More about Hotel Mercurio - Puerto Vallarta
Great Value and Location
After owning two condos in Puerto Vallarta during the past 7 years, we decided to get out of the rental business and sold them both. However, we still love Puerto Vallarta and wanted to stay in a quiet, safe hotel near Los Muertos Beach in the Zona Romantica --- the "real" Puerto Vallarta.
My partner and I just spent the past 7 days (February 28 - March 7, 2007) at the Hotel Mercurio. We were very pleased with the accommodations, and I highly recommend this quality, budget hotel to gay and lesbian travelers.
Hotel Mercurio is very conveniently located 1/2 block off Olas Altas Street and just 1.5 blocks from the Los Muertos pier in the lively Bohamian Zona Romantica district. The hotel is a 5 to 7 minute walk from the gay beach and is surrounded by wonderful cafes, restaurants, and shops, as well as all the gay bars, clubs, and discos.
Our king-bedded room was simple, but comfortable and featured a pillow-top mattress, Mexican tile floors, kitchenette, color cable TV with CNN and other international channels, a mini fridge, and traditional Mexican decor. The mini-split air conditioning and ceiling fan provided more than enough cooling power, and we never had any problem with getting enough hot water in the shower.
The included breakfast was EXCELLENT, and featured scrambled eggs, fresh pastries, toast and jam, orange juice, delicious coffee, yogurt, and a hot Mexican breakfast dish that changed daily to add variety to our 7-day stay.
The best aspect of the Hotel Mercurio is the staff --- warm, friendly, and very professional.....always looking out for the clients and making everyone feel welcome.
If you are looking for a safe, quiet, well-located, traditional style Mexican budget hotel AND you are gay or lesbian, this is the place for you in Puerto Vallarta --- young, old, and everyone in between will feel more than welcome at Hotel Mercurio. At approximately $100 per night for two including taxes and daily breakfast, Hotel Mercurio is a good value for your vacation dollar.
I Will Return ! ! Great Hotel
Decided to spend the Christmas holiday in PV this year and it was a very good decision. This was my first time at Hotel Mercurio. Easiest way to get to hotel from the Airport was to take a cab. Was dropped right off at the hotel entrance. Room was great. Nothing fancy, but wasn't looking for that here (if you are, you need to book in the hotel zone and stay at a "chain" hotel). The room had a small TV w/ cable, ceiling fan, small refrigerator, excellent air conditioner, and nice brisk shower. Absolutely no complaints. Every morning breakfast was served around the small pool area. There is a PC available for use by the hotel guests, and I think they have WI-FI too. The hotel location is ideal for walking to all the Restaurants, bars, stores, etc. And, of course walking to the gay beach area (about 7 minutes). All in all, this hotel is a great value for your money, and I will definitely return to this hotel for my next trip to PV.
Gracious and Charming
My partner and I traveled to Puerto Vallarta on July 31, 2006 for three nights, departing on August 3. This was our first trip to PV (and Mexico for that matter). I was searching for a possible summer trip during the gray and gloomy days of February, and ran across Hotel Mercurio as a featured deal on the Gay section of Orbitz.com. For two round trip flights from Indianapolis on Continental and three nights in a basic room at Hotel Mercurio (not the larger King-sized bedroom, but the standard double-size bed room) we paid 1500.00. What a great deal! I researched Hotel Mercurio on various hotel review sites (including this one) and felt confident in our choice for lodging. We were not disappointed! Hotel Mecurio is the perfect choice for the gay traveler (single or couples) who is looking for clean, secure, economical lodging with a great location (not only is the hotel 1.5 blocks from the beach, and a five minute walk to the gay beach, but it is also conveniently located near the gay nightlife and fantastic shopping and dining opportunities). If that were not reason enough, the staff at Hotel Mercurio is FANTASTIC! Without exception, every member of the staff (front desk, maids, bartenders, breakfast coordinator, etc.) was a perfect ambassador of Mexican hospitality. We felt welcome, safe, and completely at home during our short stay, and cannot wait to return to Puerto Vallarta…and we will definitely stay at Hotel Mercurio!
The Room: Very basic. Very clean. Bed, chair, table, shelf, lamps, mirror. Air conditioner worked very well. Ceiling fan also. Wall safe (perfect size for most valuables, but too small for laptop, etc.). TV with cable. Tile floors, stucco walls. Very firm mattress and pillows. Linens were clean and soft.
The Bathroom: Overall, small. Shower big enough for two, nice Mexican tile. Also serves as the closet. Water pressure adequate. Hot water not so hot, but who needs scalding hot water in the middle of the Mexican summer?
The Courtyard: Beautiful. Brand new design. Lovely plants and palm trees. Pool great for splashing and floating (and group skinny dipping). Cabana bar for breakfast buffet and afternoon cocktails, poolside seating (tables, chairs, and chaise lounges). Bring bug spray…in the morning the mosquitoes are fierce!
Other Guests: There were guest there from California, Canada, Georgia, and New York. Everyone fun and friendly, in fact one night several of us went out together.
Services: Coordinate cabs, provide towels for beach, maps, guides, restaurant and bar suggestions, you name it, the staff can handle it…plus, your first two drinks are free at the bar, and you get free hotel T-shirts!
Breakfast: Included in the room. Ample amounts of delicious food. Eggs, sausage, ham, pastries, orange juice, coffee, yogurt…all you can eat.
If you are a pretentious traveler that demands a plush environment that looks like every other 5-star hotel in the world, go somewhere else. If you are a thrifty but demanding traveler that enjoys charm and security, then Hotel Mercurio is the choice for you.
We hope to see you there!
Joel and Michael
Mercurio - Humming Along...
We stayed here again this past holiday season Dec 30-Jan 16 2005. As anyone who travels anywhere knows - location is everything and in this regards the Mercurio has the BEST location relative to distance from beach, bars and of course Gay bars - shopping etc etc.
Carlos the Manager was kind enough to give us the same room on pool level that we enjoyed in previous years. Basically little in the hotel has changed from the last review - no improvements were made to the rooms or hotel that we noted - although we saw new mattresses being placed in some rooms when we were there, but not in our room - and we needed a new one!!. It squeaked terribly. Toilet did not flush properly - same issue as last year - they need the whole drainage system power pressured to remove backlogs in the pipes.
Breakfast included scrambled eggs this year - but most days we had breakfast out or just coffee. There is simply not enough chairs and tables poolside to accomodate everyone for breakfast - so we rarely sat out there.
The pool has a leak that required it to be filled constantly - the good thing about this is the water was clean all the time!!. Bad thing is water bills likely high - resulting in increases in price!! :) no thats not funny!
Many front desk staff changes - some need lessons in PR - while maids remain an absolute treasure - Vicky and Savina - please hug them both! They make the place special. Management were quite aloof to most guests this last visit - a comment made by some returning and new guests - yet it is billed as a "boutique" hotel - and the "personal touch" was missing.
While the Hotel Mercurio is clean, simple, secure & safe - it also provides good value and location. No need for an "all inclusive hotel" when you can walk out the door and a 100 places to eat cheaply are within a few blocks of this place. One last point - no hills to climb at this location - there are hotels on the hills for mountain goats.
Enjoy PV -
Edmonton Canada Boys
Hidden Gem in the Olas Altas area
Hotel Mercurio is a hidden gem in the friendly "Olas Altas" area of Puerto Vallarta. This is a gay owned and operated small hotel , and I stayed there for 3 nights on Dec 2nd 2006. What a plesant experience!
This is a well managed, friendly and personal hotel that is clean and inexpensive. The rate is very reasonable for the location and amenities including (pillow top mattress, free Internet and phone, breakfast, welcome complimentary drink, safe box and etc.) This hotel also offers wireless Internet accesses. So bring your laptop and get connected!
Breakfast is the very lavish for small hotel like this with hot items every morning such as scramble eggs and bacon, pastries, fresh fruit, yogurt and coffee. All the guests sit by the pool to enjoy the breakfast.
The hotel staffs are so nice and friendly, and they truly make you feel at home. I would definitely come back to Vallarta and stay at Mercurio again. I also would highly recommend this establishment to my fellow GLBT travelers if you are planning to visit Vallarta.
Vincent @ Boston, MA
Good location for the budget traveler
The hotel is ok for the budget traveler. The location is it's best feature. It's right in the heart of the old downtown steps away from a lot of restaurants and bars. The hotel is concrete, very old, pre-WWII at least. There have been a lot of upgrading to the pool area and common areas, but room improvements seem very slow. It appears the in room guest book has been promising new tv's and beds for some time.
I guess you don't go to PV to be in your room, but instead at the beach. But, considering it is very hot and humid when we were there, our room was our resting location and we needed it often. The beds were extremely hard and not comfortable. My back and neck hurt after sleeping on them and I'm a younger guy, too.
The tv is a tiny 13". The room had a mini-fridge, tile floors, and budget conscious older decor. Simple. The bathroom is in definate need of serious work. It's simply worn out. The bathroom door was broken and had to be wiggled to get out (sometime even like 30 seconds which is a lot when your trying to get out). We complained a few times, but it never was repaired. The showerhead needed to be replaced or cleaned with some de-limer only a few holes sprayed water. If you're remodeling a hotel these are cheap easy fixes.
The staff does a moderate job of being courteous. Some are better than others - with a few being very nice and friendly. Most are just probably simply too hot sitting in the open air lobby at 90 heat all day long. They don't move to fast and aren't exceptionally friendly. There is plenty of staff and they will attend to your needs, but just a bit slowly and quietly. That's ok for us, it worked. The custom here must not be to great you as arrive at the front desk -- they never greeted us or remembered our room number (you leave the key at the front desk when leaving your room). And we stayed in our room 8 days and must have gone in and out at least 10-20 times a day!!
The maid did a descent job cleaning the room and worked very hard -- she was the only one we saw for the entire hotel. The beds were clean and floors mopped every day. Although we suspect sometimes they may have not changed the pillowcases. Not too big a deal, but we would have liked it better if they had.
Surpringly the air conditoner worked well. One switch on wall... on or off. But it cooled well. It basically ran 24/7 for 8 days.
We paid about $80 a night for the room. A decent Motel 6 in a beach location in our area in the US would run about the same, more or less.
Our room included a breakfast, which was ok. We found breakfast and lunches to be cheap in town at the restaurants. $5-$10 most places. Dinners range from $15 to $50. -- no kidding, several restaurants on the beaches we paid $150 for 3 people and we only had 1 drink each. Very expensive for my lifestyle -- even in the U.S.
I didn't eat at any of the local taco stands sticking only to restaurant food and bottled water, very little raw food like salads... despite this I still got sick and was laid up in my room for 3 days being very ill.
We tried to get a late checkout to 2pm (checkout is 12 noon). They would not allow it claiming the hotel was full. However we checked out on Sunday, typically the slowest day, saw no new arrivals and during our stay the hotel was half full at most -- and we had a regular 2 bed room. We don't like when hotels play games just because they can.
Not what was cracked up to be
The location was fine but, the rooms where too small compared to the pictures from the internet. The bathrooms are way to small and the toilet wouldn't flush the right way. (Only a trickle of water). The pool was very small even when they noted on the website that is was large. It was a motel 6 type that was definitely due for rennovations. I would not stay there again. I'm returning in Nov 06 and i am trying a place called Villadavid. Scott, Texas
All right hotel, with some issues
I stayed at this hotel for 7 nights, and I basically had a nice stay, with some issues. The time I was there, the great majority of the guests were in their 50s and 60s, so it was a quiet crowd (fine with me). I'll list what I feel are this hotel's strengths and weaknesses:
(1) Ideal location for the gay traveler, within easy walking distance to the gay beach and pretty much all clubs, and just far enough removed from Olas Altas Street to be shielded from its noise
(2) Mostly helpful, friendly, competent staff, with the exception of one who gave away our room which we had specifically reserved to be off the street (we had to take one facing the street), and who also didn't wake us up on one morning
(3) Great breakfasts with great variety, except the coffee which was rather bad
(4) Complimentary internet access in the lobby, and complimentary VOIP calls back home
(5) Early evening bar was a lot of fun, and the drinks packed a punch for a reasonable 50 pesos (about $4.50)
(6) Comfortable beds, and working A/C
(1) Security was a major issue for me. There was very often NO ONE watching who was coming or going, and, as a previous reviewer pointed out, the locks are flimsy (and the in-room safe isn't big enough to hold a laptop or my integrated dive computer)
(2) Often no hot water, especially around 8:30-9:30 AM--and I don't like cold showers
(3) No alarm clock/radio in the room. As mentioned above, once one of the employees didn't wake me up at the requested hour, and I could have missed my dive boat ($100). It would seem they could invest $10-$15 per room to provide radio alarm clocks.
(4) The pool was quite dirty much of the time. I only saw the waterfall going twice, and once was when they were taking promotional pictures for the place, when they hired two of the local rentboys to lie by the pool.
(5) The A/C doesn't allow one to set a comfort level or temperature. It's either on or off. So at times I would have to get up in the middle of the night to turn it off when it got too cool, then turn it back on when it got too warm again.
In the past, I've stayed at the Hotel Torre de Oro, which I learned on this trip has now become a gay hotel, and renamed The Abbey Hotel. It is more secure (you have to be buzzed in), and somewhat more upscale, and located right nearby. While I didn't have anything stolen, and I basically had a good time, I think that for my next trip I'll look at the Abbey and see what they're charging, unless this place has worked on the issues I mentioned.