Let me first say that we are Legendary Members at the Hard Rock Resorts and this isn't our first time going to one. We bought ours in Dominican Republic last year and fell in love. However when we visited Hard Rock Vallarta we had a different story.
Starting out it was a nightmare to get checked into our resort. We are members however our friends who also went with us booked both rooms so that we could get adjoining rooms. The front desk would not allow us to check in until they arrived some 3 hours later. The lobby was hot and needed better A/C. The staff was super friendly though, allowing us to go to the bar and have some drinks while we waited. Once we finally got to our rooms, which happened to not be adjoining we found it to be quite small compared to the last resort we stayed at. The hot tub took up most of the room. The tvs where quite small, however the beds where amazingly soft. We ended up going back down to the front desk to see if we could get rooms that were adjoining and they were unable to accommodate us at the time. The following day we were able to switch rooms finally after talking to the front desk for some time. Once into our new room we settled in and were taking showers to get ready to go out only to be walked in on by other hotel guests who thought they were getting an unoccupied room. AWKWARD! After that debacle we ended up going down to the pool to enjoy ourselves. The hotel is dated, as you will notice, the pool was good size however there were missing pieces of tile everywhere and the most shocking part of the pool was the BLACK MOLD in and around the POOL. See attached photo. Talk about a major health hazard, I would never go back just for that reason.
Our biggest gripe about the trip was at the swim up bar when we saw the bartender try to discretely pour bottom shelf liquor into a top shelf bottle and replace it on the shelf so nobody would see, however we saw. This made us terribly upset as we bought this Legendary Membership with the understanding it would be top shelf. We confronted the hotel guest relationship manager who looked into the issue. She spoke with the beverage manager who admitted to consolidating liquor. THIS IS IN NO WAY ACCEPTABLE!!!! The manager made it up to us by sending unopened top shelf bottles to our room. (there was no way we were going to sit in our room all night and finish them, ughhh). Two days later I experienced the same thing happen again with the liquor being poured into another bottle to consolidate, this was at the outside Italian restaurant though. At the same time we also saw the waiters pour liquor into plastic cups, typically used for soda, and serve it to underage kids who ended up making their own mixed drinks! I thought parents should be aware of this before you spend money and go here.
The hotel was showing its age. The decorations in the hotel were minimal (not what you would expect from a Hard Rock), the massive paper mural in the lobby was falling off the wall, literally. The lobby did not have sufficient seating and tables to sit and relax and play games. My biggest gripe was the fact that most of the time they were playing Mexican music in the lobby and down by the pool all day, HELLO Hard Rock Hotel (where is the American Rock Music). They have cabanas and a private beach just for owners (which we are), however we were not top of the line owners so we were not able to use them!!! When we were in the pool one night a swarm of thousands of bees flew over us and made a nest under a canopy in the pool. When we asked management what they planned on doing they said nothing, (hello beekeeper). Talk about a hazard to anyone in the wrong place at the wrong time. We also booked a zipline trip with the hotel workers, they said it would be a 4 hour trip and to be there at 10 am on the dot. We took a cab to the meet up place, got there at 9:57 and the bus had left. Thankfully another tour guide from a competitor called the bus up and told them to wait for us at the next stop. We got a free ride from the competitor. The excursion lasted 6.5 hours and we ended up being late for our massage as we were told it would only be 4 hours. The hotel workers were not willing to refund our money as they said it was our fault for not showing up, after numerous attempts and hours later a manager finally refunded our money back.
Check out sucked, you had to wait in long lines to check out and get a piece of paper to give to the valets so you could leave. What ever happened to express checkout, especially for a place like this.
Let me focus on some of the positives, the staff was out of this world, they literally did anything you asked them to do, granted we tipped every time we came into contact with them as they work really hard. The food was above average but wanted to see more variety in the buffet. They typically served same food every day. You did get limitless resort credits which we used almost every day at the spa. The massages were great and staff was super friendly! They had a good variety of activities and excursions you could go on. Daily activities at the pool were also entertaining. The nightly shows were just average, nothing to write home about. Also, its about a 30 minute cab ride to downtown if you want good nightlife. The night club at the hotel was just so so, not much decorations or a theme going on. Beach was average, not very white sand or water. There was washout from a nearby river that caused water to be cloudy and brown but the water was quite warm.
I would not return to this hotel for all the factors I have stated including the health issues with the black mold, you would think it would be a major concern to the hotel but it was not. I do plan on visiting the other Hard Rocks hopefully in the near future.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta is a gorgeous, 348-room beachfront property ideally situated between mountains and the Pacific Ocean, featuring unmatched, all-inclusive luxury accommodations including in-room double hydro spa tubs, fine dining, top-shelf drinks, 24-hour room service, live entertainment and more. One of only three AAA Four-Diamond hotels in the area, this stylish property boasts six restaurants offering tantalizing specialty cuisines, four bars and lounges with top shelf drinks, two large outdoor swimming pools, children's pool, beach volleyball court, Body Rock Fitness Center, unmatched music memorabilia, signature Rock Spa(R), a Rock Shop and much more. The property additionally features 6,300 square feet of meeting facilities. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vallarta Palace Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
- Vallarta Palace Nuevo