It's our last morning here, and I have some time so thought I would write up my thoughts while they are still fresh in my mind. Certainly the reviews of this resort were a topic of conversation during our 9 days here.
Some background - I will be 50 shortly & travelling with my wife & another couple of similar vintage. This is our second trip to this resort - liked it so much last yr we came back. It was a different experience last yr - the resort was nearly empty & building 4 was not even being used. We got everything we ever asked for & it was truly exceptional. It is much busier this yr.
People seem polarized on this resort & to an extent I think I understand. Everything was so positive last yr we did not notice any of the flaws. When we checked in this yr we did not get several of the things we requested & after a day of travelling & being a little tired, it was not the greatest start & right away I started noticing little things that could give you a bad impression.
So let's get the bad out of the way first. The place is starting to show its age. It is not a dump but the tiles around the pool need to be fixed. It lookalike they have started to paint the front of building 5 but I didn't see any work done during our stay. There is a retaining wall along the pool with a couple of cracks that are unsightly. From the upper floors you can tell that the thatched roofs need some work. Generally minor stuff but it is time to spend some $'s.
I have read some people complain about a sewage smell. That seems to be concentrated on the walkway to the Palladium side & in about a 20 meter area. If you walk a little further it goes away. Some people have complained about bugs. I saw a few ant like bugs in the bathroom of our first room on the main floor but nothing that freaked me out. You are in a tropical climate. What would everyone write about the mosquitoes etc. we deal with in Canada in the summer? My brother moved to an upper level room early & we changed rooms later & nothing there. So if this is going to be a huge issue get off the ground floor. This has also been the case at other resorts we have stayed at. I have also seen complaints about the rooms being musty. Again, it is humid here and not what you have back home. Our room on the ground floor was SLIGHTLY musty when we checked in but 5 mins after opening the door it was fine & never noticed again. The upper levels did not seem to have this issue at all.
I would recommend building 5 if you can get in. Some people complained that #4 was noisy in the evening & it is closer to the Palladium entertainment area so I suspect it would be until 11:00 or so when the entertainment wraps up. The whole resort gets quiet by midnight. You do have to balance where you want to be. The odd numbered rooms overlook the Palladium resort so not really a great view but at least something. The even numbered rooms (at least on the ground floor) basically look at wall of trees so there is not much to see there. It was not an issue to us as we did not spend much time in the room during the day.
Beach - it is rocky on the Royal side & not really suitable for swimming but the Palladium beach is easily accessible & decent.
My 2 biggest gripes were possibly related more to some of the guests. We began referring to the music as The Near Death Experience. Funeral parlour music. We brought our own tunes 1 day. A few people asked us to turn it up then 1 guy asked us to turn it down so we gave up on it. If you want a party atmosphere by the pool go to the other side. It is quite quiet here & people want to relax. Again not a huge deal - just know what to expect.
Which brings me to the chair game. Some people were getting up at 4 am to reserve their spots. I guess if you have to have THAT spot it is worth it but not to me if on holidays. If you are just a couple, are not too picky, and get up at a reasonable time it is not a problem. If you are trying to reserve the entire front of the pool for a group then it is a problem. Someone messed with the towels/markings the fist night we were here (and it looks like again last night) so when I took what I thought was a vacant spot it led to some hard feelings & it was not pleasant. The rest of our time we said "Screw it" & went to the beds by the ocean which are way more comfortable anyway & rarely fought for. In mid afternoon people start leaving & you van move up then.
So that is the bad. Overall minor but if you focus on these things I can see where some of the negative reviews come from. Now the good.
The staff are great. We saw people screaming at the desk staff over not getting what they wanted. We politely asked for a king bed room for the other couple we were with which they could not do on our first night but did on day 2. Service was very good in the restaurant except for 1 night when they were quite busy. Food is very good on the Royal side. I have seen complaints about the lobster - folks, this is not Red Lobster - it is grilled but I found it good but a bit small. The snacks were very good. Steaks were decent but it is not Alberta AAA so again this is about expectations. This yr we only ate at the restaurant on the Royal side. Last yr we were disappointed in the a la cartes & did not try them this yr.
We always tip but it did not seem to make a big difference in the service. These people work pretty hard & I don't think they make big $'s. I did notice lots of people never tipped.
One tip - you can get hard liquor in your rooms (free) but you have to ask for it. Last yr it was just there.
The entertainment on the Palladium side seemed much better this yr than last. It drove us away last yr. We did not spend a lot of time there but what we saw was decent.
You are a little ways from PV so if city night life is your thing this may not be the place for you. Check out Sayulita & Bucarius. I went fishing out of the Fishing Co-op at Punta de Mita which is very close and had a good time.
Bring pesos if you can. Everyone hoses you on the exchange rate & oddly enough no one has change lol. If you exchange USD for pesos at a bank here you need to have your passport.
The last few nights we upgraded to the Master Suites overlooking the ocean at a cost of $120USD/night. The rooms are bigger but it is the deck with the view you are paying for. It was a great way to finish off our trip & if you can swing it I would recommend it.
So there you have it. If you focus on a few small things going wrong you could hate it. I would suggest you focus on the spectacular scenery, good food & service, & enjoy yourself.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Royal Suites Punta Mita is a newly constructed VIP section within the Palladium Vallarta Resort featuring 100 rooms and first class facilities and services such as a private restaurant with a la carte service, two private bars serving premium beverages, 24-hour room service, a private swimming pool heated during the winter season, unlimited dinner reservations at the theme restaurants, concierge service, and free Internet connection. Adults only during high season. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Royal Suites Punta Mita By Palladium Hotel Punta De Mita
- Royal Hotel Punta De Mita