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“Mislead by Velas staff....”
Review of Velas Vallarta

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Velas Vallarta
Ranked #5 of 121 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
A TripAdvisor Member
park city, ut
231
Reviewed November 30, 2005

My family booked a week at Velas in March of '06. My husband and I stopped in Puerto for a one day stop on a cruise at the beginning of November and thought we would stop and check out the resort to make sure it was what we expected. Nice resort (it didn't have the Wow factor, but still nice). We inquired about upgrading from a two bedroom suite to a three bedroom. They let us look at the rooms - the two bedroom was awkward (awkward living space and kitchen - would definitely only use this to sleep). The three bedroom was great. Nice rooms, nice living space, kitchen, etc. We asked what the price was to upgrade, and they told us it was only $130/day to upgrade (non-inclusive). They told me if we wanted to do the all inclusive rate, it would be another $95/day/pp for adults, and they consider adults to be 14 yrs old. So when we got back to the states, we decided that the upgrade alone was reasonable and it might be fun for our two teenagers to bring a friend along. When our travel agent contacted the resort, they told her it would be another $350/day to upgrade to the three bedroom. I informed her we did not want to do the all inclusive, as the kitchen was great, there is a wallmart and grocery stores a few miles away, and my kids don't eat (or drink booze) enough to warrant paying $95/day - they're beanpoles for crying out loud. Plus we wanted to eat out of the resort. When she contacted the resort again, they informed her that as of January 1, 2006, Velas Vallarta was only an All Inclusive resort so we had no option. This frustrated me, since I was there in person, and was specifically given both options by the staff. So I emailed the general manager and asked that the quote his staff gave me be honored. He was very curt, said it wasn't possible, and to look into another resort. So I'm taking the $7300 that we were going to spend at Velas, and going to La Jolla De Mismaloya. Just be careful what you are told and make sure you get the names of anyone who gives you a quote. I don't understand why they have kitchens in their suites if they are not going to give you the option to use them.

20  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,260 - 3,266 of 3,817 reviews

Reviewed November 26, 2005

It is a beautiful hotel. We booked the all inclusive plan and the food was fine restaurant quality. We travel 8 to 10 times per year. This is the real thing. Enjoy!

  • Stayed: November 2005
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14  Thank Rx7mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2005

Just got back from our trip. Three nights at Velas Vallarta and six at Grand Velas. Velas Vallarta has been totally renovated and looks very much like Grand Velas. Same furniture in the rooms, exactly the same. We had a 1-bedroom suite with a small kitchen. No bugs at all. No one ever asked us about a time share. We did the all-inclusive which I think is worth it. There are two restaurants but they rotate themes so it is different most nights. La Ribera, on the beach, is the restaurant you can go to any night. No reservations needed. On nights when they don't have a theme, it is a Steakhouse. Excellent filet mignon. On Wednesday nights, it is South Pacific night and we had great Mahi Mahi and great Shrimp served in a coconut shell. Absolutely wonderful. Andrea is hte fancier restaurant and you need reservations. They start taking them at 7:30 in the morning. Good thing is men don't have to wear pants. We had a great gourmet meal there. Beautiful setting and gourmet Italian when it is not a theme night.

Loved the nightly entertainment on the beach. First night, they had tables with white tablecloths, chairs with white slipcovers and gazebos set on the beach with beds in them all covered in white. Candles everwhere and a bar set up on the beach. Every night music and/or a show. First night was an awesome reggae band followed by Hawaiian dancers. REally great. There was something on the beach every night we were there so there is nightly entertainment.

Pools are great. Three pools. Bottom pool is where most of the action is. Volleyball net, pool bar, music, etc. Middle pool is mainly for kids and top pool is the quiter pool. Most adults up there but not an adult only pool. There is a small river connecting all pools. That was fun to walk up and down. We were there 11/16-11/19 and it was mostly adults. Not many kids at all. We did have my 12 year old daughter and she had fun in the pools. There is also a big iguana walking around, a cat and a few peacocks roaming around. Very cool.

I highly recommend Velas Vallarta. We will be back. Service was great, nice rooms, nice setting. The Marina area is great. Went to the lighthouse for a drink one night, walked the marina in the mornings. Did a massage. Get one on the beach. SAme price. If you do the all inclusive, you get 15% off the spa.

Few concerns, slow elevators but hey, you are on vacation so what is the hurry. The lounge chairs by the pool would not go flat. That was my biggest complaint!

Enjoy!

  • Stayed: November 2005
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25  Thank kellsma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Wv
113
Reviewed November 6, 2005

First of all i have been going to pvr for about 10 years and like everybody else i was sucked in the timeshare pitch but i have learned how to say no and they do not bother you first when they ask you about a anything tell them you live there find a road off the beaten path and tell them you live there 6 months out of the year also a cell phone on your side will deter a lot of these folks because they think you are a local even if it don't work its worth carring it you hate to lie but it works,2nd when you get to the airport walk across the cat walk and get a cab $3-4 dollars to velas if you get a cab at the airport they have to charge you $20-30 dollars it all is thru the airport.
One more thing when we was at Velas Vallarta 2 years ago someone with a key broke in to our safe in the room and stole some of our money and jewlery our fault for not keeping our cash on us at all times and telling the staff we were going deep sea fishing the hotel had insurance but it took about a year to get it back.

  • Stayed: December 2004
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13  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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40  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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21  Thank dnsfog
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 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#3 Business Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#4 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#4 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#7 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: $286 - $889 (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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