More about Villas Vallarta by Canto del Sol
We Enjoyed the Villas Vallarta
We arrived at Villas Vallarta on Saturday, 9 April and we’re welcomed by a very friendly front desk girl and bell boy. The check in was very speedy. Once we got to our room we were pleasantly surprised to find that we were given a room with a kitchen (fridge, stove and sink). The room was very clean. My only complaint about the room was that there was not enough room to store your clothes (one desk with two small drawers and one small closet). We chose to pretty much live out of our suitcase.
The pool at this hotel is nice. Like another review mentioned it is a roof top pool. Great bartenders and servers by the pool. Tell Francisco you read about how great his service is on the internet. They, Francisco and his boss were quite amazed that people actually were reading about the hotel and the staff on the internet.
The food is ok. I would recommend eating at Cantos del Sol. There buffet is much larger over there and seeing as you have access to both hotels you might as well take advantage of it. We did most of our eating over at the other hotel. Definitely try the chicken tacos at the snack bar by the pool at the Villas they were delicious.
If you plan to use your a la carte reservations I suggest you book them the first day you arrive. If not you’ll miss out. We booked them on our second day and didn’t end up trying one of the restaurants. If you get a reservation at the Mexican restaurant, be sure to order a Mexican coffee. You won’t regret it, I promise.
All in all I thought the service and staff were great. Be sure to tip the cleaning ladies and they will leave you pretty cool towel displays. My only complaint about the hotel was that it took about 20 minutes to get real good hot water and this just could have been where our room was located.
I would highly recommend this hotel for anyone who wants to stay somewhere quiet but wants to have the option of a party hotel right at there finger tips (Cantos del Sol). My only suggestion would be to make sure your room isn’t right near the pool or you MAY be kept up by partiers.
Be sure to watch some of the night shows at Cantos del Sol. They were rather entertaining. The Entertainment/Activities staff are great and always there to make you laugh and have a good time (Say hi to Alec from Len and Kimberlee in Vancouver). The day we were leaving (16 April) my boyfriend and I joined a beer drinking contest (he won and I came in third) so we got to bring home a bottle of tequila….just what we needed more booze.
Once again I would suggest staying at this hotel it's great value for you $.
Yikes! Stay away from VV & Canto del Sol resorts
Well after reading the reviews about Villas Vallarta, we figured that booking our last minute honeymoon stay there would be just great. Our original trip to Tulum was cancelled due to Hurricane, so Vallarta it was.
We arrived in Mexico and took a taxi to VV (about $140.00 peso, $14us) and drove to what appeared to be the most run down part of Vallarta. There were homeless men roaming around outside the hotel, but still we figured it had to get better. So we go into the lobby, and things are not looking up. The open air lobby is old, dirty and they only have one person working the desk at a time, two tops, so checking in takes about 20 minutes per person. We did check in and were told out room number. No directions, no bell boy no help at all was offered to actually get to our room. We did ask a security guard who took our suitcase, but wondered all over the resort as he did not know where the room was either. Finally we arrive after a long walk through the hall ways, riddled with broken tiles, old furniture and florecent lighting, kinda like what you would imagine an old infirmary to look like. So we turn the key to our room and yikes! The room looked like a prison cell. No wall decorations, broken tiles, paint splatters, blood or vomit on the balcony, and we had a lovely view into the apartment across the street.( please see photos to really get the idea.) The bathroom had a window in it, with plastic slatts that allowed people in the hall to hear or peak into the bathroom if they wished. A plus- There was a kitchenette in the room, and there was a tv. The bed had old bedding but was a king size. It was quite depressing. Please realize my husband and I travel alot and know that in a warm climate the room does not make the trip as you are outside most of the time, but this was ridiculous.
We walked around the hotel to find the "restaurant" which is really a room with one missing wall ,and about 12 tables. The buffett items are not kept on ice, not even dairy items or dressings. There was dirty tables everywhere and food spilled on the floor. We were the only ones who seemed to care though, as it wasn't cleaned up two hours later when we returned to check it out again. The pool is very small. The surrounding pool area is also small and there is a bar, but is not open all the time.
Across the street there is Pelicanos Hotel and and other sister resort which you are free to visit and use the facilities. Over there is alot nicer, the pool is quite large, the restuarants (2 we saw) are clean and the service was better. But it only makes it sadder when you return to your own hotel, realizing that for the same money you could have gotten a way nicer hotel.
We decided we needed to move hotels and tried calling Expedia's collect phone number. Well that was a no go. The hotel does not want to help guests get out, they charged us ridiculous connection fees and 2.3 minutes on the phone costed us 60us dollars!!!!!!! We ended up braving the neighbourhood and found an internet cafe to rebook a room. And for the same money we got a beautiful resort in Nuevo Vallarta called Samba. Both three star hotels, but night and day! I have no idea how VV was rates a three star nor do I know how anyone could be pleased with the hotel when you realize that for the same dollars, you can get a really nice resort.
Stay away from this one, spend your money on a hotel actually worthy of a three star rating, this one sure isn't.
**Also a note to people booking any Canto del Sol, it is known by all the locals there that people book the five star sister resort across the street, or Pelicanos, a four star sister resort and end up in Villas Vallarta resort, as they over book the nicer hotels, dumping unsuspecting guests into VV.
This hotel was a reasonable price (3star) for a 4 star value. The villas vallarta itself isn't anything to brag about. But being able to use the 4 star Canto del sol facilities for free is amazing. The central pool hosts daily entertainment. Buffet food is decent and they try to mix it up with different theme nights. If you love tennis, this is the best hotel in Puerto vallarta. 3 indoor hardcourts and 4 outdoor clay courts.
My only complaint is that it is a 5-10 min drive to the downtown area (40 pesos one way).
Our party of 6 stayed at the Villas Vallarta in Jan 2005, and we absolutely loved it. The staff at the Villas and Canto are the greatest, friendly, lots of fun, and always willing to please your every need. The two bedroom suite that we had was beyond our liking, and especially for the price, it was the best. We will definitely stay there again. We enjoyed our buffet restaurant and the 'chant du monde' better than the Canto facilities, just because it was quieter, a more intimate atmosphere. We did visit some of the Canto facilities, but because it is so huge, we had trouble finding chairs to sit by the pool, or even to sit out by the beach. We were not bothered by the peddlars at all, quite the contrary! I would definitely recommend this facility to anyone, but especially to those who want to relax a little more. We would definitley stay there again!
good deal for the money
My husband and I stayed at Villas Vallarta by Canto Del Sol last Feb, for our honeymoon. What a time we had... the service couldn't have been better. One day our toilet broke, and they came right away to fix it. The food was verry good, always lots. Using the sister hotel was great, their menue was different so you allways had a variety. The location was great too, we cought the city bus, what an experience... One day we walked into town , it took about 45 min, but we were looking around alot.
For the price you can not complain, we are going back next year, to the same place and , looking forward to it.
Great for moderate spenders.
Just got back from 6 days in Villas Vallarta, sister resort to Canto del Sol. The great deal here is Villas Vallarta is cheaper than Canto del Sol and yet you can use facilities on both properties (located across the street from each other). Canto del sol is the property next to the beach. My husband and I are in 20s/30s age group.
ALL-INCLUSIVE OR NOT?: You can choose to have all-inclusive or pay as you go at Villas Vallarta but for the extra $35 or per person a night, all-inclusive is the way to go if you like to drink/don't want to worry about counting every penny when you get hungry or thirsty. My irish husband had never been to an all inclusive and he loved the fact he could eat and drink as much as he wanted and not have the hassel of carrying his wallet around. We definitely got our moneys worth. Some Villas Vallarta rooms do have kitchenettes if you want to do your own cooking/don't drink much - grocery store is to your right as you leave the mall complex on the main street.
FOOD/DRINK: Quality is medium for the buffets but since we aren't gourmet eaters, it worked for us - quick in and quick out..onto the next sunning session! Buffet (by the pool) at Villas Vallarta while smaller, was much quieter and no lines. Canto del Sol buffet was bigger but more crowded. You'll get some tickets to book the sit-down restaurants - definintely book those in advance (10-1pm everyday at guest services). We tried the Italian one at Canto del sol and the international one at Villas Villartas. There is also a mexican one at Canto. The international one was great - good food and cocktails. Italian one was not bad as well but not as good.
Drink strength depends on the bartender but they'll add however much you ask for. Last drinks served at midnight. Ask for bacardi rum instead of the local brand. Tips are appreciated by the v. busy bar boys. Late night snacks are lacking sadly. We went to subway, across the street from the mall on the main road and to the left. We also ordered from Dominos pizza - the hotel operator will connect you. Fast delivery as they are very close by.
POOL/BEACH: Beach is at Canto del Sol. Warning - rocky!. My husband's toe got cut. Steep beach too/kind of rough. More of a sunning than swim beach. Jet ski's, banana boats, parachute rides available for hire. Pools - Canto del sol - crowded!!! Pool volleyball and basketball everyday in the afternoon. Villas Villarta pool is much more quiet and clean.
TOURS: You can book at both hotels but we booked our day cruise, "Bora, Bora" with Luciano - his office is the first one on the left of the mall entrance. Mall entrance is on the right of Villas Vallarta entrance. For only $35 pp, Bora Bora catamaran took us out from 10-5pm. Open bar. Marine sancturary for snorkling (watch out for mini-jellyfish!! Not v. painful, but not pleasant). The Las Animas Beach for 3 hrs of relaxing and BBQ lunch and/or trip to see waterfalls (those who go to the waterfall get just enough time at Las Animas for a late lunch). 45 min hike to waterfall or $12.50
Luciano can also put you in touch with time share opportunities if you are interested. We did go to one but though they said it would take 90 mins, we were there more like 3 hours. The present wasn't even worth it after that amount of time (blanket, tequila, kulua, taxi ride return, brunch). They are very persuasive too so unless you are strong or really want a time share, don't waste your time. We are too new in our marriage to even consider a purchase like this so next time, we'll avoid it. Luciano was not too pushy though and we were well pleased with the cruise he set up for us.
MASSAGE: I was in heaven - for $30 (300 persos) I got a great deep tissue massage for 1hr 15 mins!!! Walk along the outside of the mall to your right if you are facing Villas Vallarta. You'll pass a little store that says massage (keep going after the cafe). Warning, this is not a fancy place. It's tiny and the tables are separated only by curtains, no aircond - only fans - don't expect a fancy spa. The ladies are all professionals and I never felt exposed. I had two massages - both excellent. They do appreciate tips.
TAXIS: From the airport, we paid $14. To the airport $5 (50 pesos). Villas to Downtown: 40 pesos. Asking price for return trip after night of partying 80 pesos ($8). Had to ask 4 cabs before we got it down to 60 pesos - talk about trying to rip you off (they saw I was kind of sick and desperate to get back). To the marina is 30 pesos. Villas is pretty close to town, though not walking distance. Close to marina, pretty close to airport.
CLUBS: Only went to Senor frogs. Way too crowded and as expensive as the US. $10 cover charge which didn't even include a drink. You can get a very tall pitcher glass which costs about $8 to fill - so I guess it's a good deal (about 4 glasses of drink). We actually went to a bar 2 blocks from Senor Frogs (face the clothing store entrance of club, turn around and walk diagonally across street, turn left, go 2 blocks). They had an excellant cover band that was as good as any I've heard in San Francisco. So, exploring a bit will bring you some surprises while the popular clubs may disappoint. Mostly, we just took advantage of the open bar at Canto del Sol until midnight!
ROOMS: No hair dryers. Good size. Clean but clearly 3 star. Not much sound barrier through door - could hear everyone walking by though as we were at the end of the hall, it wasn't too bad. Basically, you get what you pay for and for the money, we got exactly what was expected.
MISC: While there is the all-inclusive option, staff do appear to enjoy tips. We just tipped the cleaning ladies $2/day, bell boy $2, barmen $6 at end of stay. This is not a super all-inclusive as after 10:30pm there is no food and after midnight no drinks. No on-site disco or anything. Staff were all very nice and service oriented though the front desk can be a little slow. Remember to bargain with vendors. I got my small henna tatoo down from $5 to $3. My husband got $30 sunglasses down to $10 after showing them that is all he had...
WEATHER: Rainy season in July. Mostly sun in AM, sort of cloudy, then rain late at night for couple of hours. Though on the day o our cruise it actually rained all day :( It was warm - 88 farenheit and humid. Use LOTS of sun screen - we were both badly burned because our 30SPF coppertone spray did not work - use sunscreen cream!
Had a good time...
We stayed at the Villas Vallarta about two weeks ago and had lots of fun. It's true, the Villas are about a 30 second walk from Canto Del Sol. Everyone was very friendly, the room was kept clean, and all in all it was a relaxing vacation. Now for the not so great stuff (keep in mind, it didn't really bother us because we knew going into this trip that it wasn't the Four Seasons).
The most annoying thing about the entire trip were the men who stood outside the hotel, every single day, and consistenly badgered us to sign up for tours, buy stuff, etc. When we ignored them they only became more aggressive. The food was decent but nothing to rave about. And the thing that completely annoyed my fiance was that the maids kept forgetting to leave water in the room...it's really hot there!
I would go back, and truly enjoyed P.V. we traveled to both the North and South ends of the cove and it's so beautiful. For the value, the Villas are clean, the staff is friendly, the food is decent, and P.V. is a great little city.
Great local flavor
Great place to stay, staff extremely friendly and helpful, extremly clean, nice small hotel, ask for room looking out on pool, small balcony with chairs, have the advantages of small hotel, and yet can use all the amenities of Canto del Sol just across the way. Recommend getting to the beach early, not many chairs. Try the food at both places. Catamarran, kayaks, boogie boards available (no charge). Really has the flavor of Mexico instead of staying in a US type hotel. Would go again.
We spent one glorious week in Puerto Vallarta, it was our first time there. The only way to describe the weather is "Perfect". The Villas was a great place to stay. Very friendly and courteous staff. Service was excellent in every way and the hotel is very clean. We had access to the Canto Del Sol as well. It was the best of both worlds. The Villas being the more quiet of the two and the Canto available for the night life and the beach, of course.
The food was good, and lots to chose from. The omelets and pancakes at the Villas were the best. We ate at all three of the ala cartes and they were amazing. Nice ambiance and great food and service. Have the specialty coffees at every place....nice show and yummy. As good food and service as I have had at any "good" restaurant in Canada. One word of caution, though, don't try the beef...we as Canadians are spoiled, we do have the best beef...not sure where theirs is from. Not very tasty or tender. The chicken and the seafood were always great. The bartenders were always terrific and made a very wide variety of drinks. The only complaint we had was about the beach. Very rocky and big waves all the time. Fun to boogy board, but easy to get scraped on the rocks when you took a tumble. All in all....the Villas deserves a higher rating than it has...3 star, I believe...it was a great place to stay and we would stay there again.
We booked through Signature tours and the rep was at the Canto every day to look after any thing we needed. She booked our tours for us and gave us excellent advice. Her name is Sandra D....she is super!
The most bang for our buck
Before we left I read several of the reviews listed. I was a little nervous with some of the reviews however I found our stay wonderful at this hotel. We stayed in a 2 bedroom suite which was very nice for the price. We were there from 10-17-05 to 10-24-05. The staff at this location was very friendly and helpful. Anything we needed, we got. They were truely happy that we were there. The food was good as well. The swimup bar makes wonderful drinks and the activities were fair. If you are looking for a good vacation and are not looking for a 5 star resort..this is the place. It is in a good location. This is truely the most bang for your buck.
The Predator area
In front of the local bus
A thinner version of myself
be careful...you may end up with this in boca!
Canto del sol sept 26 to oct 6
I have been to PV before and I am curious about the hotel that we have chosen this time. Has anyone stayed there? Good or bad experience.
How is the staff?
Are the rooms OK?
Is the pool bar nice?
Laid back beaches/towns/hotels just outside of Puerto Vallarta
Hi fellow vacationers Merry Christmas to you all....
My wife and I will be arriving in Puerto Vallarta on Janruary 14th(from Vancouver Canada) and staying until the 28th, to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary.
We will be staying in Puerto for 3 days(Hotel Rio) and then are looking to find some more quieter, laid back,romantic and secluded destinations outside of Puerto up or down the coast to spend the remaining 10 days, before returning to Puerto for the last night.
I've heard there are some nice destinations that are only 4 hour bus rides away( or closer) on the outskirts.
Were not budgetted for 5 star locations and would just like a SAFE clean hotel (3 star is OK)and environment, with saftey being a top priority
If anyone can provide us with the names of towns and hotels....along with any other pertinent or helpful tips, that would be greatly appreciated.
Kevin and Jocelyn
PS. I'm also intrested in "shouldn't miss" things to do or see in Puerto or any other great advice.
Re: Laid back beaches/towns/hotels just outside of Puerto Vallarta
if you want to get a little gritty, there's always yelapa. you take a bus from puerto vallarta to boca de tomatlan (1/2 hour south from the corner of bodillo and constitucion (an intersection in zona romantica just south of the river cuale). then, you take a 35 minute boat ride to the far away beach of yelapa. there, you will find a calm beach, not so crowded, clean, and local vendors. there are a few places to sleep, but just know that there are no cars or buses there. you will be walking, and some people even use mules and horses to get around. there are no big hotels there.
there are a lot of places to stay, some guesthouses, some palapas, some little hotels/spas, some just simple accommodations in someone's home. just do a google search for guesthouses, yelapa and you will find them.
Re: Laid back beaches/towns/hotels just outside of Puerto Vallarta
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.
where to get reasonable price massages?
We'll be staying at Dreams resort on the first week of July. Love massages when we are on vacations. Can anyone suggest where to go for massages at a reasonable price. The Dreams resort gave the price quote of $70 and up. That's too expensive for us. Thanks in advance.
RE: where to get reasonable price massages?
Try the Yin-Yang Massage on Augustin Rodriguez #284 (2nd floor) next to the flea market downtown. Phone number is 223-3897 (in PV)...my wife got an 1 1/2 massage for around $30.00 (USD)...she wsaid it was the best she ever had.
where to get reasonably priced massages?
i've been to a couple of massage places downtown. do a quickie inspection to see if they look clean (but i've never found one that wasn't). the surroundings won't be as lavish as the massage places at resorts, but the massages are practically as good, i have found. one thing to be careful of -- sometimes the tables aren't quite as sturdy as at the resorts. this will not affect the massage, but you need to be a little careful getting on and off them.
another thing i do in mexico for a treat is get a pedicure. for several years, i have gotten one in a shopping center place that cost about $15, and it was as good as many of the places i've gone to in the united states (i'm sure that manicures are just as reasonable).
have a wonderful time; mexico is a great place, and i love puerto vallarta!
-- susie margaret
RE: where to get reasonable price massages?
There's a place in the Villa Vallarta Mall that does good massages for really good price. Mall is next to fork at Francisco Medina and Libramiento.