SUMMARY: If you're looking for an oceanfront bargain & the idea of a modest, charming-but-aging, no-frills-but-lovely little place appeals to you, this may be the right place for you. If you're in reasonably good shape & can handle some hills & daily stair climbing--and you don't need to be coddled or pampered by the staff because all you really want is a clean, good size room with a fantastic view at a budget price--this is for you.
The benefits of this hotel outweigh the drawbacks. I had booked the smallest room and was upgraded at no charge upon arrival. My room, #401, was large, clean, attractive and had a sensational view. I stayed in early October & basically had the place to myself most days. The television in the room even had a few English stations & the AC worked perfectly. The mini-frig never seemed to get quite cold enough, but it served its purpose. The bathroom area was lovely, especially the very large tiled bathtub/shower. I had no complaints about the room at all. There's a little coffee maker, as well (but no hairdryer).
The pool area is small, but very lovely. Only 3 lounge chairs, so get there early if you want to ensure you get one!
The restaurant beneath the hotel, La Playita, served mostly good/very good food (stick with egg-based dishes & you can't go wrong). Breakfast dishes in particular were very good (dinner dishes less so). Prices are a bit higher than you might expect, so be prepared for sticker shock.
The beach area in front of the hotel is indeed a bit small, but I never had a problem staking out a spot. I took a tip from someone who wrote an earlier review of this hotel & took the cobblestone service road 100 yards north of the hotel (the street is actually called Easy Street) down to a huge, gorgeous, empty beach & it was awesome! That's a must. Go to that beach!!
Be prepared for a bit of noise around the hotel, though--nothing horrible, just occasional loud-ish music, people partying & having fun. It wasn't constant & ear plugs can solve any problems you might have.
You will likely wind up taking taxis & buses all the time, because the hotel is a bit of a hike from the downtown/Olas Altas area. Even still, taxis are plentiful by the hotel 24/7 & cheap.
I would go back in a heartbeat. It is excellent value for the price (I got a reduced rate by booking in advance & paying in full). But don't ignore all the warnings about the stairs & hills: If you are in any way disabled or have trouble with stairs, this is probably not the ideal place for you. If you need friendly, solicitous staff, this is not the place for you. But if you like authentically Mexican beachside hotels, great value & super views, give this a shot. I can highly recommend room 401, a corner room with a dipping pool/oversized bathtub on the terrace and a huge (but extremely hard) bed.
Great little place.
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- Also Known As:
- Playa Conchas Chinas Hotel Puerto Vallarta
- Playa Conchas Chinas Puerto Vallarta