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“Great resort - Great time - Everything was beautiful like fantasy island”

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Mayan Palace Nuevo Vallarta
Ranked #8 of 28 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 9, 2011

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.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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6  Thank speedcheerdad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 8, 2011

Loved it. Excellent grounds and swimming pool plus beach! Picked us up at airport too. Excellent service at the amny restaurants. The room was fabulous. I never write reviews like this. One negative, they are a bit too much into their timeshare program but do let up if you insist.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank rickdell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2011

We enjoyed our stay at the mayan palace. It was very clean, the bell hops were superb, the housekeeping was great, the foryer smelled good, beautiful grounds, great taxi service, good food, nice rooms but the pillows were ancient!!!! I loved our whole trip but even my kids were complaining about the pillows. I hope this review gets to management and they can take care of the problem. No hotel of this caliber should have rock hard pillows, if you think about it. I told the time share sharks that "I would have bought, but the pillows were not in comparison to the Westin" They were not pleased. We went to the grand mayan for a day but decided we liked the palace better. It was less crowded , had more mexican families staying there, very friendly staff and the pools were more conducive to viewing our kids in the water and the ocean. I would not upgrade just to have new and fancy, we prefer, nice friendly people, peace and quite and better views. Little kids like the water park but you can't see them very well unless you follow them around and our teenage kids were bored after a few hours. We were mostly impressed with the staff and how friendly they were to us. WE like his resort because they really liked large families and treated us so well. I would love to bring my family here again. The conciere will try to sell you discount tickets for the tours. We did the time share and then they wanted to send us to another to get the tours for half price which we did. It was a nightmare but we saved almost 500.00. I don't know what the price would be if you went to Vallarta Adventures and booked directly through their offices. They are great and all the tours we did were fabulously safe and fun. I think the hotels mark the price up and then tell you you can have it for less when you could have it for less if you just shop around. Next time we will know better. We wasted half a day that we could have been with our family. Just something to think about. live and learn. That is why I wanted to write this report. All the wonderful people and staff we met were worth it. Its such a friendly place and was very safe and fun for the whole family. If you stay here, aske the taxi driver to take you to Claudios Resaurant. We went twice and almost a 3rd time we loved it so much. Great food, great atmosphere, great people and true culture. Our kids loved it. Ask the taxi drivers, they know where all the good local places are. We had one take us to another amazing place but I can't recall the name. It was something somthing de la Villa. Not far from the mayan properties. The word meant a big pot they cook the meat in. Ha Ha. Good Luck.

Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
1  Thank lisagemp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2011

Stayed at the Mayan Palace with our 2 young children (1 yr and 4 yrs) for a week between Dec 24-31, 2010. While you don't have access to the pools at the Grand Mayan, the pools at the Mayan Palace are awesome for children who don't swim yet - shallow but interesting for the younger set. The beach is a short walk from the pool and it is lovely as well. I would recommend contacting Carla at the Grand Mayan concierge for child minding in the evening. The $15 US per hour is well worth getting out for dinner and for a drink at one of the hotel bars. If you are not comfortable with that idea, the restaurants are extremely child friendly. The fridge is small so it is a bit tricky for storing food but great to have the flexibility to eat in the room. Room service is great, though. Main dishes are about 110-150 pesos which is about $10-12 US. The service by the pools and on the beach is amazing for a light lunch. You are not allowed to bring food to the beach for image and sanitation reasons. I get this with all the birds and the odd iguana around. Highly recommend Claudios restaurant - a short taxi ride from the hotel (35 pesos). The suites are lovely with daily cleaning service which is great with all the daily sand from the beaches with little kids. The Mayan Palace is a lot more laid back than the Grand Mayan which buzzes with people and activity all the time. The time share presentation is a strong one so if you are only interested in the cash back for seeing the presentation, be advised that the sales people and managers get quiet mad if you don't agree to purchase a time share from them. The workout room is excellent at the Mayan Palace if you like the gym. I didn't try the spa but it is there if that's your thing. All in all a great holiday.

Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
Thank kid_traveller038
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2011

If you want to go to mexico, without ever seeing Mexico, then the Mayan Palace/Compound is for you. In terms of facilities it's fine, but way overpriced for the quality. Service was average to poor. Food quality was poor. Location was horrible. Nuevo Vallarta is not a town at all but a giant gated community of resorts located 7 miles outside of Puerto Vallarta. Getting into town is not easy or cheap — you have to walk a bit to the bus stop, and then transfer to another bus to get all the way into town. You can take a cab but it's still over 30 minutes and expensive. Normally I wouldn't be that upset about the level of service but this resort prides itself on it's quality and claims to be on equal footing with the Four Seasons. It's not even close. If you're traveling with children, don't mind spending too much for bad food and service and don't really care about going into town then it's fine. If you want to really see PV and enjoy it, stay in town.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank lotusc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2011

I have been an owner of Mayan Palace (originally Vidafel) since 1980's. I have seen the good and the bad of most of their hotels and others. This is one of Mayan's nicer ones. I will start with the airport. Always a nightmare. Why PV allows all those obnoxious sales people before you can get to the outside door I just don't understand. We Americans work hard, play hard, live fast and don't have time to waste when we take vacation. Anyway, after running the gauntlet I was able to find the person holding the Mayan Palace sign amongst the noisy crowd just before the outside door. The complimentary schuttle to MPNV was just outside and definitely a blessing. Be sure to request this before your trip. However, after spending 1.5 hours getting thru Customs at the airport and now more than an hour in dusty traffic getting to the hotel and not sleeping now for more than 30+ hours, all I wanted was to be shown to my room. But this was not the case. First, my medium size rolling suitcase was taken from me. Then I was told to go to the register counter. They knew I was coming. They knew what I had requested. But they were not going to let this happen until I signed up for an "update presentation" and collect $20.00 from me to make sure I would show up. I then need a bolted on plastic "bracelet" before I would be taken to my room. I personally found this offensive. I later found out that this "bracelet" identified me as a lessor individual or "guest". Once in my room I then had to call and wait for my (could have taken it myself) suitcase to be brought up. Some may like this kind of attention and sometimes it is helpful, but sometimes it is not. I just wanted to shower and find the beach. Did I tell you the beach and the pool is quite a walk from the hotel. If you are lucky to get an oceanview room you can see them, the beach and the pool that is. Owners beware. If you do not demand, if you do not sign up for a sales presentation, you will be placed in a room facing dirt and construction. Did I mention that there is construction going on all around the hotel! The train, the kayaks, the boats were nowhere to be found. If you really needed to be taken somewhere within the complex you might get someone to call one of the golf carts for you. It depended on who it was. Altho most of the staff was just wonderful, there were liars and thieves amongst them. If you didn't already know, you could/would be lied to or misled. Not a comfortable feeling when you are on vacation and expecting to be safe within the hotel area. The beach is large and clean. The pools were clean, large and not crowded. My rooms were large, immaculate and comfortable. I am not into modern, but the suite had everything I could have asked for. The food was good, not great depending on what was ordered. The Wine Lounge resturant was excellent. The service was, for the most part, very good. Now, back to that bracelet. You can go to any of the resturants throughout the complex; The Bliss, The Grand Mayan, etc. They are all happy to take your money. However, you can not use the other pools or facilities. They can use yours and they do. But you will be escorted off the premises by security if you try to use theirs. And they will know you don't deserve to be there by your bracelet. I learned at the sales presentation (3+ hours long) that all oceanview rooms at the Mayan Palace will be reserved for "potential" buyers in the future. All owners rooms will face inland (right now it's dirt). That is if you don't choose to upgrade to the Grand Mayan. So even tho I bought way back then, and it was my money and others like me, we no longer count. So would I return to this particular hotel? And would I bring my family? Would I recommend it? I don't think so. I would be so afraid of having to spend my vacation looking out on to dirt and construction. Because now that they have my money, I don't count.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled solo
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4  Thank lori117
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2010

We flew in on a Saturday for a week long trip. This was our first trip to Vallarta and we loved it! PV was much prettier than we expected. Vallarta is in the 2nd largest bay in N America and is surrounded by the Sierra Madres. We got a free shuttle ride courtesy of the MP NV. Make sure you go straight through to the exit area and bypass all the timeshare presentations! It would have been a fast ride to MP NV except for the bridge construction. The bridge was washed out during August. NV is north of the airport. PV is south of the airport.

If you get to MP during the weekend there will be a line. Warning...the check out line is even longer!! One of the elevators was down on our side for the whole week, but the room was nice. Our only pet peeve is that the floor had not been mopped recently. We had a great view of the new boardwalk and we faced the ocean. Construction on the new Luxe was 24/7 but we did not hear anything.

The pools are extensive, but a bit of a hike. Be careful going to the beach or pool area at night. It is not well lit. The walkways are not clearly marked and you can't see a thing. You'll end up wandering for a long time. The pools are not deep or crowded. The beach is nice. They sell souvenirs such as blankets, pottery, jewelry, etc by the beachfront. The prices are good.

We got the food package, which saved us alot of money. We used our tickets for an incredible breakfast buffet 3 mornings, dinner at Gong, the beach party, and Mexican Fiesta night. We also ate at the cafe by the pool/beach, which had a better selection than Havana Moon. You settle your bill upon hotel check-out. We highly recommend taking a $6 taxi ride and going to Walmart. The liquor is incredibly cheap and we also grabbed food to snack on when it was late or we were buffeted out.

We went on Vallarta Adventures, which is a 20 min walk across the resort or a short cab ride away. We went on the Outdoor Adventure, Sea Safari, and Las Caletas Day Trip. We were exhausted from our excursions by the time we left, but we tried ziplining, snorkeling, rappeling, sea kayaking, and rode a mule, horse, speedboat, and 4x4 truck! Buy your tickets online before you go and you get a discount. They are incredible. They keep you entertained, safe, and are very professional.

We also went to PV twice. It takes a good 45-60 min in traffic and costs around $25. We went to the Romantic Zone and to Metamorphasis Spa. The spas in Old Town aren't as nice as in the States, but the prices and service is great. We loved Hilda and Fabian. Our best meal of the trip around the corner on the beach, La Palapa. It's incredibly romantic and had great food.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank SassyTravelerDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mayan Palace Nuevo Vallarta

Address: Av. Paseo de las Moras s/n | Fracc. Náutico Turístico, Nuevo Vallarta 63735, Mexico
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 Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#6 Luxury Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range: $104 - $104 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Mayan Palace Nuevo Vallarta 4*
Number of rooms: 164
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Also Known As:
Mayan Palace Nuevo Vallarta Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
Wyndham Nuevo Vallarta
Nuevo Vallarta Mayan Palace
Mayan Palace Resort

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