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“Disappointing” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Vallarta

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Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Vallarta
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   Blvd Costero 800 Sur | Fracc. Flamingos, Nuevo Vallarta 63732, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #8 of 25 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

We stayed at Bel Air from Feb. 10th to March 9th of 2013. We had a beautiful one bedroom suite on the 7th Floor facing the ocean. The only problem was we did not have air conditioning for the entire month. We complained about it. Bel Air sent a mechanic and we would have air conditioning for 30 to 45 minutes and it would shut down. The pool water was freezing for the entire stay. The WIFI was not consistent.
The service was excellent. I am speaking specifically about Carlos Riviera, the timeshare manager, Pancho, the front desk representative, Rosalba, from housekeeping and Edgar, the bellboy.
We did not appreciate the timeshare presentation by Bruce. Because we own under Playa Del Sol Grand, Bruce informed us that we had no rights. In order to have rights, we had to pay from $7000 to $10,000 for a Bel Air contract. We did not buy into Bel Air. We will not attend another update.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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671 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (113)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Nebraska, United States
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

We recently returned from Bel Air Vallerta (April 7 - 11) where we spent four nights for an anniversary get-away. We did make reservations for the All Inclusive plan, which they refer to as the Gourmet Plan. We expected to be checked into a plain, no-view room, but were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves escorted to an upgraded (without explanation) room with a lovely small balcony, ocean & pool view. The room was more than adequate, with a comfortable king sized bed, large bathroom, kitchenette, and sitting area that included a pull out loveseat, and full sized closet. We arrived at the close of Spring Break season, so the resort was quiet, relaxing, and not crowded.

Pros:

Staff -- The staff is what absolutely made this trip memorable. Galileo and Ruth at the Front & Concierge desks were extremely helpful. Jessica and Lucio in Activities were fun and super friendly. Luis and Leon at the Shipwreck bar were always helpful and quick with service. Carlos in the Nautico was quite possibly the best bartender, ever. Daniella, and the entire service staff, in the Palms Terrace were just fabulous.

Grounds -- The resort is beautiful with well-maintained landscaping. We especially enjoyed the turtle & koi pond, the blooming trees and shrubs, and the lizards. The pool was sparkling clean each and every day of our stay. The lounge chair cushions and pillows, as well as the pool towels were fresh daily. The short stretch of beach was groomed daily.

Restaurants -- The Shipwreck's grill menu was moderate, but delicious for poolside sandwiches, burgers, etc. We had breakfast and dinner daily at the Palms Terrace, and never found ourselves wanting for lack of choices, accomodation to special requests, or delicious, gourmet style meals. Even breakfast was presented with flourish. (Try the Cabre de Caramello, Torre Mozzarella, and the Pollo Cardinalis).

Bars -- The Shipwreck's selection was top shelf, and they offered a different drink special each day. We enjoyed excellent planter's punch, bloody marys, white russians, banana daquiris and amazing mango margaritas, and 2-for-1 specials during happy hour. The Nautico was very comfortable and welcoming with a nice patio and an excellent selection of top shelf liquors.

The Room -- The bed was amazingly comfortable, and we had no need to use the air conditioning as the breeze came in the patio doors from the ocean. The bedding was fresh and clean, and our room was made up daily with fresh towels and trash service. The room was quiet and well-insulated from the sound from other rooms and even outside unless the patio door was open. The kitchenette was fully stocked with dishes, pots, glassware, cutlery, and utensils. We also appreciated the in-room PIN number safe.

No Cash Policy -- The hotel has a strict no cash policy, which means regardless of your meal plan, any food or drink your order is charged to your room and you settle up when you check out. This means you don't have to carry any cash on your person unless you want to tip in cash.

Cons:

Housekeeping -- The tidiness of the room depending on who was working that day. One day, it felt like our floor hadn't been swept. We also had to leave a note for housekeeping to please refresh the in-room coffee service and tolietries. The tolietries were provided, however, we had to go to the front desk to get coffee service brought up to the room.

Room -- Water pressure, especially during showers, was inconsistent; a drop in pressure was accompanied by a distinct (and uncomfortable) rise in water temperature. We also noticed some cosmetic issues, like water-damage stains on the bathroom ceiling, and the shower never seemed to completely drain.

Connectivity -- We were not able to access cellular service, though we observed other guests using their mobile phones. However, there is a business center with online PCs for guest use in the room behind the mini-mart on the property, and a 24 hour internet access pass is available through the mini-mart if you spend at least 80 pesos (right now, about $8 USD) and ask for the code.

Time Share Sales -- While you are enjoying your sparkling wine and waiting for a bellman to show you to your room, you will be approached by a time share salesperson (they belong to the Bel Air company, not the resort). They will give you a packet of information about Puerto Vallarta and area activities, tours, and sights. They will also ask you to reserve time to sit for a time share sales presentation of approximately 45 minutes in order to get discounts on the tours and activities, as well as mini-mart purchases, and some other incidentals. Its up to you if its worth your time to get the discounts. We found the idea of a sales presentation in the middle of our vacation to be very off-putting, and elected not to attend.

No Cash Policy -- The down side of not carrying any cash is that you have to sign a check for every meal and each drink. You can't set up a tab at the bar if you're going to be at the pool all afternoon, or spend the evening in the Nautico watching a sporting event. It gets to be a bit bothersome.

Things to Know:

The Gourmet "All Inclusive" Plan -- Is a bit of a misnomer. It does *not* include everything. The Spa services are extra, as is room service, lobster, and alcohol by the bottle.

Language -- Most everyone at the resort and around the city is bilingual to some extent. We found that properly using some Spanish (and attempting to learn more while there) was appreciated.

Tipping -- At the resort, particularly if you are on the Gourmet Plan, tipping is not requested, but it is silently expected. If you choose to carry a few small bills for tips, the cash tip goes directly to the waiter you hand it to. If you tip on the check, the tips are split: 60% goes to the actual waiter, 40% is pooled and split among the staff at the restaurant or bar that shift.

In town, tipping is expected for taxis, tour drivers/guides, luggage assistance, etc.

Airport -- When arriving at the airport in PV, after collecting bags and exchanging currency, expect to run a gamut of time share salespeople. Imagine every video you've ever seen of the Stock Exchange trading floor, with people yelling and waving papers and running up to one another... its just like that, but they want your attention, and they want you to sign up for a presentation at Resort XYZ. We heard from other travelers that if you give these folks the time, its a very hard sell and they will use virtually any tactic to get you to sign on (including a young saleslady bring her infant and young children to the sales meeting). The easiest way to avoid this is to ignore them as you go through, or tell them you are a member at a resort or own a house in the city. Whatever you do, unless you're truly interested, just keep walking.

When you get through the time share people, you'll come into much of the same scene, except that everyone wants to sell you a taxi. We found that the easiest way to deal with this was to approach the authorized taxi booth. This way, you know exactly how much you're paying and that you'll get where you're going. The taxi fee depends, of course, on the "Zone" your destination is in. There's a clearly marked map, and a list of fees for each zone. You pay at the window, they give you a receipt and a voucher. Between the booth and the exit doors, a bellman from the taxi service will assist you with your bags and into a waiting cab. You can tip the bellman or not (it is expected), and the driver upon reaching your destination (again, expected). We had a wonderful driver who gave us a great deal of appreciated information about tours, sights, where to go and not, and we tipped him accordingly.

Traffic -- Whether you ride or drive, traffic in the city is scary. Be prepared for Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

Currency -- Most places and vendors will take either Pesos or US Dollars, but ask first. ATMs will dispense pesos.

Tours & Activities -- Set these up through your concierge or a reputable website like Expedia. There are several websites selling tours and activities that are pretty shady.

Shopping -- Especially in the flea market in Old Town, and pretty much anyplace else, except for established businesses, haggling is accepted and expected.

Phoenix -- If you tour a tequilia factory (and why wouldn't you?) they will rightly tell you that you can bring up to two liters of alcohol back to the US duty-free. However, if you are coming back through Phoenix, beware: apparently Arizona law says you can only have one liter per person, and anything more will be "destroyed" (per the signs posted throughout the Phoenix airport Customs area).

All in all, we really enjoyed the trip and plan to return to Bel Air and Puerto Vallarta.

  • Stayed April 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BelAirVallarta, Gerente at Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Vallarta, responded to this review, June 28, 2013
Dear Guest:

I would like to appreciate the time you took for letting us know of your comments, we are glad to know that you had pleasant stay with us,

We hope to see you upon your next vacation time here at Bel Air Vallarta

Kind Regards
Roberto Diaz
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sooke, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

We have recently returned from another enjoyable stay at the BelAir thanks in part to the member service manager and staff. They did their best to satisfy our requests. We winter in Mexico with our R.V and join family for a week or two of fun and relaxation. Carolina of member services makes sure we have parking for the R.V. and that our family's needs are more than adequately fulfilled. We have stayed in this hotel on many occasions and would highly recommend them.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
BelAirVallarta, Gerente at Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Vallarta, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
First and the foremost allow me to thank you for your kind comments regarding our staff service, please be sure that they will be congratulated for the excelente service provide during your stay with us. We are glad to know how much you enjoyed your stay with us.

We are looking forward to welcome you back soon.

Kind Regards

Laura Ramos
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013 via mobile

We loved it my little one had a great time this was his first time in Mexico and he's loving it. Great service can't wait to co. Back next year :D my husband doesn't want to go back to California next year will tray to go to can cun and stay at BelAir over there for a new experience with my lovely family

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013 via mobile

This was our fifth trip in a row to Bel Air and this place just keeps getting better. Everyone is just so nice and accommodating and we always feel like we're welcomed home by family. Special shout out to Pancho for going above and beyond and helping us out with our requests including opening an additional account at Shipwreck Kelley's the day we departed and as our flight was delayed. Also thank you to Edgar, Karla, Javier, and Jose for so personable and fun. Only complaint would be the air conditioner didn't seem to work all that well, but besides that we loved it and we'll be back!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vernon, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

We stayed at the resort for 7 sleepless nights. Our room was above machinery in the basement which banged and vibrated the entire unit all night and day. When we asked to be moved we were all but ignored and seemed to anoy the staff. There was no empathy and absolutely no effort made to try to improve our stay. Our first night at the resort my wife took a water jug off a top shelf in the kitchen cupboard. Beind the jug was a heavy drinking glass on its side. The glass rolled out and struck my wife on her right eye. She spent the entire trip with a swollen, painful and bruised eye. When it was brought to the front desks attention they made no apologies, offered nothing to her for comfort and sent us on our way as someone was behind us checking in. We avoided the resort the remainder of our trip. Unless you were purchasing or upgrading your current time share membership you were of no importance to them. We will never be back.

Room Tip: Do not stay here.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
BelAirVallarta, Gerente at Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Vallarta, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
First and foremost, allow me to apologize, due to the various inconveniences faced during your stay, Allow me to let you know that immediate actions, will be taken to avoid future discontents regarding to these matters; I would like to thank you for bringing me to my attention, such situations, which will help us improve our services level and provide a much higher quality service on your next visit. I truly hope to have the opportunity to welcome you, and present you the improvements reached, due to your valuable feedback.

My email address, gerenciageneral@belairvallarta.com, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.

sincerely

Laura Ramos
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Crosse, Wisconsin
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

My wife and I have been staying at this resort since 2006. For the most part we have had good experiences. The first year we were there we had an ocean view but every year after it has been a partial ocean view at best. The room was decent at best - same furniture and refrig since 2006 so you can imagine it is getting run down. We had problems with the AC. It was shut down at night when you needed it to sleep. I believe the entire resort was having problems with AC after talkng with others that were staying in one of the other buildings. They supposedly knew what was wrong with the AC but declined to fix it. Multiple people told us hey had reported the AC problems also. It was that way the entire month we were there. Even if the part is expensive I would think it should be repaired.

On Valentines day, my wife and I were walking out front near the arrival area of the resort when my wife slipped on someones dropped champagne and broken glass cutting her in multiple places and seriously cutting her ankle and bruising her foot. A doctor that covers the Nuevo area was summoned immediately. She was very good and friendly. She cleaned out the wounds and bandaged my wife up. It was over a week before she was able to get around normally (without a limp). The morning after the accident a members services representative named Carlos was told of the accident and called to see if there was anything they could do for us. Prior to the accident, we had inquired if it would be possible to spend an additional couple of nights at the end of our reservation and what the cost would be. We were told there was availablity and the cost per night was be $180.00/night. I asked Carlos if the resort would be willing to adjust the cost of our 1 bedroom (for the additional 2 nights). Carlos said he would check with his manager Carolina and get back with us. The price per night seemed rather exensive for this resort. Finally after four days with no response we contacted Carlos only to be told they didn't have any 1 bedrooms available but they would have a studio available at a reduced price. This would mean packng up and checking out at 11:00 and then waiting till 4:00 to check back in. During our first 2 weeks it was obvious the resort was not even close to full capacity!! Suspecting that it would remain the same for the next couple of weeks (which it did) we contacted reservations for the resort, (which is located in Guatalajara) to see what they showed available for those 2 nights. I was told they had 1 bedrooms available but needed to book thru the resort as we were already at the property. In addition, reservations quoted the price per night at a substantially lower rate per night than we were quoted by Carlos. At this point we are both extremely frustrated. I decided to talk directly to Carolina hoping for some honesty and that didn't happen. We advised Carlos we would not be staying any additional nights. We don't understand why they LIED to us and it really has left a bad taste in our mouths.

As far as some of the other employees at Bel Air we can't say enough about them. Our maid Karla was excellent in every way. Trinidad (the bellman) has been there since our first year and he goes above and beyond all the time. We look forward to seeing him every year and he has to be considered a very valuable employee!!! Some of the other bellman that did a good job were Enriqe, Edgar, Jose and Esteven - all very helpful. Pancho at the front desk was always very helpful and friendly.

Who knows what lies ahead at Bel Air????? We don't know if we will every go back to Bel Air - LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Puerto and Neuvo Vallarta!!! Lots of great places to stay but I think Bel Air resort is not a great choice anymore.......Very disappointed!!!!

Room Tip: You have no imput when it comes to room choice.....they give you what they want to.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Vallarta

Address: Blvd Costero 800 Sur | Fracc. Flamingos, Nuevo Vallarta 63732, Mexico
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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#3 Business Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#7 Family Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#7 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#11 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Vallarta 3.5*
Number of rooms: 215
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 
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Also Known As:
Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Vallarta Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
Bel Air Collection Resort And Spa Vallarta
Playa Del Sol Grand Hotel
Playa Del Sol Grand Puerto Vallarta
Playa Del Sol Grand Resort

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