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Mayan Palace Puerto Vallarta
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All reviewsbakal restaurantmarina locationvidanta resortmain buildinghigh pressureocean viewrci exchangesunset barrestaurants and shopssales pitchone bedroom unitthe check in processliving areasmaller resortcoffee potcity tournice resort
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Reviewed August 6, 2013

I used my deposit week from RCI (Pueblo Bonito) to stay at the Mayan Palace by the Marina. They put us on the first floor (right above the check in area) facing the street. Horrible view and very loud due to the bar on the main floor. I requested a change but was denied. They did say if I attend the presentation then I might get an upgrade + $300 credit on food and drinks. I had no choice since I wanted an upgrade my room. TIP: if you get an offer from an outside person to attend a presentation.. have them right down all the excursions and the Mayan will honor it. I got 2 rounds of golf and 10 passes (friends) to zip lines for attending. Like others mentioned be prepared for a long long high pressure sales tactics. They told me 90 mins and it took almost 5 hours to get out of there. My wife and I attended and the sales person let my friends use the grand mayan swimming pool. While we attended they kicked out my friends because of the brown wrist bands. They tried to explain to the person they were guest but they didn't listen and put them in another pool area. By the way we didn't buy and I used the "I'm doing the loan modification" They said no problem they will finance in mexico and it will not show up on my credit report. LOL they got an answer for every scenario.
I got the upgrade room on the other building. Much nicer and was placed in a one bedroom suite on the 7th floor overseeing the pool and ocean. What an upgrade!! I wasted a day but it was worth it especially the golf at Vidanta golf course - top notch!!.
The main building needs a major overhaul. Its ok but compare to other top resorts is below par. They did say they are schedule for renovation next year. Over all the staff was nice and the place was kept clean. We had great service.

Room Tip: 2nd building but no balcony. Main building make sure it ends with an even # as odd # are facing the street and even faces the pool area. Avoid first floor or you will hear the bar karaoke.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank James L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Socialmediamanager1, Manager at Mayan Palace Puerto Vallarta, responded to this reviewResponded November 29, 2013

Dear James L :

We truly appreciate the time you have taken to share with us your impression about your stay at Mayan Palace. We are delighted to receive your favorable comment about our staff and the service they provide.

Rest assured that your feedback will be taken into consideration as it helps us improve our facilities and services. We are constantly striving to achieve the highest level of guest satisfaction and this is very useful to us.

We hope to welcome you back in the future.

All best wishes,
Mayan Palace Puerto Vallarta Management.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2013

We traveled to the Mayan Palace PVR in late July, 2013. Overall, the resort is great in an amazing location. We traveled during the Mexican holiday season and right at the beginning of the rainy season (which wasn't really rainy). But, that had some degree of impact on our experience. Here is my breakdown:

The Resort: Well...everyone thinks it, but we have to talk about the elephant in the room. This is not the Riviera Maya or Nuevo Vallarta. This isn't a mega-resort with tons of restaurants, multiple pools, etc. This is not one of those. Don't get me wrong...it's beautiful and it's awesome, but if you are going expecting multiple huge buildings, many different choices, and lots of other options...this isn't it. This property resembles the Mayan Palace in Mazatlan more than anything else. The beauty of this location is in its location, access, and in all the things that make a Mexican vacation special.

Rooms: Standard Mayan Palace Master Suites: 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. One bedroom has a king, the lock-off has two queens. This is one of the older resorts and the rooms are showing that age. We were on the 5th floor, rooms 2539/41 and 2538/40. Ironically, the rooms down the hall were the model rooms (you know, the ones that got you to buy something) which were completely remodeled and beautiful. However, the current rooms that we occupy are just a little dated and needing the remodel (that I saw every day!). So, here's to the future! Balcony was nice. Rooms didn't have a dishwasher or oven (which is somewhat typical). Refrigerator is a mini and the freezer is a mini-mini.

Room Location: We were in the main building that is parallel to the Ocean. There is another set of rooms that is perpendicular to the ocean, but that seem to have ocean views and some have marina views. As many other reviewers said, choose and demand a room on the 4th floor or above lest you stare at palm trees. Honestly, a room on the Marina or Ocean side is fine...and I never say that. I am ALWAYS on the side of raising hell at the check-in counter to demand an ocean view room. However, at this resort, we had real debate about which side was more beautiful! FYI - odd number rooms in the main building = ocean view, even number rooms = marina view.

Pool(s): One large main pool with two different levels and several divisions. Again, not the monolith of some other properties, but beautiful none-the-less. The "adult" pool on the upper level has a swim-up bar that usually resides in the share during the hot afternoon sun. Adequate seating around the pool...the resort employees said the resort was 98% capacity, but there was always room in the pool and around the pool at the lounge chairs.

Beach: Beautiful beach...multi-level area for seating. The upper beach had adequate seating and the lower beach had some huts with lounge chairs along with a volleyball net, etc. The beach is Pacific sandy (not white sand...a little darker) and the water is warm and inviting. Again, we were at the tip of the rainy season, so, some of the dirt from the river was cloudy-ing up the water, but overall, the ocean was great. Many different watersport options were available from the beach, notably parasailing. However, at $50 a ride for less than 15 minutes, most people loved it, but didn't think the money was worth it.

**No palapas - very sad face on this one. The alternative...the aforementioned huts on the beach were claimed by people at ungodly hours of the morning with a sandal. Theoretically you aren't supposed to do that for more than 45 minutes, but this isn't our first rodeo. There was a shortage of shaded space as a result of this.

"Happy Hour(s)" - Happy hours shift from hour to hour and bar to bar throughout the day. Usually, the wait staff is great about running to different bars and finding the right happy hour for you. There wasn't, however, a "drink of the day" which I was used to at different resorts, where, no matter what time was, that drink would be 2 for 1. That was disappointing. But again, the staff was great about helping out here.

Towel Stand - Normally, I don't make a post about this, but they angered me. On Saturday night at 5PM we went to the towel stand to get a towel for an evening pool run, they ran out of towels. They ran out?!?!?! And, no one was willing to get more. We had to go back up to the room to get our bathroom towels. I'm not sure how a major resort at 98% capacity runs-out of towels, but they did and were unapologetic about it. I asked to speak with a manager, but suddenly, the gentlemen didn't understand English. Not a major deal...usually the activity staff was awesome, but this was a blip on the radar.

Restaurants: Several options on the site, but not too much.
*Balche - The "pool bar" - there are several small tables set up literally around the pool. Balche is also the bar that you order from pool/beach-side. Good food...simple stuff. Everything from Burgers to Nachos and Fish Tacos. Speaking of Fish Tacos - they were good. Guacamole, pico is good.

*Bakal - The "buffet" - not as big as other resorts, but that has to be getting old by this point. Good food, nice menu to order from if you didn't want the Buffet. Themed nights, and great 2 for 1 (2X1) specials at certain times for Breakfast and Dinner. This is also where room service sources from.

*Il Forno di Gio - Italian place with Wood-Fired Oven Pizza and other Italian specialties. I know why they put Italian places in resorts, but I just can't wrap my head around it in Mexico. This is an outdoor dining establishment just on the other side of Bakal.

*Sun Set Bar - no food, but, great ambiance and drinks. The Sun Set bar has long fabric hanging from the ceiling, catching the beach wind, adorned with comfortable seating and well, as the name suggests, great views of the sunset. It is on the side of the resort on the beach, and leads out to a grassy peninsula that walks all the way out to the ocean. In terms of places to watch a sunset...this is it. The grass is comfortable and it's a cool place to hang.

*Tribu - In the main building - late night bar, different activities (Karaoke, etc.). Got pool tables, and comfy seating. Wasn't air conditioned, but was a nice time. Only open at night.

Fitness Center - small, but good equipment. Dumbbells that went to 80 pounds. Decent amount of automatic equipment, but definitely on the small side of gyms. About 3-4 treadmills, some bikes, etc. Smith Machine was a good addition.

Spa - there really wasn't one - there was a place to get massages on the beach, but that's about it. They try to get you to the Nuevo Vallarta resort to go to the spa...but, ya know how that goes.

Access- You are in the Marina area of Puerto Vallarta. You are about 10-15 minutes closer to downtown Vallarta at PVR, but, taxi ride will only cost about $5. Know where you're going though....if you don't, every taxi driver will recommend the Happy Lobster. No joke. There are a lot of great restaurants in the Marina Area (within walking distance), but also a 10-15 minute taxi ride will get you to Old Town, Downtown and the Boardwalk area. We took a food tour through Vallarta Eats Tour Company - highly recommend and will post a review to their site. But, if you want authentic tacos, mole, pozole...they will take to the real places...not the touristy places.Additionally, we ran a tour to the Marietas Islands through Pegaso Chartering, which ran right out of the Marina...was great. Another highly recommended tour.

Wal-Mart/Sam's Club access is relatively close - about 10 minutes via taxi (you can see it from the marina side across the bay!). There is a Mega, etc. Highly encourage everyone to go authentic! Get Mexican!

Overall...I don't like to focus on the negatives, because the resort is beautiful. The reality is that this older resort is living in the shadow of it's newer sister resort in Nuevo Vallarta (undergoing a rebranding to Maya Nayarit). If you compare, you'll be disappointed in size/amenities...but, if you focus on what makes the vacation special...specifically access to Puerto Vallarta, the sunset, etc...this place is the place to be. I will definitely be back to Puerto and I want to stay at the Nuevo Vallarta resort, but I can honestly say that I would also come back to PVR resort happily.

Please MSG me with any specific questions!

Room Tip: choose and demand a room on the 4th floor or above lest you stare at palm trees. Honestly, a room on the Marina or Ocean side is fine...and I never say that. I am ALWAYS on the side of raising hell at the check-in counter to demand an ocean view room. However, at this resort, we had real debate about which side was more beautiful! FYI - odd number rooms in the main building = ocean view, even number rooms = marina view.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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13  Thank bneater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Socialmediamanager1, Manager at Mayan Palace Puerto Vallarta, responded to this reviewResponded November 29, 2013

Dear bneater:

Thank you so much for commenting in detail about your stay at Mayan Palace. We are glad you enjoyed our facilities and location.

All the same, we are disappointed that we were unable to meet your expectations to the fullest.Rest assured that your feedback will be taken into consideration as it helps us improve our facilities and services.

We hope to welcome you back and really impress you with what we have to offer.

Sincerely,
Mayan Palace Puerto Vallarta Management.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2013

The staff at the Mayan are really nice and attentive, they go over and above to make sure that you are well taken care of. Rooms are cleaned daily and the maids really do appreciate tips, although we are Canadian we left USD or pesos as we were told by friends to do so. The food on the resort is pricey, but a short walk to the marina and you can have your choice of amazing food for a fraction of the price (Victors is our favorite). Taxis are always available for you and the drivers name is taken down for your safety. At check out time the concierge called us and arranged to check us in to our flights also. We had a great time and look forward to going back soon.

Room Tip: if you leave any food/toiletries for he cleaning staff to keep remember to write a letter otherwise they can be fired or stealing.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LMD1974
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Socialmediamanager1, Manager at Mayan Palace Puerto Vallarta, responded to this reviewResponded November 29, 2013

Dear LMD1974 :

We would like to express our sincere appreciation for taking the time to submit a really nice review about your recent stay at Mayan Palace.

We are delighted to find out that our housekeeping staff’s service was above and beyond your expectations, as this is what we strive for every day.

Your comments are always welcome as they are an inspiration to continue achieving the utmost level of satisfaction.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon!

Happily,
Mayan Palace Puerto Vallarta Management.

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Reviewed August 2, 2013

I have to say that before going to Mayan Palace, I read some comments, especially those of RCI exchangers and most of them were negatives. My experience as a RCI exchanger was great!!!! I didn't have any problems with the timeshare approach. From the beginning I explained to them that I was not interested in the timeshare presentation and they perfectly understood and didn't insist!!! The room was pretty clean and in a great location!!! The staff was very competent and friendly. The food in the Bakal restaurant was amazing!!! I really had a great, great, great time at the Mayan Palace and in Puerto Vallarta!!!!!!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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3  Thank airam35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Socialmediamanager1, Manager at Mayan Palace Puerto Vallarta, responded to this reviewResponded November 29, 2013

Dear airam35 :

We truly appreciate the time you have taken to share with us your impression about your stay at Mayan Palace. We are so glad you enjoyed our amenities, accommodations,facilities, restaurants and our staff’s service. They work tirelessly - day and night, to make our guests’ visits the most comfortable experience ever.

Comments like yours are always encouraging to provide all our guests an extraordinary vacation experience and we are pleased you enjoyed Puerto Vallarta as well.

It will be our privilege to welcome you back!

Happily,
Mayan Palace Puerto Vallarta Management.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

I must admit that this resort is run very very well and I second the comments by other posters here about the first rate quality of the staff. The food at quality at "Bakal" was absolutely amazing. I must admit that the serving staff was a bit overwhelmed when we visited for dinner (non buffet) and it took nearly 1/2 hour just to get drink order in.
As for the rooms, all the furnishings and appliances are very clean but are definitely showing their age. Pool is very large and clean, we went in the slow season and not crowded at all, specially in the adult only one in the higher terrace. We did manage to get ourselves (two kids) kicked out of the adult pool despite literally being the only ones there. The same overzealous security guy did not allow me to take my own beer because the container was too big (20 0z). He said it would be OK if i brought back two cups of smaller size.

One drawback I must say was a big disappointment was their internet policy. First, it was a bit on the expensive side at $95.00/ week. The laughable part came when I realized it was $95.00 for first device and $47.50 for each additional one. My family travels with laptop for work and three tablets so the total would have been $220+ for just wi-fi.
Overall our experience was very good, I must say that choices for eating are limited near the hotel and the cab/bus ride can get tiresome if you want to venture into town daily. Fortunately the food at hotel was top notch.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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3  Thank Juanito04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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