Wow, just recovered from the redeye home from PV...not my favorite way to travel. Everyone tries to tell you are getting an extra day but with checkout at 11 am you are without a room until you catch your bus at 11 pm. Makes for a loooong day and cranky teens.
Anyway, on with the review. We stayed at the CDS for a week with a group of 15 people. We ended up here for 3 reasons; 1) Plenty of referals from friends and positive TA reviews. 2) The amazing price and 3) a direct flight from Winnipeg.
Checking in: At booking we requested an adjoining room so we can keep an eye on our teenagers. When we got there, they put us four rooms away despite our concerns. Never argue with the nightclerk. We got up early the next morning, found the Transat rep (Paula, very friendly and helpful) and she straightened it out with the manager in minutes. Adjoining rooms and plasma tv's to boot. (View of tennis courts but who stays in their rooms anyway).
Food: Typical buffet for B,L,S. Each dinner had a different theme, Mexican, French, Italian. Lineups were short, if any. Food was decent but as is typical with an AI, you are ready for something else by the end of the stay. There are also 2 a la carte restaurants but we couldn't be bothered to book them a day in advance. There is also a snack bar right between the pool and beach...nachos, hamburgers, etc from noon until midnite. The teens practically lived off the snack bar. Free room service between midnite and 6 am (decent sandwiches).
Pools/Beach: The pool was a little murky for my liking but the teens used it with no ill effects reported. There are few seats at the swim up bar and were almost always occupied by the same loud, obnoxious, drunk people. The red flag was up (always is apparently) on the beach but still enjoyable so long as you have some swimming skill. Free kayak, boogie board and catamaran rides. The moment you get off the steps you get swarmed by beach vendors, if that bothers you. The beach directly behind the hotel is kept clean but once you venture past the wall/rocks on either end and it becomes gross quickly. There were squatters in tents and lean-to's to the south of the resort and used condoms, dead fish and rats. If you want to go for a romantic walk on the beach, wear sandals and walk north!
Bar/Waiters: There are two bars, lobby and pool. The lobby bar is open 6 pm - midnite. The pool bar is open 11 am to midnite. I don't drink myself but the others seemed happy with the quality of the drinks. I don't think they rinse the plastic cups after washing them as they have a distinct soapy odor (but not taste). There are no no-smoking areas so be prepared to smell like smoke at the end of the night. Most waiters were so-so but Martinez was amazing. He'd have 10-15 tables full of people, no paper or pen and he would get everyone's orders right. Service increases if you give him a RedBull.
The negatives I have noted are far outweighed by the overall cleanliness of the resort, friendliness of the staff, quality of the food and the low price. I have paid far more to stay in a higher star resort with no where near the same level of satisfaction.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Conveniently located in the center of Puerto Vallarta’s hotel zone, right on Banderas Bay, breathtaking sunsets draw visitors and locals alike to the evening display. Canto del Sol’s colonial-style resort offers guests outstanding value, with an extensive All-Inclusive Program that features: a championship Tennis Club with four outdoor clay courts and four covered Laykol courts; windsurfing; water polo; tequila volleyball; and dance lessons. Guests can choose a vacation as active or as relaxed as they like.The sparkling turquoise water of Mexico’s Pacific Riviera caresses the beachfront of CANTO DEL SOL PLAZA VALLARTA. This perfect vacation resort offers an atmosphere of Fun, Tradition and Tranquility, where guests have everything for their wonderful Puerto Vallarta holiday. Escape from the ordinary, and discover this magnificent oceanfront resort. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Canto Del Sol Plaza Vallarta Hotel Puerto Vallarta
- Canto Del Sol Puerto Vallarta
- Canto Del Sol Vallarta