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“Grand Bliss is truly bliss”
Review of The Grand Bliss

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The Grand Bliss
Ranked #4 of 28 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 9, 2012

This hotel is as good as anything we have stayed at in Mexico. We did not have an ocean view however as much as we are out of the room , we did not mind. Of course there are sales people always wanting you to do a presentation. Sometimes I think some of these reviewers are the most naive people in the world or they are just habitual complainers. The beds are a huge improvement over the Grand Mayan and the amenities in the room are very nice. No pool right there but the walk to the Grand Mayan pool might take at the most 5 minutes.
We will be coming back often.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank beachloverjkg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 20, 2012

Comprehensive Review:

I will start off by saying we are Grand Luxxe owners who had to stay at the Bliss...so we got an upper floor, central ocean view room. Everything is beautiful--the Vida Vacation Club properties are about as nice as it gets in Mexico for room and property quality. The Grand Bliss is right in the center of the resort, and all the pools and restaurants are a 5-10 minute walk from the hotel. The resort has a little open-air shuttle service running between the hotels on the property to the front entrance of the resort.

Service: All the maids, doormen, and grounds attendants are fantastic and very friendly, but much of the lower level staff can be pretty clueless if you need help with something, as they don't understand much English. If I switched over to Spanish things went smoother, of course.

The Timeshare Presentation Deal: Being high level members, we've been through our share of the dreaded presentations. Yes, they can be pushy. Yes, they will try to keep you from leaving and can go on for hours. Never had any problem with them deceiving us, and they were always very respectful to us. I guess how you get treated depends on who is giving the presentation and if you buy or not. If you do the presentation to get the 10% discount, be smart and make sure its clear that you will be receiving the discount.

Pools and Beach: Many beautiful pools that are always a good temperature, the beach is very nice. Pool chairs get claimed early--watch out. There are always palapas on the beach that are open. The swim up bars are nice, and the lazy river is a blast (they turn on wave in it at various times).

Restaurants: The resort restaurants are definitely okay, but I'd recommend going out for dinner as it is more fun and often cheaper (try La Dolce Vita, Eddies Place, etc. nearby in Nuevo Vallarta). The resort restaurants are not cheap, but on par for what is expected at a nicer resort.
Samba at the Grand Mayan pools was good for lunch--great chicken quesadillas.
We went to Havana Moon the night we got in. The panko-encrusted chicken I has was delicious, but portions were small and the food took forever (an hour) to arrive.
Tacos Break was good and very cheap, it is located across from the resort's entrance.
Never did Punta Arena or Tramonto, but we heard good things about them. We heard that Gong was okay at best, and overpriced.

The problem was breakfast. There is no ala carte breakfast restaurant; Cafe Del Lago has a delicious breakfast buffet, but is insanely expensive (around $20/per person if I recall) so we only went once, when it was free with the timeshare presentation.
I highly recommend room service for breakfast, it is okay priced and good (try the French toast), and can be enjoyed while still wearing pajamas ;)

Golf: Very enjoyable, but we are all not very serious players.
No tennis courts--bummer.

Spa: I got a massage, it was average, but nice facilities. But hey, I like getting massages on vacation (FYI the massage ladies speak almost no English).

Activities: We stayed at the resort most days, making base camp a palapa on the beach. Taxi prices can get expensive if you decide to go out of the hotel, and only 4 people in a taxi (we had a group of 5). Vallarta Adventures, which is located at the marina near the resort, offers great tours and is only a short walk away.

Talk to the concierge people (the resort calls them "Mexican Travel"), the closest are located in the Grand Mayan.

Always a great vacation at the Vida properties!

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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5  Thank Vacation_Time25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2012

I would give this a 5 star for the hotel, the pools and the lush grounds, BUT it deserves a 1 star for the heavy timeshare hassle and some of the customer service. I picked a happy medium.

We stayed at the Grand Bliss in November 2011, through our RCI membership. We were initially given a mountainside room overlooking a huge construction zone. I pleasantly and persistently asked, over the next two days, for an ocean view, and we were rewarded with a beautiful room overlooking the lagoon and farther away, the ocean.

The hotel: Do keep in mind that the Grand Bliss is quite a distance from the beach and from any pools. It has no restaurant or store. It is a very quiet hotel, we did not see any children there at all. There is a small bar for drinks or coffee in the lobby., This bar also has a few continental breakfast items (available in the morning). Near the bar (which is not a walk-in type bar but rather a bar counter on one side of the main floor lobby area) are several very nice couches and chairs for lounging. In the evening there is often someone playing the guitar. One night they had a harpist. It is quiet and sophisticated.

The room: Modern and white. This hotel does not have any traditional latin or mexican feel to it at all. The bathroom is beautiful. The marble tiles in the shower have shell fossils embedded in them. Very cool. The tub is open to the bedroom and the bathroom, with shutters that will close for privacy. There is a tiny fridge with enough room for a 6-pack, some bottles of water, a few yogurts, and maybe some small pieces of fruit. The beds and bedding were comfortable. There is a coffee pot. There are some acceptable chairs on the deck but nothing very comfortable.

The grounds: The grounds of this entire complex are incredible. It is like being in a botanical garden or a jungle. Although a lot of walking is required to get anywhere, it is a treat to walk because the paths lead through really amazing gardens.
The Grand Bliss is situated behind a beautiful lagoon. On the other side of the lagoon, toward the water is a beautiful pool that is generally very quiet. If you want pools, this is the resort to go to. There are several of them. The Grand Mayan pool is more geared towards children. It has a great lazy river (but you cannot take a beer with you as you float, Drink beer, then float, then drink beer,...etc...) The pools and the lazy river weave their way through the landscape and because of all of the greenery it feels fairly private in many places. There are several restaurant choices around the Grand Mayan pools. It is about a 5 minute walk from the Grand Bliss. Again, for a more quiet pool on the water go out toward the beach from the Grand Bliss.

The negative:
TIme share hassles and repeated lies. We were told, that as owners of the Grand Mayan as well as of RCI (of which we are both), that we were invited to a SHORT, 45 minute "owners meeting" during which we would receive updates from RCI and could ask questions about our memberships. Breakfast would be on our own time afterward if we were interested. We questioned this as we have obviously (being owners at Pueblo Bonita Emerald Bay and the Grand Mayan, as well as having membership with RCI and HCI) been through the time share deal before. We had no interest in hearing the hard pitch again. We were VERY clear on this. We are assured REPEATEDLY that this was for our questions only. We told them we had appointments that we needed to leave for by 11:30. Of course, we were told exactly what we wanted to hear. Sure, no problem. You will be finished by 10 at the latest, you can have your breakfast on a different day if you like. We will not be trying to sell you anything or get you to upgrade. This is a service to you as an active member, giving you a chance to ask any questions you might have, blah, blah, blah...
We arrived for our meeting at 8:30 AM. Over a half hour later, our "host" joined us. We again asked about the purpose of the meeting and the time required and were told the same story. Short, informational only. All for us. Right!
After an hour of babbling nothing but sales pressure at us (to upgrade), we said we had to leave, This had already taken longer than they said it would. We asked for our breakfast coupon. No, we couldn't have that. We would have to eat with the "host". We were VERY CLEAR from the beginning that we were NOT buying or upgrading anything. Several time we reminded the host of our time limits and their promised "1 hour". We suggested she not waste too much time with us as her time was money as well and again, we were not buying. At 11:30 we said we had to leave. Our 'host" became hostile with us. It was an extremely negative experience from the lies the timeshare front counter told us repeatedly all the way through the abuse from the "host".
The Customer Service negatives:
1. Went to restaurant to left of Grand Bliss (can't remember name now). The waiter coaxes us in with great menu choices. We are starving. He seats us and wanders off for awhile. By the time he returns he informs us kitchen is closed and we can have pretzels.... Really? Minor inconvenience but annoying after the timeshare fiasco earlier in the day.
2. We needed to head to the airport shortly but were a bit hungry. We asked how long it will take to get a plate of shrimp, explaining our airport departure. Oh, about 5 minutes. We will have to eat fast, but it will work. 35 minutes later we get our shrimp. We have to inhale it. Which leads to the next problem
3. Do not take towels from one pool area to another. You cannot return them to the wrong pool area, despite the fact that it is all the same complex. We found this out the hard way. We started the morning at the waterfront pool. Later we moved to the Grand Mayan pool. Not wanting to waste perfectly good towels, we brought out towels with us. It was time to head to the airport and we were told we could not return these waterfront pool towels to the Grand Mayan pool towel counter. In a rush, we thought we would just give our towels to the front desk at the Grand Bliss. This is a high end hotel after all and customer service is supposed to be what it is all about. Wrong. Either we pay for the towels or we return them to the waterfront pools. So I had to sprint through the jungle, past the lagoon to the front pool. Lovely for a leisurely stroll, this was no fun with a tummy full of garlic shrimp at a dead sprint and the hot sun. So much for customer service in that case.

Construction Negatives:
There is major construction going on here. It appears it will be ongoing for a few years. The plan is to develop this into a huge, self-sustaining complex, with grocery stores, shopping malls, golf courses, etc... Any room on the back side of the Grand Bliss will be facing construction. The Grand Lux (exclusive- we were not allowed into their pools or eat at their restaurants) also had major construction issues. They were also building between the Grand Bliss and the Grand Mayan.

Thanks to a kind front desk person we were moved to a nice room. The pools were lovely. The grounds are gorgeous. The beach is nice. The rooms were clean and tasteful.

Unfortunately, the timeshare staff and their repeated lies, high pressure, and outright hostility ruined what would have otherwise been a great experience.

.

Room Tip: Make sure you try to get an odd numbered room. They are on the ocean side.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank ricknsara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Socialmediamanager1, Manager at The Grand Bliss, responded to this reviewResponded November 5, 2013

Dear ricknsara :

We truly appreciate the time you have taken to share with us your detailed impression about your stay at The Grand Bliss.We are glad to learn you enjoyed our lushgrounds, pools, gardens and accommodations. We really thank you for your kind comment about our front desk staff.They work tirelessly - day and night, to make our guests’ visits the most comfortable experience ever.


Regrettably, it would appear we did not meet all your expectations. For that reason, this will be shared with the appropriate areas so they can look into each one of your observations. All our staff has a strict regimen of training and supervision in order to provide the highest level of service our guests expect from us, as we strive to make each and every one of our guests feel cared for, appreciated and respected.

Lastly, we are pleased to inform you that the pool area is now available for our guests to enjoy.

We hope to have an opportunity to welcome you back in the future to truly impress you with what we have to offer.

Sincerely,
The Grand Bliss Nuevo Vallarta Management.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2012

We stayed at The Bliss in late October, 2011. Overall it was a wonderful resorts, especially in that it is part of a mega complex with access to the Grand Mayan and Luxxe resorts. When planning for the trip, I found it hard to get details on things that pertain to bringing young kids to the resort. So, this review is focused on just that: things we liked and did not like as parents and tips on what you might want to bring with you.
Note: At the time of our vacation, our son was a crawling 10 month old and our daughter was almost 3.
-The plunge pool on the unit balcony was GREAT for kids. It has one step in the water that our son was able to stand one with his neck and head out of the water and a deeper area that our daughter was able to stand up in no problem. So the depth is perfect for small kids. We brought a floater for our son to go in so he could fully enjoy the pool while we sat beside the pool. I highly recommend bringing a beach ball and a few toys for this pool so you can really get the most out of it.
-The balcony for the unit has glass panels allowing for a great view. But, my mom didn't feel it was safe so we constantly had to tell the kids to not put their hands on the glass or push on the glass. Personally I think it was fine as it's a family hotel but better to be safe than sorry.
-The hotel unit doors are NOT child-friendly. There is no upper lock, just the door handle that locks on the outside. Our daughter was able to easily open the unit door to the main hallway of the building. Scary. Thankfully the chairs in the unit are very heavy so we just pushed a chair in front of it. You might want to consider bringing some child safety device with you.
-All the pools/river etc. are about a 5 minute walk away at the Grand Mayan resort. Bring your stroller as it's much easier to cart the kids to the pool this way and it's great for carrying a variety of stuff along. The kids pool is the farthest pool from the Bliss - so probably a 7 minute walk. The paved walkways are excellent for strollers and partially shaded.
-For a family-friendly hotel, we were very disappointed in the hours set for the pools - they don't open til 10am!!! but thankfully we could use our balcony pool to start the day given our kids wake at 6am.
-We were also a bit disappointed in the lack of casual restaurant options - all of which had VERY slow service. Most of the casual restaurants are near the pools so I recommend ordering for delivery poolside or to take back to your room. Order with at least 30-45 minutes ahead of when you want to eat or leave as it does take that long.
-One pleasant surprise was the Italian restaurant (Tramonto?). They are quite fancy but have a fully dedicated room for families/kids and have a selection of toys the kids could choose from and take to the table. Our son was crawling around on the floor, making a huge mess with his food and the waiters were EXCELLENT about it.
-The marble floors in the unit are VERY cold on bare feet and legs. So if you have a crawler, make sure you bring comfy pants and skid proof slippers for him to wear in the unit or else you will need to keep your units' air conditioner adjusted accordingly.
-The onsite supermarket is well stocked, including baby food and diapers. It's priced about 3 times higher than Walmart. Walmart is about an $8 taxi ride there and $6 taxi ride back (not sure of the price difference) and probably worth it.
-The unit is well stocked for cooking breakfast or lunch in it.
-The pools were the best we've ever seen in terms of family-friendly for small kids. We were even able to take our kids in the wave pools and in the lazy river.
-The check-in process was VERY VERY long. Not kid-friendly process for young travellers. Maybe bring the kids bathing suits or some toys to help with the long process.
-We brought our playpen and the units' bathrooms are so large that we put our playpen in one of the bathrooms at night to give our son his own room. There are no real fans though so best to bring white noise on your ipod/ipad to help keep the bathroom nice and quiet for your baby.
I'm sure I've missed a few things, so if you have additional questions about what it's like to bring small kids to this resort, please email me anytime.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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8  Thank jcrickbc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2012

We have stayed at the Grand Mayan resorts for the past 4 years and my parents the last 10 years. Resort is very nice, clean staff friendly. Great beaches, Lazy river is excellent. My massive issue this trip was when we ate at the Punta Arena. I has a severe anaphylaxis allergy to peanuts. While yes I should have left after looking at the menu and seeing there were nuts on it. I talked to staff and they assured me I would be fine. Our party of 10 placed our food orders. I ordered a spring roll appy which I shared with my husband. With in 5 min I had to leave give epi pen, call hotel Dr, they called ambulance and off to the hospital I went. I know there were peanuts in it or some type of cross contamination as my lips and tongue swelled up. $1200 dollars later and very shook up. I get told by members of our group that the restaurant charged us for our meal. I went down to the front desk to talk to a manager. Monday morning. I said I had no problem paying for the little we ate but not whole meal. Was told a manager would get back to me. Monday afternoon back to front desk still nothing. Tuesday morning went down again was told manager of Punta Arena would call me. Nothing Wednesday. Went down Thursday Morning to front desk they were unable to help as again I am to wait for a manager to call me. Thursday afternoon someone from the Punta called as talked to friend who is sharing our room. They said that while the restaurant took precautions "they made sure oil was clean in fryer" it was my fault. My friend told them her 2 cents on the restaurants stand. they said they need to take to the manager. I am now livid and go back to Grand bliss front desk to be told again I need to wait for a manger to call me. Friday Morning we are super persistent in getting a hold of a manager. Jessica finally walked over to the Punta and had our bill reversed. Upon check out the charge was still there so again we had to argue the charge. If this had happened anywhere else it would have been dealt with in a far better manner than it was. I would have gladly paid my bill if I ate the food but to be told it is my fault I had a reaction was unforgivable. I do not know anyone who would risk their life and eat something that could kill them to get out of paying a bill.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Kevin I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2012

Our RCI exchange was for 2 weeks in the Mayan Palace Marina because we love the walk to the Marina restaurants which are inexpensive and good. Two weeks before our departure, we were told that the Mayan was "closing" and we were being moved to the Grand Mayan. This is the 2nd time this has happened to us! We did not want to be in Nuevo (too secluded) so switched to Club Regina (near the Marina) for the 1st week. Nothing was available at the Marina for the 2nd week, so we reluctantly agreed to move to Nuevo as long as we were were upgraded to the Bliss. Upon check in, we were asked to do the timeshare presentation. We refused, as we have done 2 timeshare presentations with the Mayan resorts, and they are a 4 hr, rude and high pressure nightmare! Consequently we were put on the back of the hotel, facing the construction all week, although the Bliss was nearly empty. When we requested a move to the ocean front side, we were told we could only be given a room facing the ocean if we did the presentation, and that would be counted as our gift. We refused to be blackmailed and declined. Not very customer friendly! Also, we were told use to the Grand Mayan pool each day, since the Bliss does not have its own pool. That pool is very hot because of no breeze, and noisy. Not once were we told there was a beautiful pool by the ocean which enjoyed the ocean breeze and was virtually empty. We found it ourselves on our last day. Another example of poor service by the front desk staff when they know you won't do a presentation. Many of the restaurants weren't even open, and we were forced to pay a taxi to go out each night for dinner.

Positives: Beautiful room, impeccable maid service, friendly staff (except for the sharks at check-in). Go to the pool near the ocean. Beach restaurant has a "pick your red snapper" and they grill it for you--best meal there!

We would not go here again because of the negative experience with the timshare presentation issue. Restaurants on property are way too expensive.

Room Tip: Insist on ocean view!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Cyndy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Socialmediamanager1, Manager at The Grand Bliss, responded to this reviewResponded November 5, 2013

Dear Cyndy G :

We are grateful for your taking the time to write a review about your experience while staying at The Grand Bliss. We are glad to learn you enjoyed some our facilitiesand some of our staff’s service, as this is what we strive for every day.

It appears as though not all your expectations were met. Our goal is to make each one of our guests’ vacations relaxing and we look to please them by making sure they receive all the benefits they are expecting to enjoy during their vacation. With that in mind, your feedback will be shared with all the appropriate areas.Moreover, we are pleased to inform you that the pool area is now available for our guests to enjoy.

Your feedback is very important to us.

With all good wishes,
The Grand Bliss Nuevo Vallarta Management.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2012

The arhitecture is very impressive. The service was fabulous. The food was delicious. The walk to the beach (500 yards) was gorgeous. Lots of people, but not too crowded. Not an intimate, secluded vacation experience- but a very nice place to hang out. Some construction noise. Stay away from timeshare hawks. $30 round trip to downtown by taxi- not too bad. About 7-10 great places to eat there. A lot of nickel and diming. Dropped $2,000 in 1 week for 3 in a heartbeat. they overall, was well worth it.

  • Stayed: January 2012
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Thank Thumbwhopper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Grand Bliss

Address: Av Pasedo de las Moras | Fracc. Náutico Turístico, Nuevo Vallarta 63735, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Nayarit > Riviera Nayarit > Nuevo Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#4 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#7 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#10 Family Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Number of rooms: 130
Also Known As:
The Grand Bliss Hotel Nuevo Vallarta

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