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“Avoid the Timeshare Trap ($10 Deposit Scam) at the Airport!!!”
Review of Velas Vallarta

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Velas Vallarta
Ranked #5 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
A TripAdvisor Member
Belmont, CA
Reviewed August 21, 2005

We just got back from a week at the Velas Vallarta, PVR. We are a family of 4 (with 2 young kids, both under 10 yrs old). We reached PVR airport at 11:45 AM after leaving the bay area (california) by an early AM flight. Kids were tired and hungry. We had just collected our bags.

We saw a Velas Vallarta desk at the airport. Walked up to it to find out what would be the easiest way to get to the hotel. That's when we got taken!

Turns out that Mr Rolando (who wears a Velas Vallarta uniform) was really with their Timeshare Sales. Though he would n't tell us as much of course! He offered us a "free" ride to the hotel. All we had to do was meet him early, at 8:15 AM the next day, to reclaim a "$10 USD Deposit" that he wanted from us. He said he had a small "presentation" for us at that time, for no more than 90 minutes, and at the end of it, we would get a coupon certificate for $500 pesos (i.e. $50 USD). Our other option: pay $5 USD per person (i.e. $20 USD total) to get to the hotel.

What we should have done: Paid our own way to the hotel!
What we did: A Big Mistake! We took Mr Rolando's $10USD Deposit Deal!

We overslept the next day, missed the meeting with Mr Rolando. We thought it was no big deal, we could forget about our $10 deposit and the $50 coupon certificate. But were we wrong! For the phone calls started, urging us to attend the "90 minute presentation".

We went and met Ms Lucy in the hotel lobby. She started pitching a range of discount deals to us (a $45 massage, instead of $60 USD regular price). We
finally were co-erced into attending the timeshare pitch the next morning.

The Pitch:

They say 90 minutes, but it was really over 2 hours!
They wanted $33K for us to "pre-buy" 25 weeks of time in their resort over the next 25 years, with the option to exchange our time at other locations and resorts for an exchange fee etc!!!
If we were to decide right then (i.e. a "First Visit Incentive") they would double the weeks, i.e. it was 50 weeks for $33K!
They had a "great deal" for us; we only need to put down 25%, ie approx $8,500 USD and we could finance the rest, for monthly payments of "just $608 USD per month"!

For an additional $4K or so, they would throw in an annuity that guarantees that we get our investment money of $33K back after 25 years!

It does not take a genius to figure out that this is a complete scam!

TIP: If you really want to sign up for a timeshare deal, just go to the "aftermarket" and do a direct deal with another timeshare owner (where the price will be deeply discounted, and the upfront cost will begin to make some sense!)

By this time, we were past the 90 minute mark, and I was kicking myself (as was my wife) for falling for this "free ride" scam at the airport!

We somehow got out, saying our kids were out with our friends, and we needed to go get them!

Bottom line, the $70 or so that they offered us, was simply not worth the aggravation and the hassle!

So we would suggest, if you run into Mr Rolando at the airport, or Ms Lucy in the lobby pitching you a timeshare deal, just keep on walking!

Our stay otherwise was just fine. We found the other hotel staff quite helpful and our vacation overall was quite enjoyable.....

  • Stayed: August 2005
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23  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Sonoma, CA
Reviewed August 15, 2005

Returned from Velas Vallarta on August 12, 2005. We really enjoyed the grounds, but had a couple of issues. We first were checked in to obviously an older room, but was ok with it. Two nights into the trip our ceiling began leaking in the kitchen. We were told to keep the air conditioning off and the next morning ended up getting shocked on the stove and had to ask to be changed rooms. We were moved to a nicer room, accomodated with water, and munchies. When we checked out we recieved a bill of $200. for eating and drinking the food. We were not pleased with this. I guess we were oblivious to the fact that we would be charged for the food in the room. It looks like the chips were about $5.00 a bag??? Our teenage children did enjoy it. We all had some relaxing times. It was hard to sit at one pool with the blaring music, but the other side was nice. The food at the restaurant for the price was ok. I actually preferred the poolside menu. I did enjoy swimming at the beach, but the water was a little mucky. ps. we made the mistake of letting the staff talk us into a time share seminar, (the second we walked into the lobby) said it would only be only an hour and 1/2 and 4 hours later we were alittle aggravated. Our mistake!!! Not a great way to start off a vacation. All and all it was nice, but not sure if I would stay there again.

  • Stayed: August 2005
    • Value
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5  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Dallas, Texas
Reviewed August 14, 2005

Stayed at Velas during the rainy season of July, and it does get very humid. We own a floating timeshare week. They have completely re done the resort on the inside of the units. We stayed in a 2 bedroom lock out unit with another family. We decided not to do all inclusive which if you are not a memeber is like $100.00 a day per person (mandatory). For a member it is $49.00 a day (optional). Instead we made breaksfast and lunch and went into town/marina to eat dinner. We saved ourselves a ton of money that way.

The resort is absolutely gorgeous with a very tropical setting. The maids and waiters were always very attentive, especially if you tip them. And happy hour was from 5-7 with 2 for 1. We did not get harassed by the timeshare people as we were very persistent at the beginning about saying no politely.

Velas was absolutely packed the week we went and we still seemed to have enough room to feel comfortable. I would stongly suggest if you stay in the Marina area to go down to the marina for people watching and food/drinks.
Chico's paradise is also another fun place to visit south of the city about 30 minutes. No Name Cafe is always a great place to visit on the Malecon.

Velas is a great place to stay and I would recommend it highly. The best time to go is between December and April. Downtown has many artist shops with painting and sculptures.

  • Stayed: July 2005
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16  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2005

We just came back from 2 weeks at the hotel. Depending on what's important to you, here are the pluses and minus:
Pluses: 1. nice spacious rooms with kitchen well equiped, 2. service personnel, 3. clean, 4. pool size, 5. grounds are spacious and pleasant, 6. close to medium size super market, 7. not far from town (15 min. cab ride for $5)
Minuses: 1. pool area very noisy (music very loud all day long) it was impossible to rest, we had to go to the Marriott (5 min walking distance by the beach) during the day, 2. not enough umbrellas by the pool, 3. beach not so clean, and with very few umbrellas, 4. sea: quite dirty, not swimmable most days, 5. food at one of the two restaurants, at the hotel is of poor quality (we didn't try the other which is pretentious, expensive and where you need reservations)

  • Stayed: August 2005
    • Value
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13  Thank IsaCov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed August 1, 2005

We just returned from a week at Velas Vallarta, and we had a great time. Check in was quick and efficient. After paying for our all inclusive fee ($105 per day per person), we received our bracelets and we're shown to our room.

We were given room 3201, a studio suite with a private balcony (although without an ocean view). The room was beautiful and tastefully decorated. There was kitchen area with a sink, microwave, small fridge and 2 burner cooktop. Dishes and utensils were also included. There was a small coffee maker as well. Provisions included chips, peanuts, popcorn, instant oatmeal, coffee, cereal, milk, juice bottled water and beer. The bed was absolutely great! It was very soft, and we had down pillows and a down comforter....very cozy. The bathroom was well appointed and all in marble. A hair dryer was included also.

The pool area was very nice, however most of the lounge chairs were reserved by late morning. We preferred to lounge on the beach and swim in the ocean, and never had problems getting chairs under a palapa. We got great service on the beach......drinks and snacks anytime! Very attentive servers. On many occasions, we were brought refills without being asked. How great is that??

The food was above average but not excellent. One of the restaurants, Andreas, required reservations, but they could only be made each morning for dinner that evening. The restaurant was fully booked by 9:30-10:00 each morning, so if you slept in you were out of luck! Fortunately you could always eat at Ribera, the beach front restaurant (which is what we did most nights). Of course, room service was always available. There was a lot variety, and you could order a la carte or eat off the buffet. There were always a variety of salads and desserts. You could also order wine by the glass or bottle. There were a few good merlots and cabernets that we enjoyed.

We got massages in the spa...........absolutely worth every penny. We paid @ $50 for an hour. Not too bad. The exercise area is tiny....only 1 treadmill, one stepper, a rowing machine and a weight machine. Usually crowded in the mornings too.

Service was outstanding and always with a smile. We had a great time. Ate lots, drank lots. I would certainly go back and would recommend this resort for couples and families.

  • Stayed: July 2005
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17  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2005

My family and I stayed, all inclusive for 2 weeks, in Velas Vallarta in July 2000 having travelled from London. I have no bad words to say about this hotel. The level of service we received was amazing as was the food, drink and quality of our suite. As for Carlos, the pool waiter, this man deserves a pay rise!!! We adored this hotel and Puerto Vallarta so much we are travelling back here this year, again from the UK, which is costing us a small fortune and will exhaust us having to travel via Texas but believe me is worth absolutely every penny! I wouldn't tolerate a 15 hour flight for shoddiness. If anyone is thinking of visiting PV and is unsure of what hotel to book, I recommend Velas Vallarta, you won't regret it!

  • Stayed: July 2000
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15  Thank Esmel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Symsonia, KY
Reviewed July 18, 2005

The week of July 2-9 was the best vacation we have ever had! We have cruised to the Yucatan twice and stayed in Cancun at an all inclusive, but the week spent at the Valas Vallarta was the best of all!

The staff are so friendly and helpful. The food is good and the service is excellent by the pool. The Andrea Restaurant had a different theme every night. There is a small buffet to choose from while your order is being prepared. A full bottle of wine is brought out from a wine list. The other restuaurant is by the ocean. A buffet as well as a menu is available.

Clean bed linens every night as well as a full stocked refrigerator and snacks awaits you at the Velas. We stayed on the 8th floor and you never had to wait for an elevator. Internet is available to keep in touch ; $1 for 14 minutes.

The entertainment is the only thing lacking. The grounds are beautiful with 3 pools, waterfalls, swmiup bar ( you don't even have to do that since they wait on you hand and foot) a menu of what they will bring you while you sun.

I would reccommend anyone staying at the Velas!!!!!!!

21  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Velas Vallarta

Address: Paseo de la Marina Norte 585 | Marina Vallarta, Jalisco, Puerto Vallarta 48354, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#3 Business Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#4 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#4 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#7 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: $294 - $842 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Velas Vallarta 4*
Number of rooms: 345
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

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