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“Wonderful Time!”

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The Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta
Ranked #10 of 28 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 23, 2008

My family stayed at the Grand Mayan from 6/13-6/20. We had a really nice time. We had perfect weather the entire trip! Also, the wave pools and kids' pool opened on the third day there, so we were able to enjoy those as well.
We stayed at the resort all but one day. The pools and beach kept us entertained and busy. We took one excursion to Las Caletas.
Tips: you can check out pool toys at the activity center; you can check out beach toys at the kids club; Dominos pizza is 2 for 1 on Tuesdays ($20 for one pizza normally); food takes a long time after you order (keep this in mind if you have children); we brought our cooler to the pool everyday with snacks and sodas; after you pass the small rocks on the beach out to the waves the ocean floor is sandy. It's very fun to boogie board out there. Might want to take water shoes for little ones. Definitely walk down and enjoy the Mayan pool one day. The center is raised, and it's fun to play football on that area.
We did bring some food from home: peanut butter; jelly; granola bars; protein bars; candy; coffee; creamer; pretzels; etc...
Also- the last day we were there our plane didn't leave until 5:00. We wanted to swim and play all day, but check out is at 10:00. We asked at the front desk, and you can continue to use the facilities after checkout as long as you keep your bracelet on. We also went and asked the gym if we could shower there. They let the adults shower for free!!! I wish we would have checked out the gym/spa earlier, because it was sooo nice! I don't know if they always let people do that, but it is worth asking. Our last day was fun swimming and relaxing before leaving. We used our credit card and cash for food and snacks that day too.
I have some great pictures, but I'm having a hard time posting them... I'll keep trying...
Have fun!

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank lifesgreat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,550 - 2,556 of 3,630 reviews

Reviewed June 21, 2008

After reading the reviews before and after we stayed at the Grand Mayan, I will wholeheartedly and completely not, and I mead not recommend this place. Even though i will not recommend this place I will say that I enjoyed the room very much and thought that this was a highlight of our vacation. I enjoyed the balcony wading pool after lots of walking around and off grounds, which brings me to the isolation part. This place is huge and impersonal and I got the feeling that they would like nothing more to have me isolated on their grounds so that I would have to use all their services at of course highly inflated costs and quality i.e. food. I also mean isolated because they give no information about anything that is not connected with them. For instance a relatively short ride to paradise plaza where there is a grocery store and some more shopping, restaurants and fast food local and chain. But of course I understand that the Grand Mayan has to make its bucks. My biggest complaint comes with the timeshare presentation. That presentation is very similar to what others have shared on this site. So just some observations and feelings regarding this degrading experience. I have been to other presentations and haven't felt this horrible. It amazes me that they have no respect for the fact that I was there to experience and vacation at their facility. Instead I was treated as if my wife and I are completely stupid for saying no (x4) or more. And then handed off without regard to our humanity and the supposed personal connection that our salesperson Monica tried to establish over breakfast and long winded information about herself. To the last fellow Jace who was going to sign us out, but instead tried another sell. When we said no, with a flip of his hand told us to pick up our "gift" in our lobby, and off we went completely saddened that these people had no respect for us. But happy that we stuck by our guns with lots of no's. This experience I know jaded my impression of this resort but, it is huge and not for everyone.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank snrnd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2008

We are RCI members and own two timeshares thru Hilton Grand Vacations Club, which is how we ended up in this resort. The resort really is beautiful, and although many folks don't care for the "black room" as we called it when you go thru the main entrance, we (and the kids) actually thought it was very cool.

We ate at Tramonto, the Green Break and Samba and the food was pretty good, although our favorite was the ultra casual "Tacos Break" (we ate there three times). The only thing to be aware of with Tacos Break is that everything on the menu is a la carte - when we went there the first time, we immediately ordered more food when we realized that you get exactly what you order and the portions are somewhat small.

The pools were great, and there are so many of them (and so many chairs) that it was never hard to find a good spot. The waiters were attentive and always managed to show up to let you know when it was time for happy hour, which was convenient.

The ride to PV was not bad (we did both the bus and taxis), but we have decided that if we ever go back, we would probably stay in PV instead of Nuevo, just for proximity's sake.

Favorite places to eat in PV - Pipi's (great Mexican) and the Cheeky Monkey (American sandwiches and pizza with $1 Corona and Margaritas). The Cheeky Monkey has a great view.

The only two negative things I have to say about the resort are (1) the front desk staff was not very helpful or friendy; and (2) the timeshare people are a pain. We proceeded to the timeshare desk for our resort bracelet and directions to our room (this is the resort's way of forcing you to at least talk to the timeshare people), and we were met by Debi, who tried to talk us into doing the timeshare presentation. I was very honest with her and told her that were not interested, mainly because of all the terrible reviews we have read regarding how pushy and rude the salespeople are. She assured me that only people who are not guests of the Grand Mayan get treated that way, and that it is in the resort's best interest to treat their guests nicely so they will want to come back (which I thought was a very weird comment). I still said no, and she seemed genuinely surprised, stating that "everyone" attends the presentation because it is such a good deal. I told her I would let her know if I changed my mind (just to get away without being rude), and she called our room the next day and left a voice mail to "confirm that we were not interested in the sales presentation." After that we heard no more from her.

Overall we had a great time but for anyone who is planning to go to the Grand Mayan, unless you think you might be interested in buying a timeshare, STAY AWAY from those people!

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank sierravistatravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2008

My husband and I went to Mexico May 2-9, 2008. We stayed at a timeshare, The Grand Mayan, in Riviera Maya. It is a beautiful complex, half hour to 45 min from Cancun Airport. Thinking our 84 year old friend was going with us we reserved a two bedroom unit. WOW! Beautiful. We even had our own pool on the deck of our 3rd floor unit. It was about 10'x by 5'. It was wonderful after being out in the heat of the day.
We took a tour to Chichen Itz'a pyramid ruins. This is inland in the Yucatan State. Amazing builders of long ago. Super hot!!!
Another day we took a tour to Xel-Ha which is a water park and then on to Tulum, another pyramid ruins. Tulum is on the Caribbean Sea. Amazing story of it's history. Beautiful sea.
We also took a bus to Playa del Carmen and wandered around to the ocean and of course did some shopping at the local shops.
Eating at the timeshare was really expensive. We had wonderful buffets at Del Lago, but you pay for the entertainment with the meal. The entertainment was great. After a day out in the heat traveling we were too tired to stay for the entertainment, but the price still included the show. On nights like this we ordered room service which was a lot cheaper and had great food and service.
The Mexican Festival Show on Thurday night was well worth the money. They tried to show all the different tribes, through dance.
All in all, it was a great trip, just too hot for this pale redhead who is use to the Pacific Northwest weather.

Thank MrsMJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2008

Although the hotel grounds were pretty, it was way to big! It took 30 minutes to walk from the grand Mayan hotel room to the palace pool.
The lazy river is lots of fun when the waves are on. Don’t listen to the times they tell you, they never follow them.
Also, the wave pool and kids area were all closed.
We were disappointed in the food. No Mexican at all.
Workout room is amazing, they pamper you. Bring you apples, cold towels with lemons, water.
The hotel was very clean and great service. People were very friendly.
The spa was great. We did the presentation and ended up getting them half off. Recommend doing it.
The presentation was worth it. However, you end up staying for way longer than what they tell you, an hour and a half. We were there 5 hours. Tell your guide you have something to do an hour and a half later, it will get you out of there much quicker. However when we were checking out they were giving us troubles on our discounts from the presentation but we got them in the end.
The ATV tour was awful. On the flyer it says you will be going through streams and a refreshing spring bath... it was all dirt and sand. We just rode on flat dirt roads, we had to wear goggles, bandanas and helmets and were just completely covered it dirt!! Would never do it again.
The internet is 40 dollars for the whole week. We got it free, we asked on the presentation for it.
There are may different options to get around, boat, golf cart, and train (it is very annoying)
Go to Wal-Mart or Mega to get food. Its great to have the kitchen. Buy drinks at the grocery, much cheaper. There is happy hour 2x a day.
The ocean was gross. It was all foamy and brown. Didn’t go in.
If you want to tan, do to the Worlds big pool at the palace. you can see the ocean, there is much more breeze and less crowded. Also, its great to lay in the pool on the flat part that is high up. Got a great tan.
Parasailing outside the hotel was lots of fun. Saw stingrays and poisonous snakes!!
We ate at a resteraunt called El Brujo. There is one in both puerto vallarta and in the town we did the ATV.. that one on the ocean, amazing food. best meal we have ever had. Get the mango chicken, nachos are great! We loved it, we went twice and got food to take back to the hotel.
We have been to Cancun and Cabo san Lucas, we would never go back here. The beaches dont even compare to the others we have been to and the hotel was wayyyy to massive!

Stayed: June 2008
2  Thank karmjan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2008

My husband and I recently went to the Grand Mayan with my father who is a timeshare owner at the resort. We stayed for a total of 5 days over Memorial Day weekend. We were met at the Puerto Vallarta Airport by a member of Miller Transportation, contracted through the hotel, and they took us directly to the Grand Mayan at no extra charge. The hotel states that check-in isn't until 5:00 pm and we arrived around 2:00 pm however, the front desk agent was very nice and let us set up our credit account (required for all guests staying at the hotel) and assigned us a room, gave us our grounds bracelet, etc. He said to come back in about an hour and our room would be ready. He was telling the truth and we were allowed to check in a little bit earlier than normal.

The rooms at the Grand Mayan are gorgeous. Our room was in the new building overlooking the ocean. It was clean, comfortable, and HUGE. We had a pool built into our balcony but we didn't use it because it was freezing and we spent most of our time walking around the grounds or at the main pool area. The furnishings were nice and the bed was comfortable. Right below us there was construction being done to the water slide and the kids pool area, so that created some noise however, the workmen didn't start until well after we had gotten out of bed and they finished some time around 7 pm, or whenever it started to get dark so we never really thought of it as a disturbance.

Overall the hotel is quite nice and the staff is friendly. Even as a timeshare owner we were made to go on a presentation to see if we wanted to upgrade our membership. This included a breakfast over at the Mayan Palace (with the salesperson) and then a tour of the new facilities they are building. All in all it took about 4 hours and became very tedious as we were not interested in upgrading. However, our salesperson was nice and pleasant so it wasn't a total loss because we got some good conversation that didn't have to do with buying anything.

We used the gym facilities every day and found them to be adequate with a good mix of weights, machines, and cardio equipment. The gym is free if you are a member of the Grand Mayan. We also got massages at the Brio Spa and these too were satisfactory (80 minute Swedish massage was about $115).

Some of the drawbacks to this resort are the following:

1) the town of Puerto Vallarta is quite far away. We ventured into the town one morning via cab and it took about 25 minutes to get there and cost 180 pesos ($18) + tip. I would guess that its a good 20 mi+ to Puerto Vallarta from Nuevo Vallarta. There is a bus you can take that costs 15 pesos ($1.50) but you have to change at the Wal-Mart and it adds travel time and possibly, confusion.

2) while the hotel has several restaurants, none of them are very good and the food is WAY over priced for what you get. The only really good dining experience we had was at the Italian Steakhouse called Tramonto. The Punta Arena restaurant was NOT GOOD. The breakfast buffet at the Mayan Palace offered more authentic Mexican cuisine which was decent.

3) if you're looking for a quiet romantic getaway, this is not the place for you. There are a lot of kids (of all ages) running around all the time and the place is large so there is a lot of bustle at most times of the day and evening. The majority of the hotel guests seemed to be American.

4) besides sitting at either the pool or the beach, there isn't that much to do on the resort grounds. This is a good place to go if you want to just get away and do absolutely nothing. I managed to read over 400 pages of the book that I brought.

5) all excursions need to be booked through the concierge at the hotel. They offer a brochure of what is available, but no prices are listed.

6) Montezuma's Revenge (aka dysentery). The hotel claims to have a water filtration system and offers bottled water in abundance however, both my husband and I experienced some rather annoying stomach issues towards the end of the trip and for several days after we returned. Being a 5-Star resort we did not anticipate having to wash off our toothbrush with bottled water or worry about having water contact our mouth during showers, etc. Honestly, it could have been anything (ice in the mixed drinks?) but still an unpleasant result of our vacation. Just something to keep in mind.

Overall this hotel is decent. We probably won't go back because of the above mentioned reasons. For the same money we can go to one of the Caribbean islands, like St. Lucia or Curacao, and have a more cultural experience.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank meyvin21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2008

Thought I would add some additional info I haven't seen in other reviews.

We just got back on June 1 from a week at the Grand Mayan and overall had a fabulous time. One disappointment was that the wave pool and waterslide were closed and had been closed for 3 weeks previous. Supposed to reopen early June. We weren't told of this through RCI or resort website so kids were quite upset. Lazy river had waves so that made it more fun.

If you email the concierge a few days ahead with your flight number and date/time of arrival, they will have someone there to get you to the resort. I never heard back from my initial email so was planning on taking a taxi when a nice man with a clipboard asked where we were going and had our name on his list. We shared a van with another couple also staying there, all for free. Taxi wanted $40 so a good deal. When you get to airport, keep walking through the sliding doors (about 3 sets I think) until you are outside. Walk past timeshare people at desk, they are not with grand mayan.

We did not like our initial room, great floor (9 on top) but overlooking 12 hours of continuous construction noise, employee bus lot, and jack hammers. We really never went on the balcony due to the noise. Wall of windows made noise a big problem. After trying to switch rooms right away, told there were no other rooms, etc. etc. they said to check back in a few days. Checked in Sun nite and after spending long day in room Tues with sick child, went down Wed morning and asked again to be switched. We asked for something on the ocean side and even offered to drop down to a 1 bedroom since there were only 4 of us and they said yes. What a difference, listening to waterfalls, palm trees and ocean view. They say only owners get ocean view so I though I would share this with anyone who gets a terrible room during off season, you may be able to negotiate something.

Some great restaurants we liked in nuevo vallarta were Guido's (walking distance from resort), great pizza/pasta. The free city shuttle (or taxi) can take you to Fajita Republic in Nuevo Vallarta, really good mexican food and great atmosphere. It's nice not to have to go to PV every nite for food. We didn't really like the hotel food that much, we never found good Mexican food at the restaurants at the hotel. Pipi's in PV had huge portions and good prices, enough leftovers for next day.

Hotel has a Dr on site, made a room call for $40 us dollars, we needed in order to reschedule zip line tour otherwise no refunds!

Grocery store at Paradise Plaza in nuevo vallarta is cheaper than the one at the hotel and bigger, $3 taxi ride each way. We didn't do walmart and ate breakfast and or lunch in room, not too expensive.

Have fun!!!

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank Arizona2kidsmom
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:
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#8 Luxury Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#8 Family Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#10 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta 4.5*
Number of rooms: 795
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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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