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“Authentic Feel for an Older Resort”

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Crown Paradise Golden Resort Puerto Vallarta
Ranked #44 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Reviewed May 24, 2013

Golden Crown Paradise

My wife and I stayed at this property in April, and it was one of two resorts we stayed at in PVR during this trip. This was our fourth trip to Mexico this year, and we have spent time on both coasts of Mexico in resorts ranging from smaller, to the mega-resorts. We typically choose 4.5 to 5-start resorts. I would recommend this resort to anyone looking for a more authentic feel for a resort in Mexico, but not to anyone who prefers a more upscale property.

Transportation

We did not book this property as part of a package, so arranged our own transfers from the airport to the hotel. When we arrived in PVR we exited the airport and walked across the road to the local taxi stand and paid 100 pesos for the trip to the hotel. This property is very close to the airport, and we were on the beach with a drink in hand within about an hour of the plain touching down (that includes us getting our first ever “red light” going through airport customs).

Check-in

Quick and friendly. We arrived ahead of the tour company arrivals, so there was no line-up and we were in our room in short order.

Rooms

We had an ocean view room with a beautiful view, and excellent airflow. We don’t like to use the AC unless we’re traveling during hotter times because we end up stuffed up...besides, the AC tends to be the cause of most musty smells that people complain about in rooms. There was always a nice breeze, and the ceiling fan really helped move the air around. Our room DID NOT smell musty at all, and having traveled to Mexico a lot, we are very aware of how rooms can smell. Rooms are definitely older, but clean. We quite liked their shampoo, but they don’t include conditioner, so my wife wished she’d packed hers. Bed was clean and comfortable, but the pillows (all of them) felt like we were sleeping on bags of hockey pucks. Definitely some room for improvement there because they were awful. They had an in-room safe that had the older key-block lock (as opposed to the newer keypad safes), which was just fine for us. There was a tv in the room (older model), but I can’t comment on it because we don’t watch tv on holidays. They did include 2 small bottles of water in the room each day, but we drink a lot of water, so had to find it elsewhere in the resort each day. Other resorts we’ve stayed at offered larger bottles which we’ve always appreciated. Rooms do not offer mini-bars (which we knew when we booked), but it’s not a long walk if you want a drink. Book this property knowing that rooms are very basic and older but clean.

Restaurants

We dined at both of the ala carte restaurants on the Golden side (sorry, can’t remember the names), and at the Asian restaurant on Crown Paradise (family side). We also ate at the large buffet on the family side one night.

On the Golden side we were more impressed with the restaurant across from the main check-in desk (located on first floor). The food there was excellent, as was the service. The food at the restaurant on the second floor was good, but if we’d had more nights, we’d have eaten at the restaurant on the first floor again rather than the one on the second floor, even though the second floor restaurant offers a nicer view.

We ate all our breakfasts at the little buffet they set up near the lobby/pool area. This was not a huge buffet, but they always had something of interest. We also ate lunch at this location where they offer a small buffet, along with a menu with quite a few options. All of the food we ate at this location was great. One day they were grilling whole fresh fish, which was very good! Despite having fewer options, my wife commented that she liked the smaller style of this buffet better than the massive buffets with hundreds of options we often find at larger resorts. The large buffet on the family side was good, but we found many of the dishes looked better than they tasted. We definitely found enough to eat there, and would likely eat there again if we were in the mood for a greater variety than that found in the smaller buffet on the Golden side.

The Asian restaurant on the family side was very basic, and nothing stood out. We eat a lot of Asian food, and absolutely love sushi. They offer a salad bar to start, and then a variety of appetizers and main courses. If we return to this property, we probably wouldn’t bother dining here again.

A quick note about reservations at their ala carte restaurants. The first night we were able to go to the ala carte across from the main check-in desk without a reservation because we arrived right when they opened. The second night we ate at the ala carte on the second floor, but we did make a reservation for this restaurant. The only issue we had with reservations was booking at the Asian restaurant on the family side. The hotel had given us a coupon to use if we wanted to eat at one of the family side restaurants, and on the coupon it said to see the staff at the activities desk on the family side to make a reservation. When we went to the activities desk, the gentleman said we had to call for a reservation, not come see them. When I started to explain and show him that we were just following the directions on the coupon, he put his hand up in my face (about 12” away actually), and said “no” and moved on to the next guest, still holding his hand in my face. If I read something like that in a review, I tend to wonder if the guest was being rude and deserved it, but I can assure you, we had been extremely nice to the staff member. So we walked out to the lobby and borrowed a phone to call and try and make the reservation. The lady on the phone said there were no reservation times available. So my wife questioned how quickly times fill up, given that they only start taking reservations at 8am and it was now a few minutes after 8am. The lady on the phone thought about this for a moment, and miraculously an opening came up.

Bars/Drinks

The drinks here were fairly typical with mostly generic alcohol. About the second or third day we noticed they had Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum available (hidden away unless you ask). The large round bar on the beach, closer to the family side was a great place to hang-out. They offered simple sushi rolls later in the day which was great. We also saw quite a few people in the evening playing games/cards and just hanging out. We didn’t seem to notice as many smokers here which is a huge plus for us!

Smoking

There were a lot of smokers at this property. We come from a city that doesn’t allow smoking in any restaurants or public areas. So it was a real shock that their smoking tables are interspersed with non-smoking tables at this resort. People also smoked on their balconies, around the pool deck and at the beach. Other properties we’ve stayed at did a much better job of providing separate smoking and non-smoking areas.

Beach

The beach here is wonderful. We really like the larger waves – more fun to play in the surf. The beach vendors are none-stop. They completely ignore the ropes and come right into the area with the cabana’s/beach chairs. A simple “no gracias” was enough to move them along, but be prepared to be asked every minute or so even if you’re reading a book, or pretending to be asleep. Only other option is to stay up on the pool deck, which we prefer not to do. We’ve found that staying in larger resorts outside the city generally means fewer, or no, vendors at all, so this is something to consider if you like sitting on a the beach and being left alone. I will also say that this is an issue that the resort has allowed to happen, because we stayed at a new property down the beach a little ways (Now Amber) and they strictly enforce the “do not enter” area of their beach, and the vendors respect that. The waitress came around taking drink orders sporadically, but we only drink water while at the beach to stay hydrated, so this wasn’t an issue for us. About the cabanas, and lack of shade, that everyone has been commenting on. These look lovely, but provide no protection from the sun at all. We had read many comments, but given that we love the sun, didn’t think it would be as bad as people were saying...take the warnings seriously! My wife tried to fold the sides up over the top to provide a bit more shade, but she ended up with a burn anyway because they have no UV protection in the fabric. If we had stayed longer, we’d have gone down and bought a blanket or something to put over the top to provide some shade.

Pool

We are not huge fans of a pool when we have a perfectly good ocean right there to swim in. But we did get in the pool twice. The pool is really warm, and not refreshing. It was the temperature of a hot-tub. So we only stayed in it for a few moments.

Crown Paradise (Family Property beside Golden)

On occasion, we found ourselves in various areas of the Crown Paradise (family side). We will not stay there, even when we bring our kids with us. There were so many kids there is was crazy. Anybody without kids stays at the Golden Crown, so you don’t get the usual mix of families and couples. Don’t get me wrong, we have two kids and love a family atmosphere, but even our kids wouldn’t want to stay there. In include this to ensure that if you are a couple traveling without kids, DO NOT book the Crown Paradise. Instead, consider the Golden Crown.

Summary

We enjoyed the authentic feel of this property which you often don’t get with many of the newer resorts. We enjoyed our stay, and may consider returning. We often travel with friends, and the ones who prefer a more upscale property would not prefer this resort. The food was okay. If you like a more laidback property, this might be a good choice for your next trip.

Room Tip: Higher up is better - allows for a better breeze
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Victoriatravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 21, 2013

My 7th trip back to this usually nice hotel, but never more... I guess it wasn't going to be the vacation I had expected when the guy at the "tour desk" suggested I give him a deposit for a time share meeting, and wanted to know if I needed any female "company". Upon checking into the room, the maid just leaving and the floors were still wet, but continued to be that way, cause the toilet was leaking, thankfully clean water, for the 2 weeks I was there. This is not safe when you are in need of a cane. I wasn't there to watch TV, thankfully cause the 1 day I did turn it on it was "snowy". The laundry prices didn't not match the price I was charged. The days following my complaint to Maricruze who was the nicest person there, I got my room decorated with towel bunnies and one day chocolates. The hotel site says no "spring breakers" but when a baseball team checked in, it got loud . Late night dinners with children were suddenly allowed. When I needed to call the travel agent the operator wanted one price the guy at the front desk wanted more, then made fun of me. I can and have put up with a lot but ridiculing me was the final straw...

Room Tip: If not happy, complain complain complain seems that's the only way they'll listen
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank DNO_Delta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2013

This is the first and hopefully the last review that I ever write......

Check in was quick and seamless, the brief overview from Alex was also quick and informative. Arriving to our room on the top floor, I was disappointed. The room smelled like mildew, the sewage smell was extremely unsettling, and being an all inclusive resort you would think that you would at minimum have a small refrigerator stocked with beverages. There was no ice machine to be found and room service took forever to be delivered and when it was delivered our food was cold. After a day and a half of eating at the resort and being sick we decided to not eat there anylonger, as soon as we ventured out to eat elsewhere our stomach issued went away. The beverage selections at the bar were horrible, orange juice is tang, cranberry juice is something completely different and does not taste good at all, and the bar tenders were not friendly. At one time I stood there for 5 minutes and finally had to ask him if I could have a drink, he was not busy, another time I walked up to the bar, was the only one standing there he turned to me after yelling a conversation across the courtyard to his co-worker and said, "What do you want?", as I said, not friendly! The front desk after check in was never helpful, I asked them if they would look up the number to my airlines and they said to call a travel agent. I asked them if they could look up the local number on their computer and they said no. The customer service was the worst and we will never go back there again. We ended up paying for all inclusive and then spending an extra $1000.00 on food and drinks from elsewhere. Not a good bang for your buck. Stay at a better resort for your money that has better ratings, its not worth saving a buck or two because you'll end up spending it eating out.
The pool was heated and constantly was being pumped with hot water, you will get a better refreshing dip jumping into the waves on the beach. We found a huge cockroach upside down in our bathroom, normal for tropical weather, still unsettling to actually see it.
I can go on and on about this property and why it is bad and to stay away from it, take my word for it, do not experience it for yourself. You will hope that you listened to me. What I have said in this review is just a little bit of the bad that we experienced. Take my word for it, it is an awful place to stay.

Room Tip: Don't even get this far in the process. Until they remodel and give their staff some customer se...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
5  Thank escobar01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2013

Check in: Smooth and quick then I was given a brief but very informative overview by Oscar one of the concierge. I was a bit perplexed when I was given a tv remote at the time of check in but it appears they must disappear often.
The Room: Disappointing. There was a sewage smell every morning and the floors were dirty. I had to have the maid come clean them because the bottoms of my feet were almost black after walking barefoot. The view was beautiful from the 7th floor.
Service: The pool, beach, bar, and theme restaurant staff were very attentive. Not so much at the breakfast restaurant unless you were Mexican. The bellmen and the concierge (Oscar) were awesome!
Food: At the "themed" dinners, the food was very good and I enjoyed the little taco bar at the pool. Buffet was average. There is 24 hour room service.
Drinks: strong and they kept them flowing. Beer and water are only given in a cup then you are provided two bottles of water in your room each morning.
NOW....AT THE BEACH: By the third day, my iPhone was stolen OUT OF MY BAG at the beach! Then on the resort grounds, my brother and the couple nextdoor had their cameras stolen so watch your stuff or keep it locked in the safe. Shop in town, not at the beach. They will hound you daily like crazy; vet annoying.
Overall: you get what you pay for to include the class of people staying at the resort.

  • Stayed: May 2013
    • Value
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2  Thank Brownid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2013

We booked this 2 mos in advance on Alaska Airlines' package deals. The adult-only part was the biggest draw and the pics and reviews on trip advisor were decent. We've done a lot of big ship cruises and expected that type food and service--just above okay. Our room was nice, we upgraded to ocean front for $30/ night. We were on the ground floor right by the beach palapa bar. Score. Not a far walk for drinks. The food was fair, better than I expected, actually. We ventured to the family side buffet and preferred the selection as there was more to choose from. The staff was all friendly and attentive. The only bummer we're the hawkers on the beach every 10 minutes. The hotel was well kept and clean. We would visit again. The music needs updating...

Room Tip: We liked room 2109
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Dana W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2013

My friend has been here 6 times before and convinced me it was a great trip, and wow the GCP didn't disappoint! We were upgraded to an oceanview room on arrival for no real discernable reason (maybe this being my friend's 7th stay) which was a nice start. We were greeted warmly. Our room was spacious and kept incredibly clean all week long, even with two messy girls staying in it. Our room was so close to the beach and was beautiful to wake up to in the morning! We ate well, there is a fantastic assortment of restaurants, not one of them served me something I didn't like (and I'm very picky about food). There is a nice breakfast buffet in the morning that serves every kind of breakfast you can imagine...freshly made omelettes and waffles, pancakes, cereal, fruit, mexican food, you name it. You can also eat on the family side of the resort which also has some nice restaurants with fantastic food (but if you aren't into children you'll want to get out of there quickly). Fortunately the French restaurant doesn't allow children under 8. The pool isn't big but it's big ENOUGH for the size of the resort and was never overcrowded. You can always get a lounger but not always a cabana.....be prepared to get up at six in the morning to get one. Jerks like to go and put down a towel or a water bottle to 'reserve' it and then go back to bed until 10 am. I advise the resort to come up with a better system because I witnessed a few altercations over this. Otherwise, the poolside drink service was FANTASTIC (thanks Antonia), and occasionally they would break out some volleyball or tequila volleyball, or water aerobics.......often led by some eye candy (wink). There about 3 bars on the GCP side (incl pool bar), and then Club Nitro across the street that belongs to the resort. Its not really busy in there usually unless they have one of their shows on, which is usually family entertainment that draws a lot of locals and kids who all drain out by 9:30 or 10:00. However the staff there are great and kept our drinks coming and allowed us to take stupid pictures with them constantly lol. It's a good place to start drinking and meet people that you can go out with later. The one great thing about this resort is that it is small so you constantly run into the same people and so if you're a social person it's a great place to be. I met a lot of cool people on this trip just from being at Club Nitro or in the pool. The staff really do remember you and your name and the service was always friendly and prompt, and often they go above and beyond. Our server Jose at Bella Vista noticed my friend was sick and brought her chamomile tea and honey without her asking. So awesome! I could write about how impressed I am with GCP all day but just know I'm already booking a return trip for a longer stay!
Criticisms? A couple. The cabana issue for one, they need a better system to reserve these. Club Nitro needs to do something to get people to actually go over there AND want to stay and have a good time. Its a bit further from downtown but it's not the hotel's fault....just know that you're paying about 60 pesos in cab fare everytime you go down. Also you can only get into some of the restaurants by reservation and if you haven't reserved by 9 am on a busy day, forget about it. If you do get in though, the food is worth it!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Nina J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2013

We enjoyed our seven day stay at this resort. We were prepared for all the vendors based on the reviews we read on trip advisor. Most of the vendors were very nice when you said no. Some came back several times during the day to ask again which got annoying. The vendors did not come into the pool area so if they annoy you go to the pool. This resort was all adult and we really enjoyed that! We could and did go next door to the sister resort for breakfast and meals. They did a good job of keeping the resort clean. The salsa served on the buffet for lunch and dinner was really good. BEWARE they will try to sell you a time share and they are really sneaky about how they go about it. You can do as much or as little as you want here.

Room Tip: Rooms on the ocean front had lovely views of the ocean and the beautiful sunsets. Everyone had to s...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Christine H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Crown Paradise Golden Resort Puerto Vallarta

Address: Av. de las Garzas S/N | Zona Hotelera Norte, Puerto Vallarta 48333, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#18 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#23 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#26 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#34 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: $164 - $287 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Crown Paradise Golden Resort Puerto Vallarta 4*
Number of rooms: 214
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Golden Crown Paradise All Inclusive Resort where our unmatched personalized and friendly service are a cut above the rest with a great location just 10 minutes from downtown and 15 minutes from the International Airport. As an adults-only all-inclusive resort, our focus is on pampering, tranquility, and rejuvenation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Golden Crown Paradise Resort Puerto Vallarta Hotel Puerto Vallarta
Golden Crown Paradise Puerto Vallarta
Crown Paradise Puerto Vallarta
Crown Paradise Resort

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