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“Just Not Enough Time!”

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Costa Sur Resort & Spa
Ranked #39 of 125 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Novato, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Just Not Enough Time!”
Reviewed February 22, 2013

Just finished two weeks here and it's just not enough. This is an older resort with an amazing location and an outstanding staff. Management should be thrilled to have such great employees as Fernando at the front desk who does everything he can to make it a great stay and does it with a smile, and Victor on the patio who is literally running to get orders to customers on the beach and patio. If you want a five star resort with fancy rooms don't come here. But if you want to fall asleep with the sound of the ocean right outside your open patio door (even on the 1st floor i never closed my patio) and wake to watching the whales play right outside the lagoon, then give it a try. If you want to head to town it's an easy bus ride and not far at all, we usually eat at one of the many great restaurants in town and cab back to the hotel. We do manage to cook on the small stove when we want to eat in, and having a refrigerator and microwave means we could get some supplies in town so we weren't stuck for food. The hotel has incredible views from every room and an incredibly friendly staff! I can't wait to get back!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dlaroy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gelseyf, Director of Sales at Costa Sur Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 8, 2013
Thank you for sharing your special thoughts about Costa Sur and about our staff.
I agree 2 weeks is not enough.
Please come back soon but this time stay longer!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (324)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
181 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2013

Costa Sur is a nice resort for the price. There are many wonderful regulars who come to visit, so the likelihood of meeting some new friends is high. Jose does a great job engaging people in activities outside, from walks to pool exercise, to games of darts/blackjack/bingo/etc. This is very appealing to the older guests. We just sat by the pool (cool but very refreshing after the sun rises) and enjoyed the sun but it wasn't at all distracting in the background. We also rented a double kayak for 150 pesos for an hour. The ocean is not warm but you can snorkel in the lagoon without freezing. Be careful though - while it's a lagoon, it's still part of the ocean, and there was at least one stingray present on the sand bottom when we were there. As a seasoned diver, I feel I know what to watch out for, but a child would not know a stingray barb from a stick.

Our studios were HUGE compared to what I envisioned a studio to be (anywhere else, it would have been 1/3 of the size). The rooms were cleaned very well and while the kitchens are indeed a bit outdated, we did not come to PV with the expectation of a gourmet kitchen - we only used the toaster.

The views are lovely - in Feb, the sun rises around 11am over the cliff and sets at 7pm so there is plenty of sun time by the pool. Be sure to set your towels out early to secure your chairs or don't complain if they're all gone by the time you make your way down from your room at 9am. Poolside drink service is good (80 pesos for the signature Costa Sur drink but it is delicious) but you will wait a long time for water. The lobby store had all the basics we needed and prices were fair for an onsite market.

The limitations: Do NOT expect reliable wifi service. It is available in the lobby and pool areas (and in some rooms by accident) but it is spotty, at best, and requires constant reconnection. Also, plan to get sick in PV. I travel to Mexico very regularly and have never been sick previously. Upon arrival, we were told that EVERYONE will get sick. I, of course, laughed it off...until three days later when I was confined to my room. Truly, EVERYONE there was sick for at least 48 hours. I'm guessing they may not serve purified water exclusively. From the other reviews posted, I'm guessing that getting sick in PV is not uncommon at all. The great news: Guadalajara Pharmacy is just a short taxi ride away (70 pesos) and their doctor is FANTASTIC! She speaks beautiful English and can help you with a prescription if needed.

Bus rides into town cost 7 pesos - just use common sense and hold onto your belongings so they don't disappear. There were numerous accounts of guests whom over the years were mugged, pickpocketed, etc. Nevertheless, I saw more jewelry on people in PV than in a Tiffany & Co. store, so people clearly don't take this stuff seriously. Use your own judgement - my recommendation is to leave your valuables at home. No one wants you to be a news story later.

Room Tip: Choose a low floor or you'll be waiting forever for the tiny elevators!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank SuburbtoSuitcase
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gelseyf, Director of Sales at Costa Sur Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 8, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review.
We were aware some of our guests (not all) had some stomach issues.
We cant assure this was necessarily caused at the hotel as not everyone was sick. Some stomachs are more sensitive than others. We did run many tests on the water from our system and water is clean and pure...

i do feel for you being sick while being on vacation...
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 21, 2013

Costa Sur could be amazing. The location is right on a small private beach. It has two pools. The staff are, mostly, extremely friendly and helpful. It's the details that make the difference and it's teh details that make Costa Sur potentially amazing rather than actually amazing.

We stayed in a one-bedroom "suite" that was dated (maybe great in 19830 but fine for what we needed and for the price. The balcony at sunset and dawn had unbeatable views.

To get to town you can take a taxi (never did) or pay $7 (pesos) for the chicken bus which is value and adventure if you never do that sort of thing.

The two pools are great except one is icy cold in January. So cold barely nobody -- and I mean nobody -- swam in it. It was a waste of space. The other pool was heated (possibly because it is in shade all day) and used by many people but never crowded EXCEPT when the time share water volleyballers monopolized the pool, ie every day..

I understand there are scheduled pool activities but when the time sharers decide they want to play volleyball at 3pm (even if it is not listed on the activity board) then they will play volleyball at 3pm even if it means kicking families out of the pool to make room. No negotiation. No compromise.

This is rude, poor management of facilities, and implies that some guests have privileges that others do not. Try explaining to a 3-year-old that they have to get out of the pool because the old people are now using it. And no, a 3-year-old can't go use the other pool because IT IS TOO COLD.

While the breakfast service is generally excellent and well managed the dinner restaurant (La Cascade) goes down as one of my worst eating experiences anywhere ever of all time. The restaurant was not busy but it took 30 minutes to place an order and even get bread placed on the table. At a resort, when you have a kid, this should not happen. My daughter's order came out 20 minutes later: "Spaghetti Pomodoro" except it was not pomodoro at all but a spicy tomato sauce that was inedible with decorative tree in it.

If a 3-year old orders pomodoro it is because she wants spaghetti with tomato sauce not to sample the chef's experimental imagination. It had to be sent back, with much explanation, to be replaced with spaghetti with butter and cheese. Regular tomato, like on the menu, would have been fine. FORTY minutes after ordering, having asked where our own meals were, they finally arrived. We were not the only people experiencing a chaotic experience that night. Some tables waited 25 minutes for water. Some tables waited 25 minutes for the return of a credit card. Some tables, however, received fast, personable, first-name service. Repeat: the restaurant was not busy.

While some staff members work hard and are excellent some others seem to care less and are on autopilot awaiting big tips for nothing. We mentioned our disastrous experience to the front desk who said to speak to the restaurant manager about it. The trouble was, the restaurant manager (Moses/Moises) was one of the guys working that night and should have been on top of the situation already. As previously said, the breakfast service, run by a female MD, is great. A the sun goes down, so does the service.

To cap the night off, of course I got food poisoning that put me violently out of action for 24 hours. An, yes, I got it from La Cascade, from a mussel that was in the fettucine del mare.

Another detail: the deckchair mafia who reserve the poolside chairs with their towels at dawn but not spotted until late in the day - not cool.

The hotel's mini-mart is also disappointing. Prices on a box of cereal are not what is charged at checkout. It's only an $8 difference? It's the principle. There was water on the floor by a refrigerator that no one has mopped up. It wasn't until my daughter slipped over and hurt herself that anyone appeared particularly interested. Prevention is better than a "precioso".

I'm not high maintenance. Costa Sur could be great. The problem though is that I would not definitely return. I would have liked to say I would but the little details add up and I'd check what else is on offer in the area before booking again. I hope it can improve because then it would be great.

Room Tip: Request one away from the swimming pool and bar area unless you like party noise (that said, most of...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank NachoTaco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gelseyf, Director of Sales at Costa Sur Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 8, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your detailed review about your experience at Costa Sur.
I have made a copy of it and sent to management to take immediate action.
Please know that we read every single guest comment and consider them as a thermometer on service quality.

Thank you for the feedback as it will be much useful.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2013

Although the food appeared appetizing it is necessary to avoid fresh products such as lettuce. My friend ate very little salad but she became very ill vomiting and diarrhia. We know it is from the hotel as that was the only place we ate this occurred on the second day. I basically ate only bread bougt from the store and was fine until the last day when I went down for breakfast. The people at the front desk were most helpful in finding us a doctor. All the staff was pleasant.

Room Tip: Ask for a non smoking room ahead of time.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank 777malou45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gelseyf, Director of Sales at Costa Sur Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 8, 2013
Dear Guest,

I am so sorry about you getting sick during your stay.
I am glad you did get the proper care and that our staff was quick to respond.

Thank you for letting us know and hope you come back to visit us soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, Kentucky, United States
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2013

Why do so many peope continue to venture back to Costa Sur in Puerto Vallarta?
The simple answer was right in front of me all along. Do you want breath-taking scenery, the Pacific Ocean as your door mat, wonderful staff and service accompanied by delicious food? Stop searching for these items and head to Costa Sur! I can only echo what so many others have found so favorable in their visits to these beautiful City. I visited there 3 times last year and plan to visit at least twice this year. It is that amazing! You will meet unforgettable people like Fernando at the desk, Victor at the restaurant, and Jose directing activities. The meals are equal to any restaurant in PV, and the solitude and tranquility you experience at the pool and beach will send you searching for airline tickets to return. I love the place!

Room Tip: All the rooms have the same view, which captures the Pacific Ocean and amazing sunsets.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Woodrow C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gelseyf, Director of Sales at Costa Sur Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 8, 2013
Dear Mr. Woodrow,

I'm so glad to read your beautiful comments about Costa Sur and about this amazing destination of ours, Puerto Vallarta. To me this is the most charming beach destination in all of Mexico and I love it! It's been home to me for the last 10 years and I hope to stay here for as long as i can.

Hope to see you back in Costa Sur this year!
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Belcarra, B.C. Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2013

We've been multiple times, sent family, guested friends and always it is a wonderful, memorable time. Just booked April!!! We, especially prefer the North tower but have stayed on both sides. The views are stunning, the beds great, the staff friendly & helpful. The kitchens are well equipped and good. The swimming & snorkeling in the protected lagoon is fantastic, not to mention all the bird life. The location is close to town, easily reached by bus or cab (we only cabbed it at night), AND... no one has mentioned the FANTASTIC Vallarta Zoo 10 min. down the road by bus where for the price of admission you're given food & instructions to feed all kinds of fantastic animals & see them up close and personal. Giraffe, camels, zebra, panther, tiger, black bear, wildebeest)! The grounds are clean, well kept and for a small additional fee you can even interact, under supervision, with baby animals.. tiger, lion, monkeys (when we were there)!!!! Where else can you do that! Don't miss this wonderful Zoo or this gem of a hotel!

Room Tip: North tower studios have great views, marble showers, good small kitchens.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Victoria797
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gelseyf, Director of Sales at Costa Sur Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 8, 2013
Dear Victoria,

Thank you for sharing your experience at Costa Sur. I'm glad you mentioned the zoo! My children absolutely love it and its only about 15 minutes south of Costa Sur.
Some many great things to do in this area...
See you in April!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunnyvale, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2013

Right on the beach, and about 10 minutes by wild bus ride to downtown Puerto Vallarta. Our room was a studio, but plenty of space plus a little kitchenette. All rooms are facing the ocean, which is right below your balcony, just a few steps from the pool. The staff is friendly and helpful, the style is informal, many guests come every year and are friendly to newcomers. Most guests are either families or retirees, so don't come expecting a wild, swinging time. We were here in late January, the weather was in the low 80's- very comfortable. We spent a lot of time on the beach, snorkeling in the lagoon, and playing volley ball in the pool. The activity director took us out on a kayak paddle one morning,it was so beautiful and peaceful out on the water. Internet is spotty, but the desk staff will let you use their computers if needed. Concierge service is very good, Perla gave us a lot of assistance with recommendations and reservations. The hotel is older, but remodeled and very clean and pretty. I would recommend it for families, couples and anyone in need of a relaxing vacation.

Room Tip: All the rooms are nice, but avoid those on street level, they can get traffic noise.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Letitia R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gelseyf, Director of Sales at Costa Sur Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 8, 2013
Dear Letitia,

Thank you for your detailed review..i am so glad you had time to go out kayaking and spend some quality time! Hopefully you got to see some whales too while kayaking...
Hope you consider us again for your next vacation.
Greetings from sunny Puerto Vallarta!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Costa Sur Resort & Spa

Property: Costa Sur Resort & Spa
Address: Carr. Puerto Vallarta a Barra de Navidad Km. 4.5 | Zona Hotelera Sur, Puerto Vallarta 48390, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 Business Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#22 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#29 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#32 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#34 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Costa Sur Resort & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 202
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Costa Sur Resort & Spa is a beautiful 202 unit all suite resort just five minutes from downtown Puerto Vallarta. It features ocean front views on each suite as well as fully equipped kitchenettes and balconies. Each room has been updated with king size beds, 42" flat screen TVs and ipod docking stations. Our pride is our private beach with ocean lagoon making Costa Sur the only hotel where guests can snorkel onsite. Costa Sur has two pools, two bars and a wonderful ocean view restaurant, "La Cascada." Make sure to check our "All inclusive add-on." We also feature a mini-mart, a wonderful spa, a gym, free Wi-Fi, ATM and an internet center. Everything for a great vacation! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Costa Sur Hotel Puerto Vallarta
Costa Sur Resort And Spa
Playa Del Sol Costa Sur

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