Let me start by saying I am not a newcomer to the area, and have been at about 8 or 9 different all-inclusives in Mexico, including the two other Velas properties in Puerto Vallarta.
This hotel has some rooms that are renovated, and some that are not. They seemed to be doing us a favor to give us one that has a mini-pool hot tub outside, and a small spa inside. This was one of the older rooms, and the shower that makes you stand in the spa just doesn't cut it. We asked for a swap, and got one of the newer rooms without either, and neither was missed. It took 30 minutes for the spa to be filled up when i
I did try it, and you have to empty it to take a shower...no thanks!
The staff is very accomodating, and even if sometimes the English is not the most fluent, you will be understood, and they aim to please.This seems to be the case every place we have been in Mexico.
The hotel's 80 rooms were no way near filled and the sparse crowd around the pool during my seven days was proof. At best there were 20-25 people max on any given day, and when we went to the beach club down the road for two days, the group was smaller. This was the nicest part..pure peace and quiet.
The food...all served at one restaurant, but a pretty extensive menu, and not too shabby in quality. They will tell you reservations are required, and sometime slots are filled, but it seemed to be a very slow week and we showed up anytime and there was ample seating. The breakfast is a buffet, and not as extensive as many other hotels.
We tried the breakfast at the sister hotel down the road, and it was as I remembered it from two years ago, excellent, but the dinners at Casa Velas were far superior. Now here's the thing..at Velas Vallarta, even though we had an exchange dining program as everyone else, the bill presented at the end of the meal was clearly stamped TIP NOT INCLUDED. I personally did not find it as offensive as I am sure others did, because i always leave a little something extra for the staff at every meal, and it is appreciated, and at a small hotel, you are remembered..When I mentioned this at the front desk back at Casa Velas, they seemed surprised, like they never heard about it before..a little hard to believe.
OK, more on this tipping thing...even here we received a check at the end of the meal that had an itemization of very high food prices, and a total of zero owed, as we were on the all inclusive program...BUT..there was a space for a tip to be filled in, although not required. This is the first all -inclusive that ever presented a bill at every meal to me,.. usually I have been asked for a room number only.
While I did leave a few dollars every meal, I think that they should charge less than the $320 a day per couple for the meal plan,(room not included here), if they want us to help pay for the staff. From the small crowd, others do, also....the food is very good, but not that ($320) good, and the drinks are a bit lacking.
If you dring scotch or vodka, or some other spirits, they have mid-premium brands, but in a mixed drink, you had better ask for what you want, or you will get the lowest. The drinks are totally inconsistent...three bartenders making a Mai-tai, or even a pina colada will make them differently..they use pretty much the same ingredients, but in different proportions..they seem to feel that as long as they are in the glass..it is made correctly. When I asked for a mai-tai at the pool, the bartender, even though it was on their drink list, looked confused...another bartender told him in Spanish that I understood , to make me a seabreeze because it was almost the same...nice! Considering how cheap Kahlua is in Mexico, it was nowhere to be found..very strange! The wines are pretty low end, with Yellow Tail being one of the best, if you see what I mean. But the Negra Modelo beer was always good, and cold!
Sushi lovers should stop at the beach club for lunch, and there were a few strange combintations at dinner, but anything with duck and shrimp were excellent. (never tried the stuffed turkey roll or the chicken osso buco) The only real disappointment was the fatty rib-eye steak, but that serves me right for ordering it, what with all the fresh fish. Mexico is not known for pastry and desserts, but the ice cream and the creme brulee are the best.
Overall, we had a great relaxing time,, but I think the cost was a bit high, and other hotels can give you the same for less.........
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Escape to a beautiful beach resort in Puerto Vallarta for an indulgent vacation refuge with sublime dining, a pristine beach, ocean club, golf courses, pools and a spa. Our spectacular resort is within walking distance of Puerto Vallarta's sophisticated 500-slip marina and 15 minutes from the city center. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Casa Velas Boutique Resort
- Hotel Casa Velas Boutique