Hi all –
A week ago we got back a week trip to PV. We stayed for the first time in the Holiday Inn complex, but renting a large studio condo from an owner in the Sea Rivers building there. We really liked it – the HI is a pleasant well-run maybe 3.5 star place and we were able to use all their facilities. But not being stuck in an AI plan and having fantastic ocean front views with large balcony on the 14h floor was real nice. I also liked the area – on a decent beach, with quick easy access (50 peso and maybe 8 minutes taxi, or easy public bus ride) to the center of town. Myself, I’d go to Nuevo for the beaches and a pure couch potato get away, or the old hotel zone or right downtown for more urban fun, but the Marina “suburbs” really don’t appeal to us. (We ate one night in the marina and have no wish to return – not our style.) Anyway, I posted my review on TA (with a few pictures) – I’ll post it below for others who might be interested in doing the same. Cheers. Tom
MY REVIEW: We just returned from a week break at the Holiday Inn. Instead of reserving a room at the HI resort itself, we rented from a person who owns a small condo (large studio apt) on an upper floor of the Sea Rivers building. We paid $800 for a week rent (plus security deposit), which gave us a real nice condo, ocean front on the 14th floor – much better than a regular hotel room there. All inclusive would have cost us an additional $43US per person per day, a pretty good deal but we preferred to eat out instead (we paid for occasional drinks and meals taken at the HI, charging them to our condo and getting a 15% discount as I recall when we paid at the end). The condo was very nice with incredible views; ours had a king-size bed and a sofa bed for our daughter, and some others have 2 queens or other setups. It was well furnished, with a small fridge, toaster oven, microwave and electric heaters for pots and pans, and a coffee maker. To find options, google the Sea Rivers at the Holiday Inn condos for rent (there are a few advertised on TA and VBRO) – we rented our through the VeryVallarta website and all went smoothly.
The HI is a real nice option – for me, it is maybe a quality 3.5 – 4 star place, real pleasant, on a good beach for the hotel zone. We’d definitely return, but again to a condo and not to the regular AI hotel resort. The HI has a good sized heated pool, a pleasant outdoor buffet (and a la carte) casual restaurant, an interior Mexican restaurant (with no vegetarian items on the menu) and an interior Italian restaurant – reputed to be the best but without views and, when we ate there, the pasta was pretty ordinary. Drinks were alright – the typical AI fare – but you can request better quality liquors although they cost more. There is some evening entertainment, which we rarely saw, being downtown most evenings.
The resort is well located: a quick taxi or public bus ride downtown, about the same distance to the Marina area (which we found to be boring – a suburban feeling with overpriced restaurants and little ambiance), and a 10 minutes taxi ride to the airport. We bought breakfast foods, chips and a few drinks at the Soriana supermarket located in a small mall across the street and maybe 250 yards (meters) walk towards town. (Another Soriana is found about 400m walking away from town, and the Walmart with good wine and drink prices is about another 300m past that – it had considerably better prices than in the airport duty free shops.)
Restaurants in the area. If you walk down the beach towards town, after the Fiesta Americana you get to the Los Tules resort – towards the far end of that resort, there is a real pleasant small restaurant beside a pool with good breakfasts (maybe a 10 min pleasant walk away). In front of the Fiesta Americana there is a chi-chi French restaurant, and across the street in the Soriana mall area, a Pizza Hut. There is the Peninsula Plaza (?) about 150m walking up the street away from town with several seemingly fairly good restaurants, a Starbucks and the local Canadian consulate. But a much better option is to hop in a taxi and head downtown to the Malecon area (about 50 pesos) or the Southside (60-80 pesos) where a lot of excellent restaurants are to be found. On the Southside, try Coco’s Kitchen (at 122 Pulpito - real good food in a neat courtyard close to the beach), Archie’s Wok (excellent Asian food near the pier), Casa Isabel (up the hill – great ambiance and views), Nacho Daddies and loads of others. On the Malecon, the Cheeky Monkey has real cheap decent drinks and food and is loads of fun. For Italian options, try Trios, Vitea, and the Café Roma pizzeria (not the same quality but loads of fun). And for upscale Mexican food in a casual courtyard, try El Arrayan about an 8 minute walk up the hill from the start of the Malecon (about the same level and near Barcelona Tapas, another good option).
Report on your Puerto Vallarta trip, hotel, restaurant, tour, etc.
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