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“excellent quality”
Review of Punta Serena

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Punta Serena
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Tenacatita
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 24, 2009

We enjoyed very much our stay in Punta Serena. The location was excellent, on a cliff just above the ocean. Service was really good, we just had to ask for something and we were served immediately. It's true you have to climb down the cliff to get to the beach, but the hotel gives you anything you may need for a perfect day on the oceanside. Spending some time in the jacuzzi on the cliff top with the great view on the ocean was simply great. I've never been in an all-inclusive hotel before, I always thought they would have been too crowded, but this was small and really peaceful, a perfect place to relax yourself.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank syl_m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 4, 2009

On a scale of 1 - 10 I have to give this excellent, couples only resort an 11+. The food could have been a bit better but it was nothing to complain about. The guests are treated like royalty from the highly professional staff and even though I'm modest and did not go nude myself, the nudity around the beach and pool were a natural part of the experience that amazingly didn't bother me. If I go again, I may partake. The cocktails and sunsets were incredible and our room was authentic Mexican and so very comfortable. It couldn't have been more relaxing at the resort. For excitement we went down below to the 'family' resort that offered water sports, tennis, horseback riding, snorkleing and deep sea fishing. Then up the stairs at the end of the day to our very own paradise and fellow travelers that seemed equally content to be in this jewel of a place on top of the hill. My only suggestion is to come prepared to relax. If you're looking for wild nightlife - this is the wrong place for you.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Blackfoot58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2009

My husband and I just got back from 3 nights at Punta Serena. Punta serena was our third stop on a ten-day tour of Jalisco, MX. The location was amazing. We had a view of the ocean from our room. The pool was great as were the drinks served poolside. We also saw a lot of marine life--including two pods of dolphins jumping and playing.

Going during the summer months, we were the only English-speakers at the resort, which was fine by us. The staff was friendly and very helpful. The pool scene was quiet and great for relaxing and reading. Most everyone by the pool was clothed save a few. While I was expecting that it might feel weird to be at a clothing optional location, it was just fine.

Most days we got up; ate a light breakfast; sat by the pool and read; ate a light lunch from the "snack bar"; sat by the pool some more; napped; and then went to dinner. I thought that the food was great. My husband and I ate things from the menu that were regional, which were wonderful. While we were there, dinner was formally served but dress was casual.

The room was decorated minimally--but it worked. The chairs looked like they could use a cleaning. However, we didn't spend much time there. Someone else mentioned that you had to share a living room area. Our room had its own couch and chairs--while there was a larger shared living area. THe room was perfectly airconditioned, which is important when it is hot and humid. While the bed was firm, let me tell you that of all the beds that we slept on in Mexico, it was the most comfortable.

I liked the adults only feel. We only walked down to Blue Bay once and that was enough. We preferred the peacefulness of Punta Serena. I also liked that the resort had 24 rooms. It made everything quiet.

I would recommend PS if you're looking for a place to relax, read, enjoy the ocean, and thoroughly relax.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank StacyCzTu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2009

My husband and I stayed here this past April and used the reviews posted on here and the internet to base our decision on where to stay. We were aware that this hotel is off the beaten path however, it's really away from everything. The views were amazing and the scenery was beautiful, even though it was winter. There are lots of steps to the beach and lots of steps to the adjacent hotel, so be prepared. We would only go down to the beach once a day and stay for awhile, the staff will pack you a cooler with drinks, but you cannot get food service there on the beach. We enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere but it lacks socialization. All the patrons kept to themselves so we honestly dont know even if anyone else staying there spoke English. The staff had limited English and we had limited Spanish so there were some language barriers. All in all it was very relaxing and nice, and the nude beach was interesting and fun. The food is very gourmet, we were dissapointed that there was no authentic Mexican food. I wanted a taco!!!

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank gojo7260
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2009

My wife and I visited Punta Serena for the first time the last week in February 2009, and had a wonderful time. We were there for 6 days and enjoyed every it very much. As others have mentioned, the property is not as glitzy and glamorous as many of the big resorts out there, but that is part of its charm. With only about 2 dozen rooms, staying here has a totally different feel than the big chain resorts where there are hundreds of rooms per property. Guests here are allowed access to the Blue Bay family resort next door, but we never ventured down there as we were happy with what we had. It is a totally different environment down there, with kids running around and yelling everywhere.

When we got to the resort we were greeted by the front desk staff. Check-in time is 3:00pm. We arrived around 3:30pm and were told that our room was not ready yet because the guests who were in it had a late checkout at 4pm. Our room was not ready until about 5pm, which was a bit frustrating. That day the resort was at full occupancy, so I'm sure that was the cause of the delay. We sat over by the bar and had some snacks and drinks and waited until staff came and told us it was ready. The front desk staff throughout the week were always incredibly nice and helpful when had questions or needed anything.

As described on the resort's website and by others on here, the resort is clothing optional on the beach, around the pool, and the hot tubs. In reality it does extend beyond those specific locations though, but neither the staff our guests seem to care. Many guests would walk naked from their rooms to the pool, down to the beach, to the bar, etc. Pretty much the only place where clothing is required is in the dining room area. If you are someone who gets freaked out by and can't handle being around nudity then this resort is not the place for you. During our stay I would estimate about 90% of the men and 80% of the women spent most of the day naked. You're free to be as clothed or naked as you are comfortable with, nobody cares what you do. For anyone who has thought about sunbathing or swimming in the buff for the first time, this is a great environment to give it a try. You don't have to be concerned about how you look, there are people of all ages and all sizes participating. Remember that it is common courtesy to always sit on a towel if you choose to be nude, and keep your cameras pointed nowhere close to where naked guests may be if you take pictures!

The food overall was very good. There are no buffets here, everything is ordered off the menu and prepared for you. The menu for each meal does not change from day to day, so the choices do sometimes feel a bit limited when you're trying to decide what to order. But there is a nice variety of different dishes available at each meal so there was always something that we liked or wanted to have again because we enjoyed it the first time around. There is a nightly special most nights for dinner also that is not listed on the menu. My suggestion would be to try and go to meals at off times when it's not crowded. For 3 of our meals there the restaurant filled up and there were not enough waiters to handle the crowd, and service took exceptionally long. Our last morning for breakfast there was only 1 waiter working trying to handle a full dining room as well as taking room service orders. It wasn't always staffing issues though, during our stay there were 2 larger groups that fellow guests considered "high maintenance" that would slow things down for the rest of us that often prolonged the delays. We felt bad for the waiters those times because they were running around non-stop, but just couldn't keep up with everything. Room service is also available for breakfast and dinner.

Our room was very comfortable and clean. Like I mentioned above, don't go in expecting a glitzy and glamorous room, that's not what this place is about. But they are very nice and spacious. The tiled shower looked like it was totally redone recently. Others here have mentioned that their beds were extremely hard, but ours really wasn't and was pretty comfortable. All rooms appear to have a hammock on a blacony overlooking the beach. We wern't sure at first about if the electrical current was the same as in the US, but it is.

The private beach was very nice. There are lots of steps to get down to the beach, many of the steps are pretty steep, but it's not as bad as it sounds. Down on the beach there are 2 lounger beds with sheets to block out the sun and about 9 thatched umbrellas with chairs under them. The beach is very wide especially during low tide. It's long enough to take walks on too. The water does get rough at times with large waves. The water temperature was on the cooler side when we got there, probably high 60s F, but many people were still in it. It warmed up towards the end of the week a bit.

The deck area has around 16 lounge chairs and 2 of the lounger beds around the pool and on the sun deck area. There are 2 hot tubs hanging on the side of the cliff that you go down some steps to get to. The water only gets warm in the hot tubs, it was never very hot in either during our visit. Sometimes in the morning after they clean them and add water they were pretty cold until the sun warmed them up. We would wake up at 6:30am every morning and go to either the beach or one of the hot tubs to watch the sun rise. This is a wonderful time to take photos.

The attire here is very casual. For breakfast and lunch you could wear beachware; a shirt and shorts/swim trunks were fine. If a guy would go up without a shirt on or if a woman would go up in only a bikini the staff would send them to go get coverups. Dinner doesn't have a formal dress code, but most people would dress up a bit nicer... men often wore a polo shirt and maybe khakis, women often wore dresses. During the day outside the dining room the normal attire was no attire. :)

The resort seems to be a popular place for local couples to visit for extended weekend getaways. Mid-week there appeared to be less of the locals there and mainly Americans and English guests. When we were there the resort appeared to be at full capacity or close to it on Sunday, Monday, Thurs, and Friday. Mid week it felt very empty for a couple days, it was great. Not that it ever feels very full because of the small size. The age range of guests was late 20s up thru maybe 60s.

ZLO Airport: Once we arrived on the ground at Manzanillo airport, within 20 minutes of stepping off the plane we were thru customs, had our luggage, in a taxi and on our way. The cost was $58 USD for the taxi ride and takes about 50-60 minutes. There's a little stand right thru the arrival terminal doors where you request and pay for the taxi. The return taxi costs about the same, you schedule it with the resort front desk a couple days before you checkout. Be sure to have pesos to pay the driver when you get to the airport, our driver wouldn't take USD so I had to go into the terminal to get change to pay him. There are only a handful of flights that go in and out of this airport each day, so be sure to get to the airport early. On our retrun flight Continental had overbooked and were asking for volunteers to stay an extra day.

Random Tips/Notes in no particular order-
1- It is helpful to know/understand at least some basic Spanish words and phrases before you go. (agua=water, tomar=to drink, etc) The staff would get a kick out of it when I would try to string Spanish words together. Even if you say verbs in the wrong tense or whatever, you're at least able to get your message across. When ordering food pointing at things on the menu if you can't pronounce them works fine. The front desk staff spoke English very well.

2- Since the resort is not that large, there are not tons of extra beach chairs by the pool and on the beach when the resort is at max capacity. Unfortunately some rude guests frequently felt the need to put towels on chairs to prevent anyone else from sitting there and not come back once to the seats for 4 hours, 6 hours, or more while other guests were looking for places to sit. Please remember that you are no more special than anyone else there, so show a little common courtesy to your fellow paying guests and do not intentionally tie up the chairs if you're planning to be gone for a long time. That's the only thing I wish staff would have been more proactive with handling, having each guest being allowed to have only 1 beach towel at a time would help with this.

3- You can ask the bartender for a cooler that he will fill with beer/water and ice for you to take down to the beach. There is no bar, restrooms, or anything down on the beach, so since it's like a 5 minute walk back up to the bar from there you don't want to spend your day going back and forth.

4- You can ask for large (grande) 1.5L bottles of water from the bartender. We would use the big bottles back in the room for brushing our teeth and cleaning our toothbrushes.

5- As for the saftey of drinking the water, drinking beverages with ice, the food, and the other stories you hear about food/water in Mexico... The only water we drank was bottled water all week. Most people were drinking the water served in the glasses in the dining room, we just didn't because we always had wine with dinner and something else with lunch. The ice is brought in everyday in big bags from offsite, and is from purified water. As for the safety of eating fruits and vegetables, we frequently ate these items thru the week and had no problems with stomach aches or anything negative. I think they are cautious about this when preparing things, otherwise I'm sure there would be complaints on here about people getting sick.

6- There are no scheduled activities or entertainment at Punta Serena. This is a relaxation vacation. Plan on basically lounging by the pool/beach during the day and your only activity in the evening being dinner. There is a disco each night at the Blue Bay next door for those looking for something to do. We would usually be in bed by 11pm at the latest, and woke at 6:30am to watch sunrise. The early morning is a wonderful time to walk around and take pictures because it is so peaceful with very few people around at all.

7- The massages are very affordable, a 60 minute massage was only about $58 USD.

8- This is an all inclusive resort, all meals and all drinks are included with your stay. Room service is also included.

We had a great time at Punta Serena and would definitely go back again. Their rates are incredibly low for what you get, making it a great value for a very enjoyable vacation.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank hbim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2009

We had been here before , so we know what we were in for! The resort is a place that needs a lot of work, its very weathered and in need of a lot of work . We noticed that some improvements were being done. The reason that we enjoyed going back is for its beautiful surroundings and views of the ocean. The clothing optional beach and pool is also an attractive feature. The stairs going to the beach are a workout so if you have a problem with such things stay away!!! There is lots of sea life to observe from the beach and the resort which is up on a bluff/cliff.
The resort offers an ok selection of food, some days better than others, and if you tire of the food there you have the option of going to the resort below, Blue Bay . Punta serena is a very relaxed atmosphere, slow paced.
The service at this resort is very good and friendly, the odd time things would get messed up due to a laugauge barrier, I wish I could speak spanish a little better! If you want to relax and play in the ocean and enjoy rooms with a view its the place to go. If you want to party this is not the resort for you.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank flyonwall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2009

Last year my wife and I visited Punta Serena. This year we are trying to find a place to vacation and we can't find anything that comes close. Yes, the place could use some polish around the edges but it adds to the charm. Once you come here you will want to come back. We can't stop thinking about it and are going to probably end up going again this year.

You will not find another hotel in this price range with this much luxurious seclusion. We had the beach to OURSELVES many times during our stay! At what other mid-priced resort could you say that? There is only room for like 26 couples max so you will not feel crowded amongst the masses either. It was such a private, secluded getaway that we were spoiled and now can't find anything comparable. OH, and our room was right on the ocean. Again, for the price, where would you find that? Of course it was quite thunderous from the waves, I actually wore earplugs... happily!

Also, the food. Yes, it isn't the best you've ever eaten, but it is ala carte, not served from a long buffet that many all inclusives have. The food is made fresh and is pretty tasty. The servers were so kind and friendly. The guacamole for snack time around the pool was heaped up with homemade tortilla chips and huge margaritas (all included!). Drinks were refilled as desired. People enjoyed their drinks and we never saw anyone drunk or acting foolishly. The serenity and casual classiness were too overpowering for that.

We had never been to nude beach before. We loved it! Even the skeptics will agree, once you try it in the warm sun and crashing waves, you will wonder why swimsuits even exist... really!

It is not a place for partiers or adventurers who like to explore. There are no tours. HOWEVER! we did manage to talk a tour guy at the next door Blue Bay Los Angeles Locos to take a bunch of us (ourselves and other americans we met) on a day trip to the cities of Colima and Comala. It was a beautiful day trip to those out of the way cities. Real Mexico!

GO GO GO , What are you waiting for?

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank Nerzie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Punta Serena

Address: Km 20 Ctra. Federal 200, Tenacatita 48989, Mexico (Formerly Punta Serena by Blue Bay)
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Costalegre > Tenacatita
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Tenacatita
Price Range: $272 - $468 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Punta Serena 3.5*
Number of rooms: 24
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Also Known As:
Punta Serena By Blue Bay Hotel Tenacatita
Punta Serena Hotel Tenacatita
Punta Serena Tenacatita

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