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The Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta
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Reviewed December 13, 2010

The resort facilities themselves are awesome. We were "wowed" from the moment we arrived. The 2-story statues in the foyer are incredible, and there was not a speck of dust to be found anywhere! Cleanliness is a top priority here, and YES, you CAN drink the water!

My biggest regret was in not learning to speak Spanish in order to verbally communicate my gratitude and appreciation to the housekeeping staff. Those ladies work HARD and definitely went beyond our expectations.

Just a word of caution,though. Housekeeping DOES come around twice per day. Once in the early afternoon, and once in the late evening to turn down your bed and remove any trash. My wife and I were enjoying the HUGE ensuite tub on the first night, which resulted in a hastily wrapped towel introduction!

We are happy to report that the Lazy River and wave making equipment are now fully functional ... had a blast as we rode about 3 rounds. There are staff there to assist you on and off of your tube. Watch out for the waterfall. I almost fell off my tube as some poor unsuspecting guy went directly under it.

The operation of the small pool ... right on our own private deck ... was a bit of a mystery. It was often full or nearly empty. Warm or cold. Quiet or gurgling. We asked to have someone look at it ... but of course it was acting perfectly when they came. LOL No biggie ... and we did enjoy a refreshing dip mid-afternoon.

As an alabaster-skinned Canuck, I also need to warn you of just how quickly you can burn under the tropical sun. After getting off the tube ride, we parked ourselves on the pool deck for *one* (yeah right) cold drink. Margarita was the drink of the day, and as luck would have it ... it was "happy hour" -- two-fer time. So of course we ordered the "large" size, and had refills about an hour later. Needless to say, we were enjoying our conversation with a couple that we met and lost track of time. When I began to feel the heat, even after 2 large frozen Margs ... I knew it was time to get out of the sun. Now, nearly 2 weeks later, I'm pretty much done peeling!

I parasailed for the first time, right on the beach at the resort. The best $50 USD I spent on the trip. Those guys were experts, and gave very clear instructions. Both the "take-off" and landing were very smooth and completely dry. I'd estimate that I touched down within 3 ft of where I took off.

The Mexican people that we met both on and off the resort were very polite and friendly. We had lunch up at "Fat Boys on the Beach" restaurant and really enjoyed that as well.

Bring LOTS of small bills (20 Pesos ~= $2.00 US/ CDN) for use as tips. Everyone has their hand out, and most of them deserve to be tipped.

Be prepared to be approached and solicited to buy everything from necklaces to silver jewellry to beautifully painted bathroom sinks! (seriously!) Barter is expected. You'll usually end up paying about 1/2 of the asking price ... or at least we did.
"No thank you" is generally politely accepted if you're really just not interested. Is it bothersome? Yes, a little bit ... but you have to realize that these are folks just trying to make a few bucks, and tourism is a big industry in this area.

Vallarta Adventures offers a lot of quality highly-reccomended excursions as well. We went to the "Rythyms of the Night" which involved another healthy dose of Margaritas on the way there on a high-speed catamaran. The catamaran crew puts on an entertaining show as well.

You are issued a color-coded "hospital bracelet" when you check-in, which you have to wear for ther duration of your trip. "Owners" wear a solid red, and "exchangers" wear a red with white stripe. Owners get ocean view, others get "greenspace view" which isn't so bad at all. We asked for a room up on higher floors, and got a very nice room on the 6th floor of the main tower. The deck was in constant shade, which was welcome sunburn relief.

Go. Relax. Have Fun!

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank leverite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2010

Just spent a week at this Timeshare (RCI Exchange) with my wife and a daughter and her husband. This an extrrorsinary development at Nuevo Vallarto, just North od Puerto Vallarta. There are, at present, 6 properties operating on-site, all under the same ownership, several more are in various stages of construction. The quality of everything is, everywhere, top-notch. Many of the amenities are shared among the facilities. Everything is new, the service people are neat and attentive. There are numerous excellent restaurants throughtout the property. We tried most of them. The menus were excellent, the presentation, service, and meal quality were all 4 star. All the facilities offered meal plans. We chose one which gave us 6 Breakfasts, and 6 Lunches or Dinners. This is a highly recommended plan. The savings were considerable, and the convenience well worth it. You need to sign up for this as soon as you check in. One thing to studiously avoid is the Time Share Weasels. They were a constant irritation. When you have checked in, they will give a wrist ID and send you to "the Hostess". Run, don't walk the other way. There are lots of activities, including plenty of stuff for the kids.
We saw many children. One amenity we particularly enjoyed was the "Lazy River" This ran around the periphery of the aquatic area. Perhaps 1/2 mile long. There were 2 Entrance/Exit areas. At the 2nd, you encounter "Rapids"- Waves generated by the Wave machine at the adjacent "Wave Pool". It only operated part-time, but was enjoyed by everyone including us Seniors. Highly Recommended. We look forward to a return visit.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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3  Thank terrybmd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2010

We checked in very excited about staying @ the Grand Mayan. The property isv very nice but seems to sprawl on and on with no real Mexico Charm.
We were asked for an "easy" 90 minute tour and was introduced to Joel, an egotistical stereotypical hard seller that does not care about anything but making the sale.
I could go on but he single handedly cast a negative vibe on the property.
I would suggest to stay elswhere.

Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
3  Thank DZTLIVIN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2010

The Grand Luxxe staff was uniformly wonderful. We were in the Luxxe tower #2 which had just been open a few days. View was of the Mayan Palace and construction with just a slice of sea visible from the balcony. Other side of the tower (south side ?) has a better view of the bay and Old Vallarta in the distance) The suite was beautiful and spotless. One caveat: was traveling alone with very senior parents... only reserved the one bedroom and living/dinning area - not the second bedroom. The connecting door is absoluely NOT sufficiently sound-proof and sleeping in the living room I could hear every single conversation, tooth brushing, television program, etc of the people next door! Housekeeping suggested we wad up some towels and place them at the base of the door, which muffled the sound only a little. I am sure we were just as noisy or worse for the poor neighbors. We had dinner at Epazote - the new Mexican restaurant in the lobby of the Luxxe #1... excellent food and service.... $175 for three of us, dessert but no alcohol. There is a lot of construction activity - even at night. Didn't bother me, but my elderly mother had difficulty sleeping with the flood lights and the noise. Couple of tips: the convenience store with groceries by the main entrance to the Mayan property has a good variety of groceries, but if you are at the Luxxe there is a very nice store in the Mayan Palace next door. You go through the lobby of the Mayan Palace, to the right and past the wonderful wine bar and the cyber cafe and through a lovely gift shop with a very nice selection of clothing for men, women and children.... and you reach the little grocery store. The Grand Bliss opened while we were there.... there is apparently going to be additional shopping in the lobby. I agree with other reviews that the Grand Mayan is absolutely wonderful as well.... we were just there in July 2010 and it looks like the lazy river has been retouched since then... it was super clean... both the wave pools with faux beach access were open and in use, as was the kiddie land. All the children we saw seemed to be having a wonderful time! Mom and I had pina coladas at the pool at the Grand Mayan - excellent, but $12 dollars each so be prepared. The buffet is located at the Mayan Palace and has lots of good choices but it was open only for breakfast/brunch the week we were there. Cost is about $25 per person. Oh, for a relatively inexpensive meal on-site you can have a healthy "combo meal" in the deli by the gym at the Grand Mayan for about $100 pesos. Paradise Village in Nuevo Vallarta is a short taxi ride away and has many good restaurants and shops, including a grocery store and "No Name" for reportedly excellent ribs! When you plan your flights home keep in mind that check out time is 10:00 a.m. and the notice placed in the room said late check out would only be allowed to 1:00 pm and the charge would be 1/2 of the price of the maintenance fee for the week. And I agree with the review re the timeshare presentation. My dad went.... did get 10% off most of the bill, but it did take about 4 hours. Again, staff superb. Beach and grounds beautifully groomed. We will definitely be back soon!

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled with family
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3  Thank gracebeavis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2010

We just returned from a week at the Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta where we spent a 7 day Thanksgiving holiday with our kids and grandkids. We thought about this a year ago when we first visited the property. The expansive grounds, pools, easy beach access, multiple restaurant choices made us think this might be just the place to take our extended family on holiday together. With ages ranging from 7 to 61, we were right. The little kids were like fish, swimming in the various pools and the Lazy River. The 15 year olds easily took to chaperoning the younger ones so that the adults could hang out and visit. We booked 4 condos, 2 with 2 bedrooms, 2 with 1 bedroom and had lots of space for everyone. Perhaps our only disappointment was that not all 4 rooms were ocean/pool view. Two were parking lot view. But, that hiccup dissipated once everyone settled in as we tended to gather at the end of each day in my big poolside room for cocktails and to decide what everyone's dinner plans were. I have to say that we hardly left the property which is unusual for this adverturous group. We did book a sailing excursion one day through Vallarta Adventures and had the boat all to ourselves! It was, without a doubt, everyone's favorite day. We loved being on the water. Were a bit disappointed because the water was murky which sort of tainted our snorkeling portion of the day. But, all in all, didn't matter too much. It was still the highlight of the trip. I might note that although the hotel offered a Thanksgiving dinner, we opted out after reading their menu. It sounded not quite up to par and, from others who did go and spoke with us about it, we made the right decision. Half the people in our group are good cooks, one a professional chef, so we decided to cook for ourselves. The biggest problem was the condos have no oven! Kinda difficult to cook a turkey without an oven. After discussion various solutions for several days, we decided to go with "roasted chicken" from our neighborhood Walmart (a $5 cab drive away), and make everything else. Worked great! No one complained about not having turkey and we had a lovely dinner at our poolside condo. No linens, no grandma's silver or crystal - just good food and good company. I think the little kids summed it up best, "I never thought I'd get a tan at Thanksgiving."

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled with family
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3  Thank Rannynm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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