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“Decent, but not my favourite”

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Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa
Ranked #7 of 11 Hotels in Punta de Mita
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed January 7, 2014

I went with my boyfriend and we chose this resort because it was the cheapest but there were others we would have preferred. I do believe that the resort was a good value for the price we paid but obviously when compared to more expensive resorts, I have some complaints.

We took an airport taxi on the way there for $60(american) and on the way back we took a hotel taxi for $35.

I was worried about the reviews about the rocky/coral beach but it was manageable, not ideal though. You start to learn where the rocky parts are and then they are easy to avoid.

The rooms were great! I thought it was wonderful that you had to use your card to turn on the power. This hotel does a wonderful job with little sustainability tricks! The maid service was also great and we had no issues with any theft, although we always made sure to use the safe.

I would recommend to the ladies, bring wedges and fancy sandals, not stilettos! The grounds were cobblestone and there are lots of stairs so it was impossible to walk!

The food and drinks were meh. I wasn't expecting anything compared to the food from at home but I didn't think the food was up to par with other resorts I've been to. However, I did love the Mexican restaurant! The BBQ on the beach was really neat too.

Service around the hotel and in the restaurants were helpful and friendly, no problem there.

The water activity rentals were awesome. You can rent surfboards, boogie boards, snorkel gear, and catamarans all for free. They had a lot of stock too.

I thought the lobby band was fantastic! It's great when resorts give you some entertainment for the late evenings. We never managed to catch the shows because we always ate late so I can't comment on those.

We had only one major issue that was with a hotel taxi driver, Nacho. Do not take a taxi with him! Not only did he rip is off but he left us stranded in a nearby town where we waited for him to pick us up for an hour.

I was disappointed with the daily poolside activities. I felt like the staff wasn't very focal about what was going on and I was annoyed that things were cancelled on weekends because weddings were there.

I wouldn't go back to this resort unless I had another money issue but I wouldn't tell anyone not to go. It had food, beer, a beautiful beach (and pools), and sun. That's all you really need!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Radmadd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alejandro C, Manager at Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 18, 2014

Dear Radmadd,
I would like to thank you for your nice comments about your last holidays with us in Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa. I am so sorry about your incident with that taxi driver, let me tell you that this people are not part of the Resort staff.
I am glad that you and your couple enjoyed your stay with us. We will check your remarks about the poolside activities with the entertainment manager.
Thank you again for your remarks and we hope to see you again in the future.
Best regards,

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1,774 - 1,780 of 4,647 reviews

Reviewed January 6, 2014

I was part of a group of 22 that spent New Years Eve 2013 at the property, and departed Jan. 5, 2014.
Part of the reason I am writing the review is that I read many reviews on this property prior to going, and found a lot with negative comments that I felt were patently unfair and/or were uninformed comments. Some people comment on 'star ratings' because they believe stars correlate only to how palatial a property is, but those people commenting have clearly not researched the criteria used for arriving at a star rating, i.e. the various amenities offered by a hotel.
The staff - we found the staff to work very hard and were very pleasant throughout our stay in order to provide cheerful & good service.
The food - in our group of 22, literally nobody suffered any gastrointestinal issues the entire 7 days, and we found the food & drink decent, which contrasts some reviews I've read.
The hotel itself - True the hotel isn't an incredible palace. I suspect it was built perhaps in the late 1980's or 1990's. Nonetheless, it appears to have been updated, and is well manicured. The rooms are decent and clean. I read some reviews criticizing the beds, and while it would be impossible to have beds that cater to everyone's desires, I would concur with comments to the effect that the beds were on the hard side, and the plasticized mattress pads are less than excellent.
Beach - The beach is nice, although there is substantial rock and/or coral in the water, so one cannot frollick freely in the ocean in most areas. There is a family pool and an adult infinity pool which is very nice, has a great view, and is peaceful for those wanting to relax in peace.
Location - Great location providing a person wants an ultra-quiet, secluded location, however, unfortunately it is sufficiently far enough away from virtually everything, that trips off the resort are time-consuming and costly. Cab rides to Sayulita, Punta Mita, Bucerias can be $20-30 one way, and downtown PV is $40 one way.
All in all, our group had an enjoyable stay. I believe that some highly negative reviews are coming from people who have "champagne taste, but want to travel on a beer budget". In most cases, you can't have it both ways. I also believe some travelers are hypercritical, and take the most insignificant issue as the reason to complain about their holiday. A person should carefully research where they are thinking of spending their vacation dollars and they'll know what to expect. We were concerned about the negative reviews, but still had an enjoyable stay at this property.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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13  Thank Eric H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2014

I would like to let everyone know that this is an awesome place. I had never been to Mexico before, and just booked the trip on a whim a month before we went. I had seen this resort in brochures for years, and this is the resort I wanted to go to if ever in Mexico. We had a very pleasant time. Sure, there is a lot of walking uphill and a lot of stairs, so for someone that cannot walk very well, this may not be the place for you. We thought that with all the great food, a person should walk it off. And we did. We only took one tour, the Rhythm of the Night, as your resort is so beautiful, that I didn't want to spend time away from it. The maids, waiters, water sport people, beach vendors and bartenders were the best. They all treated us very well. We went for massages, hair appointments, etc and all were exactly what I had hoped for. The food was great, and way too much.
All I can say about the people complaining about this resort, is that they probably travel way too much. Try only going once every few years and you may appreciate it all. We went to a 4 Star Resort in Dominican Republic a few years ago and thought it was wonderful. My sister came with us and had to sleep on a wooden box frame bed. This was ten times better. The food was better, and the children's program is wonderful. We are a Grandpa and Grandma to three gorgeous, playful girls, aged 8, 6, and 3 and are taking them here very soon. If someone doesn't like kids, then go to an adults only resort. We enjoyed watching the children on stage every night and watching the guides walk the kids through the line ups. It shows that you care for our children.
We are already planning on taking our son, daughter-in-law, and three granddaughters next winter. That was our Christmas gift to them this year. They are all so excited, they can't wait. Neither can I. See you guys in a few more months!

Room Tip: We stayed in Room 1018, and sitting on our patio, we could see the ocean and adult pool and it was q...
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Sandi W W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alejandro C, Manager at Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 18, 2014

Dear Sandi W W,
Thank you so much for your kind words about your first visit to our Hotel with your family. We appreciated it very much. We continuously work to make every guest’s holiday a great experience, and it is very important for us to realize that our effort is successful.
As you say in your report, we try to make an unforgettable stay for children and adults. I hope your grandchildren enjoyed their stay.

We look forward to welcome you back for Christmas. Please do not hesitate to contact me for any further information.
Sincerely,

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Reviewed January 6, 2014

Very nice beach and pools. If you like to surf, this is a very good resort and you can surf right there at the resort on the beach. We were told once getting there that people come to this resort for surfing. Food was good but not great in comparison to other resorts we have been too. (not as much variety and sometime cold) Hanging in lobby bar at night was common and seemed to be the only place people were at night. Shows weren't great and there wasn't a lot to do in the evening. Not much for entertainment. Drinks were ok, but if you drink red wine you probably wont like it and they often serve their wine in plastic cups (at the lobby especially where the plastic cups have chips in them and look very old?!) The sports bar was a great place to get food after hours and we had the best fajitas and poutine there! You can watch sports, play pool or foozball and its a good little hang out. The little zoo is neat, not many animals but kids would like it. The showerhead in our room had black mold on it and the walls had large cracks in them and the floor was sticky like something was split and not cleaned? We nicely said something about it and they moved us to a new room. Very nice staff. We have stayed at quite a few resorts in Mexico and this wasn't the best but it was still a great vacation and would rate it about 3.75 in comparison.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank newlywedzzzzz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2014

After heading to Cancun the year before, we wanted to try something different - something less busy and less commercial/touristy. Up front I'll say we had a great time; the resort was beautiful, lots of pools, food, booze, rooms were clean, staff was friendly - everything we expected out of an all-inclusive vacation.

With that said, I cannot say - with all honesty - that there was anything 'bad' about this resort. If I must (and these aren't make-or-break deals), the resort is about 1.5 hours away from PV airport (they say it's 1 but it's much longer/slower to get there). There's also nothing around this resort.. the town of Punta Mita is pretty.. well, run down, but full of culture and life (we didn't actually go.. just drove through - which was enough!). There are lots of tours that take you back to PV if you want to go into town. We did a city tour and tequila tasting.. which you MUST do (and buy!) if you go. The resort itself is also massive. Depending on where your room is and whether you're interested is using the adult only pool it can be quite a hike to get there. But certainly thankful for adult only pool and bar (lots of families/kids still at resort). Food was good - lots of restaurant selection although only some are open each night (i.e. 2/5 per night). Also, PV is quite cloudy during February (didn't know, but know now!).

Truth be told, this resort was great. Compared to Cancun is felt like we were much more on vacation (beautiful, more lush, trees, beach, not overly touristy). We would go back - definitely - but I would look around before heading back to PV. Can't quite put my finger on what I didn't 'love' about this place.. hope this helps!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank Alex T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alejandro C, Manager at Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 18, 2014

Dear Alex T,
Thanks a lot for your nice opinion about your last holidays in February 2013 with us in Grand Palladium Vallarta.
I am glad that you enjoyed your stay with us. For us is gratifying to know that our guest enjoyed their vacations and we are providing our best services for them.
Thank you again for your remarks and we hope to see you again in the future.
Kind regards,

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Reviewed January 4, 2014

First the good of which there is lots, the place is immaculate, the food is excellent, the staff are amazing. So what could be wrong, I'd say if you're travelling with kids under the age of 15 or so, not much if anything.

If you're travelling with only adults as I was however, you might want to look elsewhere. There isn't much adult entertainment - they have a band most nights but they start at about 9:45, generally play 2 sets and it's over. The beach is nice but don't stray too far into the water because you won't get far from shore before it becomes very rocky (not comfy well rounded rocks). The area of the beach that is the least rocky is very small and marked by buoy's, it's really the only area where you can walk in more than a couple of feet from shore and while we were there most of the people in that area (normally more than a dozen at a time) were trying their hand at surfing using the free surf equipment the resort provides. That may sound good until you're in the water with a big wave coming toward you as well as a bunch of people riding with that wave with surf boards they have no control over.

Want to go into town, you're at best 45 minutes away - that is if you choose to take a 500 peso ($50.00) cab each way.

I'd say if you're a young family that plans to spend the majority if not all of your time on the property, you probably couldn't do better. If however you're an adult that wants to take in what Puerta Vallarta has to offer, this isn't the place.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank stevez641
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2014

We stayed in the Spa & Suites and had no complaints about the room other than there are no bedside outlets for a CPAP machine, but they quickly supplied an extension cord. Good king-size bed with good pillow selection. AC and everything worked as it should.

Found all staff to be courteous and friendly, especially the staff at the Punta Mita restaurant.

Some wafts of sewer gas walking between the Suites and the main hotel and once while dining at the Punta Mita restaurant one night.

Breakfasts at the Punta Mita were good where they made an excellent poached egg for you.

Our only main complaint was the quality of the dinner entrees that we expected to be much higher at a supposed 5 star hotel. The lobster (langoustine) was obviously frozen and very mushy, the beef was tough and portions thinly cut. A spaghetti puttanesca was so salty it was inedible. I thought that the chefs were supposed to check on everything. Basically, it seems like an array of short order cooks were doing the cooking without a lots of "executive" supervision.
Punta Mita: most main courses reminded me of a Jack Tar Village in the DR where we took the kids 30 years ago. Rating Staff 4, breakfast 4, other food 2.5
Porto Fino: has the ambiance of a bowling alley and undercooked pizzas, substandard salad bar that was not well replenished. Rating 2
Bambu food was OK and service excellent : Rating 3.0
Mexican restaurant was closed due to a leaky roof, but no one in the concierge service called to advise us and we slogged through the rain there and back. They had re-booked us at Bambu, but again, no one had advised us of that either.

We didn't pay a 5 star rate, but would have liked something around a 3.5+ star experience and the main issue was the quality of the main dishes.

Room Tip: From what I have read from other reviews, definitely go for the Suites, 2nd floor
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Bruce C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alejandro C, Manager at Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 18, 2014

Dear Bruce C,
Thank you for write us your comments about your last stay in our Hotel and for give us your good remarks about our staff and facilities on the room.
We take very seriously all comments and suggestions that we receive from our guest in order to improve our services day to day. Of course we will check your comments about the quality of the dinner entrees and main courses in Punta Mita restaurant and we will revise your remarks about the thematic restaurants.
Thank you again for your comments and feel free to contact us for any further matter.
Best regards,

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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
Amenities:
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
#5 Family Hotel in Punta de Mita
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Punta de Mita
#6 Spa Hotel in Punta de Mita
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Punta de Mita
#6 Luxury Hotel in Punta de Mita
#6 Romantic Hotel in Punta de Mita
Price Range: $172 - $565 (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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