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“Not a Good Experience!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Samba Vallarta All Inclusive

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Samba Vallarta All Inclusive
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Av. costera y la playa s/n., Nuevo Vallarta 63732, Mexico (Formerly Samba Vallarta by Pueblo Bonito)   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #15 of 24 hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Central Illinois
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Not a Good Experience!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

The Samba Vallarta was not a good place to choose for our vacation. We were terribly disappointed and will never return. Why? The food is really bad and the rooms all have a mildew odor. We are not fussy people but we stayed at the Riu Santa Fe last year in Los Cabos and had a wonderful experience. So I do have a comparison.

We were first given a room on the first floor that had no operable safe, no tub and reeked of mildew. Everywhere on the first floor has a consuming mildew smell. We were immediately given a balcony room on the 4th floor that still had a mildew smell, but not as strong. Did they put wallboard over the existing mildew? Where there is mildew there can be mold. I worried about that. The room itself was well presented and freshly painted - no frig or drinks in the room, however. The king size bed was comfortable and air conditioning was adjustable. There is internet connection in every room but not strong enough - constant blackouts. Just enough to check email but it could not open attachments most of the time.

The food - A smelly cooking oil pervaded all the foods that were cooked, even the grill foods. Canola oil would have been a much better choice. The "sausages" for breakfast were cut up poor quality hot dogs, reheated every day because no one ate them. Bacon was hidden at the grill undercover. You had to ask for crisp bacon because it was undercooked and so fatty and again, poor quality. The "oatmeal" had to be strained for a few bits of oatmeal in a two gallon milk filled container. Not worth the trouble. This situation never changed for the whole week. The "hotcakes" and waffles were tough and lukewarm every day. Margarine instead of butter. No sweet rolls ever. Alcoholic drinks were watered down. Most foods were never hot, except when made at the grill. Even the fries at the snack bar near the beach were cold or luke-warm 5 days out of seven. Never any fruit at the snack bar. No fountain drinks to choose from in any of the bars or eating places. Light Pepsi was poured warm out of a 2 liter bottle at the bar.

The only foods that were always good were the orange juice, the fruit and an out of this world rice pudding dessert that was served on Mexican night.

The wait staff was wonderfully attentive.

I talked with 4 different people during this week. I asked them how their vacation was going. They were all unhappy and would never return. One gal brought her mother for two weeks and felt stuck because their travel company had no other place to offer them. They complained of bugs in their room. Enduring a vacation for two weeks that you find intolerable has to be awful. Another gal was apologizing to her friend for bringing her to this place. A written review by a previous Mexican vacationer was left in our room. He had much the same evaluations that we found.

I will say that the grounds were beautiful, the building was always clean and the beach is beautiful and goes forever. Every employee we encountered during the week was friendly and helpful.

Other reviewers have said "you get what you pay for" here. I disagree. I would rather have been home in our Central Illinois winter than to have forked out my money for this experience.

Room Tip: Don't go here. Or, if you insist on trying it out anyway, stay away from the first floor.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
SAMBA V, Director General at Samba Vallarta All Inclusive, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Dear Guest,

We are so sorry to hear that your experience was not as good as we wanted it to be.
We do have a very strict control on the foods and their freshness , we produce all the food on a daily basis

We are taking all your comments in a very serious manner and are going to check all the possibilities to make every guests experience always better and better.
We assure you that the drinks are not watered at all, but I will make sure that we are following the right process on pouring them.
Thank your for recognizing the kindness and warmness of our staff, we do believe that is one of our great assets.

If you would like to let me know more concerns, please feel free to do so, to my mail.

Omar Vazquez
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,058 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (122)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Westwold BC
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

This was our first trip to Mexico or anywhere south for that matter.Where to begin?! We liked the size of Samba Vallarta. It was nice to meet the same people off and on. We walked to Bucerias a long the beach and saw some of the other resorts and I have to say that we prefered Samba by far. Samba is not as opulent as some but we like that a lot better. The beach was lovely. Not crowded and room to sit in the shade and the waiters came by regularly to offer drinks.The room was clean and the bed very comfortable. Nice bathroom with a good shower. Nice to have it so very well cleaned every day.The food was fantastic and so were the drinks. A lot of variety.The staff is so attentive and friendly. Beautiful pools although we didn't use them since we prefered the ocean which was nice and warm.We can't say enough about the fantastic staff. They go out of their way to be helpful.Samba is not a place if you are looking for a lot of night live but it suited us. We didn't bother taking the bus but just used taxis to get to Puerto Vallarta.It is not very expensive. We went on a few excursions and they were great.All in all we would certainly go back to the Samba if we get a chance to go on a holiday again.We met a lot of people that have been going there year after year and also a lot of the staff has been there for years so that says a lot about a place. Also a good place for families. Quite a few Mexican people and I had some great conversations with some. My only regret is that I don't speak Spanish and I should do something about that.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moose Jaw, Canada
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

When booking a trip with my family of 7, which included my 2 young grandsons and myself wheelchair bound, I have to do a lot of research on resorts that would fit the bill.
The Samba seemed like it would fit the bill as a family and accessible resort, and that it did! Here are some reasons for my positive response.Everyone works hard and it is noticed and appreciated ,not like work ethic back home.
1. Staff all who work there are extremely friendly and helpful, from the restaurants, activities, bars really everyone was helpful.So many to thank ,can not name them all.
2. Resort is clean and rooms are spacious, not too big, easy to get around so it is not over crowded like other resorts the result more personal service which is a plus.
3. Pool area large with 3 pools divided for adults and young children. Plenty of beach chairs around pool with at least 200 lounge chairs. Most of the time only ¼ were occupied meaning the pool was not over crowed as compared to the Riu next door.Never had to go out early to get a chair.
Music good , not to loud and not to quiet,good selection.
4. Beach area well looked after, no rocks plenty of areas to soak in sun. Ocean one could go in and boogie board.
5. Plenty of activities for adults and young ones, everyone receives a sheet listing these from beach volleyball ,arobics,shuffleboard,etc . numerous kids activities.
Evening entertainment from live bands to circus at 9 pm[wish could be 8 pm a little earlier]
6. Restaurant buffet has different theme every night, the 3 that stand out in my mind is seafood night [excellent shrimp], barbecue night and Mexican night. Food tasty and in morning fresh watermelon,pinapple,melon,cantilope juice. The waiters were very attentive to ones needs.
7. Snack bar by beach had good hamburgers, ice cream and guacamole just to name some the food there
8. The grounds are well looked after and clean.
9. Salvador and Ricardo look after your needs for refreshments by pool area; they even brought special drinks for the children.
10. For a small family oriented resort it gives you the feel of what larger resorts offer.
A wonderful experience indeed

Beautiful sunsets a plus as well

Well done Samba
Looking forward to returning

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

If you are looking for the nite life and to be right in the middle of the action Samba is not for you, but if you want a relaxing resort with good room, great service, very good food, perfectly manicure grounds, great beach area than this is the place. We spent 2 week at this resort from January 13 to 27 and it was just perfect and very relaxing. You can go the a la carte restaurant daily just by signing up at breakfast, they have 2 sitting one at 18:30 and one at 20:30 they served about 30 people per sitting and have different theme every nite although the buffet was in it own very good. For lunch most day we would have burgers, machos and salsa at the snack bar very good burgers by the way. One thing I should mention is that the resort is non smoking, I dont smoke but my wife does and other than the beach itself you couls only smoke outside at the front of the hotel and also an area near the beach. The activity at the resort are somewhat limited, at nite there's not much to do. At the beach we saw very few peddlers. The only thing that I did not like is the fact that you cannot just walk off theresort to go to the stores etc as the is nothing within about an hour wlk in any direction other than more resorts but there is a bus that comes by every 20 to 30 minute and getting to vallarta will cost you 16 pesos. This was our second time in Vallarta and 4th in Mexico and enjoyed every minute. Thanks to Salvatore, ricardo, Ismael,Reyes just to name a few you made our stay very relaxing and enjoyable.

Room Tip: If you need a balcony you will have to pay a premium as about only half the rooms have them.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Qualicum Beach, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

Just returned from an adult family holiday at the Samba and will definitely consider returning. None of us had ever been to the West Coast of Mexico (we have always loved the other side with the Caribbean waters and the great snorkelling), but decided on the Puerto Vallarta area because it was the only destination that we could get non-stop flights from Comox on Vancouver Island. Did the search on Trip Advisor looking for a SMALL, basic (we weren't looking for luxurious amenities or a spa) all-inclusive resort on a great part of the beach, away from the City and this is what we found. This is an older hotel, but it is very well-maintained and clean. All the reviews highlighting the incredible staff are true - very friendly and helpful. The beds were incredibly comfortable! We were a bit worried about the food because of some of the negative reviews, but loved it - great selection, with a different theme each night, and always lots of Mexican choices in the mix. Didn't even get around to trying the Italian or Mexican restaurant. Resort guests were a nice mix of young families, friends, and couples, many of which were Mexican which added to the whole experience.

We booked this hotel through WestJet Vacations which I would also highly recommend - we were looked after everystep of the way and the whole trip was worry-free.

The beach...
We all prefer the beach over the pool so were happy to easily find chairs on the beach each day with the choice of sun or shade. (Note: The pool/poolside area was beautiful if that is your preference) The ocean waters were clean, warm and there was great surf for body surfing or boogie boarding. There are some vendors selling their goods on the beach, but all were very friendly and respectful. The beach is great to walk on, especially at low tide and you can walk for miles in either direction. I would highly recommend a walk into Bucerias (about a 45 minute walk) to explore the streets and market. Taxis are easily found for a return trip to the resort if you are not up to the walk home.

The only two negatives that affected some of our family members, was the noise of the air-conditioning and of the nightly entertainment. The air-conditioning didn't personally bother me as I cooled the room down before going to bed, turned it off at night and left the patio door open so the surf could be heard. If you are not a fan of the nightly entertainment, request an even numbered room - they overlook the grounds of the neighbouring Riu Resort and are a bit quieter (although the Riu has nightly entertainment as well - just a bit farther in the distance) than the Samba pool view rooms (odd numbers).

Be sure to take lots of small denomination money (pesos, cdn$ or us$) for the resort staff - Mexican wages are ghastly, and the service at the Samba is exceptional. Tips are all well-deserved and appreciated.

All in all a fabulous trip! Thank you to all the staff and management.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
British Columbia, Canada
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

For our first family holiday to Mexico we decided to book an all-inclusive resort. We didn't really think that it would be our style but we liked the comfort of having everything included should we need to fall back on it. We ended up taking a lot of day trips out of the resort on our own but did enjoy ourselves while we were there. The staff were all extremely helpful and friendly and in our eyes that really makes or breaks a business.

Elijio was our favourite waiter in the buffet restaurant. He was very friendly, very attentive and even has a brother in our home town who we were able to bring photos for after our holiday.

The housekeeping staff left towel art on the beds and the kids loved coming back to animals made of cotton terry. The room was very clean.

The beach was not over-crowded and I don't imagine that it would be in the busy season either. Many of the other resorts that we saw on walks down the beach had row upon row of beach chairs. I can't imagine the crowd of people when these are all full. Samba had a few nice rows and enough beach space for everyone to have their own zone. Anna braided my hair on the beach and did a great job. She was very quick and very friendly too.

The bell staff were all very helpful for us. They were quick with the taxis and always had information on the best routes to take to get to our destination.

I wish that the Mexican a la carte restaurant had been available more nights. We went one night and the food was absolutely amazing. Really, really superb. We booked in again for the a la carte on our last night but unfortunately there was an outdoor barbeque theme that night and it was quite disappointing. If you have the chance to go for the Mexican a la carte though, absolutely take advantage of that!
The snack bar by the beach/pool was one other thing that could use some improvement in the way of selection. The food there seemed like cafeteria food that we would see back home. Rubbery pizza, wings, chicken nuggets, french fries...not the wonderful food that we came to Mexico for. Mexico is host to some amazing cuisine and we would have loved to see it displayed more prominently. (Even if just fresh local fruit and vegetables, tortillas, fresh cheese, etc. That beats chicken nuggets and fries any day!)

One of the things that I stressed over before our vacation was the kids club. I wanted to make sure that something was available for the kids to do. Well we never ended up finding the club when we were there. We didn't look very hard though. The kids were so busy swimming, boogie boarding, playing in the sand that they didn't want to do anything else. The boogie boards were available for loan by the pool deck and we brought our own life jacket from home for the little guy. I'm not sure if they have those available at the resort or not? Sand toys, snorkels and fins I would suggest bringing from home or stopping by somewhere like the Mega to buy them. The beach shack sells these but they are very expensive and likely not something that you will bring home with you to warrant the cost.

We didn't spend much time at the pool at all. It was under construction and there was very loud dance music pumping at all times. Not my scene. When not being worked on, it seemed like it would be nice and very clean though.

We were easily able to do day trips to Puerto Vallarta, Bucerias, Punta Mita and Sayulita from the resort. Bucerias is walking distance on the beach. The others require a taxi or rickety and story-inspiring bus ride.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cowichan Bay, Canada
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

My friend and I spent some considerable time selecting the Samba. It was her first trip to Mexico, and my 5th, but first trip on this side ( been on the Carribean side before) we did NOT want night clubs and raucous night life, and although the evening entertainment is somewhat limiting, our stay was amazing.

This resort is exactly what it promises to be, small, exclusive, extremely friendly and clean. The food was extensive, well displayed and even when the hotel was at full capacity, the food kept coming. Pool side drinks service was constant, and the staff were a pleasure.

If there was one criticism, it is DO NOT book a room on the back side of the Hotel overlooking the next resort tennis courts.....they leaf blow the courts at 06.30 every morning!

I would recommend this hotel to anybody! BRAVO Samba Vallarta!

Room Tip: Ask for a pool side view, the next door Hotel is noisy!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Samba Vallarta All Inclusive

Address: Av. costera y la playa s/n., Nuevo Vallarta 63732, Mexico (Formerly Samba Vallarta by Pueblo Bonito)
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Nayarit > Riviera Nayarit > Nuevo Vallarta
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#13 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Samba Vallarta All Inclusive 3.5*
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Also Known As:
Samba Vallarta All Inclusive Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
Samba Vallarta Pueblo Bonito
Hotel Samba Vallarta
Samba Vallarta Hotel

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