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“Budget Getaway Success!”

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Playa Los Arcos Hotel Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #25 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 4, 2013

Just returned from a four day stay at Playa Los Arcos with my best friend. Two girls in Mexico, downtown. Safe? Very! Contrary to popular (and totally incorrect) beliefs, it's really safe to vacation in Mexico, and yes, even if you're just with a girlfriend. Yes, of course there will be the typical whistling and hollering and Mexican guys hitting on you if you're a girl, but just be cordial and polite and they will get the hint!

My point form review below:

Cost: 85$ a night at Playa, purchased through Hotels.com. This is the all-inclusive option for two people. That's a great deal! After taxes it worked out to $97 and change per night. Still good.

Room: Really average. Some might say below average. Decor, I wouldn't even have anything to say about that. My gf and I were given a king size bed (which is really two twins pushed together - and when we complained we wanted two beds, they promptly sent someone up to "separate the beds"). We weren't too happy with the room, there was a balcony and you could see ocean views but mainly you looked down onto the pool.

We complained, and Gabriel at the front desk assured that we'd have a kickass room the next day.

The next day rolled around and sure enough, we had a small room with two twin beds (a tube TV!) and a big patio with our own tanning chairs and a great view of the ocean. Loved it. I chose the bed closest to the window and noticed a dead cockroach on its back on the floor - no biggie, it's Mexico, what do you expect!

Food: There's only one restaurant and it serves breakfast, lunch, dinner. Kind of boring selection and I knew this was going to happen, but that's why I chose to stay in downtown because you can always leave the hotel to eat on the cheap. My go-to buffet selections were always the pineapple, watermelon and papaya. The ribs were alright and fish is always a safe bet.

Drinks: I barely drank. I had maybe 2 drinks a day. Red wine is served cold. Mango margaritas were ok, it's all syrup and ice and booze at the end of the day.

Pool/Beach: The sun never really hits the pool and it's a family-friendly place. Luckily the hotel is beach front, so a few steps away is the towel station - trade in your towel cards for your towels and a guy helps you set up an umbrella and your tanning chair.

Staff: Great staff! Everyone was really helpful and I have no complaints about the service. Gabriel at front desk was attentive and friendly. We didn't know how to work the safe, so someone came up to help us and politely waited outside our room for 10 minutes while the safe reset itself. Housekeeping was great too, attention to detail, swan towel figurine included!

Excursion (El Eden Ziplining Tour): While tanning on the beach, you'll be approached endlessly by vendors. My gf and I inquired about zip lining a few times (at a booth on the malecon, another time at the concierge at the hotel). One vendor on the beach solicited zip lining tours. We chatted with him and asked what his bestbestbest price was. He said 350 pesos (around $35). We weren't sure if we could trust him but it sure was cheaper than the booth on the Malecon (420 pesos) and the hotel concierge (600 pesos). To reassure us, he provided two government issued ID cards that showed he was legally allowed to sell tours on the beach. He also said, instead of giving him the full amount, we could pay a deposit of 150 pesos and that he would personally meet us at the hotel the next morning at 10:45AM (the tour bus picks you up at various locations - for us it was at The Blue Shrimp next door to our hotel).

We decided to bite the bullet and give him the deposit, feeling a little sketchy but hey, if we lost 150 pesos, it's ok at least we know for next time.

The next morning, we headed down to the beach and sure enough, ALDO was standing there waiting for us. He walked us to The Blue Shrimp, we paid the balance and off we went to our zip lining tour.

I highly recommend asking for ALDO. He's fantastic and hey, you KNOW you can trust him! The guys at the towel station will be able to find you for him.

On the zip lining tour, a cool military-style truck picks you up and whisks you off on a (close to) 1hr drive up the mountain. It's scenic and the second half is extremely bumpy but the driver is sooooo careful and goes slow on the bumps.

We met some locals on the tour (it was their day off and they work in the hospitality industry) and they said we got a great deal for $35.

Tips & Tricks
* If you want to do excursions, ask the towel station guys to find you ALDO the beach vendor. When you meet ALDO, tell him Sarah/Angela sent you (the two asian girls who did El Eden zip lining).
* At the buffet, stick to fruit, cooked veggies and fish -- for a real authentic meal, head over to Pancho's Takos, and order the Al Pastor soft tacos. I promise you, cheap & delicious eats.
* For a special dinner outing, head over to The Blue Shrimp and ORDER THE COCONUT SHRIMP! To die for, and we waited 6 months to come back just so we could order coconut shrimp.
* If you're cabbing to the airport, from the hotel to airport it should only cost about 150 pesos. That's how much we paid. From airport to hotel, don't pay more than 250 pesos. But up to 260 pesos MAX!
* Take a stroll to the Malecon to where all the nightlife and touristy spots are. It's less than a 2 mile walk and it doesn't take that long. And you won't notice the time go by as there's tons to look at - including the actual market.

Conclusion: Would I go back? Sure! But there are so many other places to stay at, so I'd probably try another different place next time. That said, Hotels.com always has a daily deal special so keep your eyes peeled on a daily basis!

Room Tip: Kindly ask if they have a better room. Never hurts to ask!
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Sarah Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 30, 2013

This hotel has what you pay for and then some! The staff has been friendly and helpful since we arrived. The room, a bit rustic and very Mexican was just fine! We had a pool view and what a view it is. We were steps from the pool, a few more steps to the beach on one side, steps into Old Town on the other! The Malecon just a few minutes away! It was nice to have our beach chairs and umbrella set up for us when we went to the beach...also liked the fact that you could bring your own food and drink. The staff that we ran into all spoke English and were helpful in their suggestions on things to do and places to eat. We did not do the all inclusive option. For a first time to PV, this property will insure we come back....in fact we already booked another stay next month. For the price, not sure you will do any better than this hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank mcbern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2013

This was my first visit to PV and expected a bit more. I travel in Europe often and was unpleasantly surprised at the crowds/children in the pool area and this was October. The grounds are not spacious, and if staying in a room in the South building there is a street behind the room doors that seem to cater to early arriving trash trucks and late nite partiers. I paid for the 'all inclusive' but after trying my first margarita (???) and the buffet twice, I gave up and frequented the local establishments. The front desk staff and housekeeping were excellent and the highlight of the trip. This hotel could be so much more....but isn't.

Room Tip: Avoid the South side rooms. My friend had a corner beach view room, but other than the view his was...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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Thank MAB0055
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2013

We have travelled all over the world for the past 25 years and have always managed to include Puerto Vallarta as an additional trip. In all of our travels, the service and ambience of Playa Los Arcos ranks at the top of the list with the best. Regilieo, the manager of the Mi Pueblito Restaurant in Playa Los Arcos, constantly strives every day to make sure everything is perfect, from the fabulous buffets daily, to the superb, courteous service of his staff. His warm and congenial personality is ever present to each and every guest and their comfort and satisfaction is always his prime concern. Capitans Mauri and Jose Manuel, along with their top notch waiters, such as Juan, Alejandro, Phillepe, Felix, and all of the others, are a testament to the definition of excellence. Elliot, the MC for theIr nightly shows, is a dynamic personality who enhances each and every performance of their entertainers. The Sun and Moon performs every night for your dancing pleasure, and the singer, Flora, and her borther Gilberto on the piano, are the best in Puerto Vallarta.. Edgar, in Public Relations, diligently endeavors every day, to think of new ideas to increase the already excellent service and atmosphere for the guests. Cudos to the Chefs whose fabulous buffets and menu dishes are ranked as No. l, always sumptuous and so very diversified. The hotel itself, is magnificent, and meticulously spotless, completely self-containing, comparable to none other. Wonderful beach, with so many entertaining activities for their guests, and when you are there, you are treated as if you are No. 1, and in reality, to hem, each and every guest No. 1. If you come to the restaurant for lunch from the beach, there's Carlos to greet you, and it would be next to impossible to resist his charming invitation to have a meal you would not soon forget. Take it from a veteran traveler, Playas Los Arcos is the BEST PLACE IN PUERTO VALLARTA.

Room Tip: All the room have a good view.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank joseph t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2013

This was my third trip to PV in a year and a half. I've stayed twice in the hotel zone. This time, we stayed in the "Romantic Zone" or AKA "Old Town." Let me first say, you do not have to be a "couple" to stay in the Romantic Zone! I went with my best friend, and we had the most amazing time. Los Arcos not only has the feel of authentic Mexico, you walk right outside of the hotel and you truly feel like you are in Mexico. It's not Americanized!! The staff go above and beyond to make your stay one to truly remember. We requested a refrigerator for our room when we arrived and the front desk called our room within 20 minutes of arriving to see if we received it yet. When we told him no, within 10 minutes we had a knock at the door and it was the refrigerator. We never had to wait "1 Mexican minute" to get anything at Los Arcos! I need to acknowledge Edgar Cisneros, who really made our stay fun and memorable! Thanks Edgar for all your help and graciousness!!
Our room was CLEAN, great view of the pool/ocean, nice size balcony to sit out on and take in all the scenery, and the maids cleaned daily and made cute animals out of towels and left them on our beds. We left a couple US dollars every day for her, which is custom to do there. Our maid left us cute animals made out of towels each day that she would leave on our beds.
The pool is clean and is cool so you don't have to worry about being hot and jumping into a pool full of warm bath water!! We always had a pool lounger, no matter what time of day it was. Iguanas roam the pool area, and swim in the pool! The Iguanas are large in size and are harmless & hilarious! Make sure you're finished with your food before going for a swim/walk, you'll come back to your food ate up by the Iguanas. It makes for great picture taking! Los Arcos has a special area where they put food out daily for these friendly "big" fellas... The beach is steps from the pool, where we spent most of our time. There is someone always there to get a lounger and umbrella and he puts it where ever you want. The fresh cooked food on the beach from the locals is AMAZING!!! You must try the shrimp on a stick. Fresh fruit is delicious too!! Only negative on the beach is the people trying to sell you stuff.... But that's anywhere in Mexico.
There's no need to take taxi's in Old Town. Everything is within walking distance or a 7 peso bus ride. Buses are SAFE and it is SAFE to walk.... Locals are so friendly!!
Los Arcos is not a party hotel and it gets quiet early evening. If you like to party, just go across the street and there's plenty of bars/nightclubs where you can party all night... This is a family style hotel.
I can't speak for their food, because we didn't do the all-inclusive. There are way too many great restaurants locally to eat at for a good price... You must try food outside of the hotel to get a real taste of PV!!
Now that I've found Los Arcos, I won't be staying anywhere else!! In fact, I just booked my next stay last night for January 2-12, 2014!!!

Room Tip: We were in room 239. Had a great view of pool/ocean and the light up pier at night. They have glass...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Kristin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2013

My son and I had a very enjoyable time. The accommodations and the services, including the food and beverage manager, was fantastic! The whole restaurant staff went out of their way to make sure everything was perfect. I have been visiting the hotel for 8 years and will be going back again next year.

Room Tip: Rooms are fantastic with a lovely view.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Derek19742013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2013

We went as a last minute thing.Has a good clean beach, some beach vendors. For $50 per person we got use of chairs and umbrellas and towels. Unlimited drinks any kind, unlimited food. Use of the pools and pool spa and dining in the restaurant. The hotel manager even thru in a room for us if we wanted to nap or shower (we never used it). We would come back here, its a great deal. We met some really nice people by the pools. Iguanas walk around everywhere-cool to watch. There's parasailing and jet ski's right there on the beach if you want to rent them. Nice and quiet not over run with tons of people and the drinks were excellant as was the waiter

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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2  Thank califcruiser1
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:
#15 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#18 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#32 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: $91 - $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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