Like others who have posted online recently, we were concerned about whether the OGNV would be truly ready for guests after their renovations.As we had signed up for a "roulette" deal (where you are not assigned a hotel until 3 days before departure), we had no choice in the matter.
Fortunately, by the time we arrived on Jan 7th, it appeared to us that the major concerns (room deficiencies, staff competency, timeshare salespeople, variety of food items) had been addressed. Overall we found the OGNV to be elegant yet without pretense. This is a difficult balance to achieve but particularly appreciated by anyone traveling with children.
Our standard deluxe room was tastefully appointed and complete, down to a functioning albeit empty mini-bar fridge. Their policy at the time was to replenish once every 3 days, which at first seems somewhat insufficient but given that this is an all-inclusive resort, it's no big deal. They stocked it with a few cans of pop and beer after we arrived but we used it mostly to cool drinks and snacks we purchased at the mall across the street.
Contrary to information on the OGNV website, there is only one adult pool and there is no swim-up bar. At 4'3" (130cm) the adult pool is a tiny bit deep for kids under 10 unless they're good swimmers. There is a kid's pool for toddlers. The beach is absolutely perfect - far better than the one in Puerto Vallarta to the south or Bucerias to the north. Sandy and gently sloping, enough surf for boogie boarding yet safe enough for kids - once they understand never to turn their backs on the waves.
Poolside staff are friendly and attentive - we never lacked for a drink. I was delighted to discover they had Modelo Negra - my favorite Mexican beer - on tap. A well-stocked bar both beach-side and in the lounge for those who prefer mixed drinks. You can bring your kids to the bar where they'll be plied with all kinds of fruity concoctions - our 8-year-old discovered the pleasures of a virgin margarita with salted rim :o) You can also take drinks up to your room for a nightcap or whatever.
The animators (activity organizers) are enthusiastic and do a good job of organizing guests for poolside and beach activities. However, the Kids' Club is suitable only for the 6 and under crowd, The evening entertainment is earnest if somewhat hokey, although the dancers are very good and costumes are wonderful. Warning: sit near the front and you'll be recruited onstage to dance at the end of each show.
Given that this is an all-inclusive, we found the food at the buffet to be quite varied and tasty although a bit bland for our taste - we like a bit of heat. However it was not hard to find something tasty. Breakfasts are particularly good - they make a mean omelet and the french toast with Nutella is pretty awesome too. The à la Carte restaurants (Mexican and Italian) require reservations one day in advance. We only did the Italian which is quite elegant and features a well-executed menu.
Overall, we find little to complain about. About 1/3 of the guests were Mexican, often large families and we liked the vibe they created. Noise was never a problem. The evening shows are a bit clamorous but they wind down by 10 or 11 and the family orientation tends to keep the singles party crowd to a minimum. However, the hotel was probably at 1/3 occupancy when we visited, so the dynamics may change significantly as the numbers go up.
In summary, for a casual, relaxing and no-stress family-oriented vacation, we think the OGNV would be pretty hard to beat.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The all-inclusive Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta is the ideal hotel for families, couples, and friends looking to enjoy a fun vacation on the Pacific shores of Mexico. Recently renovated, Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta has been updated with the latest modern amenities and technology to ensure a pleasant stay. The hotel is situated on one of the most beautiful beaches in the Riviera Nayarit, minutes from the Nuevo Vallarta shopping center and the best stores and restaurants in the city. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
- Occidental Allegro Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
- Nuevo Vallarta Occidental Allegro Hotel