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“Friendly service, great value”

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Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa
Ranked #7 of 11 Hotels in Punta de Mita
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed March 1, 2004

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.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,750 - 3,756 of 4,739 reviews

Reviewed March 1, 2004

We just got back from the Viva Vallarta yesterday. We went for a 5 day stay (2/26/04-3/1/04) and I have to say that we were pretty disappointed that we had to leave so soon. The place is gorgeous and it is secluded from all the other resorts. It was about a 40 minute drive from the airport and since we were only there for 3 full days, we opted to stay at the resort the entire time. We do not regret that one bit.
Although I wasn't too impressed with the selection at the buffet, everything I did choose to eat was wonderful. The breakfast was awesome with eggs prepared to the individual's request and the best OJ we ever had! The snack bar had cheeseburgers and nachos and they were both pretty good but it was in the kids pool area which seemed to be pretty rowdy. The Mexican restaurant (Viva Mexico) was my husband's favorite.
They served awesome tortilla soup! I enjoyed the Mediterranean restaurant (Portofino). I would recommend the fish entree which was Mahi Mahi, Salmon, and Crab. It was wonderful. My husband had the ostrich which was also great! The Italian restaurant has the best tortollini we have ever tasted.....so overall we were exceptionally happy with the reservation-only restaurants! But one word of caution is that you have to make your reservations for these restaurants two days ahead. We got lucky and were able to make a reservation at the Mexican restaurant that day, but the other two were pretty full pretty quickly.
The adult pool is perfect for anyone looking for a relaxing time away from children. The only problem was finding a chair poolside after 8:00. People seemed to think it was okay to "save" a chair and then not come down until 2:00 or 3:00 which was pretty rude. And the pool bar was okay when there wasn't a line that was 5 people deep. We were okay with drinking the Sol beer, it actually tasted pretty good with a lime.
The beach was much easier to find a chair if you wanted it in the sun and the bar down there was a lot less crowded. The rooms were nice and fairly large and the staff was exceptionally nice. We did not get accosted by any time share people at the resort....we did at the airport after we got our luggage, but that had nothing to do with the Wyndham. The entertainment could have been better but we weren't necessarily there to see shows so that wasn't a big concern of ours. It looked like the kids had a lot of fun and there seemed to be a lot of entertainment for them during the day and at the 8:45 show. The weather was perfect and our overall experience was a good one.

5  Thank ILGIRL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2004

We just got back from the Viva Wyndham, spent a wonderful week relaxing
at the Adult Pool, On the Beach and adventuring around the area.

The Hotel Service was GREAT Martin and Jesus were extra Special. As far
as the Time Share hounders we never saw them til the last day and when
asked IF we had had their travel welcome yet I simply LIED and replied
YES :-) that seemed to work well!

Rooms were great, kept very clean and the staff were extremely
friendly.. We didnt do any of the activities down at the pool but we
saw lots of it going on. Seemed like they were having a blast. IF you
have kids you might really enjoy this resort the kids club was always
active. Gustavo And Bickey had the kids playing games and having fun
every day.
We spent most of our time at the adult pool, as it was quieter.. although I would like to reccomend they play a little livelier music (NOT Dance) just not the stuff that puts ya to sleep!

The Buffet was like MOST buffets had adequate food, lots of it and
fairly bland in taste to my likeing BUT there was always something to
eat. When you feed the masses it is hard to please everyone. We ate at
all three of the Ala Carte Restaurants and they were ALL Wonderful.

Took a couple of Excursions ATV - through the Sierra Madres and on a
Beach to a little town called Saluita (spelling) National Flag Day that
day lots of Mexican Culture! Thanks Victor and Reese YOU guys were
great! Also went on the Snorkelling to the Marietta Islands Chico and
Juan treated us to a great time Whales, Dolphins and Manteray and THAT
was before we reached the Islands!

Overall I would say IF you cant enjoy yourself at this HOTEL you should
stay HOME YOUR way toooooo Picky!
This was my first time to Mexico and WE WILL be returning Friendly FOlk LOTS of Fun and SUN!

3  Thank Deborah M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
St. Louis, MO
Reviewed February 26, 2004

We stayed at the VIVA Feb.20-24, 2004. First the good - The resort is very well taken care of and clean. The workers are friendly and helpful. Our room was always cleaned early and to our satisfaction. The shower pressure is great and that is unusal in a Mexican resort! The snack bar, I'm sorry to say is the best place to eat. The hamburgers and pizza are good. The drinks are good (they will serve you SOL beer unless you ask for the Dos XX). The adult pool is the place you want to be unless you want thumping music and water balloon fights! The adult pool is very pretty. It looks out over the ocean and is heated. The activity pool is very cold. In order to have a lounge chair at the adult pool, you will need to be down there no later than 7:30 to "save" your spot. I would suggest bringing along a beach towel of your own to make sure no one takes your hotel towel and moves it or "steals it".
This happened to someone while I was there. You will be shocked at how few seats are left @ 7:30 in the morning. Either the people are putting there things out at night or the hotel staff is "helping them out" The weather was great while we were there. The days get very warm, but if you are going in the next month, bring a sweater and pants for the evening. The view of the coast is awesome and yes we could see the whales splashing from the adult pool. We took the Canopy Tour one day.It will shoot the whole day, but if you are an adventurer, give it a try. Not for anyone afraid of heights!! One evening we went into Punta de Mita and ate dinner at the El Dorado (the desk can refer you), because we couldn't bear to face the buffet again. What wonderful food!!!! We had an absolute awesome dinner (app. Lobster drinks etc.) for around $70. It is right on the beach and I highly reccomend checking it out. Now to the bad. We have stayed at many Mexican All-Inclusives all over the country, so I know what to expect from the buffet scene. This one is by far the worst I've experienced. I got food poisoning on Sunday (threw up for 3 hours) and I'm sure it came from the pasta bar (bad tomato sauce). There is very little change from day to day. Breakfast is the worst. Don't go down to eat at 9 if you want a fresh egg or omlet, because you will be in line for 25 minutes. The food was bad. We werent the only ones with this feeling...we spoke to others at the resort who felt the same way. Take my advice and go to the snack bar!!!! If you aren't in reasonably good condition, this is not the place for you, because you are always walking up stairs! It can wear on you after awhile. So, besides the bad food and the food poisoning I experienced, I did manage to have a good vacation. This is atributed to the fact that the weather was great, the adult pool was great and the resort was clean.

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A TripAdvisor Member
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Reviewed February 23, 2004

We stayed at Viva Vallarta on feb 10-17.The resort was way to far away from Puerto Vallarta, this was not known before we booked the trip. It is quite a far 45 min drive to go downtown and shop. The resort itself had very rude bartenders! Didn't care what you thought when you told them to'slow down with the amount of alcohol in your drink' or when you asked for a virgin anf got a alcoholic drink, they were very rude when you corrected them. There was not much to do at the resort in the day.
The nightly entertainment was Awesome!! Very well rehearsed and great people! The food was terrible. My boyfriend and I had reservations at the only good restaraunt on the resort for Valentines day and when we arrived at 8:45 for our reservation...they said they didn't have us written down and we were forced to eat the 3 hr old buffett instead of a lovely dinner. I would NOT reccommend this resort to anyone!!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Toronto, Ontario
Reviewed February 22, 2004

My wife and I just returned from a week at the Viva Wyndham Vallarta.
Actually, it was only five nights since our travel agency OR Wyndham screwed up and overbooked - we had to stay at another 'resort' in the city of PV, as opposed to Nuevo Vallarta where the Wyndham is. For our troubles, they refunded us $250/per person. Not too bad. That aside, on to the review....

The resort itself is beautiful. It is quite large, and all the photos on the internet really do the resort justice. The food is EXCELLENT for a buffet-style restaurant - there are always live chefs making custom orders as well (pasta bar, fish cook, meat cook, etc...).... food is changed up but ranges from Ribs to Fish (tasty mahi-mahi) to Roast to Pork to Potatoes to Pizzas to Rice to Mexican fare.... the bread is SO fresh its quite something (and I love my french bread). The drinks at all the bars have PLENTY of alcohol. The only drag regarding the drinks is having to wait in line - the adult pool only has one bartender when really they should have two.

The two a-la-carte restaurants we ate at were delicious (Portofino, the mediterranean one and Viva Mexico). We were told that the mexican place offered so-so chicken and beef, so my wife and I ordered fish that was OUT OF THIS WORLD. And yes, we consider ourselves to be food lovers, so we're not the type of people that are easily satisfied. There is also a very above-average snack bar thats open all day (and all night?).
Burgers, tortillas, french fries, awesome pizza (cant figure out why it was SO AMAZING), chicken nuggets, nachos, fresh salsas etc....

Even though its all-inclusive, you can order morning room service to your room. We did this every morning - OJ, a carafe of coffee, and FRESH croissants. A delicious way to start the day!

The adult pool is beautiful as it overlooks the ocean (and keep your eyes peeled for whales out near the horizon). There are activities to keep you busy if you want, or you can just veg out all day. We found that many "adults" at the pool would come down anywhere between 7 and 8am, throw a towel or book down in a shaded area, then not come back again until 11 or so. We had to play this game once in order to secure shaded seats one day. There are generally enough seats on the beach, but if you show up later than 11am or so, you might have trouble securing a spot. This is pretty much the same at all resorts, but we were never put out. If anything, the resort could use more shaded areas as it gets bloody hot by 10:30 am!!!

The beach is pretty wavy, which is good for amateur surfers and people into boogie-boarding. Snorkeling is kind of useless as there is so much sand kicked up. We took a snorkeling excursion offered through the resort and had a great time.

Finally, the only bad news is the timeshare thing. Even though I had heard about the concierge scam, I still got involved for about 10 minutes before we said "hey, this is our vacation, we're out of here." After hassling us three times (calling our room saying "you come down today!") they finally gave up. It was pretty annoying, but my wife blames my naivete for even entertaining the conversation. So, just avoid the concierge desk and any "contests". You will have a GREAT time. Our room was clean and large, shower pressure perfect, and always hot water.

It is impossible to be disappointed with this resort. For those who wrote "It aint a 5 star!", i dont know what to say. All our needs were taken care of, the staff were courteous, and we were COMPLETELY satisfied and would go back in an instant. If people want full room service, and other so-called 5star amenities, don't book a resort that is less than $1200 a person.... spend elsewhere. But for people who want to relax at a beautiful resort, eat well, and drink well, this is the place to be. I'd be happy to answer any questions, so email me (remove the word PINS).

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Reviewed February 22, 2004

Just back from Viva Vallarta and we loved it! Absolutely beautiful with tons to do. Very active hotel. Many many steps to climb which proved to be difficult for people with reduced mobility. The adults only pool is heated and perched at the top of the mountain. There are many view points from which to see the dolphins swim, but binoculaurs are required. Most of the staff members speak English, but speaking Spanish with them and the salespeople helps greatly. Easy access into town with the city buses, but many excursions are available on site. All in all: WONDERFUL!

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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Additional Information about Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa

Address: C/ Carretera Punta de Mita Km 11.5, Punta de Mita 63734, Mexico (Formerly Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa)
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Nayarit > Riviera Nayarit > Punta de Mita
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in Punta de Mita
#4 Family Hotel in Punta de Mita
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Punta de Mita
#6 Romantic Hotel in Punta de Mita
#6 Spa Hotel in Punta de Mita
#6 Luxury Hotel in Punta de Mita
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Punta de Mita
Price Range: $207 - $542 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 420
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

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