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!
- Also Known As:
- Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
- Wyndham Nuevo Vallarta
- Grand Mayan Resort Nuevo Vallarta
- Grand Mayan Puerto Vallarta