OVERALL: This is a very quiet resort, with nice rooms, mediocre food, good service (though not amazing, as indicated by others), close to the airport and with lots of space for the amount of guests.
CROWD/VIBE: This is a very quiet resort, almost like a library, you feel like you don't want to speak too loudly to not draw attention to yourself. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your taste. The overall age demographic seems to be a lot of people in their late 50's to early 60's, with a scattering of younger people (I'm 34), and even a group of people into their 70's. As someone in their 30's, you won't be the only ones but you will definitely be in the minority. This being said, there was also no one making a loud, drunk --- of themselves, so you take the good with the bad.
MAIN RESORT POOL: This is probably the best part about the resort. The main resort pool is heated (though not super warm, heated through solar hot water system). There is lots of room around the pool with plenty of comfortable loungers, cabana beds, and tables for hanging out. There is poolside drink and food service. I didn't know about the food service until the last day, and the menu is actually different which would be nice because there isn't much variety at the resort overall (see comments on food). There is a chest of popsicles you can get into whenever as well, and the staff occasionally brings by some kind of snacks (fruit skewers for instance). For those that like to have an option for a domestic beer poolside (includes myself), they do have Bud Light. There is also wifi at the pool, though keep in mind this is the only area basically with wireless coverage, it gets pretty dicey the further away from this area that you get.
ROOMS: This is the second best part of the resort in my opinion. We had the lowest grade room available, but were upgraded to the grand class suite plus (if memory serves). This room had both a jacuzzi and plunge pool, with outside patio. Inside was also a sitting area and alcove. The bed was comfortable, towels and linens were relatively soft. The room had an old school tube TV with satellite service. They do have pay per view service and about a half dozen english channels. Some of my channels didn't work or had no sound, but I figured it was a good reason to watch less TV, so I didn't bother complaining about it. The rooms do not have any type of iPod interface/stereo for playing music, so bring your own stuff if this is important to you. I think a TV and stereo update would be nice for the rooms, but other than that they're pretty nice. I included a bunch of pictures of our room as I thought this was one area that didn't have much info on this website, our room number was 510A.
FOOD: This was for me the most disppointing part of the resort. On other reviews here, people RAVE about the food. We live in a metro area, and go out to eat very often at nice restaurants. I'm not trying to be a snob, but when people say the food is some of the best they've had, i just wonder where they've been. Don't get me wrong, the food is entirely edible, and ranges generally from OK to a little better than that, but some is also bad. It is not great or excellent, just decent, and I really thought the food would be one of the highlights of our experience. In particular, I would pick in the sushi maki rolls and calimari at the Beach Club as being particulary bad, along with the steak, lamb, and mahi mahi sandwich at Emilianos. Desserts lack enough sweetness, lots of the food is too salty, and the quality of ingredients and overall execution is not great. Things that I thought were decent included the club sandwich (ate this 3X), chicken osobuco and red snapper at Emilianos, sweet breads with breakfast were also pretty good. The beach club food is OK, sushi rolls and calimari not withstanding. Food here compared in quality to other high-end AI, but certainly not in a class of it's own, and the lack of variety can lead to getting bored with the same food.
LOCATION/BEACH: Yup, this place is not on the beach. Yes, you do have access to the beach club. Depending on your own preference, I think it is more comfortable to spend the day at the resort based on the amount of space available and relative comfort. The beach at the beach club is certainly nothing special, it's pretty rocky, though you can walk a short distance either direction and the sand continues to the water. At the end of the day, I think the resort not being on the beach was not a big deal. You can also go to Velas Vallarta, which is located on the beach. Airplane noise was not an issue at all, you hear a plane maybe 2-3X per day, not enough to even matter. The proximity to the airport is actually awesome, you get there very quickly once you arrive and the trip back is about 3 minutes!
SPA: We included the all-inclusive spa option for our visit. If you are planning on getting a fair number of treatments it may be a good option to consider ($380pp per day, complete with room). Spa was closed from the fire a while back. I got some intel that the spa will likely not be up and running again for "about 2-3 months", so take that for what it's worth (might not be accurate, but what I was told). They are currently doing the spa services out of suite 601, which is a governer's suite (I think). It is kind of a funky temporary setup for the time being. The quality of the treatments were all top notch, though. I know my wife is a spa snob, and she was very happy with her treatments. She wanted me to pass along that Lupita is the best spa therapist ever! If they actually had a real spa, I think this part of the resort would be getting a strong recommendation from me. As it is, though you give us the amenities of the spa, the core treatments are still great.
SERVICE: Another thing that people rave about in this forum. I found the service to be very good overall, but just consistent with what I expect at nicer resorts. Service was still sometimes a bit on the slow side, but always done with a smile so that is OK. I'd say this part met my expectations but didn't blow me away.
BEACH CLUB: This is a nice option to have, but it is pretty small. The place itself is pretty nice, but the pool isn't heated and I'm a big baby in that regard. Pretty much from the pictures, what you see is what you get.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Imagine the perfect resort retreat in the Mexican Pacific Riviera, where luxury and romanticism combine in perfect harmony. Resembling a private estate, Casa Velas offers Condé Nast and AAA award-winning service in a casually elegant and intimate boutique atmosphere in Puerto Vallarta. This boutique hotel enjoys a garden setting surrounded by the Marina Vallarta Golf Course. A beachside experience waits just three minutes away at your private Ocean Club, with stunning sunsets and memorable dining. Unlimited transport is available day and night to whisk you to the golden shores of the Mexican Pacific. The Ocean Club is a place of supreme peace and tranquility for enjoying an infinity pool, jacuzzi and terrace with impressive ocean views. Our luxurious getaway invites you to enjoy the comforting sounds and vibrant colors of the tropics as you discover the true meaning of relaxation and luxury at an all-inclusive Puerto Vallarta resort paradise. Recently chosen as one of the Top 10 hotels in Mexico and the Caribbean in three categories - Luxury, Relaxation/Spa and Hotel for Romance - by TripAdvisor®, Casa Velas is an enchanting destination where simple pleasures rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Casa Velas Boutique Resort
- Hotel Casa Velas Boutique