I have been to PV 5 times and have stayed at a different place every time - from the All-inclusive resort hotels to the $25 a night hotel located in the "village". The group of friends I traveled with visited PV the previous Nov. and we had stayed at an all-inclusive resort just north of the Malecon. We wanted to try the "VIP experience" of a Penthouse and a private chef, PLUS the price was right at Vallarta Shores!
Vallarta Shores is a charming multiple unit villa/condo styled building in an excellent location. It's located at the very end of the beach (Los Muertos Beach, near the pier) which provides for NO vehicle traffic as the road is a dead end, fewer people fighting for lounge chairs (there are 3 private umbrellas for the hotel and chairs that the staff will bring to the beach for you), the beach is less rocky than the beach closer to Los Muertos Pier and there are very few vendors!
You can walk EVERYWHERE. It’s a 5 minute walk on either the beach or the backroads into “town” where all the happenings are (bars, nightclubs, markets, restaurants, etc.)
For the first 4 nights of our 7 day stay we rented Penthouse A which included 3 bedroom suites each with a private bathroom and AC that works wonders, a private pool, outdoor BBQ grill, a relaxing living situation, million $$ views and the BEST PART of our trip, a private chef (we were lucky to score Rodrigo).
Upon arrival, the welcome was a chilling experience to the 90 degree weather (which serves to the "Sub-par service" title of this post). The less than welcoming greeting (and lack of service throughout the trip) from Daniel at the front desk was QUICKLY trumped by the smile and welcoming attitude of Rodrigo our chef. Rodrigo helped us with our bags to our Penthouse where he had fresh guacamole & salsa waiting along with the fully stocked bar. We quickly settled in and no sooner than we had our bags put away we had a fresh made tangerine tequila cocktail in hand! AMAZING!!!! Rodrigo’s food was fresh and absolutely delicious. We had fresh carne asada BBQ’d on our outdoor patio, chicken mole, chilliquilles, camarones al ajillo (garlic), fresh breakfast, etc. etc. etc. 8 meals for 5 people worked out to be about $60 a person (including alcohol) of $7.50 US per meal. No other way to go!
Rodrigo was the saving grace of this trip, as the hospitality and welcoming feeling was no where to be found! (Don’t get me wrong, I ain’t no diva, nor are my friends and we were NOT looking for butler styled service) but the lack of a simple “hello, good morning, whatever from the front desk staff was nowhere to be seen. Stop sitting on your butt at the front desk with your eyes glued to your computer and acknowledge your guests one and a while…just ONCE!? Warning: When you DO ask the front desk for something (ie. In our case to open the access gate to the pool, where there’s a shower head where we could wash the sand off our feet before trekking through the halls, be prepared to feel as though you are a burden!)
Housekeeping lacked: typically a good housekeeper with notice “oh they have used all of their bar soap” and replenish as necessary – NOPE! “oh they need extra of the larger towels as I see they are all dirty on the floor, I’ll replenish those” – NOPE! The place was well kept, but definitely is in need of a deep cleaning. The living room furniture was dirty, chandeliers filled with cob webs, the coffee table needed a good wipe down with windex (a buildup of weeks, maybe months of dust).
So over-all it was a FANTASTIC stay and IF we decide to stay here again, it will be Penthouse A for the entire stay and a guaranteed request to have Rodrigo as our chef!