All Inclusive Vs. Non AI

Comments, tips, questions on Puerto & Nuevo Vallarta hotels, resorts, lodging and others.

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bcsurfgirl
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All Inclusive Vs. Non AI

Post by bcsurfgirl » Mon Mar 09, 2009 3:40 am

Myself and a couple friends are visiting PV soon and one of us wants AI, myself and the other would rather experience more than just a resort. What are the pros and cons of either.

I have done a couple of cruises and absolutely hated them due to being stuck and not around locals.

Thank you :D

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Post by bcsurfgirl » Mon Mar 09, 2009 3:43 am

Oh and Sorry I didnt introduce myself...I am new on these boards. I am from Vancouver and cant wait to get to PV, it just snowed today. I will probably be asking many questions...hope I dont get on your nerves

Cheers :D

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Post by pvgemini » Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:49 am

I am on your side. Don't do AI, especially since you like hanging out in the local culture. Where are you staying? It would be important to me to stay near lots of restaurants, i.e. in town, if I was not doing AI.

Just to give you a recent figure, I was just in PV on a girls' trip, and 4 women put all their money together into one pot and just paid all the checks from the one pot. We agreed to split all taxis, food, drinks, groceries. We were there for 4 nights, enjoyed ourselves very much, had whatever we wanted: margaritas, cosmos, pina coladas, shrimp, fish, guacamole etc. The per person expenditure turned out to be about $150 for the 4 nights. I don't know what they charge for AI, maybe it's less than $40 per day, but then you feel like you have to eat at the hotel all the time.

Some people pay for AI, and then just have breakfast and some lunches at the hotel, and go out for dinner most nights.

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To AI or not to AI

Post by tojol57 » Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:51 pm

that is a very tough question to answer because many people have various opinions on AI, then there are those on a stict budget too, and don't wan't to run out of cash the first three days of their vacation...

We have been doing AI for over twenty years (5 yrs in Jamaica - Sandals Montego Bay and the last 15 plus years here in Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta)...

AI stands for all-inclusve not "held hostage, shackled to the resort, and can never leave"... We feel we have the best of all worlds when we stay at the GCP for our all-inclusive. We have our breakfast and lunches and cocktails taken care of, and yes we go into town quite often to see all our friends and their wonderful resturants... but then again, we can stay right there on property, enjoy a nice quiet dinner, then grab a taxi to Andale's to party until the cows come home and start all over the next day...

AI is not for everybody, but neither is ala carte either.... Yes you can have some very inexpensive meals in town, but if you enjoy the nightlife and action, that is where you are going to spend the lion's share of your vacation funds... and if you have to take a taxi to and from downtown, that is going to cost you, unless you use the bus system to save there...

Sit down with your friends and start pencilling what you what to spend your free dollars on... put a budget together and stick to it so that you don't have to wrack up the CC charges, or hit the ATM so many times that your vacation is overly spent...

Lots of things to consider, especially if this is your first time to Vallarta...

good luck, have fun, and ejoy with wonderful city and her people...

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Post by beachluvr » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:38 pm

have not purchased AI for 5 years and thinking i never would again.
6 of us just returned from a week with 4 days AI and 3 days not;
have to say i enjoyed both parts equally and wouldn't be surprised
if we do the same again next year.

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To AI or not to AI

Post by condor » Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:20 pm

Wow Tom that's one of your Best answers ever. And only one plug for G(p :wink: I just refuse to type it. Tom does make a great point your not chained to the resort. An AI does give you an opportunity to eat Breakfast and lunch at the resort while soaking up the sun by the pool or on the beach. I also find I tend to stay hydrated better during the day when I stay at an AI. And I don't mean just alcohol. When we use to stay at non-AI and were paying for every drink I found I drank less and often drank warm drinks because I paid for it, I may as well drink it. Now I always have a cold one and drink plenty of fluids.
We often go into town a couple of nights each stay but if the resort has a good entertainment staff and good quality shows you can stay at the resort and still have a great time. I also find that the bartenders at the resorts will always make sure you have a great. And as far as parting with the locals you will find most of the people you party with in town are Americans or Canadians anyway. At the resort we go to about 1/3 of the guest are usually Mexican, and we party with everyone.

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Post by bcsurfgirl » Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:32 am

Wow...Thanks for the replies. so there is quite a bit to ponder. We were thinking a hotel with a kitchenette, I dont mind doing a breakfast for everyone...has never bothered me in the least :lol:
We will be taking the bus system...I dont drink, so I do save money there on every trip.

I will definately sit down with the girls and make a plan of action. We have thought about the Casa Iguana because it is out of the way but close enough. Two of us are Psych Nurses and need to be away from hectic so that we dont end up being each others patients :lol:

What are the thoughts on the Casa Iguana...the area seems perfect for our needs.

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Post by PV Patty » Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:11 am

I also am in Vancouver (arrghh) and am heading down to P.V. in April for over a month.
Here is my 2 bits...
Because I am going for more time then the average person does. I rent a little condo in Old Town via -www.VRBO.com. I find that I don't need much to eat as its warm. Plus if I want to have a quite night I don't feel like I am stuck in my bedroom like I used to feel when I got grounded. (long long time ago by the way!) I also have alot of friends that go at the same time so its nice have pot luck dinners, get the blender going and so on.
Whatever you choose.. you will enjoy it.. ... make some plans on what you want to do before hand.. like day trips...must sees and so on .. that should keep everyone happy.

Patty

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Post by pvgemini » Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:58 am

I had never heard of Casa Iguana so I had to look it up. Looks nice but it is in Mismaloya!! If you want a very quiet, laid back vacation, that may be a nice place to stay, but you are far from the town of Puerto Vallarta. It all depends on what sort of vacation you want.

I think you can have quiet but be in town at Hotel Tropicana, for instance. I'm sure there are many others. Other forum members will post ideas.

I think Casa Iguana is a huge mistake if you want to soak up the Vallarta culture.

Sally

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Post by PV Patty » Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:20 am

bcsurfgirl,

Was also thinking.... how long are you going for? Are you all sharing a room? or getting your own? These may help you in deciding.

If you are all going to stay in together I would suggest staying in an apartment that way there will be more room. I find that when I go with a few friends.. one is in the shower, one is in the kitchen getting a snack, someone has ran to the store, some one is ironing something, someone may be taking a nap, etc. I like to have my own music and most apartments/condos have stereos. Also about food, there are all kinds of markets around to get fresh fruit, bread, milk, cheese, eggs. I usually go out for dinner and the rest is consumed in the apartment or something small on the beach. I mentioned a website in my last reply, the area that I would suggest in staying is called the romantic zone it more laid back then downtown. ( in my opinion)
You can also Private message me if like and we can exchange numbers and chat about it all.

patty

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Excellent Comments

Post by tojol57 » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:54 am

Hey there Condor, thanks for the comments - that had to almost kill you to talk nicely about me... but excellent comments for the original poster...

Just because you are only coming for 1 week, or two weeks, or for a month or longer there are still many things to consider. We have friends from Canada that spend six weeks at the GCP - the adults all inclusive. Joe and Rita are not extravagant people either. Just like us, they have found that having our relaxation time at the resort allows us the luxurory of going off property in the evenings easier. Just like Condor pointed out, if you have a good AI package, you have access to a food and drink until you are ready for your day excursion, or you night time adventures...

Some thing else to consider, if you do a small apartment, or condo where you and your friends will be staying... we have found in our travel experiences make sure you have escapes where you can get a way from the group... yes you don't mind making breakfast for your friends today, but by the end of your vacation will you fill the same way? I don't want to "rain" on your parade, but we have seen good friends come away with a different of opinion after "living" together for a week or longer under the same roof etc...

But you are on the right path with gathering up the group, sitting down and discussing all your options and opinions.. you will be better informed and you will be best prepared for your trip together....

good luck and enjoy... you will love vallarta... we all do!!!!

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Post by bcsurfgirl » Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:22 am

Thank you so much everyone!!!

I checked out the link for the apartments and condos, great idea btw, so I am saving that for the next trip.

We are sharing, we are on a budget for sure and we are coming for a week. We plan to use the bus system and we are all pretty laid back.

What we are looking for is a budget hotel with 3 beds, kitchenette, close enough but not too loud. within a block, if not on the beach. We will be planning out our days before going down. There will be days i will be doing solo trips to go surfing.

I know I will love it there...I was also told I could go to a place called No Name something to catch a Canucks game. I know it is completely geeky but I have to do it.

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Post by mikeypv » Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:46 am

The No Name Cafe has been torn down, but I am sure that there are other sports bars in which to find your hockey games. El Torito, Blakes, Steves, to name a few.

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Post by bcsurfgirl » Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:17 pm

:D Sweet thanks Mikey!!!

I did check out El Torito's site and emailed and yes they will be showing the Nucks games!!! I am limiting myself to one while I am there though :lol:

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Post by benito » Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:41 pm

the los arcos suites have kitchenettes, it is across olas altas from the beach and you get all playa los arcos (on the beach) priveledges. easy walking distance to the gr rizzo grocery store and easy 3 dollar cab ride back with your groceries.

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Post by pvgemini » Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:13 pm

If you only buy a few bags of groceries at a time, you can certainly walk back to Los Arcos from Rizo's!!

I second the advice--- great location. I will email or pm if I can with a restaurant list. There are so many great places to eat within easy walking distance, and you don't have to spend alot at restaurants.

Sally
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Post by ronald » Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:04 am

I am sure that whatever you decide will be a wonderful experience. We have always did the AI option when in PV or Nueuvo. We did the apartment style beach hotel in Mazatlan, and the wife said she wasn't going to do that again, because it was her holiday too, and she wasn't going to be cooking. That's too bad because I prefer her cooking to any restaurant you can find.

There is one other reason we prefer the AI. we can eat when we want, drink when we want, and not have to carry around cash. It's probably just me, but I don't trust signing chits in any hotel/restaurant in any country (especially when they total over a week or two), so that takes away one option for us. When we go to PV we do spend a considerable amount of time shopping, eating at fine restaurants, visiting Fox at Cafe Roma, eating pizza there and phoning home, going to Casa Isabel on Saturday nights to meet all the Canadian and Americans living there and visiting, but some of the other restaurants get pretty pricey with their meal and especially drink costs. I view our AI hotel (any of the good ones suggested provide wonderful food and drinks), as our anchor for breakfast, and daily intake when we are not out cavorting in the market.

Just my two cents.

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Post by bcsurfgirl » Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:46 pm

Thanks again to everyone for the info!!! Just awesome. We cant wait to get down there...my friends really have their hearts set on the hotel in Mismaloya, so we are probably going with that....I love the idea of all the different venders, restaurants and seafood available.

I am going to check out, during a walkabout, all the other hotels around...My Son and I will most probably be back next year when the Olympics hit Vancouver. We want to get away for at least 3 weeks to avoid the chaos here :lol:

Which is better to take at night...Buses or Cabs?

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Post by webmaster » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:36 pm

What is night? From what I gather buses stop working earlier, whereas taxis are available all through the night.

Greetings

Mogens

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Post by bcsurfgirl » Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:14 am

Hey everyone,

How far is San Blas from Puerto Vallarta and is it even feasible to think about going to ?

My friend has been there once and is in love with the area.

Cheers

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