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“Seems like a nice property but you could be in for a bad experience and WestJet tells you nothing!”

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Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #25 of 126 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Nanaimo
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Seems like a nice property but you could be in for a bad experience and WestJet tells you nothing!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2014

The hotel itself is lovely. Very clean. Rooms are nice and food is...well average, but decent.
But here's the deal...we booked an "All Inclusive" vacation through Westjet. What we didn't know, was that the hotel is primarily "Timeshare" and they sell off some rooms "all inclusive".
Here is where the trouble begins. Do you remember "running the gauntlet" through the airport, with everyone trying to give you free tours and taxi's and you were "warned" on the flight that they were "time share operators"...well NOW they are in your hotel!
My husband and I are seasoned travellers and we like all inclusive. We have looked at time shares but they really don't fit our travel patterns and we don't want one. We expect the onslaught at the airport, but we also expect it to be over when we reach our hotel.
So I had to get a bit "firm" with the 3rd person (who we thought was hotel staff and so I asked her a simple question and she launched into a timeshare "lecture") and by day 2 they realized that we were not going to cave in.
Then we discovered that they were going to charge a sum of money "per night" as a tip for the maid. We have NO trouble tipping the maid and we always do...but I'm not having it automaticaly added to the bill. So we got that settled. Then we find out that every time you order food or beverages, they bring you a bill which you sign...but you are not charged for it. This is because a majority of the guests are time share and they DO pay for food and beverages. We were nervous at first because of our settlng in experience but we checked with another all inclusive guest and apparently it was "safe" to do so. Oh and yes...not every drink or premium food choices are included in your package...so beware.
Then came the evening I left my camera at the restaurant. It was a small camoflage coloured case and I hung it on the back of by chair where it was practically invisable set on a backdrop of some shrubs (this is an integral part of the story) When I discovered, the next morning, that I had left it, I wasn't too worried, after all I had left it in the restaurant of a 5 star hotel, in a place that could not be seen by other patrons and the wait staff would find it immediately once they tidied up the table. Now I take full responsability for leaving it there...but my inquiries the next day met with "instant" repies of "no it's not here" and "sorry but we'll tell you if it gets turned in". So I called the WestJet representative later that afternoon...and guess what? Our camera was found and returned in two hours after she called hotel security.
Also so be aware that this hotel is different in that once you check out (11 am) on the day you leave...you can keep your bracelet and use the beach, but you have to pay for everything else untill your bus leaves (ours left at 6pm) I called Kerry the day before and she said that Westjet has special privaliges and we could have all inclusive untill we left but apparently not....I did make my displleasure aparent and the hotel backed down and gave us all inclusive until we left, but it was just one more hassle we didn't need.
But the best is yet to come!

Since we have been home..the Time Share people from the hotel call us..pretty much every day! We have told them not to..but they still do it!
We have given WestJet Vacations this feedback.
So, your next question must be ...Surely WestJet is livid about this? Well no, apparently not. They are sorry we had a bad experience and they will review the hotel contract when it comes up for review...but what about all the other people who book an all inclusive vacation there? They should at least know what it was like.
Shame on you WestJet...
Ah well, there are a whole lot more tour comanies and many great "True" all inclusive packages...I love Mexico!

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
8 Thank Moira S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (660)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
27 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2014

This is the first time we had stayed at Villa del Palmar. We loved the size of the property, much more intimate than other resorts. If you are looking for upscale with alot of ammenities, this is not the place for you. The majority of the patrons have been coming to VPM for years and are just looking for a nice place to relax in the sun. The location is fantastic, close to everything. It is very easy to get to Centro PV by bus or by foot. Close proximity to both the Sobriana and Mega grocery stores. We loved that the room had kitchen facilities. Everyone that worked at the resort went out of their way to ensure we had a perfect vacation. I was also impressed by their charitable giving. While many resorts only think of ways they help you spend you money, VPM gives back to the community.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
2 Thank Linkster002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2014

The staff at VDP are terrific! Very friendly and helpful. They contribute so much to the enjoyment of staying at VDP, Vallarta. Kayla and Carlos are extremely talented making every event fun and educational ... especially the shows and kitchen tours. Claudia is a first class Guest Relation rep. She is very knowledgeable about all things re the resort and Vallarta. You can be sure of having a safe and comfortable stay at Villa del Palmar, Puerto Vallarta.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lynn G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodbury, Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 3, 2014

We have stayed at VDP in Cabo (2 week stay) and now in Puerto Vallarta (1 week stay).

Context - I have spent about 12 weeks of my life on vacation in various beach cities in Mexico, and always enjoy it. 70% fluent in Spanish, which helps get around the usual runaround that occurs in the first couple of days of the trip (timeshare offers, price swithcaroos, odd charges, ETC). No exception here - but that is part of the charm of the Mexico vacation. We are a 40 year old married couple. This was a family trip to PVR with my wife and 2 sons, ages 11 and 13.

Both venues have nice accomodations, but a little old. Our 1 BR condo in PVR had old furnishings and appliances, including a TV from the mid-80s. TV channels very limited. Beds were comfortable. AC worked well.

The service at both is superb - don't forget to tip even on all-inclusive, because everyone works hard day and night to make it a great trip. The all inclusive costs don't trickle down to the worker level here or anywhere else in Mexico.

There were 3 pools with chairs, and seating at the beach. The back pool is the adult pool - our condo had a patio feeding to this pool. Adult pool in this case means silence - this could have been such a great area - but instead it is reserved for dominoes and shuffle board. There is the usual run for chairs at 6AM, and competition is stiff becuase this resort is populated with long-term-stay retired folks, and they like to get the premium spots. If you're going out to the pool at 10:30am, you better be ready to sit in the shade next to the pool storage. We ended up on the beach every day, which was more lively and more fun - a good match for what we wanted.

We chose the all-inclusive option - great deal, great food, worth the price. The value of tipping = never waited for anything; each day the servers would bring me screwdrivers until 12noon, and then switch to Captain Diets at 12:01PM... I loved these guys and tipped accordingly.

One downside on service at the resort - all food and drink service ends at 10:30pm, and quiet time is strictly enforced. No night swimming in the pool or hot tubs either... everything basically shuts down at 10:30pm. What a shame - the pools were better and prettier at night than during the day. Good for young families, not so good if you want to grab a drink and sit by the water at midnight. My sons even commented on the resort - too strict and too quiet - are we in Mexico or Russia ?

Comment on the hot tubs - more than a downside - this is one negative for this resort. There are 3 tubs. 2 of them are luke warm tubs set at approx 85-90F. These were disgusting with sunblock oil slicks and straws floating in them midday each day. The 3rd hot tub was by the quiet zone adult pool area. This tub was set at 100F, but was not treated properly - resulting in a bad rash on both of my legs - that required a week of steroid treatment for me to recover. The tubs also do not have the typical vacuum block that is standard in the USA. My wife had a toe sucked into a jet and cut her badly. Also a week to recover. Take home messgae = STAY AWAY FROM THE TUBS !

Summary - The people running the resort and serving day to day are awesome. The grounds need upgrading, and this is in process now. The beach is really nice, the pools were OK, the hot tubs were a disaster. Puerto Vallarta and surrounding cities are really nice / safe / authentic - we love it here and we will certainly be back. We will probably go to a different resort in the future (family or couples trip), because this resort is too quiet and too strict on quiet times.

Hope this helps.... safe and happy travelling !

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
5 Thank Jerry H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Howell
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 2, 2014

We stayed here in 2013 and had a marvelous time with friends. This year it was just my husband and myself and it was not as marvelous as we had anticipated. Between Interval World and Villa Del Palmar front desk/reservations they ruined our hopes of getting rid of stress. There was no communication what-so-ever. I had an argument with Roberto right off, as there were no rooms reserved (we have a timeshare and used an exchange and a get-a-way!). I was told before arriving that Villa del Palmar does not partake in the Interval World get a way program and that had been blacked out over a year. We had already paid for the get-a-way. This was two days before leaving. My husband then used our exchange also to make sure we would have a room available, and to our dismay there was no room waiting upon our arrival.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank osculates
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lacombe, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2014

Our family just spent 1 week at Villa Del Palmar and overall it was a good week. Our room was ready when we arrived and it was just what we requested. We have a 6yr and a 3yr old so we wanted a ground level/pool side room with a large balcony and Claudia Gonzalez made sure we got that, which we were very happy about - made the kids going to bed much easier. The pools were all great, disappointed that kids under 16 are not allowed in the hot tub (even with adult supervision) and discovered on our second last day that the "hidden pool" on the way to the Market is the warmest and quietest pool and also protected by the buildings so it wasn't nearly as windy at the main pools. The food was all really good - make sure you ask to see the pool/beach menu - lots of good options for the kids...hot dogs, pizza, burgers, chicken fingers...all the good stuff!! The breakfast buffet is pretty much the same every day, which was good but nothing exciting. We found out by accident that they have a menu to order from as well, which was way better. I ordered the french toast off the menu and it was 100 times better than what was on the buffet, my son had chocolate chip pancakes and even bacon....which was never on the buffet! We only attended one theme night (beach party night) and the food and drinks were even better than the restraunt meals. The beach was great for the kids to play at. Our only complaint was the unauthorized tips that we discovered upon checkout. We did not keep every receipt that we signed so we could not dispute anything (lesson learned!) Each waiter was different - one would give you a couple bottles of water (which they are very stingy about handing out) and send you on your way, the next guy would make you "sign" for it, which means they expect a tip. Also we noticed how nice the staff was when we arrived, but attitudes quickly changed when they knew we were leaving that day - once they had our money, that was all they needed. We had a good vacation, but unfortunately we don't plan on returning to this resort.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank byTanya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Level Contributor
21 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2014

This was our 10th year at the Villa del Palmar. It's the perfect location to downtown. Just a quick,and inexpensive bus ride and you are downtown or Old Town within about 10 minutes.The staff at the hotel could not be any more helpful! The daytime staff in the restaurant go out of their way to make you feel welcome. When we arrive and head to the restaurant for our first beer, seeing Ebierto and the rest of the wait staff feels like coming home. Daniel, Joaquin and Alex are the best beach waiters around!
The hotels grounds are beautiful and so well maintained. The housekeepers also do a great job on gettting the rooms done.
The hotel deli, next door, has most everything you might need and if you need more, Sorriono is a two block walk from the hotel. We can't wait to return again next year.
Many thanks to the entire staff at the Villa del Palmar!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank destinationdiner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa

Property: Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa
Address: Blvd. Francisco Medina Asencio Km 2.5 | Zona Hotelera Norte, Puerto Vallarta 48335, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
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:
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#17 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#18 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#23 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#29 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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