Trip Report - Christmas in PV

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helenf
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Trip Report - Christmas in PV

Post by helenf » Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:07 pm

December 22 to December 29th
We flew to PV on Air Transat and had paid the upgrade to have emergency exit seats. Won’t pay for the middle aisle section again. I never even thought about it when I booked the seats, but throughout the whole flight we had people literally stepping on us to cut through our row. On the flight back it didn’t happen as often as there was turbulence on the way back so everyone had to stay buckled into their seats for a good part of the trip home. Sheesh – How bad is that when you hope for turbulence so you aren’t getting stepped on? LOL One thing I will note is that Air Transat now plays a little video explaining what to do when you get off the plan, ie. red/green lights, customs, etc. On this video they talk about how you should not stop to talk anyone until you see the Nolitours or Air Transat Holidays signs. How sad is that when the airline has to give the passengers a heads up about the shark tank?

We had no problem getting through the shark tank as there were so many first timers that had already been stopped by the sharks, so we just whipped right through, got a taxi and headed off to the Buenaventura.

The Resort – Buenaventura Grand Resort and Spa

We upgraded to an oceanfront honeymoon suite. Room was great. We had a fridge stocked with beer, pop and water, a bathroom with shower only and a plasma tv. We had a jacuzzi in our room, however, it took over an hour to fill so I only used it once.

The staff at the resort were wonderful. The bartenders ensured that your glass was never empty and they weren’t stingy with the booze at all. They also really liked to dish out tequila shots to absolutely everyone.

The food at the resort was good. They had an omelet station for breakfast and a waffle station. What a lot of people didn’t know is that they “hid” the bacon at the waffle station. You had to ask the waffle lady for some. I’m not sure why the bacon wasn’t put out at the buffet with everything else, but oh well, I figured it out within the second day. LOL

The BV has been under renovation for a number of months. While we were there we couldn’t even tell that there was construction going on. We thought that they were finished as we didn’t hear/see any construction going on, but we were informed that there were still 22 rooms being re-done at the time. The front entrance to the BV is no longer open but has floor to ceiling glass doors. Everything in the resort was back up and working (jacuzzi, pools, restaurants, bars).

The beach was quite rocky in front of the hotel, but because the weather was so cool, not many people were swimming in the ocean anyways.

Restaurants

El Palomar de los Gonzales – (Aguacate #425) This, by far, is our favourite restaurant in PV. We’ve eaten here about 8 times in 5 trips. The views from up there are spectacular. The service is second to none and it is always our best meal of the trip. Muy Romantic. I had my usual steak, Doug had Surf and Turf and we had “Mexican Coffee” for dessert. I don’t even particularily like the Mexican Coffee as I find the booze in it a bit too strong, but I absolutely love the presentation so it’s always a must when we visit here.

Coco Tropical – (Los Muertos Beach). – This restaurant is always a “must visit” as well. We both had the strip loin steak and it was very good. We had the phyllo pastry (stuffed with cheese and spinach) to start and we finished our meal off by having an apple tart with vanilla ice cream. Yummy. I also want to add that the only wine I drink is Zinfandel and this is the only restaurant I’ve been at in PV where I can get it by the glass instead of having to buy a whole bottle.

Robertos Steak and Lobster House (Basilio Badillo #283) – This was our first visit to Robertos and we only ended up here cause we walked up the wrong road looking for Bruce’s Back Alley Bistro. I had steak (as always) and Doug had seafood. He absolutely loved his meal, however, I didn’t eat much of mine at all. My steak was quite tough. The place was packed and everyone else appeared to be quite enjoying their meal. I will give this place another try on our next visit.

Adrianos - (In Bucerias) – We took a cab out to Bucerias and stopped here for lunch one afternoon. Doug had all kinds of seafood here. He was oohing and aahing the whole time. LOL I had – yup you guessed it – steak with a blue cheese sauce. Again, I didn’t care for the steak – it too was tough. Their drinks are very strong and we had a nice time just sitting there right on the ocean. We didn’t see any timeshare sharks while we were there, however, I have read that there is one on site on occassion.

Bars

Andales – We went to Andales two times this trip. On the first night they had problems with the sound system and we had to wait for a new speaker system to be set up. We were really tired and wanted to go home, but we refused to go until we got to here “Alice”. Hee Hee. I started off with a small dacquiri when we got there and saw others drinking these huge drinks and asked for one of “that size” for my second drink. The waitress laughed at me and said “Are you sure? I have to charge you for three oz of alcohol in those.” I said sure – bring it on. LOL Needless to say, it took me a while to finish it and had to move onto cervesa after that one.

We visited Andales a second night and for the first time in a number of visits, I finally got to see the donkey. He was standing with his owner out front and we fed him some palm leaves. He is some kinda cute. We didn’t end up staying for a drink as it was absolutely packed in there and there were no more seats inside to be had. We just ended up going back to our resort and having a couple of cocktails there.

Burros Bar – We walked from our resort down to Burros Bar every day. We love sitting there digging our toes in the sand and watching people on Los Muertos beach. We also make some of our best purchases while sitting there, from the street vendors. Luis is still there working his tail off and telling jokes.

Mandala – We were the first patrons of this bar the day it opened. It is located where Kahlua’s used to be, on the Malecon, next to the Zoo. It is a huge white structure that you can’t miss. It’s a great location for people watching late in the day. I imagine it’s probably rocking at night, but I prefer to be down at Andales in the evenings instead of the Malecon.

Activities

We rented a car for two days. We drove North to Sayulita, San Poncho and Lo de Marco. Sayulita is a fabulous town. We wouldn’t mind staying there for a couple of days on our next visit. Definitely a surfing town. You can rent surf boards and take lessons right there on the beach. San Poncho and Lo de Marco are very clean, quaint little towns as well. Doug would like to buy property in one of these areas some day.

On the second day of the car rental, Doug went out on his own and I stayed by the pool reading for the afternoon. He drove South of PV but he couldn’t remember the name of any of the villages he went to. He said he really enjoyed that little tour as well.

We were supposed to go out fishing on the second last day of our trip. We had paid our deposits, but the next morning I was deathly ill with a stomach bug (no it wasn’t due to over indulgence LOL). I told Doug to go ahead without me, but he said no he would just pass on the fishing.

The other thing that happened was that we saw whales right in front of our resort. I had goosebumps from head to toe and I will remember that vision as long as I live. A mama whale with her calf. They were jumping out of the water together. I’m the one who screamed “whales” ran to the edge of the concrete near the beach with my camera and everyone else followed. It was a sight to see. Unfortunately my camera wasn’t working properly and by the time I got it working they were gone. Grrrrrr.

We also saw other “creatures” jumping out of the water everyday. They weren’t dolphins and they weren’t birds diving. I was sure they were sting rays jumping out of the water, but do they do that? Don’t know for sure what they were but it was pretty neat.

It didn’t feel like Christmas but we knew that when we went as we’ve been there for Christmas before. The only sign of it being Xmas was the resort had Santa there for the kids on Christmas Eve. Santa sure has lost a ton of weight. LOL On Christmas Eve the resort also served Turkey with all the fixings.

The weather was terribly cool to us in the evenings. This is the first time that I’ve had to wear a sweater in the evening while in PV. The blanket vendors were making a killing at night as people were buying blankets to wrap up in to keep warm. The day time was still warm enough for shorts and tanks however.


Summary

We would definitely stay at the Buenaventura again, however, we would try to get a condo down in Old Town or an oceanfront room at Playa Los Arcos first. Not because we didn’t love the BV because we did, but we spend all of our time down in “Old Town” so it only makes sense to stay as close to there as possible. The Buenaventura still is a great location.

We still love Puerto Vallarta and will return again someday soon.

reggaelovemusic
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nice report

Post by reggaelovemusic » Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:33 am

hola
i enjoyed your report. making me excited about leaving in 5 days. Loved to hear about Burros thats our favourite spot too , love the feet in the sand :D ..and luis's jokes.. the weather well its better then -33 tonight

hola

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Post by ellen » Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:57 am

Nice trip report, Helen. I'm glad you had such a good time. Dave and I stayed at the Buenaventura twice and really liked it too. I'm sorry we missed you this year.
Ellen

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Post by tojol57 » Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:02 am

Hey there Helen, like i said over on that "other" website... great report... we will be back down there in just under 4 weeks... maybe sooner if this week gets too ugly at work... HA HA HA.... but then again... hmmmmmm

David and Ellen see you soon... Are you going to try and come to Burros sunday night Sunday the 10th??? We are going to try and be at Madison South on Saturday night the 9th for JR's meeting....

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Great Report

Post by pdxbuff » Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:38 am

I appreciate the comments on Bucerias as I will be staying there next April.

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ellen
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Post by ellen » Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:46 pm

tojol57 wrote:Hey there Helen, like i said over on that "other" website... great report... we will be back down there in just under 4 weeks... maybe sooner if this week gets too ugly at work... HA HA HA.... but then again... hmmmmmm

David and Ellen see you soon... Are you going to try and come to Burros sunday night Sunday the 10th??? We are going to try and be at Madison South on Saturday night the 9th for JR's meeting....
Hi Tom. We will be at the Madison on Saturdays but don't know yet about Burros. Thanks for the invitation anyway.

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Re: Trip Report - Christmas in PV

Post by Plus4 » Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:59 pm

helenf wrote:December 22 to December 29th
We flew to PV on Air Transat and had paid the upgrade to have emergency exit seats. Won’t pay for the middle aisle section again. I never even thought about it when I booked the seats, but throughout the whole flight we had people literally stepping on us to cut through our row. On the flight back it didn’t happen as often as there was turbulence on the way back so everyone had to stay buckled into their seats for a good part of the trip home. Sheesh – How bad is that when you hope for turbulence so you aren’t getting stepped on? LOL One thing I will note is that Air Transat now plays a little video explaining what to do when you get off the plan, ie. red/green lights, customs, etc. On this video they talk about how you should not stop to talk anyone until you see the Nolitours or Air Transat Holidays signs. How sad is that when the airline has to give the passengers a heads up about the shark tank?

We had no problem getting through the shark tank as there were so many first timers that had already been stopped by the sharks, so we just whipped right through, got a taxi and headed off to the Buenaventura.

The Resort – Buenaventura Grand Resort and Spa

We upgraded to an oceanfront honeymoon suite. Room was great. We had a fridge stocked with beer, pop and water, a bathroom with shower only and a plasma tv. We had a jacuzzi in our room, however, it took over an hour to fill so I only used it once.

The staff at the resort were wonderful. The bartenders ensured that your glass was never empty and they weren’t stingy with the booze at all. They also really liked to dish out tequila shots to absolutely everyone.

The food at the resort was good. They had an omelet station for breakfast and a waffle station. What a lot of people didn’t know is that they “hid” the bacon at the waffle station. You had to ask the waffle lady for some. I’m not sure why the bacon wasn’t put out at the buffet with everything else, but oh well, I figured it out within the second day. LOL

The BV has been under renovation for a number of months. While we were there we couldn’t even tell that there was construction going on. We thought that they were finished as we didn’t hear/see any construction going on, but we were informed that there were still 22 rooms being re-done at the time. The front entrance to the BV is no longer open but has floor to ceiling glass doors. Everything in the resort was back up and working (jacuzzi, pools, restaurants, bars).

The beach was quite rocky in front of the hotel, but because the weather was so cool, not many people were swimming in the ocean anyways.

Restaurants

El Palomar de los Gonzales – (Aguacate #425) This, by far, is our favourite restaurant in PV. We’ve eaten here about 8 times in 5 trips. The views from up there are spectacular. The service is second to none and it is always our best meal of the trip. Muy Romantic. I had my usual steak, Doug had Surf and Turf and we had “Mexican Coffee” for dessert. I don’t even particularily like the Mexican Coffee as I find the booze in it a bit too strong, but I absolutely love the presentation so it’s always a must when we visit here.

Coco Tropical – (Los Muertos Beach). – This restaurant is always a “must visit” as well. We both had the strip loin steak and it was very good. We had the phyllo pastry (stuffed with cheese and spinach) to start and we finished our meal off by having an apple tart with vanilla ice cream. Yummy. I also want to add that the only wine I drink is Zinfandel and this is the only restaurant I’ve been at in PV where I can get it by the glass instead of having to buy a whole bottle.

Robertos Steak and Lobster House (Basilio Badillo #283) – This was our first visit to Robertos and we only ended up here cause we walked up the wrong road looking for Bruce’s Back Alley Bistro. I had steak (as always) and Doug had seafood. He absolutely loved his meal, however, I didn’t eat much of mine at all. My steak was quite tough. The place was packed and everyone else appeared to be quite enjoying their meal. I will give this place another try on our next visit.

Adrianos - (In Bucerias) – We took a cab out to Bucerias and stopped here for lunch one afternoon. Doug had all kinds of seafood here. He was oohing and aahing the whole time. LOL I had – yup you guessed it – steak with a blue cheese sauce. Again, I didn’t care for the steak – it too was tough. Their drinks are very strong and we had a nice time just sitting there right on the ocean. We didn’t see any timeshare sharks while we were there, however, I have read that there is one on site on occassion.

Bars

Andales – We went to Andales two times this trip. On the first night they had problems with the sound system and we had to wait for a new speaker system to be set up. We were really tired and wanted to go home, but we refused to go until we got to here “Alice”. Hee Hee. I started off with a small dacquiri when we got there and saw others drinking these huge drinks and asked for one of “that size” for my second drink. The waitress laughed at me and said “Are you sure? I have to charge you for three oz of alcohol in those.” I said sure – bring it on. LOL Needless to say, it took me a while to finish it and had to move onto cervesa after that one.

We visited Andales a second night and for the first time in a number of visits, I finally got to see the donkey. He was standing with his owner out front and we fed him some palm leaves. He is some kinda cute. We didn’t end up staying for a drink as it was absolutely packed in there and there were no more seats inside to be had. We just ended up going back to our resort and having a couple of cocktails there.

Burros Bar – We walked from our resort down to Burros Bar every day. We love sitting there digging our toes in the sand and watching people on Los Muertos beach. We also make some of our best purchases while sitting there, from the street vendors. Luis is still there working his tail off and telling jokes.

Mandala – We were the first patrons of this bar the day it opened. It is located where Kahlua’s used to be, on the Malecon, next to the Zoo. It is a huge white structure that you can’t miss. It’s a great location for people watching late in the day. I imagine it’s probably rocking at night, but I prefer to be down at Andales in the evenings instead of the Malecon.

Activities

We rented a car for two days. We drove North to Sayulita, San Poncho and Lo de Marco. Sayulita is a fabulous town. We wouldn’t mind staying there for a couple of days on our next visit. Definitely a surfing town. You can rent surf boards and take lessons right there on the beach. San Poncho and Lo de Marco are very clean, quaint little towns as well. Doug would like to buy property in one of these areas some day.

On the second day of the car rental, Doug went out on his own and I stayed by the pool reading for the afternoon. He drove South of PV but he couldn’t remember the name of any of the villages he went to. He said he really enjoyed that little tour as well.

We were supposed to go out fishing on the second last day of our trip. We had paid our deposits, but the next morning I was deathly ill with a stomach bug (no it wasn’t due to over indulgence LOL). I told Doug to go ahead without me, but he said no he would just pass on the fishing.

The other thing that happened was that we saw whales right in front of our resort. I had goosebumps from head to toe and I will remember that vision as long as I live. A mama whale with her calf. They were jumping out of the water together. I’m the one who screamed “whales” ran to the edge of the concrete near the beach with my camera and everyone else followed. It was a sight to see. Unfortunately my camera wasn’t working properly and by the time I got it working they were gone. Grrrrrr.

We also saw other “creatures” jumping out of the water everyday. They weren’t dolphins and they weren’t birds diving. I was sure they were sting rays jumping out of the water, but do they do that? Don’t know for sure what they were but it was pretty neat.

It didn’t feel like Christmas but we knew that when we went as we’ve been there for Christmas before. The only sign of it being Xmas was the resort had Santa there for the kids on Christmas Eve. Santa sure has lost a ton of weight. LOL On Christmas Eve the resort also served Turkey with all the fixings.

The weather was terribly cool to us in the evenings. This is the first time that I’ve had to wear a sweater in the evening while in PV. The blanket vendors were making a killing at night as people were buying blankets to wrap up in to keep warm. The day time was still warm enough for shorts and tanks however.


Summary

We would definitely stay at the Buenaventura again, however, we would try to get a condo down in Old Town or an oceanfront room at Playa Los Arcos first. Not because we didn’t love the BV because we did, but we spend all of our time down in “Old Town” so it only makes sense to stay as close to there as possible. The Buenaventura still is a great location.

We still love Puerto Vallarta and will return again someday soon.
Great Report Helen..
:)

How sad is that when the airline has to give the passengers a heads up about the shark tank?

....It is very sad that an airline has to give a heads up about the shark tank but a thumbs up to them for doing so.. Will make many travelers lives easier...

...I am sorry you were ill on your vacation..That is no fun ...

..I know the very special part of your vacation was being able to see the whale and her babe.. I hope someone that was there at the same time has taken photos and will post them on the web so you will be able to save them...

..I would one day like to visit the town Sayulita ..

Thanks for taking the time to post the Report... :)

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Helen And Doug In PV

Post by smitty » Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:25 am

It was a real pleasure reading about your vacation . I wish I could've been there to see the Whales . Thanks Helen . :)

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Post by Winnipeg gal 1 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:34 pm

Thanks Helen,what a great trip report. :)

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Post by MartyC » Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:37 pm

Thanks for posting the TR.

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Post by sonofdob » Sat Feb 02, 2008 6:57 am

thanks helenf...been away for awhile (eastern canada) enjoyed your report and have to agree that everything north of bucerias...punta mita and especially sayulita are awesome...i wish more people would get out there and see that...wait a minute what am i saying...sheesh...really people stay in pv..leave the rest to us...sonofdob

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