For our trip, several friends gathered at Velas Vallarta with a couple returning for the second time and others for the first. The resort is beautiful and wonderful for family and friends.
Before I write on various elements:
Biggest plus: the service of the staff.
Biggest negative: the heavy, overbearing push to buy the timeshare.
(Food and drink) We were with the all-inclusive so all meals and beverages were included. Usually we had breakfast and dinner at Andrea's restaurant and lunch at La Ribera's, which is ocean-side. At both, the service is excellent. The food ranges from good to pretty-good. It's not lights-out but you will never go lacking. The interesting thing is you can order off of a menu or eat from the buffet. For food, we also made use of room-service for the days when we had to be out the door before the restaurants had not opened. Our fridge was always stocked with beverages, particularly bottled-water, which was indispensable as it was 90 degrees and humid each day. For drinks, there was no lack of choices in juices or sodas. Beer was, unfortunately, provided in cans but I am a beer snob. I stuck with the mixed drinks. Surprisingly, good sipping tequilas were not stocked but if you had a margherita, we were fine. I do recommend the mango margherita. On day, our group went fishing and brought the catch back to La Ribera's. The chef did an excellent job of cooking the catch in two different styles for our party.
(Rooms) As a large group, we had two different suites. Our hosts had the main suite with an adjoining studio. I was in a different two bedroom suite with one bedroom having a king sized bed and mine having two queen beds. The rooms were spacious with a living room plus kitchenette. There was also a balcony overlooking the courtyard. One drawback is the Puerto Vallarta has an abundance of pigeons that may defecate on the balcony. We had to call room service to get the balcony cleaned. We also had a problem one time with the plumbing; a call for service resulted in someone being there in under five minutes. Rooms have air-conditioning and ceiling fans. Room service came every day and did a really good job; also they courteously would return later if the timing was bad for you. In rooms TV kept us up-to-date on U.S. news or sports, such as world series, or you could watch any number of the Mexican channels.
(Beach) The beach is beautiful and sandy. The surf in front of Velas had a rougher surf than other resorts down the way, which had protected coves. Just something to note if a storm has been through. There are shaded beach chairs making for a nice location for napping. Vendors do come up and down selling their wares but won't bother you if you are asleep. You can say no thank you otherwise and they will not press. There were turtles laying eggs and you can see their tracks.
(Pools) There are three pools in the courtyard with the smallest being for children. I think max-depth was about 4 or so feet. While we were there, it had been incredibly hot so the pools were lucky to be refreshing until we got a night of rainstorms. The pools should be cooler in the winter months. The lower pool by the ocean was the most exposed to sun so that was the warmest. The upper pool with the waterfall had the most shade. As a quick note, it was not crowded during our stay so there was no competition for shaded seats. If you get into the high-season that may change. There were pool activities including aerobics and volleyball or pool side games such as ping pong. The activities were well-scheduled and gave a good chance to interact with other guests.
(Other amenities) The resort is actually quite large and has a decent sized store which we used for sunblock, bandaids, and stamps. There is a spa, which several of my friends used. I did not but I hear it was nice. There is also a small exercise room that we were all too tired to use. However it was there.
(Nearby) The resort is in a nice, kinda upscale area of town minutes from the airport. You can walk along the beach past the other resorts or go along the boulevard to the marina where there are stores or vendors for activities (fishing, ziplining). It felt very safe. This has zero reflection on Velas but there was the Neptune mall down the road which was very American; I was disappointed as I was not in Mexico to feel like being in the U.S. On the beach or at the marina, you will have people approach you to take a tour, buy a product, or take a timeshare. Once again, they take no very well. I used the opportunity to talk with them and practice Spanish. Or you can simply talk business to learn rates or other information such as what fish were being caught.
(Activities) Our group took part in a number of activities for which I'll write reviews apart from here. Velas Vallarta can schedule and take payment for these and provide plenty of information on getting you there. The prices through Velas are higher but you are well taken care of. They were also good for, say, you had photos taken on these excursions and the company needed to drop them off the day afterward. For us, we did ziplining, fishing, San Sebastien tour, ATV riding, and parasailing. There was no lack of things to occupy our time and we even had to cancel a tequila tour as we were just plain exhausted.
(Service) As mentioned, the service was the best aspect of Velas Vallarta. Everyone was courteous and tried to fulfill your requests or needs. The staff was very friendly and it wasn't, say, because they were trying to get the best tip. They were genuinely very nice, professional people and it was pleasant to talk with them about their families or work.
(Time-share) Here's the biggest gripe that I had with Velas: The huge push to purchase the time-share. Keep in mind that the time-share and hotel are two different things. However, when we arrived at the airport, we were to have a no-cost shuttle arranged to Velas; that's where the time-share push started without us even realizing it at first. They had to have $10 that we would get back once we got to the resort. Then we found out, we got the $10 after we spoke to someone about the timeshare. Then we had to sit with another person as we tried to discuss activities where the time-share was raised again and again with the bait being a discount on the activity tours if we went through the time-share presentation. Finally, three of us consented to go upstairs to talk to someone about the time-share to get the others away on their vacation. Upstairs, they then told us that our wives needed to be present. This went so on and so forth. To sum it up, the story kept changing as we were passed from one handler to another. We finally got a little short. The final sales rep who got us realized that about three hours of our time had been wasted and the sales pitch so botched that we had already tuned him out. He had zero chance of selling us anything. Our host was fuming at the treatment. If you go to Velas, beware of this. I'm not sure what we could have done different apart from putting our foot down earlier; however, we were trying to start vacation and not looking for a battle. The true shame is on the time-share people at Velas as they were the only black mark on the place.
- 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