This review is from almost 1.5 years ago, but much of the information is probably still applicable. My friend and I stayed at Viva Vallarta in November 2002, and had a great time. We found that the food was good, the staff was friendly, and the resort was nice and VERY clean.
While not posh, it is a very good deal for an all-inclusive. ROOMS: Standard rooms, or perhaps a bit larger, with enough room to store everything. Room safes are provided as is a small refrigerator. TVs carry a mixture of English and Spanish channels, including cable channels such as CNN, HBO, ESPN, Nickelodeon, CBS, and ABC. There are two clusters of rooms: one near the theater and the other near the adult pool. If you have children, you will probably want to request a room in the cluster near the theater, as this provides good access to the main pool and the restaurants. If you are going to be hanging out at the adult pool, either cluster is equally convenient, and the one by the adult pool might be quieter. The bathrooms are fairly nice. There is a soap dispenser in the shower (Dove soap) and a hair dryer is provided. FOOD: The main restaurant had a very good buffet. Breakfast had an omelette station every morning, while there was usually a fajita station at lunch and dinner. For a buffet restaurant, the service is excellent. They bus your plates promptly and will get your drinks.
There are also two other restaurants that you can eat at once per week by reservation only. These are nicer, sit-down, limited menu restaurants. One has an Italian theme and, though we heard that it was mediocre all week, we had a good experience the night we went there.
The other was a Mexican restaurant, which received universal praise.
They serve a coffee drink after dinner (upon request) that they light on fire for quite a little show.GUESTS: I would guess that half of the guests were from Mexico and the rest split roughly evenly between the U.S. and Canada. I found this to be a nice change of pace from other Mexican resorts that I had been to that seemed to cater to the U.S.
almost exclusively. Staff members all speak English, with varying degrees of proficiency. POOLS: There are two pools: a main pool and an adult pool. Most of the activities take place near the main pool. While we were there, those activities included Spanish lessons, meringue and salsa dancing lessons, step aerobics, water aerobics, stretching, cocktail class, and ping-pong. Not surprisingly, the main pool is fairly noisy. The adult pool is a wading pool and is very mellow. There is a bar at both pools (self-serve) and there is also food (hamburgers and other fast food) available at the main pool. Both pools have magnificent views of the sunset. Beach towels are provided.ACCESS: The resort is very spread out and you should be prepared for a LOT of walking. Although they have tried to make the resort handicap friendly, those in wheelchairs should consider a hotel with an elevator (there are none at this resort).BEACH: The beach is not long, and you cant walk very far along the beach without getting wet. The beach is also very rocky. But it is a very nice small beach and fairly deep.
Activities near the beach include beach volleyball (morning and afternoon), kayaking, Jet skis, windsurfing, and sailing (theyll take you out on a Hobie Cat). RECREATION: We went to the tennis lesson every morning and were usually joined by one or two other players. The fitness center had plenty of cardiovascular and weight machines and was open 8am-1pm and 4pm 8pm. Other activities include archery and horseshoes. There is also a spa near the fitness center. You can get two 50 minute full body massages (his and hers!) for 840 pesos a great deal! KIDS: I dont have kids, so Im not an expert, but the kids program seemed to be pretty nice. They had an enclosed area with plenty to do and it seemed to be well supervised. There were few kids in the program while we were there not surprising for the middle of November. More families with kids showed up for the weekend. ENTERTAINMENT: In the evening, there is a show put on by the staff. We spent very little time watching the shows, but they did seem to be kid-friendly.
TRANSPORTATION: This resort is a long way from downtown, but a bus comes by the front of the resort frequently (every 15 minutes or so during the day) and is cheap (roughly U.S.$1.25). We took the 50-60 minute bus ride into town twice and I highly recommend it as a way to see a little slice of life in this part of the world. For those who dont want a bumpy bus ride, taxis are available, for significantly more money. Make sure you negotiate a price before you get in. There is also a shuttle once daily from the resort to downtown cost: US$8.00.PUERTO VALLARTA: I had never been to Puerto Vallarta before and thought that it was a great place. If you love to negotiate, the shopping is quite fun. Rule of thumb: you can usually get it for half of the first price they mention or less. You will be assaulted by those selling time-shares whenever you leave the resort. Even within the resort, they will try to sell you their vacation club, but they do take no for an answer. Outside the resort, they are more persistent. SUMMARY: We had a great time at this resort and plan to come back again. The service was good, the resort nice, and Puerto Vallarta was beautiful.
- 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