My husband and I recently went to the Grand Mayan with my father who is a timeshare owner at the resort. We stayed for a total of 5 days over Memorial Day weekend. We were met at the Puerto Vallarta Airport by a member of Miller Transportation, contracted through the hotel, and they took us directly to the Grand Mayan at no extra charge. The hotel states that check-in isn't until 5:00 pm and we arrived around 2:00 pm however, the front desk agent was very nice and let us set up our credit account (required for all guests staying at the hotel) and assigned us a room, gave us our grounds bracelet, etc. He said to come back in about an hour and our room would be ready. He was telling the truth and we were allowed to check in a little bit earlier than normal.
The rooms at the Grand Mayan are gorgeous. Our room was in the new building overlooking the ocean. It was clean, comfortable, and HUGE. We had a pool built into our balcony but we didn't use it because it was freezing and we spent most of our time walking around the grounds or at the main pool area. The furnishings were nice and the bed was comfortable. Right below us there was construction being done to the water slide and the kids pool area, so that created some noise however, the workmen didn't start until well after we had gotten out of bed and they finished some time around 7 pm, or whenever it started to get dark so we never really thought of it as a disturbance.
Overall the hotel is quite nice and the staff is friendly. Even as a timeshare owner we were made to go on a presentation to see if we wanted to upgrade our membership. This included a breakfast over at the Mayan Palace (with the salesperson) and then a tour of the new facilities they are building. All in all it took about 4 hours and became very tedious as we were not interested in upgrading. However, our salesperson was nice and pleasant so it wasn't a total loss because we got some good conversation that didn't have to do with buying anything.
We used the gym facilities every day and found them to be adequate with a good mix of weights, machines, and cardio equipment. The gym is free if you are a member of the Grand Mayan. We also got massages at the Brio Spa and these too were satisfactory (80 minute Swedish massage was about $115).
Some of the drawbacks to this resort are the following:
1) the town of Puerto Vallarta is quite far away. We ventured into the town one morning via cab and it took about 25 minutes to get there and cost 180 pesos ($18) + tip. I would guess that its a good 20 mi+ to Puerto Vallarta from Nuevo Vallarta. There is a bus you can take that costs 15 pesos ($1.50) but you have to change at the Wal-Mart and it adds travel time and possibly, confusion.
2) while the hotel has several restaurants, none of them are very good and the food is WAY over priced for what you get. The only really good dining experience we had was at the Italian Steakhouse called Tramonto. The Punta Arena restaurant was NOT GOOD. The breakfast buffet at the Mayan Palace offered more authentic Mexican cuisine which was decent.
3) if you're looking for a quiet romantic getaway, this is not the place for you. There are a lot of kids (of all ages) running around all the time and the place is large so there is a lot of bustle at most times of the day and evening. The majority of the hotel guests seemed to be American.
4) besides sitting at either the pool or the beach, there isn't that much to do on the resort grounds. This is a good place to go if you want to just get away and do absolutely nothing. I managed to read over 400 pages of the book that I brought.
5) all excursions need to be booked through the concierge at the hotel. They offer a brochure of what is available, but no prices are listed.
6) Montezuma's Revenge (aka dysentery). The hotel claims to have a water filtration system and offers bottled water in abundance however, both my husband and I experienced some rather annoying stomach issues towards the end of the trip and for several days after we returned. Being a 5-Star resort we did not anticipate having to wash off our toothbrush with bottled water or worry about having water contact our mouth during showers, etc. Honestly, it could have been anything (ice in the mixed drinks?) but still an unpleasant result of our vacation. Just something to keep in mind.
Overall this hotel is decent. We probably won't go back because of the above mentioned reasons. For the same money we can go to one of the Caribbean islands, like St. Lucia or Curacao, and have a more cultural experience.
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
- Wyndham Nuevo Vallarta
- Grand Mayan Resort Nuevo Vallarta
- Grand Mayan Puerto Vallarta