We stayed at the Golden Crown Paradise March 5th and 6th as part of our 11 day Puerto Vallarta Trip.
Early Thursday morning we arrived at the GCP to drop off our bags, as we had a boat tour scheduled that day. The nice bellman showed us the hospitality suite to leave our bags, and gave us orange juice and cool towels. The front desk was very nice, giving us our towel cards and check in slip for when we got back from our boat trip.
Upon returning around 5pm, our room was ready, and a different but equally as nice bellman took us to our room, pointing out hotel features along the way. We had room 1703, one of three honeymoon suites, this one being the highest up and farthest away from the noise from the pool. You enter the suite onto the wrap around terrace, which, along with the private jacuzzi, is the best part of the room and the hotel (as a side note, having the private jacuzzi was the main reason we'd decided to try this hotel, it was cheaper than all the others in the area, and we also wanted to try out an all inclusive, since we'd never been to one). On the terrace there was the jacuzzi, with towels and bubble bath laid out, a table and 4 chairs under the overhang, two loungers and a table out closer to the railing, and two chairs and another table around the corner. There was also a bar area, with coffee maker, cups, ice bucket, and they'd left a bottle of champagne for us. Our mini fridge under the counter was stocked with 4 beers, about 8 sodas, and some club soda. I did have to turn the fridge colder upon arrival, but after that everything stayed nice and chilled.
Inside the room there are two sliding glass doors, one to each side of the wrap around terrace. A big king bed, which we found perfectly sleepable, although not a super soft pillow top by any means, bedside tables, TV stand with flat screen TV and closet are all in the main room, with the safe in the closet. The bathroom was very nice, lots of marble, and the bathtub with shower over it was almost as big as our jacuzzi. There were lots of nice toiletries, including a nice bag with loofa, nice smelling lotions, nail files, etc, more than usually provided by hotels, but this may have been given to us because we were in the honeymoon suite. Overall, a very nice suite, although the decor was a little cheesy/outdated.
Pools - we only spent one afternoon by the pool, but we found the service to be almost nonexistent. Only twice in about 4 hours did we see a waitress come around, and it was only to clear plates and glasses, not to take drink orders. We even put out a $50 peso bill on the table, but it didn't do any good. But it wasn't really a big deal to make my fiancé go over to the pool bar to refill my glass for me! At the pool we enjoyed the hot tub, swimming with pool noodles/floaties, and about an hour of water volleyball. I'd read about it being called 'tequila volleyball' but I'm not sure why it's called that, other than the fact that half the people playing were already drunk on tequila?
Food - We ate lunch one day at the pool bar, where you could get pizza (not that great, along the lines of school cafeteria quality), tacos (pretty good), hamburgers and hot dogs (which we didn't try). It was filling, but not gourmet by any means. We also ate both nights at the a la cart restaurant, Paradise. Our first night it was because we'd read so much about Polly and his 'sexy coffee,' however the food and service that night was the worst our entire trip. At the 8:30pm seating there was only about 8 tables with people, I think most people must have preferred the earlier seatings, maybe the food is better earlier in the evening? We both had the salad bar, which was pretty good, and I had stuffed calamari as an appetizer, which was 'eh', and Alex had the red snapper soup for his appetizer, which wasn't to bad. However, my salmon entree was grossly overcooked, I only ate about 3 bites of it. My fiancé had the "Wrapped Crab" entree, which really only had about 3 chunks of crab in it, and was mainly shrimp (no mention of shrimp being in it on the menu). Both our meals were not good at all, but that may have been because it was later at night? Also the service was extremely slow here as well. We ordered ice cream and "sexy coffee" for dessert, but the ice cream never came after waiting for about a half hour, and all the waiters kind of ignored us when we tried to flag them down (not sure how long/hard it is to put ice cream in a bowl?). Finally Polly, the head waiter came to do the presentation of "sexy coffee" for the couple at the table next to us, so we at least got to see it. After Polly was done doing the coffee for the table next to us, we thought we'd finally get ours, but he rushed off in the opposite direction to put the cart away, so we gave up and left, rather disappointed with this restaurant. The next evening we reviewed the menus of the a la carts, and the menu at Paradise looked a lot better than Salvador's so we tried it again, and it was a little better at the 7:00pm seating. For dinner the second night we had the salad bar again, chicken nuggets and an empanada for appetizers, and beef kababs and rib eye for entrees. The food was a bit better, and the service still not that friendly, but at least more prompt. We also finally got our ice cream (exactly 24 minutes after ordering it, I timed it), but didn't bother asking for the coffee, and left not that impressed, but at least full this time. We did order room service several times, and it was always very quick and pretty good, especially the breakfasts and late night snacks.
Nightlife - Our first night at the GCP we spent about an hour at the beachside Breeze Bar, where service was slow until we started giving out $50 peso tips, then they finally gave us some attention. The view was very nice from this bar, we had a brief sunset and got to watch a cruise ship casting off. Our second night, after dinner we met two couples we'd played water volleyball with at the Pub, and then crossed the street to the Club Nitro, where drinks were included as part of our AI package. It was the 6 of us and maybe 10 other people at this large disco, but we decided we were bringing the party and after quite a few rounds of drinks, some karaoke, and lots of shots (even with the bartender), we hardly noticed we were the only ones there! After a couple hours across the street, we invited everyone up to our suite, and we all sat around the jacuzzi with our feet in it and ordered room service. Once the room service guys realized we were ordering for people from 3 different rooms, they started bringing us the big bottles of Sol beer, lots of sandwiches and snacks, and even a bottle of champagne for me, since I'm not a beer drinker. We tipped very well though, especially for making them come up 4 or 5 times with different requests, until 4:30am when everyone left. It was a fun night, and I think we actually got our money's worth of the AI cost.
Costs - For two nights in the honeymoon suite our cost was $881.25 USD, including tax. Over the two days we probably tipped at least another $100 USD (but did tip in pesos), even tipping $100 pesos at dinner after the lousy service. For every drink we got we tipped $20 pesos for a single, or $50 pesos if it was the two of us getting drinks, and we tipped for every room service trip and the bellman services.
All in all, I'd say this is a fair to average hotel. The service was really hit or miss, especially when it came to food and drinks, but the rooms were comfortable. My biggest complaint, other than the service and food quality, was that there were lots of mosquitoes. We slept with our balcony door open and were eaten alive. I must have killed 10 of them in the bathroom alone while getting ready in the morning, all fat from feeding on us all night. The ages of the people staying at this resort seemed to be either spring break age or 50+, which is fine if you're in those groups, but not really the atmosphere we were looking for. The best part of our stay was the first night, after using the jacuzzi and sipping champagne on our terrace loungers, my fiancé proposed to me. So for that reason, I will give this resort 3.25 stars out of 5, instead of the 2.5 or 3 it really deserves. But if you are into all inclusives, and fit into the right demographic for the hotel, I can see how you would enjoy this resort, so it may be worth a shot. I wouldn't recommend this resort to any of my friends, but would recommend it to my aunt and uncle who like to party and aren't picky about food.
- 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