We have been to all of the Grand Mayan and Mayan Palace properties and the Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta is our favorite. As owners who have gone to the Grupo Mayan properties for the last 10 years, we have learned a few tricks. Here are some helpful bullet points:
- Bring your own pair of scissors and avoid the wristband-trimming (aka timeshare presentation selling) desk in the corner of the lobby.
- Ask for a mattress pad when you call for your luggage. Turns a rock-hard bed into something comfortable.
- The room safe fee of $30 is for non-owners only.
- Upper floor ocean-side rooms in the Grand Mayan are reserved for Grand Bliss and Grand Luxxe owners. Grand Mayan owners will get upper floors facing the golf course (very beautiful sunrises) or lower floors. RCI trade-ins will only get lower floors. Agreeing to the presentation will not change what you get but will get you 10% off your final bill.
- Ask for a regular key card along with your electronic wristbands in case they stop working. We were told getting the wristbands too close to cell phones, tablets, laptops, etc will cause them to deactivate.
- A meal will be very expensive anywhere on the resort. Cheapest is the poolside food served until 6:30pm, but a burger will run you 140 pesos. Save money by eating in your room or walking off-site.
- Buy groceries at WalMart (take the bus there – bus stop right by the Oxxo - and a cab back for ultimate cost savings) and have them delivered to your room. The delivery charge is $2.50 a bin, but ask the bellboy to waive it.
- Bring certain items from home (like peanut butter – costly in Mexico, Ziplocs, chip clips, insulated cooler bag, etc). All chips, cookies, etc need to be airtight sealed or they will go soggy within 24 hours of opening.
- Walmart sells drops that kill any bacteria in fresh produce (in the produce section). Buy these and enjoy salads without fear of becoming ill.
- Walk to the marina for meals. I highly recommend El Muelle Grill (about $10 for an entree, about a dollar for a taco, free wifi, free delivery, great view of the marina). Eddie's Place also has huge portions for a decent price and free wifi. This is about a ½ mile from the resort.
- Tap water is fine to drink on the resort. May not taste great, but is safe.
- Stick an insulated cooler bag in a regular beach bag and take your own drinks to the pool.
- Happy Hour is from 11am-1pm at the pools and gets you ½ price drinks (beer and non-alcoholic drinks are not part of Happy Hour). This brings the price down to about 48 pesos per drink. Ask for extra alcohol and the waiter will bring an extra shot at no charge.
Things to do at the resort
- The lazy river is fantastic for all ages.
- The wave pools are a little weak on the waves, but the kids like it.
- The waterslide is pretty nice.
- Kids under age 8 will like the kid pool/water playground.
- The Brio Spa (free for owners - not sure about RCI traders) is fantastic! I went there every evening before dinner to relax and clean up.
- The gym is free and very clean & up-to-date. Ask the trainers for free bottled water and apples. There is a fruit-infused water cooler in the weight room where you can fill up a water bottle.
- Kids Club has activities going all day long. It is 50 pesos for one activity or 150 pesos for all the activities 9:30am - 4:30pm with lunch included. Total no-brainer as a burger lunch is 140 pesos. My 7-year-old and 9-year-old loved it and begged to go each day.
- Beach is nice with plenty of chairs that you can drag closer to the water if you wish. Definitely go for sunset.
- Turtle sanctuary is interesting and kids will LOVE the turtle releasing (each kid gets their own turtle to "race").
- Take a walk/run in the morning over to the Grand Luxxe area on the elevated wooden walkways. Beautiful scenery and deserted except for the maintenance crews.
- The Sanctuario is very interesting at night, but if you sit you need to order a drink.
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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