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.
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.....
- 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