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“I loved it...treat how you want to be treated...”

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Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta
Ranked #6 of 27 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Alhambra, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“I loved it...treat how you want to be treated...”
Reviewed 15 July 2010

I’m going to break it down for you and save you the other 500 reviews…do your research if you hate crowded resorts then avoid peak seasons, if you don’t like children running around then go to an adults only resort. I have read one ridiculous review after another about insignificant things that should not ruin your stay at beautiful places such as the Vallarta Palace. The good
1. The beach here is amazing the waters warm and calm. I saw dolphins and turtles etc..In Cancun the beaches have been damaged by hurricanes. Another recommendation would be for you to use a known company for tours, because there are locals that come around and try to lure you by offering you cheaper tours.
2. The Premises are a 4/5 star resort not a 6 diamond resort in Fiji…so you will dont complan on things that you shouldn’t since you are not a millionaire or else you would be booking a 20,000 private villa a week stay in Fiji.
3. The pictures are exactly how the place looks…honest! The problems lie on your attitude people complain about the drinks not being top self. Well it is all inclusive and you do have 4 bottles of alcohol in your room/ plus wine. You can drink 24/7 and even if you don’t like every drink you get… I suggest you definitely talk to the bartenders and surprising enough, if you don’t act like you are better than him, and maybe smile at the dude and I don’t know maybe tip him; he just might hook you up…they hooked me up! Over and over …understand to keep their job they are told want to do even what to say. They don’t have to do more than they have to but they do if they like you.
4. Entertainment during the day is fun and games, and you make the best of it…At night is live music and yes people complain about that too unbelievable all of the sudden everyone is an American Idol judge...we were pleased and entertained.

The bad:

5. The typical mandatory sales pitch to get a timeshare was annoying on the first day; we did feel uncomfortable because they can be pretty aggressive. But we were never bothered again after we declined. Also sometimes they have things closed depending on the season during our stay the diving pool and theater were closed…that was a disappointment. Also In some areas there was maintenance going on…again no big deal. Overall a great experience.

6. The food was great specially the Brazilian and Asian restaurants I loved their sushi …I only ate at the Italian place once and it was ok not bad when is all you can eat… the food by the pool was ok not the greatest, but I didn’t expect a kobe beef Cheeseburger …

7. The service was great the girls by the pool and the waiters are great...the guys from entertainment are super friendly!!
Let me end by saying…don’t believe that just because you are paying U.S. dollars this gives you the right to be condescending, arrogant, and ethnocentric!!! Be nice it won’t hurt you …

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
12 Thank yzfr1_28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2010

If you’ve never stayed a true luxury or 5 star resort, then the Vallarta Palace will seem amazing to you. Even if you’re semi-jaded by previous luxury experiences (like me), you’ll still appreciate the VP for the excellent service and overall value. I would recommend it, at the right price. Generally, the service and the staff make up for the poor execution on some details. Here’s what I’d like to share with you folks…

NEUTRAL STUFF AND TIPS:

First, about Puerto/Nuevo travel in July - lots of folks say "ignore the weather forecast about July being rainy and overcast - it always clears up and is sunny during most of the day." At least in my experience, this is incorrect. I'm not sure we saw the sun for more than 8 hours combined during the whole 6 days in town. However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, as it can feel VERY hot when the sun is bearing down on you. Also, you can still get some color despite the clouds - those warnings about 'you can still get burned if it's cloudy' are correct. Wear sunscreen. :) Even though we did kinda miss having sunny weather, keeping the temps down to a reasonable level was nice.

Arrange yourself transportation from the PV airport through an independent company (just google it and you’ll find some good companies), and not through travelocity/orbitz/whatever. This saves about $60 for you. Also, when you get finished picking up your bags, you’ll head through the sleazy sales room before you can meet with transportation. The folks in this room will actually pretend to work for your transport company, and then tell you your ride is late, “but let me tell you all about these excursions we have” – it only took a minute for me to recognize this was obviously BS, but in this room you just need to lower your shoulder and plow through.

The dolphin swim trip offered by the resort was pretty cool. My GF really enjoyed this part. Ladies – be sure to wear some really tight-fitting bikini bottoms or a 1 piece – it seems like maybe 1 out of 3 girls lose their bottoms when the dolphin pushes you out of the water (fast) for the photo op. Ironic point – the dolphin trainers give you a message at the end about ‘reducing waste to help the dolphins’ and they you go the gift shop where they’ve printed up hundreds of photos of all the guests, which will then all be thrown away for anyone who doesn’t want to pay $100 for their 5 photos. Funny and sad. It’s also pretty insulting to charge $20 for a single 5 cent photo…

Vallarta Palace is a family-friendly resort. If you have kids, that’s great. For me, your screaming kids annoy the bejesus out of me sometimes, and I think I’m sticking with adults-only or couples-only from now on 

They claim to have a dress code for dinner at the nicer places, but they will let you in looking like a bum. So, for better or worse, consider the dress up optional.

I understand it’s probably the only easy way to prove you’re a guest at all times, but having to wear a semi-uncomfortable wristband nonstop for your entire stay is annoying. I guarantee you will accidentally scratch your partner at least once with the edges on the wristband.

This almost falls under the category of “who cares” but A LOT of the English on the menus and literature for the VP is misspelled or badly written. This would be easy to correct.


POSITIVE THINGS TO SHARE

If you are booking with the $1500 resort promotion – upgrade your room to concierge. You won’t be able to spend all of your credits if you don’t. If they don’t have the $1500 promotion anymore and you have to pay for concierge out-of-pocket…eh, it’s not overly impressive. You get some nice perks (better room service, aromatherapy, etc), but only a few of the concierge rooms come with a real balcony, and it is pretty expensive to upgrade.

Use their spa. Nice ladies, efficient, friendly, and of course the massages were great.

My GF was charmed by the towel animals left by the maid. Nice touch.

The ability to have room service send you breakfast the next day by specifying the time and food items you want on the menu that you hang outside your room is really a nice perk.

Made to order, brick-oven pizzas on the pool/beach? Nice! Try the nachos, too!

Room service was always prompt and friendly. Use them. We never had a bad experience with them.

Food overall, despite my gripe about buffet-only for most meals, was good quality.

Try the boogieboarding and kayaking in the ocean. It’s fun to get knocked around by the waves and play in them.

I really enjoyed the excellent, beach front Mar Intimo for dinner. Lovely ambience. Also, the Sushi place was solid for an all-inclusive.

They keep you well stocked in BIG water bottles. Self-explanatory why this is important when you’re drinking alcohol in the heat all day.

Service on the whole was fast and friendly. The employees, even if they were busy, wanted to be sure you were taken care of. I appreciated this. Brush up on your espanol, it will prove helpful sometimes.



A COUPLE THINGS I’M REALLY UNIMPRESSED WITH:

The ‘free’ tours promoted on the company web site suddenly cost extra when you book under the $1500 credit. This seems quite dishonest to me, and I don’t easily forgive dishonesty. Sadly, you can’t use any of your $1500 credit to do really interesting stuff like fishing, ATV tours, etc.

The only food the restaurants do for breakfast and lunch is buffet-style. Dinner is the only meal with an actual menu.

The “sunset tour” cruise was on a really awful boat. The lack of quality for something associated with a luxury resort is surprising. The guys on the boat provide good service, lots of alcohol (this helps) and obviously put some effort into their jobs (this helps too), but when they warn you “you can’t flush toilet paper if you use the bathroom” and you are sitting on an uncomfortable, crowded bench with a bunch of folks, then it is obviously a very low-end experience. I’d skip this. Put the same staff on a nicer boat, and I’d recommend it. It’s not easy to board this boat as you walk past all the luxury yachts in the harbor, or to be on board as you pass the cool pirate boat in the bay doing a crazy show for all the people doing THAT tour.

Our first room was in semi-rough shape (we were able to get them to move us to a nicer room with a real balcony, though). Also, the tile around the tub is not sealed, and if you accidentally spill some red wine it, that stain will be there forever. Sorry to the resort for the red wine stains in our first room!

Some of the web sites for the Palace resorts do not provide useful info and do not work properly. For instance, you can book (and pay for) a Chichen-Itza tour through the Vallarta Palace…of course the Chichen-Itza is on the opposite side of the country in Cancun…

Bartons and other low-end liquors being sold as an ‘upgrade’ at a luxury resort w/the concierge upgrade is disappointing. I’ve spent a few years bartending when I was younger, and Bartons is just about the cheapest stuff you can possibly buy.
….

That’s it, I hope this review helps you enjoy PV just a little bit more!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
7 Thank RealityIntrudes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2010

Location -
Just returned from a wonderful vacation at the Palace. About 15 mins from Puerto Vallarta and airport near a Marina and some tourist attractions - water parks, adventure parks etc.. A small mall nearby for trinkets, coffee etc. Fabulous beach - you can walk for miles safely. Ocean good for wading and boogie boarding, but not really swimming - but it was fun. Plenty of sea life - rays, dolphins, jelly fish.
Airport -
Upon arrival at airport make sure you go straight by the people selling you trips and time shares etc., they are persistant, and nothing to do with your pick up - keep going out the doors into the terminal building and your pick up will be outside waiting.
Had a warm welcome form pick up, but will ask you make a meeting to discuss trips the next day - we didn't bother as the hotel offered so much.
Check in-
Had a nice surprise on checking in - a $1500 credit to spend on trips. spa etc., we upgraded our room to ocean view and 3 of us had great trips and massages etc., My daughter got to swim with the dolphins, ride horses and snorkel.
Trips -
We took the snorkeling trip with the Kon Tiki 1 - great crew, good snorkeling. After the swim they let you split into 2 groups - 1 to stay at a beach and relax, the other to go to an area with horse riding $, and a walk to a wonderful waterfall where you can swim. The beach was a little boring, but the ride was good although everyone was upset at the condition of the horses and how they were treated. Boat ride home dancing and fun.
Dolphins -
My 13 year old had a blast with dolphins. They were in the water for a hour with them, and the animals seemed well taken care of. $20 a photo was a bit steep though.
Canal trip -
Very interesting - saw homes and yaughts of stars, and crocodiles, iguana's birds fish etc. - very good.
Sunset cruise -
It rained that evening so we didn't go.
Massages - great.
We were going to get a taxi into PV, but got lazy - would liked to have gone though.
Rooms -
Comfortable, clean, small balconies, but big rooms with a hot tub int he middle which took up a lot of room. Bathroom small, and as usual, nowhere to put your toilettries etc. Beds comfortable, and shampoos etc., were very nice. Coffee bad. Plenty of drinks in room and they bring wine too if you ask - we hardly drank in the room as there are so many options outside.
Pools great, with activities all day - soccer, volleyball, bingo... Bar food o.k., but it sits out a long time - fresh baked pizza a better option.
Beach - safe, clean, volleyball kayaks etc.
Security - always around.
Gym - good to work off some calories
Small collection of books and games for quiet times. Pool table, table tennis etc.
A "show' every evening - only worth a look are the Circus, and Mexican night - otherwise I've seen better at a high school production. The staff do try hard to entertain though. Alan is a great guy. They need to include more dancing for the guests, as when the shows finish - by 10, a small "crappy" band starts up and everyone leaves.
The staff - they made this place really special - friendly, caring, took time to chat, seemed really interested in getting to know you - wonderful Our waitress in the bar - Angelica is a treasure, and Antonio in the Italian were the "stand outs', but they were all wonderful.
Restaurants
- Mexican - not good.
Brazilian - worth a try.
Italian - great.
Oriental - great. - Deep fried bananas.....
Room service - fab. Had many breakfasts in bed, but the buffet was also very good in the Italian.
Didn't go in kids club, but looked small and dark?
Could do with more activities for the teen and tween set - movie night or dance?
In room movies and video games not included in price??????
Weather in July quite wet.
I'm sure I'm missing things out, but would recommend this place highly. Next time we want to try the Palace in Cancun.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ElaineT1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, FL
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2010

We also stayed at this hotel in Sept. 2007, and are very happy members of the Palace Resort group. The beach and mountain views are beautiful. The beach sand was very clean and lots of shade umbrellas. The ocean was a litle rough, but clean water and we loved 85-degree pool and ocean termperatures. Not a drop of rain during our 8 day stay. Staff, as always, does their very best to assure happy guests. They still have the Argentenian restaurants, both here and in the Cancun area, and we do not recommend them. But who needs 5 restaurants anyway? I notice that dress is more and more casual, so don't feel you have to bring "dinner" clothes. Bathing suit and beach cover for breakfast also eliminates "daytime clothing". The side trips are always well run and lots of fun. We did not golf on this trip, and actually enjoyed not having to haul the clubs along. There are lovely courses nearby--pricy, but worth it. The spa was enjoyed by all of us. A lovely view onto the beach and great "shopping" on the beach at good barganining prices, without being hasselled by the vendors. I go back again and again to Palace Resorts just for the guacomole and homemade coconut ice cream. Hard to find anything better than Vallarta Palace. Nancy from Tampa, FL

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank yagercat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
denver
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2010

Spent a week here in June, and it was an overall GREAT experience. Have stayed in many Palace hotels before, and this one is as terrific as all the rest. Vallarta Palace is in a terrific location, has great staff, nice rooms, wonderful service, good food, good tours, and really nice spa services. Stay here--it's worth it!!

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank nxmail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Redding, California
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 June 2010

I traveled with three other ladies for one week to the Vallarta Palace. I am a member and have also been to many of the Palace resorts over on the Cancun side. I chose Nevo Vallarta this year because we live in California and the travel was so much easier. We went down the first week in June (June 5-12) and we were worried about the weather as June is the beginning of the rainy season in PV. We need not have worried! Each day the weather was cloudy in the early morning, wth all clouds burning off by 11am or so and the temps were hot, in the upper 80s to lower 90s each day. Weather.com said we'd see "partly cloudy' conditions with at least three days of thunderstorms, but we did not. Every day was perfect for beach and poolside.

The one thing we wondered about before we left was the "French Balconies" that sounded lame (only 18 inches deep). Again, we need not have worried. The are perfectly adequate for standing outside and seeing the resort and ocean. Some of us are smokers, and we just closed the doors behind us when we did. Other than that, we kept our full-size sliding glass doors open and it was like our rooms were a large balcony! We did not feel cheated in any way. If you are a couple and want a king-sized bed only in your room, the Concierge level (couples only) have full-sized balconies. That is the only way to get a balcony to sit out on in this hotel, though many people in the company told me differently before we went there. ONE WAY to get a sitting area outside with chairs and a table is to request the first floor, garden/pool view. Those have small patios with chairs, and they look out over the pool area. Since the pool closes at 8pm, that would still allow you to get some sleep, and you actually can still see the ocean from many of those rooms, just not the same type of view you'd get up on a higher floor. That is the option I'm choosing next time I go, since the pool doesn't get busy until around 10am and it seemed like it would be nice to walk over to the pool or lovely gardens with my coffee each morning without having to go through the public areas inside the hotel.

The spa was small but very beautiful. The mani/pedi chairs are all facing a huge glass wall overlooking the ocean, and though the massage rooms are small, they are also lovely--we had manicures, pedicures, massages, seaweed wraps, and a body scrub, and without exception loved them all.

A couple of complaints: they take away your bathrobes the night BEFORE you check out which for some reason really irritated me. The service beach-side was very slow until we asked the waitress to speed it up a bit--we love cocktails! After that it got better. And most importantly, we had incentive dollars and a discount for being members, but they were not applied correctly, so our bill was wrong when we checked out and it took about an hour to get it corrected. Irritating, but it did get fixed.

One last reminder when traveling to Mexico: when you step off the plane and enter the airport going INTO Mexico, many, many people will try to convince you to use their taxi services, trip planning services, etc. Please know that Mexican airports are PRIVATE for-profit businesses on that side (with tourists coming into Mexico). Ignore tem all and continue to the waiting area where your shuttle is waiting. When you return to the airport to leave Mexico, those are public employees who do just want to help you get your bags into the right spot. Feel free to use their services for nothing more than a tip if you want.

All in all, we had a lovely time. We enjoyed the hokey nightly shows, the kareoke and the band...the daily entertainment at the pool was hilarious. You'll be well-taken care of at the Palace in Nuevo Vallarta! Oh, and DO THE ZIP-LINE! It's a terrific time.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank MexicoLadyTrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fairfield, California
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 June 2010

We had a great time at this hotel. The Public Relations and Guest Services Staff were excellent. Angie in Public Relations and her staff went out of their way to accommodate a surprise birthday party for my daughter. We just gave her the party supplies and they took care of everything- from decorations to having the whole restaurant staff come out to sing Happy Birthday for my daughter. They even made and decorated a birthday cake in the shape of a horse (with candles and the works) because my daughter loves horses. They were very friendly and accommodating. I highly recommend them.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank adventurechallenger
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

Property: 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 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#4 Luxury Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#6 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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