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“Great for Family”

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The Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta
Ranked #11 of 27 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
San Jose, CA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Great for Family”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2008

We just returned from a one week stay at the Grand Mayan with my wife, daughter (12) and two sons (10,7). We all had a great time and our kids loved the facilities and all the options available to them.

We found it difficult to get chairs by the main activity pool, but there were usually chairs available by the wave pool, and always chairs available on the beach. There are signs asking people not to reserve chairs, but we found that most people ignored this and that ~50% of the chairs just sat empty for most of the day with someone's towel on it. Despite this, we found that the wave pools, water slides and lazy river were never very crowded. The lazy river did get a little crowded in the afternoon when they turned on the 'rapids'. My wife and I were also a little surprised that there were no lifeguards around except for the people handing out the tubes at the lazy river and one person at the top of the water slide.

Our kids enjoyed getting a virgin drink each day during one of the two happy hours. Happy hour was from 12-1 and 4-5 each day, with many drinks available for half price. We also enjoyed getting an ice cream in the afternoon. For ice cream, we found 3 choice: a Häagen-Dazs booth near the craft area (most expensive, ~$4 ea), an ice cream cart that was pushed around the pool areas (~$3 ea) or a short walk to the Sun Market in front of the hotel allowed us to get the largest selection of ice cream for the cheapest price ($1.50 - $2 ea)

Taking taxis from the hotel with 5 people was a little challenging. Most of the normal taxis could accomodate 4 passengers. Some allowed us to place our youngest child on a lap, but others did not. Sometimes we were forced to get a large van which was double the price.

We found the rooms to be very spacious and clean. The kids loved the turn down service each night, as the maid placed a Hershey kiss on each pillow. Also, for the amount of people at the hotel, we were very impressed with how quickly the elevators came. We asked to be away from any construction at check in, and were never bothered by any noise.

All in all, this is a great resort for families.

  • Liked — Pool and facilities
  • Disliked — Distance from Puerto Vallarta
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank WOW_Dad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (785)
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English first
New York City
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2008

Just returned from a great week from Feb 8 to Feb 15 in Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico. The entrance of the lobby is just breathtaking. We had a great time here and can't wait to come back. The resort is wonderful and could not find one thing that I could complain about. All positive. The only thing missing is a washer/dryer in the room but for $6 a load, you can drop off your stuff and someone will do it for you so why the heck do I need it. I'm on vacation! I love having valet parking.service was very quick as are the bell boys.

The pools are terrific for kids, parents and grand parents. We had a 2 bedroom on the second floor with a great view of the golf course and of PV. Would have loved an ocean view but my in-laws were very happy with the golf view. Anyway, we weren’t in the room all that much. We loved the lazy river especially from 1pm to 3pm when they turn on the rapids and you move along at a nice pace and there are waves. Tubes are free and offered at the river entries where the mushrooms are. The 2 wave pools are a lot of fun as is the big pyramid slide. The beach area has lots of chairs and palapas...its keep very clean. The sand is dark, clean and very wide. The beach is very swimable and the water was in the upper 70's...very refreshing and fun....a lot of waves...this also makes the water a little murky since the waves cause the sand to mix up. The pacific is very nice but it’s not the Caribbean. There are pontoons and a little chocho train that go around both the Grand Mayan as well as the Mayan Palace.

The rooms are like the other Grand Mayans...top notch! Large rooms, Jacuzzis, TV's in both bedrooms and the living room. The daily maid service is really great. Don’t forget to tip these people at the end of your stay. They work hard to make us all feel at home.

There is a market called the Sun Market right outside the main entrance near the parking tower. A better option is going to the Mega supermarket about 10 minutes up the road, highway 200 towards Bucerias.opposite direction of Puerto Vallarta. The market is huge and you will find anything...fresh baked goods, fruit, etc. Please don't be one of those tourists that bring everything from home. Saw a family bring cereal, frozen meals, fruit last summer in Playa del Carmen. Immigration will throw it out at the airport anyway. You are not going to the middle of the Congo. The supermarkets down here are great.

The onsite restaurants are expensive as they usually are at all resorts. Going out to eat is "ALWAYS' a better and cheaper option. A lot more fun too in my opinion. If you are going to eat at your resort for all your meals then maybe an all-inclusive is a better option for you. The breakfast buffet is $17 and if very good. But if you just want coffee and toast...pick somewhere else to go....go hungry and it kept me full until dinner. The poolside food is pretty good in my opinion...hamburgers, steak tacos, etc. Tremondo is an Italian/steakhouse, the food is good but it’s expensive. There are better options near by like El Porteño for steak or Guido's for Italian. Guidos is terrific and if you are lucky Guido will sing during dinner. I hear people already...why would anyone eat Italian food in Mexico? Because there are a lot of good ones and most people wouldn’t know bad Italian food anyway...that’s why Olive Garden is so popular. People in Mexico don’t eat burritos everyday and burritos aren’t Mexican anyway. IF you want great seafood go to La Laguna/Tin's Vallarta...oh baby!!! Just great and fresh seafood. Order the Pescado Zarandeada...it’s a whole grilled fish marinated in a tomato garlic bib type sauce. Saw this on an episode of Rick Bayless show...Mexico.One plate at a time....Rick is never wrong. Google it....everyone loves this place. There is one in Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta and Punta Mita. Tino's Vallarta. You should go into Puerto Vallarta...it’s a fun town with a lot of character. For dinner to go the Blue Shrimp, El Arranyan or Cafe des Artistes. The Malecon or boardwalk is fun...lots of food vendors.....artsy stuff and just good people watching.

We did whale watching through Vallarta Adventures and it was terrific. Very professional and knowledgeable. Their pier is located in Nuevo Vallarta not far from the Grand Mayan.

We did the Owners update presentation for 10% off our bill, $100 room credit and a couple of tours. Not high pressure at all. Not like the guy at Hilton Vacation club in Orlando to who told us we were stupid if we didn’t buy. They did bring in a second guy but at the 90 minutes we were done. I will consider upgrading to the new Grand de Luxe when I can see a unit.

I give this place a 9.5 I don’t give out 10's because no location is perfect but the Grand Mayan is wonderful. We are glad we own. Can't wait for the Grand Mayan Maui and Buenos Aires open!

  • Liked — Pools, rooms, service, etc
  • Disliked — Only complainers could find something to complain about.
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
12 Thank heynyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indiana
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2008

Timeshare sales people don't tell you the true story. The sales people say they just added another building and many rooms for sale.
TALK TO THE OWNERS AT THESE RESORTS!
What the sales people don't tell you is:
Owners who have paid top dollar, stay up all night to call as soon as the rooms are supposed to be available for the next year,- only to be informed that the resort is already sold out. Then the owners have to get nasty, call management and spend weeks demanding their purchased prime-time at the resort. When the owners finally arrive at the resort- they are put in rooms facing construction area rather than the waterview they were virtually-promised by the sales people.

I saw a woman confront the sales people about this and the sales manager started hollaring at her in front of a big crowd for trying to take sales away from him...never once did the sales manager address the ladies concern about the resort being overbooked.

Nice resort,- but no guarantees...you are living dangerously to buy here.

  • Stayed February 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank GratefulOne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Topsfield, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
61 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 13, 2008

My wife and I have just returned from another outstanding week at the Grand Mayan, Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. Since this resort has lots of reviews, I'll just give some updates.

Many have complained about the hard beds, including us. This time, we noted with pleasure that they have added a foam "egg carton" style pad on top of the mattress which made the bed more comfortable.

There is a relatively new restaurant in the Grand Mayan called Tramonto, featuring seafood and steaks. It took the space previously used for the library and restaurant Mondo Fusion + Tapas Bar. Tramonto is an improvement over Mondo and it seemed to be quite popular.

At the end of Tramonto is a new Internet Cafe, with 8-10 individual cubbies with computers. At least some, if not all, have a Logitech QuickCam for making video and audio calls (e.g. via Skype). I think, but I'm not sure, there is also wireless service for someone who brings their own computer. The cost is $5 for 30 minutes for computer use.

Two more GM buildings are now in use, so there are more rooms than ever before; good for those who have had problems getting a reservation, but not so good re the morning scramble for poolside lounge chairs as they''ve only added a few more along the walkway from the arts and crafts sales area to the wave pools and beach.

We no longer had to rent tubes for the Lazy River as they had a good supply of tubes stacked up at each "mushroom" entrance for free use, along with an attendant to help folks get in and out of the river. This was a smart, overdue move on management's part.

I'd be happy to answer specific questions via email.

  • Liked — Spacious, clean rooms
  • Disliked — View of the garage
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Bill139
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale
Level Contributor
64 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2008

The Grand Mayan is everything you want to expect in a 5 star resort. The resort is very clean and the servie was exception - just like a 5-star should be. Maid service twice a day. Our room was on the golf course side and very quiet. The ocean view rooms are nice, but hot from the afternoon sun.

There is easy access to Puerto Vallarta via the ATM bus that stops near the Sea Garden Resort. $15 pesos ($1.5 US) per person to Walmart and then $5 pescos ($0.50 US) per person on the"Centro" buss to down town. The cab ride back is $160 pescos ($16 US). We generally caught a Centro bus to Walmart - did some shopping and either took a cab ($140 pescos) or the bus back to the Grand.

The food at the resort is pricey. We ate at the Samba for the buffet breakfast. It was just OK. Resturants near by that we went to and are good:
LaLaguna - seafood ($30 pescos) cab to and fro
La Portena - steak ($30 pescos) cab to and fro
Almendrito's - seafood ($30 pescos) cab to and fro

Las Palomas - seafood (in Puerto Vallarta along the beach on the corner across from the bronze sculptures)

Guido's - Italian across from the ATM bus stop at the Sea Garden - NOT Good and to be avoided

Stayed February 2008
Helpful?
11 Thank arizonarek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minnesota
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 8, 2008

We stayed at the grand mayan Jan 27-Feb. 3
the resort is beautiful and relaxing.
the grounds are wonderful and clean
the maid service is exceptional
the food was very good.. (a little pricey at some restaurants)
but we also went to Walmart the first day there and got our breakfast items to have breakfast in our suite the week we were there. that worked out well. We also brought along our alcoholic beverages and a thermal cooler container for down at the pool area which saved on the bar tab.
The lazy river was really fun and we got on that every day. We also went over to the Mayan Resort for a wonderful Beach front dinner one evening..the Seafood platter for Two was great...but I think It could serve FOUR.
All in All our stay was very nice..It was hard to come back to the frozen tundra of Minnesota!

  • Liked — Beautiful weather and grounds
  • Disliked — high prices
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank shirlygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delaware
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 6, 2008

Let me start this review by saying we had the best vacation experience! My boyfriend and I had booked the Grand Mayan Resort in Nuevo Vallarta back in September. We traded our Florida timeshare through RCI. This is the first time that we had ever used our timeshare and were very worried that it was going to be a horrible experience due to some of the most ridiculous reviews on this website. We have traditionally taken our vacation on cruises and were worried that we would not like this trip, especially after reading all of the horrible reviews on this site.

First of all - Yes-there are timeshare sharks right off of the airplane after you go through customs. It really isn't scary or intimidating, just keep walking until you see the cab/taxi booth. We had met some great people on the plane and they were new to this location as well so we all stuck together and shared a cab. For 4 people it cost $27 USD to get to the Grand Mayan. Just ignore everything else around you and you will be fine.

Once we got to the Grand Mayan, the front desk person was extremely pleasant. Because we are not owners at that resort and had traded through RCI we did not get an ocean view. No big deal though and if you have to complain about not getting an oceanview after seeing all this resort has to offer than you might as well stay home. After we checked in, we went to get our resort wristbands. Many people have said that this is again a timeshare shark. It is actually the Grand Mayan's timeshare person and she gave us lots of brochures for the area and offered us a free breakfast and 10% off our entire bill if we attended the 90 minute timeshare presentation. We declined and the woman was very friendly and it was no problem whatsoever. The people we met on the plane decided to attend and said it was actually a very nice presentation. They also said that it was only 90 minutes as promised, unlike some of the other schemes. They also said that the only timeshare salespeople were Grand Mayan sales people in the Grand Mayan resort and if you declined it was fine. Unlike some of the other reviews about being stalked the entire time, it was untrue at this property. We were contacted only one other time about going to the presentation and that was about halfway through the week over the telephone. We said "No thank you" and they never called or contacted us again.

Our room was not quite ready but we could check our bags and start relaxing and enjoying our vacation right away. When we did get into our room we were extremely happy with the luxury accomodations. Everything was gorgeous & clean and the view off of our balcony was wonderful. We loved everything about how the place was set up. And as far as the hard bed situation...I slept like a rock the entire time and felt the the bed was just as comfy as the IKEA mattress I have at home. The pillows were fluffy and comfy as well...so don't let this stress you out!

The pools were wonderful and I would go out about 8:30 am every morning and put a towel down on two chairs to reserve. In the resort book it says not too, but I highly recommend doing this, everyone else does as well. We laid by the activity pool every day which was buzzing with things to do. They have a wonderful staff that puts on lots of games and activities you can participate in like crazy games, black jack, tequila volleyball, water aerobics, water spinning, volleyball, bingo, etc. They also have things like pool, ping pong, and a huge chess set for anyone to play. There are also things like basketballs and nets that go in the pool. The lazy river, waterslide, and wave pool are fabulous, as well as, the staff that run them! It would be a great place for kids to go too! And yes the tubes are free for the waterslide/wavepool! You just give them your room number and you have two hours of fun to use the tubes! You don't have to give your room number to get a tube for the lazy river (they are there for the taking and there is staff monitoring the entrance/exit). The beach was also great...the water is not crystal clear and blue and the sand is not bright white but it is still beautiful and we had no problem with bugs the day we laid on the beach. The resort also offers beach volleyball at 11 am and coordinates it with their staff. So much to do in the resort itself! You really don't even have to leave!!!!

The first night we rode the bus into Puerto Vallarta and stocked up on breakfast and lunch items at the local Walmart to save some money. A good idea for others planning to do the same is to write down a shopping list before going and look up all of the shopping list items in spanish if you are unfamiliar with the language. It is quite daunting trying to find familiar items and our usual 15 minute shopping trip in the US took us over 2 hours. We ended up taking a cab back to the resort because of all of our grocery bags and once again split the cab cost with the other couple we met on the plane.

The second day we went to the gym. You do have to pay for the gym but you can work a deal with Benjamin (who was wonderful)for $50 for 2 people for the entire week. We were happy with that and the gym was never crowded and very clean. Plus they give you free apples after each workout and they have staff walking around with cold refrigerated towels. You can also book an outdoor massage at the gym as well. Judith gave me a wonderful 50 minute massage outside in one of the cabana's which was a very interesting experience but essentially very relaxing and just what I needed!

As far as restaurants go...we ate all of our breakfast and lunches in our room. We ate dinner out every night and enjoyed Tramonto 2 nights (in the hotel). It was very good and we did not think that it was overly expensive. We also ate in downtown Puerto Vallarta at PiPi's and Si Senor. PiPi's had great fajitas and margaritas and it was loud and very active. Si Senor had great enchiladas poblano and it was more quiet with a mariachi band going around to the different tables in the restaurant. One of the best parts of both of these restaurants was the tableside guacamole. It was wonderful both places and we have been on a guacomole kick ever since!!! One warning, if you take the bus downtown it can be quite confusing...talk to the concierge at the hotel before you leave to go out and get all of the information. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get downtown via the bus but it is also the cheapest way to go. We also ate at Greenbreak at the resort but weren't overly impressed although it wasn't bad and nothing to complain about. We also ate at La Laguna which was close to the resort, right outside the main gate. It was mostly seafood and was just OK.

A MUST DO...We booked an outdoor adventure through the hotel. It was the highlight of our vacation and because we booked through the hotel it was discounted. The tour is called "The Outdoor Adventure" and it is put on by Vallarta Adventures. The cost was $94 USD per person and was well worth every single penny. We took a $3 USD cab to the Vallarta Adventures office and from there took a 30 minute speed boat ride to another part of Vallarta. After we got off the speed boat we took safari vehicles way up into the mountains. The we were at the base camp for the adventure. We were given gear and instructions and rode mules up even higher into the jungle/mountain area. We then took ziplines down the mountain/jungle and rappelled down waterfalls. The sights were amazing and the group of people running the tour were very knowledgable and professional. I recommend wearing shorts and a t-shirt and watershoes or watersneakers or sneakers as you will get very wet! The adventure lasted about 6 hours and we were given snacks and bottled waters. A great adventure for all ages and really the only thing you need to be able to do physically is walk uphill for about 10 minutes. After the adventure was over we took the safari vehicles back down the mountain and rode the speedboat back to the Vallarta Adventures office and cabs were there for a $3 USD ride back to the resort. My boyfriend also mentioned that he may be interested in playing golf while booking this trip and the person doing the booking gave him a certificate for a $50 round of golf that included the cart, range balls, club rental and 18 holes. He just had to pay for a caddy and balls for the course. This normally would have cost around $100 and the certificate is usually given to people who go to the timeshare presentation. We did not and it doesn't hurt to mention that you may be interested in doing other activities while at the resort when booking.

Overall it was a wonderful vacation for both of us. I am 25 and my boyfriend is 30 and we both thought it was the perfect vacation. You would truely have to be the world's most unenjoyable person to be around if you do not have a fabulous vacation here and can find silly things to complain about!!! If you would like to have a nice relaxing, luxury, vacation this is the place to be over and over again! We would like to buy a timeshare at the Grand Mayan but I think it is like $70,000 but if you could afford it, it would be worth every penny. We would go back year after year after year if we could!!! But for now we will settle for every 5 through RCI! Thank you Grand Mayan for all of your wonderful hospitality!

  • Liked — Everything!!!! Especially the pools, sun, room, and outdoor adventure!
  • Disliked — Taking the bus into Puerto Vallarta
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
21 Thank jlpusey04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta

Property: The Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta
Address: Av Paseo de las Moras s/n | Fracc. Nautico Turistico, 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 Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#7 Luxury Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#9 Family Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#10 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Hotel Class:4 star — The Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta 4*
Number of rooms: 795
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
Wyndham Nuevo Vallarta
Grand Mayan Resort Nuevo Vallarta
Grand Mayan Puerto Vallarta

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