Arrived in Puerto Vallarta and started our vacation off on the right foot with a swift entry process at the airport. As noted by others, you will be hounded as you leave the airport with transportation and timeshare offers. Simply keep walking if you already have transportation arranged and they will leave you alone. We booked through Apple Vacations and received transfers as part of the package. After a quick 10 minute cab ride we arrived at the resort.
Check-in was a little frustrating but not completely the fault of the hotel. We arrived a half hour before our check-in and were told that they did not have our room available. They asked us to have a seat in the lobby and that our room would be available shortly. We waited close to 1.5 hours before they notified us that our room was available and that was only after we followed up with the front desk. Normally we are pretty easy going, but when you have been traveling you really just want to get to your room.
Our room was located on the 10th floor and had a beautiful ocean view. The rooms are modern, well-appointed and have nice sized balconies to enjoy the view from. The open bathroom concept is nice but would not be ideal for those traveling with a friend or desiring more privacy. We did not spend the extra for the Preferred Club and were glad we did not. As mentioned by others, the views from the Preferred tower rooms appear to be less desirable and the additional benefits not worth the money.
Food at the resort proved to be hit and miss. The buffet restaurant was average with a decent selection of food choices (Yoana cheers you up no matter how you are feeling). We had better food at breakfast as most items were warm/cold at lunch. The pool grill leaves much to be desired as it was nearly the same rotation of hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza, chips and snack items each day. Meat and pizza that look like they have been left in a buffet warmer for several hours was not that appealing. Oceana was average as well; some menu items were pretty good while others lacked taste. The best meals we had were at the teppanyaki grill and Tamarindo. Our meal at the Italian restaurant Capers was also good.
The pool area at the resort is clean and service is great. We never had a problem finding a nice spot and always found plenty of towels. There were plenty of umbrellas and palapas to provide shade if needed. The activities committee does a nice job of keeping guests entertained throughout the day without pressuring folks to take part. Resort occupancy was light during our stay, but I can see where the pool area would be crowded at busier times. The layout of the pool area and the size of the pools are on the small side.
Overall, the staff we encountered in all areas of the resort put forth noticeable effort to make sure guests had a wonderful time. The city of Puerto Vallarta was clean and safe from what we experienced. We took a taxi downtown for $6 US and enjoyed walking the streets. We did walk into town on one occasion and it took around 20 minutes at a brisk pace. You will find plenty of street vendors and craft markets around town when you explore the cobblestone streets.
We had a relaxing vacation and would recommend the location and resort to others. The weather was great every single day of our vacation; lots of sunshine with a light breeze and low humidity.