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The Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta
Ranked #10 of 28 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 1, 2007

Just got back from a week at the Grand Mayan between Christmas & New Years. Based on the reviews I thought this place would me amazing, in short, it wasn't. The following are the positives & negatives.

Positives:

-The hotel itself was very interesting & very nicely decorated. The entrance feels like the entrance to a theme park ride, with Giant statues adorning the sides of a dark room.

-The grounds were absolutely amazing. The pool area was surrounded by a lazy river that I enjoyed thoroughly. There must have been a good 8 pools in the back section of hotel complete with a slide & wave pools.

-The gym was very nice as well although you have to walk across the road to the Mayan Palace to use their spa which was rather nice.

-Also you can't beat the weather at this time of year in Mexico, just the best anywhere.

-Try upgrade to the 1 bedroom suite it is very spacious.

Negatives:

-The mattresses were atrocious. I slept like I did when I was travelling europe & staying in hostels. They should have put a little extra money into this instead of the other useless items like the freezing cold deck pool. I was not alone here as every one I went with said the same thing.

-The service was also pretty aweful. Not much of the staff speaks english & when you try to order something at the pool or the room, most of the time it took over an hour to get the item. Also, the pool rules were very grey. At times we were told we could not reserve chairs by putting stuff on them in the morning (one time they even took our stuff). Other times it was ok. We constantly had to fights with other guests over chairs because the rules are not clearly defined. Ask the pool employees they don't know them either, very frustrating. Did I mention there were no chairs available, ever! Maybe it was the time of year.

-The food was bad pretty much across the board. I ordered a hamburger everyday at the pool becasue it was the safest thing I could find & even the burger wasn't very good. The buffet breakfast was overpriced & very average.

-The hotel pretty much charges you for everything they can, squeezing every penny out of you. $7 for the maid to clean the dishes, $5 for 30 minutes of internet, $80/week for gym usage, & the list goes on. I expect to pay for some of these things but not everything under the sun.

-The room we had, while a nice size was very dated. There were black stains on the wall, the furniture was old, & you already know about the mattress. Also, almost no english channels on TV. The walls are incredibly thin & the doors don't have hydraulics installed on them, so everytime someone let the door close, it sounded like someone banging a hammer against the wall.

-Too many loud kids. While I can usually handle this, the first room we had before we switched rooms had a bunch of kids crying at all hours of the night. It sounded like they were crying right next to me, just shoot me now.

I can't believe this place charges upwards of 500 dollars a night for staying here. While these are standard rates for the hotel, I can't imagine anyone actually pays this amount as I am sure most use timeshare. If you are going to spend this much, I beg you please go to the Four Seasons Punta Mita just north of Puerto Vallarta. You won't regret it. Nicest hotel I have ever stayed at, period. It is worth the extra money.

The hotel owners just got this place wrong, I can't emphasize this enough. They just don't understand service like luxury resorts should. This place is truly all window dressing & no substance, so save yourself the time & just do not stay here.

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank kingdave19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 23, 2006

We went on this trip from 12/17 to last night. The only thing we were unimpressed with was the non grandeur of the exterior architecture. Once inside, we were brought to our room and it was huge. We had a two bedroom suite and it was huge and fantastically comfortable. There was a little pool on the balcony which was great to sit in with a drink and a book.The grounds are huge and beautifically maintained as are the interior areas. There are housekeepers everywhere tending to the facilities. My family lived in the lazy river. We brought our own tubes, so we did not have to rent them. The slide was so much fun. There are activities all day long around the main pool and if you want quiet, there are pools for that too. My children, ages 11 and 14 had a blast...and they didn't even want to go on this trip. We felt that it was not only a 5 star hotel for Mexico, but that it was a five star for anywhere in the world. Every night, I slept like a baby which I never do in Mexico. Every hotel we have been to has had very uncomfortable beds. These were a little hard but still comfy. We had "egg crates" put on our bed so I do not know what it would have been like without it. Breakfast at Samba was so bad we didn't eat there again. We went to the little market on site and got what we needed for breakfast. Some days we would go to the internet cafe which has a coffee bar and breakfast snacks. Dinner at Mondo's was the best. The other restaurants were good too. We ate 3 times at Guidos, an Italian place which is down the street. They have the biggest and best calzones!! We will go back as it was one of the best and finest resorts in Mexico. We had a great vacation. The staff were friendly, courteous and helpful. There seemed to be genuinely fine peoplWe.

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled with family
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13  Thank laurence3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2006

The Grand Mayan was probably the best resort I have ever been to. It was absolutely perfect. Beware of the sales pitch, we were planning on staying at the Mayan Palace but were offered the chance to upgrade to the Grand Mayan if we were willing to listen to a sales pitch. This included a free breakfast the next morning and the upgrade. However, the sales meeting took over 3 hours. This wasa long time but eventually we felt that we had gotten the best deal possible and we bought in at a very low price. Hint-never take the first offer, they get a lot sweeter the longer you wait. But even if you didn't want to buy in the meeting would be worth the upgrade. Don't get me wrong the Mayan Palace isn't half bad but the Grand Mayan is the best of the best. The rooms were big and well equipped. There were microwaves, ranges and fridges. Also, you can sleep 4 very comfortably-Great for families! Everything you need to live in for a week or more. My advice would be to buy your food at the nearby WalMart and make as much as you can in your room. The resort food is expensive. If you don't want to do this (it is your vacation after all), there are so many choices in PV for great food. I recommend Barcelona's for the best Spanish Tapas I have ever had. The view is also magnificent. Another place is Rodolfos, great seafood, great mexican food, it is a must visit. Some people also comment on the distance from PV. Yes it is a 30 minute bus ride. It is cheap and easy I recommend using this form of transportation over using a taxi. The distance from the city makes the resort a quiet place even though there are many travellers at the resort. Like I said before it is the best I have ever been to, try it out you will love it!

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled with family
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7  Thank michfan23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2006

Not much else to say about this place, but if you can get it - GO!

It was all great. We had a one bedroom on 5th floor of third tower, facing the pool and bay. We had so much fun just relaxing here that we didn't really even see Puerto Vallarta. This was our first time to this area of Mexico, but we just were not in an urgent need to leave the resort. So we didn't!

The Taco Break is a great little taco restaurant over on the golf courses and someplace we ate 3 times during the week. It is within the property but towards the edge where you depart. Excellent selection of 6 sauces that they bring you all the time. Beers were about $2! Can't beat it. Plus having gone on a timeshare tour here, we got 20% off all meals at the resort restaurants.

The lazy river was the best thing ever. We went in it every day. You can see it in our pictures. The pool area in general is phenomenal. The 2nd largest in South America we heard.

You also get a private pool on your own balcony. It empties every day so it is not too heated, but is still wonderful. Go alfresco if you like! :)

You'll have a great week. If you are there for a timeshare trade, it will be your best ever to date.

Go, Go, Go to the Grand Mayan in Nuevo Vallarta.

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank LifeIn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2006

We visited the Grand Mayan November 12-19,2006. We had a great vacation. They had a van to pick us up at the airport and transport us to their resort at no cost, which is hard to find now a days. We had a two bedroom timeshare which was traded in from RCI which was probably why they gave us the worst possible view. They are building a parking garage and that was all there was to look at. Even my husband was upset, and he never complains. We went down to the front desk and I said the room was unacceptable. Since there were only two of us, we said we would take a one bedroom. They reassigned us to a much nicer room overlooking the golf coarse. It was nice and peaceful that Sunday....and then on Monday it wasn't. Workers came to redo a sidewalk and speed bump right under our room. With the manual cement machine and the banging we had to go to the pool area. Sometimes they didn't stop until 9pm, they even set up spot lights!! That went on all week.
We enjoyed our cooling pool and balcony when they weren't banging on something. The balcony is a real plus which is something the regular Mayan does not have.
The pool area was wonderful. Tons of areas to sit, mind you you had to get there early to 'save' your lounge chair. You had to play the game, as many, many people would throw a towel on a chair and basically be gone all day. That was very rude, as quite a few people had no place to sit. We saved our chair early and were down at the pool before 9am. The lazy river was fun, especially when they added 'waves' to it from 1 to 3 pm each day. It was $3 per day to rent a tube or you could bring your own.
The food was ok, nothing great so we ate a lot of our meals in the room. Of coarse the food was from the run to Walmart. Bus there and taxi back.
The drinks were pricey and we only bought ours on happy hour. The margaritta was absolutely huge well worth the half off price.
We ate at the restaurant by the ocean, can't remember it's name. Well I should say we ordered food there. The waitress was absolutely clueless. She asked us five times what we ordered over a span of 1/2 hr. She screwed up everyone's orders and finally we got mad and left. Totally useless waitress, I'm suprized they hired someone like that. The Samba restaurant was good, as I said nothing great. We also ate at the restaurant at the Mayan, but the ocean and it was good too. Great service there.
All in all we had a great vacation there and definately go back. We'd just make sure where the room was and if there was going to be any construction going on by there.

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Chill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2006

We walked in the entryway, paused and looked up, way up, at the huge Mayan statues lit by amber marble spotlights. Impressive entry. The whole reception area was very modern, sophisticated with quick check in. The Grand Mayan is huge, with lots of common area sitting sections and a little library of art books. The entire complex looks very sophisticated, modern art, modern colours, and modern furniture. Every area is very clean.

We were in our room early and our luggage arrived within minutes of our call for it. Our 1 bedroom unit looked out at the golf course, was large, with modern appliances, granite topped kitchen counter, small fridge, blender, toaster, coffee maker, iron, well stocked. The living room had comfy couches; the bedroom had a comfy sitting area, a king sized hard bed, a large dresser, and a closet. The bathroom had a nice vanity with double sinks, makeup mirror, separate w/c, and a big shower (no tub). There was only one bathroom in an onebedroom unit, it was a little awkward with three adults, but we worked it out. I noticed a musty smell, tropical places have that sometimes, I still had it on my clothes when I returned home.

The complex of pools was unbelievable; winding pathways around clumps of pools here and there, bridges over another area of pools, little quiet areas everywhere. With canopy-covered beds set here and there, they were usually taken but the families with babies loved them. The lazy river was our favourite; we spent hours and hours going around in it. We bought an air mattress (over at the Paradise Village mall) after the first day, it worked better than the tubes and we didn’t have to pay three bucks per day, per person to use it. The big slide was fast and the wave pools were fun. The little manmade beach area leading into the child’s area is a great idea for the little ones. We only went to the beach a couple times, it is a long walk through the complex, but it is a nice wide beach, the water was shallow and warm. We rode the little train around to the Mayan Palace and took the partybarge back to the Grand Mayan. We also got rides in the golf carts to go back and forth between the two sections. The little store (Sun Market) is right under the parking garage close to the main entry. The store is overpriced but convenient.

We chose not to do the timeshare spiel; we got a call every morning around 9 am to see if we had changed our mind. The entry to the pool area has a guard standing by and they do tend to check your bracelet to make sure you are staying at the Grand Mayan, since Mayan Palace people are not allowed into the water park at the GM. We had to wear our bracelets, which was only slightly annoying. I managed to stretch mine enough so that I could take it off at night, since it didn’t go with my outfits. We found that the taxis were quick and fairly cheap, BUT the yellow taxis did NOT have air conditioning, so try to get a white taxi.

The Samba restaurant menu food was not that great, but their breakfast buffet was excellent (very pricey) but good food. The fusion restaurant under tower 2 is has pretty good food, very expensive, with good service. The Greenbreak restaurant had just ok food, and was expensive. The room service breakfasts were good and reasonably priced. Our favourite restaurant was La Laguna, about 5 min taxi from the front gates. It is set by a lagoon with all kinds of birds and iguanas in the trees and little turtles in the water that beg for food by the railing. Excellent food, the seafood spaghetti was my fav, my husband got the lobster thermadore, my mother-in-law got the seafood stuffed mahi mahi, all very good and the bill was low. Another great restaurant was the Fajita Republic, also 5 mins away by cab, very good food, great margaritas, good presentation, and a romantic setting, I recommend trying the Mayan cheese sticks appetizer (they light it on fire).

We went on an excursion booked by the lady at the Grand Mayan pool. The excursion was through Vallarta Adventures to Las Marietas islands. We walked a 15-minute walk to Vallarta Adventures site and hopped on the boat, with about 150 other people. It was a huge, two level boat with bathrooms and a food/drink area. It took about 1 ½ hours to get to Las Marietas and the snorkeling was quite good. The whole adventure was worth it. I chose to dive on this tour; it was good diving, warm water, ok visibility, and lots of fish. They use little pangas as chase boats to pick up the divers and transport them back to the larger boat. It was a little unorganized but the DMs were good (a little inexperienced but conscientious) and the rental equipment was fairly new. If I was going just to dive I would use a different dive OP, they were convenient but a cattle boat for sure.
All in all we really enjoyed the Grand Mayan and would love to go back.

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled with family
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8  Thank PinkPlumeria3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2006

Along with 6 other families from our hometown, my family and I vistited the Grand Mayan for a week in November 2006. We had 27 people in all. 6 of the families each stayed in 1 bedroom suites, while my family of 6 stayed in a 2 bedroom - 2 bathroom suite. For the second year in a row, from the time we made our reservations in May, we requested that each of our 7 units be ocean view rooms and located in proximity to one another as to avoid kids running from one end of the resort to another to visit each other. And for the second year in a row, our request was not accomodated. Upon check in, our pre-assigned rooms were all looking out at the parking garage, and were literally scattered on every floor and tower of the property. It took nearly an hour, and several self described "managers/supervisors" to resituate our rooms to be at least in the same tower. NOT THE SAME FLOOR NOR OCEAN VIEW, however. The musty smell, or mildew smell that I see reported on several of the reviews was more apparent in some of the rooms than others, but truely is a problem. I suspect it is a result of the extremely high humidity that we experienced on our visit this year. One of our bedrooms was worse than the living room or second bedroom. I just left the sliders open. My sisters room was over the top with the smell, and complained that she felt like her clothing was taking on the same bad smell. Other areas that I would describe as less than desirable would include the lack of dining options at the GM. The Samba's menu just misses the mark and is over priced. We did the breakfast buffet only once, its too expensive and again the selection or quality of food is not worth the near $20 price ticket. Like many before me has suggested, make a stop at Wallmart or Mega foods and stock up with groceries for your own kitchen. While the refrigerators in the rooms are bigger than a college dorm frig, they're not full size so don't go over board. The kitchens are adequately appointed with about everything else though. Another bone of contention that I would express is the distance and time of travel to PV. Several nights we went into PV for dinner around 7pm. There aren't many choices in Nuevo. But the traffic going into town is absolutely horrible. It was taking anywhere from 45-55 minutes to make the short trip to downtown PV. Leaving the city around 10:30 was no problem and were able to manuever back to the GM in 20 minutes. Since we had such a large group and the cabs are small in this area, we pre-arranged transportation before we ever landed in Mexico. We chartered a bus for 5 nights. It was great, it was a tour style bus that could accomodate up to 45 people. It allowed all of us to be able to travel in a single group, and for less than what we would have paid 7 or 8 cabs per trip. But the accomodations totally offended the taxi union who protested and stopped the bus at the gate of the GM on day 2. As many as 9 or so white cabs surrounded the bus and refused to let it pass, causing about a 30 minute delay. The police came and an argument between the bus driver, cab drivers and police ensued. Soon the manager of security of the GM showed up (a very large man). He seemed to be able to capture the attention of the cab drivers the best. Shortly after his intervention, the cabs moved aside and let us pass. The next day we were stopped by the cabs again. However they detained us for only a few minutes before the police that were already on site faciliated clear passage for us. After that we didn't experience anymore problems from the cabs. All of this aside, in the overall big picture of our Grand Mayan experience, these negative aspects of our visit can not begin to pail the numerous positive attributes of our vacation, nor is that my intent with my objective report. absolutely there is room for improvement on the areas that I have mentioned. But on the other hand the Grand Mayan is awesome in more areas than not. I travel a lot with and without my family. The GM pool is by far the nicest that I've had the pleasure to see and use. The water sparkles, looks to be clean, doesn't smell from too many chemicals, or lack of chemicals, the walls and edges are clean of rings, scum or foam that is present on dirty pools. The water didn't turn my blonde hair kids TOO green, but after numerous hours each day in the pool, some discoloration is to be expected. The lazy river, water slides, wave pool were all GREAT! The swim up bars were well occupied by my group and service was good. Poolside drink and lunch service was definately acceptable and very convenient. I probably could have bought a timeshare with what my family spent at the poolside, bar and icecream cart!! But we're on vacation, so what the heck! I love the rooms at the GM. They're big, lots of beds, full kitchen, contemporary decor, tvs in each room, big bathtubs and seperarte showers, and KING size beds. I can't tell you how many Mexican resorts that we've stayed in that have only FULL size beds. The beds were comfortable too. The private plunge pool on each deck is a nice feature, but honestly in 2 years we've never used it. It drains and refills automatically each day, which is nice to know. But it's a bit cold. I'm a clean freak and can pick apart any hotel room. But I had no complaints on the housekeeping with our room, this year or last. Don't go home with dirty laundry, while many things might be over priced laundry service isn't! $6.00 per load, washed, dried and folded ... with lots of fabric softner. Overall the entire resort is extremely clean, halls, rooms, pool, common areas, landscape, restrooms, martini bar, its all very clean. The beach in front of the GM is nice too. However be warned, the pools are so large and to get to the beach you have to walk through the pool area. And it's a meandering route, so it's not right at your door. But the beach is definately worth the walk, and the pool is definately worth the space it occupies. It would be a cold day in another place before I used a single minute of my vacation time for a timeshare presentation. So with that said, I can't respond to the numerous reports made regarding the pushy salespeople. But I can say this, WHY? Why would anybody purchase a timeshare when they're so readily available for rent? The internet is where I've found all 7 of our rooms for 2 years. We've paid about $1100 for 1 br, and $1400 for 2 br. But I've found numerous people willing to rent their week for $1,000. And I'm not obligated to pay annual fees for nearly the rest of my life. This place is awesome. Unless I find another place with just as much to offer, my family will definately return to the Grand Mayan in Nuevo Vallarte.

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled with family
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7  Thank bonnettlk
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:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#8 Luxury Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#9 Family Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#10 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range: $100 - $215 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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