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“LOVE the "new" Belair - Can't wait to go back!”

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Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Vallarta
Ranked #20 of 28 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Reviewed 21 May 2012

Full disclosure... I am a Timeshare member at the Belair Vallarta, formerly known as Playa Del Sol Grand. The last 3 times I had visited PDSG, I was so stressed out that I actually couldn't wait to go home. Members were treated like second class citizens because the emphasis was on getting NEW members, not taking care of the people who already owned timeshares there & paid their yearly maintenance fees. Members should certainly receive AT LEAST the same considerations and service as the folks who reserve rooms off the internet. The place was becoming run down.
I had heard that the new Belair Management were making some incredible changes so my family skeptically made plans for a week visit in early May. To our PLEASANT surprise, we were treated like VIP's from the moment we stepped out of the taxi. Edgar, one of the Bellmen, was awesome.... very friendly, always addressed us by name the entire week, and was always helpful with restaurant suggestions, etc. We were greeted with drinks and check in (for the first time ever here) went smoothly. We got the location we asked for and had an amazing 2 bedroom suite, poolside, with a beautiful view of the ocean. There was a huge fruit basket in our room ( I'm sure this is dependent on the type of reservation you have ) and there was a welcome letter offering us discounts for the spa and meals. The condo was similarly decorated as before, although the bedrooms have been updated with colorful paint and the beds are no longer hard as rocks.... New mattresses and your choice of pillow types. The kitchens had new stainless steel appliances - still had the old cabinets and tile countertops but I'm sure the suite we were in will be upgraded to the granite countertops as some other suites already are. The bathrooms are still beautiful with all the tile work. The 2 bedroom suite is actually a 1 bdrm with a studio "lock-off", so there are 2 kitchens and 2 3/4 bathrooms. I see that some people complained of low water pressure but our showers were perfect.
The infinity pool by the beach is the centerpiece of the property. There is a pool bar with a Happy Hour every day between 5-6pm. There is no skimping on the alcohol & Vincente the bartender will take good care of you. The poolside chairs are all updated and include some poolside beds and pods for napping and reading. May is very slow, so we never had problems getting chairs. Rafael is "the man" when it comes to taking care of you as you lay and sun yourself. Anything you need, he is there for you... he really runs his tail off - GOOD man!
Food-wise, there is Kelly's Shipwreck at the pool that serves an excellent burger, club sandwich, wings, etc.... until about 6pm. The Palm Terrace offers 2 menus - one is continental & the other is a Mex-Italian fusion. The food is on the fancier side and was good. The Azteca Cake was an amazing Mexican-type lasagna, using tortillas rather than pasta. The breakfast buffet there was great with omlettes made-to-order. The "hidden gem" at the resort is the Martini-Sushi bar at the other side of the property. I had some picky sushi people with me and they raved about the sushi served here. I am not a sushi eater, but they offered a tempura shrimp "to die for" and an excellent fried rice dish. The martini's were very good as well. The resort NEEDS TO PUT A SIGN BY THE POOL advertising this place. Most people we talked to at the pool didn't even know it was there.
The spa at the Belair is amazing. It is so serene and calming and all of us had excellent massages. There is a small gym there as well.
A nice new addition is the Kids Club. We had a 3 year old with us and he enjoyed the new kiddie pool with slide, the ball pit and the new playground equipment... the bathroom is even sized down to the little ones. The older kids have access to video equipment, bikes, etc.
Off the property, we get our groceries at the Mega Store that is about a 5 min taxi ride. There is a very small mini mart at the Belair but it is really expensive. One of the bellmen will graciously take your groceries from the Mega up to your room and even put them away. The prices there are great on booze and food. If you are a Bank of America customer, they have a Santander ATM so you can get your pesos WITHOUT all the added international fees.
Bucerias is a little town north of Nuevo Vallarta that has some excellent restaurants and a great flea market. Fat Boys has tables right on the beach to enjoy a beer, chips and guacamole in the afternoon and listen to some music. Our favorite dinner place in Bucerias is Claudio’s Meson Bay. Sand floors, sunset views and AMAZING shrimp dishes... oh, and the margaritas are huge… full of tequila!
We took a side trip one day to Sayulita - about a 30-40 min taxi ride to the north. Cute little surfing village, shops and many places to eat right on the beach.
I now can highly recommend the Belair Vallarta. If you are looking for wild & crazy.... this is not the place for you. It is a ways out of Puerto Vallarta but easily accessible by bus or taxi to go party. There is the Riu Palace right next door if you like a place with a cruise ship-feel (dress codes and all) but it was pretty dead. The Villa Del Palmar is on the other side. Its a bigger resort as well, much quieter than the Riu, and has an amazing Breakfast Buffet & restaurant.
Be aware that many people have their weddings at the Belair on the weekends, so the music can go late into the night….. this would be my only complaint - I think management should cut the weddings off at midnight. I filed a complaint about it and was told that changes are currently being made to the wedding contracts, and guest concerns about the noise are being discussed by Board Members.
Our family is already planning our next trip to Belair Vallarta. The staff is so friendly and the resort is such an improvement over the old Playa Del Sol.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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8  Thank SooZQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 May 2012

My boyfriend I just returned from a one weeks' stay @ the Bel Air Vallarta, we were there the week of May 11-18. I was a little concerned about a few of the comments I read, but for the most part, they were unfounded. First: the staff were wonderful. Our personal favorite was Andres at the front entry area, and we also loved Maribel from the housekeeping staff. They were both top notch. The staff couldn't have been more welcoming and accomodating -- especially considering the first thing that happened was an entire 12 pack of cold beers fell out of our refrigerator and broken glass was everywhere! (not our fault -- the refrigerator door broke). We stayed in a 2 room suite, so we had three bathrooms and they were all clean and were well appointed. I honestly never figured out, but I think we were in Building 3 (second floor). Our balconies were adjacent to the Riu Palace. We had a partial view of the beach and we had no complaints with that....we could see what was going on easily. The rooms were quiet and there was no noise to keep us up at night, which was awesome. What was completely annoying however, was the guy on the microphone droning on all day over at the Riu! Seriously, it got to be waaaay too much. It destroyed the tranquility of Bel Air, in my opinion. Hanging out by the pool all day was awesome -- beautiful cabanas and patio furniture and there was always plenty of space to hang out.
We never even went into Pto. Vallarta but one day and that was really unneccesary at that. There is plenty to do in Bucerias and Sayulita! I recommend both places highly! We had an amazing dinner @ Nicksan at the Marival Resort right down the way from Bel Air, and our favorite dinner was at Adauto's on the Beach in Bucerias. Food was excellent!
I wanted to point out two things: we stayed by way of a Groupon purchase and never at any time was there ever a timeshare pitch from anyone at the Resort. I was concerned that we would be hassled all week, but it never happened. Also, there was never any mention of an "all inclusive" option either, which was fine because we would not have taken it. We purchased food from WalMart and Mega Foods and other than that, ate out at various places around town. Also, try "Pie in the Sky" in Bucerias. Homemade desserts!
I went to the gym 4 days while I was there and it was fabulous -- had every piece of equipment you would need. The spa was gorgeous; but I never saw anyone in it. Sort of sad.
Anyway, you cannot go wrong with this place. The comments that there are no nightlife exactly at the hotel are true -- but trust me, walk down the beach to the other resorts like the five Riu Resorts they have and you will be so glad of this. There are plenty of places close by in Bucerias that are a blast at night -- the Drunken Duck has a great band at night and you can't go wrong at the Shamrock Bar. Lovely Irish women run the place -- karaoke on Wednesdays!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank heidigr11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2012

My parents have been owners at this resort for several years, but it seemed to always come with baggage... because of the timeshare pressure to pay for more and seemingly get the same or less in return. Playa Del Sol would treat their owners as second class citizens compared to folks casually staying there for a few days.

Bel Air changed everything, from the way they treat the owners, to the decor, overall quality... while still maintaining the same if not better service for the casual stayers as well.

CHECK IN:
I felt from the moment we stepped out of the cab it was like night and day from our previous stays. They treated us like royalty. Brought us drinks while we checked in (very quickly instead of waiting around forever) Edgar was the first to greet us and continued to give us great service for the rest of our stay.

THE ROOM:
Our room was spectacular! Top floor overseeing the pool and huge ocean view. Never had that great of a view at Play Del Sol as an owner. The beds have all been changed out and were incredibly comfortable. They used to be like a sheet on top of a piece of ply wood... and are now super soft. They give you two different pillow types to choose from (clearly labeled) when you walk in with a nice ribbon wrapped around them. There are now accent walls with a splash of red. And ipod/iphone docks to charge or listen to your music.

THE POOL:
The pool is now heated!!! It is still cool enough to get out of the heat, but no longer ice cold like it used to be. Around the pool are better lounger chairs, VERY relaxing beds scattered throughout as well. Before we used to have to take my son upstairs for his nap and one of us would have to stay up their for the duration of the nap... now he could just crash on the beds around the pool while we continue to soak up the sun and sip on cervesas! One thing we did notice is that they re-did the concrete around the pool to a really nice looking wood... however walk around the pool - do not run! The wood can get very slippery.
As usual the bartenders and waiters were incredibly helpful, nice and fun. Vicente and Rafael were a couple of our favorites. Always went out of their way to make sure we were enjoying ourselves and fun personalities. Don't forget happy hour from 5-6 at the pool!
And the fun, as usual, is always there with lots of activities from volleyball, pool volleyball, water polo, bingo, ping pong, etc, etc. Go activities director!

RESTAURANTS:
Tucked away in the corner on the south side of the pool... behind the 3 new hot tubs is a hidden gem... Sushi/Martini bar! It seemed like people didn't really know about it until they just happened upon it. I'd say they need to advertise more and maybe offer some sushi specials or martini specials. But there were a few nights where it was hoppin!!! The martinis were really good. My wife likes appletinis and I hate them, but I tried hers and it was actually really good.
You HAVE to try the shrimp tempura!!! Incredible. Huge prawn sized shimp with a really good spicy sauce. The fried rice is also very good. I didn't care for the salmon roll as much, but the tuna roll was good.
The new mexican dolce restaurant was pretty decent too. Better than going to mexico and getting italian (that never made sense to me)... So its nice that they're slowly moving from Italian and to mexican food with this italian/mexican fusion. The aztec cake (i think it was called) was really good. Was like a mexican lasagna. Hopefully someday they'll serve real mexican food... like shrimp empanadas, chimichangas, burritos, etc. But this is a good start. For now we'll continue to enjoy going to Bucerias and Sayulitas for real Mexican food. Our favorite is Mason Bay in Bucerias. Best coconut shrimp you've ever had... they also have a shrimp wrapped in bacon and a gravy-ish sauce that is killer as well.

KIDS CLUB:
Another HUGE improvement was the kids club. My son is 3 and a half and absolutely LOVED it! A water slide just his size that dumps into a pool that is belly deep. Climb out of that into fountains and sprinklers with tall plastic mushrooms showering down the little feet. A ball pit, a covered outdoor area to draw and color in, a brand new playground with slides and swings and things to climb on, an indoor area with xbox kinect games, dvd's etc... Fun, fun, fun! The best comment he had was the second day when we woke up he said, "I want today to be just like yesterday."

THE SPA:
The spa is also fantastic. Myself, my wife and both of my parents all got massages there, and all really enjoyed them. The ambiance in there is so nice and relaxing. They've added a couples massage down at the beach for night time surrounded by tiki torches, etc. We'll have to try that next time. Its just hard to choose from such a nice spa or the beach. If you can do both I highly recommend it! My wife won a 15 minute massage from bingo for me early on and was glad I did it. Get rid of the tension from work and just melt into vacation right away.

OTHER AMENITIES:
They have 6 nice new bicycles to take a nice stroll. A new set of washer and dryers that we couldn't use yet as they were just being installed. So that will be nice to have next year.

THE GROCERY STORE:
This is the only 1 of 2 negatives I can think of. The grocery store is way over priced. Just walk next door to the flamingo and you'll find prices cut by a third, if not by half. Plus they have a cappacino/esspresso bar inside which is nice to take in at least once. If you're major grocery shopping, like when you first arrive... it's worth the 60 peso cab ride each way to just shop at the Mega. Don Julio for 280 pesos for example. Thats less than half the price of the flamingo! But the flamigo store, The Palmita, is worth it for getting more water and things like that. The other negative is that no one has change. The front desk, the grocery store, no one. So try and get change when you go out, at the airport, before you come... something. I think next time I'll bring about 20 US ones, a few 5's etc. Just to start out.
Anyway, those are very minor negatives... and almost not worth noting because they were trumped by a million times over from all the positives.

CONCLUSION:
This was such a great time, it was hard to come back home. Bel Air really did an outstanding job improving this place. It seems like they just keep improving. Can't wait to see whats in store for us next year! We are definitely coming back!!!!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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10  Thank muunwalker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2012

We went to a wedding and we had to pick all inclusive plan. Since they have many plans, European, timeshare, etc, they said they didn't have a wristband. They bring you the bill everything you order anything and you have to give the room number. And waiters fights and get angry because they work on tips. It is very uncomfortable. In most inclusive tips are included.
Also, it is so small and not many restaurants' the food was not very good.
We were so glad to find a good waiter by pool bar, Filiberto! He was the best and he is amazing. The only helpful and great attitude during our entire stay. He brought light to our day. Thank you.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with friends
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5  Thank Itzelpm2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2012

This is a relaxing and laid back resort. We have been going to the Bel Air since it was the Playa Del Sol Grand 6 years ago. We were pleasantly surprised with the improvements the new owners have made. We were there the last week of March and first week of April. Be aware the week before and week after Easter are traditionally big holiday weeks, so anticipate more crowds, similar to spring break in the US. It is a smaller resort which is not for everyone, but for us it is absolute paradise. The Riu next door is beautiful but It is so huge it looks like it could take you 15 minutes to get from some of their rooms to the beach. Just like some people prefer the color blue over red, these resorts offer great choices. The Bel Air offers a more intimate atmosphere and a great staff. Many of the same faces over the past 6 years. Anwar, Francisco and Enrique to name a few.

The staff works hard at maintaining the resort. My only suggestion would be that housekeeping needs to create a checklist for the rooms to review maintenance items. We had a couple issues with our room that required prompt maintenance attention that could have been avoided had their been a checklist followed.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank Travelngolf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BelAirVallarta, Director General at Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Vallarta, responded to this reviewResponded 1 May 2012

Dear Guest,
Thank you so very much for your nice comments, we really take under consideration all that our guests have to say about their stay, that`s why we believe in a continues quality process, that has allowed us to get better and better.

We sincerely hope to see you soon, and provide another unforgettable stay in our great resort.

Omar Vazquez Gaytan
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2012

This property is too far from downtown Puerto Vallarta to be of any use if you like to enjoy entertainment, great restaurants, and the night life. It takes 2 buses or a taxi ride each way to enjoy the wonderful downtown area and restaurants. The pool bar is pretty limited as far as seating (5 or 6 seats in the pool, and 5 on the patio side). The menu in the only restaurant has a very limited menu and the food quality was marginal (avoid the Italian cuizine). The only cocktail lounge has a wonderful view ot the interior of the restaurant below, through windows, and a somewhat restricted view of the bay. The staff is pretty attentive and helpful however, but they can't fix the location. Great beach, but that's about the best thing this property has to offer. The property is obviously very dated, and they still have work to do to improve it. Avoid the orientation session...it's nothing but a sales ploy (regardless of what they tell you when signing-in).

Room Tip: Rooms toward the business office area and the fish/turtle pond receive little or no sunlight...very...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Robert L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BelAirVallarta, Director General at Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Vallarta, responded to this reviewResponded 1 May 2012

Dear Guest,
We are in fact, in the Bahia de Banderas Area, Im sorry that you had not the information about it, even thought in our web page its clear. Despite the fact that our partners such as travel agencies and On line travel agents know this
The Bahia de banderas area is taking its own night life, of course still can not compare to Vallarta area, but Im sure eventually will.
We do have some night activities, but we are not the typical all inclusive hotel with large buffets and a lot of people making line.
We believe in gourmet experiences, and are proud to provide 4 of them, in the same number of areas.
We sincerely appreciate your comments, and hope to see you again.

Omar Vazquez
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2012

We just enjoyed a fantastic stay at this resort for the week leading up to Easter. Outstanding service and friendliness by the staff. Despite the 'Don't book thru Nolitours - they give you crap rooms' warning, we did and had a fantastic Junior Suite on the sixth (top) floor of Building 3. Clean, great amenities and quiet (relative to the Riu Palace located next door which dwarfed our quiet, more exclusive resort). Pool was never packed. Best of all, we could saunter down for breakfast at 10:30, have a custom omlette, wander to grab some towels and always find loungers under palm leaf umbrellas on the beach even at 11:30 in the morning - bliss! Food was quite good - you weren't limited to the buffet but could order off the menu anytime - very accommodating. This was a busy time, but it never felt crammed or hectic. Guest complement comprised mainly well-to-do Mexican guests - pleasant surprise. This was my third stay in Nuevo Vallarta area and would highly recommend this resort. Only downside was the timeshare guys and vendors accosting you as you walked a ways up the beach which became really annoying - not the fault of this resort. I'll be back to Bel Air Collection, Vallarta

Room Tip: Go the Junior Suite route - with balcony and ocean view. You don't want a regular room in Build...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Dana M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Vallarta

Address: Blvd Costero 800 Sur | Fracc. Flamingos, Nuevo Vallarta 63732, Mexico
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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Business Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#12 Family Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#15 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#19 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range: £156 - £285 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Vallarta 3.5*
Number of rooms: 215
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
"Bel Air Vallarta the perfect hotel for a family vacation" Family vacations are made to be on the Riviera Nayarit. Enjoy the beauty of the traditional Puerto Vallarta, the beautiful and colorful Bucerias, or maybe the exclusive Nuevo Vallarta where you will find everything you were looking for and more. Can you imagine spending a day at the spa pampering yourself at one of the best hotels in Nuevo Vallarta? Imagine your kids having a blast at our Kids Club, everything is possible here. A destination like this provides much as you can imagine, activities on land, sea and even air is what awaits you. Stay with with your family and enjoy the best time of your lives together and create your own #BelAirMoment. Bel Air Vallarta offers 215 spacious and luxurious rooms where you can enjoy a deserved rest after those long days at the beach, pool or enjoying the gastronomic offer that we have for you along with all the entertainment options that this resort has. In addition to luxury hotel rooms in Nuevo Vallarta Bel Air Vallarta offers luxury amenities that will make your stay a unique and memorable vacation, the "Bel Air Delights" those great little details that will give your holiday a touch of sophistication and also will make you feel at home. Welcome Cool Amenitie Welcome cocktail Early Bird Breakfast View all Bel Air Delights In Bel Air we know that your holiday should be something memorable that's why we have created a series of experiences that will fulfill all your dreams and needs to make your vacation something you cannot forget. Personalized vacation experiences with a touch of luxury and sophistication, the "Bel Air Experiences". All Gourmet Experience All Romance Experience All Spa Experience ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bel Air Collection Resort And Spa Vallarta
Bel Air Collection Resort & Spa Vallarta Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
Playa Del Sol Grand Hotel
Playa Del Sol Grand Puerto Vallarta
Playa Del Sol Grand Resort

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