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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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