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Club Viva Vallarta – Puerto Vallarta – Reviews Posted – 9

Club Viva Vallarta

Kathy

July 2003

Just spent 5 days at Viva Vallarta and have to say that although the trip was enjoyable this resort rates the lowest of any other we have stayed at. The facilities were beautiful and well kept, but the resort was overcrowded and under-staffed. We arrived at the resort around 10:30 a.m. and were not able to get into our room until after 4:00 p.m.

The buffet was so crowded that it seemed more like hogs fighting for the feed trough and waiters were seldom seen. Ice was mostly unavailable and water was scarce. The snackbar at the main pool was not bad, great guacamole!

We always had to stand in line (after we walked up steps to get there) at any of the bars and the staff was not eager to wait on us.

Empty cups stayed around the pool for lengthy periods of time before anyone would pick them up. The pools were so crowded I felt like I was at the Public City pool. The adult pool which is called the relax pool is exactly what they mean because when our group was having fun (horsing around and a little loud) they closed the bar 3 hours early. They should call it the quiet boring pool.

The rooms were clean and comfortable but noisy. You could hear all the noise from the hall and next door! Napping in the afternoon was totally out of the question. The mini fridge with sodas was nice.

You must be in good physical condition to stay at this resort because you must do lots of walking up and down inclines and lotttsssss of stair climbing!!!! From the lobby to pools to bar to rooms to beach, I was exhausted getting from one location to another and I consider myself fairly fit.

We were only able to get reservations for one of the three restaurants on our final night and it was the nicest experience of the week. Dinner in the Portofino Restaurant was wonderful; the food was excellent and the staff was great.

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July 2003

My husband and I have gone on an "all inclusive". trip for the last 11 years, and I would have to rate this on as a 3. on a scale of 10 (with l0 being the best.) The wait staff was rude, not helpful, and acted as if it was not their job, to help us. The buffet was crowded, ran out of ice,(if they had any out at all), and the water was in short supply also. This was more of a "self-serve",resort, rather than what we have ever been to in the past.

There were so many steps, if you have a mobility problem this is not the place for you to visit.

The bartenders, were not friendly, if they had smiled, I think it would have cracked their faces. We have never been at a resort, that we have not made friends there, no so here!!!!

The resort was full, and the break down of people was Mexican 90% and rest of us 10%. We were also unaware that as the rest of the clients could buy a day pass, and get all the same service as the rest of the clients,(except having a room), which the wall were paper thin, and noisy.

If we had not already paid our money, we would have gone to another place.

This needs to be in the travel brochures, so people and choose their vacations better.

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July 2003

We give this resort "two thumbs down". There were 10 of us in our group, adults only. While we found the grounds beautiful and the rooms clean, we felt this resort was crowded and loud. Water and ice were definitely a hot commodity. We had to ask for ice at every meal in the buffet and ran out of water at the buffet by dinner twice. The brochure you’re given upon check in states that the relaxing pool and bar close at 10:00 pm. On Tuesday, July 15, that bar closed at 7:00 pm.

We were given one bottle of water per room and instructed to refill the bottles from the water dispensers located in the hallways on each floor. We were all a little concerned about someone tampering with the dispensers or drinking directly from the dispensers and felt this was just a little too unsanitary.

There’s lots and lots of uphill climbing. We all certainly got our exercise.

While the tables in the buffet were set for water glasses. We were only offered water one night. The staff in the buffet were rude. The food was decent. We did manage to get reservations for the Portofino Restaurant on the last night of our trip. Our reservations were for 8:45 pm, a little later than we would have liked, but it was definitely the high point of our time there.

Additionally, we all researched this resort quite extensively and never knew that this resort sells day passes to the locals. We felt this was why the resort was over-crowded.

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Club Viva Vallarta Daniel

April 2003

I just returned from a week at the Club Viva Vallarta Resort, an all-inclusive resort 30 minutes north-west of Puerto Vallarta, on the northern coast of Banderas Bay. I and my family have stayed at all-inclusives and other resorts in Mexico (Cancun, Riviera Maya, Huatulco, Ixtapa, Puerto Vallarta), Jamaica, and Fiji, and have traveled extensively through Europe and Canada. Overall, I would rate the Club Viva Vallarta as a 3-star. It was great for us, as we aren’t particularly interested in nightlife or shopping. We like to hang out on the beach and boogey-board in the waves and walk the beaches at sunset and go on "excursions."

If you enjoy an active nightlife and want to do a lot of shopping, Club Viva is probably not for you. It costs $30 (USD) to take a cab from the resort into Puerto Vallarta, and another $30 back. They do have a shuttle for $6 (USD) a person but you have to arrange a day in advance. You can take a public bus that comes by every 30 min. or so, for $1.40 (USD), but then you have to wait at certain areas downtown to catch it back again. The bus can take 45 min. or more to get downtown from the resort.

The food at the resort was good and the variety excellent. I love Mexican food and so was quite happy. They have a "snack bar" that serves hamburgers and fries and has a constant supply of chips and salsa and guacamole and other quick munchies. The bars were strategically located and overall good and they didn’t seem to scrimp on the alcohol content of their drinks.

They have two specialty restaurants, "Viva Mexico" and "Portofino" that you can go to one time each during a week’s stay as part of your all-inclusive arrangement. Our meals at these restaurants were excellent and the service top-notch.

There were two pools, one for "everyone," (which I never went in because it was fairly small compared to other resorts I’ve been at and was moderately crowded and noisy), and an "adults only" pool that was heated with sort of a large jacuzzi in the center.

The adults only pool was for people over 16, and was located far from the general purpose pool and overlooked the beach. The beach was pretty nice, but was fairly short (only about 100 meters long). The beach itself was nicely sandy, but only ten feet out into the water (during low tide) you start tripping over moderately rough rocks. I just wore water shoes and the rocks weren’t an issue. The surf was nice, and they check out boogey boards so you can play in the waves. Our last day there the surf was almost too quiet. The activities hut at the beach also has sea kayaks and you can sign up for a Hobie Cat sail, although only with their staff sailing the boat. I saw several vacationers with surf boards, as just east of our beach was some great surfing. One of the neatest things about the beach was watching the pelicans feed on the small fish just off the beach each afternoon.

The resort itself was laid out very nicely. Our room was excellent and the support staff was courteous and did a terrific job. Rooms were quiet, air conditioned, had satellite TV, and all had a patio or deck. The resort sits on top of cliffs 40-50 feet above the beach. They have a kid’s club, nightly entertainment of various types, activities consisting of scuba instruction, tennis, archery, and others. They have a gym/exercise equipment room. You can arrange massages by appointment at additional cost.

We went on a couple of "excursions" through Adventure Vallarta, a private company that arranges tours or excursions of various types, and had wonderful experiences with both of those, except for the hassle of having to travel into Puerto Vallarta to do them.

Overall, we had a great time–as good as at any all-inclusive I’ve stayed at in Mexico. But then it met our needs perhaps better than others.

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Club Viva Vallarta MT — Baltimore

April 2003

Loved my vacation at Viva Vallarta. Flew in from Baltimore Md Friday evening April 11 arrived Viva around 10:30. Woke up on my Birthday to the most beautiful view of the Ocean and the pool area!

All of the meals at all of the restuarants were wonderful. Had dinner for my birthday at Portofino and is was absolutely wonderful, awsome view of the ocean and sunset behind the cliff on the beach. Seafood choices were great and Mexican coffee is quite a show at the end of the meal!

The room was great! And the service was too! I got flowers on my bed each night and the towels folded into swans and fancy folds! You’ve gotta love that!

Bruno my Apple Rep was GREAT! I took 2 Apple tours, the paradise which included a city tour, tequilla tour and lunch at a great restaurant. Lunch was awesome, 2 lobster tails, 6 shrimp, broiled whole with head red fish and two other fish fillets! Wow was that great and only 24 US.

The spa services I had were great too. I got the outdoor massage and the Viva Plan Special which it Aromatherapy Massage and Facial about 2 hours of pampering! Prices vary between 30 US for outdoor 25 minutes and 95 US for Aromoatherapy. A real winner!

Everyone was wonderful and I wish I was back there right now!

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Club Viva Vallarta Brian Toronto, Canada
December 2002

Viva Vallarta: 4 Star ????

Just back from a week at Viva Vallarta. If you are looking for a quick sun fix then this is the place. The resort is about 1/2 an hour north of Puerto Vallarta. The location and buildings are quite beautiful. The beach is very private and is okay. The food is plentiful, lots of choice and good. All staff were polite and always helpful. If you like to work out Viva has the best resort gym that I have ever seen, complete with treadmill, 3 exercise bikes, free & machine weights and saunas. There are 2 pools, 1 is in an adult only area and is a heated (non-swimming) pool and the 2nd is a large, busy and somewhat noisy with lots of kids, games and music happening most of the day. The rooms are simple and have basic amenities. BEWARE that the rooms have zero sound proofing. Most rooms have doors to adjoining rooms which are paper thin. You will hear your neighbours no matter how quiet they are. If you go try and get a 3rd floor room and/or a room facing the relax pool and even then don’t plan on getting too much sleep or a nap in your room.

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Club Viva Vallarta Clay Canada
May 2002

My wife and I visited this resort in mid March 2002. We are Canadian, about 40, have no kids, both University educated, both fit and active, she is a Realtor, I am a VP of Sales & Marketing for a software firm. She drinks very little and is content to lay on a beach all day. I love a good party, like lots of excitement, but am also just as content to laze around on the beach for part of the day and read. We appreciate good food, but aren’t snobs and have very eclectic palettes. We’ve been on 2 cruises, both great ships, once Royal Caribbean, the other Princess, have visited a couple of Caribbean resorts on a non inclusive basis, and have been tourists in Boston, Las Vegas, San Francisco, New York, Disney World, etc.. I think providing this background is important so you can more accurately gauge the merit of our comments.

We had a great time (8.5 out of 10) at this resort. I spoke to many guests who have visited other 4 star resorts and they unanimously agreed this one was as good as if not better then the others. No one was critical. I think we got good value for our money. We paid $3,000 Canadian including all taxes for 7 days for 2 people. For our U.S. friends, this is roughly $1,800 US.

The weather was fabulous, I’d guess 80 – 95 everyday. We had one cloudy day but that was okay as it was still very hot and getting relief from the sun was a welcome break.

The resort was very clean, safe, well laid out and the staff very friendly. We had a garden view room which was large and offered everything we needed. The bed was comfy (my wife is very particular about her sleep) and the water in the shower was hot. The shower leaked onto the floor but it was not a big deal. There was a safe in the room, which we used for no additional charge. The only time we spent in the room was to sleep, change and shower.

The restaurants are nice. At the main buffet restaurant food selection, freshness and quantity were always more then adequate, regardless of the meal. In the evening the salad selection and presentation was especially great. In addition, always lots of local selections along with North American dishes. Some main meat dishes included roast pig, roast beef, roast turkey, chicken, steaks, etc.
There’s always Pizza, which frankly is ok but no where near compares to the stuff back home. Always a couple of pasta choices, and always fish. Very little seafood though. I expected lots of shrimp, lobster, etc but nothing of the sort. It’s not cruise food, but it’s extremely acceptable, but not spectacular. Lots of desserts, although we’re not dessert eaters so I can’t speak to the quality. Other guests said the desserts were good. The 2 a la carte restaurants (Mediterranean & Mexican) were very good, and although I prefer Mediterranean food, the best meal we had all week was in the Mexican restaurant, it was memorable. My wife’s steak was literally "melt in your mouth" and perfectly seasoned. My chicken enchilada was fantastic. Don’t forget to ask for the Spanish coffee in both a la carte’s – it’s a great show! There’s also tea time at 4:00 by the adult pool (you have to go up a flight of stairs to the top of a cliff – ask one of the staff) where they will also make you a Spanish coffee. House wine is also included with lunch and supper, I had the red and it was quite acceptable. Overall, I’d give the food a 7.

The liquor in the bars is domestic, although if you ask you can get some international brands – Smirnoff Vodka, Canadian Mist Rye/Whiskey, etc. If you don’t ask they pour domestic. The alcohol is watered down, but trust me….. that’s okay. If you ask them to pour strong they pour as strong as you want. However, when you’re sitting in the hot, hot sun all day and pounding back large quantities of drinks, you’d seriously hurt yourself if the alcohol wasn’t watered down. The specialty drinks were great – the best Pina Colada’s I’ve ever had. The bar service on the beach was sporadic, some days it was good, others it was almost non existent? However, the bar closest to the beach isn’t an onerous distance away. If it were a 5 star resort I’d complain, but not at a 4 star.

There’s plenty to do during the day at the resort. I played beach volleyball at least a couple times a day. There’s always games in the main pool, dance lessons, Spanish lessons, archery, bocce, etc. They also have boogie boards for the ocean and you can go on a complimentary Catamaran ride if the waves aren’t too high. There was also surfing lessons if you wanted – all this at no extra charge by the way. Other then tipping the waiters in the 2 a la carte restaurants we didn’t need money. There was serious surfing going on the last couple of days we were there, very high waves, it was a blast in the water with the boogie boards! Never a problem finding loungers on the beach. The beach is very nice, great sand. There are vendors selling the typical tourist junk, but they are set up away from the beach and given their very, very sporadic visits to the lounging area I don’t think they are supposed to bother the tourists. Anyway, you’re not hassled like we’ve experienced elsewhere

The adult only/relaxation pool is very warm and fantastic. We made many new friends during our visit and we always congregated at this pool which overlooks the ocean at about 5 – 7 for drinks and to watch the sunset. It’s was fantastic. Guests at the resort comprised about 60% Canadians, 30% Americans and 10% Mexicans.

The entertainment in the evening is palatable but again no where near the standards of the cruises we’ve been on. There were several Vegas type dance shows with lip synching (Grease was one). On a couple of other nights comedy type shows like Mr. Viva Vallarta. It was good for a laugh. If you’d had exposure to Vegas, Broadway or Cruise shows you won’t be overly impressed. It’s an okay way to kill a couple of hours in the evening.

They have a club/disco on site, drinks are included. It’s pretty sparse in terms of a light show and they tend to play Mexican dance tunes? However, one night about a dozen of a group of us were there and I asked the staff if they could change the music to something more "American". They said give them a list of songs and they would play them… We did and they did. It was the best evening in the disco. So the great news is you can tailor your own party. I think the disco closes at two. Usually it wasn’t very full.

We didn’t take any of the grossly overpriced tours they offer. The resort is about an hour outside of Puerto Vallarta and you can catch a bus right outside the complex for real cheap, grab a cab, etc. My wife never left the resort. I left for a half day to go whale watching in a north town about 10 minutes away by bus. Sorry, can’t remember the name, but it’s the first town north, you can’t miss it. We chartered a boat on the beach for about $80 US which can hold 8 people and went out for a couple of hours. We saw about ½ dozen whales close up, it was exhilarating and amazing. Apparently we were very lucky as it was the end of whale season and we heard of people going out and not seeing a thing. For $10 US it was a hell of a deal. We then went to a restaurant on the beach and I had a lobster meal with a couple of beers for $30 US. A bit pricey but the best meal of the week.

That’s it. I hope this has been helpful. We’d go back in a heartbeat and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the resort to our friends and family. Regardless of where you go, please submit some kind of review so you can help others make informed vacations choices. This is one of the gems and real benefits of the Internet and we should exploit this power to make life easier for everyone. Peace and Love.
clayton@spectra.ca

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Club Viva Vallarta Steve Canada
March 2002

My wife and I stayed there with another couple in November 2001. We are all 30 – 33 and have kids but did not take them. Overall we were impressed with this place. My wife and I stayed at Melia in February 2001.

Good things: The facilities were excellent. They have a first class work out gym. I am a bodybuilder, and this is easily the best gym at any resort I have been to. A full set of every thing and a huge selection of free weights. The Archery range was also excellent with professional quality bows. The tennis courts were great and although busy, it was easy enough to get a spot. The boogie boarding at this resort is very good , with lots of great waves. Volley ball and Waterpolo were good as well, although the activities staff at Melia were a bit better at making sure that all the guests were having fun. Rooms were pleasant and very clean. The food was far superior to Melia, with much more selction and a different choice every night. They have two stand alone restaurants which you can go to once per week – A mexican one and one called Portofino. The mexican one was really good, but Portofino was decidely average. It was supposed to be the grand poohbah, but we would have much rather eaten at the buffet. The beach and the setting there is stunning. The adult pool is very relaxing a wonderful place to watch the beautiful sunset and meet other vacationers.

Bad things: If you care about being out of town, this is not the place to be. 3 out of the 4 of us didn’t care about that and (me being one of the three) I think PV is totally overated unless you want to go out dancing and buy useless trinkets. So that dosen’t bother me and plus you are much closer to Punta de Mita, which is the most beautiful beach in all of PV. The only thing about the resort itself, is that the nightly shows were quite a bit less interesting than the ones at Melia. Melia had Las Vegas style shows and we went to one every night because they were so much fun. One night at Viva, my friend and I were so bored we went to play pool. I thought the alcohol situation was fine. It was alcohol and we got tipsy when we felt like it. It is true that they do not have premium brands there. One other thing is that due to the resort’s size and layout, it can be pretty disorientating during the first few days.

Overall, I would definitely return to this resort again, whereas I would have trouble returning to Melia, chiefly becasue the food was so dull.

Of additional interest: I have seen a few comments on various review sites inquiring about nude / topless sunbathing, with responses generally indicating that toplessness is forbidden at all of PV’s resorts and beaches. I’m pleased to report differently. Club Viva Vallarta’s beach is very secluded and for the week that I was there there were 3 women who consistently sunbathed while topless on the beach area only. Two were in one party (not mine) and they were young and in great shape. The other women was roughly in her fifties. I don’t think that any of them got into any trouble as they continued to do it all week.

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Club Viva Vallarta Shelia
March 2002

My husband and I, along with our 4 year old son and 11 month old daughter just returned from a 1 week vacation to Club Viva Vallarta. We had a wonderful time at this all-inclusive resort about 1 hour north of Puerto Vallarta. The resort is only 2 years old and is very nice. The rooms have marble floors and bathrooms. The main restaurant is open on the sides with a high thatched roof, so it feels like you are sitting outside with a nice breeze. The food was very good, very fresh, alot to choose from and a wonderful salad bar at lunch and dinner – we were always able to find plenty of food for the baby. Our 4 year old loved the kiddie pool which was deep enough for him to play in but not so deep that we were worried, he also really liked the Kid’s Club (the only thing I didn’t like about the Kid’s Club is the video game – I preferred him to be outside – so we timed it so that he went with them to the pool or beach and then we took him out of the club) it was really nice to be able to drop him off there when we needed a break. The beach is small and the sand is not the white powder sand you dream of, but it served its purpose. The staff was wonderful and everyone was really friendly and always said "Hola." The activities and entertainment were good, there was enough to do (beach volleyball, water polo, dance lessons, etc.) without it being too much. They put on shows at night and always had a dance contest or game for the kids to go up on stage and say their name into the microphone – my son loved it. There are alot of families there and the environment felt very safe. There are quite a few Mexicans vacationing there as well so you feel like you are really in Mexico. The only caution is they will try to get you to go to a time share presentation, we were warned by other reviews on the internet so we avoided the presentation but we heard it was very high pressure sales tactics – that said it had no impact on our stay since that part of it is really separate from the resort services. We had a fantastic time and would highly recommend this resort (especially for families)!

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