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“A Perfect Vacation for families!”

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The Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta
Ranked #9 of 28 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 6, 2007

We spent the last week of April at the Grand Mayan, and it was FANTASTIC. I have written many reviews here, and have given a few places 4.0 and 4.5 ratings, but this is my first ever 5.0.

My parents are owners at the Grand Mayan, and we had a Grand Master Suite for our entire family. My parents took one master bedroom (king bed, sofa/trundle bed, soaking tub, shower, three sinks); my husband, me, and our three kids took the other master bedroom (same everything, except two sinks, and our soaking tub had jets and doors that opened it up to the bedroom). The living room had two larger sofa/trundle beds, which my brother and his friend occupied. There was a full kitchen and dining table, and the huge terrace had four lounge chairs and a heated soaking pool (our kids loved this). There was a tv in each bedroom, and one in the living room. Upon check-in we asked for a baby crib and a highchair, which were brought to our room within an hour (note: bring your own crib sheet for the crib mattress, as all they have is a piece of cloth that sits on top).

The unit was quite nice and comfortable, very spacious, with many luxurious touches (granite counters, marble floors, stainless appliances, designer sinks). Meticulously cleaned daily by our housekeeping person, Lourdes. There are three thermostat controls, three sliders to the terrace, and three ceiling fans. The kitchen was well stocked with basic cooking/eating utensils, and the fridge was large enough to hold a good amount of food. The bottled water they had in the rooms was cheap, US$1.50 for 1.5 ltrs. Plenty of nice fluffy towels in the bathrooms, and toiletries by Gilcrest & Soames.

Let me start with the service. Absolutely amazing service: quick, friendly, courteous. No complaints whatsoever. Whether at the concierge's desk (especially Gabriel Medrano), housekeeping, lobby staff, or waitstaff at any of the resort's restaurants/bars, everyone always had a smile on their face, was friendly and helpful, and sincerely wanted to help you out.

Now the property itself. Everything was so lush, so clean, and so beautiful. The structure and furnishings had an updated, more contemporary style, with ancient Mexican touches incorporated into the decor and ambience. It was all quite tasteful and luxurious, and you really felt like you were staying at a very high-end place. The landscaping and grounds were just breathtaking, and the pools were so well-designed and gorgeous.

The food. Our favorite places at the resort to eat were: 1) Cafe del Lago, at the Mayan Palace. The Sunday Champagne Brunch was extremely delicious and sumptuous. Their Friday night Italian buffet was also quite good. 2) Green Break, at the Grand Mayan golf course. Very good breakfast and lunch, for very reasonable prices. Service is just slow, but thankfully, the views of the greens are lovely. 3) Balche and Ola Mulata, both poolside cafes at Mayan Palace and Ola Mulata. Always a drink special or Hora Feliz (Happy Hour), and their chips/salsa/guacamole never got tiresome. Out of the resort, I highly recommend La Laguna, a 5-minute cab ride from the Grand Mayan. A favorite of the locals, they have fantastic seafood and a more authentic Mexican ambience and flavor. Muy Querencias (or something close to that) in downtown PV had a Taquiza (taco bar) with really tasty stuff that went very well with their huge drinks. Gordo's at the little town of Bucerias had yummy seafood--the prawns cooked with garlic was so crazy delicious.

I will say that room service brought up good food at really good prices. We usually do not order room service at hotels, as the cost is just insane. But the room service prices at the Grand Mayan were decent, the portions were huge, and they add a 15% gratuity--no extra service or room charges. We could order a Desayuno Americano (American Breakfast) and my husband, me, and our three small kids got full from it--for US$14! The waitstaff at all the restaurants are so helpful and accommodating to children.

I highly recommend you go to WalMart, or even the resort's own Sun Market, and stock up on some basics for your room, like milk, eggs, bread, butter, water, and fruit. Sometimes it's nice just to have some quick snacks in the room, especially when you've got kids. To get to WalMart, walk out of the Grand Mayan and to the end of the entry road, and the bus stop is there. US$1.20 each way to downtown PV. Taxi rides into PV are about US$20.00 from the resort. To Bucerias, about US$10.00.

The Mexican Travel desk at the resort can reserve your excursions for you, and you'll even get the 10% resort discount. We signed up our 8 and 5 year olds for a Kids' Dolphin Adventure with Vallarta Adventures, for US$60 per child. Half the price of similar dolphin experiences in Hawaii! If you do go to Vallarta Adventures for any adventure (and they have dozens to choose from), take a taxi from the resort. We were told it was only a couple of blocks away, but the blocks here are HUGE, and it was a good 1.5m walk in the blazing heat.

The pools there were just amazing. Every morning it was, "Which pool should we go to today?" There is the giant wave pool surrounded by casitas in the sand. Next to that is a water playground, with a structure that has slides and tunnels and squirting water, in a very shallow pool. There is a huge water slide coming out of an "ancient" temple. There are also several pools with waterfalls, and a lot of shallow areas for small kids. Some pools have swim-up bars, or lounges in the water, or water fountains in the middle. Some pools have organized games and activities. Don't forget the lazy river! There is a train and boat service that takes you all around the whole resort. This was all just so much fun for our three little kids.

So all in all, this was a spectacularly fun family vacation for all of us. The resort is so big, with so many things to do, that everyone had their vacation dreams fulfilled, so to speak. My brother and his friend went to the gym several times, and they said it was a well-equipped facility. We even went to Cobalto, the disco/karaoke bar at the resort. The Lobby Bar is open until late, as is the Mayan Palace's piano bar and wine bar. A great vacation for adults and kids alike! We definitely plan to return. I believe our next Grand Mayan vacation will be at their newest property in Los Cabos.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled with family
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    • Check in / front desk
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22  Thank cashmyre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,747 - 2,753 of 3,799 reviews

Reviewed April 23, 2007

We went with friends for a 20th anniversary celebration with no kids. It was wonderful. The rooms were huge. We had 2 bedroom suite. I can't say enough about the rooms. We had no problems. It was clean and the maids came twice a day. The resort was wonderful. Clean and beautiful. The service was outstanding. It was about a 20 minute bus ride to town. It did not bother us in the least because the bus was an adventure. The locals are all very helpful and nice. We walked to the little marina for breakfast and it was cheap and delicious. We hung out at the other marina and went into Puerta Vallarta alot. They have a great flea market. We also took the bus to the south end and went to the best restuarant on earth. Le Kliff. Do not miss it. All in all the resort was a wonderful experience and we can not wait to go back to Puerta Vallarta someday.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank dzshort
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2007

We got back from our trip April 15th...stayed the 9th-15th in the Master Suite. WE had 2 kids under 5 w/us, so the room was a BIT small for 4 of us. Next time we'll upgrade. BUT the rooms were VERY nice, very clean over all and our room was ocean front--which was lovely. :)

Food: we ate at Samba once, it was good; have the mexican platter and the kids ate from the kids menu. A bit pricey but it was nice to just walk downstairs to the resturant. They were very attentive and nice the whole time.
Room service was excellent: cheap, fast and good. Especially for the kids!
We ate at FAjita Republic twice, we really liked it and also Guido's was great too, very nice at both places!

Pools: AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING! Cannot go wrong w/the outdoor activities! The kids LOVED all the pools, the wave pools and the lazy river. And so did we! I actually liked the heated pool too...but it was a bit HOT!

We didnt do any excursions.

Grand Mayan staff was very friendly helpful thorughout our stay. We actually had to transport our little boy via ambulance b/c of a high fever! The ambulance ride was FREE, part of our stay there, and the on-staff MD's were good and spoke good english. The hospitol was great as well and our boy was back to shape the next day, thankfully! Overall, on the medical side, Mexico or at least, PV has good service.

I would recommend the Grand Mayan. Oh, the towel and chair saving: yes, it did get a bit nuts, but we were there during Mexican holiday, so I definitely attribute the craziness to the large amt. of people vacatinoning. The last few days we got chairs w/no problem at all! I guess it depends on when you go?

Safety: generally a very safe place. the only thing...we did witness one of the contruction building floors collapse! And a guy was hanging from the side of the building--and fell 3 stories and thankfully got caught on some other rubbage and was then pulled off and taken to the hospitol. It was NOT pleasant to watch at all!!!! Quite awful to watch! (especially as a safety engineer!!)

Hope this helps!

Cheers!

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled with family
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10  Thank SkydivingGirl22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2007

My rating is based on my stay experience but my comments are based on my business dealings. Don't buy a Mayan timeshare no matter how much you love it. It's not worth the grief of discovering after the fact you've been deliberately lied to and deceived. Especially about forfeiting your legal right to 5 days to cancel with full refund. EVEN IF YOU SIGN A WAIVER YOU CAN STILL CANCEL despite what they convince you otherwise. My story as well as many others are all over the internet warning sites. Check them out www.mescam.com and www.mexican timesharefraud.com just to name a few.

Stayed: April 2007
17  Thank mayanscam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2007

During last two weeks of March, we spent one week at Mayan Palace and the second week at Grand Mayan. This was our 4th visit with previous Grand Mayan stay being two years ago. Found some pleasant changes:
-- both the Mayan and Grand Mayan pools were heated (Grand much more so - with some pools obviously warmer than others);
-- the plunge pools on the room balconies are now filled with heated water (were freezing for our previous visit);
-- mid-week they changed the tube policy for the lazy river and made them available at entry/exit points of the river (ie. you did not have to carry them around and people could not take them from the river);
-- sadly, I did not use it, but the gym at the Grand looked amazing (lots of new equipment including free weights);
-- check in counters well staffed and we generally found there to be better overall service.

Also of note, mid-week they decided to get a handle on people reserving chairs/beds (were being reserved as early as 7am with best gone by 8am) -- if someone was not sitting at the reserved chairs the security would collect the belongings that were left to reserve the spots.

On food - did takeout pizza from Guido's (short 5 minute walk and is way better than the Dominos at Paradise Village; even called concierage to get the phone number). Highly recommend Laguana for seafood (we went twice!), which is located just outside the Mayan gates - is very reasonable priced and much nicer setting than appears from the road (30 peso taxi ride). Also went to PV for Blue Shrimp (always good and nice setting) and also tried Daiquiri Dicks. D Dicks has awesome beachfront view to watch sunset - food was good but not cheap, service was very good. Lastly, we went to the Italian restaurant at Paradise Village (cannot recall the name, but is on the docks) - nice setting but food was average/poor and over priced. At the resort, food is okay/good but given the prices I would recommend trying virtually anything else. I also recommend at least one trip into PV -- but note that taxi is 160 peso and double that if you have more than 4 people as you must take a van.

Did the timeshare presentation yet again (inlaws are owners and there is some interest in hearing the updates). They actually upgraded slightly. As always, despite the inducements left a bitter taste in everyones mouth. Sales people will say virtually anything to get a sale. Took forever (hours) to paper the deal. They attempt to address owner concerns (inability to rent; inability to book when you want it) - but charge you for the "new benefits". Sales training is obvious as they ask you for your complaints -- because they have obviously heard the same ones many, many times and have answers scripted...I concur with other thoughts posted here - if you do not own and are not interested in buying - don't go.

Quite enjoyed the return visit to the Mayan side of the resort - would again encourage Grand Mayan guests to wander over there...is such a large, open space with a nice piano bar etc. Lastly, while the Grand has internet access you either need your laptop or have to rent one (while Mayan has computers for use and you can buy internet time).

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled with family
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8  Thank shazam99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2007

Our family (incl 2 kids - 9 year old and 5 year old) had an excellent experience at the resort during the last week of March.

A few comments:

1) We rented a car for the first couple of days. This provided transportation to the resort (avoiding the timeshare pitches and taxi issues), allowed us to explore the general area / other small towns and make a trip to Walmart to stock up on the basics.
2) Alamo was one of the cheapest rentals and the service and assistance was great - very friendly folks.
3) After returning the car to the airport you can either catch a yellow cab back to the GM (about $12) or you can catch the gray ATM bus ($1.20). Both leave from an area across the highway from the airport - at the base of the pedestrian bridge which crosses the highway.
4) Meals at the resort restaurants (Samba, Mondo, Cafe de Lago) were good but the best bang for the buck was room service. It was reasonable, fast, convenient and you get small bottles of ketchup, mustard and mayonaisse.
5) Resort facilities were excellent and the pools are the best feature but you need to get down to the pools early if you want a good location - many were "held" with shoes, books, etc before 8am.
6) Our kids enjoyed a day in Kids Club and it was reasonable - $15 per child for 9.30 am - 4.30 pm includes lunch.
7) Service and staff were all very friendly and efficient - no problems with check in / out.

I hope you enjoy your vacation as much as we did!

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank Beach_Fans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2007

We stayed at the Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta from March 24-31. This was our 3rd trip to Mexico, but our 1st to the pacific coast. Previously we stayed at the Iberostar Del Mar and Lindo in Riviera Maya. Hotel and scenery were extraordinary!!

Check in went very smoothly. No wait at 1pm when we arrived. We had requested an ocean view room ahead of time, but were not given one. We even had our room booked under the owner, still no ocean view. We tried to tip the manager, still no ocean view We did get a golf course/downtown Puerto Vallarta view on the 9th floor.

After you get your room assigned you are directed over to a VERY friendly staff member who will entice you to have a “free” breakfast buffet and 10% off your expenses while you stay. What this translates to is a timeshare sales person will meet you and eat with you. Then they will take you on a very long tour – they say it takes 90 minutes for the breakfast and tour, but people we talked to said it was easily 4 hours. Also, some people said they held out and got a bigger discount and more “freebies.” We said no, they called and tried once more to get us to come to breakfast. We said no and were never hounded again. If you just want to enjoy your vacation and don’t intend on buying a timeshare, SAY NO right away!!

Go to WalMart!! We shopped at the little market in the Plaza mall. A six pack of Corona was about 10-15 dollars! They also did not have many of the brand names Americans are used to. We heard WalMart does. We only fed the kids breakfast and snacks in the room, otherwise we ate out. You can always stop in the market for milk if you need it. Also, be sure to rinse and wash you dished when you’re done. Little gnats will appear if you don’t

This had to be the cleanest hotel I have been in. They are constantly cleaning floors, windows, watering plants, and yes, I even saw someone dusting the outdoor plants! Maid service is great too

The pools are just incredible!! They were very warm, which was good for us because our kids never got cold! They swam until 8 at night and were still warm! We were in them all day too Swim up bar is very friendly – Ramero really took care of us Happy hour is from 12-1 and 4-5. This means you can get certain drinks/beers 2 for 1. They also have a daily drink special. The kids really enjoyed the many activities the pools had to offer: water slide, wave pool, lazy river (wavy river from 1-3 – such a blast) water basketball and volleyball, staff led games by the activities center and many fountains to play in. They had tubes to use at the entrances to the lazy river. We didn’t even get to take advantage of the free kayaking, boat or train rides they offer too. Pools weren’t too crowded, but you did need to get poolside by 7:30-8:00 to get your choice of a seat. If you don’t care, plenty of seats still at 9-10. A word of warning, people were going down very early and putting personal items on chairs to save them. They had security picking them up and bagging them and putting them in the towel center. If you want to save a chair, either stay on it or wait for the towel station to open at 9.

Food by the pool was great – but SLOW. We had nachos and guac – which did get a little monotonous by the end of the week. However, the kids enjoyed chicken fingers, hamburgers, hot dogs by the pool. We ate breakfast at Greenbreak most days as we couldn’t find a restaurant poolside to just order a roll or muffin and coffee. Balance has an assortment of muffins, doughnuts, etc, but you have to get there early to get your pick.
Greenbreak had good food, just very slow service – it took between 1-2 hours for breakfast each day. The resort offered top shelf alcohol also.

Dining out was very good. We ate at Guido’s in Nuevo (walking distance) Great pasta Kids loved the pizza. Went to Fajita Republic. Atmosphere is very charming. Good food. We wnet into Puerto Vallarta 3 nights. Van of 8 will cost about 32 USD one way. You can’t find a van to take home – cab back was 16 USD. We ate at Pipi’s, Porto Bello’s and The Blue Shrimp. Pipi’s is just plain fun. Good food, very kid friendly. Porto Bello’s is in the Marina. Great pastas. The Blue Shrimp has great seafood – we had the shrimp special (45 USD – for 12 jumbo shrimp prepared the way you like) and the grilled lobster(47 USD – good) Kids had chicken fingers. Be careful to watch your belongings. My son had his Nintendo DS on the table, and he forgot it when we got up. When we asked – it was gone They are pretty enthralled with these games everywhere.

In conclusion, we highly recommend this resort if you have children. We plan to go back again sometime

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
11  Thank sun_beachlover67
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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