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“Playa Los Arcos review”

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Playa Los Arcos Hotel Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #26 of 122 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 2, 2011

Stayed at PLA on a solo trip in March 2011 - great place but maybe not for everyone - knowing PV pretty well (lived in PV for 2 years back in the mid-80's) i absolutely LOVED PLA. Not luxury by any means, but great location, especially for a woman's solo trip - was able to go out at midnight if i got hungry & not feel any sort of anxiety whatsoever -

The staff were friendly & helpful - everyone smiling & cordial - i had requested a mini-fridge that was not in the room when i arrived - they took care of it by the morning after my arrival -

One of the best things about PLA was the sister hotels, Casa Dona Susana & Los Arcos Suites - after being on Los Muertos beach for a few days with the vendors (who i adore but eventually need a rest from), the rooftop pool at Casa Dona Susana was a wonderful little getaway -

IMO - Playa Los Arcos is probably not for everyone - some folks want a more modern, maybe even a more American feel to where they stay - for me it was paradise!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled solo
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10  Thank lopo123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 25, 2011

Playa Los Arcos is the greatest for solo travelers... I have stayed at all the AI's south of the hotel zone and they were the best by far. PLA had smoking in the inner bar downside seating. Not good as I had to move for cigar smoke following me where ever I sat... The AI is not bad by any means. Great choices and if you are there for over a week you order off their specialty menu's. Best lamb I have ever had in PV here at Playa los Arcos...Staff are all exceptional and will bend over backwards to help you or try to meet your needs. Price was exceptional and I will return in Jan. for 3+weeks!! Make sure you order the room that you want with what amenities you want. I have never experienced the "no reservation" problem I have read here. The front desk staff, hotel staff, room staff and food staff are awesome bar none. You get what you pay for and what you ask for so be clear!!!!!!

Room Tip: Pay for the upgrade....Oceanview rooms cannot be beat...
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  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled solo
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4  Thank cathmexico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2011

I would like to start by saying I have stayed at this Hotel 4 times in the last 4 years and I will be returning for Christmas this year. I love staying here. The location is the best! The beach is fabulous! You can walk to great restaurants, shopping, sight seeing and when you don't feel like walking you can sit on the beach or at the pool steps from your room and have everything you need brought right to you by the hardest working and cheerful staff! The negative complaints I have read here are ridiculous and I would like to address them. First, people complained here that the rooms smelled musty...HELLO? You are 50 yards from the ocean! There is moisture in the air and that moisture can create a musty smell indoors...open the window, it will dissipate. I personally love the smell of ocean air. If you don't like it maybe you should go to a desert where the air is dry! Second, the food...the people that complained about this CHOSE to purchase all inclusive packages which I have never done. Why would you when you have so many fabulous restaurants in walking distance! The restaurant at the hotel is fine, they do a great job on breakfast, pour a great drink and I always get some chips and guacamole delivered to the beach and it's delicious. I understand they serve the meals for the all inclusive folks buffet style so that explains why some are disappointed with it. However, you are not obligated to eat at the hotel and really do have so many other options to choose from in the neighborhood. I highly reccomend Archie's Wok a few blocks away or the Italian place up the street is romantic and has outstanding food. For Mexican food try The Red Cabbage, Fajita Republic or just walk along the beach and buy a skewer of fresh grilled shrimp or fish and have it with a cold beer. If you can't find anything good to eat in Puerto Vallarta you've got some problems we don't need to go into here. Finally, people here complained that the place is run down and in need of renovation...I would like to remind these people of the ECONOMY that has affected all of us these past few years and has hit the tourism industry in Mexico even harder. The hotel is an older structure, it faces the ocean so gets considerable wear and tear just from that! In my experience the place has always been spotless and there are staff members cleaning around the clock! The rooms are small but always clean and the beds are comfortable. I love sitting on the balcony with my morning coffee or at sunset with a cocktail. I LOVE the charm of this older, homey, authentic Mexican hotel. I LOVE the staff and how helpful they are at all times. I LOVE the beach, I LOVE the location, I LOVE the lack of pretention. I don't care about internet service when I'm on vacation. A little noise at night, NO BIG DEAL! This is a resort town and you are staying right in the heart of Old Town Puerto Vallarta! I miss it when I'm not there! I can't wait to arrive from the airport by taxi and have the front doorman help me with my bags and say "welcome home". Those of you that don't appreciate it should go stay in one of the Highrises in Nuevo Vallarta. I will keep returning to Playa Los Arcos!!

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank melissa s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2011

Only needed a room for one night, layover before moving onto Ajijic for 2 weeks, thought "How bad could a bargain basement hotel on the beach be ?"

Wrong, wrong, wrong...many other reviews mentioned musty, mildewy smell....check.

Noisy rooms right on the street....check.

A/C that runs either at 120mph or off....check.

Poor condition of every aspect of room......check.

This poor old grand dame was once a hotspot in PV I'm sure, but her heyday has lonnnng passed. If we were in our 20's and didn't care about where we stayed, this place would fit right in our plans...but....sheesh.

Room Tip: ask for something NOT on the street..
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank ranjo1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2011

A four star is probably too high for this hotel. But the staff and service, location do bring it up.
This is an older hotel in the heart of 'old Vallarta'. It sits on a prime section of beach, surrounded by lots of local restaurants, sites and culture. I should start by saying we got a deal for 9 nights with airfare (1 connecter in US) all inclusive for $1070 including taxes. A great deal really.
As an older hotel it shows its character. Some paint chipping, older bathrooms, broken tiles. The first room we were assigned was terrible - (is this not typical of many experiences?) so we simply returned to the front desk and requested a better room. The second room was better, but I pity anyone that came on a night when everything was booked and they had to take the first one. Unfortunately, and maybe due to the hot humid season, the rooms smelled quite musty. I can tell you that this hotel has a vary diverse selection of rooms, ranging from great to not acceptable. Request the top floor (4th) or 3rd if not available. Your better off right then. Request your room to be closer to the beach, not the lobby (better views). Final chapter of our room drama - we went back to the front for a third time. After spec'ing the hotel out on night #2 we requested again to transfer to rooms #401/402/403 (301/302/303/201/202/203 just as good) these have 100% ocean views and wwindows all the way around. We got the best one - 401. It was fantastic. She sternly looked at us and said (in spanish) you'll have to pay the upgrade of $12 per night. We gladly did, and it was more than worth the $100 bucks for the trip. Moral of the story - your room will make or break your stay, so insist on a good one. And leave your bags at the front - and go see it first.
There are attached 'suites Los Arcos' on the street behind the 'hotel Los Arcos'. Now these are not updated, they are old, in a noisy area, and I would only give these rooms a 2 star. They are more than fine for a simple traveler, but I caution the resort expecters... not here.
The food (all inclusive) is simple, standard, and very consistent- meaning every day breakfast is the same. You can get an omelet or pancakes made, there is fruit, mushy hashbrowns, refried beans... and some sort of stew dish. Alot of guadalaharans vacation here and its menu reflects mexican tastes and expectations (not as high as us prissy westerners). Lunch is good - you can order burger/fries etc or go to the buffet. Dinner is simple, it will change nightly. But it is not extravagant, you cannot expect 4 star food.
My g/f and I are simple - we were more than satisfied with not cooking or cleaning, and always found something we enjoyed.
The staff are great, the bar service is simple but fine. They do not expect tips, but a 10 peso or 20 is appreciated.
The spa is nice, we went for a massage. The beach out front is great - but this is the Pacific side, so don't expect clear blue calm waters! The waves come in, and the water is a little murky from the river nearby and the waves hitting the sand. Nice spot though, too many vendors bugging you.
The area has lots of fun things to do. I recommend a day of dune buggying ($55pp), the Rythms of the night tour ($100pp) is amazing, I've done the Magaralante Pirate ship ($85) its pretty good. Plus the city itself is wonderful, safe, and friendly to tour. Its not touristy like Cancun, its got a lot of Mexican influence still. Cobble stone streets, and beautiful boardwalk, music etc.
Book the Los Arcos if your a 3 star traveller. You'll think its great. If your a 'complainer' type. go elsewhere and save yourself the headaches!
Safe travels to all!
T&R

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Warmwaterz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2011

My wife and I just returned from Puerto Vallarta 1 day earlier than planned but Hurricane Jova was threatening to cancel the flights on our departure day and we had no choice. It was sad that our vacation came to an end. We had an absolute great time. From the moment we checked in, the people at the Playa Los Arcos Hotel front desk were welcoming and explained everything about the hotel and the restaurants, meal times etc.
The hotel is decorated in a Spanish Colonial style with rich carved wood furniture, iron work balconies with flowers, and a large pool in the center of the courtyard. The garden and shrubbery surrounding the pool area is lush and very well maintained. The grounds are spotless.
There is no shortage of great restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. The hotel offers an all inclusive package that is well worth the money even if you don’t drink that much. The breakfast alone is worth the price of the meal package. Fresh fruit, yogurt, omelets to order, traditional Mexican foods, pastries and rolls baked daily as well as fresh tortillas. The juices are freshly squeezed and nice and cold and the coffee is fresh and also flavorful.
The food at lunch and dinner were also very good and you had a large selection of salads and desserts. There was an Italian night buffet and a Mexican night buffet during the week, both were pretty good, for lunch you also were able to order off the menu.
The room that we had was an oceanfront upgrade that turned out to be a steal; it was great to sit on the balcony and just watch the people go by. The pool and the beach front are immaculate, you can get chairs, towels and a beach umbrella from Emilio, and he will also dig a hole and put the umbrella in deep enough not to be blown around in the ocean breeze. The room was very clean, air conditioned, and had a safe, a good size shower, a table and chair, wood carved dresser, and a nice flat screen TV.
The hotel staff were super helpful and very friendly and seemed to be there whenever you might need something, from the maintenance crew to the housekeeping department, and from the cooks, waiters and bar people, to the hotel security team.
The location with the beach and the access to restaurants and bars, shopping, and touristic activities was perfect. If you are tired of an all inclusive in the middle of nowhere and would like something a little smaller, more personality, definitely more interesting and probably cost a lot less, this is the hotel for you. Five star service at three star prices. Mike

Room Tip: Ocean Front with out a doubt.
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank MikeMcDChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2011

The hotel is in a great location, you are at the heart of the romantic zone; you're close to everything. We did the all inclusive offer, and it was well worth it. Food was average but we felt that it was worth it. A: it was cheap B: it's convenient C: it included alcohol.
We tipped our server really WELL so we always got the best table and our drinks were never watered down. When you're at the beach and you get hungry, you can just walk back and get a fruit or you may also buy fruits, fish bbq that the vendors sell. :)

Even if we did the all inclusive offer though, we still made sure that we got some authentic Mexican food and try out different places to eat. :)

Over all, we had a great time in PVR

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank 111Wanderlust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Playa Los Arcos Hotel Beach Resort & Spa

Address: Olas Altas 380 | Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta 48380, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#18 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#32 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: $78 - $215 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Playa Los Arcos Hotel Beach Resort & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 169
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Playa Los Arcos Hotel Beach Resort & Spa is a splendid colonial Boutique Style Hotel that invites you to enjoy the vacatioon of your dreams.The quality of its facilities, hospitality and tradition of excellence in service will make your stay a trully pleasurable experience. Located in front of the best beach of Vallarta "Playa del Sol" in the heart of the exciting Romantic Zone, is one of the best tourist areas of Vallarta. Here you can find all types of residences, prestigios restaurants, cafes, boutiques, galleries and the best nightlife. Only a few steps from the new Malecon, the Cathedral and the New Pier. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playa Los Arcos Hotel Beach Puerto Vallarta
Playa Los Arcos Hotel Beach Resort And Spa
Playa Los Arcos Puerto Vallarta

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