We traveled to this resort from December 16th - 23rd, 2012. We booked two rooms for two adults, and two 16-year old boys.
I was aware that this resort was not in Puerto Vallarta, but I didn't realize that it was almost 45 minutes away.
When you are leaving the airport to get the bus to the resort, KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN AND DON'T TALK TO THE PEOPLE TRYING TO GET YOUR ATTENTION! These are timeshare salespeople, and they will cause you to miss your bus. They offer you free tours, meals, etc., but before you get the promised reward, you will sit through a 90 minute timeshare sales pitch (which has been reported to take as many as 7 hours!!)
The bus ride was comfortable and it is nice to be able to see some of the scenery on the ride to the resort.
Upon arrival at the resort, I was not overly 'wowed' by the lobby. It's nice, just nothing special. We were greeted with a cool fruity welcome drink, which was a nice touch. Check in was fast and pleasant. No issues there.
We did book a king-size bed, which we did not get. There were many people who complained about this while we were there, as well as many reviewers on tripadvisor.ca who have had the same issue. The double beds are NOT big enough for two adults. This was a disappointment, as we booked well in advance, and our travel rep contacted the hotel and CONFIRMED that we had this booked.
The resort itself was quiet, and I loved that I didn't get harassed at the beach by vendors. I was approached a couple of times, but a polite 'No, gracias.' was enough to send them on their way. The beach/water itself was very VERY rocky and we all suffered injuries (including a broken bone) from the rocks in the water. Bring shoes for sure, pay close attention to the swimming areas, and expect to get hurt by the rocks.
The rooms are nice, clean, basic. Nothing extraordinary. There is a mini-fridge which was stocked daily, and a coffee maker. We tipped both cash and small gifts to the maids and were very pleased with the service we received.
Balconies are small, and we did not spend any time out there for this reason. Usually, we enjoy coffee on the balcony in the morning, and a drink in the evening while watching the sunset, but there just wasn't the room to do that here.
The beds, as mentioned, were not what we had booked, and their double beds are not suitable for two people to sleep comfortably. Beds are harder than the ones at home, and do have covers on them, but I was quite comfortable, and did not find the plastic cover noisy or bothersome. I always travel with my own pillow, but the other travelers in my party had no issues with the pillows provided by the resort. You can rent 'better' pillows, for a fee.
Pools and grounds are nice and well-maintained. Staff are exceptional and work hard.
The food at the resort was our biggest disappointment.
El Bosque - The buffet restaurant was not great. Mornings at the buffet were ok...Service was AMAZING though. A lot of the time they were out of food, syrup, etc., and it took a LONG time for the empty trays to be refilled. The omelettes were very good, as was the french toast (if you could get some)! We did eat lunch and supper in the buffet as well, but were not impressed.
The buffet by the main pool was quite good for lunch, so this is where we ate during the day.
A la carte restaurants were much better.We ate at Viva Mexico, Portifino, and Ribs and more. I really enjoyed these restaurants, but the rest of our party really only enjoyed Ribs and More. (They aren't quite as open-minded about different foods.) If you wish to take advantage of the a la carte restaurants, you will need to be there early, 6:30pm ish, if you want to be seated. We were not made aware of the beach BBQ, and wish that we had known, as it looked like a good time, and smelled delicious.
Evening shows were ok. Typical Mexico-resort entertainment. We went to all but the burlesque show, which we thought was a bit inappropriate for a family resort. (we aren't prudes, but adult entertainment is for adults...)
We liked that there was a market in the courtyard every night. The vendors' wares were quite expensive. The store at the hotel was well stocked, and had everything you might need, however, VERY VERY expensive. Bring sunscreen from home, unless you think almost $40 for a $10 bottle of sunscreen is reasonable!
The food in the Sports Bar was delicious and the chef was friendly and so happy to make whatever we asked for.
There is a lot of walking and a lot of stairs at this resort. We are fairly fit, and had no problem with this, but we did see many people struggling to get around, having to take breaks on the paths. The zoo is fun, and the gardens were beautiful.
Overall we had a good time, but will probably not return to this resort, based on the disappointments with the food, the fact we did not get the room we booked, and the rocky, dangerous beach.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa is located on a spectacular property that offers a 300 meter long private Pacific beach, from which guests can witness stunning sunsets. The construction of the hotel has maintained the natural flora and fauna of the area to provide an extraordinary setting for an unforgettable vacation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Palladium Vallarta Resort And Spa
- Palladium Vallarta Hotel Punta De Mita
- Palladium Vallarta Puerto
- Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa
- Palladium Puerto Vallarta
- Viva Vallarta
- Hotel Palladium Vallarta
- Club Viva Vallarta