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“North American lodging experience in Mexico”

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Mayan Palace Puerto Vallarta
Ranked #35 of 121 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 July 2006

We stayed for the first week in July at the Mayan Palace-Puerto Vallarta. It was a very pleasant experience in most ways, but if you are looking for "authentic Mexico", this ain't it.
We enjoyed our later 3-day stay at the Casa Iguana, one-half hour south in Mismaloya, much more.
The hotel itself is beautiful. We came on an "extra vacation week" via RCI. The weather was almost impossibly hot and humid, which was not surprising, and we handled that by staying in or on the water much of the time. The grounds are immaculate and extensive, with the occasional iguana wandering around. Our unit was on the second floor of the tower closest to the beach. We had a view of the ocean, though part of it was through palm fronds. We were not able to get a 2-bedroom condo which would have been much better for our family of five. The master bedroom is huge, with a king-sized bed and has a sliding door that opens onto a small nonfunctional balcony. The living area also has the same sized balcony which is too small to do anything except stand on. Bathroom was large with a lot of marble. There was an extra alcove with sink and mirror off the main bathroom.
The kitchen was miniscule and basically not usable. The microwave is up above one counter in an alcove and was not plugged in. My husband had to lift the thing down and place it on an opposite counter where the outlet was. The two-burner stove took over and hour to soft-boil eggs. We gave up on it. Our almost-grown kids used the pull-out beds (2) plus one couch in the living room. You had to move the two couches across the floor in order to get the trundle beds out from underneath. The couch-beds were hard and extrememely uncomfortable, according to the kids. I like a firm mattress, but the king-sized bed was like a rock! The two TV's got several satellite stations, including international CNN.
The biggest problem we had with the unit was the air conditioner. When we arrived it was probably close to 100 degrees with high humidity. The rooms were stifling. We turned on the A/C and within a few minutes water began dripping through the hall ceiling. The drip turned into a steady stream. We called maangement three times, each time being told they "would be right up". We had turned down the A/C and things were heating up again, so we picked up everything off the floor and went down to the beach for an hour or so. When we returned, maintenance men had just arrived and there was a river running around the corner through part of the living room and into the bedroom. They took off some of the ceiling tiles, worked on the A/C "valves" for awhile and then left saying that this problem occured several times a week in different units. We had to keep the A/C low for the duration of our stay--we had several more drips and two more rivers that required calling maintenance again. The ceiling tiles were stained and there was a definite smell of mildew when we arrived. We were happy to have maid service every day. They did a good job for us, sometimes even washing the dishes. We tipped them $2-3 US per day.
As far as the overall resort--lovely, but overpriced. Internet cafe prices were $7.50 for one half hour (they were $3/hour at our Mismaloya hotel). The restaurant was adequate and the hamburgers by the pool are a fairly good buy ($8 for a huge one with lots of fries). Another lunch at the restaurant cost my two kids $26 US for a sandwich and fajitas. Breakfast was OK but cost US prices. Drinks were a rip-off. We had daquiries and margaritas at the pool during happy hour (2 for 1). You basically get two sno-cones with very little liquor for $10.
We ate several times at the Marina across the street, when we were too hot to take a bus into town for dinner. They have fair to good, but not special restaurants (Mexican, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, pizza, etc.) Our best two meals were eating "street meat" (make sure it's steaming hot, with plenty of lime juice and no fruit) from the food stands on the Malecon. You can eat well for under $6 apiece and enjoy the sunset and people-watching. The second meal we'll remember was a lunch of fish that we caught ourselves--we were taken by our guide to a little outdoor restaurant behind the Marina (kind of "wrong-side-of-the-tracks" feel) where it was cooked and served with wonderful salsa, tortillas and of course, cervezas.
The beach in front of the MP is smallish, but reasonably clean with all-sand, and a little surf. There is not enough wave action to body surf. On the same beach boat rides, parasailing and jet-skis (noisy, and awfully close to the swimmers) are available, as are people who constantly walk up offering their wares. Two weddings took place while we were there on the next point over (belonging to the next-door hotel). We hired a guide off the beach to take us to Los Arcos to snorkle and another day to fish. Those trips were lots of fun and cost about $140 and $160 (with a little bargaining) for the five of us. All equipment was provided and our guide was funny, informative, and took us to wonderful little places to eat (usually around $6-7 apiece including beer.) Look for Fernando, and his boat, "Coco Loco"! Much cheaper than the big fishing boats and touristy snorkling trips that charge by the person.
All in all, the Mayan Palace is a fine place to stay if you feel more comfortable in a US-style resort. I'm sure many of the guests lie around the pool or on the beach all day and are perfectly happy. When you ask the concierge anything about excursions, they will guide you into the hotel "travel agency" where side trips are arranged. We did arrange a sunset sail ($160), which we felt was worth it, but some of the other side trips are less expensive if you arrange them yourself (hire a guide, or take a bus down to the Malecon and arrange a trip from there.) Incidentally, the concierge and a hotel staff member sent us on a wild goose-chase (to the wrong marina) that involved us hiring two taxis and almost missing the sail trip! We spent a couple of days riding to little towns and beaches up north on buses that had seen better days. We were often the only Americans around-- it was fun and exciting to see these places and to try to talk to local folks. For our last three nights in Mexico we stayed down south ($20 taxi ride) off Mismaloya Beach in a little family hotel, the Casa Iguana. It was much cheaper, had two bedrooms and A/C that worked well, a beautiful pool and restaurant and no timeshare sharks! It was rustic at its best.

  • Stayed: July 2006
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21  Thank NWRN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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763 - 769 of 975 reviews

Reviewed 6 June 2006

My wife and I spent a week in May 2006 at this resort. We really enjoyed the place. The rooms all look out to the ocean and the view was great. It is an all inclusive resort so all the food and drinks were as much as you wanted and were of very good quality. Having an open bar in the room was pretty cool too. The staff were extremely friendly and helped you with all your needs. The drawback to an all inclusive resort is that you tend to not try the local restaraunts so you don't get out into the local culture as much. Another drawback was that it was 10 to 15 mile north of Puerto Vallarta itself so if you wanted to go to town it was either a taxi or bus ride. The resort didn't have much of a night life scene but if you are going with friends you can make your own. I would recommend this resort to others who wanted to go to Puerto Vallarta.
PS. Don't get sucked in by the timeshare people at the airport!

8  Thank DanJCorvallis_OR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2006

I stayed at the Myan Palace from May 20 to 26th. I found the grounds and rooms immaculate. The staff was very professional and service was excellent. The view from the room overlooking the pool and ocean was spectacular. I was in the Blue Building.
The prices for food, etc. are high but what the heck, I was on vacation. You can always go into town but I was enjoying my sunsets and sunrises. I'd go back anytime.

Stayed: May 2006
9  Thank MaryMartin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2006

My wife and I bought at the Mayan Palace after touring the Nuevo Vallarta location. Our first use of our ownership brought us to the Marina location to be closer to town. The difference was astounding.
First off, the ocean view was interesting. We were in the building furtherest from the beach. The view to the ocean also included the pool area, which was cleverly obscured by palm trees. The room itself (we own a master room package) was the lockoff unit. It had duct tape over the seam of the door between us and main 1 bedroom unit. I assume to help with cooking odors, as the 1 bedroom unit has a kitchenette. The noise from the other other unit, which was being used by 4 adults, was minimal. The furnishings were underwhelming and a bit disappointing. No tubs in the master room.
The resort itself was immaculately maintained. It was a bit of a walk to the pools and the beach from the building we were in, but it was a lovely walk. It takes you by the concierge, travel agency, store, gym, restrooms and restaurants. The pools were clean and and the poolside food was good, but a bit pricey. $8 for a burger? The waiters were annoying when taking drink orders. They offer you a 2 for 1, and my wife would order one. Everytime, 4 or more times, the waiter would return with 2 large drinks, costing $11. The 2 for 1 was the larger cup, and the waiters kept bring us 2 of them. Anyway, I kept letting them get away with it but it was annoying.
For anyone staying in Puerto Vallarta, you are wasting your money eaiting at the hotels or any of the restaurants along the marina. All you have to do is hop on the bus (45 cents) and go to the Wal Mart. From the Wal Mart, walk 2 blocks behind it to taco stand heaven. I counted 20 different vendors, selling everything from Cubanos (delicious pork sandwiches), fruit smoothies, donuts, tamales, menudo, to tacos of all sorts, including al pastor, adobado and asada. The variety was mind boggling, and my wife and I ate there 3 of 5 nights, only having the things we really enjoyed more than once. And each night it cost us less than $15 usd for both of us, including bus fare, multiple beverages and several pastries. Truly a delight. For the adventurous, a bus trip to Bucerias, again only 45 cents per person, can get you a lunch of chips, salsa, guacomole, Lobster, shrimp, steak, a whole fried fish and a bucket of beers for $37. We also had a luch of 2 lobsters, chips, salsa, beers, lemonade and live entertainment for $33.
I would recommend the Mayan Palace to anyone who can go there. The accommodations are pleasent and the location is ideal. The staff is very nice and they take pride in their jobs. I would highly recommend it.

  • Stayed: May 2006
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19  Thank Mentat72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
St. Louis, MO
Reviewed 18 April 2006

My family and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Mayan Palace - the ocean view, spacious accomodations, excellent dining, and friendly staff. Minutes away from one of the most relaxing spas and just a walk down to the marina, the Mayan offers guests the perfect 'get away' admist beautiful landscape and ocean view settings. Relax under the stars at the outdoor lounge, salsa the night away in the discotech, savor the most delicious Mexican flavors in their restaurant - the Mayan definetly has it all.
Transporation is always available and buses are very economical.

We look forward to our next visit and certainly have made the Mayan Palace our #1 resort in Puerto Vallarta.

  • Stayed: April 2006
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8  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 12 April 2006

Just returned from a fantastic week at the Mayan Palace. The sunsets, ocean breeze, and view from our room was breathtaking. Service superb and staff outstanding. God willing, plan to return next year.

We celebrated our parents 40th wedding anniversary. Words are inadequate to express our appreciation to the event planner and staff at the Mayan Palace who made it memorable for us.

Loved the simplicity and authenticity. Enjoyed downtown Puerta Vallarta, the spas, flea market and restaurants at the Marina. The fabric store is a Mecca for you fabric lovers.

Returned with admiration and respect for a people and their culture.

  • Stayed: April 2006
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12  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2006

My husband and I stayed at the Mayan Palace marina location for a week in March. This was the first time that we've stayed in a timeshare and, based upon some of the previous reviews, I was pretty nervous about it! We do own the Mayan (having purchased on our previous trip) and I was thinking that maybe we had made a bad decision. I completely changed my mind once we checked into the resort! Everyone was so helpful and we really liked our rooms. Granted, we are used to staying in a hotel room that is just that: a room, so having more space to spread out that the timeshare gives us was such a big plus that we overlooked the fact that some of the upholstery could use a cleaning/updating.

The location of the resort was great! We walked to the grocery store a couple of times. Stocked up on mostly breakfast supplies. We enjoyed having the kitchen and being able to have breakfast in the room. Most of our other meals were eaten at the Mayan or in the marina resturants. We did take advantage of the offer made at check-in to listen to the timeshare presentation. Were given breakfast buffet that morning and pesos to put towards our bill at check out (to be used for meals and drinks). We ordered lunch by the pool a couple of days and spent a couple of late afternoons having drinks at the Sunset Beach Club. Although the presentation did take a couple of hours, we did it right away our first morning there so feel that it was worth it.

The marina was close so we walked there most evenings for dinner. There are some very nice resturants in the area and we found them all to have great food and good service. It was also very easy to catch the city bus to get downtown for tours and meals. It picked up right outside the Mayan (look for the ones that say "downtown" on the front) and only cost about 45-cents each way. Getting the bus to go back was a bit trickier as they don't pick up on the main street. Just ask for help - everyone is happy to direct you to the pick-up spots! We had no problems and the bus takes you right back to the Mayan area!

All in all, we had such a great time at the Mayan Palace and are looking forward to our next stay there. We've heard and read many good things about the other Mayan locations and are looking forward to visiting them too. Feel free to e-mail me with any questions - I will be happy to share my thoughts with you!

  • Stayed: March 2006
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27  Thank We4travelers
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

Address: Paseo de la Marina Sur S/N | Fracc. Marina Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta 48354, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
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:
#27 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: £72 - £250 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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