We just returned from a week at the Velas Vallarta; traveling with 13 people total. The resort was kind enough to offer a free upgrade from a two-bedroom to a three-bedroom for one of our rooms so we ended up with two 3-bedroom suites which were extremely clean and well-maintained. They were also quite large with a full kitchen; dining area; living room; and 2 full baths. The pool is lively and filled with kids and families, so this would not be the place to stay if you were looking for peace and quiet. We have also stayed at the Grand Velas and Casa Velas, and this is definitely the "budget" resort among the three. The food was decent; but nothing spectacular--especially when compared to the 5-star dining at the Grand Velas and Casa Velas resorts. The tour offered a free city bus tour which was really nice and provided an opportunity to see the old town; the flea market; and a tour to a tequila-producer who provided an interesting explanation of tequila distilling and tastings. Be careful, though, with your purchases from the tequila producer. They sell bottles that are well-wrapped in bubble-wrap which is perfect for the plane trip home; but when I got home I found that I had different tequilas than what I had ordered.
I only had a couple minor complaints with the hotel: First, you could not charge tips to your room except when ordering room service. That is, you couldn't run a tab with the poolside waiters to allow you to charge a tip to your room; nor could you charge a tip to your room at the restaurants. I know that you do not have to tip; but I like to reward good service and found that we were constantly trying to make change with our pesos so that we could leave some money for our waiters.
My second complaint is the lack of free wi-fi. In this day and age, free wi-fi should be standard; or at least it should be offered at a reasonable charge. They do offer a paid wi-fi for what works out to about $10 (US) per day; but it only works on one device. I was certainly not going to pay for wi-fi on everyone's smartphones and ipads. My kids ended up walking down to the CasaMagna Marriott two resorts down (where we stayed our first night) to use their public wi-fi.
The third issue is that they want you to make reservations at the nicer of the two restaurants (Andrea); but if you do not make your reservation really early in the day, they will tell you they are full. This is even when we asked for tables of 4 or 6 (knowing that 13 is hard to seat). But then you would often find that the restaurant was half-empty in the evening. A couple of times when we were told we were too late for a reservation; we came back when the restaurant looked quiet and they did end up seating us--but only after getting some obvious stink-eye from the hostess who had just told us a few hours earlier that they were full. (The waiters, on the other hand, were wonderful and happy to see us--because we always tipped well and were a really well-behaved group).
The maintenance staff is wonderful; and kept the pool area clean all the time. There were a number of large iguanas that live in and around the pool grounds; but the staff were quick to clean up after them and shoo them away if they got too close for comfort. In all, it was a terrific week and though it was not nearly as elegant as the Grand Velas or CasaVelas; I would have to say it was a better value for the dollar (given that the all-inclusive rates are about half of the rates at the other two resorts).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Come to Velas Vallarta, one of the most established resorts in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and find the tropical beachfront oasis you have been searching for. Relax and enjoy quality time with those you care about most as you enjoy the benefits of a true All-Inclusive resort. Absolutely everything is included- a spacious suite, gourmet a la carte meals, a full in-suite dining menu, our excellent Kids Club, nightly entertainment and everything in between.Take a break from building sand castles to enjoy some of the best hamburgers around during a leisurely lunch by the pool. Take a siesta after a day in the sun and freshen up for an elegant family dinner followed by a stroll through the gardens to enjoy the evening breeze. Sample a premium tequila and treat the kids to an extra dessert- it's all included and it's all high quality. ... 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