we went to velas the last week of march which is one of their busiest times of the year. the resort was full but the staff did a great job of handling the crowd and the level of service throughout our trip was exceptional. The positives of the stay were numerous and included terrific poolside food and drink service from our server Tino. Our days by the pool were limited to the kids pool as our 6 year old spent his time there. Tino provided incredible service and attention to everyone in the section and never was there a time when we had to wait more then a few minutes for a drink if we wanted one. The kids pool is located right next to the kids club and our son spent much of his time there where he was very happy meeting other kids his age and kept busy with daily activities provided by the 5 counselors who ran the club. from puppet shows, various sports like soccer and dodgeball and even daily arts and crafts the kids club is a great place to drop your child(must be at least 4 and not older then 12) for several hours a day if you would like to get some couples time. be advised that unlike the velas' much more pricey sibling, grand velas, you must pick up your child for lunch and dinner as the counselors do not take the kids for meals which is understandable.
other highlights included Andrea restaurant which had different themed menu choices each night and a staff that aimed to please. given the resort was full you needed to make reservations by 8 each morning to get a spot for an evening table. We enjoyed the beach as well but found it not nearly as user friendly as the nuevo vallarta side. here there are many rocks and pebbles on the beach which make long walks difficult. Also large rock barriers divide the beach into sections and you must walk up and around them if you want to go on a long stretch of a beach walk. as this was our preferred choice for exercise each morning it was a bit cumbersome. The marina is only a 5 minute walk form the resort and has a great selection of restaurants and small shops to look at. this came in handy as the other on site restaurant, la ribera, served the same steak dinner buffet essentially every night. the food became very boring after a few nights so getting a change off property was refreshing. we also enjoyed a city and cultural bus tour of pv arranged by the resort and our guide and driver was exceptional. daily pool activities included aerobics, water volleyball and the always popular swim up aqua bar. Christopher, the de facto entertainment director daily, did a great job keeping people active and the resort buzzing with energy.
the negatives were few but noteworthy. as mentioned la ribera kept essentially the same menu each night and became quite bland after a while. I think this was due to the resort being so full and the need to feed the masses, perhaps in an off peak time the restaurant will be more varied. service was very good though you could tell the staff was feeling a bit overwhelmed. despite this most of the staff always had a smile on their faces. the rooms were a bit dated, though certainly very functional. as we spent little time in the room other then to sleep it wasn't a big deal. that said the rooms are in need of updating and a more modern feel. we had a 1 bedroom suite and it was cleaned twice daily and kept stocked with snacks and drinks. as in almost every resort during spring break the towel game was in full affect. if you did not get up at 6:30 each morning and reserve a pool chair in the shade or a beach chair in one of the cabanas you were pretty much out of luck by 7am. unfortunately many chairs reserved early would go unused and though the resort has a policy against this it was never enforced, not sure how they can in any case. nightlife at the resort is minimal, a mariachi band and a few shows were offered but were less then stellar. as mentioned the marina is very close by and a trop into PV is only a 15 minute cab ride so for those seeking nightlife it is close by. the resort also has a service geared towards older teens/college age people that provides a ride and chaperone into the city to hit a few nightclubs and bars and then make sure everyone gets back safe.
in summary velas vallarta is a great place for families with a number of activities geared towards young children. it is a significant step down from the grand velas in terms of rooms and the over the top service but is probably a better choice for young families in any case as it is more affordable. think twice about paying for the all inclusive, with many restaurants within walking distance in may make more sense to save money on the inclusive and venture out a few nights.
we enjoyed our stay and look forward to going back next year.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Velas Vallarta, from the award winning Velas Group, boasts a 10-acre beachfront location with views of the Sierra Madre Mountains in the distance. Located in the Marina Vallarta, one of the most exclusive areas of Vallarta-Nayarit, the resort is also just a few steps away from an 18-hole championship golf course. The center of activity is a lush tropical garden courtyard with three sparkling swimming pools, a cascading waterfall, swim-up bar and even a resident iguana. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Velas Vallarta Hotel Puerto Vallarta
- Velas Vallarta Suite Hotel
- Velas Vallarta Suite Puerto
- Velas Vallarta Resort
- Velas Vallarta Puerto
- Club Velas Vallarta
- Velas Vallarta Suite Resort