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“Great Vacation Resort (if you "manage the MP machine")”

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The Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta
Ranked #9 of 28 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 27, 2009

Firslty, timeshare offerings in Mexico should be avoided at all costs, and MP is near the top of the list. That said, the Grand Mayan provides a quality beach resort experience. The property is maintained very well, the staff is pleasant and efficient, and the rooms are comfortable. Be insistent with the MP timeshare people, and if need be, just ignore them. Really, just look away and continue to talk to your companiions like the MP folks don't exist. They can't bother you if you don't acknowledge their existence. It works.

The issues with the dirt-moving, regardless of the necessity, are a legitimate complaint. MP and RCI warn of this situation, but only after vacations are confirmed and air is paid. Still, a year or two from now, the MP experience will be much bigger (but, we think not "better"). Even though we are MP owners and even with our guests attending a sales presentation just to leverage a better room, we were unable to get an ocean view suite after two days of patiently waiting for the staff to come through as promised. The mountain / city views, however, aren't bad -- we had glorious sunrises from that side a few years ago.

One thing to say about the developer, Grupo Mayan, it is always improving its properties. Many MP resorts are being re-done, and that entails the "construction zone" issues that some have to endure. The resort should provide compensation such as discounts on food / beverages or free tours to those assigned to the dirt-moving views in the southern-most wing. The "River City" that will eventually emerge on the site will be welcome to many, but to us, will just be another theme-park experience with little to do with the traditional culture that we come to experience.

The lazy river is a treat, even for our group of "mature" adults. All the food and beverages are expensive, but that is why we always get a 2-bdrm unit with partial kitchen. Shop at the Mega Store or Walmart (both are good) and stock up for the week (the prices and selection at the resort's Sun Markets are terrible). We brought a Mexican cookbook this last visit and made most (and our best) meals in the unit. We bring a rolling insulated cooler (works as a carry-on or personnal bag) and lexan hiking bottles for our beverages, and the resort has never hassled us. The units have blenders. The walks to pool and beach are long, so a wheeled cooler is helpful. Our group saved $650 in food and drink at the Grand Mayan during that week.

The beds at Grand Mayan are firm, but not the concrete-slab versions of traditional Mexican beds. The baths are very nice and the partial kitchen was well-equipped with all the critical items to cook on a small cooktop and microwave.

The cheapest mode to downtown is by bus, and the walk to the stop is 4-5 blocks. There is a decent restaurant across the street from the bus stop. The ride into El Centro requires a change of buses and takes at least 30 minutes, so plan well for long stays. Get good directions from the Concierge or front desk about the return bus . . . and if you stay downtown too late, be prepared to spend $10-15 on a taxi as the bus service starts getting very irregular.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank spyder3010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 21, 2009

Yes that's right! We had exactly $200 in 20 dollar bills stolen from our locked "safe". The day before check out, my husband and I were reviewing our hotel bill, and decided to count how much remaining cash we had. So it was a coincidence that day that we knew exactly how much we had. We put it all in the safe, locked it and went down to the pool for the day as we knew we didn't need to bring cash with us because everything gets charged to your room. While at the pool, someone opened the safe, took the cash out of my hand purse, and locked it back up so we wouldn't know. Another coincidence is that we happen to go to a restaurant for dinner that night that didn't except credit cards. So I went to pull out my cash, only to find out $200 was missing and I only had $120 left in my purse!! I was sick. My hand bag had NOT left my side all night, and in fact was set on top of the table and NEVER left unattended for someone to steel from. The ONLY way someone took the money was from steeling it from the room safe where it had been all day until dinner. We are 100% sure it was stolen from the safe because we were very meticulous that day with our money and locking the safe. Perhaps someone thought we wouldn't notice it missing and knew we would be checking out the next day. I don't think it was the maid, but perhaps a maintenance worker or someone else.

Also.....we spent a small fortune on internet connection in our room only because it was necessary for my husband to do some work that week on his laptop. We paid $65 but when the bill came, it was actually 998.81 pesos, about $83 US dollars!!! Apparently there is a huge tax on internet they don't make clear about!! AND twice the internet would NOT work that week and we had to have the computer tech guy come and fix it. Sooo disappointing.

Another disappointment was that it felt like pulling teeth to get 2 rooms away from the construction. Originally they tried to put us closest to the construction. We refused, then were lied to 2 more times when we were told they didn't have 2 rooms (a one bedroom and a two bedroom) near each other, only to FINALLY get 2 rooms both in the same building, on the 8th floor. No ocean view, but nonetheless. Why didn't they just give us those to begin with??

The rooms are fabulous, and the grounds are beautiful. The pools and lazy river are very clean and fun. The entrance to the hotel is quite impressive.

My husband and I didn't care for the location of the hotel. You can't really walk to any restaurants outside the hotel or anything else of interest for that matter. But we did taxi to some very good, but pricey restaurants.

Next time we will choose to stay in a more quaint town like Sayulita, or La Boca De Tamatlan.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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3  Thank oceansidegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2009

The resort is beautiful and conveniently located! Plenty to keep you busy right there with the option to explore the local area!

Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
Thank DonnaJ4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2009

This was my first time to Mexico and it was amazing. The pool area at the resort was excellent. There were many pools, a couple pool bars and then the lazy river. The pools varied in temperature which I really liked as I do not like to be in cold water. The lazy river was great although the waves didn't work for a few days while we were there. The prices of drinks around the pool is quite high and happy hour is short. The activites at the pool area, which go on all day long, were great as well. They had many activities which allowed both the adults and children to have a great time. Although we didn't go with any children I continuously head good things about the kid's club they have. Children were always talking about how much fun they had there and how nice the staff was to them. Overall the staff was outstanding. Their english was excellent and it seemed that they were always going out of their way to ensure you were having a great time and just chit-chatting in general. The beach is nice, however don't expect white sand and crystal clear water at this part. There are many people walking the beach daily trying to sell merchandise which can be quite annoying. They were very persistant and at times would literally beg you to buy from them. By boyfriend had been there previouslly and said that this was the worst he had ever seen them be. We did go jet ski'ing which was good and reasonably priced.
We didn't eat any meals at the resort because we had been told that the prices were a little high for food that just wasn't that good. We did take the trip to Pipi's one night as it had come highly recommended. The food was good and the margaritas are large! There was a band playing inside that would come table to table to play for you for a price. The reason I would not go back to Pipi's is because they have decorative bars on the windows and the children from the neighborhood were hanging on the bars and banging on the window right at our table begging for coins. We tried not to make eye contact with them, however it still took several minutes for them to go away. Another night we ate at a place called El Mero which is near the Outback and across the street from Christine's. The food here was excellent, the staff was attentive and excellent and the option to sit outside on the balcony was very nice. I would highly recommend taking a trip there.
We took a taxi into Puerto Vallarta most nights to experience the nightlife here. The taxis are reasonable, between 150-180 pesos each way. The boardwalk area is a lot of fun. There are pleanty of stands set up to purchase items and souveniers. One night they had had a sandcastle contest of some kind and there were huge detailed canstles built. The bars and club are a lot of fun, Senior Frongs, Zoo, Hilo...the whole street is lined with places to go. One night we went into town early and walked the streets a few blocks in from the boardwalk to buy souveneirs. This is a much better idea then buying anything from the people who were walking the beach back at the resort. The lady who was selling dresses at the beach actually told me 280 pesos for one dress!!! In town you can buy them starting at $5 USD.
There are many trips and activities you can book. You have the option to book them through the resort, however normally you can find the salesmen at the beach and book them at a much cheaper rate. We went on the booze cruise/whale watching which was really fun. We had to take a taxi to the marina, from there we took the boat up the coast a little to a couple of small islands. Normally you would be able to snorkel there, however the waves were too rough when we went and for safety reasons they were unable to allow us to take part in this activity. From there we were going to a beach for lunch and a trip into the jungle to a waterfall. This part of the trip takes about 3 1/2 hours. For people who do not wish to go into the jungle, they can be dropped off at a different beach on the way and spend the day there. We opted to go to the jungle. When you get to the beach there is a man with a huge iguana who will allow you to take pictures with it for 50 pesos. Then you go to eat lunch, which was the option of mahi mahi, beef burritos or a quesadilla. After you eat you begin your walk. You do have the option to ride a horse/mule/donkey if you do not wish to walk. Some of the animals do look a a little skinny and malnourished, we chose to walk. The walk is about 35 minutes each way. Here you also have the option to do a canopy tour where you zip line from tree to tree.
Overall the trip was absolutely amazing and I couldn't have asked for a better time. As this was my first trip I did learn a few things about how to get around and how to bargain and deal with the locals. I cannot wait to go back and I'm sure it will be amazing!!!!

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank sweet2004pea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2009

We like this Grand Mayan the best of all the ones we have stayed. The only one we have not been to yet is Acapulco. The pools are all very clean and we absolutely love the lazy river. When the rapids are turned on it is great fun.

We purchased the 6 breakfast coupons for $99 US. They have a lot of different foods for breakfast including a green vegetable juice which was tasty. You will want to try to get a table under the main part as the birds are pretty annoying flying around the umbrella part. There were food inspectors there one day checking temperatures and heating trays. I assume everything was ok, as there didn't seem to be any extreme concern with the restaurant staff. The food was all delicious and very different. We like to eat a later breakfast and then hold out for dinner so the breakfast coupons worked out great for three meals.

At night in the lobby bar they have entertainment and each night it was someone different. There is a piano in the room that functions as multiple instruments. The piano player also played the trumpet and he was very good, especially when playing tunes from Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. One night there was a clarinet player who utilized the piano for back up. One night was a female singer and she was very good. I think one night there was a guitar guy, but I am not absolutely sure. All were exceptionally talented and the chairs were taken most evenings with couples listening and dancing.

We had trouble with our air conditioning in the room. There is no rheostat on the ceiling fan, so it is either tornado force or off. The room thermostat seemed to not work correctly either so we left it off most of the time. In order to not get too hot or too cold while sleeping, we left the ac and fan on in the living room, kept the bedroom door open and the AC and fan off in the bedroom. That gave us enough air circulation to sleep comfortably. We called maintenance and they had some one come out right away. The problem was that there are three speeds on the thermostat that you think will run the ceiling fan when in fact it is the blower for the AC that has three speeds.

It is not that expensive to go to main Puerto Vallarta by bus, and the buses are pretty easy to use. The one thing that we discovered after almost missing our stop, is that you have to stand up and approach the front of the bus if you want off at a particular stop. This is very counter intuitive to the safety conscious US way of doing things.

You cannot take a direct bus to Bucerios from Nuevo Vallarta. The hotel concierge ladies told us to take the bus up to the main highway then run across and catch a bus going to Bucerios. Clearly they have never attempted this. It is like running across a major US freeway. The taxi to Bucerius was $110 Pesos, and a bargain to get their in one piece. We went to have dinner at Claudio's that others had recommended. It was well worth the excursion to Bucerios but hard for the taxi driver to find. We went for their BBQ night on Wednesday night, and it was by far our best meal and least expensive meal at $150 pesos. The drinks were extra, but even with two margaritas, two dinners and one dessert, the entire meal was $40 US without the tip. Still Under $50 with the tip and a great meal. The little baked potatoes were delicious, and the steak was cooked perfectly. There was a little cat wondering around putting a paw ever so lightly on my leg, that I was transported back home and missed my pets.

We like the Taco Break restaurant on the golf course. For $85 pesos you can get an entire plate of beef, cheese, bacon, onion and green peppers to build tacos with. It is a great bargain. We also liked eating at Guidos right at the end of the Sea Garden. Next to Guidos is a new little pizza place called Godfather's that some locals had told us about.

I was on a quest to find the terraced restaurant in old town that I had eaten at 15 years ago. It is not the Panorama or the Palombo de Gonzalez. A merchant stopped us to get us to eat at a place called El Caramba and handed us a card. It looks like it is the place. We will eat there next time. We ate at Pipis which came highly recommended by several people. Definitely worth the time to find it. It is at the end of Avenida Pipila almost at the foot of the hill. The fish tacos were excellent because at first I thought they had brought me a chicken taco because the fish was so fresh that it was not fishy. They made fresh guacamole at the table and the strolling mariachis were not intrusive and explained up front that they expected $60 pesos before they started to sing.

The one thing that was new in the rooms this year was a computer set up to plug in a laptop and use the wi-fi. Without a laptop it is not operational and just takes up space on the table. There is a charge for it, but I don't know what it is because I didn't use it. I was surprised to find out that my Verizon Blackberry worked fine in Puerto Vallarta for emails and phone calls. I have yet to see my bill to see whether I was charged extra for this. My blackberry did not say that I was on roaming so I don't know yet how the bill will turn out.

The main grounds for the Grand Mayan are intact although they are doing a lot of construction on the rest of the property building the new Grand Luxx and Grand Bliss. The boats are not operating to take you between the different resorts until the construction is over. The train is parked in front of the Mayan Palace, and no one was sure whether it would be operational after the construction ended.

People should be aware that they are confiscating all water bottles at the airports in Mexico. Doesn't matter if they are empty or full. We were rather thirsty coming back. If you buy a bottle of water in the airport it will probably be taken from you just as you enter the plane when they search your carry on bags.



We did the Pirate Boat tour at night. That was a load of fun and definitley only for adults. They won't let children on the nighttime pirate tour. The dinner was surprisingly good with chicken cordon blue/pasta, turf and surf with mashed potatoes, or fish/ rice. The first drink had alcohol in it, but after that I could swear there was no more alcohol. We probably should have tipped our waiter up front to get more booze in our drinks. The pirate show itself was really very good. The ride is not cheap at full price $85US, but you can probably find some independent tour guys who will give you a break. The big surprise of the night was the free transportation for any one staying in Nuevo Vallarta after the show was over.

We like this Grand Mayan the best because of the lazy river.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Sue H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2009

We stayed at the Grand Mayan November 28 to December 12th 2009. Our experience was great as usual, although we did find the drink service at the pool to be slow, the prices a bit on the high side. Also the internet in the room was extremely slow. On the positive side, the overall service was terriric, the facilities are great, and we cant wait to go back next year!

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Mexicotravelblog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2009

The Grand Mayan is a very nice resort, wonderful lazy river, one of the best things about it. The pools are wonderful and although we did not have kids with us, there were a great number of children/families there. It would seem to be a paradise for them and lots to do geared for kids. The food is fine but overpriced. The breaskfast buffett was good but not for $220 pesos per person. The hotel/studio rooms do not have a mini refrigerator, microwave or a coffee maker. A coffee maker would have been nice. The drinks at the pool bar were also over priced, $95 pesos for a 20 oz. pina colada and $55 pesos for a Corona. Understandably, you are not allowed to buy your own and bring it to the pool. Hit the pool bar from noon to 1pm during happy hour, prices are about 1/2 price on several drinks. The beach was ok but nothing special, you can't walk very far. Suggestions for dinner: There are several great places to eat within walking distance. The Willows is excellent, they have wonderful seafood. It's located just out the gates of the resort and 1 and 1/2 blocks to your right, maybe a 20 minute walk. Great food, excellent bar tenders, live music, and TV's so you don't miss the game. A cab ride is about 3 dollars. Also, Eddie's is great food for breakfast and dinner, very good seafood. To find it, take a left when leaving the Mayan hotel, (not at the gates) and follow the sidewalk to the bus stop just past the Sea Garden. Take a left and follow the walk to the Marina. You can't miss it. This area also has Guidos and 8 Tosdados. All are very good. For another breakfast outing go to Estudio, again from the bus stop go across the street (past the OXXO) and follow the court yard to the marina, Estudios is on the right near Vallarta Adventures.
All the food we ate there was great, we were never disappointed.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank smski
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
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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