We are currently finishing our stay at Bel Air Vallarta. I am not one that normally writes reviews and rarely do I complain about service. We are checking out of Bel Air two days early and I feel the need to give some feedback on our stay.
As mentioned in some other reviews, we arrived expecting our loft room with a view of the ocean as promised when we booked through the chat feature on the website. When we were taken to our room we had a view of the adjacent hotel's generator. We called the front desk and said that we had been guaranteed ocean or at the very least a poolside view. They said that they don't even have loft rooms with ocean views. I showed them my confirmation and they showed us another room which you could sorta see a piece of the ocean through the tree branches. The room was a lot smaller and we have a 10 month old so we took the first room and were told we'd be moved the next morning. The next morning they told us that the room they were going to move us to wasn't available until 1pm. We came back at 1 and they told us... no, now it is 4pm... we came back at 4pm and they said that the people actually aren't checking out. Finally they found us a room (we were waiting for ocean view). THis room was 2 floors up with the same 'garden' view. Then we asked if we could upgrade and pay more so the front desk told us yes we have a room with a king that is a one bedroom for $50 more a night. We went to look at it and it turns out to be two double beds. So we truck back to the front desk for what felt like the 10th time and said can we get the same room but with a king. Finally the concierge Trinidad stepped in and helped us. He knew the rooms inside out and was able to help the front desk look at the system and find us a room. We had to still forgo the view but at least it was the quieter side of the hotel and had a king size bed.
Food - the food is good; however, if you are planning to stay here for longer than 5 days you may get sick of eating the same food over and over. Breakfast buffet is the best meal of the day. The sushi bar is good, but if you don't like cream cheese you may find it difficult to order off the menu as every sushi roll has cream cheese in it. This was more than made up for by the excellent service from waiter Hector and the fantastic martinis!
Billing system - We chose the all inclusive option which we have done 4-5 times at other resorts. THis is the first place that i've ever been to that bills you each and every time you order drinks or food. You must sign for and there is ALWAYS the expectation that you will tip. We are good tippers and at past all inclusives we always leave a few dollars here and there after a meal and at the end of our stay provide our favorite staff with more substantial tips, etc. It seems ridiculous that we pay a rate for all inclusive but are expected to add gratuities on top of every meal or drink! I'm dreading to see what our bill is when we check out. One night we received terrible service at dinner and even though my husband didn't want to tip I told him to at least put the equivalent of a couple dollars on there in pesos. We got back to our room and received a call from the waiter who was questioning if we'd really meant to put such a low tip!! Are you kidding me - I should have listened to my husband and tipped nothing!
I'd say 50% of the staff are FANTASTIC! We often tipped them 20% or higher of our bills. It really felt like they cared and went above and beyond! Look for Javiar, Hector, & Trinidad.
Facility/Rooms - The grounds are beautiful and the pool is warmer than the average mexico pool. The resort is small and there is one pool so unfortunately you have to reserve your chairs before 8am or you'll be out of luck. I really find this annoying as you go to the pool and there are about 10 people actually laying on loungers but every single chair has a towel or personal item left on it. It is the same at the beach. This really isn't something that is specific to Bel Air, but more of a poor travel etiquette in general.
Our room was spacious, but the toilet was broken for the first two days. Also the pull out couch smelled really bad... we also borrowed a pack and play/crib for our daughter and it was FILTHY! I tried not to think about it too much.
the fish pond- We spent a lot of time here feeding the turtles and fish with our daughter.
Internet - if you spend $8 a day at the mini-mart you get a code for free internet for the day.
Staff - majority are great!
Facility/Beach - clean and beautiful
Front desk - unhelpful
Reservation guarantees appear to not mean anything when you arrive
We only received the little cake treats in our room once out of our 5 nights stay and there was not a treat in the room when we checked in which is promised in our all inclusive package (not really a big deal, but don't bother using this as a selling feature if you don't actually do it)
Tips are NOT included - and are expected
Annoying time share sales pitch as soon as you check in.
Spa - you get a better massage if you go along the beach to Bucerias and its 1/3 of the price and right on the beach.
Perhaps it was the horrible room situation that left a sour taste in our mouth at the very start of our check-in, but it just seemed like the service is REALLY inconsistent here. We were booked to stay 7 nights but are leaving after 5.
We will not stay here again or recommend to friends.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Vallarta is a recently opened resort in the dazzling beach of Playa Flamingos of Nuevo Vallarta, as part of the exclusively HIP Collection, Highly Individualized Properties in design and services of Bel Air Collection Resorts & Spas. With the details to make your stay a memorable one, Bel Air Delights. The signature amenities that make us so different, Bel Air Hallmarks. An the services and life experience that make up your holiday, Bel Air Experiences. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Bel Air Collection Resort And Spa Vallarta
- Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Vallarta Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
- Playa Del Sol Grand Hotel
- Playa Del Sol Grand Puerto Vallarta
- Playa Del Sol Grand Resort