Just returned last night from an incredible week at the Grand Palladium Vallarta. I should note that this was my first trip to Mexico, my first resort experience, and I'm usually more comfortable as a backpacker, but the trip surpassed all my wildest dreams. What an incredible vacation! I'm not even sure where to begin. The property itself is beautiful: lush vegetation, stunning beach, great amenities. We stayed in room 1204 which must have one of the best views on the property. It overlooks the adult only pool, with an uninterrupted view of the beach and the great surf break right off shore. The room was really clean and comfortable, and the only downside was that it had two twin beds instead of a king. We started our stay in 1203, directly across the hall, but changed after one night because of the better view, and to avoid the noise from the family pool and evening music from the lobby. On the even-numbered side, over the adult pool, all you hear is pounding surf. Although the room was great, we hardly spent any time in it. We were there for the beach and were not disappointed. Lots of gear was available (surfboards, boogie boards, kayaks, even a small sailboat) and the staff/lifeguards provided good advice on the best routes in and out of the water.
[WARNING: This is the Pacific Ocean and it is deserves respect!! The waves are strong and you need to be smart about playing in them. It is possible to stay quite safe close to shore (watch out for some rocks - which are sign-posted) but if you go out to the bigger surf, you should have an awareness of ocean safety. One 'complaint' is that the leashes on the boards need to be replaced when the velcro is getting tired/broken. My boogie board was ripped right off my wrist and left me stuck in the surf with no floatation. Very scary! A huge thanks to the lifeguard (or local surfer??) who plucked me out of the water to safety on his board!!!]
The staff were incredibly friendly and always helpful. We tipped a bit, but never felt the "need" to tip for good service. (In hindsight, we should have tipped more - they deserve it!) Whether at the beach, the pools, the restaurants, bars, housekeeping, etc, the staff went out of the their way to make you feel at home. A special thanks to Pepe for the surf lessons and to Antonio for the archery and water aerobics!
Too much to write about but a few highlights: The food was diverse and plentiful. Almost too plentiful! (I was sad to hear that the leftovers - there must be tons of it each day! - get thrown out instead of given out to the staff to take home.) I highly recommend taking advantage of the beach BBQs. We at there twice and loved sitting at tables right at the beach. Book the 6:30 dinner so you get to watch the sunset. The drinks are, of course, plentiful, but watered down and rather sweet/syrupy. We were also fortunate to celebrate Earth Hour at the resort and they put on a fantastic beach party and disco. Get out of the resort! An easy public bus took us into Peurto Vallarta for only a few dollars (walk around "Old Vallarta" and eat & drink mojitos at Joe Jack's Surf Shack!) and we also did an evening trip to Busarius for drinks, and to Sayulita to hang out at a fun surf town for the afternoon. All easily accessed by public transportation. We were surprised that most tourists were fellow Canadians, with a fun and healthy mix of Mexicans too.
I could write more, but must now get back to work and real life. ;) Not sure when I'll get a chance to go back, but I would in a heartbeat. I already can't believe I was swimming in the ocean only yesterday morning...
- Also Known As:
- Palladium Vallarta
- Palladium Vallarta Hotel Punta De Mita
- Palladium Vallarta Resort And Spa
- Palladium Vallarta Puerto
- Palladium Vallarta Resort
- Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa
- Palladium Vallarta Resort Spa
- Palladium Puerto Vallarta
- Viva Vallarta
- Hotel Palladium Vallarta
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa is located on a spectacular property that offers a 300 meter long private Pacific beach, from which guests can witness stunning sunsets. The construction of the hotel has maintained the natural flora and fauna of the area to provide an extraordinary setting for an unforgettable vacation. ... more less
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