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“Best Vacation EVER!”

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Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta
Ranked #6 of 28 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed January 23, 2007

My husband and I went to Vallarta Palace December 17-22nd. I wanted to write a review to tell everyone what a SPECTACULAR vacation we had. We truly can’t wait to go back and are already saving for this year’s return trip!

ARRIVAL—it really was exciting flying into PV over the Sierra Madre mountains. Getting through the airport was easy. My biggest piece of advice would be this: when you pass through customs, hunker down and run through the timeshare “room.” I am an experienced traveler and it was still intimidating to have people bombarding you with offers of taxis and asking which hotel you’re going to, etc. My husband and I just put our heads down and scooted on through to the area where our Cheap Caribbean rep was waiting for us with a sign with our names. Vallarta Palace was only a quick 10-15 minute ride from the airport. Before we knew it, we had chilled champagne and a warm towel in hand at the check in counter.

ROOM—the rooms at Vallarta Palace are beautiful. I loved the soothing cream colored décor, and minimal decoration. I do not like the typical loud, “condo at the beach” décor of most places, so this was a refreshing change. And the soothing colors were carried throughout the resort. The room was plenty big enough for two. The bed was very comfortable and even had a thick mattress pad on it. I really enjoyed the Biosilk amenities. The best feature was the two person Jacuzzi. We took a relaxing soak every evening! Our view from our fourth floor room was phenomenal but we will request a top floor next time. We’re light sleepers and the “stompers” above us was a little annoying.


FOOD—we found the food at Vallarta Palace to be very pleasing. Every morning, we had made to order omelets. At lunch, we would get a steak grilled for us at Mar Intimo. This steak was to die for! However, our favorite time was afternoon snack time! We’d get nachos from Triton and a fresh margarita. For dinner, we really liked the fajitas in La Fiesta. Also make sure to order room service at least once. We had a hamburger and fries one night, and tried the chocolate cake another night. Very yummy.

POOL/BEACH—the pool area was very nice. The whole resort was immaculately clean and manicured. From morning until night there was a staff member cleaning and landscaping. The pools were a little too chilly for our taste, and the hot tub was barely lukewarm. Our favorite area was the beach. We sat under the thatched umbrellas every day until sunset. We had great drink service, even on the beach. The ocean was a little cool too, but still had lots of people swimming. The sand is beautiful gold sparkly sand- very different from the white sand I’m used to, but very soft and beautiful all the same. While we were there, it was overcast a couple of days, and was a little cool. I wore a light sweat suit to the beach and was perfectly comfortable on those cooler days. When the sun was out- it was hot!

MISCELLANEOUS—we didn’t go to the amphitheater any night to see the shows. We did go to the lobby bar a few nights for an after dinner drink. They usually had a singer and band in there, and one night had karaoke. The sunsets were just fabulous. All our pictures look like “fakes.” Our friends don’t really believe we took them from our balcony! One day, we walked the two or three blocks to shop for souvenirs at the mall. Note that there is a grocery store in there too, if there is something that you absolutely can’t live without that Vallarta Palace can’t provide. However, I would be hard pressed to believe that if you asked for something, they couldn’t whip it up for you. The staff was so, so eager to please. As for the beach vendors, it was a little annoying that they were constantly parading back and forth on the beach, but a simple “No, gracias” would suffice and they would continue on by. Finally, I indulged in an hour long massage, and was so relaxed I could barely walk back out to meet my husband. Definitely take advantage of the spa services they offer.

My husband and I loved, loved, loved Vallarta Palace and can’t sing their praise enough! I have now visited several of the Palace Resorts and this one took the cake! We will definitely be going back- ASAP!

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled as a couple
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27  Thank BhamALtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,580 - 3,586 of 4,853 reviews

Reviewed January 12, 2007

Our family (2 adults and kids 7 and 11 ) has just returned from a week at the Vallarta Palace (1-8th Jan). I have been prompted to write a review after reading the reviews posted over the last couple of weeks.

Our experience was much the same as the majority of people here:

Check In was smooth and trouble free after a 10-15 min taxi ride.

The room was clean, with comfortable beds, jacuzzi, fully stocked fridge and ocean views. Maid service was excellent including a turndown at night that including making our beds again, sweeping the floor and fresh towels again.

The entire resort is very clean and well maintained.

The beach and ocean were great as were the 2 large pools (one heated, one not...did someone say they were small?). The outdoor hottub wasn't very hot though. Yes there is no swim up bar, but the waitresses around the pool kept our entire family well stocked with drinks from day 1.

Service throughout the entire resort was very good. Nothing was too much trouble for any of the staff we met.

The major thing people seem to be unhappy with is the food. We were there a week and the only time I ate the same thing twice was at breakfast and that was by choice. It is pretty much the same thing every day but there is plenty of choice. Also we found the quality of the food to be good. We never saw or heard of anyone getting sick. Also if you ask for something the chef/waiters will get it/make it for you. The food isn't out of this world but it was good, especially freshly grilled chicken, steak, burgers etc. Just remember ...you are in another country ! Things will be different.

We thought the entertainment was going to cheesy, and it was a little, but we really enjoyed the show every night. The entertainment staff work very hard throughout the day (Oscar and Abraham - thanks for the beach soccer!) and then put on the show at night.

We went on 2 of the 4 free tours. The sunset tour (we saw hump back whales too) and the city tour and would recommend them both. We also went swimming with dolphins which is about 5 mins away by taxi and well worth the money. We got 45 mins in the water with the dolphins and it is certainly an experience we will never forget.

We will be looking into going back to the Vallarta Palace next year. All four of us had our best vacation ever.

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled with family
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22  Thank jandcfoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2007

My wife and I just returned from the palace and let me say, "it's a pleasure". Every time an employee serves you while at the palace your "thank you" or "gracias" is responded to with a "it's a pleasure". One woman, who brings drinks to the sunbathers by the pool said it the best, in a strictly phonetic-I don't speak a lick of english whimper, "eeetz a plezsh". It was awesome to hear everytime you ordered a "miami vice" (strawberry daquiri/pina colada mix). By the third day my wife and I were walking around babbling "eeetz a plezsh" like a couple of morons but getting a real kick out of it.

The place is truly great. The food is good. The booze is for the taking, and the setting is beautiful. If you like to sit around and gorge yourself and talk about all the other guests and try to figure out their lives then this is the place for you. We talked non-stop about the other guests and it kept us very entertained. "Have you seen the cowboy today?" "Where's the high maintenance couple" "I just saw the angry newlyweds" "The mother and two daughter combo are having a jam" It goes on and on. And you'll love it.

The best part about the place, like you may have read already, is the staff. They are really nice, but not overly so in a way that's creepy or will make you feel guilty. They work their ----- off too. It seems like they work from 7am to Midnight. And the have multiple duties. This guy Paul is the pool guy during the day and then puts on a pair of Danskins for the nighttime entertainment.

There is so much more to say, but I don't want to spoil some of the surprises. We paid about 3 grand for the two of us to heathen out for a week and it was well worth it. We didn't leave the compound except for once and we regretted it. Be sure to dine at La Fiesta at night and say hi to Rodolfo for us. The guy is the best waiter I've ever known and he looks like a Hispanolia Buddy Hackett.

My wife just reminded me to say how clean it was. Can't wait to get back.

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20  Thank Felch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2007

I will keep this short as the last reviewer said many of the points I would have said. We stayed over Christmas/New Year and had the most amazing time. We too have stayed in many 4 and 5 star, all inclusive resorts and this was the best. Service was great, the facilities are great and the food was very good. Sure eating buffet for seven days in two restaurants does limit you, but the food their was good. We went with a group of 15 adults and kids (big and small) and everyone was satisfied with offerrings. We also ate twice in the Japanese restaurant and no one got sick. We had both the prerpared food and the sushi and all was very good, better then the buffets. I read travel advisor religiously, so I was very skeptical of this restaurant, but the main complaint seemed to come regarding the raw sushi. Please, you can get sick from eating raw sushi in the finest restaurants in Canada or the US. My advice, don't eat raw sushi.

Finally, my daughter made a vase in arts and crafts and we inadvertently left it behind. I gave the hotel my e-mail address and asked that if they found it, to let me know and send it to me. I figured it was the last I would hear of it. Funny enough, they found it, e-mailed me to tell me and sent it to us.
What more needs to be said, other then we will be going back.

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled with family
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18  Thank Steven S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2007

My new hubby and I spent 8 days there in June of '06 for a spectacular honeymoon!

The service was exemplary; we wanted for nothing. The beach was lovely, dotted with shells (watch out for jellyfish and puffers that may have washed up), and always had a pleasant breeze.

We used a membership, so had the silver bracelets that allow you to do everything. Some special things we experienced were: side by side massages in the spa pavillion, wonderful towel art in our room, and a great waiter named Jesus who wrote, "Happy Honeymoon" on our dessert in chocolate sauce.

The sunset tour was beautiful, although quite choppy. We cancelled the channel tour, deciding it may be too hot. We also took the city tour of Puerto Vallarta and really enjoyed that except for the jewelry store where they take you to use the bathroom. They feed you tequilla and try to sell you overpriced silver junk. Take this tour early in your trip to see where you might like to go in the city later in your trip. We bummed a ride with the tour bus on another morning and since they weren't full, they obliged.

Not sure what everyone's problem has been with the food...everything we had was wonderful! I think we could have lived on guacamole, salsa and chips. I have quite a sophisticated palate and if you're not timid when you order, you won't be dissappointed. And don't just take everything you eat from the buffet, they'll prepare anything you like if you just ask...Momonohana had wonderful appetizers and desserts. My husband had a mixed seafood entree there that was wonderful. The Italian restaurant was a wonderful experience. We went for a late dinner there our last night there and had wonderful food, great service, and a romantic, candlelit experience on the beach. We had steamed seafood that was just wonderful; clams, crab, shrimp and octopus.

Our room was a little understated, but quite comfortable. There's a stocked mini bar and fridge, a programmable safe, and two person jacuzzi. The "balcony" was tiny, but sufficient for watching the sunset every night.

I would recommend using the sunset photographer located at the towel stand at the pool. We signed up for that and the photo he took was wonderful.

The only drawbacks...entertainment was substandard, but boy, were they trying! Pool table would be better suited for a church basement. Watch out for the hotel doctor! My husband forgot a prescription and he wanted to gouge us to replace it.

Good stuff to know....bank onsite for money conversion, nice gift shop with good prices, beds are extremely comfortable, watch out for the timeshare people (they're EVERYWHERE), airport transfers were on time and efficient, and if there's anything dissatisfying, notify the staff and they will take care of you promptly.

The service was wonderful. Every staff member was eager to accommodate your slightest whim. You absolutely never get thirsty in this place! We had already decided that we would return before our first day there was over!

  • Stayed: June 2006, traveled as a couple
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16  Thank WarEagle43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2007

Our family of 11 people stayed at the Vallarta Palace Dec 29th to Jan 5th 2007 and each of us had a great time. There were games for young and old by the pool, and the winners received prizes.

I was worried about the food from all the reviews I had read but I shouldn't have been. Each restaurant was great in it's own way. Example, my husband liked the Brazilian which I didn't - I liked the Mexican which he didn't - his sister raved about the Italian while our neice loved the Japenese. Not one got sick either. The restaurant by the pool was also pretty good for snacking. If you are truly concerned about the food you can take a tour of the kitchens to see for yourself how clean they are.

The rooms are clean and come with everything you may forget. Toothbrushes & paste, shaving kit with disposable razor and cream, mouthwash along with the usual shampoos and conditioners. The jacuzzi even has a bottle of bubble bath!
Each room has it's own bar that comes with 4 bottles. Tequilla, Brandy, White Run and Scotch but you can request something else if you prefer. The bottles come in a liquor cabinet and you can request the key if you prefer to keep the kids out of it. There is a bottle of red wine on the table with two wine glasses and a corkscrew. The room fridge comes supplied with 4 cans of Sol beer, 2 cans of Lite Sol, and 6 cans of mix. Pepsi - Diet Pepsi - Mexican 7:UP and tonic water. They also have 6 bottles of water in the fridge, a couple by the coffee pot and a couple more in the bathroom to brush you teeth with. I also noticed that the restaurants use bottled water for the guests, so you don't have to worry about the water. The resort also uses a purified water system so the Ice is safe as well.

The nightly entertainment was also pretty good. You have to remember - This isn't broadway. The entertainers consisted of the pool staff so by the time you leave you will have a favorite. Ours was Paul. He kinda looks like Malcom on stage (from Malcom in the Middle) but up close he looks nothing like him - must be the lighting. He got to know us and on our last day he came up to us and gave us a big hug. (He noticed our bracelets were gone). We made sure we gave him a tip for all the fun he gave us. The shows start at 9:30 everynight. Some are dancing shows, some are with audience members but they are all fun. We went every night. Make sure you check out the Fiesta night. It's undescribable but both young and old will have fun.

The staff is so friendly and speak English well so there is no communication problems at all. Everyone raved about the staff. Just remember that when you check in (or the next morning) that the resort has 4 free tours you can go on. Make sure you check into this so you have the chance ot go on the one(s) you want. Finally don't make the same mistake as me - Make Sure Your Camera Has Fresh Batteries!!!! You may have to go to a small presentation on the Palace resorts after. My 2 sister in laws went to this and said it wasn't bad only 90 minutes and no pressure. You will receive $100.00 VP dollars which you can use for the Spa or the Gift Shop. (They blew it in the gift shop)

Be aware there really is no place to snorkle in Peurto Vallatra. The bay is too rough. We paid approx 120.00 CDN to go to Las Caletas where we were told was the best place for snorkling and couldn't stay in the water because of the baby jellyfish biting everyone. The bar staff on teh island were handing out salve for the itching after. All the paths were hard to walk on so if you are elderly or have leg problems, this is NOT the tour for you. All my mother in law could do was stay at the beach. It was too hard for her to walk anywhere else. (She hung out with some guy on crutches who couldn't go anywhere either)

The only complaint I have is that the hallways are noisy, which in reality isn't the resorts fault. Guests should be aware that if you can hear someone else in the hallway, chances are they can hear you too. Kids running to the elevators or back to the rooms were the worse offenders.

I would recommend the Vallarta Palace to everyone. All in all I would go back in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled with family
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17  Thank I_hate_the_cold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2007

We stayed at the Pallace Vallarta from Dec. 23-30, 2006. There were 14 in our group, ranging in age from 18 -80. Everyone had a great time. The college aged kids found plenty of other college kids to hang out with there. Great weather. Most of us found the rooms to be fine, one of the rooms had trouble getting hot water, but whenever they called, someone came immediately to fix it. The food was good, but after 6 days there it does get boring. The buffet at breakfast and lunch is great. The inside buffet had stir fry where you picked out which items you wanted and was cooked to order. There was also a pasta bar and salad bar. Their bagels do leave something to be desired. One in our group, who is a big meat eater, did not like the steaks. But I found the chicken and fish good. On Christmas Day there were grilled lobster tails for lunch!
Staff went out of their way to make sure you always had what you wanted or needed.
Most of our group hung out at the pool area, but I like the beach. I found the beach area wonderful. There were chaise lounges and you could move them around, so if you wanted sun you could get it or you could be under a thatched umbrella. They were constantly coming around for drink orders; would even bring you bottles of water.
Workout room is small and often crowded in the morning. I usually went at off hours. 6 of us went bike riding one morning. They have bikes to use at front of hotel. Bikes are old and since I'm short it was a little high for me. But we biked all over. Saw ostriches and a tiger at one of the other resorts!
3 of the kids played tennis. For a couple of days, they had trouble getting a reservation at the court, but they were persistent and finally got to play twice. I think they tipped the guy to make a reservation for them because they didn't want to wake up at 7 a.m. to do it themselves.
Kids went jet skiing and enjoyed. We got them to come down in price since we rented 5 of them at one time.
All in all, it was a great place for a family reunion as there was something for everyone. Also, didn't have to worry about making dinner reservations for a large party. I would stay there again.

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled with family
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12  Thank beanie4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta

Address: Paseo de los Cocoteros 19 - Villa 8 | Bahia de Banderas, Nuevo Vallarta 63732, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Nayarit > Riviera Nayarit > Nuevo Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#3 Family Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#4 Luxury Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#4 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#6 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range: $300 - $683 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta 4.5*
Number of rooms: 348
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

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