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Reviewed 23 January 2013

Just returned from 2 weeks at the resort. It gets better each year. Yes, they are still under construction and some people are put off by it, but it's not that bad and what they are doing makes it well worth a little noise. Besides, they are fun to watch. We enjoyed the new Santuario complex, music and entertainment, bars, waterfalls and fountains and relaxation.

We upgraded to the new 3 bedroom Spa Tower that should be complete in November and plan on 2 weeks there next January. We have weeks that we can rent out as well. The spa room comes with a massage table and a steam room in the suite! I can't wait! We had a massage in the new Spa building and it's just perfect. The chandeliers are fantastic!

This is my place for sun, pools, great food and relaxation! The service people can't do enough to accommodate your every request.

Room Tip: Ask for one facing the river and Puerto Vallarta. They had some fireworks at night and looked spectacular.
  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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5  Thank txlady12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2013

THe resort is always updating and making their propery BETTER so there is construction going on around the Luxxe Villas and Suites, but you can not hear it inside. THe grounds are fabulous with the beautiful plants and flowers, many pools and resaturants. You will encounter problems getting through the airport; however, from all of the Timeshare vendors. Just say NO THANK YOU AND KEEP WALKING to the end of the airport to the office where there will be representatives for Miller transport to transport you to the Resort Property. Once here, it is worth the little trouble getting through the airport. We recommend you Go to Claudios Place restaurant which is just about a 20 minute walk or 25 pesos taxi ride from the resort. It is great food at an inexpensive price and also Prime 159 restaurant for a more upscale steak restaurant which is also within walking distance. The area around the resort is safe and people are very friendly. Viist the Luxxe spa which opened few weeks ago, it is very accomodating relaxing and serene ! My husband plays golf and says the course is under some construction as well and the driving range is at a far distance from the course but course is nice.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Diane W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2013

We just stayed at our 2 bedroom unit for the past 2 weeks. There is nothing that I can complain about, so here goes all the plussses.
The resort is growing and each time you visit, there is something bigger and better. The new Santuario complex is beautiful with waterfalls, bars and live entertainment. Each evening, a pianist, saxaphonist,vocalist, dancers and an amazing sand artist perform. It is a wonderful complex to relax, enjoy after and before going to dinner. The pool areas are large, spacious with plenty of shade and lounge chairs. The staff around the pool are helpful, entertaining and truly enjoy their jobs. During the day, they approach you wanting to clean your sunglasses, offering ice pops and cold towels. It's living the life of luxury!
The concierge on each floor is helpful and willing to do just about anything to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable. They will even wash, dry and fold your laundry and return it to your unit for a $650 pesos. Fresh morning coffee available on your floor. The grounds on the resort are kept beautiful, clean and manicured. The new gym, in Building 2 is amazing. There are more machines and equipment than free standing fitness centers. Staff is always available to to explain how to use the machinery. A Grand Luxxe vacation is exactly what it is... Pure Luxury! Can't wait to return!

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
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11  Thank enjoysbeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2013

I was super nervous about coming to Grand Luxxe after reading all of the reviews about the construction noise but was so pleasantly surprised that I didn't experience anything like some of the other reviewers did. I exchanged through Interval International for the week over New Years Eve. Getting to Grand Luxxe was very easy. I booked our transportation for free via email through the concierge. We came through the airport, went directly to the transportation office and were taken away. We didn't need to wait for anyone. It was very smooth.
We were taken to the taxi area of the Sanctuario and then we had to take a golf cart (without our luggage as the bellmen took care of that for us) to the Grand Luxxe Tower 1. Check in was a little sticky because they combined my first and last name to make it seem like one long last name and then 2 first names that we didn't recognize. Maybe the owners of the suite? No idea. In any event, I had my certificate from II so that helped and everything worked out.
We were put in Tower 3 which I had expected, on the 2nd floor. The room was awesome except they gave us 2 double beds!! Rather than switch rooms and deal with that, we told our floor concierge that we could just push the beds together. Housekeeping came right up and did that for us and we had one giant bed for the whole week. It was actually really nice! The beds and pillows are SOOO comfortable. The room was just a lockoff master room with a king bed, little couch, tv and big bathroom. Double sink, bathtub, separate shower and toilet - everything you could want down to the bathrobes and slippers. Our room was literally facing a river and dirt pile but honestly we didn't really care and there was no construction noise whatsoever except maybe one day when they were working on the actual tower. But it was the middle of the day so we were leaving our room anyway.
Everything was extremely clean, nice, new and modern. There is so much to say about this resort so if you have specific questions, email me. Otherwise, there were a few things that standout in my mind.
Timeshare breakfast - we were not going to do this but were convinced when our timeshare rep (who you are introduced to after check in) gave us 2 free tickets to either the Luxury Sailing Cruise or Rhythms of the Night Tour through Vallarta Adventure. I did want to do the sailing and it was about $100 per person so I figured why not. The brunch was next day at 9am. We were introduced to our "guide/host" at Tower 1 who was super nice and friendly and made everything really painless. We were taken to Cafe del Lago which is the breakfast buffet. The buffet was HUGE and amazing. It had everything you wanted. Literally. From Mexican to Sushi to American. We were glad it was free because when we went back a second time it was about $25 per person. I wouldn't do it every day but definitely do it once or twice.
Long story short, we ended up buying into the Mayan Palace. They were trying to get us to buy into the Grand Bliss as the Grand Luxxe is sold out but it is about $100k with a $45k down payment. Obviously, we were not doing that. So we bought the junior suite at the Mayan Palace which is the lowest grade (actually one up from Sea Garden) but the price was manageable, they totally worked with us and we can always upgrade to bigger and better over the years. I hope we didn't get duped but we feel good about the purchase.
Food - The food was really good but expensive!! Dinners were about $150 every night in USD. We like wine so that probably added to the price but it definitely adds up. We went to Walmart to stock up on some snacks and breakfast food and alcohol but we didn't have a kitchen or microwave or stove so it was hard to save money on food really. That was the only downfall - food and drinks really added up quickly so make sure you have spending money for that, tips and any extra tours, etc. We ate at Tramonto and Gong which were both good. We ordered room service a lot and had snacks at Bluefish and at the pool bar at Grand Mayan. Food was generally good where ever we went. Drinks were equally as good. Great margaritas and some of the places have happy hours so you can get 2 for 1 a lot which really helps.
The complex itself is huge. I wouldn't say it was a pain to walk around but it definitely was slightly annoying that you couldn't just walk out of your room, take an elevator and be down at the beach/pool right away. It is definitely a process to get everywhere but I found that the shuttles were running smoothly and as frequently as they could. The staff was amazing - really trying to make sure everyone was having a good time and happy.
The pools were nice - we mostly stayed at the Grand Luxxe pools - and the beach is nice too but the pools and beach seemed a little disconnected to us. There weren't really a lot of chairs to sit on the beach either. I should mention that we lost a day for the timeshare meeting and then there were 2 days of rain (which was really weird for the time of year), we did a trip to Ocean Grill and then the sailing trip so truthfully, we only had like 1 1/2 pool days. We didn't explore the pools as much as we could have if we been there longer and the weather was nicer.
In about 5 years, the whole area is going to be awesome. They are planning a shopping area, an amusement park, an open air theater, a train station that will take you from the airport to the resort and many upgrades including at the Mayan Palace. Only the Grand Luxxe owners have access to everything but once the area is upgraded and finished, I don't think that will matter. For that reason, though, I probably won't go back right away - maybe in a couple years because I'd like to see how everything progresses. I would, though, recommend the Grand Luxxe or any of the residence clubs within the complex to everyone.

Room Tip: They charge your card $1000 USD upon check in so make sure you plan for that. They will let you pay in cash (pesos) if you don't want to charge your card. It is hard to get a prime room if you are not an owner but we were happy with Tower 3.
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank SComet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2013

We stayed in Nuevo Vallarta two weeks over the Christmas holidays. I have been an owner in the Grand Mayan properties for several years and upgraded 2 years ago to the Grand Luxxe. As most readers of these reviews know, the resort is nice in many respects but there are issues. I will try to highlight our experience at Nueva Vallarta....we have also stayed in Riveria Maya, and our experience there is different in some respects.

1. Booking process -- We booked through the phone and the reservation clerk apparently made mistakes when he booked it. This resulted in some difficulty in obtaining our preferred room and some difficulty in obtaining our spa discounts. Both got sorted, but it was a hassle. "C-"

2. Pick-up service -- It works flawlessly. We walked past all of the time share people straight to the pick-up service counter, exactly as instructed. Within 5 minutes, we had a car whisking us away to the resort. No waiting for other people, no getting on a bus (like Riviera Maya), just efficiency and comfort and FREE. "A+"

3. Check-in service -- A mess. At least we did not have to wait too long for a clerk and the people were cordial. One day the entire lobby was filled with people trying to check-in....it was bedlam. But we arrived at 12 and were told that the room would be ready in 2-2.5 hours. No such luck. We were also told that we didn't get the right room. Very disappointing. We were moved to the correct room, but when we returned at 3 to complete the check-in process, we were now given a time of 4:30. When we returned at 4:30, we were told the room was still not ready. And we were also told we could not have access to our bags to change out of our winter clothes. Our room was not ready until 6pm....unacceptable. With check-out at 10am, there is no reason they need to have check-in at 5pm. "D+"

4. The rooms -- Terrific. The rooms are large and very well appointed. And they are kept spotless by the maid service. We were lucky enough to get an ocean view in Tower 1....the view is simply heavenly. "A"

5. The grounds -- As with the rooms, the grounds are gorgeous and immaculately maintained. "A+"

6. The facilities -- The pools are varied and very numerous. We enjoyed the activities in the Grand Mayan pool...the activities staff really tries to make sure that everyone is having a good time. The beach near the Grand Luxxe is wonderful...soft white sand and a nice area for swimming. And there are beautiful beachfront pools as well for variety, with people to bring you towels. Santuario is a good addition...it may be a bit noisy for some, but it is fun and beautiful. It will be better when there are more facilities in the Grand Luxxe area...e.g., when the spa opens. It would be nice to have a convenience store in the Grand Luxxe area so you don't have to go to the store at the Grand Mayan. And I would be happier if there were more pool activities at the Grand Luxxe....we went to the Grand Mayan pool most days as the Luxxe was a little quiet for our tastes. "A-"

7. The internet -- Part of the amenities at the Grand Luxxe was free internet. Unfortunately, the "free" internet is crap, at least in the rooms. It usually did not work and when it did work it moved at snail speed. Even the concierges at the Luxxe were complaining about the internet. The Luxxe has an "upgraded" internet which comes with an additional charge. So if you want an internet that actually works, it is not free. "F"

8. Food/Restaurants -- When we were in Puerto Vallarta 2 years ago, we complained about the food (which was terrible). Well, someone was listening because the food generally was pretty good. We liked the Burger restaurant in the Punta and the Blue Fish at the Luxxe pool. I think the breakfast buffet is excellent. There is a sandwich/ice cream bar outside of the spa at the Grand Mayan with is very good and a pretty good value (comparatively) but you need to be patient there as they generally only have one person working. I thought the food at the Mexican party on Thursday was decent, but was not a fan of the Monday beach party food. The food at Samba was mostly average, but the service was very good and friendly. I would recommend passing on Tramonto...the food is overpriced, mediocre and the service was terrible. But with the exception of Tramonto, I thought the food showed a marked improvement. However there are a lot of really good restaurants off the resort in Nuevo Vallarta and Puerto Vallarta, and I strongly recommend that people staying at the Grand Luxxe check out the area restaurants. They are an easy cab ride away and offer a much better value. "B"

9. Transportation Services -- They have some improvement to do on the transportation service around the resort. The complex is huge and many people rely on the carts to bring you around. There are often substantial delays in getting on a cart. But you are on vacation, relax and do not let it bother you. Also, when they finish the walkways, it should take some pressure off the cart system. Having everyone check-in and check-out through the Santuario building, as well as having all cab service there, is inefficient. "C"

10. Tour services -- We took the breakfast presentation so we were supposed to get the discounted tours. It took us 2 days to even see the guy to book a tour....whenever we went to the desk he was "at lunch" (his lunch "hour" seemed to last from 11am-2pm) or otherwise just was not there. And when he did book our tours, he did not give us the discounted price....it took a while to get this sorted out as well. But the tours themselves are terrific...we recommend the Luxury sailing tour as we have done this a couple of times and it is a delightful day and the dolphin adventure -- also a great time. "B"

11. General Service -- With the exception of the check-in people, and the concierge people on the ground floor of the hotel (who are sort of useless as all they seem competent to do is to schedule your update breakfast), the service in the resort is terrific. Friendly to the max and always trying to make sure your needs are met. The concierge on our floor could not have been more helpful He made dinner reservations, made sure things were fixed in our room, handled our laundry, and even fixed the problem with the tour prices. In essense, he was wonderful. "A-"

12. Future Plans -- I know all the construction noise is an issue. But to be honest, after a day, I got used to it and hardly noticed it at all. And sometimes the construction causes issues in how the resort operates. For example, the cart service was suspended for about a half hour at dinnertime because of a construction problem. And one day they ruptured the water line leading to Tower 2, resulting in no hot water for about 36 hours (UGH!). But I like all the things they are building and improvements being made. I am excited about what this resort will be like in 2-5 years. So as an owner, I am willing to put up with a few inconveniences as I think the ultimate payoff will be big. But if you prefer a quieter atmosphere in the meantime, then go to Rivieria Maya. "A"

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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16  Thank Coralyn G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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