My quick summary? Great hotel with superior value. Our view was fantastic, the staff is friendly and helpful, the rooms respectably clean and up to date (each with a balcony!).
As for food, my pro tip is to skip the hotel restaurants and walk south on the main Boulevard to the cheap taco stands. We went crazy and spent all of $10 (USD) for two people. More authentic in my opinion anyway. Pools we nice too, separated into an "Adult" pool and "Kids" pool, where the former is more for relaxing and the latter more for horseplay.
Access to the beach was a main point for us. It does not disappoint! If you're considering staying at a hotel that advertises "just 1 block away from the beach", stay away. Yes, you are 1 block away... technically. Actually, no. You would have to access the beach through one of the non-hotel based access points. So if you stayed at a hotel across from another hotel that had access to the beach, you can't just walk through (they use wristbands), you'll have to walk a good few more blocks to get there. Not convenient. Pay up and get access to the beach. The view makes it more than worth it.
I do agree with some comments made by other reviewers. Here are some of them and my points of contention:
1) Yes, the hotel may need some upkeep in some areas. - I personally thought our room was fantastic. It's important to remember that if you're planning on spending that much time in the hotel just to watch TV and sleep anyway, then you really shouldn't be coming to Mexico. Save your money and go to a hotel down the street. Also, remember that you're in a developing country and that that can sometimes be reflected in the quality of the hotel. Finally, as in life, everything is variable. If you're willing to pay for it, you'll get a nicer room.
2) The staff isn't particularly fluent in English. - In fact, I think that if I couldn't speak Spanish, communication would/could be a serious issue. Depends on your patience level though and how willing you are to articulate. If you're looking for intense detailed descriptions about parts of the city, then it'll fall short. If you're ordering a drink, English will do just fine.
3) The hotel isn't walking distance from downtown. - I mean, it is. You could technically walk from Wisconsin to California. I wouldn't recommend it though. But seriously, we're young and walk to class every day and the walk was still pretty far. It's about 2 - 3 miles to downtown. It's not a big deal, but we went downtown every day. I wouldn't walk to take a vacation to walk 6 miles a day.
Our solution? Take the bus! It's 13 pesos for two people. That's about a dollar one way. Save a money and don't take a cab. The bus is an experience you won't want to miss. Make sure you take a bus labeled "Centro" if you're heading to downtown and a bus labeled "Hoteles" if you're trying to get back to - you guessed it - the hotels.
Well, that's my review! I have no doubt that no matter where you stay in PV, you'll have a great time. Try to watch the sunset on the Malecon. It's to die for! If you're around that area too, at around 10 PM - 11 PM every night, there are fireworks from the Pirate Cruise. Also, don't to the cruises. We got much feedback from tourists during our time there who said skip it. The snorkeling, the beach, the ziplining. Just skip it. Immerse yourself in the culture, by some tamales on the Malecon, sip Margaritas on the beach for just a few dollars.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience the most refreshing way to vacation in Puerto Vallarta. Unwind together in our oceanfront Jacuzzi with panoramic view. Play in our two sparkling pools. Enjoy our beach club, with its wide range of activities. Indulge in a soothing massage. Treat your palate to delicious cuisine and cocktails at our restaurants and bars. Check out our nightly shows. At Las Palmas by the Sea you will enjoy your vacation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Las Palmas By The Sea Hotel Puerto Vallarta
- Las Palmas Puerto Vallarta
- Las Palmas Sea Puerto Vallarta
- Las Palmas Resort
- Las Palmas Beach