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“Very Disappointing Stay” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Cupula

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Casa Cupula
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   129 Callejon de la Igualdad, Puerto Vallarta 48399, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #9 of 120 hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Los Angeles, California
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Very Disappointing Stay”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

I would love to give Casa Cupula a great review given the people were generally very friendly, the common areas of the main hotel were nice, and the the location is pretty good--- a short stroll into town and a fine walk back, or an easy and cheap cab ride ($5). I really do like this place, in theory.

But, the stay was totally ruined by the room quality. Despite what we had booked, my partner and I were put in the dreadful room 204 in Villa Sevilla, their annex property that is just down the road from the main hotel (only 50 yards or so but via a separate entrance). The very small room was entered via a sliding door, and didn't even have a door to the bathroom. Yes, you read that right--- no door to the bathroom with a toilet in direct site from the bed and no chance at privacy. It was very far from what you would expect at a place that advertises itself as a "luxurious boutique hotel" and as having "sophisticated interior design in each room." The ceiling fan was rusting, and the room came fully equipped with a musty smell so strong that all our clothes smelled like Villa Sevilla when we returned home. Definitely not luxurious, and barely tolerable. Lastly, there was no view, unless you count our sighting of two guys doing you know what in the little splash pool out front our sliding door. That didn't exactly get us excited about going for a dip in the pool.

At risk of sounding overly demanding, we kindly asked to be moved to a room with an enclosed bathroom, but were told the hotel was totally booked. I won't rant about the details of the mixup with our booking as the hotel blamed it on Expedia (and of course Expedia blamed it on the hotel), but regardless of who was at fault we certainly didn't end up in the room we booked, or anything close to it. The lady we spoke with about this, Tina, was perfectly nice and apologetic, but we were rather surprised she didn't offer us anything at all to help compensate for the mixup. We understood they were booked and couldn't move us elsewhere, but being told to just contact Expedia wasn't exactly what one would expect in this situation---most hotels would offer you a voucher for breakfast or a cocktail at the bar or something to help soothe the pain of ending up with a severlely downgraded room from what was booked.

While I certainly won't ever return to Casa Cupula, I'd say you can probably have a fine time here, just make sure you are truly confirmed for a room in the main building and set your expectations appropriately when it comes to your expectations for a "luxury boutique hotel."

Room Tip: I would avoid Villa Sevilla rooms - in particular room 204. The room has no door to the bathroom, y...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
optionsf, Owner at Casa Cupula, responded to this review, March 15, 2013
We're sorry that there were so many problems, we understand your concerns. For some reason in January Expedia decided to randomly add jacuzzis and ocean views to the description of our Deluxe Rooms, and it took far to long to resolve. They blamed it on a problem with their database. We had asked for names of people who had booked to contact them in advance, but it is against their policy, something that continually frustrates us that we cannot contact guests in advance of arrival to set up anything. Unfortunately, once the guest arrived we didn't have any other other room options, however, the price was correct for that room for that period; it was just a mangled description.

As for the bathroom door, it's now on our to-do list. Villa Sevilla has been totally redecorated but the original design is very traditional, and you see this concept on too many bathrooms in open Mexican properties. It is an oversight and really should have been addressed as the guest is correct it is not typical in our category. Typically we warn guests when they make a reservation but, obviously not possible here.

I just checked the room and as a very mold-sensitive individual, I found no problems...and I'm a tough customer. If there was an intermittent problem it was certainly not typical.

The guest is correct and we failed in not offering an apology for the inconvenience. We dropped the ball, and that does happen once in a great while. We have since contacted the guest now that we do have an email.
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225 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

Everyone was very kind and helpful during our trip. The hotel is very clean and the staff was very friendly. I wouldn't book the transfer to or from the airport as it is rather expensive - I would just print the directions and grab a cab for 150 Pesos.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
optionsf, Owner at Casa Cupula, responded to this review, March 15, 2013
We're glad you liked the Casa!

Your review brings up a good point. If you are an experienced Puerto Vallarta traveller, and know where you are going, and speak a little Spanish, you can take a taxi with no problems. The cost, however, from the airport is typically over $250 pesos, as only specially licensed vehicles are allowed there to do pickups.

We offer a licensed, contracted service that knows where we are located, and specifically meets you personally and gets you safely to the hotel in cars that are better quality than the typical taxi. We also drive you back in our luxury SUV if you contract this service. The higher end service adds cold towels, a drink, and upgraded vehicle.

With all the (often unfair) scuttlebut about safety in Mexico being an issue to many guests, we take extra precautions to communicate with our guests to get them safely and securely to the hotel. The biggest risk isn't security, it's getting lost or getting scammed by a timeshare salesman who says he represents us and has no interest in driving you directly to the hotel, but in getting you to a timeshare presentation. By meeting our assigned drivers, we help prevent this inconvenience.
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San Francisco, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013 via mobile

These guys keep investing in the property and it shines through with an amazing experience. Great food. Wonderful events. Stylish accommodations. Attentive service. Gorgeous setting. And an easy walk to restaurants, clubs and beaches.

Stayed March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013 via mobile

Had a great time at this hotel. Even though we were only there for 1 night. All of the staff and the owner were extremely nice and welcoming. We were celebrating a friends birthday and he really enjoyed the hotel. I wish that we could have stayed at the hotel longer but we rented a villa where more friends were flying in the following day. Nothing negative to say about this hotel. I would stay again!

Stayed February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

Casa Cupula is a very friendly, clean, quite hotel located in the hills above old town. There is not much one can add to the previous reviews. However the trip to the beach can be a bit of pain and does take a good 10 minutes. Keep in mind that you will need to make another round trip for happy hour and than again for dinner or clubing. This can get to be a bit much for some people and doesn't always make it easy for the last minute adventure. Room rates are high and if your are on a budget, this may not be the place. Taste restraunt is good but we could not tell much difference in size between a taste (appetizer) and a main entree. Sizes for the same thing can vary from table to table leaving one to wonder "WHAT HAPPENED" . Breakfast even with their coupon will still cost you as much as any restruant.... go figure.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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.
optionsf, Owner at Casa Cupula, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Thanks for the review! It's funny that some people find the walk to the beach at 4 blocks is horrible, nothing or somewhere in between...depends on your perspective. Many prefer our slightly secluded location where you can hear the birds singing.

Our "main" portions in Taste are almost exactly double the size of the Taste portions, and they are measured, so maybe an order was taken incorrectly...that's a good question!

Looked at from a positive point of view, many hotels charge upward of $25USD for a breakfast, especially when they are in town. If in the end you pick what you want and breakfast is the same cost as at other restaurants, for the convenience of schlepping downstairs in your slippers to eat, seems like a fair deal to us. If you're not on a discount rate plan, the breakfast coupon is sufficient for either a continental or full breakfast (suites).
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San Francisco, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

Casa Cupula is well located near Zona Romantica, has a nice view & attentive service. It is nestled a bit on the hill, but within a 10-minute walk or short cab ride (40-50 pesos each way) to ZR. I agree with other reviews that the morning birds are quite loud, but not enough to complain about. It's definitely on my list to stay at again.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
optionsf, Owner at Casa Cupula, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Thanks, and we look forward to your next visit. Over 90% of our guests say they would return, and about 2/3 of our guests are either returning guests or referrals.
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Geyserville, CA
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

This is a very comfortable, beautiful place up in the hills a short walk from the beach. The comfortable bed, and quiet, gave me some truly great sleep, the pool outside my door exquisite, and the very friendly and attentive service throughout was top notch.

That said, there's a certain rustic quality to the place, maybe due to the humidity or the tropical location, but areas of paint rusting etc, leaves quickly clutter pool furnishings, a certain mustiness, etc all comes with the territory. I think they could do just a bit better job on patio area upkeep, as used beverage glasses often spent a day or two before being picked up.

Also, I stayed here as a single based on TA reviews, but I see Casa Cupula as more of a romantic retreat for couples. The single traveler might be better off closer to old town or the beach. The walk isn't that bad but it's the kind of walk you only want to do once per day. It's easier to the beach than to old town bar scene which involves walking along a busy highway with no sidewalk. Easy to get a taxi back at night though.

Finally, I agree with others that the idea of charging for the empty covered lounges around the main pool was just a turn off for me. I like nice, comfortable places, but please, include it in the room fee, why the extra charges, just makes the place feel stuffy and pretentious. Same with the breakfast coupons, which combined with $3 coffee etc means you'll pay as much as any other place, just a gimmick. The restaurant staff was great however!

Room Tip: Rooms in the villa have their own patio pool, beautiful.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
optionsf, Owner at Casa Cupula, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Thanks for sharing, we are glad you got caught up on your sleep - that's what vacation is for!

It's true that leaves, birds, and a certain amount of humidity come with a jungle location, which causes rust and paint peeling from time to time. That's true of all Vallarta where salt air and humidity makes maintenance a huge job! On our last period of guest surveys, guests overall gave us a 4.65/5 rating for maintenance, so we're doing a pretty good job.

As for our luxury cabanas, different room rates get different benefits. In this day and age, where every hotel must compete to show the lowest rate on online booking sites, it is impossible to include everything (breakfasts, luxury cabanas) for free for everyone. It's the same reason airlines now charge extra for everything: add $10 to the price and the hotel gets pushed to page 25. The guest failed to note that our gym, along with many other amenities like luxury bathrobes, slippers, and bath amenities are included at no extra charge. If you get a specially discounted rate, it may be non-cancelable, pre-paid, or not include breakfast. Pay full price and those things are likely included - if you're not sure ask when you book by calling our toll free number. For any suite reserved in April, a free day in the Cabanas is included. We note that one major hotel in Vallarta charges $300 pesos a day for a cabana which is only a mattress with a curtain. Ours offer fans, furnishings, plugs for your iPhone, and upgraded towels and we only ask a minimum consumption at the pool for the day - a few drinks or lunch for two will do it. We don't think it is unfair that to use a facility that cost thousands of dollars to build (and more to maintain!) buying a few cocktails is too much to ask.

Thank you for your comments!
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Additional Information about Casa Cupula

Also Known As:
Casa Cupula Hotel
Casa Cupula Puerto Vallarta
Casa Cupula Hotel Puerto Vallarta
Address: 129 Callejon de la Igualdad, Puerto Vallarta 48399, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Casa Cupula 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa Cupula is one of the most luxurious boutique hotel resorts in the world, welcoming gay men, lesbians, and friends of our community. We offer the services of a five-star mainstream resort in four boutique properties: Casa Cupula, luxurious Villa Sevilla (great for groups), Private Residences and Owner's Villa. Gourmet food compliments four pools, a gym and sophisticated modern design. Located in Amapas, walking distance to gay beach clubs, nightlife, restaurants and cafes. ... more   less 
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