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“Great time”

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The Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta
Ranked #9 of 28 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 15, 2008

First of all, I took this trip with two other girls, all of us in our early to mid 20s. Second of all, we booked this hotel by exchanging my parent's timeshare, so we didn't really pay much at all for the hotel.

We had a great time. The accommodations were great (although our king size bed WAS hard). The rooms were nicely sized and the maid came everyday and did a great job cleaning things up (and she did do our dishes!). The pools were amazing, lots of fun. We always found chairs, but it was May so I'm not sure how crowded the hotel was. As far as eating at the hotel, we did have the all you can eat breakfast at the pool side restaurant (Samba I think?) twice. It's very good, they have EVERYTHING, and all you can drink champagne. It's about $20 per person. We also ate at the Italian restaurant (Tramont I think?), which was only ok. I wouldn't say it was worth the price of the food. We also ate lunch at the restaurant by the beach a few times - definitely overpriced ($8 for a hot dog and fries), but very good if you want some junk food while you're hanging out by the pool.

We went to PV several times - it's a very cute coastal town. We basically stayed on the boardwalk. Getting there is kind of a pain if you take the bus because you have to walk to the bus stop (which is about a 10 min walk) then stand around until the bus comes while these guys try to sell you their tours, then take a bus to walmart, get off and get on another bus to get into the city. It takes at least 30 mins, more if you happen to be unlucky enough to have just missed the bus. We never did figure out the bus schedule, but I'm sure there is one if you're bigger on planning. However, taking the bus was significantly cheaper than taking a cab, so we did it whenever we could. The buses stop running around 9 or 10, so we usually took one into the city and then cabbed back later at night.

For food in PV: we loved Viejo Vallarta, which has a balcony overlooking the shore. The food was very, very good and cheap. Great place to go if you want seafood or Mexican. We also liked Las Palomas - a little more expensive, same kind of stuff. Their daquiris tasted like they were made with fresh strawberries. We also tried out Blue Shrimp for a more expensive dinner - their food was very good, but in my opinion it wasn't really worth the price. However, if you go there, the coconut shrimp is very good. I wasn't a huge fan of the lobster, but I think Pacific lobster tastes different than Atlantic lobster, so that could be why.

For bars/clubs, we went to the Zoo on a Tues night - they offer free margaritas to women until midnight. They basically tasted like candy and probably had very little alcohol in them. We then went dancing at Hilo, which was fun and they played a GREAT mix of music, although there were a lot of guys in the age 35-50 range who seemed particularly interested in staring at us and/or trying to buy us drinks, which was uncomfortable. Friday night we went to Mandala, which was a more college aged crowd, but still maintained some of the older men. More crowded and decent music.

As for touring, we signed up for the Geronimo "snorkeling" tour with Puerto Vallarta Tours, which was absolutely NOT worth the money. The boat ride out to the snorkeling location took 2 hours and they did supply a decent continental breakfast, with juice, coffee, fruit and rolls. Las Marietas Islands was basically a big hunk of coral/rock that stuck out of the ocean. The water was green and murky and you couldn't see more than 6 inches in front of your face. No one saw a single fish. Our "guide" pointed out some crabs in the rock (above water) and that was it. We goofed around in the water for about 15-20 mins, when I got stung by a jellyfish (the only sea creature that I saw on the tour) and the we decided to get back into the boat. Then we spent another hour getting to this "beach" that was supposed to be amazing fun. It was a little piece of beach in front of a construction site. We spent like an hour on this beach getting stared at by the construction workers. There were kayaks and some people swam, but it was not a beach worth paying to see. Then it took another hour and a half to get back to the marina. The tour was open bar, and they could make quite a few different drinks, so that part was at least truthful, but honestly I would have preferred to save the money and just go on a booze cruise (like the pirate ship) rather than this tour. Maybe the poor water conditions were a result of the time of year, but I would not recommend this tour for anyone who actually wants to snorkel.

Aside from the snorkeling trip, we had a great time and I would definitely recommend this hotel!

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank diosa428
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 12, 2008

we got a gift from my parents through RCI. We ended up getting a room with an almost full kitchen. Refrig, stovetop, microwave. The view was wonderfull. had a view of the golfcourse.
Security was amazing, They make sure that nobody has excess to the pool or the lazy river.

Went to Wal*Mart on the bus, $120 pesos/$1.20 It cost's $14.00 USD to get back in USD.
Willl write more later

Stayed: May 2008
1  Thank friday711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2008

First of all, I went with the member who is 77 years old, diabetic and just had a knee replacement. She was going so the Grand Mayan would waive any future yearly maintenance fees. They MAKE you come in person even if you can barely make it. Then they made her sit thru a 3 hr. presentation to try to get her to upgrade even tho she has never used it. They promised breakfast and then said there was NO breakfast and since she is diabetic, it was a serious issue. After that the problems continued. The first night as Sambos we ordered. I got my dinner (soup and salad) within half an hour, but she waited over an hour for her salmon and veges. Again, the diabetes became an issue and I approached the waiter for the 2nd time and said they'd have a medical situation if they didn't get that dinner out. They said it wasn't their fault (?) and the salmon finally came out and was cold inside. Our explanation from another employee is "sometimes they forget to put the order in". By the pool, I had to go to find someone to get a drink and every time a different server brought the drink, the price was different. I speak Spanish and when I asked about it they just give you the blank look like they just don't know. I scheduled 2 trips at the travel agent. The 2nd trip almost left me behind at our meeting point because the agent scheduled both (full day) trips for the same day. We were encourage to put everything on the room charge. I found everywhere would take cash and we paid cash for almost everything. KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS. When we got our check out bill, we could easily check the charges - and guess what - we found a charge on there we did not make. We left plenty of time to check out so we could relax before leaving for the airport. It took them 2 hours to "find" our bogus charge. It was signed by someone not authorized on our room and whom we had never heard of. I have a suspicion that they created the charge slip. While they were "fixing" our bill, they sneaked in another charge - $88.00 for pool towels! which I had previously told them were in our room because we were going to use them for our time before leaving for the airport. Needless to say, by the time they VERY Sllllllowwwwly prepared our 2nd bill, we were not late and hardly had enough time to pack and which is why we didn't notice the towel charge they sneaked in. When we went to get in the cab to leave - running to get to the airport in time, they asked for our checkout slip. I said we didn't get one and they said we "weren't allowed to leave". I swear if it hadn't been for my friend with the cane, I would have grabbed my suitcase and walked off that property. I WOULD NEVER NEVER GO BACK and NEITHER WOULD THE MEMBER, even if she could (physically)

Stayed: April 2008
4  Thank MsJoniCalifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2008

First of all i must say that the property is beautiful and the anemities were superb, especially the pool, health club, and most of all the massages. The first day at the pool our camera was stolen along with an expensive pair of reading glasses. When we reported this act, we found out that even more people had expensive items stolen also. When security was alerted they mishandled the problem ineffectively. Management on the otherhand didn't even offer an apoligy. If you go to this place you must be careful of your belongings. Another thing to be concerned about , if you ask any questions, be cautious of what they tell you, their word can't be trusted. Overall the property is paridise, the employees are horrible, except for the housekeepers. Would of loved to share photos if we had a camera to take them.
Mike
Kansas
05/03/08

Stayed: April 2008
3  Thank bbq55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2008

We just got back from a week's stay at the Grand Mayan...and we all agreed on one thing...this is the most beautiful hotel we ever stayed at!! The rooms are to die for..squeaky clean, huge, and very nicely decorated. The common areas look like sets from "Sex and the City"!! The pool area is awesome. We never had a problem getting four seats together. Because we wanted them in a particular spot, we usually got out there around 9am and threw our towels down.

The staff is very enthusiastic and makes it all fun for all ages. The service by the pool is great and we had a frozen drink or snack whenever we felt like it...no waiting.

We painted pottery, rode the rapids in the Lazy River and went down the big water slide...many times. Oh did I mention..we are all over 30!!

The food in the restaurants is reasonably priced. We ate at Green Break..no children allowed..and were serenaded by a Kenny G kinda guy during dinner...very nice. We had the buffet breakfast one morning. I would have gained 10 pounds if we did it more often. Its 20pp but worth the splurge.

One tip..the pool deck is very rough and hot, you NEED flip-flops.

We ate all other dinners off site. Guido's, within walking distance, is just as expensive as the on-site places and was just OK.

Don't hesitate on booking this place. You'll live like a king!

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
4  Thank KathyConn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2008

We exchanged 2 weeks through RCI and was not sure what to expect. All I can say is the kids loved it..... the activites staff were great and kept the kids going all the time. Some may find the resort too big, but you can always walk up the beach and goto the Mayan Palace. We could not fault the resort for cleaness by the pools or in the rooms.

The maid comes every day and replaces used towels and tidy's up. Beach Towels are available everyday - so if we checked a bit more we need not have brought them (we did use them for a boat trip one day).

Overall this was a very relaxing holiday - kids happy me happy :)...

A couple of things I would say, drinks by the pool a bit on the expensive side (wait for happy hour @ 12 and 4pm :) ). The waiters by the pool expect a tip everytime they serve you?? they even point out were the tip section is when they give you the reciept to sign.!!!!

Just remember if you have exchanged to get into the resort, they will other you various things to get you to go to a timeshare presentation. ie. reduced golf, spa, $100, 10% off bill, free city/tropical tour - be prepaired....

ps. if you play golf take your own balls the golf shop charges $4 per ball.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank epic999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2008

Exchanged through RCI for a 2 bedroom Friday through Friday stay. Taxi from the airport to the hotel was $23 but taxi from hotel to airport was only $12. Check in was effortless, I did wait 30 minutes to be given a pool/beachfront view. Unfortunately, it was on the first floor so the view was very limited and balcony got little sun. There was noise from construction, but frankly it wasn't much of a bother. The room was nicely appointed with lots of art, contemporary decor, and great ammenties (i.e. professional power blender). I never used the balcony plunge pool nor the master bedroom spa tub.

As everyone has noted: the pools are incredible. Loved the lazy river particular when the waves were on. There is also a waterslide and wave pool in the kids area. The one thing I have not seen mentioned was the sunbeds. Literally a queen sized bed outdoors (comfy foam mattress) this was my sanctuary. Clean white sheets were provided daily and waiters happy to take your order and an ice cream cart made rounds as well. Even the lounge chairs are of much better quality that I've seen at any resort, featuring an individual sunshade on every one. Never a crowd or problem finding a spot to sit.

I don't want to be to repetitive to the other reviews so I'll simply add that I had all of my meals at the resort and was quite happy. I did do the meal plan for a much better deal. The breakfast buffet at Samba's was repetitive but it's lavish and they serve unlimited champagne each morning so I had no problem returning. The buffets at the Monday and Thursday beach parties were not that great but the entertainers were pretty funny making it worth the charge ($380 pesos and $450 pesos per adult respectively- drinks included). Be wary of the vendors there, who knew that they could make "knock-off" (imitation) Cohiba cigars? However, I suppose anyone selling fake designer handbags should have been a dead give-away. Also I must mention the adorable train ride that circles the resort and the river boat cruise-both complimentary.

Although the Grand Mayan is the top of line of the 3 resorts (also Sea Gardens, and the Mayan)- several of the ammenties are found over at the Mayan, i.e. tennis courts, kayaking, and spa. The good news is that the golf carts will shuttle you anywhere on the property. Also they are building the Grand Luxe- which will be even more luxurious and closer to the beach (although beach is nothing spectacular as previously noted). Membership certainly has it's privileges as there is a fee for everything, particularly if you haven't agreed to attend a sales presentation earning you discounts. My advise on the internet is take your blackberry (or aircard for the PC available through Verizon). I was 100% connected the whole time without their additional charges.

Finally, on behalf of my 13 year old son- what was lacking is teenager activities. He was too old for the kids club but certainly not able to hang at the adult evening acitivies (piano bar, wine bar, and Cobalto Disco)- with only 3 or 4 channels in English (one of them being CNN and another MTV) he was bored once pool hours ended.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
10  Thank SPArty4me
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

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 Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#7 Luxury Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#8 Family Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#10 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range: $120 - $163 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta 4.5*
Number of rooms: 795
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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