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!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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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