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“First time at all-inclusive”
Review of Velas Vallarta

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Velas Vallarta
Ranked #5 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 7 August 2007

This was a surprise vacation for my husband's birthday, which I booked about 3 months earlier. Unfortunately, he caught his first case of pneumonia just before that and we almost had to cancel. Naturally the flight wasn't too much fun for him, but our room and the ambiance of the Velas Vallarta Resort made him feel better within a couple of days.

We were in a studio with a full town and ocean view from our balcony. The fridge and pantry was fully stocked, in fact we could have eaten there for the entire week without going out. And the hotel staff graciously added extra fruit and yogurt for me. The hotel has two main restaurants in addition to the large pool-side menu. The casual beach-front eatery had very good food, with a nice buffet breakfast and changing menu each night followed by entertainment. The formal dining room was excellent - the only problem being reservations had to be made first thing in the morning without fail. It was well worth setting an alarm just for that - the rotating nightly theme was really special.

The grounds are magnificant, spacious and lushly planted, with three pools joined by a swim canal. There were peacocks walking thru, iguanas in the trees and a baby turtle sanctuary. There were plastic tote buckets kept in the pool area with baby turtles being nursed along.

The only bad thing about all-inclusive has to be the utter lack of motivation to go outside the resort grounds. The location of Velas Vallarta was perfect for going into Puerto Vallarta either by taxi or a simple half mile walk to the marina and cheap bus ride that takes you right by WalMart and a few other places for necessities. There was also a local shopping center - main attraction is the grocery - a nice walk about a mile away.

We had a great time and would like to try Velas Vallarta again!

Stayed: January 2005
11  Thank lyngarc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 August 2007

We just got back from an incredible vacation at this resort.
My sons, 15, 16 and my husband and I stayed in a 2 bedroom suite.
Everything from the grounds to the restaurants to the pool was kept incredibly clean! I was amazed how beautiful the foliage and trees were. We did see the peacocks and iguanas too! My only complaint about the pool was that it was too warm! It was very hot and no place to cool off. Event he ocean was too warm!!

Regarding the restaurants, we liked the chef at Alajandras restaurant the best. The presentation was beautiful and the food was 4 star.
We did go to the sister hotel - Casa Velas and it was very intimate.
We had 2-3 waiters for our table alone. The men do need pants and shoes (can be tennis shoes which makes no sense) Women can wear sandels, shorts etc. I also used the workout room there because it had weights as well as machines.

I can't think of anything I would change about this vacation except stress to anyone going to take full advantage of the facilities!

The airport experience was the worst...2 times we got caught thinking we were talking to reps to give us a ride to the resort and they were both scams to get you to listen to a timeshare presentation. Just head to the vip lounge and don't listen to anyone there. They are really convincing!!

Have a great vacation!

Stayed: August 2007
8  Thank lamorindalady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2007

Booked this all inclusive week through RCI. If you want to experience real Puerto Vallarta without catching a cab every day, pick a resort farther south. If you want to hang by the pool all day and eat and drink then this place will probably work.

PV is a great city with great restaurants and art galleries in the center of town. Many locals speak at least a little English - and if you know a little Spanish you'll do fine. We are 2 women and did not feel unsafe walking the area. The beaches in PV aren't really anything to write home about - don't confuse the beaches with the Caribbean!

As for the resort, the grounds are beautiful. The unit itself is a good size and as clean as expected for Mexico.

The all inclusive food isn't bad but gets really old by the end of the week. There are only 2 restaurants on the property. The front restaurant is open air and by the beach. It's a buffet and with that comes heat (dairy products are out) and bugs on the food. (You can eat from the menu but salads, sides etc. are on the buffet.) Andreas restaurant is similar but the buffet portion is indoors. We found it interesting that all food comes with a sauce - you can't just get a plain broiled fish or chicken and vegetables, for example. You can eat at the sister resort Casa Velas with your all inclusive bracelet - it's a nice restaurant (no buffet here), but the food for us was just average.

The resort is almost next door to the airport which makes it really loud when planes take off. Although walking distance to the marina, there isn't much to do at the marina. All the action and the 'heart' of PV is south and you probably wouldn't walk there from this resort - it's rather far. It's relatively cheap to get there by cab ($6 one way per cab)

We pre-arranged transportation from the airport prior to arriving and expected we wouldn't have to suffer through the timeshare pitch at the airport. From reading some other reviews we may have ended up in the wrong place because we were still hit up with the pitch. Be clear about where you should meet someone. A guy came up to us and had our name on a clipboard so we thought he was the right guy. But he took us to the timeshare desk so who knows. I'd probably still recommend walking all the way out the front door. (Don't stop until you see the sky!) Then ask a taxi how much to take you the resort. It only cost us 40 pesos (4$) to get back to the airport and $4 would be worth it to me to just get in a cab and start the vacation! Once we got to Velas we saw the staff hitting people up in the lobby with the 'we'll give you discounts when you sit through our pitch' speech (which we escaped) and they continued to try and call our room. We unplugged the phone. I hate the pitch and I already own somewhere so I'm not buying another - and for me it's not worth the time for the 'discounts' or trips - I'm on vacation! Yep, I could say no - and do - but I'm not so good at walking away while someone is talking to me which is what they force you to do because they just don't take no for an answer.

As a side note and for what it's worth, the power went out twice while we were there. This isn't necessarily an issue except that the water is somehow tied to the electricity, which means no power - no water.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank SuZenMaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2007

My wife and I just returned from our honeymoon at Velas Vallarta (7/6 – 7/13). Background before review - we are mid 20’s and experienced travelers. Used tripadvisor.com to help with our decision to pick this resort. We went through RCI (as it was a gift for our wedding). Hopefully my thoughts (and some I read about on tripadvisor.com before we left) and ideas will be passed on. Furthermore, all prices mentioned below are in the $US. Also, my wife and I believe time is more valuable than money – so we did not care for any of the timeshare presentations for free food, money, adventures or discounts. PLEASE READ ON

Overall – We had a lovely time at this resort. I would definitely recommend it to my friends and family.

Details-

Airport: RCI provides free transportation TO the resort (I was told they don’t bring you back on the way home so we took a taxi on the way home). So be sure to contact the hotel and arrange and confirm the day before. If you are not with RCI, the taxis are cheap – I believe it would be anywhere from $4 to $6. We picked up our bags and went through the Mexico customs line (“Point A”). RCI told us to go straight to the “VIP Lounge” after that (“Point B”). Now from Point A to Point B – you will be bombarded with salesmen and solicitors for the timeshare companies. They should be roped off, so just continue to walk through them to the VIP lounge or outside for the taxis. Some of these guys will lie and tell you they are with your resort – so just ignore them. I read many reviews on this website and people didn’t listen to this advice and it tainted their reviews and overall enjoyment of their vacation.

Arrival/Check in: We were greeted with open arms and drinks. Check-in was fairly simple. We paid for the all inclusive with a credit card (be sure to notify any cards you have that you are going to Mexico, some companies block international charges in case of theft and expect you notify before you leave).

Room: In the check-in process, we forgot to notify them about a sunset view - which I have heard about on this website but forgot, but when we got to our room we had a lovely view of the pool and gardens – so we were satisfied with the view and didnt change. We figured we would be on the beach for sunset not our room. Our room was very nice – stocked with a few snacks and water. A few days into the trip we tasted these items and they were stale – so we pitched everything and it was restocked the next day with fresh snacks. We ordered room service 3 nights; 2 for wine and 1 for late night pizza. All three nights they said it would be 35-45 minutes – but the wine nights it was like 10min and the cheese pizza was 20min. We tipped a few dollars every time. Room also has a lock box – we used that for our cash and just hid the key in one of our suite cases. I did leave my wallet out once with prob $60 in it on the table accidentally and when I came back that evening – nothing was taken

Stay:
Pool - Service was unbelievable at the pool. We read on this site to bring $100 in one dollar bills for tipping at the pool (prob used $50- $75 for our stay for 2 people) – I would definitely pass that along to you. We brought $10-20 each day and tipped about every other drink. I saw people bringing the water proof containers that hold cash and cigarettes – definitely would have used it – great for the swim up bar. The waiters were always asking us if we needed anything. They were always bringing around waters, frozen towels for the sun bathers, mini shot glasses with non-alcohol frozen drinks for the kids, fresh fruit appetizers and Mexican chicken wing appetizers. Pool swim up bar bartenders were great too! Any drink you think of – they make it and if they don’t know it (which I didn’t see) – you can tell them how to make it. I saw some reviews advising to ask for an extra shot….I don’t think that is necessary – a couple of days we were on a mission to really enjoy ourselves and we either communicated to make them strong or when we were at the bar motioned to add some more liquor. The waiters/bartenders were great! The resort also has an MC/DJ that hosts daily activities for anyone who is interested (volleyball, bingo, water workouts, etc.). They also play music from about 11-5 every day. Ranges from authentic Mexican slow songs(in the first hour) to American pop and Mexican club music. The Mexican club music got old sometimes, but people were walking up to the DJ requesting songs, I think I may have seen a guest hand a CD that had Lynard Skynard on it and played it. The pools are so large so you pick your seats (if you like the music load and want lots of activity in front of your pool chair sit closer to the DJ, if you want some peace – move to another section behind some trees.)

Dining:
La Riberia(casual dress, no reservations needed) - This was the restaurant on the beach. I would rate the food and service average there. We only ate some breakfasts and dinners there. They offer both buffet and menu. We heard you could order lobster tail a day before and make a reservation for extra $ - but we didn’t try it based on what we saw at breakfast and lunch. I would say breakfast was better than lunch.

Andreas(formal – slacks/dresses, reservations needed, we often could get in the night of) – This restaurant was talked up on this website a little to much I thought. I was going in expecting some great food and service. Overall, I think it was above average – but not great. They had different themes which was nice. However, the service I thought was pretty average. Appetizers, salads and deserts are served buffet style. The main courses was average to good. I was a little disappointed in the seafood selection – very limited (basically a salmon, shrimp, and catch of the day platter. I thought there would have been more of a selection of fish or lobster or crab would be available – could have not been in season though).

Emilios (formal, reservations needed – need to get this one early afternoon or earlier, this is at a sister resort) – This restaurant made our stay. Great food and UNBELIEVABLE service. 2 waiters waited on each table. Dined by candle light with a piano player in the back corner. Menu did not change, but the chef did offer a special platter that changed each day. The chef also made a special appetizer of the day that is served to you right after your drinks arrive at the table. This place was amazing – we ate there for dinner 75% of the time during our stay. The waiters don’t even let you pour your own wine that’s how good the service is. The only complaint is again – the seafood selection is limited – but boy…is the ribeye steak and lamb chops UNBELIEVABLE.

The Beach Club (formal, reservations needed – need to get this in the morning I was told, this is at the beach club) – Unfortunately we did not get to eat there. We made reservations for our last night and it rained that afternoon (the only time) and they notified us that the reservations were all canceled because of the rain. So my advice is to try this early so it doesn’t happen to you. I did hear from fellow resort guests that the food was very good and the view was very nice – apparently it sits right on the beach (I guess that’s why they named it). I heard it was a sushi/thai restaurant which sounded like a nice change.

Excursions – We did the Canopy tours – it was the largest one – I forgot the name. Everyone will know it – so ask around. I am not going into details – other than if were to do any of them – that is the best excursion to do. Just remember on the ride to the canopies to sit on the passenger side to and driver side from. That way you get the ocean view and great for pictureson the ride to the canopies. Few things to pass along; (i) heard the snorkeling is just “okay” because the excursions drop everyone off at the same place/same time every day – so the fish know NOT to be there, (ii) heard the ATV is the #2 thing to do because it brings you to the most remote places with waterfalls, (iii) heard the Rythem and Blues night/evening cruise is very nice, (iv) I heard that some fishing boats keep snorkeling gear on board so that you can maybe arrange both with the captain (fishing and snorkeling).

We did not go on the free tequila tour offered to us for staying at the resort. We heard it was 4-6 hours. We thought that was too long and we also heard we could do tequila tasting for free downtown at some of the stores (which we did some tasting on the Melican)

We also did not go on the free city tour offered to us for staying at the resort. Again, we heard it was 4-6 hours and they dropped you off conveniently at more expensive stores/restaurants. But we did go downtown by ourselves – which was recommended by some family of ours. Grab a backpack, fill it with water, spending money, and a map (which you can get at the guest services desk). Cab ride is $8. Be sure to walk down the board walk (also called the Melican). Also, from there you can see all the resorts tours and can kind of follow along and listen. Bartering with the small shops is expected. We also ate lunch at “Si Senor” – which was also passed onto us. Great Mexican food. Great music. And as explained to us when we were a few steps away from the door by their greeter – “the best A/C unit in P.V.” Be sure to order the guacamole – its made at your table side.

Again - I would recommend this resot to family and friends.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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39  Thank bearbrusk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2007

Stayed at the velas vallarta on 7/9- 7/11. First of all, July is probably not the best time to go because of the weather. Very muggy, hot.
PRO's-- nice pool, great landscape, nice service, food ok.
CON's- cannot swim in the water, beach dirty/ brown water. Rooms need a little touching up......i.e. bathroom, paint, balcony.

I personally will not return to the hotel because I like a nice beach but ok resort for families..

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank arnb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2007

"Senorita, are you sure you are happy?'' Were the words that floated over my rapidly tanning body as I lazed by the pool one sunny afternon on my vacation. I lifted the corner of the cool towel that the waiter had given me from over my eyes and responded, "Yes, all is well".

And thus began my weeks stay at Velas Vallarta from 6/30/2007 to 7/7/07.

Airport: If you have booked a weeks stay at Velas, and paid for the all inclusive, your transportation is included. Reps from the resort will have a sign with your name on it and will direct you to the VIP area on the right after the timeshare area. You will be offered a cool drink and whisked to a waiting taxi.

Check in: Was quick and smooth. I had previously asked for a room with on a higher floor and was given one immediately. The general manager later sent us a plate of chocolate covered strawberries and champagne to celebrate our anniversary.

Room: We had a one bedroom that had a pull out sofa, 2 TVs, spacious bathroom with enough towels for 4, hairdryer, and all expected amenities. The kitchen had a hotplate stove, full refridgerator that was stocked with juices, drinks, and fruit. On the kitchen counter were snacks, coffee/tea, etc., which is all included in the all inclusive price

Dining: I found the dining superb all around. The meals from room service were presented just as appetizingly as from the restaurants. Andreas was the formal restaurant with theme nights, La Ribiera was casual dining, but you could also order from the menu. If you do not see what you want, do not hesitate to ask for it anyway, even if it was not on the menu or on the buffet. They were sure to have it anyway. I found the drinks to be refreshingly potent and plenitful

Service: The only way to describe it is to say that I was treated like royalty. Service was truly with a smile, timely, and efficient. The poolside waiters would do practically any thing you asked, from bringing exciting drinks, snacks, and meals right to your pool chair. A minor maintenance matter was corrected within minutes after my call. I simply cannot say enough

For the Kids: There is a really nice play area with a playground and kids pool with lots of floaty toys and activities.

Not to be missed: The canopy tour, the Pirate ship, Rhythms of the Night, the city tour.

If you have any questions, feel welcome to contact me.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
15  Thank SunshineGirly23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2007

We went to this resort and got the all inclusive. We had an awesome stay and felt like a King and Queen. The 1 bedroom unit was large enouph for 4 people. The bed was very comfortable king sized bed, and they turned down the sheets every night. The kitchen was always stocked with goodies. Every evening they turned down your bed. You also had access to the sister resort and about 6 restaurants. We had breakfast served in our room with mamosas and saw wild peacocks around the gardens. The beach was wonderful and we ate breakfast most mornings at the beachside restaurant. They had lots of activities onsite and the liquor/food and service was top notched. Our room had updated furniture and was cleaned daily. There were nice nooks and places to sit in the main building and around the pool. We had beachside shows and drinks a plenty and beachside tents for comfortable reading if you didn't want to be in the sun. Free shuttle service to sister resorts for dinner and facilities. What more can I say? Its worth the stay. Taking kids here....I wouldn't, besides the pool and the beach its not must for them to do here.

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
7  Thank lprstn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Velas Vallarta

Address: Paseo de la Marina Norte 585 | Marina Vallarta, Jalisco, Puerto Vallarta 48354, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#3 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#3 Business Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#4 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#7 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: £215 - £653 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Velas Vallarta 4*
Number of rooms: 345
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Velas Vallarta, from the award winning Velas Group, boasts a 10-acre beachfront location with views of the Sierra Madre Mountains in the distance. Located in the Marina Vallarta, one of the most exclusive areas of Vallarta-Nayarit, the resort is also just a few steps away from an 18-hole championship golf course. The center of activity is a lush tropical garden courtyard with three sparkling swimming pools, a cascading waterfall, swim-up bar and even a resident iguana. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Velas Vallarta Hotel Puerto Vallarta
Velas Vallarta Suite Hotel
Velas Vallarta Suite Puerto
Velas Vallarta Resort
Velas Vallarta Puerto
Club Velas Vallarta
Velas Vallarta Suite Resort

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