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“Sea Garden Nuevo - not my cup of tea”

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Mayan Palace Puerto Vallarta
Ranked #26 of 124 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
“Sea Garden Nuevo - not my cup of tea”
Reviewed 21 March 2005

I'm not sure if this review is supposed to be for the resort in Marina Vallarta or Nuevo but here's my two cents anyway. My girlfriend and I stayed at the Mayan Sea Garden in Nuevo Vallarta for the last week in February on a gift certificate from my Aunt's timeshare with RCI. We were very dissappointed with our stay here. It may be a good place for some but for a young couple without a whole lot of money it wasn't a good place to stay. You pretty much don't get anything complementary around here. Everything's very expensive (one load of laundry for 125 pesos!) and the rooms don't have anything that make them that special. We wore our stupid wristbands the entire week until we finally clued in that there was no reason for us to do so. We cut them off so people would stop hounding us when we went downtown and they get really annoying after a while. I suggest you do the same unless you find a reason to keep them on. If I had the choice I would definitely stay at the Mayan Palace since they have a far better pool and facilities which we were told we weren't allowed to use as guests of the Sea Garden. One good thing about the hotel was that we were close to the Vallarta Adventures office where we went on the Canopy Adventure and my girlfriend went swimming with the dolphins. I would reccommend both activities. We found ourselves going to town pretty much everyday for dinner and activities. If you've never been to Puerto Vallarta I would suggest you don't confine yourselves to the resort since theres so much to do in town. The bus is cheap (16 pesos to downtown) but you have to transfer at Walmart and they are VERY crowded with locals and tourists. A taxi cab will cost you anywhere from 150 to 180 pesos to downtown. You should also look into taking the water taxi to the pier in the old town for a change. It departs from Paradise Village (accross the Marina). A schedule is available in the Paradise Plaza and it costs $10 US one way or $18 round trip. To get to the plaza don't take a cab over like everyone says. Just walk over to the Marina area and every half hour between 8am and 6pm there's a FREE shuttle that crosses the marina to the plaza. I hope this doesn't discourage you too much if you've already made your decision to stay here. It's a nice fancy place if that's your thing. And don't worry about beach chairs. They weren't even half full the whole time we were there. Also the day we left (when we no longer had our bracelets) we went and sat by the Palace pool and had lunch on their chairs. No one bothered us and we even were able to get towels from there booth with our card. So have fun and explore but make sure you get out and visit a more authentic Mexico as well.

  • Stayed January 2005
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (235)
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English first
RED LAKE ONTARIO
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2005

The Rooms They Showed us were great but we ended up with the high pressure presentation and caved after 4 hours (they tell you 90 minutes). Ended up with restrictions and the smallest cheapest room. We went back 2 days later and asked to cancel - they wanted to keep our $3000. US deposit. I had called the Canadian Embassy and she told me that was against the law - you have a 5 day cooling off period with NO penalties. After I had told the woman what the embassy said they had the cancellation contract and no penalty within 1/2 hour. It is against the law to get a penalty but they sure tried and a large one at that. I wonder how many peoples money they have kept..

The rooms are beautiful and I don´t understand the high pressure. If they just offered a tour and then the presentation only to those interested they might be better off. They were pissed when we cancelled. We would have loved to stay there in the future but now have a bad taste in our mouths. Don´t waste your time unless you have alot of money for the finer suites and a vacation every year and you love Mexico. I like to decide where to go and when, call my agent and go - no time restrictions and extra charges for maintenance. Look closely at those - they more than double the price for the timeshare over the next years.
My advice - DON´T GO waste your time while on vacation.

Helpful?
17 Thank brenspen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 13 March 2005

We have just returned from 2 wonderful weeks {feb 18-mar 04] at the Mayan Palace, marina, puerto vallarta, and am very favourably impressed. Everything is very, very professionaly done..from the immaculately dressed and trained restaurant waiters, bell boys, security and front desk. Although check-in time is 5 PM and we arrived at 11 AM,we did not expect our room would be ready early, but we got our room around 2:30. We were ready for a little wait, so we went and had lunch and a couple of cool ones and looked around at the beautiful pools and grounds. Our room was a 1 bedroom suite and was on the 3rd floor with a very nice ocean view and at night with the city lights twinkling in the distance it was awsome. Before I forget, the room maids do a terrific job each day changing the king size bed and leaving the suite spotless. to rolling back the bedspread each night and leaving chocolates on the turned back sheet. The maids don't speak much english, but they will soon show you how they appreciate the tips left for them each day by doing extra things [dishes etc[ for you. They need this money as maids/bellboys/waiters make only low wages. As for the timeshare program...we were approached by a sales staff person as soon as we checked in...we made it clear we were not interested in attending a free breakfast, getting a free tour, having everything charged to our room reduced by 15% or any other promo if we went through a sales session. We were never approached at the resort again !!!! If you want to save on a free meal or tour....why shouldn't you expect there will be something to be given in return. I have been an owner in the mayan palace/vidafel resorts since 1987 and I have no regrets. If you're not interested in buying a timeshare, DON'T GET INVOLVED FROM THE START..if you want to go and find out if it's for you,go....when you've heard enough.leave... it's like any other "high pressure" sales pitch..be firm- it's your decision. There are many other "so called" mayan palace reps all over town who will offer you up to 200.00 cash etc if you agree to attend a sales presentation. Just say No, gracias and keep walking. If you insist on stopping and talking to them, in order to get a freebee and get roped in ....who's the dummy? The food at the Bakal restaurant is excellent..where else can you get beef tenderloin cooked to prefection for 130 pesos ? The menu is small and could use some more food choices. The enchiladas are good also. Twice we called housekeeping, once for a burnt out bulb and one for a plugged toilet both times the response was quick. The location of the resort is just right...on the beach..the marina with all the restarants/stores etc a very short [5 min] walk away ...a bus ride across the street downtown for 4 pesos[ a real experience on it's own]...2 bars..3 restaurants ..botique etc...what more do you want....give it a try...5 stars for sure

  • Stayed February 2005
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24 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kansas
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2005

I too went to a time share presentation because I was bribed by a $310 offer. Being very well traveled, my wife and I knew what we were in for with the hard sell but we wanted to see this place and thought for $310 and a few hours, we could deal with it. What we were shown was the Mayan Palace and Grand Mayan Palace that were both nothing short of spectacular. I was impressed but was wondering why the hard sell and large bribe just to see such a spectacular property. I did manage to get though the "hard Sell" time share program and was treated rudely once they knew I could not get "roped" into something I did not want to do. I left the place with $310 in my hands and headed downtown to spend it. Know that i am home and deceided to read the reviews of this property, it appears to be a "bait and switch" game. They showed us rooms and suites with $1,000,000 views and as I read other reviews, it appears that these are not what you get. I suggest everyone be very careful if you do a time share presentation here. Just remember to keep saying No !

Stayed January 2005
Helpful?
19 Thank Tropicalsunset96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paramus, NJ
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2005

My wife and I are experienced travelers and I have over 2 million miles in the air and have stayed in hundreds of hotels and resorts around the world.
The Mayan Palace Marina in Puerto Vallarta ranks among the WORST in which I have stayed. (And believe me - I have stayed in many underdeveloped countries – at least there the people were “honest” with their offerings).
We got roped into the timeshare scheme when we were in Cancun but it turned out to be a Vacation Club (with no address) rather than a real time share. (Shame on us for believing the “time share” sales pitches that are totally false and misleading).
This – our first experience with Mayan resorts ranks as absolutely horrible. Late check in and still had to wait 2 hours for a room. (after 6PM). In the meanwhile the Timeshare “sharks’ pounce on you because they issue the plastic bracelets that supposedly allow you to use the facilities.
As one of the previous reviewers experienced, they promised us a 1 bedroom suite in a “real” and new resort, but instead put us into an ancient hovel with moldy bathrooms, dilapidated and dirty furniture, biting insects, horrible kitchen, low ceilings, Soviet style décor, and no view. This was across the street from the rest of the resort and is called something like the Mayan Sea Garden.
When we complained, they found us a small studio with no amenities except for a bathroom, 2 beds, and a TV. At least we thought we would be among the civilized. WRONG!!! Two days later we were awoken by the horrible stink of cigar smoke that permeated our room from the adjoining suite. Someone must have checked in and got a deal on stinky Cuban cigars.
We could not get back to sleep so we asked to be moved to another room. It was either back across the street with the mold and mildew (to which I’m allergic) or another studio. We chose the later.
Puerto Vallarta is great but why do these greedy purveyors of the time share concept have to spoil vacations for us hard working folks?
Why the rip-offs? Why the lies? Why the fraud?

Helpful?
30 Thank Walter P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2005

We booked this hotel room in advance, it was a double room suite. They even gave us a confirmation number. when we arrived at this hotel, it was early about 8:00 am in the morning, they said they didn't have a room come again around twelve o'clock. We did, and they told us they had no rooms available for that day or the next or the next. We were angry and fought with them. They decided to put us across the street in a stinky molded room. We fought with them for another three hours. Finally, we got them to put us in a different hotel, in Neuvo Puerta Vallarta. Meanwhile they lost our lugage, why didn't that surprise me. A taxi came and took us there. We arrived at a hotel called the Sea Garden Hotel, what a blessing they were great. They felt bad for us and treated us so good. Go to Nuevo puerta vallarta calm ocean and a clean quiet atmosphere.

  • Stayed January 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Sandy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 27 January 2005

I was invited to stay at the Mayan Palace early Dec. 2004. Went with my husband and 7 month old baby. Arrived early and they let us check-in before 3pm. We shared a suite with some other friends but we had arrived first. The room was ok. The floors are not mopped and the bathroom was small and did not appear to be extremely clean either. The shower curtain smelled moldy. Our luggage did not get delivered until we called the front desk and asked for it. The safe was not working and we had to call 3 times to get someone up to fix it. It was fixed for a day and then broke again. We called again, and no one showed up. We just used our friends next door. The maid was extremely nice and loved our baby, but after we asked her for a bath mat (in spanish) didn't get on until the next day and only got one every other day after that. We were on the 3rd floor, and had a partial view of the pool, but mostly it was the palm trees. The pool sucked, and so did the beach. The pool was loud, cold and not peaceful. There is a group of employees who are entertainment. They play really loud obnoxious music all day and pool games. If that is your style, you will be entertained. At the pool, I had no problems finding chairs however. The adult pool was empty, but the chairs were uncomfortable and not in the sun. The beach was brown sand, small and the water was not clear, but somewhat calm. There is a very cool bar at the water that has really fun futons and chaise lounge chairs, funky music and and overall miami-zen feel to it. By the way, the pool is A LOT smaller than the pictures on the Mayan Palace website make it out to be. I did really like the buffet breakfast at the cafe, and thought the food was pretty good. Service there was quite good. I had a massage at the outside spa area that I really enjoyed, and the massage therapist was sweet and professional. We never were approached by the timeshare folks, but I ignored anyone I did not want to talk to. Turning your head away and not responding to someone works really well. We saw all the poor folks at breakfast getting the speech by the timeshare sellers and I was just glad it wasn't me. If I was me by chance though, I would have gotten up and left. It is not like they hold a gun to your head for four hours. I did research before we went, and knew how to handle it. Educate yourself people and don't be timeshare suckers. I would not go back to puerta vallarta or the Mayan Palace. I found both to be mediocre and not memorable. I would not say our trip was a disaster by any means, but it was not my favorite. It was not relaxing, inviting or special in any way. It is a 20 minute ride in a scary taxi to get from the Mayan Palace to downtown.Downtown, expect to get harrassed. Again, do not make eye contact, or respond and you will be fine. We did go to a great restaurant called Las Valentines (I think that was the name) and it was THE BEST mole I have ever had. I thought downtown was like a Florida beach only in mexico. But, if you think florida is a vacation destination, then you might like the mayan palace and puerta vallarta! The marina across the street from the Mayan Palace is nothing to write home about. Mediocre food, shopping and is overpriced. Oh, and if you like coffee, it is REALLY bad there. Even the coffee shop we found in the marina was worse than mcdonalds here. So there you have it folks. It was like a B-rated movie all the way. Good Luck!!

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23 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mayan Palace Puerto Vallarta

Property: Mayan Palace Puerto Vallarta
Address: Paseo de la Marina Sur S/N | Fracc. Marina Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta 48354, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#19 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Mayan Palace Puerto Vallarta 3.5*
Number of rooms: 179
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Also Known As:
Mayan Palace Puerto Vallarta Hotel Puerto Vallarta
Wyndham Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta Mayan Palace
Mayan Puerto Vallarta

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