Puerto Vallarta Forum (PV Bulletin Board) • Holiday Inn Beware!
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Holiday Inn Beware!

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:13 pm
by poodlelady
We stayed at the Holiday Inn 2/27/08 to 3/5/08 what a dive! It is not a 4 star hotel, we had mold in our bathroom the light cover above the sink was cracked, the plugin plates were all so crooked, the tub had rust around the sink drain. There was more mold in the ceiling around the air conditioner vent, we even had a leak from the air conditioner and it dripped into the closet and down the wall. The bed was harder than a rock, I felt like I was sleeping on the box springs. The food was so horrible on the buffet, same stuff all the time and barely editable. Never could make reservations at the other two restaurants, even though we asked every morning for 6 days straight. After paying the all inclusive price couldn't hardly afford to pay a cab ride down town to a restaurant! The drinks were very dissapointing, flimsy plastic cups you could hardly hang on to, they don't know how to make any of the frozen drinks correctly never dressed up the drinks with strawberries, pineapple or even an umbrella. We will never never never never stay at a Holiday Inn again. The pool was nice and the beach was nice, the venders will drive you crazy, they bother you all day long. We took a cab down town it was worth it, nice shops and boardwalk. We found out when we returned home that all of our clothes smelt, musty and mildewy. We would go back to Mexico but never stay here again, it was a very huge mistake......We have been on 3 Cruises, to Hawaii, California, Florida and never encountered the likes of THe Holiday Inn At Puerta Vallarta it is nothing but a dump! :cry: :(

AI Virgins?

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:24 pm
by Jennybean
Sounds to me like you've never done a mid-budget level all inclusive before.

Plastic cups for drinks - normal & typical
Buffet food - normal & typical

Humidity and musty smells - you're in the tropics, hello!
Hard beds - very typical to Mexico, not just this hotel
Vendors - very common throughout most of Mexico, is this your 1st time there? They are taxpaying permit carrying salespeople, don't want to buy from them then say no thank you...simple as that.

4 stars by whose rating? Your travel agent, tour company, or is it the hotel's own website touting this number? I ask because the star rating system is NOT uniform in North America...a 4 star in the US is different than a 4 star in Canada and very different than Mexico so I wouldn't be placing all my reliance on this.

My other question is - did you complain to the hotel themselves about the drain, the air conditioner, the fixture issues, the dining reservations? Did you ask to be moved to another room, or speak to the front desk or manager about the reservation system?

Not belittling your experience, but did you do anything to remedy the situation while you were actually IN Mexico, or just wait until the safety of the anonymity of the Internet to come back, register a nickname at random PV message forums, and blast the place?

If you bought a cheap package deal, you got what you paid for - a cheap package deal...standard room, buffet food, national brand drinks. It's not Club Med after all. :wink:

Holiday Inn complaints

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:47 pm
by kagnew64
I should leave replies to your problems to other members of this board.
I have never stayed at the HI and have travelled to PV but a few times; but I hate for anyone to have a bad vacation experience.

Please send HI management a detailed list of deficiencies. If you don't
tell them of your dissatisfaction they won't make necessary changes.
Be a force for positive change.
I hope your next trip is more to your satisfaction


Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:05 pm
I could be wrong here( iknow i know another first for me) but I am pretty sure I read somewhere that the HOLIDAY Inn Puerto Vallarta is not owned by the Holiday Inn chain , didnt someone buy it and just keep the name ?

Anyway sorry you had a bad experience however more research here an on trip advisor may have warned you of what was to come at that resort and Jenny beans advice is good advice if you get to a resort and don't like what you see grab the General Manager by the throat (metaphorically speaking of course) and demand to be taken care of .If you are not at least a little aggressive on your vacation just like everything else in life you can be taken advantage of.

Again its unfortunate you had such a bad experience because PV is still a great place to vacation.


Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:25 pm
by palapa_gal
MEX4EVR wrote:I could be wrong here( iknow i know another first for me) but I am pretty sure I read somewhere that the HOLIDAY Inn Puerto Vallarta is not owned by the Holiday Inn chain , didnt someone buy it and just keep the name ?
Yes, I believe you are correct. Seems to me I read or heard that somewhere too.

No Holiday At The Inn

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:48 pm
by smitty
I think me and Laurie have stayed at the HI 3x and the condos once . Definitely not a 4 star but a solid 3 . Location , pool , beach are great . If you get a bad room or one facing the construction your rating will drop . Sorry your trip sucked - lower your expectations and shop around - life will be better . :)

Hope it's better next time

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:01 pm
by Arizona Karen
Sorry you had a bad experience.

Was this your first trip to Mexico? Some times the expectations of Americans is that things in Mexico will be like that in America.

Mexico is full of lodgings with rust, mold, leaky faucets, broken items...etc.


Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:11 pm
by teatrolimon
i think by the first post of the person we might be better off just letting her rant a little more lol

with all due respect if you dont look into thes issues before you ravel you really wont have the right knowledge

im glad you found THIS board now
but its a little late

in the future keep us in mind
combined you probably have a million years of pv know how on this forum

pst! i live here year round and ive stayed at the holliday condo side
went down and enjoyed the drinks and had a wonderfull time


Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:00 pm
by teduardo
Albeit several years ago we were taken to a dark, extremely musty (even for Mexico) room at the HI. Went to the front desk and asked if there was anything better available. Well we wound up on the top floor, pretty much an ordinary room, but it was on the corner and had an 1100 sq ft wrap around deck with a big tub we would fill with hot water at night and cold during the day. It was great, lounge chairs, table and chairs.

It's the only time I have complained about a bad room, but certainly would again if the circumstances warranted.

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:46 am
by chrisnick
Sorry you had a bad experience at the HI. I stayed at the HI Sea River Towers and it was awesome! I talked to a lot of people staying in the hotel and they thought it was great so maybe you got a bad deal. If it was that bad I would have gone to the front desk at the very least and asked if they could fix the problem. My personal experience is that unless you go 5 star your food will probably be "okay" and your drinks only "okay" as well. I didn't buy the All Inclusive package and ordered a few drinks the week I was there. With the 15% discount my Absolut was $5.50 and that is close to what I have to pay at a bar in Canada. The beach was awesome there as was the pool. The staff was really great too even though we were not AI and always asked us if we needed anything. Personally I love the peddlers and spent alot of time chatting with them even when they knew I wasn't buying.

I stayed at the Royal Decameron the week before and the drinks were so-so and the food was good, not great but good. Thats what you get when you go less than 5 star and thats okay by me since I eat out alot. Incidentially the cabs downtown were only $4.00 which was way cheaper then what I paid in Winnipeg last weekend to go a few blocks. There is also the bus which was d*** near free.

Frankly I love PV so much I don't really care where I stay!

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:48 am
by ronald
To bad that you had a negative personal experience with the HI. We've never stayed there, but I too am wondering if you have ever stayed at a place in Mexico before. Cruises are totally different to what you can expect in any location where the operator doesn't take your country (food, beverage, beds) with you.

-I agree with you about the beds.. I've never found a soft one yet...but some people just love that sort of thing.
- HI is not a 4-star, but even if it was, we would not expect to have real glassware served to us on the beach.
- Food can be crappy some times.... but taste and repetition does not make it horrible in itself. Your comments were long on problems, but I assume that you remained healthy throughout... otherwise I am sure that would have been noted first.
- As far as dressing up the drinks, well at an all inclusive they tend to just supply the product, not the decorations, since we are somewhat of a captive audience, and in any case, an umbrella or edible vegetable sticking out the top doesn't change the quality or taste of the drink itself.
- I do feel bad you had a substandard room. Mould is never good, unless the rust in your tub came from sharp cut metal, in which case you could use it as an early form of penicillin. Don't tell the hotel though, or they may charge you for medical supplies.
- Now the clothes smelling musty.... well that's a problem we've also had, but I guess it's a tropical thing. As we use them we take our clothes to the laundry and have them washed and pressed and then keep them wrapped in those plastic bags they return your laundry in. We never take dirty laundry home that way, which the wife thinks is a pretty good idea. We have also found that walking around our room naked ensures they remain fresh... Come to think of it that pretty well keeps me fresh as well, but it can cause problems when the maid enters the room.
-Finally: Those of us who return to the same AI hotels year after year know what we are going to get there, and can pretty much figure out how much extra cash (if any) we have to take. (Tips, tours, vendors, taxis, friends, gifts, etc). All inclusive is a great way to go, but as are Cruises, you should never count on the AI covering all your expectations, without extra costs, unless you are prepared to accept what you are going to get. Your comment about 'after paying the all inclusive price couldn't hardly afford to pay a cab' may have been an underlying reason for the experience you received. Did you tip the staff?... it is never mandatory, but it DOES help to smooth out the service at times.

Thanks for your post by the way.... I hope that you give PV another chance.

Holiday Inn Revisited

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:32 pm
by smitty
For some reason I'm not seeing poodlelady as a big tipper - more of a big whiner on second read .
We were at the HI one trip and Laurie was tipping the roving bartender so well he served her wine in a glass . Shortly afterwards the security guard came up and confiscated the glass - reminding her of the no glass by poolside rule . This happened a few times until Laurie told the fellow not to bother with the glass . :)

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:41 pm
by chrisnick
Okay, I'm laughing out loud now!! People at work are going to think I'm nuts since there is no one else in my office. I was kind of dancing by the pool at the HI when a waiter came up to me and said "Can I see your ring". When I extended my hand he took it and danced a little salsa with me. After that whenever I saw him he said "nice moves". Whether he was lying or not doesn't matter as he made me feel special. That staff there was awesome and YES, I ALWAYS TIP!!!

Hi Staff

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:28 pm
by smitty
I bet it was "Sammy" that danced with you Chris . He is a excellent server and has several dance moves :) . He has been at HI for many years . He wears a ballcap and almost runs around the pool area- big white hightop sneakers - 50 yrs + - six days a week .

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:36 pm
by chrisnick
Thats him!! I loved him! Hope to at least go say Hi to him next year if I don't stay there as he knows how to make a girl feel special!

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:16 pm
by Plus4
Because of reports I have read from several friends and chats I have had with them I would not hestitate booking the holiday Inn ...

Posted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:33 am
yeah, i really hate paying for a room and looking up to see a broken light fixture...really ruins my vacation. plastic cups...god forbid they give you a glass one so that you can throw it at them in your moment of rage! and as far as it being a dump..well. you should have taken the trip to the city dump there and seen for yourself that there are many people there that would have been grateful for having the "crappy" experience you had. i understand you paid for it, but get a grip, i could go to Arkansas and find many things that i am not used to. it's a foriegn country(yeah, both mexico and arkansas). next time pay the the 300 a night and be sure to post that experience on here please. i always get a kick out of people that can't just enjoy the experience.

Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:30 am
by mhahn
We have been to PV numerous times, stayed at several different resorts, (have our favorite) but still have been to several others, al inclusive and not. We recently returned from 2 weeks at the Holiday Inn, the only saving grace was we rented a Condo in the Sea Tower which was beautiful, we stayed the first night in a hotel room at the HI, we would have left if that would have been our accomodation for two weeks. We are not hard to please especially in PV, but drinks and food at the HI were sub standard to anything we have had before. Like I posted on Trip Advisor a lot of people enjoy this resrot as it was full, we did not, for many reasons, thank goodness we had the view and nice amenities of the condo. We would never return, but I am sure it is suitable for a good percentage of travelers. Just keep in mind you get what you pay for!

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:33 pm
by welovepv
I have nothing bad to say about the Holiday Inn. I have not been for many years but we have stayed twice in the past.
It sounds like you were really let down. There are so many other places to stay. Shop around a bit and definitely take the advice of the expert travelers & residents on this board.
It all depends upon what you're looking for in a vacation. I personally don't care if my room is a bit on the small side - I'm not in it very long. I do like a clean room and from past experiences I have absolutely no complaints with any maid service thus far (except a missing pair of inexpensive earrings).
Holiday Inn has a reputation to maintain. They typically are very open to complaints/suggestions and would remedy any situation if at all possible.
Next time remember this: you paid for your trip, if you're not satisfied then please bring it to management's attention. As for the drinks.....they are weak for the most part but tipping helps - in any given situation - Mexico or Vegas!!

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:04 pm
by webmaster
Considering PuddleLady hasn't returned, even with all these remarks and comments, it's pretty clear that it's just a rant, venting frustration on random fora hidden behind an anonymous username... anyway, was cool to read all your comments and opinions, even JB :-)