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“Not well executed on any level...”

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Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #25 of 126 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
33 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Not well executed on any level...”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2007

My wife and I visited PV for the first time and stayed at the Villa del Plamar. Upon check in we were handed off to our concierge...really a time share salesman pushing the savings that can be realized by having a "gold card." Yours for only giving up 90 minutes of your time to tour...

I thought timeshre pushers were bad in Cancun, but Puerto Vallarta (and this timeshare group specifically) has them beat hands down!

However, all their promises fell short...
The bottle of champagne they promise is really a bottle of Andre ($5-$6) or the tequila is a crappy "no name" that not even the locals drink.
The "top tours" that you get to book at a discount are either very remote (and they'll automatically book you into the twice as expensive closer tour) or limited. If there are specific things you are looking for ask those specific prices. We went for the Outdoor adventure tour and had been quoted $90 for the 2 of us...after the presentation it was actually $75, each.
Lastly, we were supposed to receive an additional 5% off everthing we charged to the room...we were told at the end of the stay that we didn't qualify for this as we needed to hit a certain threshhold (none had been communicated).

Despite the great location (centrally located, close but not in downtown) and the fact that the room and pool were clean and well maintained--we won't be staying here again.

Beyond the timeshare stuff, inconsistencies abound. Services are offered until 8pm, though the door states 9pm and a sign inside states 10pm...the pool closes at 11:00pm (but really 10:00pm).

The final straw here was during currency exchange. I exchanged a few hundred dollars and wanted 200peso bills--the clerk said she had none. The exchange was completed and she handed me my bills (in mexico the don't count it out in front of you). I counted the money...and double counted...the clerk had skimmed 200 pesos ($20)off the top! When I called her on it, she produced a 200 peso bill and didn't seem to surprised or sorry!

Overall:
Location, room, pool = rating 3.5
Service and general feeling of not being ripped off every moment = rating 0.5
Averages to a rating of 2.0

  • Liked — Room and location
  • Disliked — general feeling of being ripped off at every turn
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Philip0706
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,283 reviews from our community

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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
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English first
detroit, michigan
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 5, 2007

Ok...here is my review on PV and Villa del Palmar. Read about 200 reviews before we got there so I knew kinda what to expect. We were there from Aug 25th thru Sept 1st. Weather ..about half and half...some sunny days..some cloudy days..humid all the days. Would usually rain after dark which to us was no big problem. Arrival at PV airport..quickly got thru customs and came out to all the timeshare pushers....just kept walking...no problem at all. 8 dollar cab ride to the Villa (across the street--yellow cabs). Check in (about noon) a breeze...room was ready, front desk was courteous....no handoff to timeshare people...grabbed our bags and went to the room. Room was clean, big, everything worked...pool view. Did get a couple of phone calls wanting us to join them at the front desk for some free drinks...politely declined...no further calls. The Villa is nice except for rather pricey drinks and food (to be expected at a resort). Staff ..all very nice...not pushy. Excellant maid service..so she got tipped well. Bus to downtown ...the stop is about a block down from the entrance....5 pesos..then hold on. It was fun and alot cheaper than cabs. Two resturants I can recommend are PIPI's (fun time..big drinks...reasonable prices...good food) and THE RIVER CAFE ( very nice atmosphere...kinda pricey...very good food and service) Some of the vendors both downtown and at the villa's beach were kinda pushy but a firm no usually handled it. Pirate cruise was fun (80 bucks a head) and we took the snorkle/beach cruise...staff was great but the snorkling was terrible...not even worth getting in the water (40 bucks a head). Gigante down the street was our supermarket..good prices...and what I consider the best food deal of all ...a cooked chicken at Walmart for about 5 bucks ...very tasty..gave us 3 meals. All in all ...PV and the Villa del Palmar...very nice city and resort. I will leave you with this warning though....DO NOT BUY ANYTHING AT THE RESORT CONVIENCE STORE.....BIGGGGG RIPOFF!!!

  • Liked — NICE ROOM
  • Disliked — high prices for drinks and food
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
18 Thank RANDKTRAVELER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
moraga, ca
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2007

My girlfriend and I stayed at the hotel for 4 nights and we had a great time. We were short on money so we glad to have a fully loaded kitchen with pots and pans and everything else needed to make food. We were kind of skeptical when we were checking in because we read all the reviews, good and bad, but we had a great time. Things to know that we learned on our first time travel to P.V.:

don't pay for a taxi right in the airport area. it was 17 dollars which was a rip off. go outside and look for one on the main street. it should only be 600 pesos so 6 bucks. dont get scammed into the ones at the airport

don't do the currency exchange in the hotel because the rates are cheaper.

the taxi from the hotel into downtown/ the boardwalk is only 4 bucks, 400 peso.

we paid a 3.80 day charge for tipping the people who work at the hotel. so know that they will automatically charge you for that unless you say not to.

wait for happy hour because drinks are 2 for 1.

there are tons of kids in the pool ALL THE TIME, but other than that it is nice and warm.

don't pay for the activities they have in the hotel. go out to the boardwalk and talk to the agencies down there because they are a lot cheaper! the hotel is a rip off and all the ones on the streets are legit. so go out and bargin with people. the people want to make money so they will sell it for the best price. they all compete for business!

there is a store called gigantes that is only a 5 minute walk from the hotel. go there to buy all ur needs. its like a big big walmart.

there is also a chicken place next to gigantes which has excellent food for only 2.50 a person and you get potatoes, quarter of a chicken, and tortillas. do it! its amazzing!!!

enjoy your stay at the hotel. i would recommend it for ppl who are going on vacation. but i would not recommend it for honeymooners. its very family oriented. my room was excellend and i couldnt ask for anything more. it was great!!!

Stayed July 2007
Helpful?
21 Thank sarredon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oak Brook,Il
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2007

Having been to Puerto Vallarta six times,we are used to the timeshare hawkers at the airport. You have to just briskly walk by them to get to the taxi stand.
Our stay at Villa del Palmar started on a sour note. We had reserved a one bedroom unit and were told we were getting a "very nice unit", quite the contrary! The unit looked like a studio to us and certainly didn't resemble what was on the web site. The drapes had huge holes in them and the sofa was very dirty. I went to the lobby and complained, without an argument thay changed our room to a real one bedroom with a good view. The Gold card is worth it and you do get the $20.00 back that you have to put up for it. The presentation at Flamingos seems to vary from salesperson to salesperson, we didn't feel very pressured to buy and we didn't but the place is beautiful.
We went on the all inclusive and feel it was worth the money. The resort is not really a luxury resort but the grounds are lovely and well cared for , the staff is most friendly and helpful. it is a great family vacation spot and we would return.

  • Liked — friendly surroundings
  • Disliked — the first room assigned to us
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank denouncer5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 17, 2007

This was our first trip to Puerto Vallarta, but I am not new to travelling. My family and I are avid travellers and we know what to expect in a Hotel/Resort.

I do own a timeshare and we decided to exchange it and go to the Villa del Palmar July 7, 2007. The flight was great and on time. We thought this would set our vacation to a good start, wrong. Once you land in the airport you get attacked by timeshare agents who are willing to give you whatever you want if you just go to a 90 minute presentation. I personally have no problems with these presentations, becuase you usually gain something good from it.

Once we arrived at the hotel it took us one hour to just get to the front desk. Saturday is when everybody checks in and out. Once we got to the desk we were rudely ignored by the front desk agent, for about another ten minutes. These people are just rude and if you don't know spanish they will take advantage of that! Luckily my son had taken 6 years of spanish and he could tell my wife and I that they were talking behind out backs, calling us dumb foreigners and useless donkeys. We didn't even say anything to them, all we did is wait for them to assist us. Once they finally got in the working spirit they checked for our reservations. They could not find out reservations, even though we had our confirmation papers and everything!

After they conversed between themselves for another 15 minutes she just told me to sign this paper. I had no idea what I was signing, but I did anyway. After that they ring a bell which signals the timeshare agent to come over. He sat us down and told us if we went to the timeshare presentation at the Villa del Palmar Flamingos we would get the "Gold Card" which would saves us on purchases around the hotel, like the restaurants and stores. We agreed. When we got the keys, we went up to the room and to our luck none of the keys worked. So we went back downstairs and ask what the problem is. They tell us that they changed the key system two months ago and that the front desk lady didn't know. How do you not know after two months?!

When we get to the room we find out that it is only a one bedroom we we reserved and paid for a two bedroom. Once again we go downstairs and ask what is going on. They try to say that the room we got was a two bedroom. But it only had one bedroom! After some arguing they change our room to a real two bedroom.

On Sunday we went to the timeshare presentation at the Villa del Palmar Flamingos. Seeing this hotel made me jealous. It is only four years old and gorgeous! The agent was very nice and told us simply that the Villa del Palmar (where we are staying) is about 25 some years old and is a big mistake,because most of the rooms dont even have views. We did not buy the timeshare then, but we did buy on Thursday where they switched us over to the Flamingos for the rest of the stay.

The rest of Sunday we enjoyed the nice pool at the Villa del Palmar.

On Monday, late evening, my wife and I decide to go on a stroll of the beach. Meanwhile at the hotel my son goes and takes a shower in the bathroom. Unknowning that the doors are ancient and that it locked permanently when he closed it.
Until we arrived back to our room my son was locked in the bathroom! We immediatly rushed to the front desk and told them we need help. It took 1hr and 15min for them to arrive! Then they couldn't get the door unlocked. It took 3 maintenance people and 1 hour to get the door unlocked. My son was locked in there for more than 2hrs and 30 mins. We go back and complain, it being around 11pm they mangaer was gone and they said no one could help us. That morning all they would offer us was a free dinner at one of their restaurants. Thats it!

The hotel is a mistake, a terrible mistake.
Puerto Vallarta is very nice.
On Thursday they transferred us to Villa del Palmar Flamingos, Flamingos is awesome!

Do not go to Villa del Palmar, they are going to either tear it down or remodel it in a couple of years anyway.

  • Liked — The miad service was very good. As long as you leave a tip.
  • Disliked — Mostly everything else.
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
11 Thank lithuanian06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calif
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2007

We own a time share here at Villa Del Mar They lied to us fromt he begining Run Run as fast as you can They told us there would be a casino They said there would be a in pool bar Since we paid off our club membership They have been rasing our maintenance and adding all kinds of fees to bank exchange dont use it or if you dont cancel and on and on This place along with Universal Vacation Club has been screwing us for years now. They throw on a little paint and then are lining their pockets with our money If you dont like it They reaise your fees and costs so much so you will quit and they can resell your time slot to some other sucker. Run Run fast This place is a money pit.
There were bed bugs biting the hell out of us Every day we woke up with huge red bites They continually pestered us about buying time shares and upgrading We cant get rid of the one we have now Run Run fast If you see people writing good things on here its probably the Villa Del Mar or Universal trying to sucker you and make believe its a good thing. Run If you have to forget your luggage

  • Stayed August 2004, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank Bobbybadbear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 22, 2007

We stayed at VDP on June 1, 9 and 10. Stayed in a studio all three nights. Not too much to add to other reviews, but I'll post a couple pics.

After driving all night to Oklahoma City to catch a flight, we arrived in Puerto Vallarta to discover that [Mexican] President Calderon was in town. So we cruised to the marina to see him.

Rooms were nice and clean. I think we lucked out and got to check in a little early. We were on 6th floor on the 1st and 3rd floor on 9th and 10th.

We ate at a couple restaurants in town...Pipi's (for the homemade guacamole) and Mi Querencia, across from the Neptune and Mermaid statue on the Malecon, next to 31 flavors. They had an all you can eat taco bar from noon til 6. we arrived at 5:30, but I was stuffed by 6. great deal. Oh, wait, we also ate at a buffet right on the main street. It was called Josephinos. Again I got stuffed. Maybe there is a reason I'm over the weight limit for the canopy tour??

Only went on one excursion, Panthers of the Jungle dune buggy tour. Ok, but not tremendous. Although the ladies on the tour with us enjoyed tremendously the tequila tour and the two other drink breaks [as a side note we are not drinkers, so the unscheduled tequila tour was only informative.] Our tour guides were great.

We visited the Gigante just down the street and also WalMart, Sams and Comercial Mexicana. We somehow managed to miss out on visiting Soriana. Bummer.

Be sure you check out the malecon on Sunday night. It is the place to be for sure. All kinds of people out and about.

Check out was painless. Then caught a taxi to the airport for the ride home.

Oh, as a sidenote, we missed out on the timeshare presentation. I guess since we were only there for one or two nights they figured we were bad prospects. We did get asked by the concierge desk, but not by the main tour inviter person.
Oh well.

  • Liked — Good central location; clean room; great pools
  • Disliked — we were only in a studio; only there three days; beach not superior
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
5 Thank supersager
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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