anise as well as a glass of champagne. After traveling for a day through Denver with an overnight, this was just what the doctor ordered.
We checked in for our 7-night stay and we paid the amazingly affordable $1,150 for our 1-BR oceanfront suite. For the #4 Trip Advisor rated hotel in PV we felt this was a great bargain.
We opted out of the all-inclusive, which turned out to be the right decision. More about this later.
After you've checked in you are introduced to your "butler", a nice touch. The butler is really just another name for a private concierge/bellman but they are not really assigned to you, I guess. After our initial interaction, we only saw our butler in the lobby, in passing. You can ask any of his “partners” to help you for any needs, on or off property such as reservations or bookings. This being our third trip to PV we didn't really need their help and as you’ll learn about Puerto Vallarta, it seems like everyone is a soldier in the Vallarta Adventures army, including SPBR&S. He escorted us to our room and gave us an overview. That was the end of the butler. No pillow menu or anything else ever showed up as I’d read in other reviews.
I’m going to start quickly with activities then go to rooms, then speak to the food. Hang in there, this is kind of a long review but will provide you with some detailed insight.
*Only a few per day and only one agenda. Very limited.
*The Kids Club staff was not engaging. If you want your kids to have fun you’ll need to entertain them yourselves. This was the consensus from the parents we spoke with and observed.
*There is a Ping-Pong table in the main thoroughfare that gets a lot of use even though it’s in the wrong spot, IMHO.
*Biggest activity is drinking and sunning but that is enough for most, including my wife and me. Our 12-year old was less than thrilled when she found out the day’s agenda. Bartending and Blackjack are not kids activities. Volleyball on the beach was much later in the afternoon and she wanted something to do “NOW”!
*We feel an experienced entertainment director could really help out the hotel in this regard. Offer simultaneous agendas.
The rooms are very nice and since the hotel is only two-years old, everything is like new. We stayed in room 416, a 1-BR Suite that has a fully equipped kitchen, living area with pullout sofa and flat screen TV. There is a dining table and chairs for four and has it's own balcony access with an outdoor dining table for four as well. There is a large closet by the entrance and a full marble bathroom, sans tub.
The bedroom area was very large with the bathroom en suite. A separate Jacuzzi tub, shower and private commode as well as a huge walk in closet with a safe large enough for a laptop, iPad, jewelry and documents. There is a flat screen TV in the BR as well. There is access to the balcony through the master and there are two lounge chairs and a small table. The outdoor furniture was beautiful.
The bed was very comfy, as was my daughter's sofa bed. The furniture and its espresso wood tone has a casual elegance to it. As a family of three, we were very comfortable and didn’t feel cramped at all. We travel very heavy and bring a small wardrobe with us- we had tons of space. I cannot see how more than three people could sleep in this room unless there were three in the master bed and one on the pullout. Families with older kids will need the attached bedroom with 2 queens.
There were a few flaws to room 416.
I'm about to get a bit picky but to be considered as a 5-star hotel, in our opinion the devil is in the details:
1. On a basic level, the bathroom commode smelled of methane likely because the plumbing trap and venting were not installed properly. We kept the door closed and the exhaust fan on. Problem solved.
2. Since we were on the 4th floor, the HVAC on the Gym and building directly below us was so loud at times; you couldn't hear the surf (even though you're on a bay, the surf was very active the entire week). Whoever designed the property, didn't consider the noise from this unit and the occupants of the lower floors. It was very annoying especially in the early morning when I get up to write. I wanted surf, I got Frigidaire. Had we known this when we checked in, we DEF would have asked for a higher floor. Ask for a higher floor when you check in.
3. The overall finishing details of the bathrooms and kitchen looked like they were rushed. Now this is not a functional complaint as much as an aesthetic one. Sometimes you want to look down and not see paint on the marble molding and baseboards, around the sink, etc. It looked like I painted it, rather than a pro. Just saying...
4. This was awkward: We were told that if we used dishes in the kitchen, we'd have to wash them ourselves or we'd be charged extra for cleaning them. Really?
These are the little things that a true 5-star resort would never charge for let alone say.
FYI: We tip the housekeeping staff and everyone else VERY WELL. Not cool.
5. Most fine hotels provide luxury bathroom amenities. Fine hotels have cotton swabs, cotton balls, vanity set, mouthwash. The Sunset’s were basic shampoo, conditioner and lotion. They were okay, not luxury.
6. So our theory about the very low price is based on the hotel’s slight focus on "soft-sell" vacation property ownership through Shell Vacations. It should be pointed out that they are not pushy at all. The only slight push came from the concierge that asked us if we knew about the "presentation". They offered us the following if we met with them for 90-minutes:
*50% off the all-inclusive, any day we wanted it from12PM-12PM
*20% off of the spa services
*20% off of any adventure trips.
*They gave us 2 free drinks and told us they'd give us breakfast before the presentation.
Turns out the free drinks could not be used for top-shelf liquor but…. Turns out the hotel doesn't really have ANY top shelf liquor anyway. Nor do they have a wine list. REALLY? NO WINE LIST?
I won’t get into the details of the presentation but yes, we went.
Heck, we like to save a buck too. All I can say is that they took us next door to their sister property that was a disaster. The breakfast sucked and the hotel was run down and nasty. We passed on Shell’s offer even though they have their “Elite” program that has many “Five-Diamond” properties.
Most people know that timeshares are pretty bad investments anyway, at least for most people. The hotel honored their offer to us and we used the all-inclusive for 2-days. My wife had a massage and facial but the regular offer was a better deal than the 20% off so we never used the coupon. BTW she said the massage was really amazing. We did all of our drinking and ate at the better restaurant for dinner both days we opted in for the all-inclusive.
There are just two restaurants on the property and something called the “deli” that we thought would be someplace we could get aspirin, lip balm, a pack of smokes. No sir. If you need any of these things it’s a trip down the hill to the pharmacia. It is only a 5 min walk but a little inconvenient. Put a little shop in the hotel guys. The deli sold sandwiches and salads and we think ice cream. We went in once and saw there was so little offered, we left and never returned.
Mirador is where you will eat most of your meals and get most of your drinks including the swim up bar. Luciano’s is the “Italian” restaurant. Breakfast and lunch is actually pretty good at Mirador. The staff is always very nice and the service is very prompt. There is a limited assortment of Mexican and American dishes on the menu. The biggest problem is that the menu NEVER changes. This is a huge problem if you are staying for 7-days. We were bored after 2-days and then began venturing into town for our meals, which was our plan anyway based on other reviews of the restaurants. The Butler’s (bellman) desk calls down to the taxi stand at the resort entrance and for 60 pesos (about 5 bucks) you can be right in the middle of downtown PV.
Dinner at Mirador our first night was awful. Maybe it was what we ordered and that we are all foodies (including our 12-year old) but we were all disappointed. Did I mention there was no wine list? We were offered a choice of two very low-end red or white wines by the glass. After one sip, I convinced them to call Luciano’s and get me a decent bottle of cab, at whatever the cost. They did return with a Chilean that was pretty decent but turned out to be the LAST bottle on the property. Subsequent dinners’ cabernet’s were served out of a screw-off top bottle, ai, yi, yi.
Luciano’s is a celebration of butter. Every dish smothered in it. The only thing we found “Italian” was the endless loop of Andre Bocelli. The same music played over and over for 90-minutes.
So at Luciano’s they offer, for an upsell, “Prime Angus Beef.” This is NOT the same quality as in the states or Canada. My T-bone ordered as medium rare, was less that 1-inch thick, and was so over cooked, I couldn’t even chew it. The potatoes and veggies were smothered in butter and salt. There was absolutely no creativity to the menu. My wife ordered the special shrimp that is prepared at the table. They delivered my and my daughters meals, then started to prepare the shrimp. By the time we all started to eat, our dinners were cold. Very disappointing. The problem was that for the entire restaurant of maybe a dozen tables, there were only two staffers serving and bussing.
We did eat there for dinner a second time to give them a second shot. The filet mignon was a much better choice. The only other bright spot was the veal dish that is fall-off-the-bone delish. Again, veggies and potatoes smothered in butter.
A note to the Food and Beverage Manager- I would have 8-10 bottles of wine on a small list to offer some variety for those discriminating guests that are willing to pay for it.
POOLS and BARS
You have to get up early and save your chairs. This sucks if the resort is crowded. Lucky for us it was quiet so we didn’t have a problem but you could see how it could be. When I went down for coffee at 8:30, 50% of the chairs were already taken
Morning coffee and tea are available in the courtyard and you can pick up your towels there as well. Coffee is excellent but the resort uses cheap Styrofoam cups. The coffee server machine requires you to press the cup into the trigger but the cups just bend so you have to use your finger with the cup and you always burn yourself on the hot coffee. A 5-star resort should use paper cups (more eco friendly and sturdy) or ceramic cups and saucers or mugs.
There are adult, family and kids pools with waiter service most of the day. There are also some great duvets on the beach and around the pool. There are three hot tubs on the upper deck. Al the pools and pool areas are spotless.
The beach is clean but very tiny. Minimal venders compared to other beaches in PV but get use to saying “Hoy, no gracias.” which translates to “Not today, thank you.”.
The swim up Aqua Bar gets a ton of use from the guests. Bartenders are on point, friendly and fast. After our first night there was no top shelf vodka available so we had to drink Absolute. Not the end of the world but if you are particular about your liquor, the selection is very limited. Same goes for the Lobby bar.
The lobby bar was a kind of sad spectacle. It was almost always empty and occasionally had a 2-piece band that was very mediocre. Here’s another opportunity for the Entertainment Director to get some action going. Overall nightlife is a 1 out of 5. Plan on going out or making friends to liven things up. We commandeered sofas and tables from around the bar and made our own party one night in the courtyard outside the lobby bar. We closed the place at 1AM. Good times.
Overall this is a very lovely hotel. The staff is really nice and the accommodations are comfortable. They need to work on the restaurants, menus and beverage choices and some of the finer details. It is for this reason that I can’t in good faith, give this property the 5-star rating, yet.
We plan to return to PV every year. It has become a family tradition and it’s a very magical place. Feel free to email me for some hidden gems. We will consider the Sunset in the future. I’m certain that they will evolve into a great resort. So, I recommend the Sunset to those who are searching for a very nice, very clean, very comfy and safe resort, for a very reasonable price. 3.5 stars…
Just returned from this hotel, after a 1 week stay. This is a smaller, newer property that has its focus on great food and service. Its beach is a very small area which is the case with most of the hotels in the hotel zone, not great for swimming or beach activities. There is not alot of activities or entertainment supplied as with larger properties, but there is a group of 3 that play in the lounge a few hours (8-11) Wed, Thurs Fri , only, I believe, that are enjoyable. Go off the resort for your nightlife fun. We had a 1 room suite 11 th floor, more of a condo really, with great view from a large balcony. Fully equiped kitchen, dining and living room. Big modern washrooms, walk in closet. Very comfortable bed. A little over the top for a all inclusive stay, but beautiful. Buy a bag of coffee and filters from oxxo of Sorianos to make use of the coffee machine and save charges for daily supplied coffee. If you want a relaxing, quieter resort with a great room and food this is a great hotel. No buffets, restaurant service only, all day long. Food is alway fresh and hot. (We did'nt find the menus to be too limiting or repetative for a week stay as some other reviewers stated) Smokers be aware that thier is no smoking on balconies or most of the property, say for 2 small areas. (not in bar or pool areas) We didnt try the spa or hear any other guest comments on it.
My wife and I plus twin 21 year old sons had a great time. Having a capacity of 200 guests but plenty of staff gave us the attention necessary to qualify for a 5 STAR rating. The layout of the resort is cozy and clever. The pools offer different ambiances and one is restricted to ADULTS ONLY. The SWIM UP BAR is HUGE, and service friendly and prompt. The small area of private beach has several CANOPY BEDS that sit only 30 FEET from waters edge. The food is adequate, not great. The rooms are a decent size and the maid service is excellent. Be careful not to stay on the NORTH end of the building on 1 - 7 floors, the motor/fan on top of building below is NOISY, really muffles sound of ocean waves. We stayed on 10th floor . . . GREAT!
We will stay again.
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