November 7 to 14, 2013
Hans and I always get away during the month of November. We thought we would go to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico as it has been 12 years since we last went there. We chose the All-Inclusive - 420 Rooms, GRAND PALLADIUM VALLARTA RESORT because it looked so nice and the reviews were pretty good.
The Grand Palladium offered:
Daily Buffet for Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner - at "El Bosque"
Four a-la-carte Restaurants - Portofino - Bambu - Viva Mexico - Ribs & More
Snack Restaurant - "Las Terrazas"
Unlimited domestic and select international drinks
Free internet Access - Lobby Area
Daily Sports and activities Program
non-motorized water sports - canoes - boogie boards - snorkel equipment
I did read many reviews on Trip Advisor and most were positive with some negative. I read and was told by my travel agent that the resort was a 45-minute shuttle (included) from the airport ($50.00 if you take a cab). The Resort is very secluded, with Bucerias the closest town.
The Resort is ideal for families with children. They offer "Kids Stay and Eat Free" and they have many Children's Activities throughout the day.
Weekends are very busy as Lots of Locals come so the Main Swimming Pool can be very noisy and crowded.
The Adult Swimming Pool, which is an Infinity pool, has wonderful views of the sea and beach and is not overly crowded.
I have to say that the BEACH was the biggest disappointment for me. I only dipped my toes in the water once. The shoreline was rocky and the water murky, not blue like I expected. On our last day there (Thursday) the red caution flag was put out by the lifeguard as there was a huge ALGI Blob in the water that made it unsafe to swim. There were very few bamboo umbrellas, so if you wanted a good spot, you had to get there early (like 7:00 a.m.) to stake out your spot. We usually went before breakfast and put our beach towels on a couple of chairs.
Would I return to the Grand Palladium - NO! It's just not that GRAND!
OUR ROOM # 2016
Our room had a King Size Bed, 2 comfy chairs & table, 2 bedside tables, telephone, T.V., Mini fridge stocked with 4 bottles of beer, 4 cans of soda and 4 bottles of water. It also had an ironing board and iron, in-room safe (no charge), lots of closet space, coffee machine. There was a 3-piece bathroom with complimentary bars of soap, shampoo, bath gel and lotion.
Our room was spacious and clean and had a small terrace with garden and ocean views.
It was quite hot and humid when we were there. The air-conditioning was set at 22 degrees but it was still very warm in our room, so I don't think it was working properly and once in the week we had a short blackout.
As there are no elevators, we requested a ground floor room ( they wanted to put us on the third floor but we protested as we had requested ground floor when we booked.)
oh, and a puerto vallarta page.
one time, i stayed at villas vallarta
it's an actual hotel with a pool and the facilities you need. there are places to shop just downstairs, but it's not close to the water and you have to take a bus to be anywhere interesting, imo.
there is also hotel ana liz in a great centrally located part of zona romantica, if you're on any budget (why not, since you're only spending three days there?)
it's super cheap and right in the middle of everything. clean, simple.
This was my second trip to an all-inclusive resort. The first trip was to Breeze's in Montego Bay. The only thing good I have to say about that place is thay had a nice beach. Dreams Villa Magna was off the chart compared to Breeze's. The bars served real liquor, and there was wait service on the beach. The food was great - including 24hr room service. Mini bar was restocked every day. The place was clean. Pools were fantastic. Security kept children out of the adult pool. There were a lot of children there. Witnessed many weddings. The hotel did a great job with the weddings. Dolphins and manta rays were visible from the beach. Body surfing and boogie boarding was outstanding.
The staff was incredible. Most putting in long days, but still they maintaned a cheerful, and attentive attitude. What a bargin too! $1100 for 2 for 8 days and 7 nights.
I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by Hotel Las Palomas. The hotel is very well run, it is very clean and the rooms are big. There is also free parking which was a big plus! The hotel has a very nice and very clean pool where you can relax and watch the mountains. Internet is free to hotel guests, so you can stay in touch with family and friends if you want to.
They have a very nice restaurant (we did not eat here, but we talk to other couples that were staying in the hotel and they did recommend eating at the restaurant) that seemed to be well run. Breakfast is included in the room price and it is good.
The location is perfect too. It is very close to the town center but far away to be quiet. It takes about 5 minutes to walk downtown from the hotel.
The price was more than decent considering all that you get. We paid 745 pesos (all taxes and breakfast included), which comes to about 70 US dollars per night.
The hotel personnel does speak a little bit of English (not all of them do, though), but you may also have to use your hands a lot and point out at the things you want (as we did when we exhausted all the Spanish words and phrases in our vocabulary).
I really enjoyed our stay at this hotel and I would highly recommend it to anybody who wants to go to Tepic and spend a night in town.
Unfortunately, I broke my digital camera on the way to Tepic and could not take any pictures...
big rooms, clean, great pool and friendly staff
It is nice to travel to a place like Casa la Ventana that meets one’s expectations for lodging and location while providing a couple of nice surprises that were not anticipated.
I was staying at Casa la Ventana during November and December because I was going to start writing a screenplay. I wanted a modern and quite place that provided good Internet access. I was not disappointed with theses demands. The owners and the local staff provided great service and support. The property is gorgeous with all of its plants and vegetation. The room had a comfortable bed with great lighting, climate control, storage and fantastic bathrooms with a very nice shower. The top floor of Casa la Ventana is unique because one can view the whole village, the steep Sierra Madre Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. I had a couple meals that were cooked by one of the owners, which were outstanding because she gets the fish, tamales, cheese and other food from local vendors.
The surprises of the trip were the following: 1. The local soccer field provided a great area to do my daily jogging – it was almost like a college track for softness of ground.. 2. There is a private beach that is a thirty-minute walk through the mountains, which is good for swimming and snorkeling. 3. The zoo at Mismaloya provided the necessary animal accommodation while maintaining a great environment to observe the animals, which the majority is indigenous to Mexico, according to the zoo brochure. 4. The Botanical Gardens, couple miles south of Boca, with its orchids and other flowers and plants, especially the vanilla plants were something that I didn’t think that I would like; I was wrong. The zoon and gardens offer some unusual settings for photographs. Especially nice was that I didn’t get sick for two months, always felt safe, and the accommodations, food, drink, attractions were well within my budget.
Casa la Ventana is located in Boca de Tomatlan, which provides an authentic atmosphere of a small working community with its commerce, schools, churches and people. The town has some grocery stores that provide fresh fruit and vegetables and other items at reasonable prices. Wanting more variety is a twenty- minute public bus ride for sixty-five cents into Puerto Vallarta; affording an opportunity to practice one’s Spanish with local riders. There are numerous restaurants that cater to local residents and people from Puerto Vallarta spending a day on the beach for the weekend. Ramon’s beach restaurant is excellent example of place that a person brags about after the vacation to others, with great seafood dishes, friendly and funny staff and a great jukebox with Mexican songs. It is also the local hangout for the non-Mexican residents that live in Boca de Tomatlan.. Both non-locals and locals provide good conversation and stories. The weekday ritual of the school children in their uniforms going to school and playing conjures nice images of one’s earlier schooling years. While the ritual of firing the cannon to announce the commencement of Sunday services is something most people may have not had while growing-up, it is an event that will always be remembered. The people of Boca de Tomatlan – Mexican and non-Mexican are a delight that enhances the emotions of traveling. These are people truly love living in this community, which, without sounding trite, makes a person appreciate the communal aspect of life.
In January 2009, I planned a surprise trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for my girlfriend. Coming from Vancouver, Canada, where an especially harsh and lasting winter was wrecking havoc, the sand and sun of a beautiful beach getaway, coupled with relatively inexpensive flights (thank you, Global Financial Crisis), was a truly irresistible combination.
This wasn't, however, just any spontaneous vacation. Sometime during the trip I planned to propose to my girlfriend, Jodie, the love of my life.
Now, I've never done anything the simple way, and staying in some standard fare, cookie-cutter beach resort just isn't me. Sure, the swim-up bar is nice, but there is nothing authentic about it and the food is usually mediocre at best.
Besides, I had an ulterior motive. I love traveling to different places around the world, and my girlfriend has not had the same opportunities to do this. While I was riding on a ferry to middle of nowhere Indonesia, Jodie was working her way through nursing school. Having not had these experiences, she is just a little apprehensive about traveling outside the regular tourist zones and, as her potential long term partner, it's important to me that she has the chance to see if she shares my love of exploring.
So, with all of this in mind, I set out to find a romantic, authentic, reasonably priced place to stay while in Puerto Vallarta. It was not an easy task. Focusing on condos, I found that some were nice but nothing special. Many were too far away from the city centre. Other seemed appropriate, but turned about to be prohibitively expensive.
Finally, one night at about 4 am, I stumbled across a craigslist ad for Casa Viridiana (www.casaviridiana.com). The pictures were striking, and the description was lucid and well written. After I contacted Louis the owner, everything seemed to fall into place.
As it turned out, the photos that had captured my attention did not nearly do justice to the real thing. The views from the patio and roof are truly stunning, and I could have spent the entire time outside in the hammock, gazing onto the bay and the mountains. The suite itself was clean, comfortable and simply but beautifully decorated.
The neighbourhood was perfect. The area is home to local Mexicans and long-time expats. When it wasn't quiet (which was a lot of the time) my girlfriend and I could hear the sounds of birds and, on the Friday morning, children playing at the nearby elementary school. The Malecon (the main boardwalk with all the nightlife and pricey restaurants), is close enough to walk-to, but far enough away to feel like you are secluded from the regular tourist happenings.
Needless to say, my girlfriend fell in love with the place. She liked it so much that she was silly enough to say yes when I proposed to her on the rooftop, open air bed, just after the nightly fireworks had begun.
I have no doubt that this trip has ignited in her a desire to keep exploring the world with me - and I can say for sure that she wants to return to the suite and to Puerto Vallarta (perhaps in that order of importance!).
It was an all-around amazing five days, thanks in large part to my decision to stay at Casa Viridiana.
The suite's owner, Louis and property manager, Brad were both extremely helpful. Louis let me in on the very best local restaurants, and Brad's advice sent Jodie and I on an adventure to a secluded beach paradise.
For all these reasons, it's without any reservation that I will recommend this suite to anyone looking for a unique, memorable experience in Puerto Vallarta.
DSL Internet, Cable TV, purified water, weekly maid service, onsite property manager, garden, pool, restaurants, buses and taxis closeby. Quiet and friendly group. Only 24 units in 3 towers and many speak English. Mainly Canadian, American and Mexican.
*Jul 16, 2008 - Jul 28, 2008 $390 1355
Jul 28, 2008 - Aug 14, 2008 $390 1355 occupied
*Aug 14, 2008 - Oct 20, 2008 $390 1355
Oct 20, 2008 - Nov 21, 2008 $615 1970 occupied
*Nov 21, 2008 - Jan 19, 2009 $615 1970
Jan 19, 2009 - Feb 18, 2009 $615 1970 occupied
*Feb 18, 2998 - Mar 1, 2009 Total $800
Mar 1, 2009 - Jun 2, 2009 $615 1970 occupied
*Jun 2, 2009 - Oct 19, 2009 $390 1355
For distant rentals is 25% deposit on booking, 25% 6 months after and then 50% 90 days before arrival. If it is soon, all 100% is due upon reservation. Methods of payment are bank check, cashier's check, money order [all sent directly to me] or PayPal to my email address. The latter method must include a 5% fee since this is what PayPal charges deposits to my account. Payments up to 90 days prior are refundable if place becomes rented; within 90 days, cancellation results in all money paid becoming a credit for a future rental, nonrefundable. Please reserve very early as my place books far in advance during high season. Rates vary by number of weeks and month and time of the year. Discounts may be arranged for length of stay. Ask me for pix or try:
Street Parking (ample)
Coffee Maker and Grinder
Ceiling and Floor Fans
Pets allowed if well-behaved and on leash in common areas
Housekeeping Friday, once/week. Before you visit if one week only. Extra laundry services available for costs.
Buses within 1 Min. Walk one block: north to Mega, Soriana, Hotel Zone, El Pitillal, Sam's and WalMart 5 pesos; or across Highway 200 [Barra de Navidad] past Pemex south to Boca, Mismaloya and El Tuito.
+ I loved this hotel, it has good service, clean facilities, ocean view, small hotel with only 30 rooms, so it's never crowded and free parking available.
-The only problem with this hotel is that a vehicle is necessary, because is located 15-20 min. drive to Puerto vallarta. Also all the rooms have ocean view, but only half have the bedrrom toward the ocean and the other half toward the road, so ask that the bedroom is located toward the ocean in order to avoid noise from the road.
Kitchennete with refrigerator, coffe maker, toaster, microwave and dishes. nice view, very peaceful and private, pool, children's pool, an a little restaurant in site.
Do not make the same mistake – After having booked online with many reputable agencies we unfortunately had the bad luck to find John Dea, Maria Reynalda Macias Candelaria AKA Reyna, and John Dommanschet. All representing Condominiums La Palapa. An additional person who receives the money and has an address at 150 Col. Independencia, PVR is Silvia C. Gutierrez. She is also said to have addresses in California and Texas.
Our booking and confirmation-
- Luxurious, oversized 3BR/3BA ocean-front condo with large FULL ocean view terrace, offering dramatic, unobstructed views of the entire Banderas Bay, Pacific Ocean and surrounding jungle clad mountains, for US $395 per night for the condo, for 6 people max
Apparently, the three work in collusion to book condominiums online and request full payment before completion of booking. That’s not so unusual however, their confirmation of the booking for a 3BR/3BA in a building that does NOT have a 3BR/3BA is. Prior to our arrival email inquiries were made as to the specific amenities of the “luxury” condo. Confirmation was less than forthcoming. Actually, no email was received until the evening preceding our departure for PVR.
We were only to find out that there was NO internet, No DVD, No washer and dryer, No Dining room table, No luxury beds, No 3BR/3BA, No Beach Towels, ….. the list does go on and on. What we did find in our dismal 2BR/2BA and 1BR/1BA was worn out sheets – sheets without a thread count, desperate furniture invoking a 1980’s trailer house, and a a few broken deck chairs along with a rusted out table. The rusted table reminding us all to verify our most recent tetanus vaccinations.
Perhaps our story wouldn’t be quite so SAD had it not been for the news we were to learn upon our bringing the above failures to the attention of Reyna. Upon receiving an email from John Dea, Reyna replied that her husband and boss John Dommanschet had been in an unfortunate automobile accident and would be unable to reply. She also added that due to our unhappiness with our condominium she felt we were being quite aggressive.
NOT once did any of these individuals apologize for their dishonest misrepresentation of the “luxury” 3BR/3BA condominium.
Great View from the 6th floor.
Avoid the Pool level as the noise from the Air Conditioning system on the next building is overwhelming at times.
Extremely clean and well managed, this hotel is a best-kept sectret.
It is on the beach, and if you set up on the edge of the wall near the beach, vendors will come carrying thier wares for you to buy. It is luxurious with the sea behind them and palm trees overhead. Don't get in a hurry. No point! But tip your drink waiters well, and you'll never go dry! Real Mexican style, great food and fun.
If you're looking for a rental in the puerto vallarta area, I have to recommend PVRPV (Puerto Vallarta Rentals Premier Vacations) owned by Tim Longpre. After staying at Playa del Sol regularly for years, I decided to try a nonresort condominium in the trendy Zona Romantica of Puerto Vallarta. I came across PVRPV through a friend and from the moment I walked into their office, I was given the royal treatment. I perused over 200 condos, villas, and haciendas before choosing a beautiful condo in a very quiet complex with a beautiful pool, and the most charming maid that visited with me daily. The condo was lovely- there were even parrots chirping away in the tree just off my balcony- we don't have those in Manhattan so I was quite entertained to sit and watch them for hours while the sun set over Los Muertos Beach every night. After my initial experience with them, I of course used them again when I returned 2 months later. Their concierge service was a welcome feature, saving me the haggling with taxi drivers and timeshare salesman on more than one occasion. If you are looking for a rental in Puerto Vallarta, you can't go wrong with this team.
Beautiful pool, very quiet, about a 2 minute walk to the beach, landscaped shady grounds with lots of tropical flowers, condo was exquisitely decorated and meticulously clean. Maid service. Concierge service. 24 hour security. Unreal views and sunsets. Absolutely no hassle and everything was very upfront and professional, service with a smile.
We stayed in one of the villas offered by Applegate Realtors (see link below). I would highly recommend Villa Ventura for the location and the comfort, and also the air-conditioned bedrooms.
Pool, great view, semi-private beach access. Just from the patio we saw dolphins, stingrays, various tropical fish and about a million crabs. Full baths in each bedroom, as well as TVs, VCR's and DVD players. Each bathroom also equiped with blow dryers.
The best part of the villa is the professional house staff. Senor Beto is a world class chef and makes perhaps the best meals I have ever eaten. The rest of the staff caters to your every need and keeps the house very clean.
Great place to stay! This is a 3 bedroom that sleeps 8. Has a full kitchen, daily complete maid service, great pool, golf course and wonderful staff. This is our favorite place to stay in PV! It is just north of the airport and about 25-30 min from downtown. Staying here gives you the feel of living in Mexico. E-mail me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All villas are completely furnished and even have beer & pop stocked in the fridge. We have really enjoyed having community BQ’s and even big fish cook outs when we go deep sea fishing. What a blast! I would highly recommend this to any one wishing to enjoy PV.
After visiting the beaches in San Francisco for a day of sun and beer and a few more beers my wife and I decided that it would be a good idea to stay the night instead of driving back to our Villa.
Well, one night turned into 2 nights and 3 days. Here are some pictures of a 4 bedroom home we rented. I found this rental by walking into a realtor because we did not like the one and only hotel in town. Originally the asking price was $200.00 per night but we were able to pay him $85.00 cash.
Very nice small village and fantastic people! Not what I would call a party hot spot, but great food, cold beer and decent waves!
This is a very nice all -inclusive near Bucerias, about 15 minutes from Puerto Vallarta airport. We had a pretty good time here, but it because of it's location, we didn't feel as though we were in PV at all.
It has a good beach for the west coast, 2 swimming pools, 7 restaurants, a night club,and, when we were there, a show at night put on by the staff. Best mime show I have ever seen. Because we went on a last minute deal, it was very inexpensive, it is usually double the price we paid.
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