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“A Grrrrreat Place” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa

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Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa
Ranked #7 of 11 Hotels in Punta de Mita
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Blenheim, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A Grrrrreat Place”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2004

My g/f Lori and I spent the week of the 21st to the 28th at the Viva Vallarta. It was fantastic in all respects, from check in to check out.
The meals at the buffet were pretty good, especially breakfast(great omlettes). The 3 a la carte restaurants were very good, not necessarily what I am accustomed to in Canada, but, hey I guess if I wanted that I should have stayed home eh? Which is what I would say to some of the people that have gave this resort a scathing review. Quit your whining!!! I found the staff extremely helpful and accomadating. All one simply had to do is "ask" and they did their best to please. The only negative thing I would have to say about the place, well it is not about the place really it is some of the guests. Some of these people were very rude and condescending to the staff, which was totally uncalled for and unjustified...keep in mind people that these people get paid on average only $5 a day. Certainly no where near enough to put up with some of the abuse that I saw them take. One other thing...
for those adults that drink for hours in the relax pool...do me and everyone else the courtesy of getting your lazy butts out of the pool and use the public restrooms! To the staff thankyou very much for an enjoyable vacation, we will definitely be back

Hi Mike and Lori, Jim and Michelle ....great new friends

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4 Thank Paul676
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Arizona
Level Contributor
59 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 March 2004

My family (my wife, myself and our 11 year old son) stayed at Viva Vallarta March 15-20, 2004. We enjoyed ourselves, but probably will stay somewhere else on our next trip to Mexico for a number of reasons. Here is what we found: The resort itself is beautiful and quite secluded (about a 30-45 minute trip from the airport, depending on traffic). That was a plus for us, as we enjoyed being away from the crowds of Puerto Vallarta. There were lots of families at the resort while we were there. The majority of the guests were Canadian and American (more Canadians than Americans). The main pool area is pretty good, although they could definitely use more umbrellas. All of the ?good? seats (i.e., those with shade) are taken by 7:00 in the morning. It?s an impromptu system that we?ve found to exist at other all-inclusives -- you come down in the morning and stake out your lounger by laying a towel on it. If you are a late riser, your choice of seating will be fairly limited. There is a second ?relax? pool for adults only that is small but nice, with an infinity edge that looks over the ocean. The beach is pretty good, although relatively small. There are lots of loungers under a series of shade ramadas (but again, you need to get up early to stake out a seat). The resort operates a small bar on the beach during the day, so drinks are readily available. I had read in other reviews that the boogie boarding was really good at the resort. It is not. There are lots of rocks in the water (bring rock shoes), and the waves do not break where the sandy areas are. Also, the waves break so close to shore that you can?t get much of a ride. If you are a boogie board aficionado this is not the place for you. The resort has lots of kayaks -- they were fun. You can also sign up for a catamaran ride. We did, and had a nice sail (about 25 minutes). The thing was, it would have been better if the guy who took us out had been able to share some information about the Banderas Bay. We tried to engage him (we speak passable Spanish), but his attitude was basically one of ?I?m just here to sail the boat.? There is a fair amount of seaweed in the water. The resort staff does a good job raking it up in the morning. If you walk the beach to the south of the resort, the shell collecting is pretty good (mostly smaller shells such as cones, cowries, etc.) The food at the resort is pretty much what you?d expect from an all-inclusive. Nothing great, but enough variety that everyone is able to find something (fresh fruit, pasta bar, salads, pizza, breads, potatoes, vegetables, several varieties of meat (usually pork, chicken and fish) and desserts). Breakfast was the best, lunch was the weakest. If you go, consider eating lunch at the snack bar by the main pool (very good pizza). Dinners at the buffet are ?themed? to some extent; however, we found that the theme usually involved some variation on the basic menu and not much else. There are three a la carte restaurants (Italian -- La Terraza, Mexican -- Viva Mexico, and Mediterranean -- Portofino). We ate at La Terraza and Viva Mexico and they were quite good. The resort has a funky reservation system for the a la carte restaurants. You can make reservations two days in advance beginning at 9:00 in the morning. What this means in practice is that you likely will not be able to eat at one of the a la cartes until your third night because the reservations will all be taken by the time you check in (unless you are willing to take a late (i.e., after 9:00) seating). My wife thinks they do this on purpose because after several days of the buffet, the a la carte food will seem that much better. Our room was on the third floor of building number 2. It was small, but clean. The air conditioning worked well. Yes, the beds are hard, but not too bad. We had an ocean view, which was nice, but our balcony was ridiculously small to the point of being unusable. At night, though, we would open the sliding door and listen to the waves. Very relaxing. The rooms come with a safe that you program with your own combination. There is also a small refrigerator stocked with sodas (we had to ask for water, but it was happily provided). As others have written, storage space is at a premium. There are several shelves in the closet, but other than that, you should be prepared to live out of your suitcases (not a major inconvenience). We found building 2 to be very convenient to everything. But, as others have written, be prepared to walk a lot. Not only is the resort spread out, but because it is built into a hillside, there are lots and lots of stairs. We found the exercise to be a good thing. But, this is definitely not the place for someone with bad knees. There are lots of activities at the resort. We played beach volleyball, water volleyball, water polo, ping pong -- all were a lot of fun. The resort has a nice archery set-up, but you need to make advance reservations (same for tennis). The ?animacion? staff was terrific. Very friendly and outgoing. We took two excursions. The first was a day trip to Puerto Vallarta. The resort runs a shuttle M, W, F that leaves at 10:00 and returns at 4:00 (about an hour?s ride each way, so you end up with 4 hours in the city). The cost is $9 US per person. They drop you off at the flea market on Isla Cuale. We shopped for a little while (typical turista stuff), then headed down the Malecon (the main drag along the beach in the northern section of the city). If you want to do some parasailing, this is the place. There are several operations running off the beach; expect to pay between $30-35 US for a 5 or 6 minute ride. Our second excursion was horse back riding (cost: $100 US for the 3 of us). Jorge, who runs the trips, is a super nice guy and we had a really good time. You ride through a local village, then through the jungle to a secluded beach. The horses are mellow -- don?t expect to be doing any galloping! I read some complaints in other reviews about the service. We found the service to be mixed. In the buffet, the service was not so good. We eventually got to the point where we just got our own drinks. But it does appear that the ratio of staff to guests is too low for the buffet staff to provide good service, so I don?t blame the servers so much. In the a la carte restaurants the service was very good. Around the pool, there was again the problem of not enough staff to go around. But we got to know a few of the servers, and they soon got to know what we liked and just brought it automatically. That was a real plus. We tipped everyone (generally $1 to $2 US) -- it is not much to us but means a lot to the staff and is much appreciated. We had read that the resort is deluged at times with local Mexican families to whom the resort sells day passes. This was not the case during our stay. Also, we never had any trouble with time share people. Overall, Viva Vallarta struck us as a place that has all the pieces of a good resort, it just hasn?t quite put them together yet.

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5 Thank PHX100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
york, Pa.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 March 2004

Upon arriving at the resort late at night we were greeted with a dim dreary lobby area. When we unlocked the door to our room I was shocked.
The bathroom towels I would not have used to clean my kitchen floor.
They had stains all over them and felt like sandpaper. There was hair on our bathroom floor. The halls smelled like sewage. Several times thru the week at different locations in the resort you could smell sewage. It was gross !! After complaining at the front desk the next day and asking to speak to Martin ( the manager) we were moved to a different building. It was supposed to cost $20 more a night but after arguing a little we didn't have to pay this. This building (#1) was slightly better with a good view but the towels were still filthy. The food buffet is average if you can stand millions of kids touching the food and putting it back. Where are the parents of all these little brats? It was rather gross. The entire resort seems older and used hard. Don't come here if you are without kids. It is kiddie city. You can get away from them during the day at the adult pool but at the snack bar and dinner buffet it was annoying. So bottom line is if you can take the smell of sewage and kids everywhere stay here. If you are with your husband and want to relax for a week stay away!!!!!!!!. It is not a 5 apple rated resort at all. I have stayed at 3 apple rated resorts that were nicer then this hole in the wall. !!!!!!!!! The beds are literally a cement slab with a mattress on top. Cold sandy floors (take slippers). I could go on and on but I am not wasting any more time on this dump.

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2 Thank ginaleana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 March 2004

If you are planning to visit this resort, have no fear. The people who left bad reviews must have stayed somewhere else, because this place is amazing. We visited the Viva Wyndham Vallarta during the Canadian March Break (Mar. 13to20). All the guests simply raved about how wonderful it was. The resort was full, completely full capacity, but there were NO line-ups, no shortages of anything, and excellent service. FOOD-We are very picky eaters, and we loved it!There is a different theme night every night at the buffet restaurant. The food was excellent every single day. It was freshly prepared, clean, hot. There is even a section with low cal., low salt, healthy food, for those on a diet, or watching their intake for health reasons. There are also 3 ala carte restaurants. The food was very good. The wait staff spoke very little English, but they did their best, and the service was fine.

ROOMS- Very spacious and clean! No, there are no dressers and drawers, but our enormous closet had a floor to ceiling shelving unit, so you could fold your clothes away, and still see where everything was, which we thought was better than searching through drawers. There is a free safe, where you set your own 4 digit code and it can hold a (large) video camera, digital camera, wallet, and medication all at once.

BEACH- We prefer the Cuban beaches as they are calm, and we have two kids aged 6 and 8, so it is safe for them. The water conditions here were wavy enough to boogie-board, kayak (with a life jacket), and surf.
However, you could also swim once you learned where the rocks were.
Bring "surf-socks" (the mesh water shoes) to be safe. There is a lot of nice sandy beaches to walk along (very safe). There are many areas where little kids can play along the water, you just have to keep an eye on them so they don't wander into the wavier areas. Lots of shells for kids to pick... There are vendors at one end of the beach. They stay there. If you go to them, they are very pleasant (but much more expensive than in town). They DO NOT come to bug you or try to sell you things.

POOLS-ADULTS-There is small round adult only pool, with a jaccuzzi, and many drunk adults. The families refer to it as the "piss pool". There was a regular crowd of adults who sat in there all day drinking. Just drinking. They never left to do anything except get a drink. We overheard one man brag how he's never spent 7 hours drinking in a pool all day, until that day, and never needed to get out to go pee!! It's a good thing that only adults go in it. I wouldn't let my kids go in it even if they were allowed. If you're looking for calm tranquility and pee, this is the pool to go to. Soothing new age music too. FAMILIES- The other pool is really 2 pools with a waterfall. This is where all the families and many couples were. There are quiet times, and action packed, fun filled times. You can leave your kids at a very good kids club, or bring them to the pool with you, because there is always something going on for them in the pool area. The music is played by the towel attendant. She only has one Spanish salsa tape and one pool aerobics tape. Bring your own CD'S and she'll play them for you. No English, so just hand it to her and say "por favour". Bring her some books and magazines to leave behind, because her selection is very low.

TRANSPORTATION-The taxi to Puerto Vallarta is $30 U.S. The bus is $1.40 U.S. Take the bus. It's safe. The drivers are absolutely insane. Just close your eyes and pray all the way. The roads are on a trecherous cliff. The posted speed limit is 40km/hr, but they all drive 80-90km/hr. Once, there was a transit supervisor driving behind our bus, and the driver only did the speed limit!!! So there actually are laws, they just don't follow them. The taxi drivers are the same.

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3 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 March 2004

I have been meaning to write this review for a while. My husband and I had a great time at Viva Vallarta. It is far from Puerto Vallarta - 40min by bus but in the end you can use this to your advantage especially if what you want is a relaxing holiday. If you are into water sports, the place is very good for surfing. Went on lots of trips, scuba diving, snorkelling and on a trip through the Sierra Nevada. The hotel wasn't that busy. It was also very clean. You will like the botanical gardens that surround the hotel. Try and get a room with an ocean view. The food was great too. Do visit the Italian pizzeria Portofino as the maitre d' is very helpful and the food excellent. The main restaurant is busy. There is plenty of choice for breakfast: continental, Mexican- nice hot chocolate and American.

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4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 March 2004

We just returned from 7 wonderful days (March 6-13, 2004) at Viva Wyndham Vallarta. My husband and I went there with my sister and brother-in-law to celebrate our ?double? 40th wedding anniversary. Our initial impressions of the resort were very good. The staff was courteous and friendly, the grounds were beautiful and the food was great. Even the buffet had so many choices; anyone should be able to find food that they enjoy. The breakfast buffet was especially terrific, with many selections including made to order eggs and omelets. The 3 reservation restaurants were all wonderful. Be sure to make your reservations 48 hours ahead at the reservation desk in the main lobby. The food was great at these restaurants and the service was marvelous. (An exception was the service at the Mexican Restaurant: the night we were there, they appeared to be short-staffed, and the service was very slow.) ?Portofino? was especially terrific: the food and desserts there were especially memorable. I recommend the cheesecake; it was ?melt in your mouth? wonderful!! Also ask for Spanish coffee. It will ?top off? your meal there!!The Relax Pool was great. My sister and brother-in-law had a room near this pool and they were able to reserve seats for us most days. You have to be out by 7 AM for the best choices, and by 8 or 8:30 AM all the lounge chairs are reserved. There is a wonderful view of the ocean from this pool, and several times we were treated to a view of whales jumping in the distance. This is even better if you happen to have binoculars.All the bars served wonderful tropical drinks or ordinary cocktails if you prefer. We only managed to see one of the nightly shows. ?Grease? was the production on the night we attended, and it was a very entertaining show. The staff did a great job.We went on two ?side trips? while we were there. The ?Tropical Tour? was a historical city tour with some interesting stops including a tequila factory. Our guide and bus driver, Patti and Miguel, made the tour very interesting and fun. ?Rhythm of the Nights? was a beautiful sunset cruise to an island where we saw a native show, and had dinner. The sunset was gorgeous, and this was a highlight of our trip.Unlike some of the other reviews on this site, the guests were primarily American and Canadian the week we were there.On the negative side, there is much walking and many stairs (no elevators anywhere). I would definitely not recommend this resort for anyone with any physical limitations, or difficulty walking. One person in our group had a heart condition, and the number of stairs was a problem at times. The rooms were very sparsely decorated and had no dressers. We lived out of our luggage all week, except for hanging a few things in the closet. However, housekeeping did a great job keeping the rooms clean. There is only one gift shop at the resort, and a bus trip or taxi ride into Puerto Vallarta for shopping is an all day affair. Some of the guests shopped at a small town, Bucerius (spelling may be incorrect), which we were told had a flea market and some typical Mexican shops. The beach was small and quite rocky, not a very good beach for taking long walks. We were not bothered by time-share people at the hotel, after telling them ?No, Thanks? a couple of times. However, at the airport, time-share people did try to pull us over, giving the impression that they were with ?Apple Vacations?.The positive attributes far outweighed the negative for us, and we all had a wonderful time!

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6 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 March 2004

We were at Viva in mid February of 2004 for a week. We had a good week of relaxing in the sun. We found the rooms and the resort very clean, and the drinks very good. We have traveled to quite a few all inclusive resrts and would rate this one a three star. The Italian resteraunt was excellent, and the Mexican resturaunt was below average. Breakfast choice at the buffet was excellent, and lunch and dinner were average with choice varying little from day to day. We found the staff to be okay (not overly friendly and not overly rude), we had no issues with the time share people. I can say the entertainment at this resort is a joke!! It is not worth attending, and you will laugh out loud at some of the attempts at entertainment. Overall we had a good week, and would reccomend this resort for a family vacation, but would probably pick somewhere else for singles or couples

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa

Property: Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa
Address: C/ Carretera Punta de Mita Km 11.5, Punta de Mita 63734, Mexico (Formerly Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa)
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Nayarit > Riviera Nayarit > Punta de Mita
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in Punta de Mita
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Punta de Mita
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Punta de Mita
#6 Family Hotel in Punta de Mita
#6 Spa Hotel in Punta de Mita
#6 Luxury Hotel in Punta de Mita
#7 Romantic Hotel in Punta de Mita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 420
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa is located on a spectacular property that offers a 300 meter long private Pacific beach, from which guests can witness stunning sunsets. The construction of the hotel has maintained the natural flora and fauna of the area to provide an extraordinary setting for an unforgettable vacation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Palladium Vallarta Resort And Spa
Palladium Vallarta Hotel Punta De Mita
Palladium Vallarta Puerto
Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa
Palladium Puerto Vallarta
Viva Vallarta
Hotel Palladium Vallarta
Club Viva Vallarta

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