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“Family and Gay Beach Hotel in Mexico”
Review of San Marino Hotel

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San Marino Hotel
Ranked #90 of 124 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
TORONTO
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Family and Gay Beach Hotel in Mexico”
Reviewed 2 September 2014

Great location in the Old Town (Romantica Zone) for bars, clubs, restaurants, cafes
Always busy and safe.
Three pools, one adult and one for family and one for children.
All inclusive and not bad for the price.

Room Tip: Ocean View or Ocean Front only. Walk in pairs or group at night after dark. Safe.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank milestone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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746 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (126)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2014

My partner and I traveled with our best friends to Puerto Vallarta. We stayed in Junior Suites with the all-inclusive option. Below are the positives and negatives:

Pros:

1) Location - The hotel is located in the heart of the Romantic Zone. This area is considered the "San Francisco of Mexico" due to the high number of gay travelers and many gay-friendly establishments. The area is beautiful, quaint, and friendly. The hotel is also located directly on the beach, also near Blue Chairs (the gay beach).

2) Drinks - The all-inclusive option gave us unlimited alcoholic drinks from 11:00am through 10:00pm. The vodka drinks were not very good. The tequila drinks, however, were amazing and very strong. We ended up choosing the margarita as our official drinks for the week because they were delicious and very strong.

3) Staff - The entire staff (bell boys, front desk, waiters, housekeepers) were all very friendly. Everyone, except the housekeepers, spoke perfect English, though we tried our best to speak Spanish out of respect. If you need anything, just ask. They will try their best to make it happen.

Cons:

1) Air Conditioning - The week we visited was very hot and humid, so we knew the air conditioning might have been working overtime. However, our air conditioner didn't work well until towards the end of the trip. However, our friend's air conditioning worked much better. We asked for another room with better air conditioning, but found that room's air conditioning was about the same. The plus side is the front desk staff tried to find us a room with better air conditioning and tried their best to accommodate us.

2) Hotel - The hotel and Junior Suite rooms reminded me of a Comfort Inn or older Holiday Inn. While we weren't expecting the hotel to be the Ritz, we were kind of surprised that it seemed old and tired.

3) Food - Some days the food was very good, other days it was mediocre. Breakfast was our favorite meal because everything was very good.

Overall, the hotel was average, similar to that of a Comfort Inn or old Holiday Inn. The best things were the location and very friendly staff. The least was the air conditioning.

Room Tip: As other users have mentioned, I would recommend upgrading to an Ocean View Suite because the air co...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Matalen101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HSMmanager, Director de Relaciones Públicas at San Marino Hotel, responded to this review, 4 August 2014
Google Translation
Estimado huésped,

Agradecemos el tiempo tomado para escribirnos sus experiencias. Estamos comprometidos en la mejora constante, por ello todos los detalles y observaciones que nos comenta, serán enviados a los departamentos correspondientes.

Ojala tengamos la fortuna de recibirlos nuevamente.
saludos.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2014

You don't expect to pay nickels and get the king treatment. That's what this hotel is about.

It wasn't one of the cheapest hotels, sure, but to have direct access to the beach from the hotel, three nice pools, and all commodities in the hotel was good.

It's not a 5-star hotel, a small reception, small elevator, a lady selling you time-shares every time you go in and out.

But still for the all-included plan i had, the buffet with nice (not awesome) food and open bar 8am-10pm.

Room Tip: You must update your room to have sea-view, still the superior rooms (middle chart) are good enough.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank FernandoReyes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HSMmanager, Ecommerce at San Marino Hotel, responded to this review, 21 June 2014
Dear Fernando,

Thank you very much for your comments, we will wait for you at Puerto Vallarta again!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

To start with the Hotel resemblance with what it is posted on the internet is weak. Reception area very small and the people attending were not precisely courteous. The Paypal somehow did not sent to the Hotel the right information. I asked for an Ocean View room and no to all inclusive meals and drinks. I paid 125.00 USD/day for a room that the air conditioning was not cooling right. Both pools where crowded all the time. Restaurants with no air conditioning at all, felt like a sauna there. Do not get me wrong, there is almost no place in Puerto Vallarta that has A/C for your enjoyment (except the OXXO stores). I left after two nights stay, I pay for 5, of course I left after 1500 so the count of nights will be 3. I doubt they will return any money, will see, I will keep you posted on that. They will not give any receipt to you about the days you spent there. I asked for that receipt and after 20 minutes waiting they return to me saying that they never give any receipt when people leave the hotel. do not rent a car to stay there they have no parking...

Room Tip: Next door Emperador, or blue chairs are better choices. Food is very cheap on the outside if you loo...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Hendrish P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HSMmanager, Ecommerce at San Marino Hotel, responded to this review, 30 May 2014
Mr. Hendrish, is a pleasure to San Marino to receive you at Puerto Vallarta. We are very sorry that you didn´t enjoy your stay with us. Make sure that we will consider your comments to give a better service to our clients. When you come again to San Marino you will have a better experience :)
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Calgary, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2014

I stayed at the San Marino for one week on April 5th-April 12th. This was my 3rd visit to this Hotel and once again, it was very enjoyable. The resort is considered to be a 2 1/2 star so this is what you have to consider. The food was fine and the drinks were plentiful. The location is the best thing about this resort, right in " Old Town" and on the beach. I have posted previous reviews in much more detail, but I feel it necessary to condemn the previous review " Run for your life - this hotel defines poverty" It is shocking when someone posts such degrading comments of other people based on "Their Own" standards. It is disturbing to hear someone call the little children of paying guests " Poverty Kids". Yes.. the Locals might have been in the resort restaurant eating and staying in the rooms, but they paid for that privilege the same as everyone else. If you don't want to spend your vacation in a foreign country with the "Local" people, then Stay At Home!!!

Just my Opinion.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Beachcrazy65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HSMmanager, Ecommerce at San Marino Hotel, responded to this review, 30 May 2014
Thank you very mucho for your comment! It's a pleasure for us to have clients like you, as you said, the last comment was kind of rude. We'll be very happy to receive you again at Puerto Vallarta. :)
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Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2014

Although the room was acceptably clean (thank you cleaning staff) the food was terrible. Figured we settle for breakfast only and when I lifted some bread with tongues it streamed a long black hair! Yuck. The other meals were equally as gross.
I met a really sweet local and we hung out all week - and was terribly embarrassed when they refused my friend access to the hotel with out charging me $40.00 USD to let them come to my room! Both security and the desk were quite rude to my guest - going so far as to suggest they were a prostitute (ironically they were a lawyer! lol)
Drinks were watered down, food horrible - and you pay for 'all inclusive'.
Never returning, nor should you.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank T S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HSMmanager, Ecommerce at San Marino Hotel, responded to this review, 30 May 2014
Thank you very much for your comments, make sure that we will consider them to give a better service to our clients. Unfortunately we do not allow people to get into the hotel, unless they pay at the front desk, this is for the security of our clients.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winnipeg, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2014

The San Marino Hotel is over rated at 2.5 or 3 stars and should be rated at a 2 at best! Other than the friendly staff at the hotel and it's location, there is very little positive I can say.

Positive:
It is located at the beginning of the Malecoen Boardwalk as well as next to a pier that is a tourist attraction in old Puerto Vallarta.
Breakfast was the best meal of the day as it had a decent spread of foods including a lady who made ommlettes to your liking.
The staff was very friendly and courteous.

Negatives:
Breakfast did not begin until 8 am so it does not accomodate early risers or if you have an excursion booked early in the day.
Supper was a 6:30pm which will not accomodate young families for dinner very well.
One restaurant on the premises which was adequate for variety of foods but was somewhat repetitive. The salad bar was pretty weak with it's selection.
The bar was open from 11am- 10pm which is very limiting and makes for more of a family resort which in my opinion wouldnt qualify as that.
Alcohol selection was very limited to Vodka, Rye, Rum, Tequilla all of a bottom end, rubbing alcohol quality. Beer was Mexican and not very good either.
THe bar lacked mix options as they did not have cranberry juice, Clamato, or other possible coctail additives. The caesar I ordered was made with sour tasting tomato juice which was just not good by any means.
There were no bar fridges in the regular rooms so you could not keep cold drinks in your room. You could upgrade your room to ocean view at a significant price which gives you a much larger room with a balcony overlooking the water as well as a bar fridge.
The bathrooms are in need of upgrading as the shower doors are painted fibreglass.
The beds are extremely firm.
Music was not being played all week poolside until Friday when the locals showed up and the music was turned on and activities began.
The location is apparently in "the romantic zone" of Puerto Vallarta but it should be described more as on the edge of the "gay district" as there is a strong presence in the area.
The pictures on the website are of the building and pool area as well as views but are decieving.
Location is next to a public pathway which made for the beach to be very busy with a lot of locals.

I would not recommend this hotel to patrons who are going on a vacation to drink and party as this hotel does not seem to accomodate this with the 10pm bar closing and no fridges in the standard room. If anything, I would rank it more of a bed and breakfast as you would be out and about for the whole day on excursions, etc. The only way I would return to this hotel is if I landed an amazing deal where the hotel stay was next to nothing for my daughters and I as a family trip. I have stayed at 3 star hotels a large number of times in other cities and this one by far has fallen short of this ranking!!

Room Tip: Although choosing the upgrade improves your view, gives you a much bigger room and gives you access...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank bmatyja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HSMmanager, Ecommerce at San Marino Hotel, responded to this review, 30 May 2014
Thank you very much for your positive and negative comments, we will consider them to give to our clients a better service. Make sure that when you return to San Marino you will have a better experience.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about San Marino Hotel

Property: San Marino Hotel
Address: Rodolfo Gomez 111 | Col. Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta 48380, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#32 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#53 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — San Marino Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 165
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Puerto Vallarta, one of the most beautiful and romantic cities on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. The hotel is nestled on the beautiful beach of Playa los Muertos, with a wonderful atmosphere and tradition surrounded by hand craft shops, discotheques, and just a short walk from town. San Marino Hotel features 165 light and airy guestrooms including 25 spacious Junior Suites with all the amenities you need to relax and enjoy in a peaceful ambience.Come to San Marino Hotel where you will be greeted by our friendly staff and enjoy sunshine days and a vacation experience to treasure forever! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
San Marino Puerto Vallarta

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