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“Amazing & Relaxing Getaway”

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Rancho Banderas All Suites Resort by Marival Group
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rosaritobeach
Level Contributor
38 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Amazing & Relaxing Getaway”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2010

Like many of the previous reviews .... the positive and negative (depending on who you are and what you want) is the location.

It is way out of town. On the beach. My husband told me that he wanted to relax. Not be sightseeing. He just wanted a beach vacation.

This really filled that bill nicely.

We are healthy and speak spanish, so we took the bus from the airport to the resort. $2 from the airport. with all the stops, it take a better part of an hour. (In a taxi, it will take about 30 minutes, but it cost about $70.)

All units at Rancho Banderas have full kitchens. There are only 40+ units. It is really nice, because many of the guests know each other from other years. There are several guests who come for months and/or multiple stays per year. By trading other time shares or having purchased several weeks.

Many of the staff have been there for years. So some of the regular guests and the staff, know each other from over the years of visits.

It is a special place.

There are 2 very nice large supermarkets about 20 min away, back towards the airport. And a small market on the resort property. Most arrivals are on Friday or Saturday. We arrived on Saturday. Bought a few things at the on site market. And relaxed for the weekend.

There is a full service restaurant on site. We signed up for the breakfast meal package. Which was very economical, $7 per day, including coffee. They serve breakfast until 12. So we usually ate late morning, and called it a brunch. Being able to fix simple meals in the room made the overall expenses for the week low.

The resort sits right on the water. On a beach that is 1.25 miles, almost in the center. It was great to get up in the morning and go for a nice walk.

We stayed at the resort for most of our 10 day stay. we did go to the market. and also to some neighboring towns, but we did not do any organized tours or excursions. Trying to take a tour can be costly. If you do not have a car, it could cost $50 to get to where a tour starts. The buses in the direction of puerto vallarta so not start until later in the morning. It is not easy to participate in some of the tourism aspects from this resort.

But our desire was to go and relax and be at the beach, so it fit out agenda.

The on site activities were great. Mario, the activities director had several classes. Different classes different days, cooking, water aerobics, language and mexican history, etc...... It is awesome.

We were invited to go with other guests who had rented a car. We went to Punta Mita, La Cruz, and Bucarias. There were some great restaurants in all three of these neighboring cities.

Our trip was two weeks. So when we left Rancho Banderas, we went and staying in downtown Puerto Vallarta for 4 nights. From there, all of the tours, walking around the downtown area were all very convenient. We stayed at the Sheraton. I will do a different review of the hotel. We were happy with the overall 2 weeks.

I mentioned this only to say, they are two different experiences. Trying to have a Puerto Vallarta experience from Rancho Banderas is not my recommendation. and I think would lead to much frustration and extra expense.

Best to stay in the North part of the bay. Enjoy Bucarias and the resort. And then spend two nights in Puerto Vallarta before you travel home.

The villas are very comfortable. Well furnished. DVD, CD Player, etc.... there is a fee for the Internet WIFI, the signal was good.

The spa is great for a massage. In my opinion, the staff is not skilled to do other services such as waxing, mani pedi, facials..... they charge resort prices for skills they really do not have. Their massages are very good. I had a bad (and expensive) experience. That is all I have to say about that.

I loved Rancho Banderas as a place to relax. There is no nightlife. But it is a wonderful place.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank rosaritobeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Thorndale, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 27, 2010

We just got back from Rancho Banderas last week after staying for a week with my husband, our 2 small children and 2 couples friends of ours who didn't have kids. We had One - 3 Bedroom and One - 1 Bedroom unit. The units are all very spacious, some of the most roomy units we've ever stayed in and they were all very clean. Beds were firm but not nearly as bad as a lot of reviews had indicated and I prefer very soft mattresses. Pictures do not do justice to the beauty of the grounds. We went in rainy season so things were probably greener than usual. The upside is because of the resort's location, the rain kept moving in toward Puerto Vallarata and by passing us during the day. It rained and stormed a during a few nights - wow, not that's a lightning storm - but was sunny during the day! There isn't much for nightlife which was fine by us since we were traveling with small children but each couple took turns going out for a date night. The Cafe de Artistes in Punta Mita was excellent, more on the pricey side but great for a date night and is about 10-15 minutes away. We all did some excursions - the big hits were the zipline through Rancho Capomo (I'd pass on the 2 hr horseback riding part - that was really lame). Also, the trip to Las Caleta through Vallarta Adventures sounded like it was fun, I didn't go but my son, husband and most of the rest of our party did. It is a fairly new offering so there probably isn't much out there about it yet but you get a boat trip to the "island" (really not an island) you get breakfast and lunch, snorkeling, lots of interesting animals to see (monkeys, exotic birds) and best of all a little kid zipline that my 4 year old LOVED! The girls also took a trip into Old Town which is a good 1+ hr from the resort. But it was worth it for lots of interesting shopping. If you're looking for nightlife this appeared to have a lot of it. We had dinner at Pepe's where the food was excellent and margarita's the size of my head!

Back at the resort, we enjoyed the pools a lot - they are really beautiful with waterfalls and great views. We ALL got a kick out of the waterslides at the resort- there was even one that my 1.5 year old could go down with assistance. There are a number of poolside activities during the day to give you a fun diversion if you want it. The ocean water was the WARMEST water I've ever swam in and the waves were just right for boogie boarding - that was a real BLAST for us all! You can borrow the boards from the resort. Be prepared to be approached by a handful of jewelry peddlers on the beach - which is great if you're in the market for some very affordable silver but don't be fooled by their first price. I was prepared for this and did some negotiating but just as an example there was a bracelet that the guy told me was 800 pesos when I first inquired about it, by the end of the week he was begging me to buy it for 100 pesos.

Because the resort is remote, your options for eating elsewhere are rather limited which was okay since we had planned to cook a lot of our own meals. Mega is like their local Walmart (they also have a Walmart but the Mega was a bit closer plus we wanted see what it was all about) - so we went there for all our groceries which were very affordable especially after the exchange rate. You have to tip the baggers though which was unusual for us. Anyway, if you're not cooking, the best meals were definitely the breakfast and lunch which, for some reason, were much more plentiful than the dinner portions. The dinner's were beautifully prepared but definitely left us all wanting more with the exception of the fiesta buffet they had for Mexican Independence day - that meal rocked! The soups were delicious! Also, don't under estimate the deliciousness of some of the roadside stands - wow, that food has had some of us daydreaming of another trip to Mexico every since!!

We bought a ton of bottled water for the week - its WAY CHEAPER at the Mega than at the resort store but a number of our party drank the resort water on occasion and I think we all brushed our teeth with it and no problems at all.

Some of us had spa treatments at the resort which are VERY affordable but I have to say the "spa" rooms were really small and not very spa like. The smell of incense burning during my massage was a bit overpowering (but that could also be b/c I'm not a big fan of the smell of incense) but the massage was very good and put one of my fellow travelers asleep - I almost fell asleep as well. I would recommend passing on any pedicure or manicure offerings - picture a home manicure kit and playing "spa" with a bunch of your girlfriends and you sort of get the picture - they really just aren't set up for that at this point and honestly I'm not sure that the mani/pedi tools are being properly sterilized between treatments.

Just a few more tidbits. Luis, the guy that greets you when you first get there was very friendly and welcoming at first b/c he wanted us to sign up for a timeshare presentation next door. We were all tired from traveling so we said we'll have to think about it and then we'd come back if we decided yes, which despite the offerings of free "this and that" the majority just didn't feel into. So we all had to laugh when we were leaving and Luis couldn't even must a farewell and until one of us said something! Clearly he had motives for being so "friendly" at first! Generally, though, all the staff at Banderas are truly friendly, helpful and accommodating and a large majority of them have been here for some time. We had a problem with our A/C not working at the beginning of our trip but we got someone on it right away and didn't stop complaining until it was fixed so we didn't suffer long.

All in all, we really enjoyed our vacation and would definitely recommend it for people looking for a quieter resort with just enough to do that you don't go stir crazy but not so much that you don't really relax and detox from your everyday life!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank SassyAdventurer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
113 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2010

We just returned from this resort and we cannot say anything good about our stay. Nothing in the unit worked. The air-conditioner, toaster, stove-top, microwave, dishwasher...everything was in disrepair. The dishwasher leaked all over the floor, the kitchen sink leaked into the cabinet. Attempts to have the air-conditioner repaired failed. Part of the pool was hidden under a tarp and not usable, the rest of the pool was accessible if one was willing to step over trip-wires that were put down to help with the tile-job that was being performed around the pool deck. Everywhere was construction going on. Tarps covering debris, wheelbarrows in doorways, buckets full of construction material, doors resting against trees, cabinet doors resting against walls. The moment I exited the unit I had to look at the awful state of the resort. The electricity was on and off. Debris was all over the beach area which really restricted the use. I would not recommend this resort to my worst enemy. We had received multiple phone calls from staff at the resort before our trip but no one mentioned at any point that such extensive renovations were taking place. We were only asked to upgrade our unit to a much more expensive one. We are very disappointed to say the least.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Mianne109
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2010

Rancho Banderas is an absolutely beautiful and quiet resort. I visited the resort with 3 of my girlfriends. If you are looking for relaxation, this is the place. It is about 50 minutes from the airport and a good 30 minutes from Puerto Vallarta where all the action takes place. If you want to party and get some shopping done, I suggest going to downtown Puerto Vallarta.

The service was excellent. When we had a problem with the toilet, maintenance was in the room within 10 minutes. We had a 3-bedroom villa, which was more than enough room for 4 people. The rooms were immaculate and kept very clean. Room service did not bother you early in the morning which is great if you want to sleep late. The only complaint I have with bedrooms was that the beds were short. If you are very tall, this may be uncomfortable for you.

You have to get a massage. Both masseuses were very good. I was very relaxed when I got one. The price was very reasonable. The property is very beautiful with immaculate landscaping. You must try pottery painting. There are many pottery to choose from and it was very relaxing. I loved the pool area with the flowing water and beach chairs in the middle of it. The beach is beautiful.

The only major complaint was the food in the restaurant. I would recommend only getting the hamburger and the fish and chips special which were very good. Everything else is not that appetizing. The food at the Fiesta night was not great. The buffet was very limited and the staff served you small portions. The drinks were watered down. I had 3 tequila shots and did not feel a buzz. It is not worth the money. Fiesta night are for families. I would recommend venturing out for dinner.

All in all, I would definitely recommend this hotel especially if you want to relax and get away from all the action. You can always go to Puerto Vallarta for a few days to get some action. I have been to several time shares and this is one of the best I visited.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tanyalj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Level Contributor
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2010

We just returned from Rancho Banderas. We exchanged timeshare points with Interval International and reserved 2 1 bedroom condos and 1 2 bedroom condo. We had our in-laws and my husband's sister and her family join us. Our family had the 2 bedrrom and we have 2 boys who shared one bedroom. The 2 bedroom was very large and comfortable for us, and we had a fantastic view of the ocean. I think the 1 bedrooms are okay for a couple, but a little tight on space for a family of four. My niece and nephew are 11 and 16 years old, so they did not share the sofabed, but pulled the mattress from the ourdoor daybed into the living room for one of them to sleep on. The kitchen in the 1 bedrrom is also very minimal with just a 2 burner stove-top, so don't plan on making any large meals while there. The kitchen in the 2 bedroom had a four burnder stove-top, so when we ate together, we all gathered in our 2 bedrrom, and we had plenty of room.

The location of Rancho B anderas was fabulous for us - we did not want to be in the midst of Puerto Vallarta, we just wanted a calm relaxed place to visit with each other, and this was perfect! It was kept spotless, we saw workers every day sweeping and cleaning. Our maid, Carmen, was fabulous, with new towel sculptures every day. One thing I noticed is that they did not keep with their weekly schedule very well. It seemed to change from the one hadned to us at check-in, so check the board each day to be sure of what's happening. The pool was a lot of fun, we spent A LOT of time there, and down by the ocean. Our beach was usually very empty of people, so we enjoyed the peafuleness of it. The kids, and my husband and mother-in-law, tried out boogie-boarding and had a blast. One word of caution - the boards are used and will break eventually. If you are the lucky one, like us, who has one when it breaks, be prepared to pay for it. We tried to argue that we didn't break it due to misuse, it was just ready to break, but it did not good and we paid 600 pesos for it.

We ate at the Relaxo Restaurant twice, the day we arrived and Fiesta night. Both times, the food was plentiful and good. Fiesta night was a lot of fun, I highly recommend it.

Several of us enjoyed the pottery painting offered and Jose made our efforets look amazing!

Some recommendations for excursions -

First, we rented 2 cars from Gecko Car Rental in Bucerias and they were great. Adam is from California, so communication was not a problem and their rates were the best and included all taxes and insurance. I definitely recommend them!

Sayulita was great, a small fishing/sufing village about 30 minutes north of Rancho. Bring towels and your swimsuit and spend the day. Grab a chair on the beach, swim, look at all the vendors selling their wares and have a nice meal on the beach. We enjoyed it very much.

Pirates by the Bay - Pirate ship tour, we all went and had a lot of fun. Yes, it's cheesy, but the pirates knew it and had fun with it. Our "private pirate" was Crazy Luca and he was wonderful and sweet. My niece got seasick and he was so attentive to her and did what he could to include her in the day. We didn't get to snorkel because of jellyfish, but did some kayaking and banana-boaring. The food offered wasn't outstanding, but was good. One note - don't bother with the DVD they offer to take for you. They told us they would concentrate on our family and be sure to include us as much as possiblt, but when we viewed it, we hardly saw any of us at all - a waste of money in m opinion.

Outdoor Adventure - my husband and son and my brother-in-law and nephew took this adventure offered by Vallarta Adventures and they all said it was awesome! If you enjoy zip-ines, rapelling, and being dunked in waterfalls go for it. If we return to P.V., I plan on doing it myself!

All in all, we had a fantastic time. The only reason I did not give this resort 5 stars is because of their concierge Luis. When we arrived, Luis was there to greet us, but in speaking with us, he found out that we had arranged our tours ourselves and basically scolded me for not doing it through him. We were not there more than 5 minutes and I ws getting a "talking to" by the staff! He told me I should have booked with him, even though it may have been more expensive. I worked in the travel industrty for 25 years and I know what I'm doing. I did not apprecaite being treated this way be staff when I'm on vacation with my family. Several people have aid that Luis is wonderful, and I'm sure he can be. I just did not experience that.

Our famiy would definitely go back to Rancho Banderas, we loved it!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sehkzoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arizona
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 5, 2010

For my husband and I, this was a new experience since we had never been to Puerto Vallarta. Based on availability and reviews from Trip Advisor's travelers, we chose Rancho Banderas for our stay. We exchanged through Interval International.

The resort is a small, quiet, and quaint resort in comparison to the large chains throughout Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta. Depending on what type of timeshare one owns and level luxury one is use to, the perception of Rancho Banderas rated as a Premier Resort may not match. If you are seeking a 4 or 5 star resort, this is probably not the type resort to match your desires. That being said, there are good things about the resort.

Cleanliness:
I agree with many of the individuals who have expressed how clean this resort is. The week we were there, we observed the resort being cleaned continuously. The housekeeper we had for the week was very kind, cleaned the villa very well, and replaced the basics as necessary. External grounds were always clean and the shared public areas were spotless. If you like a place that is clean and tidy, this a place/environment I would recommend.

Service:
The service offered at Rancho Banderas is very good. Check in took approximately 20 minutes without issues. Our questions were thoroughly answered and the staff was more than willing to provide you with feedback about activities, food, local services etc. The staff was very friendly and worked hard to ensure you had a good experience.

We were not approached at any time throughout our stay about timshare attendance or pressured to accept resort offers we were not interested in.

Overall the service is really good here!

Food:
Prior to this vacation, I had read reviews about the resort's food and some had rated it with a thumbs down. For our experience the food we ordered at the resort was good. Some entrees were tastier than others, but overall their food was good.

A little FYI.......It may be necessary to consider where you are visiting from and what you're use to eating because while the resort's food may be good, if you are use to eating it in your hometown it may not be prepared or taste similar to what you're use to and as a result the perception will be a thumbs down. I am use to eating Mexican food along a border town in Texas (very tasty) and yet when I have orderd the same thing in another part of Mexico there were differences. Even asking for a specific type of salsa at the resort had a different meaning in PV. In my travels to different parts of Mexico, the food has varied in taste, but was not necessarily terrible.

Spa:
Both of us had a massage at the resort and it was good. The spa rooms are not big, but for me it was still a relaxing experience. The rooms are clean, quiet, and the service was good.

Rooms:
The rooms are spacious and basic. You are not going to find beautiful new stainless steel appliances, flat screen TV's, plush beds, and high end furnishings. These rooms are basic. Our room had a big refrigerator, a two plate old school electric stove, a dishwasher, marble countertop with sink, and inexpensive cutlerly/drinkware/plates/pots. Nonetheless, this was adequate for what we needed and did fine with what we had.
The restroom is spacious. The shower is large, has a built in seating area, and can accomodate individuals who have special needs.
For us, the beds were way too firm. No problem for those who like super firm, but this was one of the downfalls about the room. The bed was king size, but not very comfortable.
A/C worked well in our unit...too well at times.
Nice patio to hang out at and relax

Location:
The location of Rancho Banderas is far from Puerto Vallarta. The cost of a taxi one way is approximately $35.00 without tip. Renting a car was being advertised at the resort for 299.00 for one week with basic car insurance.

We chose to be adventurous and took the bus. It was hot/humid at times, crowded at times, and a lengthy ride of approximately 1 hour to 1hr 15 min depending on stops, but it was well worth it for the price and experience of seeing the local people, PV's culture, and seeing the small towns. The cost is about 20 pesos to a plaza then an extra 7 pesos to downtown PV. Total bill round trip is about $4.60. We did it a couple of times and it was fun.

No stores of any kind are close by and the resort lacks a good mini market. The resort market is a hit or miss depending on what one is looking for. Bucerias has the Mega Store which is where we went and saw a lot of other travelers shopping. Good variety.

Crowd:
Depending on what you want to do Rancho Banderas may or may not be the place to stay. If you are into nightlife, partying, ladies night, and wee hour dancing this is not the place to experience that type of environment.

Crowds change weekly, but from what I observed during the week, most of the people staying there were older indviduals/couples traveling with older couples or their grown children on a family vacation.
There could have been approximately 10 kids of various ages seen that week. Not too many children seen in comparison to PV resorts and I didn't see too many activities planned out for children aside from pottery painting class. Not sure if this is a resort for children to be kept entertained, active, and avoid the "I am bored mode" after several days.

Good place to receive outstanding service, clean facility, and to relax from the daily grind!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Curiosa16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2010

I am an owner, and have been for over 12 years at Rancho Banderas, and have not been back in a few years. I, too, have seen the not so positive reviews and have been a bit nervous. I am so pleased to see the positive comments everyone has written, and the good times had by all. Now, I just need to make some time to get me and my family back down to our favorite PV resort to take advantage of some much needed R&R.

Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank ML
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rancho Banderas All Suites Resort by Marival Group

Property: Rancho Banderas All Suites Resort by Marival Group
Address: Carretera a Punta de Mita Km 8.3, Punta de Mita 63729, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Nayarit > Riviera Nayarit > Punta de Mita
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Punta de Mita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Rancho Banderas All Suites Resort by Marival Group 3.5*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Something Different, Something Better! Rancho Banderas is an intimate, all-inclusive hideaway on an endless beach just North of Vallarta Nayarit. Escape to a secluded resort with 49 spacious 1-4 Bedroom Villa Style accommodations on an expansive beachfront with cascading pools, lush gardens and pampering service. One Bedrooms start at 650 sq ft, Two and Three Bedrooms are 1050 and 1350 sq ft, and four Bedrooms 2200 sq ft! Hacienda style villas feature full kitchen, dining room and spacious terrace. Ocean Front Villas have breathtaking views overlooking the Pacific from a lush, beautiful bluff. Romantics and families enjoy spectacular settings and all-inclusive a la carte gourmet dining. Play on an endless beach on the Bay complete with food and beverage service, kayaks, boogie boards, lounge chairs, beach volleyball and more. Special kids activities program, ping pong and pool table. Cascading pools with waterfall, pool slides connecting three different levels of pools, full service spa and an ocean view gym! Breathtaking views with picture perfect romantic locations for couples to renew vows, get married or honeymoon. Lush gardens, white sand and ocean cliffs surround you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rancho Banderas Vacation Villas Hotel Punta De Mita

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