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!
- 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