an enjoyable week
My wife, two daughters and I spent one week at the Melia from 11-18 February 2003 and had a great time. With a 1-year-old and 3-year-old, we chose the Melia because it offers child clubs for all ages from 0 years up... (and went to Puerto Vallarta because of the relatively short, direct-flight from Vancouver). We found the resort to be very well maintained, with an impressive lobby and attractive garden/pool area (surrounded on three sides by the resort and open to the Bay on the fourth side). The staff were generally very helpful (there were a few staff having off-days) and the food was generally good (we focussed on the fish as it was generally quite tasty). It is interesting to read about some of the mixed/poor experiences that people had; we were fortunate in that none of the serious problems affected us. Our room's air-conditioning did begin to leak from the ceiling during the first morning (creating a puddle near the room entry/bathroom), but housekeeping had reported it and maintenance was repairing it by that afternoon (before we even got a chance to put in a complaint). They also adjusted our bar fridge before leaving. Housekeeping was excellent (even carefully arranging our children's favourite pillows and dolls that we brought; a crib was quickly delivered to our room when we arrived for the youngest daughter). Yes, the buffet breakfast/supper at the Quetzal restaurant and buffet lunch at La Palapa could get a bit boring, but the quality was typically good and there was an obvious effort to create some variety (maybe they had read previous comments complaining about this?). The beach is certainly not large (I noticed that the large empty site next door however has a nice stretch of sand that the local children seem to favour), but the swimming pool is very large and well maintained (though the jets in the two jacuzzis don't function). The children had a great time and we appreciated the opportunity to put them in child care for part of the day (typically during the morning... we wouldm in the afternoon). One comment -- the age range for the "baby club" is a bit too broad at 0-4 years as a child over three may find it a bit too sedate of an environment. Maybe the programme could be divided into a 0-2 years (infant) and a 3-4 years (toddler) club to better address the mobility/interests of the different age groups? In conclusion, we would definitely recommend the Melia Puerto Vallarta to any family with younger children based on our week there.