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“First review, for a fine resort” 4 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
Hudson, Wisconsin
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“First review, for a fine resort”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

My sister and I enjoyed a week at the Samba in January. As reported by many others, the staff is by far the best I've had the pleasure of meeting. Shout out to Ernesto, who was the first person to greet us and made sure our dining experiences were exceptional. The property is older, which is what may keep some Americans away. My only issues were the beach/pool bathrooms, which because of their location close the beach, have a problem with proper sewer ventilation, despite the facilities being cleaned often. The manager indicated they are aware of this problem and hope to build a new bathroom facility in the near future. The other issue was that the a/c vents in our room needed a good cleaning, which would cut down on the mildewy smell common in many tropical resorts. We stuck Bounce dryer sheets in them, which helped a lot.

The pluses definitely outweighed the minuses for me! We love to spend time on the beach and look for a resort with palapas and plenty of room to roam. We walked a lot and I'd say the Samba had the best beach, with plentiful palapas. The grounds, pool and beach were constantly being cleaned/groomed and are very nice. The pool was really big for the number of rooms at the resort and there were always chairs available at the pool or under a palapa. I was told by one of the beach vendors that he worked with/for? Samba, resulting in very few sales pitches, and pleasant encounters. The activities crew has bicycles for guests to enjoy, although a lot of people weren't aware of this extra. I highly recommend riding down to Paradise Village (take a right out of the resort) and planning it for a weekend, when there's less vehicular traffic.

The food at the buffet and specialty restaurants was very good, but the beach restaurant fare could be improved...we only ate there once, on the day we arrived. The food at the buffet was always hot and plentiful and there was plenty of variety for us, especially with all the fresh fruits and vegetables. The staff even made us fresh guacamole! Wait and bartending staff are very grateful for tips and are very deserving of them.

I would definitely recommend a room on the 3rd or 4th floor, facing the pool, which will afford you with a view of the ocean as well. We didn't find the outdoor activity to be noisy. Also, if your bed is too hard, ask for a topper that makes all the difference.

We took the bus into downtown Puerto Vallarta and enjoyed the Malecon (a pedestrian walkway with street performers and shops). We felt safe the entire time. We took a taxi back, and they are plentiful right off the Malecon.

Important to consider if this is your first trip to the Puerto Vallarta area, be sure to book in the Nuevo Vallarta resort area, if walking the beach is important to you. The downtown PVR area is rocky and you can't walk very far on the beach. The Samba sits on 12-miles of gold flecked beach!

If you're looking for a relaxing and affordable vacation and don't need a five star room, I'd recommend the Samba Vallarta.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,062 reviews from our community

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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 (123)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

First 3 star all inclusive we stayed at which we later found out was a mistake for us. The food was terrible. Whole room smelled like mildew and found a cockroach in our room. The people were very very nice and helpful though. Stayed in 5 star in Mayan same time last year for same price.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Cleveland, Ohio
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

3 star at best 5 star pricesThe people at the front desk need a customer service course they were rude and confrontational.The rooms are old and musty the food was sometimes edible except for breakfast which was good. The italian restaurant was a joke, they ran out of wine every day. The staff tried there best but it seemed there hands were tied and mico managed with every move they made. Very cheap with pours they acted
like you were taking food out of there mouths to the point of felling uncomfortable.The only thing the hotel has going for it is the beach. I read the reviews they were not accurate. I think the hotel writes most of them.I have been traveling to beach vacations for 15 years I've seen it all and this is the first hotel that I would say DONT GO This hotel was misrepresented by apple and should be taken off there list of resorts or at least downgreated it to a 2 or 3 star it was disappointing.

Room Tip: Your at the mercy of the front desk unless you have $80.00 per day up grade $560.00 a week.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kitchener, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

Our group of three (one adult and 2 children ages 13 and 16) just returned from a one-week February vacation at the Samba Vallarta. We had a great time in this small, friendly resort.

It is probably important for me to mention that the criteria I use when looking for a vacation destination are:
- small resort that is 4-star or above
- pool overlooking the ocean
- clean, comfortable rooms (ocean view is always desirable)
- activities for my kids
- some sort of shopping nearby
This hotel met all of my criteria except the 4-star or better rating but we had already visited this resort two other times so I was willing to take a chance on it again.

The room. We requested a room on any floor but the ground floor facing the pool. We were given a second floor room without a balcony facing the pool. I asked at the front desk if we could change to a room with a balcony or even a suite but she said we couldn’t. I was a little disappointed at how “matter of fact she was”….she wasn’t at all interested in trying to meet our request. We stayed in the assigned room the first night but the air conditioning could not be adjusted (even with maintenance help) and we were absolutely freezing in the room. We talked with our Nolitours Rep the next day and he helped us get a new room with a balcony on the 4th floor. Although it had a bit of a musty smell, we were much happier in the room because we could open the balcony door for fresh air and Alavar (not sure if I spelt that right) adjusted the air conditioning for us so that the temperature was much nicer. I would describe the room as “okay”. They do have a bit of a musty smell but not as bad as they used to be. The rooms are definitely clean and roomy but nothing special. I heard that they were recently renovated but they didn’t look a whole lot different than they did three years ago. They do have Wi-Fi at the resort. It was really “hit or miss” as far as getting it to work in the room especially. There was a safety deposit box in the closet. The view was beautiful and I loved sitting out on the balcony each morning.

Food. It was okay. It isn’t something I would rave about but I did have some good meals and always found something to eat. No smoothie bar but they do have two very friendly ladies who make fresh omelettes and quesadillas each morning. They do have bacon but you have to ask for it at the omelette station. Coffee isn’t bad but they only have milk (no cream!). They have lots of fruit out but mainly melons and pineapple. My kids loved the pastries that they brought to our table each morning at breakfast. You have two options for lunch. You can eat at the pool bar or you can eat at the buffet. We weren’t as impressed with the pool bar option this time so we ate at the buffet each day. I was disappointed that they didn’t have guacamole out at either place but they usually brought some out if I asked. They have two a-la-carte restaurants—the Italian and the Mexican. You have to make reservations each morning at breakfast for the a-la-cartes. Because the resort is so quiet right now they only open one restaurant each night. We ate in the Mexican restaurant twice….I had the steak the first night and it was not good at all but the second night I had their shrimp dish and it was quite good. My kids liked the chicken dish. The Spanish coffee is the highlight …. I highly recommend it. We were disappointed that we couldn’t book into the Italian Restaurant. It was only open one night when we were there and it was booked up already when we went for breakfast. We went to the BBQ night where they set up tables behind the pool bar. It looks lovely, the food was okay but we got eaten alive! I recommend booking into the Italian Restaurant that night. My kids loved the soft ice cream machines. They had one in the buffet and one in the pool bar area—both self-serve.

Service. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The bartenders were always friendly especially Martin at the pool bar and Fermin (?) at the Lobby Bar. The waiters in the restaurants are also very friendly and often brought us drinks before we even ordered them, remembering what we ordered the day before." Lore the "omlette lady" always has a smile on her face and makes great omlettes.

Photography. They have two photographers, Daniel and Diego, who come to the resort each day to photograph people in action and if you book ahead to take sunset pictures. They are great guys and took amazing family photos for us on the beach at sunset. I highly recommend that you book a time with them for sunset photos. Danielle probably spent 45 minutes with us taking all kinds of shots. He was great with the kids and the pictures were great. They are not at all pushy and truly just really nice guys. You might even see them playing volleyball as well….they are awesome volleyball players!

Activities. They have a small activities staff, much smaller than it used to be. That means that they have limited organized activities which can be a negative when you have two kids who need to keep busy. One lady offers activities for the younger children and three guys offer activities to everyone else. The activities staff were very nice. My kids especially liked Oscar. Emmanuel and Alex were also great. Alex took us out one morning kayaking which was lots of fun even though we didn’t see dolphins. We did see stingrays though and had a great swim out in the deeper water. They also had organized volleyball two times per day on the beach, water aerobics around noon and soccer on the beach around 4 when the tide is out. They have shuffleboard courts, small basketball court and ping pong tables out by the pool and two fuse ball and two pool tables inside below the main lobby.

Vincent, our Nolitours rep who was also a great guy, organized a bus trip to Buceraris one night. It was $5 per couple. He takes you into town on a bus to the main square. There is entertainment there and lots of vendors are set up—same flea market type stuff that you can find on the beach. You only go for two hours but it is a nice way to see Buceraris at night. We also went horseback riding one day. We walked down to the Decameron hotel (about a 20 minute walk down the beach towards Buceraris). Right beside the Decameron is a dirt path/road and if you look down it you will see a man with some horses. We went for an hour ride along the beach, through some of the cobble stone streets of Buceraris and through a very low income area of the town. It was a great experience and very reasonably priced.
If you like to shop you can go to Buceraris, Puerto Vallarta or you can just shop on the beach. There are some huts set up on the beach by the hotel with most of the typical flea market items—silver, t-shirts, hair braiding, etc. There are also vendors along the beach as you walk. They are not pushy and you certainly can barter with them.

Cons to the resort. The rooms really do need some updating but again…they are clean. The resort is REALLY quiet which is good and bad. There really isn’t much to do at night. They have short shows but they really aren’t great. They do have pool tables and fuse ball that we tried to play at night but they shut them down at 10 when their little store closes which seems crazy. I kind of get closing the pool tables although I am sure that the front desk could sign out the pool stuff. But the fuse ball machines? That doesn’t make any sense.

Overall, if you are looking for an extravagant resort with high end rooms, restaurants, and lots of excitement the Samba is not for you. If you are looking for a quiet, simple resort with great views and service then this is a great place to relax and rejuvenate. We would certainly consider going back to the Samba.

Room Tip: Room overlooking the pool have great views. I highly recommend adding a balcony.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Minneapolis, MN
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

As reported by all recent reviews the resort is amazing. We were treated as 5 Star friends at a 3 Star Resort. EVERY person was friendly and just waiting to make our week amazing. The pools and the beach were perfect. A VERY affordable vacation. Thanks for all the tips on this board. All of the people mentioned in recent reviews went above and beyond expectations. Keep up the good work.

Room Tip: If you are not happy with room, speak up and be patient. We were in Room 308, nice view of the reso...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 4
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, March 8, 2013
Thank you very much for sharing your comments about your stay at Samba Vallarta, we really appreciate it as it is very motivating for all our associates to continue offering the best , the quality service of our friendly and courteous staff make us a favorite for vacationers. We sincerely hope you and your family will be back here at your home Samba Vallarta.
Director General
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olds Alberta
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

My husband and I and our good friends just returned from a 30 day stay at the Samba. Can't begin to list all the good things about the hotel but for sure it is the staff that make our stay so enjoyable ! Big hugs go out to Alberto, Genardo, Roberto (security) Ismael, Richardo, Carlos, Eric, Eligio, JuanMaria, Martin , Furmin and our lovely "egg lady". I know I have forgotten a few but these guys were always there for our every need. Oh, and I can't forget the front desk staff .. right from check in to check out .. Thank you !
This was our 2nd one month stay at this hotel and it won't be the last. Beats any 5 star hotel we have stayed at in PV .
Food was very good and lots of choices ... and they now have 2 ice cream machines !!
The Italian and Mexican restaurants were amazing and so nicely presented.
So all in all it was so very hard to come back home to our cold weather and have to make my own bed and cook all the meals again !!
See you next year Samba and all our good friends!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
SAMBA V, Director General at Samba Vallarta All Inclusive, responded to this review, March 8, 2013
On behalf of Hotel Samba Vallarta thank you for gave us your feedback regarding your stay. We are so glad it has been a pleasant one, kind comments are very motivating for all of us to continue offering the best. We are going to post your comments in our notice board so that all our co-workers fell your kindness.
Once again, thank you for your comments, and receive our gratitude for being one of our valued guests.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Drumheller, Canada
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

I just got back from the Samba Vallarta and I can't say enough about the place. Our room was very confortable and clean. The staff are amazing, Alberto Diaz, Genaro, Martin, Eliqio, Emiel, Carlos, Roberto at the pool, Roberto Security, Rosario, Martin (bartender) Fermin (bartender) as well as many many more. Good choice of food. The egg lady cooks your egg just like you want it and then you never have to tell her again. Beautiful grounds and beach. We stayed a month and we can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 1
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, March 8, 2013
Thank you very much for so lovely comments about your stay at Samba Vallarta, we really appreciate it as it is very motivating for all our associates to continue offering the best , the quality service of our friendly and courteous staff make us a favorite for vacationers. We sincerely hope you and your family will be back soon here at your home Samba Vallarta.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
Amenities:
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:
#12 Family Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#13 On the Beach 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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