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The Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta
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2,604 - 2,609 of 3,907 reviews
Reviewed 28 October 2009

We stayed at the Grand Mayan in Nuevo Vallarta in mid-october. We thought we were going to be at the Mayan Palace until the concierge emailed us 3 days before the vacation to let us know that we were moving over to the Grand Mayan, this was a pleasant surprise to us.. We were guests of a an owner there who donated his timeshare that we won in a drawing. We did as the majority of the reviews advised and didn't attend the timeshare presentation. Upon checking in they tried to get us to attend the breakfast but we just said no about 4 or 5 times. They also advised us to not book any excursions thru anybody "on the street" because we might get screwed out of our money. At first we believed them, but ran into a tour company down at the private beach and booked the city tour, $15 per adult, and my son was free. That was well worth the price. We then booked the beach boat tour which cost $40 per adult and $20 per child. The guy even met us in the lobby and paid for our cab ride to the marina. The boat ride was awesome. It included a continental breakfast, free open bar, snorkeling, great lunch and dancing and music. It was about an 8 hour trip all day and went to a beautiful beach where I did parasailing (that was extra). We came to the conclusion that the grand mayan was just trying to scare us into booking trips only thru them because there are other timeshare companies on the street that act at first as tourist companies. No, i recommend you find Fernando down by the beach. He was very honest.
The room was great. We got the one-bedroom suite and found it to be very clean. We loved the large bathtub in the bedroom and my son used the dipping pool on thebalcony a lot. We didn't get an ocean-view room but had a view of the golf course and we were okay with that. Since our timeshare was owned we got to use the safe for free. The housekeeping staff did a great job and a couple of nights stopped by to give us hershey kisses. We would leave about a dollar tip for them before we took off for the day. The concierge and security staff were also great. The pools and lazy river and water slide were a lot of fun. It was uncomfortable walking around the pools barefoot though. We only ate at samba restaurant twice, just for dessert and it was really good. Most of the time we ate in our room, cooking groceries that we bought at the Walmart in Nuevo Vallarta. I hightly recommend doing this if you are on a tight budget. Its about a $5 cab ride to get there and the prices are great. The mini fridge in the room is actually a pretty good size. We wound up making two trips to the walmart for food, beer and soda. There is a sun market at the resort but the prices are high and the selection is not so good if you are planning meals for the week.
The beach at the resort also was beautiful with lounge chairs and umbrellas, however dangerous to swim in at the time that we were there. We used the internet cafe to keep in contact with others in lieu of using the phone and the internet was pricey, about $5 per half hour. There are places in puerto vallarta that you can use the internet for about a dollar per hour. There were some people that complained that Nuevo Vallarta is too far away from everything, but I didn't mind it. We took the city bus one day to go do some shopping at the puerto vallarta flea market and that was about $1.50 a person and was totally safe. I liked not being right in the city but if you plan on eating at restaurants everyday I can see how this would be a problem. At the marina in Nuevo Vallarta there's a restaurant called Eddie's/Nopal beach. It's a little hole in the wall but the mexican food is excellent and reasonably priced. There are a few other restaurants over there that we didnt try. It was about a 10 minute walk from the resort.
I highly recommend staying at the Grand Mayan and would do it again. Just beware of the timeshare sharks and don't let them talk you into their incentives and breakfast...i've heard in the long run it's not worth your anger and frustration.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank joannehalley1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2009

We were invited to go to the Grand Mayan Neuvo Vallarta in mid-October, 2009. It was low season and not too crowded, which was a good thing since the other two Grupo Mayan resorts there were closed. The Mayan Palace was completely closed for a major renovation and the Sea Garden was closed due to lack of business. That the Grand Mayan could handle all the guests who wanted to go to any of these resorts and not be crowded shows how slow it was. The lack of tourists was also obvious when going into the city of Puerto Vallarta and walking around. The biggest issue with the closure of the other two resorts was the lack of restaurant choices since about half of the restaurant options were closed. Neither of the other two resorts was accessible at all.

The rooms at the Grand Mayan are very nice and very spacious. The service was excellent and the pools, lazy river, water slide, and wave pool were great. The one complaint I have is that the concrete around the pools, etc. is very rough and uncomfortable to walk on without shoes. The Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta is also a distance from town with almost nothing that you can get to by walking. There is a new WalMart fairly close by but it's still a 60 Peso cab ride. It's 160 pesos to get to downtown Puerto Vallarta. They really don't encourage you to leave the resort so you will spend all your money there. The restaurant prices are not cheap by US standards but they also aren't expensive. However, the selection at Samba, the main restaurant that was open is somewhat limited. It got old after a couple of days.

We were warned about the time share presentation by reading the Trip Advisor reviews but ours wasn't bad since the friends with whom we went were owners and were the targets of the sales pitch. Even so, we were there close to 5 hours. It really is a serious sales operation. I have never seen anything like it. They are really sharks and keep coming after you. I think I would have enjoyed my stay more if not for the time share element and it's constant presence.

They do like to charge for extras like the safe and internet access. The internet is not cheap, over $10 a day, and they charge for each PC that accesses the internet, not by just by the room. This could get very expensive if there are a number of people with laptops in your party.

I will say that I found reading the Trip Advisor reviews very helpful. I ready every one for about a year prior to when we left. They give a very good overall picture of the resort, prepared us well for the trip and what to expect and were generally very accurate.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank kdwights
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 October 2009

We travelled with 2 young boys and extended family (4 adults, 2 children) in connection with our vacation ownership in Hilton Grand Vacation Club. HGVC gives us access to RCI properties as well and Grand Mayan was listed as one of the sites. From the moment we arrived, we were impressed with the gated community, on-site landscaping and hotel lobby. The surrounding area is farily new, clean, quiet and safe and the hotel is very modern and well appointed. The rooms were impressive with granite counter tops, tile floors, high ceilings, nice linens and great bathrooms and kitchens. We did about half our meals in the room as it is easier with the young kids. It was very easy to get food or other items at the on-site gift shop and a short, inexpensive cab ride to the local supermarket (one of which was a Walmart but we prefered the local store). Not that we did much TV watching in the room, but when we did, there were plenty of selections of English speaking channels. The grounds were incredible - even with some of it under renovation. Their were acres of pools with different places to "explore" each day and the beach front access was great. Nice waves for body surfing or boogey boarding. The wave pools and slide were a hit with the kids. In a different (and refereshing) spin on the US, there weren't 50 lifegaurds at the wave pools constantly blowing whistles and you are actually expected to watch your own kids - what a concept. The restaurants were also good quality with very prompt and very courteous service. We did 2 offsite trips - one to downtown Puerto Vallarta and one with Vallarta Adventures. Taking a cab to town was quite simple and there was plenty to do once there between shopping, restaurants, music and taking in the local sites and sounds. It helped that the peso - dollar exchange rate was favorable as the whole trip was very affordable. The only negative we would point out is the sales people at the Grand Mayan were very intense about selling timeshares for the first couple of days. They did not seem to know we were there with another timeshare company and kept trying to get us to go through the sales process. Overall, a very enjoyable experience that was quite affordable and we would go again in a minute.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
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Thank IlliniTraveler23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2009

Our rooms were wonderful- very clean with lots of rooms. Hotel is very well maintained- Kept very clean. Pools are just wonderful. Towel service for pools and beaches provided. Staff all very polite and helpful.
Food at the restaurant was only ok. Our kids stayed at the children's club for two days. They really enjoyed it there. Cost 150 pseos for the whole day including lunch.
Gym was also extra- but good. Price 150 for use of the gym. If you want to take a class its an additional 150 per class.
You will need a car as its a good bit out of the town. Fine if you are resotrt people, but we were keen to get out and explore other places after 3 days of being at the resort. There's not a lot within walking distance, and we had two young kids.
We did have a little bit of trouble at the airport, we were stopped by timeshare people ( we did not know this at the time) who PRETENDED to work for the Grand Mayan and that they offered free shuttle service to our hotel. We were waiting and waiting at the desk and then the man told us that we would have to go to a breakfast presentation in order to avial of our free taxi to the airport. I was really disgusted with him, as we were lied to. Not a nice way to start your vacation. We then just walked out to the regular taxi rank who overcharged us (normal fare 120 pseos to NV) and requested 240 pseos to get to our hotel. After the whole time share episode and flight we were pretty exhauted to argue or bargain and just got to our hotel.
We had no problems with the time share people at our resort. They do call up every morning at 9.30am but after 2 days, we took the phone off the hook.
This is a wonderful hotel- has everything you could need. You could stay here for 2 weeks and not go anywhere, but we loved having the freedom of a car to explore other areas.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with family
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Thank dee2072
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2009

Im going on Nov 6th and I m wondering if all 18 holes are open yet.Its been 3 years of playing the front 9 twice.Love the place other than that and the time share sales sharks

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank nedusmc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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