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“Not a "Young" Crowd”

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Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #23 of 121 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 25, 2012

This is a pretty nice hotel in a location that didn't satisfy our travel plans. It is centrally located between the Marina and El Centro, and we went to town every day. It is not a hard trip - we usually took the bus which is very inexpensive - but we should simply have picked a hotel in Old Town for our needs.

The vacationers here are mostly up in years - and we are not youngsters. We've never seen so many walkers, wheel chairs, and oxygen in one place other than a rest home. It wasn't an issue for us and makes for a pretty quiet environment. You can even use the sister property of Villa del Mar next door which is even quieter. Occupancy was 58% and grew on the weekends, which livened things up a little with more children and Mexican Nationals. Anyway, we mention this only for those who are expecting a lively, spring break kind of place - this is not it.

When we checked in we were turned over the hotel timeshare rep for our key and hotel information. It was actually useful since "Grace" was very pleasant and provided a lot of useful information. We agreed to visit the VDP Flamingos resort in Neuvo Vallarta since we were exploring PV and wanted to see how things had developed to the north. Grace "guaranteed" us that it would be a 90 minute presentation including the free breakfast. Well, it turned out to be 4-1/2 hours and five salespersons. They were working up to six when we simply said we were leaving and started walking out. We were later advised that we asked too many questions, which they believe indicates serious interest and therefore didn't want to let us get away without buying something. Buyer beware...

The rooms in the hotel are very clean, but somewhat worn. We loved the bed. The refrigerator is way small, particularly if you want to keep ice in it for drinks. The resort food we had was actually very good, but the high prices made us eat nearly all meals in town. We noticed that they have a sign up in the pool/deck area telling you not to bring your own food or drink into the area, but with their prices most people were simply ignoring it. Happy hour drinks were priced at what should be the regular price (two for one). Staff is exceptional, and we have had nice service in every resort in Mexico we have stayed in. Even the front desk, which some people have criticized, were very friendly and helpful. I don't think you could ask for better personnel in a hotel.

They do have "Elite Status" areas roped off for "special owners." I think that means they paid a bunch of $$$ for the title. They were not used much (not a surprise) but it did create kind of a snobbish aspect to the hotel.

We'd probably stay at this hotel again if it were lotated in El Centro. If that is not important to you, by all means consider it for your PV visit.

Room Tip: Be sure to take your travel documents from your booking agent. We got a better room when I showed...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Dugfir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 21, 2012

My wife ,two daughters age 2.5 & 5 and I stayed here for 10 days. We meet 3 other family’s down at this resort for the past 3 years. We have stayed at many resorts across central and south America ranging from 5 star – 2 star. I would rate this resort at a solid 3.5 star. At one point I’m sure it was a 4.5 star however it is an older resort. Here is how I would break it down.

The staff:
We found the staff at the front counter to be efficient, not overly friendly just very business-like. They are fast to get you in so that you are not waiting around for room keys. They could have been a little more cheerful, however I was happy just to get my room key after flying all day.

The grounds:
The grounds of the resort are kept in pristine condition. There isn’t a blade of grass out of place. Funny thing is I don’t remember seeing lots of grounds keepers during the day so I assume they were doing this at night. If that’s the case they are very quiet in doing so.

The entertainment:
The entertainment staff are very nice and hardworking people. I enjoyed playing beach V-ball every day at 11am and again at 3pm. Other than that I didn’t partake in activities, but when hanging out at the pool they always had something going on. I would say they could have played better music but I was told because there was an “older” crowed at the resort they had to play that type of music.

The Food:
I’m the pickiest eater ever, so take this with a grain of salt. I found the food to be ok not great just ok. We never do the AI because I just hate eating buffet….anywhere. The breakfast at the on-site convenience store was really good! The pizza at the outdoor restaurant by the beach was also good. Other than that is was just ok.

The Location:
You can’t beat the location. It is centrally located so if you want to go DT PV it’s a $6-10 cab ride if you want to go to Nuevo Vallarta it’s a $12 cab ride, and bucerias might be $20-25. The Bus to DT PV is so cheap and it’s a fun ride. There are markets north and south of resort. There is a Wal-Mart like store about 2 blocks down the street or you can take a cab to Costco.

The rooms:
The rooms are very spacious and very clean, however they are dated. The décor is typical for Mexico. The beds are comfy, the bathroom is big, and the maids do a good job of cleaning up every day.

The pools:
There are 3 pools. One kids pool about 2 feet deep. A pool at the back of the resort. And the main pool. We hung out at the main pool 99% of the time. The water was heated, this is a very nice bonus. Not all resorts heat the pools. This is a main reason we go to this resort. My wife and kids hate getting into COLD pools. This for us is a deal breaker. If they every stop heating the pool we would not return.

The beach:
The beach is nice, they have a roped off area that the peddlers are not allowed. This is nice if they bother you. Also have some chairs set up closer to the water. When we were there, we were able to swim all but one day.

My family likes this resort, it’s a smaller resort with a more intimate feeling. I would recommend this resort for families with young kids, or older couples. We feel safe here and we will be returning Feb27th 2013

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank p4at
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2012

Dated, but well maintained resort. Stayed one week in a one bedroom, and one week in a suite. Extra tips means extra service. At first it was $45 extra for the larger room per night, but then it was changed to $12/ night with a little incentive. I didn't need the bigger room the second week. Both rooms were fine, although the shower had a problem in the one bedroom. Larger rooms had ocean and pool views. Smaller room overlooked the quiet pool. Both had nice balconies. All have well equipped kitchenettes. There are grills to use. Beach is very nice, but you have to fight off the vendors. Ocean was warm this time of year. 2 pools, one is a great lap pool. Restaurants on site are pricey. Drinks are crazy expensive, bring your own. Supermarket a block down the street. You can buy everything you need there. Take the bus for 65 pesos anywhere. Walmart & Costco are about 30 minute walk. Very good location. Staff are very friendly and willing to help. They will sit you down when you get there and pressure you to go to the new flamingo resort for timeshare presentation. In return, we got a bottle of local tequila, a city tour, 20% discount on our restaurant tabs (hardly worth since we didn't eat there much), 2 free breakfasts, for a 4 hour high pressure pitch. I'm sure we could have gotten more if we asked. $15/day for Internet. Don't pay it. Ask any guest sitting in the lobby for the code, and most will oblige, or negotiate it in with your timeshare visit. Local calls are 6 pesos, but they don't tell you that calling a local cell phone is $2/minute. Get a calling card and use the pay phones. They also don't tell you that when you check out there is an optional 45 pesos per day charge to your room for staff tips. It's already on your bill when you go to pay. They'll take it off if you ask. I tip as service is rendered, I don't like these sneaky charges, but its mexico. The rules change depending who you talk to. An incredible lack of consistency and honesty.
Overall one of the nicer time shares that I've stayed in the area, and I would go back.

Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Miranda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2012

villa del palmar,puerta vallarta was great.it sits right on the beach,all the theme nights were great,they came with the all inclusive package which was good.we took the all inclusive for only three nights because we like to go into town to go out.taxi cab ride to town was only $5:00 us for all five of us.the pools were great.the time share people tried to suck you in but all you had to say was no.was no inside restaurants but the weather was fine in november.

Room Tip: we were in a ground room by the spa pool it was wonderful.right outside the door. i would suggest f...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank barbie1437
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2012

I travel a lot but very rarely write reviews even when they are rubbish but I thought I would review this resort due to the number of poor responses. Prior to travelling I was expecting the worst but on arrival I was relieved to find the resort to be brilliant. There are plenty of good and a couple of bad points.
Good points:
The resort is immaculate and clean (someone is always doing maintence)
3 pools on site (beachside, noisy type with slides and a quiet pool away from the noise).
Big fluffy pool towels available (no charge unless you steal one)
Waiter service with happy hour available three times daily, they will tell you.
Tap water in room is purified, we drank it with no problems.
Plenty of English channels on TV.
Concierge on duty until 11pm at the front desk, very helpful.
$60 pesos to the Malecon/$70 to the Marina
Supermarket on site, however about 200 metres along the road is the Soriana supermarket.
The supermarket on site does nice sandwiches for lunch, we ate them by the quiet pool ( not sure if allowed but no one said anything)
We had a one bedroom room suite with 2 bathrooms. Very well maintained over looking the noisy pool however I say noisy but it's just pool noise, music and the like. If you closed the patio doors it wasn't heard. At night the resort is very quiet we didn't hear a thing at night for 2 weeks (not many places you can say that
Air conditioning was separate in the living room and bedroom so easily controlled, to turn it off you just move the switch to the middle
Well appointed kitchen with coffee maker,blender, toaster and electric tin opener, no kettle though we used a pan.

Bad points:
Not really a lot to say the restaurant on site was more expensive than outside but that's the same the world over.
Timeshare approach on arrival. We arrived after travelling for 2 days and 3 flights and were grabbed as we left the reception desk, but they didn't know how far we had come so we kept cool and just said No to the speech. It wasn't a problem and we were never bothered again. I have been to Spain where they make Mexican timeshare sellers appear amateurs so not a problem for us. Keep walking and a firm no ( don't smile) usually does it for us.
We did have one meal at the resort which was a seafood pasta dish at the seafood restaurant near the front which wasn't good. I don't think they really knew what we wanted, however we had a takeaway pizza from the same place which was really good.
If you like the Internet it is $11 USD for 24 hours available in the reception area however the room we had was picking it up but we didn't bother. Starbucks at the Marina was free so all we needed. The supermarket on site was $40 pesos for half an hour or $70 for an hour.

The resort is in a good location with plenty of cheap taxis available and if you want the bus it's 6.5 pesos for downtown. I would recommend the resort to a friend but probably wouldn't go again due to location 3 flights is a bit long to lie on a beach.
One thing to mention is the airport timeshare sell.. When you comm from baggage claim and immigration ignore the men in white shirts who are behind desks prior to entering the main front area of the airport. THEY ARE TIMESHARE no matter what they tell you.
There are 3 booths at the exit where you get a taxi NOT THE WHITE SHIRT MEN THEY ARE TIMESHARE..........

Room Tip: Building 2 floor 4 was good for us overlooking the pool and bar which closed when we were still out...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Mosgirlno2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2012

we went for a destination wedding for my daughter-in-laws sister. it was fantastic. super clean pool and amenities. reasonable prices for food and great service. this is second time at this place and i would definately go back again

Room Tip: not on ground floor as it leads right out to everyone
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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Thank minniev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2012

we stayed 3 nites in this hotel. The room was nice. We loved it. Got the room facing the busy street outside, It was kind of noisy, Thanks to the double door to the bedroom, but in the bathroom, you can hear the bus driver pressing the break on his bus and the traffic so loud and clear.

We bought the room from pricetravel.com, so it was prepaid. When we checked out, the front desk asked me husband if he wanted to give some tips to those employee who didn't get in contact with us ( like laundry, maintenance employee and so on) and my husband said no, and the front desk asked him why and keep pushing him until he answered why he didn't want to give them some money. I think in any language in the world....tips is not necessary, it's more like voluntarily, anyway we left tips in the room everyday.

oya..almost forgot, they put 1 package of coffee with cream ans stuff on the day we arrived, the next day, my husband asked for another package...and the housekeeper asked for US$10.00....Are you kidding me!!!!! I just go across the street and there is Soriana......

Overall, the room was ok..just try to avoid the hotel staff, they're not that friendly....you know..these timeshare people......they just nice when you buy something from them....

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank julindo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jose Miguel D, Gerente at Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded December 30, 2012

Dear Guest.-
Thank you for your time invested on share your comments about your experience.
I can assure you that notes has been taken and well make the changes in order to improve the service and the facilities.
Hoping to see you again, when your travels brings you back to Pto Vallarta.

The Management

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa

Address: Blvd. Francisco Medina Asencio Km 2.5, Puerto Vallarta 48335, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#16 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#18 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#29 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: $90 - $751 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 562
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on the soft sands of Banderas Bay is Villa del Palmar Puerto Vallarta, an enchanting family resort that combines charming Mexican tradition with upscale sophistication and modernity. The magical resort, situated close to the center of downtown Puerto Vallarta, offers a unique vacation experience that will have you falling in love with the stunning beachfront destination. Boasting two freeform pools, three delicious culinary options and a state-of-the-art spa, Villa del Palmar is everything you need for a fun-filled vacation and more! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa Del Palmar Beach Resort And Spa
Villa Del Palmar Beach Hotel Puerto Vallarta
Hotel Del Palmar Beach
Villa Del Palmar Puerto Vallarta
Resort Del Palmar Beach
Puerto Vallarta Villa Del Palmar

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