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“Would have been ok, had we not all gotten ill”

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Costa Sur Resort & Spa
Ranked #38 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Would have been ok, had we not all gotten ill”
Reviewed April 29, 2013

We received an awesome deal on our room here via a Living Social deal. We were in PVR for a wedding and multiple sets of guests also stayed here. We had a one bedroom suite in the updated tower.

I'll start with the good-
-Staff is extremely friendly, lagoon is great, pool is nice, room was suitable for our needs-not the fanciest place I've ever stayed but it was fine for me.

Bad-
We were in the tower nearer the septic tank and the smell was AWFUL. Almost unbelievably, the smell in our room was much much worse. To the point where we'd occasionally gag-the smell was constant and horrible. Did I mention the horrible smell? It was bad. (I should note this isnt my first trip to Mexico and I'm accustomed to the occasional whiff of sewer, this was much more extreme and regular) I'm embarrassed to admit this now but we didnt think to ask to be moved until three or four days in. When we did complain the staff was very nice and showed us multiple rooms, the room we picked was much less smelly. We should have asked to move much sooner! But that is on us.

The worst part of this trip was that all of us got very sick. There was no common food or drink that we could pin this to and by the end of the trip the only thing I could come up with was that it was the hotel. Either a backup of the septic tank left the air dirty or perhaps someone with housekeeping had a virus that was transmitted. Who knows. Every person at the wedding (8 total that we talked to) that stayed in the same tower as we did got sick-extreme vomiting and diarrhea. ANother group in the elevator in the same tower said 14 out of the 16 people in their group had also been sick!

This was my third week in a row on a fabulous trip to Mexico so it was a really unfortunate end to the trip. I would have been happy with the facilities and price but I just can't overlook the fact that so many of us got so sick. I would not stay here again if I could go back in time-no way. I dont write bad reviews often and take the impact of critical reviews seriously but this completely impacted our trip in the worse possible way.

Room Tip: Avoid room 418 like the plague
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Julia J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gelsey, Director of Sales at Costa Sur Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 3, 2013
We were very sorry to hear about your health problems during your trip to Mexico – nothing is worse than an illness that affects everyone in a group traveling together. For our part, we can only reinforce our hygiene program which is already very strictly applied to all procedures related to consumption of food and beverage on the premises. Our water undergoes the most rigorous and regular testing at a highly qualified laboratory. At a separate laboratory, also highly qualified, we have regular testing of the food provided to guests at our hotel. The results of this testing continue to be consistently favorable.
Of course, no one can be 100% certain as to the possible origin of any such illness. But we can assure you that we take your letter very seriously and will thoroughly review all hygiene procedures with even greater attention to any possible compromise of cleanliness standards. We want our guests to feel that they can have full confidence that the food and beverage at our hotel meet the most stringent international standards of hygiene.
As for the odor problem while you were at the hotel, we did have a mechanical malfunction at our treatment plant which we fully corrected as quickly as possible. We apologize for this inconvenience and we are fully committed to preventing this problem from occurring again.
We do appreciate your fair minded reference to the many positive features of our resort, first among them being the staff. Everyone employed at Costa Sur takes personal pride in serving our clientele and it is a very personal disappointment when there are problems of the type you describe in your letter.
We hope to have a second opportunity to demonstrate that Costa Sur is a professionally managed operation. Again, we apologize for the odor problem which is not an acceptable condition for our guests at any time. We appreciate your comments because they will motivate us to take every possible measure to prevent any such problems from occurring again.
The Management
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (325)
Date | Rating
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English first
San Diego, California
1 review
Reviewed April 29, 2013

I would actually give it a 3.5, not superb, but not bad either. Nice looking place - sort of. It's like an old building got upgraded, but without much attention to detail. For example there's marble countertops, with sloppy installations. New paint, but painted right over loose panels without tidying them up first. Our floor stunk of fertilizer in the plants, and there's noise from the highway at night, in addition to mariachi band playing for the wedding downstairs. Otherwise the price was good, service was decent, and the view is spectacular. Lagoon and pool are nice. It was actually the perfect choice for us since we didn't spend a lot of time there. It's not far out of town and we rented a car so we spent most of our time eating out (hotel restaurant is decent but expensive) and seeing the town.

Room Tip: Higher floors have a better view, but get more noise from the highway.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kerry D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nantucket
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 29, 2013

My wife and I have visited Costa Sur for many years and most often come with family and friends. If you are looking for or are accustomed to "americanized mega hotels" with all the amenities then Costa Sur is not for you. However, if you want the feel of real Mexico with a great staff, then by all means please give Costa Sur a try. This "boutique" resort probably would not appeal to college age guests as the bar area does close early (I think at 11 pm nightly) and does not offer a late night party scene to any extent.

Most guests are in the 40+ age group and many are owners or guests who have come to the property during the same timeframe for many years. All rooms (north and south towers) have incredible ocean views. The studio rooms (north tower) are older but very clean and have great private balconies and servicable "galley" kitchens. The newer south tower (one and two bedroom suites) have full kitchens and balconies with 1/2 walls. The views of the "man made" lagoon and Pacific ocean from all rooms is beyond compare. We ate a number of lunches and dinners in the restaurant and found the food to be very good on all occasions.

One of the most amazing aspects of Costa Sur is the very hospitable and professional staff most of whom have been there for many, many, years. If you happen to meet Moises, Victor, Juan, Flavio, or Janet in the restaurant or bar area please say "Hi" from Rick and Rona. If you can play ping pong challenge the activities director Jose to a game (if you dare!). Our room attendant, Isabel, is so friendly and efficient we can't wait to see her smile at us when we return to our unit on the 4th floor every year.

Without a doubt, Costa Sur could use some "upgrading" in some of the studio rooms but it more than fulfills our wants and needs and the lovely people who work there along with the friends we see every year...keep us coming back.

Thank you for a wonderful vacation again this year!

Room Tip: “I would advise staying below street level (floors 5 or lower) or above floor 8 (in either tower) if...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RickNRona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nantucket
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2013

My wife and I have visited Costa Sur for many years and most often come with family and friends. If you are looking for or are accustomed to "americanized mega hotels" with all the amenities then Costa Sur is not for you. However, if you want the feel of real Mexico with a great staff, then by all means please give Costa Sur a try. This "boutique" resort probably would not appeal to college age guests as the bar area does close early (I think at 11 pm nightly) and does not offer a late night party scene to any extent.

Most guests are in the 40+ age group and many are owners or guests who have come to the property during the same timeframe for many years. All rooms (north and south towers) have incredible ocean views. The studio rooms (north tower) are older but very clean and have great private balconies and servicable "galley" kitchens. The newer south tower (one and two bedroom suites) have full kitchens and balconies with 1/2 walls. The views of the "man made" lagoon and Pacific ocean from all rooms is beyond compare. We ate a number of lunches and dinners in the restaurant and found the food to be very good on all occasions.

One of the most amazing aspects of Costa Sur is the very hospitable and professional staff most of whom have been there for many, many, years. If you happen to meet Moises, Victor, Juan, Flavio, or Janet in the restaurant or bar area please say "Hi" from Rick and Rona. If you can play ping pong challenge the activities director Jose to a game (if you dare!). Our room attendant, Isabel, is so friendly and efficient we can't wait to see her smile at us when we return to our unit on the 4th floor every year.

Without a doubt, Costa Sur could use some "upgrading" in some of the studio rooms but it more than fulfills our wants and needs and the lovely people who work there along with the friends we see every year...keep us coming back.

Thank you for a wonderful vacation again this year!

Room Tip: I would advise staying below street level (floors 5 or lower) or above floor 8 (in either tower) if...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RickNRona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gelsey, Director of Sales at Costa Sur Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 13, 2013
Dear Rick,

Thank you for your review.
Your description of our hotel and services is very accurate and I hope it helps our future guests when researching were to stay. We are making upgrades little by little and i am sure you will see the changes when you come back.
Have a great day and hope to see you soon back in Costa Sur!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morristown, Tennessee
Level Contributor
23 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2013 via mobile

This beautifully located resort is extremely run down. Such a shame because the pool/outdoor restaurant/bar area is breathtaking. The "lagoon" is a treasure. My snorkeling husband was in heaven. The staff is wonderful. The food is hit and miss tended to be really great or really mediocre to bad. I can't stress enough how run down the rooms are but our experience was the rooms were clean...that is as can be in a run down old facility. Even though our overall vacation was good we won't be returning to Costa Sur.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rebecah C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gelsey, Director of Sales at Costa Sur Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
Your comments are welcome but a Little frustrating. You mention many of the resort´s unique features but arrive at a rating conclusion that seems much lower than we deserve, given the positive comments about the pool, lagoon, common area, staff, etc. We are working on room renovations every day, focusing in particular on the bathrooms and kitchens, so if we get a second chance to provide accommodations for you here in Vallarta, I think you will be very pleased.
In the meantime, we will continue with the steady upgrade of this “beautifully located” resort and look forward to a very different rating in your next review.
Thank you again for your comments.
The Management Team
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Carbondale, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 15, 2013

I had my reservations about this resort but there wasn't much to choose from with our time share exchange. We have a beautiful 5 star two bedroom condo in Playa Del Carmen that we traded for this. My daughters got sick the second day and were sick for two days with fever diarrhea and vomiting. The first room we were assigned had no phones, smelled like manure and had a broken lamp with live wires exposed on the switch. Our second room was better but very dark and dated. The kitchen antiquated, with rotten warped wood cabinets, questionable silverware and limited dishes. The fridge was tiny. The patio furniture is plastic and old. The front office staff was helpful and friendly. PERLA went ourt of her way to retirive a duffle bag from the Lavandaria that had't been returned to us when we did our laundry. ERIC was very patient and listened to my complaints, ANDRES was helpful with medicine when my daughters were so ill. The pool and restaurant staff was nice OSBALDO, ENRIQUE were awesome. Some of the other staff avoided us unless we flagged them down. Their interest seem to be on serving the senior clientele that were obvious regulars. They received their service with quite a different level of enthusiasm then those of us who were younger. The view was tremendous and the lagoon was fabulous for the girls who could snorkel for hours. But as far as amenities go....the kitchens need a major facelift and the rooms are dark and smelly.

Room Tip: fourth floor near the elevator, south tower is newer, that's where the 1 bedrooms are.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Margaret B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gelsey, Director of Sales at Costa Sur Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 17, 2013
We are very sorry to hear about your experience at Costa Sur. We take your comments very seriously and we will respond with a close inspection of the rooms you were given. Costa Sur is, in fact, one of the oldest resorts on the Bay of Banderas which means that, at times, we have some difficult maintenance challenges. We are steadily renovating and replacing aged equipment, such as the refrigerators. But we must ask for our guests’ patience while we continue to refurbish all 205 rooms. We currently have a Corrective Maintenance team working hard on all of the issues that need attention in order to meet our guests’ expectations.
Two years ago, we made good on a promise to our guests to replace all of the beds and bedding in the hotel. Now, we will fulfill our obligation to our guests by upgrading the kitchens and kitchen equipment.
If there was any lapse in the cleanliness of the units, there is no excuse for that problem. We will correct it immediately. We appreciate your kind remarks about our excellent staff, many of whom have been with the resort since it was built more than 30 years ago. They are an important benefit on the bright side of the resort’s age. We have some of the ailments (all correctable) of an older building, but we also have the great good fortune of having a dedicated and loyal team of service professionals.
I hope you will give us a second chance to show you what we can do with one of the great ocean front hotels on Banderas Bay. Please stay in touch so that we can make very certain that your next experience with us is excellent and that you will recommend us – after a successful second stay – to all of your friends and family.
Thank you again for your comments.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irvine, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 13, 2013

We swapped our beautiful 5 star time share in Cabo for this 3 star (at best) hotel in PV. Resort and Spa are huge over statements, the main building is in need of major upgrades. The beach is open to the public for a price so we often felt crammed in the tiny beach with dozens of local families with coolers and swimming in their clothes. The food was mediocre and we all got sick. The staff was very friendly and helpful but it couldn't make up for the low end facilities. The spa consisted of four open rooms, no other amenities. The gym was tiny and the flooring in need of a thorough cleaning. Suggestion-find another option if you are used to traveling to Mexico in style.

Room Tip: Ask for the new building
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lisa K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gelsey, Director of Sales at Costa Sur Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 17, 2013
We are writing in response to your disappointment with your stay at Costa Sur in Puerto Vallarta. We very much regret that you had a negative experience at the resort, which was complicated by your stay having occurred during the “Semana Santa” or Holy Week in Mexico. This period always puts a lot of stress on the facilities of every hotel in Mexico since it is the most important vacation time in Mexico.
But we are in the business of accommodating our guests every day of every year, making sure there is guest satisfaction regardless of any peak vacation periods during important holidays. There is no excuse for any failure to provide well maintained and well managed facilities.
We do not normally have the problems you describe with crowding on our beach. Over the past year, we have added new beach furniture to anticipate this problem but we obviously need to do more – and we will.
In regard to your comments about our food and beverage service, we assure you that we will give an immediate and exhaustive review of our food and beverage preparation procedures. We want to guarantee that our service is based on the most meticulous standards of cleanliness.
We appreciate that you had good experience with our excellent staff, but we agree that a great staff cannot compensate for the problems you have mentioned. We ask that you bear with us as we steadily renovate this grand old resort and we hope you will return to see a much improved facility over the coming year. Please stay in touch with us so that we can be certain that you have a very different experience during your next stay.
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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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