Disclaimer: What you are about to read is regarding my personal experience....which may help in your decision.
Officially in "Nuevo Vallarta," it takes about 20 min to get from the airport "Arrivals" sidewalk to the lobby of Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta. If you are taking a cab, it's more expensive to ride from the airport to the hotel than from the hotel to the airport. When you step out of your cab or your rental car, your are greeted with a grandiose lobby. The lobby is very open and makes the hotel seem grand. Everything looks very new. Most of the staff will know English more or less.
After checking in, a "guide" will explain the ins' and outs' of the hotel, and then he or she will become a "salesman/women" and attempt to get you to go on tours. Ours was a very nice guy named Ramiro: very approachable and helpful. He/she will also ask you to attend a presentation that basically introduces you to their "First Club" program and will give you discounts on stuff if you attend. Thankfully, it's not about time share. I recommend checking out good tours and activities on tripadvisor or another website and then making that appointment for the presentation in order to get discounts on the those tours. Vallarta Adventures is a good company to choose an event from because Occidental offers discounts on them and because the "headquarters" is only about 5 min from the hotel.
The room we received was nice, but a little smaller than I would expect for a 4-person-family. Previous reviews that advised getting a room close to the Hard Rock hotel next door for free Wifi are no longer relevant because Hard Rock now protects their Wifi. After paying for the wifi, I found it extremely slow in the room, however, it was faster in the lobby and around the pool. There are a few, very minor annoyances regarding the room: Our shower door would not close properly and so every time someone took a shower, there would be a giant puddle in on the floor (we solved that problem by jamming a bottle between the door and the wall to act as a "door stop"). The toilet paper holder faces outward and is only attached to the wall at one end so whenever you grab some toilet paper, the whole roll would just come off and fall onto the ground. Our housekeeper would always give us three bath towels instead of four, so we would always have to make a call to get a fourth towel. There were two beds, but for each bed, there was one long pillow. But the room was in very accommodating and comfy in general. I especially like how the mini-bar was complimentary.
For our first dinner, we went to the buffet. What I like about the dining area of the buffet is that it is very nice and open to the fresh air. Unlike the Italian restaurant which is indoors, the buffet doesn't get stuffy or hot in the nice Puerto Vallarta weather. The service is very nice and there is a wide variety of food. The food was better than I had expected, but I found it sad that there was ice cream only available during dinner.
The two restaurants, one Mexican-food-based and the other Italian-food-based, require one-day-ahead reservations which can be made at concierge in the lobby. The Italian restaurant asks for formal clothing with long pants and closed toed shoes; i think wearing somewhat "formal" attire will be acceptable because I do not believe the staff will ask you to go back to your room to change. The Mexican restaurant is more lax on attire. The Mexican restaurant "La Hacienda" is also open to the fresh air and serves exceptional Mexican cuisine (try the tortilla soup). The Italian restaurant (whose name eludes me at the moment) is also tasty as well, but of course the country is Mexico and not Italy. When the restaurants and the buffet are not open, you can get a snack, like a hamburger or a sandwich, at the snack bar, or choose from their wide variety of their drinks; being all-inclusive, drink and eat as much as you can. In fact i found that when i wasn't sleeping, i was eating, and when i wasn't eating, i was on the beach.
The beach is very nice. If you want a good beach, head for Nuevo Vallarta because hotels near downtown Puerto Vallarta have beaches that are very rocky and have minimal sand. There are not many beach vendors (from what i experienced) and the ones that are there on the beach don't shove their merchandise into your face; if you say no, they will kindly go onto the next tourists. There are also many water sports activities on the beach: jet ski, para sailing, boogie board, kayaking(complimentary from the hotel), volleyball, soccer ("football"), american football, etc. On the grounds, you can also find badminton, ping-pong, tennis, and basketball. You can also borrow bicycles to ride for free, but i advise you not to ride on a hot day because your tire may pop at any given moment (not a fun experience riding a bicycle with a popped tire back to the hotel) and be careful as cars don't yield for pedestrians nor bikers.
There are daily night shows at their newly built theater. They are generally interesting, but might be a bit on the boring side to some people's tastes. If you want a really cool night show experience, I suggest you book Vallarta Adventures' "Rhythms of the Night."
The pools there are what you might expect. No waterslides. There is a kid pool, a shallower kiddie pool, and an 18+ adult pool that is quiet.
Our stay at Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta was a great one. You do have to take a taxi or ride the bus to downtown and old town Puerto Vallarta, but there is a Walmart and a shopping mall close by if you need to buy anything. The old/dowtown is just for if you want a souvenir or want to eat something authentic. If you are traveling to Puerto Vallarta, Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta should be one of your choices as a temporary home.
- 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