Arrived on Easter for a one week stay, Mom, Dad and three teenagers. We always travel to all inclusive resorts for our spring break so have been to many. We purchased a package through Apple Vacations and this was one of the most expensive resorts available.
The excellent was the service on the beach by Rosy. Victor and Lupe in Ciao at breakfast and Zen at night. All the main activity pool servers were all super fast and efficient.
The location is excellent and grounds and beach are beautiful.
Despite being 100% occupied, 90% Spanish speaking, 10% English, the resort never had lines for anything and getting a table at the restaurants, at least when we went, was easy.
The average was the food. We only went to the dinner buffet once and there really wasn't much of a selection even for me. The kids wound up ordering room service burgers and the buns were extremely soggy. We ate at Ciao twice. The food was average but the first time they forgot one of our entrees and by the time we received it, the rest of us had finished. Second time they brought two entrees before we even received the soups. The Brazilian restaurant, Ipenema, fun but most meat was dry except the chicken which was excellent. The Mexican, Frida, not good, neither food nor service. The best, Asian, Zen, everyone in the family loved it both times we went and the service was awesome. I don't usually get pizza on vacation but the pizza oven was very good. We ate dinner between 8 and 9.
The rooms were average. Balcony is only about 18 inches wide. Our king bed was very comfortable. Kids beds were very small. Two adults in those beds would be very cramped. Vanities are extremely small and for us, the two person jacuzzi is a waste of space.
Entertainment - evening shows were very amateurish and really short. Mainly just different dances every night. Activities during the day were plentiful but very lackluster. Beach and water volleyball, aerobics, bocce ball, contests, bike tour, etc...Music at the pool in the afternoon was club/dance/techno music with thumping bass which chased me back to the beach.
Beach is beautiful and long. Chairs on the beach are not good. It's like they are strung too tight and only go in one position. If you are in the front row, you will be inundated with vendors that will keep on you till you acknowledge them. Literally, it was at the rate of about 10 vendors per hour. Normally, at other resorts, if you say no gracias, they do not bother you anymore but not at the Hard Rock. My husband made a sign to hang on our palapa that said no gracias which at least made it less annoying for us. If you are in rows two to three, the vendors are not a problem.
Lastly, the bad. Because the beds in the kids room were so small, we asked for a rollaway. They said they could only put it in our room with the king size bed because of the headboard. Really? We had them deliver it and then set it up ourselves in the kids room. It was simple and easy to move the two beds apart and it fit great between them.
Towel game was even more blatant then I've ever witnessed before. Chairs under umbrellas or palapas were reserved by 8:30am but many not used till 2 or 3pm.
We had a room close to the elevator and heard every loud person from 1am to 5am. We had to call security one morning because of the arguing that was taking place from 5am to 6am.
There was a rope in the water that was covered with muscles that four people including myself were cut on. One poor lady quite badly. I mentioned to the water sports person that the rope needed to be removed but two days later and two more injuries later I finally talked to a manager and he explained they needed it for the boats. Really? It wasn't even visible to the boats because all the buoys were off or water logged. The next day it was finally removed.
Boogie boards were in such poor shape that the foam was almost entirely coming off the plastic backing which made the edges very sharp.
Finally, my husband used a bike and road to the RIU Palace and then the chain wouldn't stay on. He met every security guard and maintenance worker at all the resorts in between to find a wrench to tighten it so it would stay on. A manager called our room to find out how he was and scared me to death because I had no idea there was a problem or why he was gone so long. The next day, he changed a tire on yet another one of the bikes.
We've been to the NV/PV area six times and paying more, I expected more. There are lower priced resorts offering better quality. This one was not a good value which is very important to me. All in all, I would still consider going back but only if the price was considerably lower.
FYI - weather was sunny and low 90's everyday. Ocean temp was refreshing and waves were 1 to 3 feet. Last two days were many jellyfish. If you are susceptible to mosquitos, use spray.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta is a gorgeous, 348-room beachfront property ideally situated between mountains and the Pacific Ocean, featuring unmatched, all-inclusive luxury accommodations including in-room double hydro spa tubs, fine dining, top-shelf drinks, 24-hour room service, live entertainment and more. One of only three AAA Four-Diamond hotels in the area, this stylish property boasts six restaurants offering tantalizing specialty cuisines, four bars and lounges with top shelf drinks, two large outdoor swimming pools, children's pool, beach volleyball court, Body Rock Fitness Center, unmatched music memorabilia, signature Rock Spa(R), a Rock Shop and much more. The property additionally features 6,300 square feet of meeting facilities. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vallarta Palace Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
- Vallarta Palace Nuevo