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Reviewed January 12, 2013

This brand new Hilton resort is beautiful!! When you arrive at the open air lobby (which has a wonderful breeze), you can see straight to the pool and ocean. Check-in was a breeze, but make sure to see the concierge right away to make all dinner reservations at the specialty restaurants since they fill up VERY quickly.

We had two rooms - an ocean view room in the old tower and a Junior Suite in the new tower. The Junior Suite room came about because of an odor problem in the corner King ocean view room on the 7th floor. The other room in the old tower was fine and the balcony views were amazing. The Junior Suite (on the fourth floor of the new tower) was AMAZING! It had a large comfortable bed, a large bathroom with a bathtub, spectacular views and a jacuzzi with chairs on the roof. If you're planning to get a king ocean view room think about upgrading to the Junior Suite since the new tower is much better and the room is beautiful and large.

The food was hit or miss. The breakfast was by far the best meal of the day. There was a large selection of cereals, yogurts, fruit, eggs and pastries. Make sure to ask for bagels and cream cheese since they have them in the back (ask your waiter). The omelette station was by far the best since the chefs can make eggs any way you like - over easy, scrambled or as omelettes. The one negative is that these lines can get long and are also right near food stations where other guests are trying to get food. The lunch and dinner buffet were so-so, so try and fill up on breakfast or go to Fogo for additional food at lunch (including burgers, hot dogs, pizza, french fries and salads). For dinner, try to get reservations.

The specialty restaurants were relatively good and the service was impeccable. The whole resort is lacking in the wine department since it only had one Mexican brand of wine and four choices: chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, cabernet and another red. Le Delice (the French restaurant) had a large amount of options, but the crab meat appetizer, onion soup and salads were good. The main options were so-so. La Catrina (the Mexican restaurant) was the best of the group. There were a lot of great appetizers and entrees. Given that we don't tend to like Mexican food (that isn't Tex-Mex), we were very impressed and changed our views on Mexican cuisine. We never made it to Fogo as it rained a few times on the trip and the New Year's Eve celebration took the place of it one night. We were told mixed reviews about it by other guests.

We did go into town for two dinners to get away from the resort a little bit. The same people own La Palapa (on the beach) and Vista Grill (in the mountains with AMAZING views). Both restaurants were SO GOOD, but Vista Grill was our favorite and all menu items were great. It was also great to find amazing wine options.

The pools were beautiful and we never had a problem finding chairs or getting towels. Given, we were there when the resort was at full capacity, but we did make sure to get down before 8:30 am. After New Year's Day, the resort opened up and more people were able to get chairs at a later time.

One of the best parts of the resort was the staff. The individuals at the front desk were efficient and helpful. All bartenders were nice and made great drinks (minus the wine, but that's not their fault). The waitresses at the pool were always around and work very hard. I want to especially applaud the Activities Staff under the direction of Carlos. Carlos was AMAZING and so helpful to us. Eduardo was also great. He helped the guests get involved with water aerobics, blackjack, bingo, beach volleyball, etc. He also gave my daughter a Spanish lesson to help with the Spanish she already knew.

Overall, we do plan to be back in the future! I think the resort needs to work on its food, even if it means including Tex-Mex like options, including fajitas, quesadillas (which are available for room service) and tacos since it is hard to go wrong with these options. Bravo to all!

The Grossman Family, New Jersey (Dec 29 2012-Jan 5 2013)

Room Tip: Try to stay in the New Tower in the suites! Make reservations early for dinner!
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Stephen G
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 January 13, 2013

Dear Grossman family,

All your comments are deeply appreciated, and for me is an honor be part of this great team who genuinely strive to please our customers during their stay.

We are still working in some of our processes and food variety, therefore this comments are very important for us in order to improve and keep our guests coming back to enjoy the resort.

Thank you for choosing us for your holidays!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Hilton in early January after New Years. We originally booked a deluxe king ocean view. I did not book a junior suite because the pictures online did not look that different from a deluxe king. Check in was very easy and the bellman took us to our room. Upon arriving, the lobby is open and you can see straight to the pool. The view of the pool and the beach is absolutely beautiful and one of the best parts of the hotel. We arrived in our room and found that is was pretty small. No bathtub, one sink and a king bed. It was almost like a European hotel room. It also looked a little worn. I asked to see the junior suite and we were taken to the other side of the hotel. The junior suite was WORLDS better. Double sink, bathtub, separate shower and toilet, big room, bathrobes, slippers, beautiful view, jacuzzi on the balcony and cushioned balcony chairs. There was no question that we should upgrade to this room. So we did for $80 a night but we felt it was very worth it. The bed was very comfortable which is a huge plus for us.
The service was amazing. Everyone was very helpful. This was another reason why we liked the hotel. The pools were refreshing and not crowded for us. The hotel was not full at all so it is possible that if they are at capacity, the pool area could become crowded. We had no problem getting chairs at the pool although the canopy beds facing the beach were often taken pretty early. The beach was great - you aren't really able to sit on the actual beach but the pool and chairs are close enough that it didn't bother us. The water was a tad rough but we still swam in it. The drink service at the pool was great. The rooftop pool was really pretty but super hot! The water was like bath water. We only were up there for an hour or so before we went down to the main pools. The rooftop area is probably really nice at night but we never got a chance to go. Also, the activities at the pool were fun. Everyone on the activity staff tried to get you to participate in things. We mostly did the Bingo which was really fun. I also did Blackjack and won a prize - the Floatarium session at the spa.
The spa is extremely clean, organized and relaxing. My husband and I did the Floatarium. We were given locker keys and changed into our bathing suits and bathrobes. We were taken to a dimly lit room with 2 pools. The first pool is filled with salt water and is a zero gravity pool so you can just float for 30 minutes. There was no way we could float for 30 minutes straight though but we did try to float for as long as we could and it was amazing! Then we went into a cool jacuzzi to rinse off the saltwater. Afterwards, we both felt super relaxed and rejuvinated and since mine was free, my husband just had to pay for his which was 585 pesos (this included a 10% off for participating in the blackjack game).
The food is the worst part of the hotel. The buffet is small and breakfast was by far the best meal of the day which is not saying much. They had fruit and yogurts and cold cereals but the hot food was not very good. They at least had eggs and omelettes which were good although it depended on who cooked the omelette. My husband got one that he felt wasn't cooked very well so he didn't eat it. The pancakes were okay. The french toast was hard. Bacon was good. One day there was eggs benedict which I thought was good but they didn't have Canadian bacon. Some had turkey, some had roast beef, the meat varied. There was no cream cheese and no bagels but there was a nice selection of Mexican bread and pastries. I tried to fill up on breakfast because the lunch buffet was sparse. The vegetables were pretty good though so I had a salad one day but the next day there was no salad dressing. You had to ask for tortillas and there were no tacos, quesadillas, fajitas or anything to be found. You basically had to use the ingredients around the buffet to make a taco. I thought that was extremely weird. They did have chicken nuggets, pizza and french fries though. They had various meats and stews for lunch and dinner as well as salmon but I didn't really try any of those. The desserts were okay.
Our first night we ate in the buffet and the second night we ate at the French restaurant. The menu looks promising, but the food was a different story. I ordered french onion soup - which was good but nothing special, a baked shrimp dish which was basically like a shrimp custard and a vegetable thing for dinner that consisted of vegetables layered with brie cheese. I thought that was pretty good actually but it said it had a truffle glaze on the vegetable dinner and the shrimp dish and I didn't taste truffle anywhere. My husband's dinner was not as good at all. He had a lobster bisque which was a watery tomato soup with a shrimp in it. Weird. He also had a crab thing that was just okay. He ordered the filet medium and it came out rare. He didn't eat it and didn't want to send it back because by that time we were frustrated and antsy as the service was slow as well.
We went up stairs and ordered room service which was better than the french restaurant and the buffet. In fact, the next two nights, we skipped our reservations at the Mexican and Brazilian restaurants and ordered room service for dinner. I loved the BLT and my husband thought the burger was good. We were able to get quesadillas as well. The room service was much better than the restaurant food.
All in all, the Hilton is a beautiful place. It may get crowded at full capacity and they DEFINITELY need to work on the food but the drinks, pool, staff and rooms/view make up for that. Definitely get a junior suite - it is worth it for sure.

Room Tip: Junior suites in the newer tower are much better than the king deluxe.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank SComet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rolando M, General Manager at Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 13, 2013

Dear guest,

We really appreciate your time to share all this comments about your experience at the resort, every single comment is very important for us since we are the newest hotel in Puerto Vallarta.

The compromises of all our collaborators are well recognized and we’ll keep on doing that to make the visit of our guests a great experience.

]I look forward to welcoming you again in the near future.
Sincerely,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2013

I wrote a review on Bookit.com and it was never posted. Probably because it was not very favorable. We stayed at the "Brand new Hilton Hotel" which was not brand new, but only a refurbished Holiday Inn. Some updating, paint, and tiles - that's it.
Positives:
-great staff, very friendly, helpful.
Negatives:
-rooms were ok, but nothing special. We got a deluxe ocean view room, which we thought was the top, but Bookit.com didn't give us a choice of the better rooms (suites) in a newer building. Bathrooms did not include a bathtub, shower mat (very slippery tiles), robes or turn down service. Our "deluxe" room looked over a building rooftop.
-they were not prepared for the after Christmas rush of people - very crowded. Not enough lounge chairs by pool or beach, restaurants were ridiculously crazy, and our room was never cleaned until 4:00 unless asked for earlier.
-the food was not up to Mexico standards. Who puts a breakfast buffet where people are standing in line for an omelet? The line was always 10 minutes long, and actually not worth the wait. The specialty restaurants were ok at best. The rooftop restaurant and adult pool were nice but the sushi is not up to standard for those who eat sushi. The best lunch option was the guacamole and chips. Most people don't go to Mexico for the wine, but if you wanted it you only have 4 choices: Chardonnay, merlot, shiraz or cabernet. One winery, no options.
-service: as hard as they tried, they could not keep up with the demand of people - even after the holiday crowd left. Not properly trained on customer service - which is odd since this is a Hilton. Everyone was "nice" but not helpful.
-pool: not enough lounges chairs or umbella, no music except for the water aerobics. No bar or social area.
The good news is that they had a wonderful New Years Eve celebration (included) with fireworks, music and a nice (buffet) dinner.
Those people who gave this hotel a 5 star, have never stayed at a true 5 star hotel in Mexico.
We won't go back and would not send our friends there--maybe they'll get their act together in a few years.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Dorado9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rolando M, General Manager at Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 13, 2013

Dear guest,

All comments are very well received and are important for us. We shared all the comments with our staff and work to make a better place for our guests no matter the time of the year they visit us.

Thank you so much for all your comments and hope next time you are in Vallarta I can welcome you to the resort.

Sincerely,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2013

1.If you think,you are having vacation in the "Hilton ",forget about it . The only thing which is true the name 'Hilton"
2 Food OK in buffet.But special restraint (french,Brazilian,Mexican),do not even try,they do not even have items shown in the menu
3 Beach. If you planing to slip in the morning,forget about spot by the pool,especially around holidays
4 One day ,there were no towels on the beach at all,until noon.Elevator was out of service for two days,locks in public restrooms out of service
5 Rooms.If you have bad weather outside,and want to have rest in the room ,make sure-you lock balcony,because smell coming from the kitchen and restrains downstairs (even 7-8 floor )
But from another side when you close balcony,you have bad smell from the toilet (I stayed with several couples -different rooms-same problems)
6 Housekeeping.Even if you living tips,you still can expect cleaning after 4-5 pm (when you want come from the beach )
You need to beg for towels,bathroom accessories (shower gel,conditioner, etc)do not mention bathrobes and slippers and parer, pen, pencil
7 Wi Fi does not work even for payment
8 SPA.Do not expect any great service ,but quite expensive
9 Breakfast. Every day we ask for bread and butter,and finely Sheff brought it for us
10 Roof bar -nice spot-only place we fill we are on vacation
11 Bright side of the hotel young friendly staff team, trying to help and make your vacation pleasant,as much as possible in their power

Room Tip: suite only
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank MarusiaKiev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rolando M, General Manager at Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 13, 2013

Dear guest,

Thank you for the time you took to share your comments with us, every single one is being review to improve them and guests can enjoy their time in Hilton Puerto Vallarta.

Sincerely,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2013

This is my first hotel review I’ve posted to Trip Advisor, and I have lurked on Trip Advisor for years. Why am I posting? Because my wife and I had an amazing outstanding time at this hotel, and I felt so well treated there that I am compelled to write about it. We were made to feel like the hotel staff was part of our family. So I am also shocked at some of the negative reviews, and find myself taking it personally, as if someone is unfairly criticizing my family. No hotel has ever made me feel that strongly before, and I’ve stayed in many.

We stayed December 15 – 22; just before the holiday rush and high season begins. So perhaps the hotel’s resources are more strained during the busy season than the time period we experienced. And yes, this was our first stay at an all-inclusive hotel, and our first resort hotel stay in Mexico. But nevertheless, I think our experience is representative of the quality of the hotel.

First of all, the most amazing thing about the hotel was the service. Weeks before I arrived, the concierge staff and reservations manager answered my numerous detailed e-mail questions promptly and efficiently. They even went to the trouble of getting digital copies of the restaurant menus to e-mail to me ahead of time so I knew what to expect.
During our stay, the pride, enthusiasm, and energy staff at every level exhibited was amazing. They seemed truly emotionally invested in the hotel. Perhaps because the staff was personally involved in the effort leading up to the hotel’s opening. One of the concierges told me he personally carried mattresses on his shoulders during the preparations for opening. So I suppose the hotel staff feels the hotel is like their own baby, and they are excited and proud of it. It is a testament to the management skills of the general manager and his team; I hope they can keep that spirit alive as time progresses. I know from personal experience it is very difficult to instill and maintain that sense of ownership in one’s employees.

The second most amazing thing was the food. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the specialty restaurants for dinner. We also found the buffet to be quite good for breakfast. We took advantage of the included room service, and found it to be relatively prompt and good. We liked Le Delice (the french restaurant) but preferred La Catarina (the fine dining Mexican restaurant) I was surprised to read another reviewer complain that there wasn’t enough “authentically Mexican” food. I then realized that the reviewer thought tacos, fajitas, burritos, enchiladas, or quesadillas are traditional Mexican food. My wife and I visited several off-property restaurants in the city of Puerto Vallarta and also did not see such items on the menus either. There is a good reason for this. NEWSFLASH: There is a big difference between Tex-Mex food and authentic Mexican cuisine. A few conversations with the waiters and a few Mexican guests at the hotel confirmed this. First of all, tacos are considered street food, and are not normally served in fine dining establishments. The dishes served at La Catrina were gourmet interpretations of authentic dishes from Jalisco, Michoacan, Oaxaca, and other regions in Mexico. The other items many Americans think are Mexican food are actually Tex-Mex and are only popular in Southwest United States and maybe perhaps some of the northern Mexican states that border the US. And yes the cuisine from central/southern Mexico is not as fiery hot as Tex-Mex, but is very wonderful. So I suppose those expecting Tex-Mex food will be disappointed; they would be better off planning a vacation to Texas. But those looking for gourmet interpretations of dishes from central/southern Mexico will be pleased.

Also, we thoroughly enjoyed our experience at Fogo, the Brazilian steakhouse. Some reviewers have criticized it; while it may not match the culinary experience of the best Brazilian steakhouses of the world, you cannot beat the setting. You are seated on an outdoor patio right on the beach surrounded by tiki torches. You hear the sound of the waves crashing as you are served delectable cuts of meat. The food and beverage manager went out of his way to have the shrimp specially prepared for us (without the bacon wrapping since we don’t eat pork) and it was amazing and our favorite. Our reservation time was after dark, but I would recommend getting a reservation just before sunset. I imagine dining right on the beach at sunset would be amazing.

The third most favorite thing was the adults-only pool and sky bar on the fourth floor of the north building (called O’West). I loved coming here at sunset to enjoy the beautiful view and peace and quiet. The staff here was always very friendly and eager to offer you a drink while you enjoy the view or take a few laps in the quiet, tranquil (no-kids) pool.

Finally, this resort is new. The décor is ultramodern with clean lines, cool color tones, and a minimalist look. My wife loved it, and so did I. But those looking for a traditional Mexican look may be disappointed.

I would heartily recommend this hotel to anyone planning a stay in Puerto Vallarta. In fact, I predict that this hotel will become so popular that it will be impossible to find a room, or the demand will drive pricing to a point that I will no longer be able to afford it! Feel free to message me if you have any questions about this hotel.

Room Tip: Try to get a junior suite with an ocean view in the North tower.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank zorrobandit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rolando M, General Manager at Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 13, 2013

Dear guest,

I feel deeply honored to read your comments and that you had such a wonderful stay with us.

It is an honor for me also, to be part of this great team of collaborators who genuinely strive to please our customers even before the set foot on our hotel.

We are only 3 months old and we know we are still in the way of maturing many processes, but one thing we have is our willingness to please our guests and that, has giving us our personality, which I guess in way, it is part of our culture.

For us as hoteliers, your accolades are what we live for and create a sense of pride to continuously seek different options to better attend our guest.

I thank you for you time and most of all for choosing us to spend your holidays.

I look forward to welcoming you again in the near future as one of our most pampered customers.

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