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Review of Velas Vallarta

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Velas Vallarta
Ranked #6 of 121 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
A TripAdvisor Member
gig harbor, WA
140
Reviewed October 30, 2005

In reading reviews about this resort AFTER we stayed here I must tell everyone who relies on these reviews that this is hands down one of the best resorts I have ever stayed in in PV. For those who were shocked at the price of the water and the munchies in the room...get the all inclusive option next time as All minibars in ALL hotels are expensive.

The all inclusive option ranks up there with the best that I have experienced in Mexico and the Caribean. The bar inside the pool was great, free pizza and beer to the room at 3am was great. The turn down service with chocolate on the pillows and dusk was decadent. The food was fantastic...tip well in us dollars, and try to keep the same waiters and you will have no worries what-so-ever. The non-stop buffet was great, the menu was fantastic...substituting anything you wish. You can also ask for things not on the menu such as prawn cocktail. The rooms were clean and exquisite, no problems with theft either... I left a tip for the maid but when she kept leaving the money on the table I went to the desk and had them help me write a note in Spanish thanking her and telling her to take her money! Even when she thought we were not tipping she still arranged my shoes in line on the floor and folded my husbands clothes which were in a pile on the floor.

Except for tips and some incidentals that I charged to the room which came to around $120.00 us dollars everything was free. Free and top notch.

We will continue to go back and only stay at the Velas Vallarta.

  • Stayed: October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
40  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
Denver, Colorado
112
Reviewed October 26, 2005

We arrived at the Velas Vallarta for a family reunion with 15 family members. The grounds were quite nice and the rooms very large and comfortable. We found the food (we did the all-inclusive option) to be better than any all-inclusive hotels we have stayed at in the past. Most of the staff was very friendly, especially if you made an attempt to speak to them in spanish. The beach vendors were also very friendly and willing to negotiate if you pressed. We were disappointed in the activities (or lack of them) that were availiable for children. They did not have much to offer other than the pools and beach. After a couple of days my children were quite bored (as compared to other all-inclusive resorts where there were ongoing activities for the kids). Our biggest disappointment came when we were held captive on the "city tour", a bus that is supposed to take you to shopping and mismaloya (a beautiful, waterfall area south of the city). The bus took us to their "recommended, guaranteed" shop (it seemed quite a set-up really) where we purchased some jewelry that we discovered later had been overcharged to our visa ($5000 pesos instead of $500 pesos) The shop has continued to deny any wrongdoing in the matter. The tour continued on to bypass Mismaloya and take us to their "recommended" restaurant in the middle of nowhere and no lunch was availiable for under $20.00 US dollars per person. There was no time for swimming or siteseeing and most of the tour members seemed highly annoyed. By the time we got back to the hotel, we were all crabby, hot and hungry!
I would highly recommend this hotel if you are there only to sit by the pool and relax (note - reserve chairs early in the morning or you might have trouble getting one). Be very leary of any tours offered. Our best advice is to figure out where you want to go and have a taxi take you there and pay for the excursion yourself. One not to miss is the zip-line through the jungle!

  • Stayed: August 2005
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12  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2005

Three couples in our mid 40's just returned from PV. We stayed at the Velas Vallarta Resort which is in Marina Vallarta. Beautiful hotel. We had a 3 bedroom condo (one of the couples owns a timeshare). The resort was very clean, beautiful to look at, really nice pool with swim up bar. The beach, however, was less than desireable. The sand is very hot, it's darker than the caribbean. Beach volleyball was set up, but no one ever played. No one ever layed on the beach. There are a few tent like things that you can lay under to get out of the sun, but those were hardly used. The water went from light brown to dark brown depending on the time of day. We didn't think it was "dirty" just full of sand/dirt from a churned up sea. It's obviously just finished the rainy season so the water still hasn't recovered. We went in once, but we did not go in again because it didn't look inviting, and there were lots of rocks. I was very dissapointed in the beach. There are only two restaurants, however the food was the best AI food I have had (I've been to about 10). 24 hour room service. Fridge always stocked with beer and soda, milk, juice, water. If you drank it, they bring you more, no problem. Service was excellent, they really tried to make you happy. Downside-no nightlife. They only have two bars, one is a swim up bar. The other is in the lobby where they serve drinks out of a closet like area and there are chairs and tables spread around the lobby. They have some live music and/or shows, but they don't last long. All in all it is a quiet resort. I think they would rather have you go into town to party. We were quite close to downtown PV, a $6.00 cab ride. We went downtown a couple of times, walked the Malecon, shopped, visited a few bars. Went to Pipi's-LOVED IT! We also walked around Marina Vallarta which is very small, not many shops, a few restaurants. We went to ElFaro (the lighthouse) for a few drinks. That was fun and the scenery was great. We went on two excursions- the Pathfinders (dunebuggy's) which we purchased through Vallarta Tours. Although we had a great time,the dunebuggys were constantly breaking down during the ride. There was a group of workers/mechanics traveling with us the whole time and we kept stopping because someone would break down and they would try to get them going. Or some of us would keep going with a guide while the broken down buggy stayed with a mechanic. However, it was a blast. We drove pretty fast, got wicked dirty and laughed like crazy. The other excursion we went on was to Las Caletas. Having read great reviews from these boards, I was quite dissapointed. You arrive on a boat with about 149 other people wherein they herd you off and lead you down to a very small beach area with chairs set up in rows very close together. I saw some chairs and hammocks up off of the beach and grabbed some of the chairs on the beach and brought them up there so we weren't with everyone else. It was amazing how many people just sat there, elbow to elbow all day. When everyone puts their stuff down, they tell everyone who wants to snorkel to come and get their equipment, which is about 75% of the people. Once everyone gets their equipment, everyone goes in the water together with a guide who leads everyone around. It turned into a flopping nightmare. There are people all around you, flippers hitting you, bodies on you, etc. It was quite comical. Two in our party quit in the first 5 minutes. The rest of our party stuck it out and snorkeled on. You couldn't really see anything in the water, it was very murky off the beach. Once we got around the corner a little bit into shallower water with rocks, coral, there were quite a few fish, but still the water was murky so visibility was limited. All in all we snorkeled about 30 to 40 minutes and then everyone was encouraged to get out of the water to go on a nature walk. After returning snorkeling gear everyone settled back into their spots and then there are several different activities to do; paella cooking lessons, nature walk, etc. However it appears that everything has been man made, nothing really natural. The food was just OK, there was open bar but not too many people were drinking. There were a few spots where you could go off and be by yourself, but again, you had to find it on your own. You were never told to spread out, that there are chairs and umbrella's along the different paths, etc. I would not return to Las Caletas, however if you go, my advice is to walk along the paths, find a more secluded spot to spend the day. Don't park on the beach with everyone else. Don't snorkel with the pack. Wait around, because some people snorkeled for a few hours once everyone else got out of the water.
Overall we loved PV, it is the nicest place I have been in Mexico (Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, Cozumel). The scenery is beautiful, felt very safe everywhere. Very clean. Hasseling you to buy things is minimal, not like Cancun. People are very friendly. We would definitely return again. Anyone can email me with questions at dnsfog2000@yahoo.com

  • Stayed: October 2005
    • Value
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21  Thank dnsfog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2005

We stayed at this lovely location for the week of 9/23-9/30/2005. Apparently this is considered off-season. It felt as if we had the whole place to ourselves many times. We had 6 adults and stayed in a 3 bedroom suite. The decor was very nice and the place was extremely clean. We all took advantage of the comfort and beautiful view from our 4th floor balcony which overlooked the pool and bay. I enjoyed and was impressed by the staff and the facility in every respect. We were greeted at the airport and had a complimentary ride to the resort. Our driver even made a quick detour for us to stop and exchange currency. Our group of 6 people was diverse yet everyone had a wonderful time (our ages ranged from 20 to 51 - male and female). The resort offered 2 complimentary tours which we took advantage of and enjoyed. I forgot to mention that we took advantage of the all inclusive package. WOW!!! The food and drinks were non stop and very good. I feel that we definately got our moneys worth. Christian the event coordinator was a hoot and made everything run smooth. Some of our group had massages, rented jet skiis and went horseback riding - all with no complaints. The ONLY negative thing I would point out is that the humidity (especially for an Arizona girl) was extremely high - hense off-season, but as someone in another review mentioned it wasn't anything that couldn't be dealt with after a quick (or not so quick!) dip in the pool or bay. I would thoroughly recommend this location and would love to return some day.

  • Stayed: September 2005
    • Value
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16  Thank kelly8059
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2005

My wife and I just returned from a weeklong stay at Velas Vallarta. The two of us have traveled extensively; we certainly enjoy our vacations - after all, we've earned them! This being our first all-inclusive (A-I) vacation, we had high expectations, expecting above average service. Velas Vallarta exceeded all expectations while greeting us with the finest, warmest hospitatility.

First off, we facilitated our arrival by communicating early (about a week out) and sent the Velas Vallarta staff a note regarding our arrival to include dates, times, expectations, and some questions/concerns that we had. We received a prompt response from the resort staff. We recieved two responses within 24 hrs; both were from hotel managers ensuring us that appropriate accomodations were made for our arrival and stay. Upon arrival in PV, we were immediately corraled by Velas Vallarta reps who coordinated our transportation.

Rodrigo at the concierge is top notch, contact this gentlemen if you have any specific questions. Room service and maid service there is also top notch. The one bedroom room that we stayed in was enormous, lush, and clean. We did find some ants but they did not eat much…The elevator to our building and room was slow, but we were never really in a hurry; however, for others…this may be an concern.

We thought that the nightly, themed cuisines were excellent as were the festivities. For an A-I, the food was fantastic – no complaints here. We enjoyed both restaurants especially La Ribeira where we nearly ate on the beach. If asked, the staff will make plenty of top-shelf drinks…if you don’t see something that you like, just ask – they will make it happen.

Some Tips:
1. Whenever you can, convert your USD to pesos at a bank vs at the hotel.
2. If you attend a timeshare brief, get confirmation of your money’s-worth ahend of time (massages, golf, other discounts). Must use a credit card vs. debit card to reserve timeshare brief.
3. Tipping a few USD above the A-I rate pays big dividends. The staff was very attentive and accommodating.
4. Take advantage of the room service, it’s free under A-I. So go ahead and request special beverages such as chapagne or beer and don’t be afraid to stock up.
5. Make coordination ahead of time to authorize charges while overseas.
6. Messages on the cove near the beach are well worth it – both relaxing and romantic, highly recommended.
7. Buy tequila at Wal-Mart.

Other than the included city tour, which was good, we did not venture out other than to Wal-Mart. While we did hear that some of the other tours were good, we really just wanted to veg, occasionally work-out and relax all week...

All of these tips, other reviews, the staff at Velas Vallarta and our own awareness made this trip a relaxing and unforgettable trip…Let us know if you have any additional questions...R/Chris and Lisa

  • Stayed: September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
27  Thank Chris and Lisa P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2005

We stayed at the Velas Vallarta Sept 12 - 19, 2005 and had a great time. There were four of us travelling, two adults and my daughter and her boyfriend. They upgraded us to a one bedroom from the studio. It was very hot and humid but nothing a cold drink at the pool bar would not fix. We bought the all inclusive and thought it was an excellent deal. We are owners so it was $49 US per person per day and I am sure we ate/drank every penny of it. My only critism would be that it would have been nice to have a washer and dryer available to us. We went on the dune buggies and got covered with mud. My daughter and her boyfriends dune buggy started on fire. We also went on the canopy tour. If you are going to do that, I heard that the one that is NOT the set of the Preditor is way better. The one at the Preditor site you had to climb SOOOOO many stairs. We went on the free shopping tour but bailed out at the flea market because it was going back up to the Preditor set. We rented a jet ski for $60 US for 1/2 hour. My friend said that it was not worth it. The resort was pretty quiet when we got there but then all the guys that were in the motorcycle races came and the place went nuts. They switched from glasses at the bar to plastic disposable glasses. It was kinda gross to think that there were so many people at the pool bar and the bathroom lineups were non existant. The coolest thing that happened was that an iguana went for a swim in the pool...a huge iguana. The food was good. The resort was well maintained and very clean. We went to one timeshare presentation just so that my friend could experience it. It was so hot and humid that day that it really didn't matter. We recieved $250 US for going. Not too bad. But I know for sure that I would never buy a timeshare there (Mayan Palace). I did not like the layout. Velas Vallarta has everything right there. You don't have to walk for miles to get food/drinks or back to your room for that matter. We used the room service for pizza/beer quite a few times. We had a great view of the pool bar and at night saw some awesome lightning shows. The casino night there was alot of fun. I don't know about the rest of the shows except for the mexican show. It was good. Well, that is about it. Had a great time!

  • Stayed: September 2005
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25  Thank SheCasper21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2005

My family and I just returned from Velas Vallarta for the Labor Day weekend. This place is sweet. You can lay on your behind and they will bring you food and drinks all day long. You don't have to move. The place is beautiful. The landscape is the replica of the area you are staying in. It is a jungle but tamed. The staff is excellent and constantly pampering the guests. I suggest this property for a relaxing and enjoyable vacation for anyone. I read the negative reviews and suggest the authors need to get a life.

  • Stayed: September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
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10  Thank JCWINSAC
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
Amenities:
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 Business Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#4 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#4 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#7 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: $285 - $921 (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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