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“Great location and fun hotel”
Review of San Marino Hotel

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San Marino Hotel
Ranked #90 of 124 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Toronto
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great location and fun hotel”
Reviewed 17 March 2010

This is definitely a budget type hotel but worth the money. The location is amazing being right in old town. You can go through town whenever you feel like it and there are many amazing and cheap restaurants to eat at. The food is improving at the hotel but we always go out for dinner every night as it is just fun to do. Cafe Bohemia is the best! I will mention it is worth upgrading to the junior suites (ocean view) as the regular rooms can be a bit run down from previous experience. This time we had a junior suite and it was totally worth it.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank CaliforniaCanTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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743 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (126)
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English first
New Brunswick
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2010

My partner and I along with 5 friends had 3 wonderful weeks here. It was the 6th time for most of us. As all have said before me...the location is perfect, one side of the hotel beach front,the other sides in the centre of town...wonderful restaurants and shopping within minutes of safe walking. Many clubs also close by, I personally don't go to clubs but my friends had great, safe, fun. Breakfast was great, eggs, meats, sweet rolls, fruit, juice, toast if you were not in a rush. There is no reason to go hungry at lunch either..always a wide choice...supper could be daunting at times, but hey, they try and don't forget the price you are paying..so don't expect haute cuisine! We usually ate our suppers out as it was a form of entertainment and cultural experience. And there are marvellous choices very close. Our room was very clean as always, we usually try for a street view, most want the ocean front rooms , but watching the street scene can be quite interesting, and not generally noisy after 11:30 pm. I have never been and would not want to be in the centre rooms between the 2 wings, as there are no balconys and limited windows. The staff have always been helpful, from check-in, cleaning, restaurant (especially Alex), and security. Beds are hard yes, but I have never been in a soft bed in Mexico yet. I know the area is in the gay neighbourhood, but I find travellers generally broadminded, so unless you have never been around many gays or are homophobic, you will not have a problem..unless you are a female travelling alone and looking for some excitement. All in all just remember the price you have paid and the value you are receiving, plus you are in another country with different customs. Also your personal attitude towards the locals will go a long way in making your vacation a happy one.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank Royalist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moncton, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2010

The San Marino is a modest, affordable hotel in the heart of Old Puerto Vallarta.
The location is ideal and within minutes walking distance, you can be on the Malecon, shopping, eating or drinking at the many establishments in the Old Town or sunbathing at the Blue Chairs (gay beach).
Keep an open mind since the hotel has a large gay clientele.
Three pools are on site (none are heated but they do warm up in the afternoon sun), one for kids, one for kids/adults and one solely for those 18 and over.
The adjacent beach has a number of dedicated palapas for hotel guests only but beware of the many vendors who will bother you throughout the day.
Just say "no thanks" or "no gracias" if not interested and they will go away.
The staff here are very helpful and friendly and many names come to mind including Emanuel, Alex, Pedro and Felix.
The buffet restaurant is just average.
Breakfast is the best meal of the day with eggs and omelettes made-to-order.
Lunch and supper buffets can be repetitive but you can always find something to eat and the salad bar is always fresh.
For most of the day, there is usually just one bar but there are seldom long lineups and you can order any drink you want.
The downside is the bar closes at 10pm, so my advice is to drink up and get a buzz before heading out to the many bars and clubs in the neighbourhood within a short walk.
Be careful walking in the old town, cobblestone streets can be tricky and sometimes there are holes in the street or the sidewalk ends abruptly without warning.
The hotel does not have an internet station but there are many cyber cafes nearby at a small cost of 20 pesos (about 2 dollars Cdn) per hour.
The hotel is definitely not for those looking for a luxury vacation but it is clean, comfortable and affordable and I would definitely consider coming back.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled solo
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Helpful?
4 Thank awd1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2010

Spent a week at San Marino. The location was great, but the hotel was not! We did the all inclusive based on other previous all inclusive experiences and was very dissappointed. The food was horrible and the bar closed too early. The rooms are outdated and the bed as hard as a rock including bed bugs!

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WorldtravelsCO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2010

I've heard lots of conflicting reviews on the San Marino, but I think I've got it all figured out. There are two parts to the hotel: the original hotel, which is 5 floors, and the new addition, which is 8 floors. I stayed on the older side of the hotel. The room was very basic, with a small, unusable t.v., a hard bed (and brick-like pillows) and a shower barely large enough for one. The door on the bathroom wouldn't even stay closed. I woke up with a sore neck and back every morning. That being said, housekeeping staff kept the rooms fairly spotless and were very courteous.

I did get a chance to see the rooms in the newer addition, and they are more spacious, have flat screen televisions and balconies that look out over the beach. If you're staying here, splurge on the $20 USD/night upgrade fee. It's worth it.

I do not recommend the all-inclusive packages, however. There is only one bar, and it is walk-up service, tended to run out of stuff, and wasn't open all that long. The food is bland and repetative. I had hamburgers for lunch everyday for the entire week. The servers there are fantastic and helpful, but their awesome service can't make up for the terrible food. Beach loungers were provided on the beach, but unlike the other hotels in the area, no service was provided out there. I found myself sitting on other parts of the beach most of the time, where hotels had servers in the area (yes, they'll take cash).

The "tours" booth in the bottom of the hotel grossly overcharges for everything ($80 USD/day for a scooter rental? No thanks!). Just find out who they're selling for and find the original vendors yourself. You'll save 30% on average.

Let's be clear: when they handed me a metal key on a green nylon shoelace, wrapped around an antiquated tv remote, I knew I wasn't at staying at the ritz, but the location in Old Town was amazing. The hotel is right on the beach and I fell asleep listening to waves crashing on the shore nightly (that, and parties, but I'm not sure that's avoidable anywhere). There's tons of barrios and places to shop or eat within walking distance, and there's no need to pay for cabs from the newer areas of the city to get to where the action is.

If you have to do any work while you're staying at the San Marino, be warned: they have no wireless service for guests. I had to go to nearby restaurants and ask for their passwords to get anything done. There's also no where to park (at least, that I found), if you're planning on renting a vehicle for your trip.

All in all, I didn't hate it, but I won't ever book there again. There's no shortage of other hotels in the same area. Frankly, for the price we paid for the all-inclusive, I was expecting A LOT more than what we received.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank ApatheticAlbertan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Keswick, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2010

Stayed Jan. 22 - Feb 6, 2010. Arrived at 8:50 pm and was quickly checked in. I booked through Air Canada Vacations and had paid for an oceanfront junior suite and I was not disappointed. I was given room 301. Walked in to a kitchen area with a fridge, sink, cupboards and a lovely table and chairs for four. Bathroom large and spotless and the bedroom was huge with 2 double beds with pillowtop mattresses and I slept like a baby. Wall of windows onto a huge balcony with the view to die for. I had heard so many horror stories and they were way off base from my experience. Air Canada books these rooms in a block and get first choice so I would suggest you book through them cause everyone was trying to upgrade.

The staff here are all awesome, thanks all of you. Edgar, Alex, Santos, Felix, Victor, Conchita the omelette lady and for sure the General and all the ones that are slipping my mind. You made my short time with you a real pleasure and I miss all the spoiling.

Food was not what I heard about. Breakfast was great with made to order omeletts or eggs any way you wanted them. Fresh fruit galore and yogurts and cereals plus a whole buffet table of items. Lunch was the same with many choices. Suppers do need a little work so generally I ate out in the evenings. I cannot say enough good things about this place. You get what you pay for and I paid for the correct room, view and service and I will be back next year without a doubt.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank cathmexico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbus,Ohio
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2010

We have traveled to PV many, many times. We picked the San Marion because of the location. It was perfect!!! We love the pier area. We stayed in room 704. The view was awesome!!! If you stay at San Marino, I highly suggest you book rooms ending in 01,02, 03 or 04. The highest floor is 8. The hotel itself is old and very basic. When we walked in the room we were very disappointed, until we walked out on the balcony and saw our view. YES! Ok, back to the room. It was clean. The beds were fine. The bathroom was ok, however our door wouldn't shut all the way. (Ladies, bring your own hairdryer.) You could not drink the water in the room. We quickly found the only staff that spoke english were the front desk and time share people. The pools are a joke. We went to the beach. They do not have internet service. My husband was able to connect via wireless to a restuarant next door.
We did NOT do the all inclusive. There are so many wonderful places to eat and drink right around the hotel. We spent a lot of time at Cuates Y Cuetas, which is just on the other side of the pier. The staff is great. The food is good, too! Amapas Sunset was wonderful also. It is just a few steps south of the hotel.
We commented, after our first day, that we would never stay here again. However, at the end of our stay, we did agree that we would come back because you just can't beat the location and the view and we know what not to expect from the hotel.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LUVPVRColumbus_Ohio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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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