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“San Simeon of Mexico”

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Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort
Ranked #42 of 121 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 30, 2012

This is going to be a long one. I feel I owe it to the staff for the incredible Thanksgiving week we just had there. First off I am a professor of economics having taught the 'Dismal Science' for over thirty-five years, needless to say I am as critical of analytic as they come. If something is not right, well I don't overlook it and if done correctly I praise it. Money is important to me for the value I achieve from it...cutting to the chase our (wife and myself) stay at the Hilton was the most value for the dollar (peso) vacation--other than our honeymoon on the Big Island--that we have experienced.

Bullet points...

1) The king size bed was like sleeping on a cloud.

2) Our room in the main section on the 6th floor had a breathtaking panorama of the entire coast (I'd recommend you book from 6 - 8 floor)

3) The beach below was expansive and close to pristine with daily grooming.

4) The waves breaking could be clearly heard from the bed at night.

5) The hotel is brand new with few smudges and crystal clear glass, few knowing of it's existence.

6) Our room was spacious with marble floor, shower (rainfall) and vanity.

7) The maid service was excellent--I put them to the test daily with my beach walk unfortunately bringing in some sand which was cleaned up to the grain!

8) Never had a wait or an inconvience for anything--never had a glass or cup go empty.

9) Food at the morning buffett was varied day to day and quite good.

10) Dinner at the French and Mexican resturants was outstanding!

11) Room service was outstanding--one night I was torn between a club sandwich and chicken breast as my wife was ordering on the phone. I finally decided on the chicken, well guess what--they sent up both the club and the chicken--which were both excellent!

12) All the staff were more than helpful and friendly--we requested a late checkout since our flight out was a 5:00 pm and they gave us till 2:00.

13) The children (not many) were all exceptionally well behaved and fun to watch having in the beautiful pool.

14) If one child is one child too many, well I suggest you go up to the upper deck adult only lounge and pool--what I called San Simeon. If you have ever been to the Hearst Castle when the fog rolls in leaving you on Mount Olympus you know what heaven must feel like. Well this is the same feeling I had at the upper deck lounge. Thick white sofas, an infinity pool, salsa music, with flocks of pelicans and soaring friggates for amusement.

15) Drinks. What's the purpose of being at an all inclusive if you don't drink? Well we do and the drinks were incredible. Ben, the head bartender of the upper deck, made the best Long Isl, Ice Teas, and Margaritas I have had in my life! I can still remember the best whiskey sour which I had in 1975 in San Francisco so I'm not extending the truth. The excellent daily fresh sushi, served from noon till three was our lunch as we ate with the gods and were catered like royality.

16) Possible improvement...or rather me being very picky.

a) No bacon served for breakfast on any day we were there (sauages were, but I'm not a fan)
b) The breakfast burritos were excellent, but only served on one day of our stay.

c) It would be great if the theromostat in the room was both fahrenheit as well as centigrade--I finally figured out that 20C = 68F after a couple of days of being too cold or hot--lol. A conversion table above the theromostat would be very helpful.

d) Lobby internet access should always be logged on. It was a pain when someone logged out and the administrator flag then showed until a staff member could be found to re-accessed (the room / hotel wi-fi on the other hand worked great).

17) Suggestions for your stay...

a) Bring along $50 in one dollar bills and $50 in fives--incredible service if you tip given that most don't.

b) Take a bus ride downtown (it helps to have a couple of drinks in you before you do)! Visit the ocean front jungle gift shops and the Catholic Church. We were fortunately enough to have a wedding taking place at the church when were there so we attended the service--what a kick listening to the pipe organ blasting out the wedding march. The bride was beautiful and the groom sweated up a storm dressed in a suit.

c) Leave the chap-stik at home it's humid and hot even in the nice time of the year November - April. We wouldn't have wanted it any hotter or more humid than it was.

d) Noticed that some complained about the rains in April, but we never felt a drop having full sun in the afternoon with mist/fog each morning and then clouding up in the evening--never did see a sunset.

d) Finally, buy something--these people are poor (46% of hte pop. made do with $100 or less income per month) and appreciate any business you can give them and if a small child come up to you with something to sell that you don't want, either buy it and toss it or just give them a dollar.

Room Tip: Main section floors 6-8 for best view.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank William P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 26, 2012

I have been several times to PV; I have been at Fiesta Americana, Velas Vallarta, Canto del Sol, Melia and now at the Hilton.
I had great expectations after paying for only 2 nights $ 490 USD. For a king oceon view room
First of all, I arrived at 1:00 pm and the room was until 3:00 pm.
Front desk guys and bell boys very attentive and allways smiling.
Room with a very nice view; furniture at room very very average, the sank didi not work, two lights at bathroom did not work, ventilatioon at wc did not work; As well wc was not well cleaned.
As Hilton Honors I try to get some sleepers with front desk and the women who clean the room and I never got them.
Lunch at the restaurant was the worst I have ever taste at a Hilton, I could not eat the meat,, it was a rock.
Second day I try the burgers and the pizza at pool. Burger was just OK. but the pizza was also the worst I have ever taste.
Drinks at bar are also just ok, nothing extraordinary.
Last day when everybody was cheking out and the hotel was going empty; I try to get a late chek out only for two hours more.... they only gave me one.. because they told me that one hour more it was going to be charged to my credit card.
So, First of all after paying that amount of dollars I could really go to a much better hotel in Puerto Vallarta. and I do not know why Hiton is going all-inclusive..
Hilton has to work very hard to keep all the rooms in good conditions and well furniture, And pay more atention to the quality food they serve.

Room Tip: Do not take garden view rooms... the garden views are the buildings just beside the hotel
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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7  Thank willmexicocity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2012

Visited this amazing hotel for lunch during my recent visit to Puerto Vallarta
It has a complete open plan lobby incorporating checkin counters, car rental desks ,bars and wonderfully comfortable lounge chairs of all different shapes and sizes
Staff is very welcoming from the moment you step out of your car or cab

The rooms/suites are incredible -many with their own jacuzzis or pools
Lovely spa and gym and many different restaurants

Celia Levy
Worldview Travel

Room Tip: Ocean facing where possible
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled on business
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4  Thank Celia L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2012

We stayed at the hotel from Oct 20th through the 30th. It was the staff that made this hotel excellent. Christian and Marianna at the front desk made sure everything was to our satisfaction. Restaurant staff were wonderful, especially, Martin, Tony and Juan in the Specialty restaurants. At the pool, Juan Carlo and Daniel will make sure you never run out of margaritas.
We stayed in an Ocean View room on the 7th floor and had amazing views of the grounds, beach and sunsets.The bed was quite comfortable (still a little firm)
Quiet resort, no nightlife but very relaxing. Exactly what we needed.
The decor is contemporary without appearing stark and cold. Loved it!!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank vacaciones42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

I spent 2 nights at the Hilton this past weekend. It was a "puente" in Mexico: a 3 day weekend. We were upgraded to a beautiful suite in Suite Building #2. We had a private rooftop Jacuzzi, and the king sized bedroom was beautiful: all white and shades of blue and grey. The bathroom was just as large! No problems in the suite in terms of comfort. It was very romantic. The only problem was that the hotel had an opening special with kids until 12 stay and eat free. There were little kids and babies everywhere! And people were gorging! The poor food service was a little overwhelmed. We ate the first night in the French restaurant. The food was excellent. There were still kids everywhere. The lighting was very bright: no candles. So, the mixed marketing message refers to a appeal to couples and at the same times towards families; it doesn't work.
One GREAT child-free spot was the rooftop pool and bar on top of Suite building 1. You could order drinks and sushi. And the one time someone brought their granddaughter to the pool and jumped in, security came and made him take her out.
My advice is do not go on a puente! The restaurants filled up and we ended up eating buffet all the time with little kids everywhere. When we went to eat at the buffet late at night to avoid the kids, there wasn't much food left.

Room Tip: My helpful tip is do not book room the suite in building 2 on the ground floor. It has a private poo...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Ginny46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2012

when you 1st arrive you pull up to an outdoor check in area so i'm thinking to myself wow the weather must be great year round.next to the check in desk is an open air lobby with a great breeze,there's the area for the computers a bar,couches a couple shops and then you see the pool and ocean..WOW we checked in early and our room wasn't ready yet so we went to the restaurant buffet by the pool we had lunch,then took a quick nap on the lounges before our room was ready.finally we make it to our room 7th floor overlooking the pool(room 746) we headed right to the patio WOW again , there's the pool,ocean and mountain views

The service here is top notch we visited only 25 days after they open so some kinks had to be worked out but everyone was great and helpful,some of the names i remember where roberto(bellboy)martin(waiter)chrsitian and alex(front desk).everyone was able to answer or questions and give us tips and advice on getting around PV.i was also impressed that everyone spoke great english..
the pool was so relaxing just sitting in the pool looking at the great views where so relaxing,we also swam in the ocean

my only complaint is the bathroom in our room #746. i like privacy,when using the restroom the room has a frosted glass door that was so close to the toilet that when your sitting down the door was hitting me on my knee's so i had to leave the door open or go down stairs and use the very nice and large bathroom in the lobby and also the shower glass door and toilet glass door are to close..i woke up 1 morning at 6am to use the restroom the shower door was open half way and when i open the toliet door in the dark the 2 glass doors hit very loud and i was afraid i had broken the glass.
also another thing is maybe print out a daily list and leave it in the rooms of what resturants and bars are open that day and what times.it was kind of confusing on where and when to eat

other then those 2 complaint everything was perfect

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank mospeed1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2012

Upon arrival I was told my room was not ready. I arrived at 1pm and was told check in was at 3pm. I was offered a wristband and told I could go have lunch and relax while my room was being prepared. At 3pm I returned to the front desk and I was told it was still not ready. I was told to wait 15 min and someone would come get me. I waited in the open lobby and as I waited lamp shades from the ceiling began to fall. We did move near abar which leads to the pool since I did not feel my wife and I were safe sitting in the lobby. We still had a direct view to the front desk though.

As of 3:45pm no one had come for us. I checked with the front desk and while they were checking on our room the staff was bring drinks to the other two groups who were checking in. Yes, I know I could have asked for a drink but what is the point of a welcome drink if I have to ask? Finally our room was ready but it was not up to par. (We were there 4 days and three nights and I never saw more than 16 guests). Still don't know how I had to wait for a room.

I made a reservation for a garden view. I was placed in a room that looked towards another hotel wall. When this was brought up to the front desk they stated it was a mistake and moved us but not until I told them that the sink in the bathroom in room 522 would not drain. They tried to fix it and then offered me another room. I was taken to room 731 which had a garden view and 1/2 ocean view. Prior to accepting the room the sink was checked and it was not properly put into service, piping was missing and was not draining either.

We were then taken to room 735. The sink was checked. There were loose parts under the sink and instead of moving again I just fixed it. Bell hop was extremely embarrassed. Sink did drain but was very slow. I did not want to move again since this was cutting into our vacation. Shower in room 522 was excellent. Shower in 735 had no pressure. I did not bring this up to the front desk's attention as I wanted to enjoy my vacation rather than move from room to room. The rooms did not have hangers for the bath towels. How can I hang my towel if there are no hangers? All three rooms did not have hangers/hooks for the bath towels. I found this ironic since there is a notice that says to hang towels on hook so they aren't washed and exchanged in order to be "green."

Room 735 had paint drops on the glass doors and floor from when the room was painted. The remote in room 735 worked great for the TV. On the second night for some reason a different one was placed in the room. This remote did not work. I took it to the front desk and when I returned from dinner the original remote was put back in our room.

In regards to how these issues and how Hilton could have exceeded my expectations would have been to check the toilets, sink and showers prior to booking the room. Adding hooks on the walls prior to booking the room. Cleaning up the paint form the glass doors and floors prior to booking the room. I expect Hilton to WOW me every time. The name speaks for itself. I was hardly wowed this time.

I do want to commend the staff for being friendly and polite. Especially Philippe (sp?) the bell hop who saw my frustration and went out of his way to make sure my wife and I had a good time. He greeted us by name every day and made sure we were having a good time.

I will say the hotel is smaller than I thought but very nice and peaceful. The staff is amazing. The food is okay at best. They have a Mexican and French restaurant which you have to make a reservation for but in the 4 days we were there we never saw it open. The pool staff was great up until around 5:30pm. The staff will bring you drinks and food non-stop while you are in or around the pool but it seemed that around 5:30pm they would disappear.

The pool was amazing and they have another pool on top of the hotel. We went there one night. They have a full bar up there and some sushi. When I say some I mean some..like 6-8 rolls. Not much to choose from but it is there if you want some.

The hotel is all inclusive and the lobby bar and the pool bar are fully stocked. Don't expect the mini bar in your room to be filled with goodies though. The mini bars in the rooms have 1 bud, 1 corona and 1 Pacifico, 1 chocolate bar, 2 Cokes, 1 Sprite and 2 soda waters.

My wife and I would probably not go back but not because we had a horrible time but because we like to see different hotels. I hope Hilton steps up their game with this resort and fixes some of the small nuisances.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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6  Thank OOTSAX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rolando M, Manager at Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2012

Dear guest,

Please allow me to thank you for sharing your feelings regarding your recent stay with us. Of course it is never pleasant to hear one of our guests has encountered dissatisfaction during their stay. We are committed to excellence without exception and our guests’ satisfaction is the most important point.

Once again thank you for your opinion and great recommendations. Although I read you like visiting different hotels we hope you visit us again in the future and see the improvementes we have made.


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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort

Address: Ave De Las Garzas 136 | Zona Hotelera, Puerto Vallarta 48333, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #42 of 121 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: $227 - $558 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 259
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The new Puerto Vallarta Hilton Resort, awarded the AAA Four Diamond award, offers an All-Inclusive beachside experience, which includes with your stay: breakfast, lunch and dinner daily – buffet and a la carte – snacks at the pool area, 24-hour room service, limitless domestic and international beverages including house wine (by the glass), in-room mini bar restocked daily, daytime activities, fabulous recreational amenities such as kayak rentals, live nightly entertainment, and more, all set in a magnificent beachfront location. Lounge on cabanas, directly adjacent to our courtyard-style glamourous infiniti pool. Enjoy panoramic views of Banderas Bay with cruise ships embarking nearby and guestrooms with mountain views of the magnificent Sierra Madres and ocean views. With two towers, we have a variety of guestrooms available, including fantastic suites with private balcony whirpools. Enjoy multiple onsite dining options while choosing to dine indoors or al-fresco on our various veranda levels overlooking our beautiful Pacific ocean sunsets. Kids and parents alike will enjoy the Kids Club, featuring entertainment and activities to truly inspire and allow parents some free time to explore. Be sure to find some time to indulge in our onsite spa Ki as well. We're just minutes from the airport and the cobblestone streets of downtown. Experience a truly magnificent vacation at the Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort. ... more   less 
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