New to Puerto Vallarta

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

Moderators: admin, Moderators

policegirl
PV Beachbum
PV Beachbum
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:35 pm

New to Puerto Vallarta

Post by policegirl » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:47 pm

:D Hello all. My husband and I have been going to Playa Del Carmen for the past few years and want to give Puerto Vallarta a try this next year.
I was wondering if someone can recomend an All Inclusive for us in the area. I know there are a ton and we would like to stay at a 3 star or above, preferrably above, lol.. We would like an AI that is on the beach but within walking distance to shopping etc.. we tend to do a ton of walking just checking things out, local areas etc.... Any rec's would be greatly appreciate. Someone recd Royal Decameron Costa Flamingos to us, so any other words of wisdom on this place would be appreciated as well! Thanks so much!! We can't wait to try Puerto Vallarta!!! :D

catlee
PV Fan
PV Fan
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 5:49 pm
Location: Topeka, KS

Hotel in PV

Post by catlee » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:32 pm

Hi, I think you would like Hotel Playa Los Arcos in the Romantic ZOne. You can walk everywhere. It's more a 3 star, and you can go AI or just breakfast AI. There are so many great restaurants you can choose in PV for lunch and dinner!
If you want a more pampered AI, we have stayed at Dreams and the food was marvelous -- almost gourmet in the evenings. The downside is that you can't walk around much from the hotel since it is out on the south side. But only a $5 taxi ride to town (2 yrs ago). Buses are also available and fun to ride on for 5.5 pesos. Hope you have a wonderful trip -- you will love the mountains and sunsets not available in Playa.

policegirl
PV Beachbum
PV Beachbum
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:35 pm

Post by policegirl » Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:04 pm

THanks so much for the infor. I will definately check out the hotel you recomended!!! I really do appreciate it!! :D

User avatar
katnsocal
PV Oracle
PV Oracle
Posts: 1538
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:17 am
Location: So. Calif.

Post by katnsocal » Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:46 pm

Just remember there is Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta, two different places. Decameron is in Nuevo Vallarta. You won't find the local shops, sights, culture there that you will find in Puerto Vallarta. Neuvo is mainly new resorts without the old town ambiance that Puerto Vallarta has.

Many of the Puerto Vallarta hotels/resorts have AI, the best beaches are in the hotel zone. Sheraton is nice but the beach is very rocky. Crown Paradise is a favorite among many people that go to PV all the time. Fiesta Americana is a very nice resort with AI available. Velas Vallarta is definitely beautiful property as is the Westin both of which are in the Marina area. Villa del Palmar has just done alot of renovations and is a very nice resort with each room having a kitchen if you like the ability to have coffee, etc. in your room. If you look at the hotels and resorts on this website you will find information about many of the hotels/resorts. The resorts in the hotel zone are just a quick bus/taxi ride away from downtown PV. You can get off the bus at the beginning of the malecon in downtown and literally walk for miles all the way over and around the south side where you will find great shops and some really great restaurants if you want to try dining away from your resort a couple of times. PV has some of the best dining you will find anywhere..a real foodies paradise...which is why, I myself prefer not to go AI, but that is just a personal choice.

User avatar
oneistwo
PV Guru
PV Guru
Posts: 260
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:13 pm
Location: Yardley, Pennsylvania

Post by oneistwo » Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:05 am

<<PV has some of the best dining you will find anywhere..a real foodies paradise...which is why, I myself prefer not to go AI, but that is just a personal choice.-- Kat>>

We can't imagine going AI in PV. We spend two weeks every year with a list of restaurants we want to try or go back to. We miss a bunch of them, usually because we encounter a bunch of new ones.

A breakfast option might be a good idea. Can't vouch for the others, but the breakfast at Fiesta Americana is excellent (We stay next door at Los Tules and we gave it a try). It's a quick bus or cab ride downtown, and there's shopping across the street if you want to stock up on incidentals (that's my euphemism for beer, tequila and limes). Look at a map, look at the Hotel Zone, and you'll see at least a couple of the places Kat mentioned.

btw: don't let any of this give you any trepidations about the choice you ultimately make. You will love it and you will be back for more.

User avatar
pvgemini
PV Fanatic
PV Fanatic
Posts: 242
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2008 6:01 am
Location: Portland, Oregon

Post by pvgemini » Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:17 am

I will echo the comments by oneistwo. I have been to Playa del Carmen and loved it, however, I think you will find that PV is much more affordable overall. I would recommend staying in town somewhere and not doing AI. There are lots of condos and homes available vrbo.com and you have more room to spread out. If you prefer hotels, there are many choices as well.

We budget $40 per day per person for food and drinks. Chop it up however you want, we have a great time!! Lunch is usually at a street vendor, very yummy!! $3!! Breakfast can be at the condo (pennies) or at a restaurant $5-10. Dinner and drinks afterwards get the largest share of the budget. I have been going to PV for 25 years, and I am fairly frugal. Sometimes we will splurge at La Palapa or Trio, and choose cheaper restaurants on other days. We are not huge eaters, and we are willing to share entrees, or just share a few appetizers and call it good. Who wants to have a beer gut in paradise anyway?

You are going to have such a great time!!! So much to see while you meander the streets!

Sally

User avatar
darla
PV Fanatic
PV Fanatic
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:25 pm

Post by darla » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:45 pm

My hubby and I have been to the DREAMS 6 times and absolutely love it. Like a previous poster said, it's not within walking distance though. $5 cab to town and then you can walk and explore to your hearts content. The beach is surrounded on both ends by giant bolders so the only way in is from the ocean. The resort itself is gated, so you feel pretty secure.

User avatar
chrisnick
PV Master
PV Master
Posts: 692
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:46 pm
Location: Manitoba

Post by chrisnick » Fri Dec 25, 2009 5:01 am

Royal Decameron is really in Bucerias which is a nice little village close to PV. We stayed there with are daughters and its a great AI plus shopping is cheaper in Bucerias and there are great restaurants there as well. I prefer to stay downtown PV but it is an entirely different vacation. Downtown PV the beach is not as nice but I like all the ambiance of PV. The music, the restaurants and bars all within walking distance. It is definitely not quiet!! The hotel zone is nice and have stayed at the condos at the Holiday Inn. Beach is nice here but we were always taking cabs downtown so we stay downtown. I'm looking forward to two weeks in PV this February and plan on day trips to different beaches. Can't beat the people or the food....or the tequila....in the area!! Just depends on what kind of vacation you are looking for.

LindoMarLover
PV Beachbum
PV Beachbum
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: Southern Cal

we love Lindo Mar on Conchas Chinas

Post by LindoMarLover » Sat Dec 26, 2009 3:50 am

Not AI, but very affordable, two happy hours a day (lunch time and just before dinner), they serve food and drinks right on the beach!!

We have been going to P.V. for 7 or 8 years now and we love it!
We have tried a lot of different places, but we like Lindo Mar the best. It's on the beach at Conchas Chinas at the south end of town just past Muertos Beach. Every room has a full kitchen and a balcony with a view, the bar has TWO HAPPY HOURS DAILY with 2 for 1 drinks, one at lunch and one at dinner. There is a private beach with tidepools and skindiving, a pool and hot tub with ocean view, the Cantina has great food and owners and their guests get 15% OFF IN THE CANTINA AND SPA TREATMENTS. The girls in the spa are just fantastic. WE CANNOT GO THIS YEAR AND HAVE WEEK 10 AVAILABLE AT OUR COST!!! email me for more info. Week 10 starts on March 6, 2010.
My email is [email protected]. Have Fun!! Roger & Karry

beachluvr
PV Fanatic
PV Fanatic
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:04 pm

Post by beachluvr » Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:37 pm

have been to PV 5x and booked again in march.
we have stayed from a villa in la cruz to penthouse @ vallarta shores.
have stayed AI once and other times not (believe the food comments)
last year we were back @ velas vallarta for 2nd stay (we are there
again this march too) and took their 4 day AI plan which left our last
3 days non-AI - we very much enjoyed this as all 3 couples in our group
enjoy being pampered for 4 days and ability to vacation and just relax.
our last 3 days enjoy taxi-ing to our favorite spots in old downtown
and sometimes bucerias and spots farther north.
all the comments and suggestions here are great - you won't be
disappointed.

policegirl
PV Beachbum
PV Beachbum
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:35 pm

Post by policegirl » Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:48 pm

:D Thanks for all the information everyone!! It's really appreciated! I think after reading, reading and more reading, (lol) we have decided to stay at the Buenaventura Grad Hotel and Spa.. It seems like it is right on the beach and within walking distance to the malecon etc... so that is perfect for us! And yes it is still and AI, one of these days we will venture and not do an AI but I guess we feel safe that way, lol... (at least we wont starve while we are there, lol)...

Any ideas on what is an absolute "MUST DO" while in Puerto Vallarta??? I'd love to see whales or dolphins or sea turtles but it seems like when we go somewhere we are always there at the wrong time of year, lol... Any suggestions for June would be great!! Thanks again all!! :)

User avatar
oneistwo
PV Guru
PV Guru
Posts: 260
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:13 pm
Location: Yardley, Pennsylvania

Must do?

Post by oneistwo » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:29 pm

The year-rounders can bear me out or correct me, but I'm pretty sure the whales are gone by June. They come to the Bahia to breed, and then they head north to eat.

Everyone will have different must-do list, but here's a few, all but two within walking distance (do a search on the forum if you need more info):

-- At least one boat ride to see the city and the bay from the water. Those range from booze cruises to Las Caletas, by day or night. An alternative is a day's fishing. Boats are pretty affordable, esp if you get another couple to go. Post a note if you can't find the recommendations already on the board.
-- Tapas for lunch at Los Caprichos
-- The Botanical Garden, south of PV on the road to El Tuito.
-- Afternoon happy hour mojitos at La Bodeguita, on the Malecon, preferably after several hours of walking around.
-- Sunset drinks at Cuatas y Cuetes, then migrate to Andales.
-- Buy something at Lucy's Cucu Cabana on Basilio Badillo

tojol57
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5776
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 5:47 pm
Location: Iowa/GCP Puerto Vallarta

AI is not death sentence

Post by tojol57 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:33 am

I have yet to figure out why staying at an AI resort is a death sentence to a vacation or is a "stop sign" to visiting all the wonderful Resturants in Vallarta... We have been staying at the Golden Crown Paradise (the adults only all inclusive) for the last 13-14 yrs (this will be our 16th or 17th trip to this resort)... and we still find time to go visit all the fun and wonderful returants... Teatro Limon, Si Senors, Blue Shrimp, de Santos, Fajita Republic, La Dolce Vita, Vitea, etc etc etc.... the AI just opens so many more doors to you... if you are on a limited budget, and are looking to just kick back and UNWIND, why not a nice AI - you don't have to worry the cost of breakfast, the 7th cocktail of the day, lunch, snacks, dinner, room service, the 14th cocktail etc... We started in the AI side of life when we used to go to Sandals Montego Bay Jamiaca... I will admit that AI is not for everybody, and everybody is not AI people.... but make sure you understand what you are getting into no matter what your vacation plans are... Enjoy vallarta for the city she is... she is full of life, culture, wonderful people, with great places to play, party and just kick back and relax... take care

User avatar
oneistwo
PV Guru
PV Guru
Posts: 260
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:13 pm
Location: Yardley, Pennsylvania

Post by oneistwo » Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:11 am

Tojo: Who said anything about a death sentence? It's just a matter of which side of a preference someone comes down on. I have met people who've been to PV and I ask did you go here or go there, and they answer, with just w little bit of regret, they were AI. It doesn't mean they didn't enjoy it, or they couldn't have branched out a little more. It's a vacation, not a competition to see how many restaurants you can bag. As I said before, they'll have a great time one way or the other, and they'll come back for more. If you do AI and enjoy it, good for you.

User avatar
katnsocal
PV Oracle
PV Oracle
Posts: 1538
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:17 am
Location: So. Calif.

Post by katnsocal » Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:24 am

Whale watching season ends this year on March 23rd. The whales will still be around for a few more weeks but the boats are not allowed to approach them after tthe 23rd. The dolphins are there year round and you often seen them when you are out on boat trips. The turtles breed from June to Sept. so a trip in June should let you see the turtles. Check with your resort where they have turtle sanctuaries (there are several locations around the bay). They lay their eggs on the beach and the eggs are carefully taken to a sanctuary until they hatch and are released back into the ocean.

thisisthis
PV Fan
PV Fan
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:29 am

Post by thisisthis » Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:32 pm

i don't have any idea what an AI costs for all that food, drink, etc. that is provided, but i wonder how it compares to a non-AI. the food in vallarta is so fabulous and abundant and cheap, as are the margaritas, that i wouldn't think of passing it up for a daily diet of AI food. just a thought.

deollafan
PV Fan
PV Fan
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:47 pm
Location: houston

Post by deollafan » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:57 pm

I can't tell you how many times I've run into people there who are doing AI, especially out in Nuevo, who tell me with regret that they are not staying in Old Town. Try the Buenaventura for AI if you must, since it's in town, or Playa Los Arcos, but honestly, the most fun I had in Vallarta was when I discovered my apartment I thought I rented had, indeed, been booked to someone else. I stashed my luggage briefly at Posado de Roger and walked around to look for an apartment. I found one in thirty minutes. I'm not saying everyone will always be this lucky, but it was a lot of fun, and I got to know some great locals that way!

policegirl
PV Beachbum
PV Beachbum
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:35 pm

Post by policegirl » Mon May 03, 2010 12:13 am

:D Thanks for all the information everyone!! Been a while since i've been on here, my 86 year old grandmother lives with us and she had a stroke wo we have put our vacation off till July 10-18 and can't wait to get there!!! We had decided on Buenaventura but just today the prices sky rocketed by $600 for the trip!!! What the heck!!! Figures since i just got my vacation money in order this weekend!!! Just my luck, i swear lol... So now we are looking at Golden Crown Resorts, the All Adult one, it looks pretty nice as well and is closer to $2400 which is what we want to pay. I guess it's not within walking distance to the Malecon but is it withing walking distance to shops etc??? I can't wait to get there!!! Really needing a vacation!! Again thanks for the information and I am excited that we may get to see the Sea Turtles and Dolphins at least!!! :) :)

User avatar
ronald
PV Oracle
PV Oracle
Posts: 1536
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 11:29 pm
Location: La Ronge, Saskatchewan, Canada

Post by ronald » Mon May 03, 2010 1:21 am

You will be well treated there, and I am sure will enjoy yourselves immensely. There are some shops within walking distance, and if you walk the block and a half toward the cruise ship terminal, turn right and go another block or so, you'll get to some shops, one of which has a fantastic and reasonably priced massage shop.

LindoMarLover
PV Beachbum
PV Beachbum
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: Southern Cal

July??

Post by LindoMarLover » Mon May 03, 2010 2:18 pm

are you sure that you want to go in July? It's hot and humid, uncomfortable-for me anyway- we like spring, fall and winter, but not summer in PV.
Maybe ok for you, but I'm just saying

Post Reply