IT WAS SOOO GOOD!! Ok I have to say that after seeing some of the videos on YouTube and photos online, I was worried this place my be stuck in the 80's. I was shocked at how modern and beautiful this place was. This was my first (but won't be my last) trip to Mexico. Let me say that I went with my inlaws on with their timeshare membership so maybe I would expect more (or be more disappointed) if I were paying the $508 USD per night that I saw listed at the front desk as the rack rate for a standard suite. But you shouldn't ever pay that. A quick search on trip advisor's vacation rentals found one at Mayan Palace for $1000/week.
First don't worry about the water issue. We sucked down lots of drinks with their ice, brushed our teeth and even drank a small amount from the tap and we had no problems. I'm pretty sure resort water must be filtered.
Second - right off the plane. Don't stop for any of the booths in the corridor at the airport. They act like they are agents of your resort but the are not and are timeshare people. These people are pretty pushy and get a little rude when you tell them you are not interested. Walk straight out then turn right just before you exit and find DC Services, I think it is called. They take you to the Mayan. There are several different Mayan's so make sure they know which one. They are all close together but it's kind of like Vegas everything looks close til you start walking there. Take lots of American 1's for tipping. Besides that exchange money so you can deal with their money. Estimating everything at 10-1 you lose a few cents every time and it makes a difference when it comes to higher amounts. I found the people at the Mayan to be very nice especially bar and wait staff. The front desk at check in will ask for a credit/debit card and will put $500 USD hold on that account. So if you give them a debit card be aware of that. The resort has a no cash policy. Everything on the resort gets charged to your room. I did not find any misbilling on my statement.
When we checked in we were taken to a desk (which I originally thought was the concierge desk) where they give you information and will try to get you to go on a timeshare presentation. My inlaws were traveling with us and they decided to go. They made $250 USD and we all were treated to a very nice breakfast and quick tour of the Grand Mayan (which is incredible). Then my wife and I and the kids were allowed to leave while they got down to business with the inlaws. They joined us at the pool by about 2p I think. They said they actually kind of enjoy going on those things. They went on two more. Only one of the presentations got really bad and they were treated very badly but they were not associated with the Mayan. They made a total of $750 USD while they were there just going on tours and got to see some neat places.
Our room was very nice size, the frig is a little small but that was ok. We over-bought at Walmart. Advise - only get things for breakfast and maybe late night snack. The room is too far to be spending all your time walking back and forth for drinks and sandwiches and such. Besides the staff is constantly doing rounds to make sure you never go thirtsy. It's too convenient to pass up. Oh and while I'm on the topic of walking. It is a beautiful walk to the pool and not the Bataan Death March that others have made it out to be. Unless you have serious health problems or problems walking you will be fine and enjoy the nature around you. The bed was a little hard but not unbearable. The pool was huge and there are nice pools towels available. There is ping-pong on the south end of the pool. I didn't have any problems with snakes or iguanas or even bugs for that matter. Weather was perfect not too hot but warm enough that that if you sat in the sunny you would get warm. Kids loved the beach which was sprinkled with pyrite (I guess) which made it look like gold flakes when the water rolled over it. Beach is not as pretty as Gulf Coast and more brown. I was told that there are several rivers that drain into the bay and the run off from the mountains makes the water less clear. But it feels clean (not like Miami beach).
The restaurants on the property are very good. We ate all but one meal on the property. There is a variety so you can go cheaper at some and spend a lot at others. Punta Arena was outstanding. Great food, Great service, candlelight by the beach...wonderful experience. $170 USD for family of 4. Did go to Eddie's Place it was ok, nothing to write home about.
Spa was nice. On the 5th Day they started telling us that no kids under 16 were allowed even with parent. They are 14 (son) and 11 (daughter). That was may least favorite part of the trip. My kids really enjoy whirlpools and the like.
We did book 3 excursions online with vallarta-adventures prior to going down. I will post a separate review of that. But summary: swim with dolphins - my kids loved and I loved watching that, trip to Marietas - WOOOWWW whales!!!, zip-lining - fun and Rhythm's of the night on New Years was cool but benches at show not very comfortable. I will try to come back and add photos.
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- Also Known As:
- Mayan Palace Nuevo Vallarta Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
- Wyndham Nuevo Vallarta
- Nuevo Vallarta Mayan Palace
- Mayan Palace Resort