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“Palladium- Loved it!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa

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Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   C/ Carretera Punta de Mita Km 11.5, Punta de Mita 63734, Mexico (Formerly Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 10 Hotels in Punta de Mita
newmarket
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Palladium- Loved it!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2005

We travelled to the Palladuim with our girls 9 and 6 yrs. on March 23-30th. We can not say enought about the resort.; food was great. We especially enjoyed the Asian a la carte restaurant. The entertainment staff were great, worked long days and nights, but always were enthusiastic. Some of the staff were Canadian; this was very helpful if you had any questions. Most of the remaining staff did not speak alot of english. The kids went to the kids club twice and just loved the staff. Carlso is kind and patient with the kids. The family pool is very noisy. Alot is going on; water areobics, dance lesson, water polo, water volleyball etc. We found going down to the beach in the afternoon, when the pool got too noisy, we could have some quiet. Putting towels on chairs to save them for the day is done on a regualar basis. We never had a problem find chairs even though the resort was full. The adult pool was wonderful. After getting ride of the kids for a few hours we went to the adult pool and bar to relax. It was quiet and the pool is heated!!! The night entertainment was good. The kids loved the show "Grease". The shows did run late! Lots of shopping on the resort. Twice per week vendors would set up or you could go to the beach daily. We got just as good deals on the beach as we did when we went into town. We would not normally go back to the same resort twice, but we would go back here in a minute.

enjoy and relax

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2005

My boyfriend and I just stayed at the Palladium Vallarta March 26-Apr 2, 2005. We had an excellent time!

After reading all the reviews on this forum, we really didn't know what to expect. We were definately pleasantly surprised! The grounds were absolutely beautiful, the rooms fine for our needs and the service way above and beyond what we had expected.

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who posted their tips on this website. We brought the insulated mugs which helped keep our drinks very cool, helped reduce the number of times we had to interrupt our suntanning and helped keep the bees away. We also got to the reservation desk earlish and had no problems getting what we wanted when we wanted. However, there were only two of us so that could have been why. Please note - the Beach BBQ used to not require one of your three dinner tickets; however that has changed so you must now surrender one. But trust me - it is well worth it. The steak was some of the best steak I have ever had and you can't beat the atmoshpere of sitting on the beach next to breaking waves and watching the sunset! If you book at the Mexican restauant, ask if you can get a seat outside - we lucked out on this one and got the prime seat of the restaurant. We thought the food was great at the restauarants. Although the buffet became repetivtive, there were so many options it wasn't a problem for us.

The people at the resort were also very friendly and helpful. We were in building three and not once was noise any kind of problem. We were actually very happy with the location of our room because it looked out onto the ocean and to the direction of the sunset. Once again we lucked out with this as we booked out trip on the internet and had opted out of paying the $100/each extra for an "oceanview".

Two major recommendations I will add to this site - bug spray and the ATV Tour through the hotel. I was attacked by little bugs at the beach throughout the week that I think bug spray would have kept away. I am now covered in bites everywhere so that would have saved me a lot of discomfort. The ATV tour through the hotel is a MUST!!!!!!! We had the best guide - BALDO. There were six of us in the tour that took us through the jungle, small towns, a Corona stop, and ended with us ATV'ing along a deserted beach. We even got a home cooked mexican lunch at someone's house as part of the tour. It cost $75 US but was well worth it and took about 4 hours. We even got to keep the bandana's that covered our face as a souvenier. Although you may be able to find a little cheaper price in town, BEWARE. The ATV base is only 2 km from Palladium. So, if the company isn't willing for you to meet them there you have to take an hour bus ride into town only to have to turn around and come right back.

Finally, we were really happy with the location and the seclusion of Palladium. We took the local bus into Puerto Vallarta and Bucerius with no problems - very cheap - but were glad to be away from the huslte bussle of things. I can see if you weren't expecting this then that would be a problem, but we were and we loved it!

All in all, we had a fantastic time. The complex was one of the most beautiful ones I have ever been to with its white sand/volcanic beaches, high cliffs, windy walkways and brilliant flowers. I would reccomend it to anyone who wanted a great place to get away to!:)

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Red Deer AB
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2005

Our family (husband, I, daughters 17 & 14) stayed at the Palladium Mar 26 – April 2. After reading the reviews I was starting to think that I had made a very big mistake in the choice to stay there. We all went in with an open mind, ready to make the best of whatever got thrown at us. We were all VERY pleasantly surprised, and very happy with our stay. I’ve come to the realization that sometimes, some people, will never be pleased.

Where to start.

Buffet: Firstly, I was taken aback when I seen how large the buffet was, and the dining areas were comfortably appointed, and the staff very attentive. There were some constants, such as the tossed and Caesar salad, the pasta bar, bread station, fresh fruit, dessert, and pizza. And then the rest of the buffet changed nightly, many authentic Mexican foods (we were in Mexico), and always a variety of different meat/fish, potatoe/rice, and vegetable options. I have one daughter who is a vegetarian and she never had any trouble finding plenty to eat. The area was constantly being wiped down, tongs changed, and kept clean. It was impressive. Breakfast buffet had everything you would ever see on any breakfast menu anywhere, the fact that it didn’t change too much was because there was nothing to change it with…. What else would you want to see for breakfast? French toast, pancakes, omelet’s (or just fried eggs if you wished), sausage, bacon, toast, fruit, yogurt, cheese, fried potatoes, you name it, and it was there.

Rooms: Exactly as expected, clean, modestly appointed, and all in working order. Beds were fine, not hard for us. Our two rooms were in building one overlooking the adult pool and the ocean. I was apprehensive at first, as I had originally wanted to overlook the main pool in building two, but in the end these were perfect for us, quiet, and easy access to everything. Sleeping with our patio doors open to hear the surf all night long was hypnotizing. The Maids were very helpful, and left more water if you left a note, ( in Spanish). And we took trinkets and gifts, which we left on our pillows with a tip daily.

Beach: From suggestion on this forum we all took watershoes, and they were great. I must reiterate however, that the whole bay was formed because of a volcano, so when people say there are rocks, they aren’t gravel rocks on the beach, its actually hardened lava, and not loose rocks. The beach is very nice sand. We really enjoyed the walks on the lava out in the water, some very interesting creatures to be found, and tide pools to explore. Great photo ops as well, the crabs just scatter when they see a shadow or movement, quite fun. Kayaks were a blast, and many were enjoying surfing and boogie boarding. You can walk for a very long time, and go infront of some very impressive homes along the beach.

Pool: Main pool was always a hub of activity, maybe the same CD’s being played day in day out, but lots always happening. The Adult pool we didn’t spend too much time at, however the loungers around it were always filled with many sun worshipers. I didn’t witness any unruly behaviour. The infinity pool was nice at sunset.

Entertainment: What a blast. The activities staff is also the entertainment for the evenings. This isn’t Vegas, and you aren’t paying $100.00 a show - so the negative reviewers need to lighten up. It’s as fun as you make it. Enjoy yourself! Often staff approach you during the day to see if you would like to participate, our daughter did twice, and she had a blast. The staff work very hard all day, and I really don’t know when they get time to rehearse or create the new shows, but our first night was a premiere of a show that they performed poolside. It was such a great welcome to the resort, and most impressive. We looked forward to the shows nightly, it was a chance to mingle and visit with all the guests. It was also nice to have the vendors brought in Monday and Friday nights to the resort, for those who didn’t get out of the resort they had a chance to do some shopping.

Tours: We just did the rough city tour to Puerto Vallarta, figuring that we might not get back into town on our own. Our guide was informative and explained a lot. I wasn’t interested in seeing the “fancy houses” that were being built, I’d have rather spent more time along the boardwalk, main beach area, the market and romantic area. Lunch wasn’t included on our tour either, and I was rather disappointed that we didn’t actually get to have lunch until 3pm. We had left the hotel at 8, so breakfast had been early… 3 pm was just too late in the day. Other than the market in PV, the other stops that the tour makes gets kickbacks from the amount of purchases that are made at those stops, (the nut man at the lookout, the silver store in the romantic area, and the restaurant in Mismaloya)…Le Kliff restaurant would have been a much preferred restaurant stop than were we did stay for lunch. Amazing view, and prices not much more than the “tour bus” menu that we were given. All in all, the tour was a great experience, we wouldn’t have ever ate at a place like we did- seemed rather questionable when we pulled up, but the food was probably the best we had all week, and the atmosphere great once we settled into a Corona or two ;-). (the restaurant also didn’t take CC’s so pesos were a must) I almost forgot to mention the tequila tasting tour - it was a interesting and informative stop.

Restaurants: Service was excellent, food was great, atmosphere was awesome. Staff are amazing.

Bucerius: A must do trip by bus. Quite the experience on the local bus system, and thankfully the ATM machine worked for us to get Pesos. A very Mexican experience to wander down the cobble stone streets. Much better prices than PV market, and vendors who spoke very fluent English. The local stores is where I purchased my Vanilla, and hot sauce for gifts.

Hotel grounds: Beautiful, the lush green tropical vegetation amazing. Walking was never an issue for us, I’ve walked much farther from my elevator to my room in Las Vegas ;-). The resort itself was like a little paradise after the initial trip from the airport. A bit of a culture shock to see the “Mexican drive thru’s” and some of the living conditions on the bus trip to the resort.

Front desk staff could perhaps smiled upon check in, we were served beverages while waiting in line to check in; the reservation system worked fine for our dinners (we got there early and didn’t have to wait at all). I understand that some people had problems with room location as far as noise levels go, luckily we had none of those issues.

Overall – it was a great vacation for our family. We enjoyed everything, and don’t think we would change anything. The staff go out of their way to assist and accommodate. They are friendly, pleasant and always have smiles on their faces.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
North Vancouver
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2005

READERS DIGEST VERSION:

Wife and I stayed 7 nights from Mar 25 to Apr 1. This was during part of Spring Break so things may well be different at less kid intensive times.

The GOOD
Just about everything. Staff always friendly, weather spectacular, room quiet, food fine (mostly), other guests well behaved, drinks good, beach sandy, water warm.
The BAD
The steak I had in the Italian restaurant. The bugs that bit us at sometime. Just not sure when or where we were. The all day saving of lounge chairs. However, it was the only way to get one so were just as bad and did it as well. The time it takes to get your dinner reservations established.
The UGLY
The Puerto Vallarta airport waits on the way home. I found out that the name Puerto Vallarta means “Wait in many line-ups”.


ENTIRELY TOO MANY DETAILS FOR THOSE WHO CARE TO READ THEM

The TRIP
It was booked through Escapes.ca and turned out to be a Sunquest vacation using Skyservice airlines. 7 days from Vancouver to Puerto Vallarta. Total cost, just over $2900 CDN. Including all taxes etc. No problems with ticketing, airline, transport or transfer. A good experience and the lowest Spring Break price I could find. Departure from Vancouver at 7:30 am which was good because we were in the hotel by late afternoon so had lots of time to get oriented on the first day. Return flight was at 3:15 pm and we left the hotel at 11:30 am so you got a bit of sun time then as well. These were pretty good times compared to others who had some awful flight times to deal with. We had a meal on the flight in each direction but don’t count on gourmet. Actually, the flight was quite good in each direction with good cabin crews. Not all travel companies provide a meal on these flights like Sunquest does.

The HOTEL
You’ve seen photos I’m sure so you know it is quite attractive. The stairs and ramps are really no big deal if you are a mobile person. Much as I wish they were enough to keep the pounds off, they aren’t. Things are spread out but that didn’t seem to be too much of a problem. We took walky talky's with us to keep in touch. Lots of nice vistas and the gardens are quite pleasant and well looked after. The zoo isn’t much. We saw 2 deer, 4 parrots, some peacocks and a couple of other birds. I think that was it. But it makes for a pleasant walk in the shade. There are plenty of activities put on by the hotel to keep you occupied. However, many of them better suited the 20 something crowd and I haven’t been part of that for a few decades. Chasing a volley ball in the hot sun is not fun for me. We enjoyed watching the odd game as we sipped our drinks. The adult only rule for the adult pool was enforced I’m happy to say. This made for fairly quiet reading, drinking and socialising for most of the day. We never made it there in the evening.

The BEACH
I expected gravel but the beach is sandy. There are rocks to stub your toe on as you wade out into the water but they are easy to avoid. It wouldn’t hurt to take some sandals for use in walking into the water but there is plenty of sand for walking on and building with. The water was certainly warm enough but the snorkelling wasn’t great off the beach as there was some murk and debris in the water.

The FOOD
The reviews have been fairly polarised here and I think that may be because there is a certain lack of consistency with the whole food situation. For example, my wife had an excellent steak at the beach BBQ while mine was full of fat and gristle. In the Mexican restaurant, my steak was wonderful and our waiter very friendly and helpful. In the Italian restaurant, I again had a bad steak and my wife a so so one. Our waiter here seemed to suffer from a lack of training. He was friendly enough but did not offer to help with the ordering, recommend a wine, or even ask if we wanted coffee for desert. The food was usually good in the buffet and they worked hard to have some variety every day. Because of where we chose to sit (near the outside wall) we usually had to locate the cutlery ourselves as the staff didn’t always get a chance to reset these popular tables. There did seem to be lots of staff, all of them friendly and helpful if they happened to pass by. Mostly, we looked after ourselves and this was fine with us. Having them refill our glasses was just a bonus, not a necessity. We were never bored with the food and it was plentiful Again, however, there is a consistency problem in that some days certain food was hot, other days, not. Some days the bacon was cooked, other days not so much. To sum up the food: I certainly did not loose any weight here. (and it was a long ways better than what we had several years ago in Cuba at a Melia hotel).
I guess I need to say something about the restaurant reservation process. Prepare yourself and use this as an opportunity to meet other people. The process starts at 9 am with someone taking a seat at the desk in the lobby. I got there at 8:35 and 4 people were in front of me. The first person took about 15 minutes to complete the process. By 9:30, a second person had arrived at the desk to help out. The menus of the restaurants were sent back in the line-up so people would have an idea of what they were getting into. Or rather, what was going to get into them. The process works like this: You get 3 coupons upon checking in. Take these coupons to the desk in the lobby and wait in line until it is your turn. Then give the 3 coupons to the guy at the desk. He’ll ask you what restaurant you want first, what day and what time. Be prepared with an answer. The people in line behind you wont appreciate any indecisiveness at this point. Once you tell him what you want for the first one, he takes the folder for that restaurant and looks to see if your request can be fitted in. If not, you will need to alter your request. If yes, then he proceeds to fill out a 3 part form detailing the time and restaurant. But the day is not written on the form so it might be a good idea for you to write it on so you wont forget. You get the top copy of the form and he keeps the other two. Then he asks about your second request and the process is repeated. Same same for the third one. Then you are done. Keep your three new forms as these are your tickets to the restaurants so make sure you bring the right one. I felt I was prepared for this process and it took me less than 10 minutes to complete everything.
Having said all of the above, you may want to try the restaurants when you don’t have a reservation. In both restaurants we were in, tables sat empty the entire time we were there. My bet is you could give a $5 “reservation coupon” to the Maitre di and get in any day you wanted.

Oh yes, the beach BBQ uses up one of your reservation coupons.

The ROOM
We didn’t have much of a view and we would like reading lights on both sides of the bed but other than that it was just fine. Maid service was great and it was quiet. I’m sure we could have changed our room if we had wanted but it was certainly fine for us. We were in building 3 on the second floor. Probably the farthest walk from everything but not really a problem.

The DRINKS
We tested them right up until we checked out. I’m happy to say the drinks are just fine! All of the bartenders seemed friendly and efficient. Some were really amazing as they dealt out the many combination drinks.

The POOLS
The adult pool was a great place to hang. We spent most of our time lounging there and reading. In order to get a chair in the shade, you had to reserve it by 7:30 with your towel or some other item. While this practice is a bit selfish, it does seem necessary in order to get a place. Around 4 pm they begin to free up so you can grab what you want then. We never went in the large pool.

The ENTERTAINMENT
Full marks for enthusiasm. However, not as good as you would see, say on a cruise ship. The entertainment staff do quite well considering they put on 6 different shows per week. To me, while they were entertaining, they were a bit sloppy and I think would have benefited by shortening each number by about 1 third.

TRANSPORT
By all means, take the local bus. They are no where near as hair raising as I had been led to believe from some of these reviews. The drivers are helpful and the other passengers are friendly. We bussed to Punta Mita, Bucerias, and Puerto Vallarta. No problems whatsoever. That being said, prepare for a bumpy ride when you enter the small towns and go over the speed bumps. These buses have long since given up on springs and shock absorbers.

The STAFF
They were great. Always smiling and saying hello to you. Some were more outgoing than others but all of them were happy to say hello or Hola. I’m not sure if they were particularly impressed by our attempts at Spanish as they knew we were not Spanish speakers. But we had fun trying our very limited vocabulary whenever we could. To the amusement of all I might add. They appreciate humour at least as much as we do so don’t be afraid to joke with them. Don’t be afraid to use English with them either as some of them are quite proud of their few English words and love to practice with you.

TIPPING
A controversial subject. I observed less than 10% of people actually tipping in the bars or buffet. Partly, this is because the staff seems to constantly be changing. The waiter you had at lunch is different at dinner. The bartender at the pool is not there the next day. Therefore it is difficult to reward an individual for a week of good service. And I didn’t carry a bunch of money around to tip for every drink I went and got. I would like to see the hotel institute a “Tip Jar” whereby you could contribute at the end of your trip and all employees would share in the proceeds. Where we did see the bar staff receiving tips was when they actually delivered drinks to the pool or to your table. This was not the usual thing but they would happily do it if you asked them. Tipping was quite appropriate at this time and the bartenders quite willing to take a tray of drinks poolside. We did tip our maid at the end of our stay, not every day. There is no question that the staff appreciate the tips. Who wouldn’t? But we certainly had fine service without constantly tipping. In the Mexican restaurant, I was happy to leave a tip because our waiter added to our dining experience. In the Italian restaurant, I did not tip because the waiter was almost incidental and added nothing but the taking of our order.

GORDS TIPS FOR TRAVELLERS
1. Bring an insulated drinking mug as recommended by others before me.
2. Have alternate choices ready when you are making your dinner reservations.
3. Put your towels on your lounge chairs by 7:30 am if you plan to use them during the day.
4. Bring walky talkies if you plan to be separated in this resort.
5. Bring some small $US bills or pesos until you can get to a cash machine. Hotel exchange rate is awful.
6. Use the local buses and visit the small towns nearby.
7. Walk along the beach in both directions and see the villas to the south (east) and the silence to the north (west).
8. Depending upon your flight times, consider taking the local bus (or even a taxi) to the airport so as to avoid the long lines at the check in. You really do need to get there about 3 hours in advance otherwise. (This may be a manifestation of the Spring Break). In our case, there were 2 buses from our hotel and the line stretched out of the airport door into the hot sun. If you can find out when you arrive what time the check in opens for your return trip, you could get to the airport then, check your bags and then spend the next few hours looking around the towns or even go to the beach.
9. If you have a room on the first floor, you might find that the hall traffic is too noisy. The way the place is laid out, the first floor hallways of several of the buildings are thoroughfares for transiting the site. Try for the second or third floor.
10. When you check out, you have to surrender your wristband before you get a card that lets you board your bus. Time this with when you want your last drink otherwise you could be in a bit of a panic at the last minute.
11. Show respect for the staff. They work hard for your comfort and deserve your consideration.
12. If you want to go to the Merietas (sp?) Islands for a snorkelling trip, try booking one in Punta Mita. Cost there is a negotiable 900 pesos for the boat and driver and he can take 6 people. Cost at the hotel is at least 700 pesos each person. And according to the guy in Punta Mita, they use the same boat!
13. You have packed too many clothes. Go take some out.

  • Stayed January 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2005

We are a family group of 12 who just got back from our trip (March 24th to March 31st). We had a great time, The resort was good, and it's clear that the management are working at being better than good. The tropical grounds are wonderful and the overall effect is beautiful. The rooms are basic, but very clean. The beach is small and at first appeared too rocky, but we went on to really enjoy the variety offered by the rocks at low tide (look for the variety of sea ceatures in the crevases).

The service in the buffet restaurant was not good. Although they try hard, it's tough for the waiters to look after you, and keep the tables cleared at the same time. The best way to get service is to go at quiet times (e.g. 8am for breakfast). Even then, if it's busy, be prepared to help yourself.

At no time did the resort cater to our group of 12. We could not get a table for us all together at any restaurant, even in the buffet restaurant after we made quite big fuss. In spite of assurances from the restaurant manager, there was never a table big enough for us all and we got angry reactions from the staff if we tried to put tables together.

We took the bus to Bucerias several times (though we later wished we had tried Punta Mita at least once). Go to Miguel's for dinner - they serve a great meal with lots of Mexican atmosphere and the key Llme pie there is the best! The bus ride was quite an experience and one you should not miss, if you enjoy a fast ride.

If you want to arrange a day trip, talk to Victor in the Lobby. He arranged for all 12 of us to go deep-sea fishing (on the Yolaray, highly recommended). Everyone caught at least one BIG fish, and we went snorkelling off a deserted beach to complete a perfect day. The arrangements were impresively smooth as we went from hotel, to boat, to taxi to hotel. Thanks Victor, for a wonderful day!

The a la carte restaurants were pretty good. The service, selction and quality were all excellent so it's down to personal preferrence as to which is better..... all the desserts were great! In our group though, the favourite meal was the beach barbecue, where the steak was a big hit.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2005

I visited the Palladium from March 3 to March 9, 2005. My husband, 3 year old daughter and myself. The grounds were beautiful and well kept. The hotel was clean, the room was as advertised except that we had requested a room with for 2 queen or one king and got a room with one queen and a very uncomfortable and dirty pull out couch.

The breakfast and lunch were good the dinner meal in the main buffet restuarant was not so good. The food was recycled a lot.

The pool area was good, it is a great idea to have the kiddie pool right next to one of the main pools, as you could tan but also watch your child. The beach was an unexpected treat, as I have been to Puerto Vallarta before and didn't like the beach of the previous hotel where we stayed.

The kids club was excellent, especially Carlos, he was terrific with the kids and they loved him.

The only recommendation I would make is that they train there front desk staff to be a little friendlier and more accommodating. Maybe have someone from the hotel greet guest and give them an orientation instead of the tour representative whose only interest was selling day trips.

I would definitely recommend the Palladium, just don't have dinner at the main buffet restaurant every day.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
High River, Canada
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2005

We just got home last night. Didn't want to leave!!!! One week just isn't enough. We had a wonderful time. Met up with 2 couples from Campbell River that we had visited with on this forum.

The room was nice and big with a king size bed but there are no dressers and we only had 3 hangars in the closet. Just doubled up things so wasn't a huge issue but you may want to ask for some more or just throw a few into your suitcase. The shelves worked fine for us (only 2 people) but if you were taking your children you may run out of room. We used the suitcase caddy to hold our carryon and we used that for our underwear and bathing suits, etc. We had wonderful maid service and left a variety of small gifts and $$ each day or two for them. Always had pop and water in the fridge and fresh towels in the bathroom. The only thing that was missing was some patio chairs on the deck. Didn't ask for any but if we had I am sure they would have found some for us.

We were in room 2337. Quite a distance from the beach, but we had a great view. We left our patio door open every night (with the screen closed) and listened to the surf. It was terrific! We never heard the disco once even though we weren't far from it. Perhaps on the other side of the hallway did. We found a couple of shortcuts that I will share with you. If you wanted to go to the pool or beach - continue down the middle set of stairs until the bottom level (room numbers 20--) and the path will take you right to the pool. If you take the path at the far end of the building (the one that says for staff only) it will bring you out behind the theatre and right at the lobby bar (and espresso machine). We took it frequently and never had any issues with the staff. The lobby bar also had coffee service set up for early risers, so even if you didn't bring a coffee maker (we did and used it a few times) you could still get your morning java fix. The espresso machine usually didn't start humming until 9 am. You could either take a cup up to the buffet with you or eat first and pick one up on your way back.

The Mexican Restaurant was fabulous. Remember to ask for the "special" coffee. You were able to choose a soup, the salad bar, main course and dessert. The Mediterrean (or Italian) Restaurant was also very good. You received a salad, soup, and then a choice from entree, pasta, pizza for your main course and then dessert bar. I had the fettucine alfredo and it was very good. A couple of people also had the beef that was super as well. Very tender. We were also able to go to a BBQ on the beach. They were doing some changing to the way the alacartes worked so our friends who arrived after us weren't able to take in the BBQ without giving up one of their 3 alacartes so chose not to. They also went to the Asian and found it very good. The buffet was very good with lots to choose from. But it is similar everyday so if you chose to eat a little of everything every day - you could get bored. But if you were more specific on what you ate each day - you could stretch it out over your week. The lunch menu was a bit different than the dinner. They both had the pizzas (terrific) and the pasta bar (also wonderful) but the lunch menu also included items to make up sandwiches and had quite a few salads and fixings as well. The dinner menu also included the grill which would cook up a couple of different items each night. Usually one was of a vegetarian type. I saw pork chops a couple of nights. Also there was always a wide variety of mexican dishes. Breakfast was always the same but delicious all the same. The french toast with the sugar topping was to die for!

The animation staff work soooo hard. They only get one day off a week and are at the resort from 9 am until 1 or 2 am. Quite a few of them live just off the grounds at the main roadway in a dorm-like setting with the others living in Bucerias. Granted - the shows aren't Vegas - but heck - if that was what you wanted - go there instead. We thought they were very good and thoroughly enjoyed all that we saw. Carlos does a wonderful job with the kids and they were always anxious to get the show started. Lots of times there were local talent playing in the courtyard prior to the shows. Very talented musicians. Very enjoyable to listen to and even dance to.

We stayed at the beach most days. We are from land-locked Alberta so when we get the opportunity to be in the sand and ocean we take it. As far as the red tide goes - it can happen anywhere there is salt water. It was not on shore while we were there, but it was still around. The only thing that put a damper on things at the beach were the guests who got up very early in the a.m. and put their towels on the chairs in the shade, only to not show up until around 3 pm or so. We were very tempted to use the chairs anyway until the people showed up - or just move them over a bit and put our chairs in. Only bad thing to report so we just didn't let it bother us a whole bunch.

We did a couple of excursions. Dale went scuba diving to the Marietas. Didn't see any big Rays but did manage to see small ones, eels, puffer fish, etc. Enjoyed the second dive better through the tunnels. We also did the Canopy tour. They were zip lines through the tree tops and then a rappel down. It was a blast. Lots of fun. Both of these were through Vallarta Adventures. We also went into Bucerias twice. The first time we took the bus. You catch it right at the top of the Palladium's driveway and it was 8 pesos each way. Some drivers are definitely more wild than others!!! The ride is an experience. There are two bank machines on the main roadway in Bucerias. We used both without any trouble. Then headed west from both of them and you end up at the beach. Then just head towards the clock tower and you come to the market as well as numerous restaurants on the beach. Shopping is a lot of fun and they will barter with you. Never pay the first price! There are also a couple of grocers near there that you can buy your liquor at. We bought there because had been told that the airport duty frees were more expensive. Actually - they were a little cheaper on some things and a little more on others.

All in all we had a wonderful time. It was our first time to Mexico. The people we met and visited with made the vacation all the better. If I can be of any assistance to anyone - just drop me an e-mail.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa

Address: C/ Carretera Punta de Mita Km 11.5, Punta de Mita 63734, Mexico (Formerly Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa)
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Nayarit > Riviera Nayarit > Punta de Mita
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Punta de Mita
#7 Spa Hotel in Punta de Mita
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Punta de Mita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 420
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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Also Known As:
Palladium Vallarta Resort And Spa
Palladium Vallarta Hotel Punta De Mita
Palladium Vallarta Puerto
Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa
Palladium Puerto Vallarta
Viva Vallarta
Hotel Palladium Vallarta
Club Viva Vallarta

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