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The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta
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All reviewsroyal beach clubheavenly bedmarina areael palmarclub reginabreakfast buffetthe club loungeshort walk to the marinafull ocean viewswim up bartime sharebeautiful propertytennis courtsclose to the airportmain restaurantconvenience storejacuzzi on the balcony
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A TripAdvisor Member
Los Angeles
237
Reviewed April 19, 2005

I stayed here with my 9 year old daughter at the end of March and was pretty disappointed. I have to admit that I am more of an "independent" traveller type who prefers unique charm to international conformity, and that probably colors my views. The Westin is like dozens of other tropical resorts run by the international chains, where the pool is more important than the beach, the quantity of food more important than the quality, and where you have the overriding sense that "this could be anywhere sunny and hot"-- Cancun, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Canary Islands--you name it.
On the positive side: the beds truly are "heavenly" (as advertised), and this is a particular treat in Mexico, where they seem to have an affinity for stone mattresses. The views on the upper levels are great--just make sure you get the oceanview you've been promised (I had to switch from my first room on the 4th floor because the numerous tall palms virtually blocked out the sea). It was worth the pain of repacking as I ended up with a huge patio overlooking the entire bay and city. The "pergolas"--sort of open air cabanas on the sand---were a unique and welcome feature, especially helpful as a gathering place for families and travelling companions, given the sprawling grounds. My daughter used the kids club one day, and it was fine (and free for up to 3 hours), but most families opt to hang with each other by the pool or on the sand. The beach vendors were corraled into one area which (mostly) kept them from pestering sunbathers.
Negatives: the drinks and food were wildly overpriced for Mexico. This is one of the few places where I have actually ever passed on getting a drink at the pool because I was floored by the prices. A light lunch with drinks for my daughter and me was over $40. The "kids" breakfast--the same you've seen in every hotel chain around the world-- was $16, plus tip. The adult version was $26, this in a town where it's easy to get nicely prepared bacon, eggs, juice and coffee for under three bucks. The beach is almost useless, two tiny coves with battering, washing machine waves that make swimming impossible, let alone the boogie boarding I futilely tried. The idea of having acres of swimming pools is interesting, but you'd better install a Lojack chip in your child if you ever hope to find him again. And even with all those pools, I still felt that the place was crowded, as you have to step around (or even over) poolside sunbathers on the trek to the sand. I think worst of all was the remoteness of this property. It seemed that 2/3 of the hotel guests emptied out at 6pm, all clamoring for the few taxis into town (why doesn't the hotel spring for a shuttle, since everyone's going into the city center anyway?). If you are a "pool person" looking for an unadventurous week in the sun with your kids in luxe surroundings, and prepared to pay top dollar for it, this is your place. As for me, I'll take Mexico.

  • Stayed: March 2005
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14  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2005

Just back from nine days at the Westin. Concur with many of the earlier reviews, but have a few tips.

Go tanning before you go, and use 30 sunscreen. The sun is brutal and I haven't seen so many burnt people since the '70's.

If you can get the Royal Beach Club option, do it. The food is only okay, but it saves you from eating otherwise at the hotel or going out earlier in the morning or evening than you feel like. Full bar in the afternoon/evening (5-7P)

Figure out a place (marina has stores, or at the Beach Club) to get water. They'll charge you $3 at the pool (also $3 for a Coke). As stated before the hotel food is expensive- had a $60 lunch 2 club sandwiches @$15 each, torilla chips w guacamole ($10?), 2 waters, 2 cokes. Drink prices at pool are similar to Disney ($7-8), which i expected.

Nikki Beach bar at night is great (right near pool). Not part of Westin, but allows you to charge to your Westin room. Can't beat sitting out at night drinking a few beers/tropical drinks.

Marina food is good, as is food in town, personal rating B- to B+ without putting any thought into it. Ask for recommendations at the desk and you'll get "A" food (Los Milagros, for example)

Staff (particularly bell staff and front desk), rooms, etc. very very nice. Try to get as high as you can for a better view.

  • Stayed: April 2004
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15  Thank sidley3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2005

My husband, myself and 2 kids ages 16 and 14 just returned from a week at the Westin 3/18/05-3/24/05. The weather was fablous 80-85 degress during the day without a cloud in the sky and cool evenings. Hotel employees were friendly, helpful assisited in any way they could and the language was not a problem everyone spoke English. Lots of pools, plently of natural shade, chairs, umbrellas and great beach huts. One of the few resorts you can sleep late and still get chairs pool or beach side. The hotel was crowed but you never felt crowded at the ppol or beach and the area was always quiet and calm. Younger kids stayed at the kids pool so this was never a problem and there seemed to be plently of actiivtes for the little ones including a poolside playyground. Banana boat, water sking, parasailing and jet skinng all available on the beach at the hotel. There are vendors on the beach - they were friendly and never pushy or rude.
We enjoyed breakfast on the Executive floor and it was basic but plentiful the evening cocktail snacks were a bit disapointing.
Our 10th floor room offered beatiful ocean views and was very comfortable and well appointed. Lunch at the beach was good and the service very attentive. We ate dinner in town cab rides average 6 US dollars each way cabs were plentiful and drivers helpful.
Cafe De Artis is beautiful restaurant but over priced and the food was not great. Try the smaller local places - recomended by the hotel - food was resonable priced, plentifil and good. Also try the restaurants in the marina area and easy walk from the hotel.. Evening are quiet no hotel entertainment. We will definately return whenever we are looking for a quiet veg on the beach vacation. Liked it better than Cancun less type A personilites
bring lots of sun screent the sun is brutal!!!!!! ENJOY

  • Stayed: March 2005
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12  Thank nytravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2005

We just returned from a 7 day stay at The Westin Resort and Spa in Puerto Vallarta. This resort is fantastic. Great service around the pool as well as maid service. We received clean towels 2 times a day. Our room was cleaned mid-day and maids brought clean towels at bed time and cleaned bathroom again. A short walk to The Marina where there are lots of great places to eat. The hotel food was a bit pricey, but very good. We found a place called Tacos and Beer across the street and ate lunch there several times. Great food- also Mr. Cream in The Marina was awesome and cheap for breakfast. Downtown next to Dakiri Dicks was a great little Italian Restaurant called A Taste of Italy. Owner and his wife are from New York.
We will go back to Puerto Vallarta again and will stay at the Westin. Highly reccomend this hotel.

Tim and Julie
Wisconsin

  • Stayed: March 2005
    • Value
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17  Thank jartar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
218
Reviewed March 20, 2005

This was our first time to Mexico and found the people of Puerto Vallarta very helpful and friendly with a full grasp of the English language. I had tried practicing my Spanish before hand only to find I never used it. The Westin Hotel is a beautifully landscaped property that just about everyone could enjoy. The roaming pools among the tall palm trees and beautiful gardens gives you a sense of privacy and space. If there is a negative point to the 4 or 5 large pools that flow around the grounds, is that it is hard to locate fellow companions that may be lounging at the pools. The beach with the Nikki Beach Club just adds to the romantic charm that you feel when relaxing at the beach. The weather in March (13-18th) averaged 85 - 90F during the day & 70 - 75F at night which was pleasant with a laong sleeved top. We will be back but with the kids the next time! This resort does need a meal plan though.

15  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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