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“Beautiful location but rough if you are on foot”
Review of Ocho Cascadas

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Ocho Cascadas
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 9, 2009

We got this place as a timeshare trade and felt super lucky as this lodging is constantly praised for its unique architecture and amazing pools. Unfortunately, we learned AFTER the booking that we were in Villa 1, the only unit WITHOUT a famous cascading pool. My husband and I were both really disappointed but decided to still go.
First of all, be prepared. There are NO walls in these units except a wooden door that separates you from the bathroom. If privacy is big on your list, do not stay here. Also, be warned that during rainy season, air conditioning is important and you don't have that here...only whirling fans that keep you from completely melting into a sweaty mess. It can be challenging to sleep.
Positives: STUNNING views, even from Villa 1, which has a partially obstructed view because of the Villa built right across the street. Villa 2 has a worse view than Villa 1 (because they are at the same level) but does have the cascading pool.
Villa 1 has a hot tub...which they didn't heat which came in handy after walking up the killer hill from the bus stop.
Great Area....Conchas Chinas neighborhood is considered the Beverly Hills of Puerto Vallarta and it's lined with gorgeous home after gorgeous home. The Villa is also a 10 minute walk to the best beaches in the area...just under the Lindo Mar, where you can sit and have a lovely drink and watch the sunset in their little palapa restaurant.

Negatives: NOISY!!!! And you can't get relief. Between the passing thunderstorms, squealing geckos that wake you up in the middle of the night, cascading pools from above, trucks and buses barreling down the road just below the unit, people screaming out their windows from all night parties, jungle noises....this is not the place to stay for a quiet time. I highly suggest earplugs if you stay here or you will not get a good night's rest.

Bugs...yes folks, it's like camping out. We were constantly dealing with giant black ants crawling all over our stuff (not a big problem..we got used to it), teeny tiny ants that got into my advil and ate all the coating off the tablets, geckos ( we liked them), spiders, and last but not least, the mosquitos...most troublesome. You sleep under a mosquito net, but when you are having a fitful night's rest, you can kick the mosquito net open and they get in and bite the heck out of you. My husband and I both had nights where we became a mosquito buffet. Not pleasant...especially as Mexico is currently having a Dengue Fever outbreak...

The place is nice but it is showing signs of age....our fridge didn't work for 2 days, which we coped with. They had to prop it up with a piece of wood to get it to stay on. Some things were cracked and chipped but that was no big deal.

Oh, there is no hammock...which we were really looking forward to. For some reason, they removed the hammock from Villa 1. If you get Villa 1, you are definitely in the cheap seats. Sorry to say.

Also...on our first day, we checked in, showered and passed out for an afternoon nap. Before we knew what was going on, the staff walked right into our unit with a giant fumigation machine to spray our bed! They couldn't speak English and started spraying some mist all over our bed and netting. That totally freaked us out, especially since I was wrapped in a towel and my husband was in his undies. To say the least, we were embarrassed and felt incredibly invaded!

The maid staff was very spotty. Some days, the place looked nice and picked up (and we kept the place tidy so as not to make more work for them) but, on other days, they forgot to give us towels and did a poor job. We still left a very good tip at the end of our stay.

Transportation. BEWARE. This property is isolated from the nightlife. You are not in the center of town which means you need to find a way to get to town. For us, this meant the .50 cent bus trip into town daily. Most people at the Villas rented cars. We were more economically minded so we chose the bus. It's quite an experience to be on the buses but you will be soaking wet by the time you take the 5 minute walk to the bus stop and the 5 minute bus to town due to the humidity. I would almost recommend renting a car during rainy season as it is just so miserable to get around. The buses worked incredibly well but we were just so exhausted from navigating everything through all the humidity and crowds. Driving in Mexico is challenging....so be aware of that if you do rent a car. Very hazardous if you are not used to driving like Mexicans. Definitely get insurance. No question about it.
Oh, by the way, the walk up to the property is a KILLER. I gave up near the end of our stay and opted for the $3.00 taxi ride from the Zona Romantica. After a full day of walking through town, bus rides and activities, I just couldn't take that walk up from the bus stop.
$3.00 was well worth the ride to the front of Ocho.

I don't want to sound so negative, it was just our experience. I think this place could be a lot better if you were in a different Villa and came during high season. The office staff was very kind and helpful whenever we asked questions. Victor, the manager, gave us some really good suggestions, like taking the water taxi from Boca to Yelapa. It saved us money and we had a great time cruising down the cost on the boat.

Hope this review helped. Still glad we stayed...would stay again but only under very different conditions and we would definitely pack ear plugs next time!

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank Kristinche
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 7, 2009

I own Marriott timeshare & was on a 2 year waiting list thru Interval International. But it was Worth the wait! we stayed in Villa 4, it was a gorgeous view. we had the private chef(can't remember her name) 3 nights!!! for a 3 course meal, it was delicious!
the staff if quite nice & helpful, poor Eddie carried all of our luggage up 4 flights of stairs.
do not forget to bring a lock if you stay here(like a lockerroom lock) the safety deposit box is in your bedroom, but you need to bring your own lock. no worries-quite safe!
maid service was daily with new towels, & cleaning off the deck!
they provide bottled water!
I highly recommend staying here! there were fans in the bedrooms.
also to venture out the river cafe had great food! & LindoMar, at the bottom of the hill is right on the ocean.
we went to Rythm of the Night ( a dance show w/ buffet dinner) excellent!!!!!
swam with dolphins - horseback rode thru the river- to a waterfall!!
we went to a timeshare spiel & received discounts on everything! all of the events cost us $25 per person, including swimming w/ dolphins!!!

Best memorable trip!!!!!!

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ChicagoFl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2008

This was absolutely the most beautiful place I have ever been!

We booked this via Interval International (II). Ocho Cascadas (OC) is a destination in itself and I have been dying to stay there for years. So when it popped up on II's availability - I grabbed it - without even caring what airfare may cost.

Turns out the cheapest flight was through American for $524 per person from Miami. We didn't care that MIA is 3hr 20min from our house in Key West – we knew this vacation would be special.

I booked only nine days in advance so all my plans were very rushed. I called OC about three days ahead to let them know our approximate arrival time - they said no problem - the night guard will have your key.

We arrived at OC around 10pm PV time and the security guard had our key to Villa # 9 - just as promised.

Stepping through the door for the first time (at night none the less) was unbelievable. The view of the bay and the city skyline was incredible.

We quickly walked through our Villa and even went back to the guard to make sure that we were in the right place.

The next morning we spoke with the Assistant Manager, Antonio, who was extremely professional and courteous. He made everything run so perfect I was almost tempted to tell him that we were not celebrities.

Our two maids Lydia and Eva (yes, two! - one day and one night) were very friendly and meticulous cleaners. I don't know how they carry all their cleaning equipment up and down those stairs like they do - they must have leg muscles galore! Throughout our stay, these two angels kept our Villa clean and stocked with fresh towels. We tipped them on our last night.

The views, ahhh the views! They were spectacular and I never tired of just standing and looking out over Banderas Bay.

We met a couple from Seattle who stayed in Villa #6 (I won't give names) and shared a Filet Mignon dinner prepared by OC's Floating Chef. My favorite was the desert - pie and coffee with brandy and ice cream. This was a perfect way to meet lifelong friends.

The time we spent lounging in the pool or relaxing in the hammock will not be forgotten - ever.

I have not a single complaint; not even a recommendation on what to improve on as OC is perfect just the way it is.

My only regret is that I know my next vacation will be a “settle” no matter how much we spend, because I will be comparing it to OC.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank kwbts124
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2008

My husband and I had the fabulous opportunity to stay at Ocho Cascadas with three friends, April 10-17, 2008. The best word to sum up our week is “WOW”! It was probably one of the most relaxing vacations we’ve ever taken in paradise.

Ocho Cascadas is located in the Conchas Chinas neighborhood of Puerto Vallarta, which is an exclusive area built into the hillside overlooking the Banderas Bay. What a spectacular view we had! All villas are open-air with no windows and very few full walls. Our visit was in April, and while there were very few bugs, each sleeping area was complete with mosquito netting to ward off any bugs while sleeping at night. There was very little humidity during the day, but it did get humid at night. There were very few bugs during the day or at night, although we did see a few bats fly in and out of our living room each night as we played games at the dining table.

We rented Villa #3 directly from the owner. Villa #3 is the only villa with a sundeck, except the Penthouse, and some call it the “Lower Penthouse”. Other villas do have a nice area to relax and get the sun, but the sundeck of Villa #3 is HUGE! Villa #3 has two bedrooms, sleeping two people each, plus two sleepers out in the living area. Our single friend slept in one of those sleepers and while it was very comfy, the sound of the outdoors (the street noise from the house below our hill could be loud at night) was sometimes too loud for him to sleep through the night. In fact, anyone who is a light sleeper may have some challenges sleeping through the night here. The villa itself was huge – over 2800 square feet including the sundeck.

We spent every day enjoying our own plunge pool, then laying on the sundeck or relaxing on the hammock while sipping a mixed drink. The kitchen came stocked with all of the appliances we needed (especially a blender ). Ocho Cascadas offered a grocery shopping service where they delivered our requested groceries in advance of our arrival, based on a grocery list we had sent in advance. We ordered enough groceries to last us 3-4 days, then made another grocery store (and liquor store – La Playa) run midway through our stay to last us the rest of the week. This proved to be a very economical and convenient way to ensure we always had ample food and beverage on hand. Additionally, Ocho Cascadas offers twice-daily maid service. Josephina came in each morning and efficiently swept, mopped, washed dishes, and took out the garbage. She did an outstanding job; it almost felt like she was part of the family!

Though we spent most of our time relaxing in the luxury of our villa, we did venture out several times to visit the city and experience some great tastes! Pipi’s is a favorite of ours for inexpensive and fun Mexican fare, so we ate there again on this trip. Boca Bento was recommended to us by some friends as a really good Pan Asian eatery, and boy were they right! The owners are very friendly and the food is very, very good as is the ambience of the space itself. Barcelona’s provided great tapas (even the potato salad appetizer was incredible!) and EXCELLENT views of the city! We spent three meals at Mama Dolores’ Diner on Olas Atlas – one dinner and two breakfasts. We HIGHLY recommend it for breakfast as the menu is huge and they offer everything from a variety of crepes to variations of eggs benedict, omelets, and the biggest fruit smoothies in town! Mama Dolores’ is a must for breakfast, but note that they are closed on Mondays.

On our third night we hired a floating chef. We placed our orders from a menu provided by the front desk, and though it is a really good deal ($25 total for five of us + the cost of groceries) the downside is that the floating chef doesn’t really know how to cook for vegetarians. Two out of five people in our group are vegetarians. Instead of cooking a real meal for the non-meat eaters, the floating chef simply removed the shrimp from their plates so their meals consisted of two side dishes – rice and vegetables – in addition to the appetizers (soup and salad). So, for anyone contemplating the floating chef – go for it only if all of your group will eat the same thing, and it involves meat or seafood. If so, it’s a screamin’ deal!

Head over to Los Muertos Beach for some good people-watching, sunning and sand. We cabbed it over there for $6, and staked out our spot next to Blue Chairs Resort under a palapa with four of us in the shade and one in the sun (me!) for a day of blue skies, sunshine, dipping in the water, eating, and drinking. As long as you order food and beverages from the beach menu, you won’t be charged for rental of the palapa and chairs. Carlos took great care of us, and helped to provide another relaxing day in paradise! We also got lucky and saw a sting ray jump out of the ocean twice!

Outside of Puerto Vallarta, we spent one day taking a bus to Mismaloya Beach. The bus stops at the bottom of the Conchas Chinas neighborhood and is an easy walk from the villa. The bus ride itself cost .60 each way per person, and took about 20 minutes to get to Mismaloya. The public beach area is located behind Hotel Barcelo and offers several options for outdoor lounging on chairs with food and beverage service. The beach wasn’t too busy, and we found out that there was a soccer game on television so many of the locals stayed home that day (on a Saturday). This meant we weren’t elbow to elbow like we’ve been on other Mexican beaches (Acapulco specifically comes to mind).

Another day we took the bus up to Sayulita for the day. We took a cab from Ocho Cascadas (cost was $10) to Wal-Mart, then caught a bus in front of Wal-Mart that took us to Sayulita (cost was $2/person). Busses to Sayulita run every 20 minutes. Once on the bus, it took about an hour or hour and a half to get to Sayulita, so be sure to leave Puerto Vallarta in the 10 o’clock hour so you can spend a full day in Sayulita. Plan on the bus ride as part of your overall experience, and a great way to see the Riviera Nayarit. Sayulita is a small fishing village with maybe 4-5 square blocks of shops and a small beach with very soft sand. The surf is perfect for boogie boarders and surfers, and we saw several people taking lessons there. This laid-back area was such a switch from the touristy areas of the Malecon and Olas Atlas areas of Puerto Vallarta. Not only did everyone seem slower paced in Sayulita, but time also seemed to pass by slower, offering another great relaxing day for us.

If I had to do it all over again I would only change two things – I would stay in the Penthouse next time (we got to tour it and it was amazing, with 3 pools and a bridge in the living room!) and I wouldn’t have more than four people in our villa. Even though the villas will sleep up to six people, the sounds from the lack of windows and doors can really be a detriment to anyone sleeping on a living room sleeper.

We loved Ocho Cascadas so much that we are already looking for a way to go back in 2010, hopefully in the Penthouse!

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with friends
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10  Thank TrvlGrl12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2008

This is quite possibly the most amazing resort I have EVER been to. The whole thing was amazing! The staff was accomodating, the suites are fantastic and the views were INCREDIBLE!

  • Stayed: November 2005, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank traveling_pm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2007

We LOVED this week at Ocho Cascades. The unit was beautiful! Loved the convience of the pool. All other guests were fun and friendly.
Great!

  • Stayed: September 2004, traveled with family
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Thank BLM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2007

Pictures cannot describe how beautifuI and romantic this place is. I exchanged my Las Vegas timeshare to stay here after so many people recommended it and I was not disappointed. I was alittle apprehensive as I have never stayed in an open-aired room. I was already aware of the steep steps from previous reviews.

Once we opened the door to unit #4 my mouth fell open in amazement from the private pool, panaoramic view of the ocean and expansive accomodations. The bedrooms were lovely. We were worried we would be very hot as it was May but the breeze from the ocean made it very comfortable. There is plenty of space to soak up the sun or relax in the shade right in the villa.

We did not get to use the "floating chef" as they have to be booked in advance but we did use to grill and eat out in town.

The first night we opted not to use the mosquito net but we did the following nights as we did get bit. That is to be expected in an open space. Once we used the net we were fine. We did see an occasional baby iquana and other insects from time to time but again, you are in an open space. The atmosphere of the place clearly makes up for those occasional sightings.

We were are about 30 minutes form the airport but only 5 minutes from town ($5 cab ride/50 cent bus ride).

The only drawback I could say was that beach on this side is very rocky and the water is not clear like other caribbean locations. The beaches are better on the other side of town. It also is about a 10-15 minute walk to get there. We are use to Cancun beaches and water so we were a little disappointed but the private pool made up for it.

There is cobblestone from the villa all the way down to the main road so good walking shoes are needed unless you have a cab pick you up at the front door. Have them pick you up at the bottom and rop you off at the top. It is easier to walk downhill than uphill.

If you can stay here it is well worth it. I would stay here again.

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank mshelluva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ocho Cascadas

Address: Paseo de las Conchas Chinas 125 | Romantic Zone, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Free Parking Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 94 Specialty Lodging in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: $175 - $600 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Family owned with resort property in Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. California based ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ocho Cascadas Hotel Puerto Vallarta

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