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“wow- beautiful resort!”

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Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta
Ranked #6 of 28 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 3 February 2006

My husband and I just returned from 5 days at Vallarta Palace. We'd stayed previously at both Aventura Spa Palace (loved it) and the Sun Palace (eh, not so great), but wow! This place really exceeded all my expectations. Our room was amazing - we had one of the few rooms with a full balcony (plenty of room for two chairs and a small table) and we were on the top floor (Room 8023). Props to our travel agent, Alma Garcia with Gogo Travels, for requesting this great room for us!

The hotel is beautifully decorated, very simple and modern and luxurious. Our room was on the small side, but it was cozy and perfect for us. The bed was heavenly and we used our jacuzzi tub every night. The shower was huge and the water pressure was really strong. The water would shift slightly from lukewarm to hot from time to time, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. (I had read the reviews of the shower problems before I went)

The pools were large and even though the front desk clerk told us the hotel was fully booked, it never got really crowded at the pools or any of the restaurants. There was always plenty of lounge chairs by the pools and the beach palapas were never crowded either.

Service was WONDERFUL!! Everyone was SO nice! I often heard, "It's my pleasure" from the waiters and hostesses... I can't rave enough about how wonderfully we were treated. I saw the chef at Mar Intimo run over to the snack bar to get a cheeseburger for a guest who requested one (even though they weren't serving cheeseburgers at Mar Intimo at the time) and they pulled a hot chocolate out of who knows where for my husband when he requested one after dinner one night.

In my opinion, the only place they could use improvement is in the quality of the food. I didn't have high expectations though since we had stayed at Palace resorts before and didn't think much of the food then either. All the restaurants seemed to serve similar stuff at breakfast and lunch, dinner is where they differed.

Mo Mo No Hana (the Japanese restaurant) seemed to be the most popular as there was always a wait to get a table. I thought the sushi appetizers were awful... everything had cheese in it! (cheese in sushi???) And the hot appetizers were no better - fried cheese on a stick (fried cheese in an Asian restaurant? Only in mexico I suppose), spring rolls, and chicken yakitori... all were not that good. Dinner entrees were a lot better though!

The other three restaurants were ok... again, nothing spectacular. My favorite was Mar Intimo (Italian) for the amazing view of the sunsets.

We went on the Rancho Pancho horseback riding tour that was included with our vacation package. Rancho Pancho itself is not much to look at, but we had a great time on the ride! Pancho took us through a small Mexican town and along some back roads. Pancho was great! We really enjoyed meeting him! We also got to meet Tatiana, the "world's smartest donkey" according to Pancho... she can shake your hand and give kissey faces. Really cute!

We also signed up with two tours with Vallarta Adventures. The Outdoor Challange was AMAZING!!! I HIGHLY recommend this tour!! It involves a jeep ride through Puerto Vallarta and up the Sierra Madres, then you transfer to mule-back, then hike up to a series of zip-lines, and then rappel (sp?) down a rock face and a waterfall. The tour guides were wonderful and the whole thing is just run so professionally and they made the entire experience so much fun. Definitely do this tour if you have the time!!

The second tour we signed up for was Las Caletas. Totally not worth the money, in my opinion. Although it was beautiful, it was just too crowded and I felt rushed through all the activities. They keep you on a tight schedule and really push things along. The snorkeling was not worth the trip out there. We did see some huge mantas though and a pod of dolphins on the catamaran trip back to Puerto Vallarta.

Overall though, a GREAT trip!!! I highly recommend this resort!

  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
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28  Thank Roejoe722
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,582 - 3,588 of 4,758 reviews

Reviewed 2 February 2006

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Vallarta Palace. The previous reviews give you details of the hotel - everthing is beautiful and very clean. The service, though, is what sets this place apart. Everyone is accomodating and kind, and every time we say "thank you", they return with "it's my pleasure." Tips are not expected but are appreciated by these hard working people. I heard only great comments from many of the other people staying at the hotel. And the price is reasonable for what you get - luxury!

  • Stayed: January 2006
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10  Thank patty5ia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2006

This hotel was very nice, however, I do have some complaints. Let me first tell you what I liked. The room was very clean and the beds were very comfortable. The view out of our bedroom was lacking a little but you could see the ocean. This was our first time to mexico and an all inclusive resort so I may have had my standards a little high for the food, but it was not very good. The italian resturaunt was awful for dinner, however the view at sunset was spectacular, my advice go there for the sunset and order dessert, then go somewhere else for dinner. The mexican buffet was okay, nothing to write home about. We didn't even eat at the brazilian buffet beacuse it didn't appear appetizing. We loved the oriental resturaunt. You could eat there every night and get something different. My husband is very picky and even he said it was the best. We sat out on the beach every day and got very good drink service. But I have to say the best part of the trip was the outdoor couples massages.. I suggest this to everyone who reads this review.. it was the most relaxing experience. the mini bar in the room is nice but they need to have some canned juices for mixers that would be nice.. room service was great ... we did that alot.. they have like a little mall a couple blocks down from the hotel .. that was nice.. we went para sailing with the guys in front of the hotel .. that was awesome.. there are a alot of dealers on the beach.. but they are usually the same ones going back and forth so say no once and they usually rememeber..feel free to email me if you have any questions .. these reviews helped me a ton and fellow reviewers helped me out .. and I would be happy to return the favor

  • Stayed: December 2005
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21  Thank MEANGIRLS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2006

We visited VP Jan10-17th and found it to be wonderful. I was a little worried about the service after reading some of the reviews, i found I had nothing to worry about. The service was absolutly amazing.
Food- breakfast and lunch were okay. Not a whole lot of variety from day to day but plenty to choose from. All of the alacart restaurants were great. Our favorite was the Italian. Mamanohana(the japanese rest) was delicoius. You don't need to order and entree after the appetizers,(they bring lots).
Rooms- the rooms was very nice. The beds were amazing, best sleep I had in a long time. We used the jacuzzi alomst every night. What a wonderful way to unwind.
We did find the timeshare people a little pushy but just tell them you don't want too go and they will leave you alone.
The best drink we had was a Mudslide.. order that and you'll be hooked. YUMMY!!
All and all we had an amazing time here. The grounds r small but beautiful. Flowers and plam trees everywhere. We will definitly return here on our next vacation to PV.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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16  Thank beachlovers33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2006

My Husband and I took our first vacation in 18 years. It was Fabulous! I find it interesting how some people can complain about the smallest thing. My husband is easy but I'm a little on the picky side and I still found this hotel to be five stars. First of all the hotel is quite beautiful. It almost looks like a small university. It's not very attractive on the outside but when you walk inside the lobby you'll find it to be very pleasing to the eye. Rooms are a bit small, but really! how much time do you spend in your room when the pool calls to you each day?
Each room is fully stocked with soda, (Pepsi and 7-up) beer, Dos X's,Tecate,Sorry no Coronas, and several large bottles of the hard stuff (Tequila, brandy and rum) It also has a very large hot tub and we're sure more than two people could fit inside. We found out that if you use the hot tub make sure you run the cold water first because as many other reviewers have stated the water can get very hot. We didn't mind this at all because it’s been our experience that hot water is usually in high demand in Mexico. The beds are fabulous! And very comfy. The food was great! Again, if you are a picky person and send your water back because it's too cold, this hotel is not for you. (Yes! we heard a woman send back water.)
Our favorite place to eat was the Japanese restaurant. The food was sooooooo tasty!. They make fresh sushi so we ate there several times. There is also and Italian Restaurant. This place has the best service. One night our friends and us ate and drank until it closed. Be prepared to gain some weight! I ran and I still gained several pounds!
Service is outstanding. These people go out of their way to make your stay as wonderful as they can. Although this hotel is an all inclusive and you're not suppose to tip, we did. The workers make about $5.00 to $8.00 a day and despite what some people may tell you it is not cheaper in Mexico. They have the same rate of inflation as us. They work very hard for their money. We tipped almost everyone. The fact that we were able to talk to the help in Spanish allowed us special insight into the hotel and how things really work. We made friends with the help and treated them with the respect they deserve. I think the USA service industry could learn a thing or two from the hotels.We give special thanks for Yisel in the lounge, Carlitos in the Italian resturant and the wonderful ladies at the salon. Sigh up early and take the free trips included in your package. The city tour was a great way to spend a morning. Gavino was quite funny and had a lot to share with us. Take his advice and buy silver from a silver stores not the venders down on the beach. You'll stop for lunch at place that has the best fish! Enjoy! The Sunset tour with Willie was very nice for an evening outing.
We also went on the Canopy tour! (Wow! this was fun!)
The tour guides are fantastic( Tip Big )and will take great care of you. ) It's safe and an enjoyable way to spend the day. Do it, you won't be sorry. Buy the CD. ($40) It was a great way to remember such a fantastic experience.
The beach is so beautiful, however the ocean is so cold you won't want to go in, perhaps the pool water is a better choice although, this is almost just as cold. Drinks are a little watered down but you really don't want them too strong because you'll get sick from drinking so many. We're not drinkers but you get outside in the hot sun and you tend to become very thirsty.
Entertainment was nice. Each Night they have some special entertainment for you to go see. The kids do a good job and you'll generally enjoy yourself. If we were to say anything negative about the hotel it would be about the lounge singer. Our room was on the forth floor just above the lobby and lounge and each night they had the same singer singing the same songs over and over again.( How many times can you stomach, Selena's,"Como La Flor" It was not good. The only night we enjoyed the entertainment in the lounge was on Sunday, when they had Karaoke. However, this ended too early and then there's not much after that.
This Hotel is overall excellent, and you'll not disappointed if you stay here. The timeshare presentation took about two hours of our time but it's worth the $100 of services you'll get if you attend. If you’re a traveler buy into the program.
Just a note: Make sure you are ready for the crazyness at the airport. When you get out of customs look for the people with the signs that read " Vallarta Palace Resorts" if your package includes transportation these men or women will have your name on a clipboard. They will send you to the hotel in a taxi or a shuttle. When you arrive they'll be waiting with several cool glasses of champane. Enjoy!

  • Stayed: January 2006
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30  Thank Patricia N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
London ON Canada
110
Reviewed 21 January 2006

An amazing all inclusive. It is a Palace resort, typically most of these are on the Mayan Riviera. Due to the hurricane we were forced to re-schedule our December vacation and really lucked out with this hotel. ALL the rooms are oceanview, we were given unlimited no cost excursions and $100 in Palace Spa $. We enjoyed sunset pedicures with aromatherapy collars around our necks while sipping champagne. Free mini bars are re-stocked daily. There was 24 hour room service. We enjoyed bottles of fine wine while getting ready for dinner at a la carte restaurants nightly. There were even thick terry cloth robes in each room as well as fullsized biosilk hair products! I am almost feeling like I should not submit this in case it is booked for when we want to go back next year!

10  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2006

We had a great time at the Vallarta Palace. We came back well rested and very tan. The beach was one of the best I've seen outside of Cancun. It was wide, well groomed, and went on for a very long way. You can take a long walk in both directions. There were two pools for swimming plus a small wading pool. One of the pools was very cold and one was heated. On some of the very hot days it was nice to jump into the cold pool but most days I preferred the warm pool. The grounds were beatiful and very well maintained.
Food: There are four restaurants that serve dinner, two that serve breakfast and for lunch you can eat at either of the two that serve breakfast or eat at the snack shack by the pool. Breakfast is great. There are lots of fresh fruit, an egg station for omelettes or cooked to order eggs. You can also get waffles, french toast, or pancakes to order. There are also other options like oatmeal, cold cereal, many different breads, and various choices from a buffet. Lunch is where they are lacking a little. There are two restaurants that serve lunch and everything is very well done but except for the desserts that change daily there is very little variety. The snack shack has hamburgers, hot dogs, and nachos and in my opinion the only really good thing there are the nachos. Those I ate many times. Dinner is also great. In order of personal preference: the Italian ranks first, then the Oriental, the Mexican, and the Brazilian last. They were all good I just preferred them in that order. Try to go to the Italian restaurant around 6:30 pm at least once. It is right on the beach and at 6:30 you will see a wonderful sunset. The food there is excellent and if you don't see quite what you want ask and they will try to make it for you. I wanted chicken alfredo and they had chicken for other dishes and they did do an alfredo dish so they happily accomodated my request. The oriental restaurant is a mix of Japanese and Chinese. Don't bother reading the list of appetizers as they will bring you one of each on the menu as soon as you sit down. They will also bring you a tray of four kinds of sushi. No, it is not the best sushi I have ever had but it is quite good. The Mexican restaurant is buffet style and you need to go when they are making tacos, it will give tacos a whole new meaning. The tortillas are very different from anything I have seen here in the states and the grilled beef or pork are both excellent. The dessert choices are all very good and in the words of one very wise woman I met at the dessert table "You should take two so you don't hurt the cooks feelings, I hear he has a big knife.". The Brazilian was well done with a small salad bar and then the waiters bringing by grilled vegetables and very large skewers of meat.
Room: Here is where I think the Vallarta Palace could use some improvement. The rooms are not much bigger than standard hotel rooms and most of the room's balconies are just barely big enough to stand on with no room for a chair. Yes each room has a huge jacuzzi which is fun to use once or twice but when you've spent the day either in the ocean or in a pool or one of the hot tubs outside how often do you want to sit in a jacuzzi? I would rather have had the space used for a sitting area. My husband and I were there with my son and his girlfriend and there wasn't room for the four of us in that room unless we sat on the bed. I also would have liked to have had more room for putting my things. There wasn't enough room around the sink to put out my toiletries so they had to stay packed in their travel bag and I had to dig through it every day. Plus there were only four small drawers plus two end tables to store things in and we wound up leaving many things in our suitcases. Any one who says the bed was hard as a rock was not exagerating. Ask for a mattress pad as soon as you get there, it makes a difference. On the plus side the room is kept scrupulously clean, with amazing towel art every day. The small refrigerator is restocked every day and we never ran out of bottled water even with as much as we drank.
As for activities it simply did not interest us. We stayed away from the daytime activities but there seemed to be a never ending list of things to do if you were interested. At night we only went to one of the shows so I can only comment on the one and it was enjoyable but not top drawer. This hotel does quiet down fairly early on most nights so if you are looking for a nonstop party place this is not for you. If you are looking for a great place to relax by the beach with good food and service then this is the hotel for you.

  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
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14  Thank Poftheo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta

Address: Paseo de los Cocoteros 19 - Villa 8 | Bahia de Banderas, Nuevo Vallarta 63732, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Nayarit > Riviera Nayarit > Nuevo Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#3 Family Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#4 Luxury Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#4 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#6 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range: £224 - £522 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta 4.5*
Number of rooms: 348
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

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