Beware of Mexican Public Holidays
My husband and I stayed there from the 13th-27th May 2003. The hotel and our room were fine, although no balconies, we found the food to be very good, and the waiters and staff friendly and helpful especially Luciano in the dining room. There are security guards in and round the hotel, pools and property 24 hours. Our problem with this hotel is to do with hotel policy of when there is a public holiday (5 in May alone) The General Manager offers a $50.00 US/night per room, and a $70.00 US/night with food and drink. This meant in the 2 weeks we were there the Mexican people and their kids would pile into these rooms with no maximum occupancy. The pools, restaurant. snack shack and bars were a zoo from Thurs to Sun lunch. The children were not supervised and would be running up and down the hotel corridors at all times of the day and night. What was most disturbing was the babies and toddlers in diapers in the shallow part of the adult pool. We had 3 instances of "floaties" in our 2 weeks, and 4 instances the week before we arrived. The attitude of the parents was "oh, well". When complaints were made to the General Manager he agreed that yes "floaties " in the pool was a problem, the suggestion that diapered children should be not to be allowed in the supposed to be adult pool, was ignored. The Canadian, American, British, German and some of the Mexican people themselves were thoroughly disgusted. This cheap room offer is implemented when the hotel is not at full capacity, so is offered at other times of the year, but generally always at public holiday times. So if you thinking of going there check for school and public holidays. We still had a good vacation but we would not return to this hotel and I would warn anyone thinking of going there.
We just returned from the Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta. We had a wonderful time. Arrival at the airport went incrediby smooth - from the time we landed to the time we were on the shuttle to the hotel was maybe 20 minutes. Check-in went quickly and even though we were several hours early, they had a room for us. The room was tasteful and comfortably air conditioned. Although there was no clock - it wasn't a big deal - if you really had to know what time it was, you could flip on the TV and go to the menu. The beds were a little hard for my taste but my kids had no complaints and my boyfriend said his back felt better than on our mattress at home. The weather was GREAT - mid 80's, two nights of rain, but it didn't have any effect on activities as it was later in the evening. The food was SO GOOD at the main buffet restaurant (Topacio). The snack bar was so-so but my kids loved it. We never did eat at either of the specialty restaurants because we were so happy with the Food at Tapacio. There was always a great variety, it was fresh, nicely presented. The waiters were very friendly and helpful, always there to refill drinks, carry a full plate of food back to your table. The activities staff was very friendly, they were great with the kids. The nightly entertainment was entertaining, but not what I would call Professional. We did go to every show though and enjoyed them. The beach was clean, there were always lounge chairs available. There was only one day when we had to wait to use the boogie boards, and the wait was only about 30 minutes. The downfall to Mexico - not this resort specifically - is the vendors. If you are on the beach they will bombard you - asking if you want your hair braided, want to buy jewelry and a couple even asked if we wanted drugs. Its the same thing downtown only about 10 times worse. I have experienced the same in all the cities I have been in in Mexico so it isn't specific to this resort. Just learn to politley say no or lay on your lounge chair with your eyes closed. them. The pool isn't too deep and there is a seperate kids pool for the little kids. There were lots of activities to keep them busy and the staff people were so nice to them. My 9 year old son spent about 2 hours getting to know a couple of the staff people one afternoon and he found out about the hurricane last year, their lives in Mexico, they taught him some spanish words. After that whenever they saw us, they'd ask where he was. Going through Customs in Mexico was a breeze and the customs officers were very friendly - totally different from how they were back in the US - the customs people in the US were so rude and unfriendly. We booked this trip through vacationstogo. Great price and service. We had a great time and I would recommend the resort to others.
I love Puerto Vallarta
THis was the first time we had ever travelled to Mexico and also the first all inclusive resort we have ever stayed at. THe hotel is very nice, not plush but the staff is the best I have ever seen anywhere in the world. The food was good, the drinks tasty, the ocean beautiful and the people all friendly and helpful. Golf was expensive but that was ok because with an all inclusive we had to spend our money someplace. THe vendors on the beach wer fun and not pushy. We will definitely be back!!!
terrible allegro resort!
this is my 3rd all inclusive vacation and far the worst one. first, im so upset that they never revealed that you could not dine in the italian RESTAURANT if you have children under 6!!!! geez, if i had known that i wouldn't have booked this vacation. my two daughters love italian food but ended up eating at the mexican restuarant which there 's was abundant of mexican restuarant food at the buffet and you only get one ticket for fine dining for 4 night stay. the rest was buffet style, ughh.....after the 4th day i was so ready to leave. and they call their hotel "kids friendly"??? then they should allow kids in the restaurants. second, there was one pool and one kiddie pool. by the end of the day the pool was so cloudy(we all know why). last, the room smelled like mildew constantly. never had such a bad experienced in my whole life. i couldn't sleep because i had nasal drip from the mildew and you can see the air vent has been painted to cover the black mold....ugh....would not definitely recommend this to anyone especially a family with young kids. aweful and a waste of money. ive heard all Allegro resorts have bad reputations. my fault for not reading.............
A fabulous holiday @ the Occidental!
I visited the Occidental grand Nuevo (Allegro) resort just outside Puerto Vallarta from May 31st to June 6, 2003 and I had a wonderful time. The resort itself is beautiful, lovely beach and very nice decor.
But what made this trip exceptional was the staff! Each and every one of the staff genuinely seemed concerned with whether or not the guests were enjoying themselves. From the waiters to the maintenance guys, all of them were so nice!!! The waiters and bartenders remember your name, and still give you good service even if you aren't tipping all the time. I personally waited until the end of the week to tip the exceptional staff and it didn't diminish the quallity of service I received all week. The nightly entertainment was super and the Entertainment team kept us having fun around the pool all day and took us off-resort to the best clubs in Downtown Puerto Vallarta (appx 15 min drive from hotel) My only complaint about the resort was that the maid walked right into our room every single morning!!! It drove us nuts! So make sure to put your do not disturb sign on all the time!Overall I suggest this resort to anyone/everyone : families, couples and singles!
5 Star Resort......BUT....2 Star Rooms.
We just returned from the Allegro/Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta Resort, having stayed for 7 nights - June 13th thru 20th, 2003. This was our first vacation to Puerto Vallarta, and our first to an all-inclusive resort with our children (12 yr. daughter, and 5 yr. old son.) The resort is definately a 5 STAR resort. The place is just beautiful. Palm trees everywhere, the view of the beach, the waves, the mountains in the distance, and the breath-taking views of the evening sunset. The pools were nice, and always clean; you had plenty of lounge chairs to pick from, and with a 5 year old that is just learning to swim, the children's pool was perfect for him, as it's only about 2 ft.
deep. The other pool was good too (fairly big), just not real deep, probably 4 to 5 foot deep at most. The beach was wonderful. Always clean, and nicely raked in the mornings. You could always find a shade table, with the nice comfy lounge chairs, not the hard plastic ones, like we saw at some of the other resorts down the way. If you like to lay-out and get that dark tan, you will love this resort's beach. The sand is nice for making sand castles, and playing on, but it did get a little hot in the mid-afternoons. The waves were fun to play in, not too big, but high enough to dive into, or take a little ride on the boogie boards. The water is not clear, like you find in Cancun or Cozumel, so you really can't snorkel here, but they have tours available that you can take to a nearby secluded beach (you might want to check out the tour to Las Caletas - for snorkeling, kayaking, and/or scuba diving. $$) The food was pretty good. Lots to pick from at the daily buffet restaurant (TOPACIO'S), the guacamole is just awesome....we ate it everyday! The waiter staff was great. Luciano and Daniel had our favorite table waiting for us each morning, and again if they saw us at lunch or dinner. (If you travel to here, be sure to take care of them....We really miss them!) For breakfast you could choose from pancakes, french toast, omeletes made your way, sausage and bacon, cereal, and a whole lot more. At lunch and dinner, there was always several dishes to choose from, pasta, chicken, pork or beef, caseroles, vegetables, salads, and of course alot of desserts, and a whole lot more. (Special note: If you want a scoop of ice cream, just ask your waiter, and they can get it, as generally it was not offered at the lunch/dinner buffet....the coconut ice cream was delicious.) The kids really liked the snack bar grill's french fries, and said the hamburgers and hot dogs were ok. They weren't too impressed with the pizza. They liked the chips, even though they were a little hard. But their real favorite was the pasta at the buffet, cooked right in front of you in a skillet with butter and garlic. We did make reservations 1 night at the Italian restaurant, and the food was good. We just had a ceasar salad, pasta and lasagna, and the kids had fried mozzerella cheese sticks, which they really liked. The restaurant did smell a little musty, so we kinda ate and left pretty quick. We never ate at the Mexican restaurant - La Troje's, but talked with another family that did, and they said the fajita's and enchiladas were good. The bar drinks were good, as we had a few Margaritta's, Pina Colada's, Bahama Mama's, and they offer Sol - a draft beer on tap. The kids had soft drinks, their coca cola light is our diet coke. NOW FOR THE ROOMS.....we paid extra and upgraded to an ocean view room, which we got on the top floor - 7th floor. We had a good view of the ocean and the resort from here, no palm trees in the way, and we could see the stage area right below us where they have the nightly performances, so the kids watched them practice alot during the middle of the day, from our AIR-CONDITIONED room, which was nice being out of the heat for awhile. BUT our biggest disappointment was that the BEDS are TERRIBLE.
We were expecting a room with 2 Queen beds, which we were told was standard in the rooms, either a KINGSIZE bed or 2 QUEENS. These beds were barely a double bed. And the mattresses were so old and hard, it felt like the box spring was pushing through when you laid down. We asked the front desk about the beds, and were told they had no rooms with 2 QUEEN size beds, only DOUBLES. So there was nothing we could change to. We did talk with the General Manager, Mr. Jesus Aguirre Plascencia, and showed him Funjet website of the Resort, which said the rooms had 2 Queen beds. He said he was sorry, but that is not right, and said the pictures featuring the hotel on this website were old, and need to be updated. So he would look into making sure all the information on the hotel was correct. He said he has heard similar complaints, though minimal, about the beds being old and hard, and he is commited to purchasing new mattresses. HE EVEN SAID HE WILL SEND ME A COPY OF THE INVOICE WHEN HE PURCHASES THE NEW MATTRESSES, TO ASSURE ME THAT THE BEDS WILL BE BETTER, IF WE WILL COME BACK. Jesus, i'm gonna hold you to it, i'll be waiting to see that invoice!!!! Also, the rooms are pretty small. (and no balconies, you can't even upgrade to one, unless you buy/rent a timeshare, which has all the suites w/ balconies.) The bathroom vanity/sink area is real small, and only has 1 plug, which they have the hair dryer plugged into. We looked all around for more plugs and never found one, until our last day....when we noticed they have a plug underneath the sink, so you'll have to crawl under to plug anything into this. Also, be aware that their is no bath tub, SHOWER ONLY....which is ok for adults, but the kids didn't like it much, but they managed. The nightly shows were entertaining. The staff is very energetic and have alot of fun with the shows. The shows we most enjoyed were "GREASE" and "Las Vegas", but the others were good too. A little cheesy at times, and some even Risque', but usually ok for the children. (They had popcorn, which the kids really enjoyed) Some required audience participation, so don't be surprised if you or someone you meet, get asked to go up on stage and be apart of the fun.
(Special hint: If you are a Macho Man, and get picked to go up on stage during the Macho Man Show, be sure to pick a "tiny" attractive women as your partner!!) We made a trip downtown to the flea market/and boardwalk area, rode the bus, for 10 pesos - $1each, instead of paying 130 pesos - $13 for a cab ride, and it really wasn't that bad. Once downtown though, be aware that as you are walking down the streets, there are alot of timeshare people offering to give you a map and help you with where to go, but they then try to take up your time to set up a visit to their resort/for timeshare presentation. (We heard the Puerto Vallarta officials are or soon will be putting a stop to this, so maybe on your visit you won't encounter this.) We took the advice of others and never paid what they originally wanted.....but of course, it seemed like each shop had a standard HIGH price they wanted, either 280 pesos - $28 or 350 pesos - $35...but you could generally get them down to $10 or $15 for the higher priced items. We also made a visit to the nearby waterpark - SPLASH. The kids really enjoyed this, because they had a large kids lagoon play area, with slides and waterfalls, and the water was only about 1-2 ft. high for the little kids area, so our 5 year old had a great time, and our 12 year old loved the waterslides, no lines. We went on a Tuesday, and their was not very many people there on this day at all (my guess, is 50 to 75), but not sure what it is like on Sat. or Sunday. Cost was $12-adults/children 4'5" and above , $10-children 2'9"-4'5", and less than 2'9'' was free. We took at cab from the resort - 50 pesos - $5 each way. Bring some extra $$, as the Food and drinks are a little pricey, and you have to pay to rent an intertube float, to float the river, and to use to go on some of the waterslide rides. To wrap this up, (my wife says i've written a book, so i'll hurry and finish.) but what makes the Allegro/Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta a great place to visit with the kids, was it's location.
Right down and across the street is a 2 story indoor mall. They have a McDonalds, a Domino's Pizza, a washateria (if you want to do a load of clothes), a game room - video games/air hockey/ pool table - each costing about $.50-$1.00 per game, plus many more shops. Also, an internet cafe - where you can get on a computer, and read and send emails, along with instant messaging (and with a 12 year old that loves to chat on the computer with friends, this was great for her.) - cost was about 30 pesos - $3 for 30-45 minutes, and more if you were on it longer. The mall also had a large inflatable jungle slide/obstacle course for children 6 and under to play on. This really kept our 5 year old happy each day we visited. OVERALL, WE WERE REAL HAPPY WITH THE RESORT AND LOVED OUR VACATION. We definately will be back to Nuevo Vallarta for another fun filled week vacation. HOLA.
It really is a bargain
Hats off to this web site. I had read many of the reviews posted and I would say 95% of them were very accurate. It was nice to have a feel of the premises before arrival. My husband and I were in Puerto Vallarta the first week of May. We arranged our last minute trip through Funjet Vacations. I must say we have been to many places, especially in Mexico...we have planned months in advance all the way down to three days prior to departure, which is when we landed this trip. This was by far the best trip we have taken. I was sad to learn that FunJet would no longer be offering Puerto Vallarta packages from our city because of low demand. Landing at Puerto Vallarta's airport was hassel-free. We had a flight that put is there at 12:30 in the afternoon. There was hardly any traffic and no lines. We were immediately whisked to our transfer who had us at the resort and checked in by 1:20. Back to the flight.... there were only 35 of us on board so it was like a family...very comfortable. Our check in was smooth. I had read that the staff was ultra friendly, however, I would say polite with no bells and whistles. Our room was fine. We wanted to take a brief nap so as we were about to fall asleep, the sound of hammers awoke us. They were working on our roof. We went to the front desk and asked if we could get a room in another wing. They were reluctant, but did move us thanks to the lady who worked for the time-share team. Speaking of time share, that's exactly what it is although they try and tell you different. The table is set up right at the elevators so you WILL get hit up eventually. My husband and I decided to listen to the spill. First of all they require your driver's license and a credit card. I noticed they did not pursue younger couples. They are pretty much after middle age on! We sit down with the guy who tells us he is a real estate attorney. This was a joke because I was in the legal profession and he did not know alot of the real estate terminology. After literally two hours with this clan, the extremely high pressure tactics kicks in. We told them we wanted the paper work to take back for our attorney and accountant to look it over and they refused. In a nutshell, they want you to sign right then.....they wanted to put it on a credit card!
After we said we wouldnt' sign anything without our "people" looking at it first, they became hostile. It was pathetic. I'm determined they're all scam artists from the US who are hiding out in Mexico. That experience was a shame because we are impressed with Occidental's properties. As a result from a hurricane they had back in October and because of Occidental's takeover from Allegro, they are rennovating the resort so be prepared for construction. You will notice how many deals are going on right now for this place. The service over all was friendly, but we have experienced much better in Mexico. The food was good. As others have mentioned in reviews, this is a family oriented place, mostly for natives who bring their families here for vacation....just like us Texans heading to our own beaches. I highly recommend taking the day excursion to the island where a certain Hollywood director lived for nearly 20 years. That was outstanding.
Would I go back to Puerto Vallarta again? Yes. Would I go back to Occidental again? Yes, especially if we got the same killer deal we had the first time around. And remember, we planned this trip only three days in advance!