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“Cheap, comfortable and far from tourist hell”

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Playa Conchas Chinas Hotel
Ranked #86 of 124 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
New York
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Cheap, comfortable and far from tourist hell”
Reviewed January 26, 2011

My husband and I stayed here between Christmas and New Year's. The first room we checked into would have been just fine for us--a studio with a kitchenette, balcony with view of the ocean and the sound of waves filling the room, and a jacuzzi on the balcony. All this for $140 a night. Then we caught wind that they 2-bedroom penthouse would be open the rest of our stay. They say it normally went for $350/night. We offered the $200. We checked in that afternoon. It was BEAUTIFUL--panoramic views of the ocean and you could still hear the waves. Full kitchen. Then we discovered the one major flaw that I can't believe no one had complained about before: there was s door to the penthouse that led to the maid's room where they had the washer/drier, etc., which in turn had a door to the outside. WHICH WAS NEVER LOCKED! and they refused to lock it because they said the maid's needed access to the room. And the door between our room and the maid's room had no lock. they couldn't believe we thought it was odd that we could never lock our room, and were irritated that we insisted they figure out a solution. In the end they agreed to keep the maid's room locked to the outside, but we didn't trust that they would do this (and checked a couple of times to find it still open).

Bottom line: hotel was great but I don't think I'd stay in the penthouse again based on the inability to lock it. But the other rooms were fine. The beach in front of the hotel is small but the beach just down the street (1 minute walk) was fantastic and had a great scene with lots of Mexican families hanging out. The hotel is far away from the horrible tourist main drag and the all the all-inclusive resorts, but only a 5 minute taxi ride (About $5) to the Zona Romantico where we had some great meals and went to the market. We also found some dishes at the beach restaurant connected to the hotel that were quite tasty (NOT El Set, but the restaurant on the beach down below), and we're quite picky.

I would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank rose77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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158 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
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English first
Montrose, Colorado
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2010

My husband and I just returned from a week in Puerto Vallarta with a 3 night stay at Playa Conchas Chinas. The first 4 nights we stayed at an all inclusive, but we wanted to mix it up at bit and Playa Conchas Chinas was the perfect choice for us.
The hotel is a bit run down, but our room had a true Mexican feel and it was very clean. The balcony was my favorite place to be and the view was breathtaking. The food at the restaurant on the beach was delicious and the service was great. Try the Red Snapper! Several times we walked to the small store down the road, oxxo, for snacks or icecream and once we walked to town just for the enjoyment of it, since the bus stop is just across the road from the hotel. Salvador at the front desk could not have been more helpful or accommodating.
This is a hotel for people who want to have more of a Mexican experience. This is NOT a spa resort! If you're high maintenance you need to go elsewhere.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank RGCswife1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Beach, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2010

We stayed here several times before finding a perfect cove about 100 yards north. Follow the service road at the bottom of the hill and Wow there's the beach. I have to admit I only found it because we went to a wedding that was on the beach and we recognized that we were at El Set and went exploring. This hotel is not for those who want mega resort or spa treatments. What it has is the best view and location of any hotel at any price any where in the world. The patio that you expect to be 3 feet wide is actually a full size deck about 12 X 12 feet. Every room has the same great view because every room is WATER-FRONT. The food and location are great at the palapa bar on the beach and EL SET upstairs is one of the premier PV restaurants (great lobster at a modest price). Cabs in P V are super cheap and are everywhere ($4-5) . I have a Gazillion starwood points and could stay at the Sheraton or Westin for free at anytime but in Vallarta THIS IS THE PLACE. One down note this is a 8 story with no elevator. the lobby entrance is about the third of forth floor but if you can't handle stairs it could be a problem. BASIC HOTEL, BUT GREAT VACATION bien viaje

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank bobredwine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oahu, Hawaii
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2010

Perfect spot for our first few nights in PV. Secluded enough to feel private, yet close enough to town to walk or taxi in. Two restaurants on site.....a great beach bar and a nice restaurant upstairs. Awesome view from the room and balcony.......sunset, whales, etc. We were upgraded at no additional cost due to a minor snafu with our reservations. Staff is available and courteous. Small beaches out front, store down the road. We had a great stay.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank VanorasCrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
canada
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2010

from the reviews we read perhaps we were expecting to much..this is a very pretty location/beautiful sunsets..the beach below it was a disappointment..water very rough,huge waves,it also a lot of rock which the sea urchins like.we were here for 7 days and i think we got to use the beach for a couple hours due to the surf etc.the room was clean, the staff was great,the food in the restaurant just ok-nothing to write home about .The walk into towns on conchas chinas beach is a pretty walk,takes about 15 minutes.would i return here? .no.this is not a place i would ever retun to..so it is not one i would recommend,pretty or otherwise

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank bitsme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, MN
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2010

We recently stayed at Conchas Chinas. While admittedly our room was relatively cheap, we personally would have been happier paying more to stay at a better place. Our biggest complaint was the room. While it seemed like the sheets, pillowcases, towels, etc. had been washed... they all were stained with what looked like grease, blood, and who knows what else - disgusting, I don't care how cheap the rate is. The beds were not comfortable. The in-room stovetop gave off a continuous natural gas smell. We didn't even consider using the pots and pans... they were very old and non-stick coating was flaking off and full of grime. Sadly, with just a LITTLE investment by management to address the items above, Conchas could be a very nice no-frills hotel in light of the "pros" noted below.

Here is a brief pro and con list:

PROS
- Location is very nice - just outside of the city (more quiet) but close enough for a cheap cab ride ($5); what is especially nice is that the hotel is off the main road so you don't get road noise compared to many other resorts.
- Each room has a great view and its own balcony
- Two restaurants on the premises; we only used the one on the beach... food was ok though more expensive than I would have expected. The beach restaurant has a full service bar too, which was nice (again somewhat expensive).
- While the resort's beach is small and not really easy for swimming (rocks), there is a very nice public beach that is < 5 minute walk.
- The hotel is small/quaint

CONS
- See comments above regarding the room
- This is a very basic/no frills hotel (no workout facilities, etc.)

VALUE
As a point of reference, during the same trip we stayed three nights at one of Puerto Vallarta's top all-inclusive resorts... which happens to be about 5 minutes away from Conchas Chinas. Here is a comparsion, from a value perspective.

Conchas
- $130 per night for their standard room (two double beds and balcony - no other amenities)
- Meals (total for two): ~ $20 for breakfast; $20 for lunch; ~$40 for dinner; ~$40 per day for drinks ($3 per beer, $5 for wine/drinks, etc) = total of ~$120
- total cost, including meals: $130 + $120 = $250 per day

All Inclusive
- $300 per day for deluxe room (king bed and balcony); VERY nice rooms w/ like new linens, duvet, and other amenities (mini bar, electronic safe, iron and iron board, DVD player, etc., etc.)
- All food and drink free (except bottles of wine); six sit down restaurants (VERY good food) and one buffet
- Beautiful beach and multiple pool areas w/ swim-up bars
- Tons of amenities (workout facility, DVDs to watch if it is raining, boogey boards and kayaks to use) and activities offerred
- Total cost = $300 per day

So is Conchas a "great value"? For us, we were happy to pay $50 more per night for what we got elsewhere. That said, for those that are looking for a "cheaper" option... especially if they make their own food in the room... this might fit the bill.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank J0hnb0y1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
duluth mn
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2010

We stayed 8 nights at Conchas Chinas - an excellent value and outstanding location. No better view anywhere. It is right next to the Lindo Mar - so you have 2 fine restaurants to choose from. If you are seeking a just-built condo in a tall building..this is not for you. The staff are so helpful.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank duluthian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Playa Conchas Chinas Hotel

Property: Playa Conchas Chinas Hotel
Address: Calle Carretera Costera a Barra de Navidad Km. 2.5, Puerto Vallarta 48399, Mexico (Formerly Playa Conchas Chinas)
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#52 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Playa Conchas Chinas Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 19
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Playa Conchas Chinas Hotel Puerto Vallarta
Playa Conchas Chinas Puerto Vallarta

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