Old Reviews – Hola Puerto Vallarta Club & Spa

  Hola Puerto Vallarta Club & Spa    Cathy ~ Edmonton, Canada

May 2009

And I would like to share my comments about the Hola Spa and Resort in Puerto Vallarta. Our family was there from Apr 26-May3/09. We were very pleased with the Resort. this is not a 5 star by any means but I would say that the Hotel is very clean, the rooms are a good size, all rooms have an excellent beach view, showers and bathrooms are clean and well maintained.

The food was very good, we expected to have to leave the resort for meals as most resort food gets monotonous after a few days. This was not the case, There was a good variety, it all tasted different, there was a good selection of local Mexican food as well as familiar dishes. We chose the resort for the proximity to downtown, it is a good hike but very safe. A cab was only 50 pesos and the bell staff is very helpful. To the left of the hotel there is a Starbucks and shopping plaza, (about 7minute walk) again very safe.

The beach is very good, not that wide but lots of room for chairs, lots of umbrellas and grass shelters for sun or shade. The pools were clean and a good size. I will add there is a touch of shabby charm, it is not a brand new hotel but every effort is made to keep it up, (think of a charming clean cottage). My highest compliments are for the staff and the entertainment crew! Wow! This is a place you can tell that the staff love their work and are happy to be there. All were very accomodating, you were always being served quickly and happily, most have very good English and if not they will try their hardest.

The activities desk operator was very good, we booked zip line tours (highly recommend) He asked about our trip and made sure we got the videos we ordered. A friendly smile was for everyone and It is truly the most genuinely friendly resort I have been too. We have stayed at many resorts over the years and many 5 stars. As I said this was not 5 star but the entire place gets 5 star from us for enthusiasm and effort. Special thanks to Sergio our "wakey wakey shakey shakey" waiter, he provided lots of great service and information.

We were also very pleased w/ Curly he sells jewellry a few hours per day at the hotel, very good quality prices and service, he would resize jewelry within the day and have it to you in quick time.

The only negative I did find was on the weekend the music at the pool got very loud, you could get away and sit at the beach where it was much quieter and the drink service at the beach was just as good as at the pool. Overall  my family and i had an excellent time at this resort!

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  Hola Puerto Vallarta Club & Spa    Chuck ~ Canada

December 2007

The Hola Puerto Vallarta is an all-inclusive resort hotel located in a strip of hotels on the beach, and most rooms have an ocean view with wonderful sunsets. Some people find the property (and thus the beach) a little narrower than some other resorts. $1 US, or ten pesos, is the fare for a bus ride for two to downtown (take the El Centro bus). The Hola is also a one-block walk to Plaza Caracol, a shopping centre with a major supermarket and department store, as well as dozens of shops.

First impressions are the hotel shows its age a bit, but is kept extremely clean. The rooms are spacious, with huge beds that some people find a little firmer than they like, but for us they were fine. There were never any problems with hot water. If you want washcloths you have to ask. The TV has lots of channels, quite a few in English, but we hardly watched at all. The Hola is now using compact fluorescent lamp bulbs, but some in our room were of a lower wattage than we’d have liked. The use of the room safe is free, as long as you don’t lose the key. (Many, many pesos if you lose the key.) There is no fridge, and so beverages are not provided and restocked daily. As for water, you can bring or buy water bottles and refill them with purified water from dispensers at the restaurants, gym, etc.

The staff overall are truly excellent. They are friendly, cheerful, and helpful. The hotel itself is listed either as a 3-star or a 4-star depending where you look (3-star is about right) but the staff are 5-star.

The choices, variety and quality of food at the buffet were fine for us. In any case, opinions of the food in reviews generally seem to vary so wildly that it all comes down to the vagaries of subjective, personal taste. The only criterion that matters to us any longer is whether we hear reports of guests becoming sick, and in our case we heard none.

Guests can participate in a variety of activities throughout the day. Even if you’ve never kayaked, you can paddle with a guide daily. There are also water sports, aerobics, and salsa dance lessons. Spanish classes are also offered.

The nightly shows vary in quality and appeal, but were always worth our time. One night the show was a paid-admission ballet, which we skipped. There isn’t a disco or dance club at the hotel.

We used the gym twice. The friendly attendant will help people not familiar with the machines, and you can also use free weights. However, the air conditioning there needs a boost.

Although the Hola is a family-friendly place with a kids’ club, parents who take children to the beach will have to keep an eye on them. The waves on the Pacific shore can catch the unwary.

People who like to walk or run on the beach should know that you can go quite a distance, even all the way downtown, but there are a few places where you have to clamber across rocks, even climbing up or down in one instance. But think of it this way — if the vendors with their merchandise can handle it, most people can.

As for walking on the street, whether near the hotel or downtown, you’ll feel safe, but timeshare salespeople are everywhere, and they are adept in ensnaring you in conversation, so you quickly learn to ignore them with a "No gracias" while keeping on walking. Of course on the beach there is a constant stream of vendors peddling blankets, hats, jewelry, etc.

I’ve saved this until last because it is not specific to the Hola or any resort, but if you’re arriving at the Puerto Vallarta airport for the first time, you should be wary of the Shark Tank. Once you’ve retrieved your luggage and cleared customs at the airport, on your way to the exit you’ll enter first one enclosed area, then another, that seem to be a transportation information area. You’ll be approached by promoters offering to assist you with transportation or arrangements or even claiming to be your tour rep. THESE ARE TIMESHARE SALESMEN. They’ll use high pressure tactics, even grabbing your luggage and pulling you toward a counter. Say nothing to anyone. If you stop to answer, you’re done for. Walk straight ahead, looking at no one, keeping your luggage close to you, and proceed through the two areas without stopping to say a word. The legitimate tour reps and transportation and taxis are close enough to the outside exit that you can actually see outside.

Perhaps sometime soon the Vallarta authorities will do something about the Shark Tank. For now, it’s grin and bear it, knowing that a great vacation lies just on the other side.

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Hola Puerto Vallarta Club & Spa  

October 2007

Went to Hola Puerto Vallarta in February 2007.

The flight was uneventful – everything went well.

When we arrived at the Hola we were immediataly disappointed – the lobby was dirty, dirty couches and a cockroach was spotted.

We walked over to the bar at the beach and there was seagul feces on the tables. Also, the shower did not work by the beach, everyone was rinsing their feet in a dirty box full of water. There were also cigarette butts in the water where you rinsed your feet. There were very few chairs at the beach and ripped umbrellas, which wouldn’t have given you very much shade.

Next we checked the washrooms – no soap, toilet paper all over the floor. When my husband reported this to the front desk, they ignored us.

Next the bar, there was only beer, rum and wine. No other variety of drinks.

Next the restaurant, floor dirty and buffet looked as if the food had been there a long time.

They next showed us our rooms – air conditioner old and made a lot of noise. Also the balconies are not safe – someone can jump over from one balcony to another.

That evening, the first night we were there, I met with our travel representative. We told her that the Hola was not acceptable and that it was not a 4 star. We have stayed at many 4 and 5 star hotels – this is definitely a 2 or 3 at best. We insisted, along with another couple, to change hotels as I knew that | would not eat there or swim in the pool. Holiday would have been spent eating at other restaurants and not spending any time at our hotel. The representative was rude when we asked to change hotels and couldn’t see what was wrong with the Hola. Again I insisted on changing, and she made some calls. We accepted to pay $400.00 more each and changed to Dreams Puerta Vallarta – what a treat that was.

Please do not recommend Hola to anyone. I do not know why you do not have any more comments on your site regarding this hotel. I would not want to see anyone else stay there.

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Hola Puerto Vallarta Club & Spa Tim

March 2007

We stayed at this hotel in February of this year and will not return, the food was same each and every day, after 3 days we experienced stomach pains and return visits to the bathroom frequently, so we went out for our meals everyday and found this very inexpensive and felt great. Some of the staff are very friendly, the front desk staff I would recommend staying away from as they are of no help and rude. The spa is a complete disaster from rude and non speaking staff, the gym is a joke, and tennis court is unusable now for the second year. If you plan on spending a relaxing day on the beach you will have to get up around 5am to grab a lounge chair and throw your towel on it, as this is when everyone runs out to claim a beach chair, several attempts to let the front desk staff know that there were never enough chairs for everyone we met others doing the same thing. The air conditioners in the rooms either work and leak on the floor or they don’t work. If you plan on staying at Hola Puerto Vallarta I suggest not going all Inclusive as it really is not worth the value. They promote Hola as a 4 star hotel and we believe this is very over rated, at best we would rate it as a 2 or 3 star. If you want pleasant conversation and service from beach and bar staff, I would recommend this hotel, if you want great food and great accommodations I suggest another hotel.

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Hola Puerto Vallarta Club & Spa Ron & Brenda ~ Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

February 2007

My wife and I traveled to PV and stayed at the Hola Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive Hotel from January 22 – 29/07.

The flight was SkyService and after many years of disappointments from this charter, they have really cleaned up their act. Planes were on time both ways and in fact landed early by about 1/2 hour each time. Crew was friendly and the flight went very quickly. Good leg room and I am 6′. Our one checked piece of luggage got lost and never left Saskatoon. We got it two days later. We are supposed to get a $50/day allowance for essentials, we’ll see how that goes. I could see it getting lost in Mexico but in Saskatoon?? A piece of advice to everyone, make sure you have enough clothes and essentials for a couple of days on your carry on’s because lost luggage does happen even on a charter.

Now to the hotel. We got this package at a real discount through selloffvacations.com A plug for the company it was very easy to book and everything went smooth including their e-ticket system. Sunquest was the tour operator. They list this hotel as 4 star and I’ve seen it as high as 4.5 star in their literature. This is a farse. This hotel is maybe a 3 star, 3.5 star at best. We have been on 10 all-inclusive vacations so we feel pretty confident in our opinions as we have seen many different hotels in Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

The hotel is very dated and I believe I read some where that it has recently received some upgrades, we couldn’t see any signs of this. It rained a couple of times and there were water buckets all over the lobby. Our sink in our room leaked, we reported this to the front desk and no action was taken. Our friends bathroom stank like sewer. We saw a few people having trouble with locks on their room doors, ours was a finicky also. Our room had no safety deposit box, you have to use the main one behind the front desk. Some rooms came equipped with boxes in their own rooms. We went to get some things from our box and the lock didn’t work. They finally got it opened and we immediately moved our valuables to our friends room and placed it in their box. The food was mediocre at best. The buffets were unappealing and we are not picky eaters at all. In fact we did not eat one supper the whole week we were there, except at the Italiano Restaurant, which was decent. We also ate at La Petite Restaurant next door at the Fiesta Americana which was included in the package. Food was quite good there. Breakfast buffet was very boring with everything pretty much fried in lots of lard and/or tons of butter, very greasy. The omelets were good and you could order eggs any way you liked them but were almost always under cooked. The pool snack bar had good hamburgers but that was about the only thing that was decent. One day we had ribs and chicken fingers and they were okay. Several other things just looked gross. We heard several guests in the hotel complaining about the food. Some people said when it was the Qualton the food was much better.

The pool is rather small and is freezing cold. The ocean was warmer so we preferred to spend our time out there. You can sit in front of a pool anywhere. We were really impressed with the beach in front of the hotel and all along the strip within a 15 minute walk on the beach either way from our hotel. The ocean was clean as well. Don’t expect the Caribbean water and sand in PV, although the sand is quite soft.

The hotel staff were very friendly and worked hard. We only went to one evening show and the kids did a real good job. They spend a lot of time at the hotel and I don’t imagine they get paid a whole lot of money either.

Had we paid full price for this hotel we would have been very disappointed. Do not expect a 4 – 4.5 star hotel because it simply isn’t. If you can get it on sale, then the value is likely reasonable.

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Hola Puerto Vallarta Club & Spa Chuck ~ Canada

December 2006

Hola (oh-LAH) is "hi" in Spanish. The Hola Puerto Vallarta is an all-inclusive resort hotel located in a strip of hotels on the beach, and every room has an ocean view with wonderful sunsets. $1 US is the fare for a bus ride for two to downtown (take the El Centro bus). The Hola is also a one-block walk to Plaza Caracol, a shopping centre with a major supermarket and department store, as well as dozens of shops.

First impressions are the hotel shows its age a bit, but is kept extremely clean. The rooms are spacious, with huge beds that some people find a little firmer than they like, but for us they were fine. There were never any problems with hot water. We’d known ahead of time when we went to Cuba that hotels there don’t provide washcloths, but they don’t here either, unless you ask (or you could bring your own). The TV has lots of channels, quite a few in English, but we hardly watched at all. The use of the room safe is free, as long as you don’t lose the key. (Many, many pesos if you lose the key.) There is no fridge, and so beverages are not provided and restocked daily. As for water, you can bring or buy water bottles and refill them with purified water from dispensers at the restaurants, gym, etc.

The staff overall are truly excellent. They are friendly, cheerful, and helpful. My wife needed assistance with something I won’t elaborate on, and not only did the staff member give prompt and expert service, he even inquired how things were when he saw her a few days later. The hotel itself is listed either as a 3-star or a 4-star depending where you look, but the staff are 5-star.

The choices, variety and quality of food at the buffet were much better than expected. (Why "better than expected"? My wife and I agreed later that opinions of the food in other reviews of the Hola seemed to vary so wildly that we put them down to the vagaries of subjective, personal taste. Though my wife and I have different preferences and usually choose different items, we agreed that the food at the Hola was better than at a buffet at a fancy wedding we attended at home.) Even breakfast is at the buffet, but they serve great fresh fruit, juices and made-to-order omelets, pancakes, french toast, or whatever you wish. Because we enjoyed the meals at the buffet, we did not take advantage of our included a-la-carte dinner at La Cava. One negative, however. Dinner was twice served outside at La Fiesta, by the pool. While this setting is very pleasant, it is more difficult at La Fiesta for them to keep some of the food warm enough.

Guests can participate in a variety of activities throughout the day. Even if you’ve never kayaked, you can paddle with a guide daily. There are also water sports, aerobics, and salsa dance lessons. One suggestion for the activities staff — though there is a small sign in the lobby, a large sign showing the activities and their times should be posted at the Centro de Actividades, which is located by the pool. That way guests could plan their time better, and activities that need a certain number of participants, such as water polo, would more easily get the numbers wanted.

The nightly shows vary in quality and appeal, but were always worth our time. (My personal favorite performance, which I’d love to see again, was Memo’s pantomime of the restaurant shill — bravo — though the dancing in a couple of the shows was a close second.) There isn’t a disco or dance club at the hotel.

We used the gym twice. The friendly attendant will help people not familiar with the machines, and you can also use free weights. There are aerobics and yoga classes as well.

Although the Hola is a family-friendly place with a kids’ club, parents who take children to the beach will have to keep an eye on them. The waves on the Pacific shore can catch the unwary.

People who like to walk or run on the beach should know that you can go quite a distance, even all the way downtown, but there are a few places where you have to clamber across rocks, even climbing up or down in one instance.

As for walking on the street, whether near the hotel or downtown, you’ll feel safe, but timeshare salespeople are everywhere, and they are adept in ensnaring you in conversation, so you quickly learn to ignore them with a "No gracias" while keeping on walking. Of course on the beach there is a constant stream of vendors peddling blankets, hats, jewelry, etc.

Overall, except for our terrible flight times — nothing to do with the Hola — this was a bargain priced vacation (booked at the last minute) that we would love to do again.

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Hola Puerto Vallarta Club & Spa Donna ~ Canada

January 2006

Hotel: Qualton Club (New name Hola)

Booked through Sunquest – Got a good deal $1206 each with a $250 rebate. Hopefully the rebate comes through.

Flew Skyservice from Toronto – Tight seating, but luckily we had three seats for the two of us both ways. Service was good. 4-1/2 hour flight, on time.

Transfer to hotel was a full passenger bus. Had to wait 20 minutes for all passengers.

Arrived around 12:30 p.m. Check in was quick, the rooms were already assigned, but could not check into room until 3:00.

Rooms were very nice, with a king size bed and lots of storage space. There were no refrigerators in the rooms and the balcony in our room was so small you could hardly sit two people. We requested a room change the second day and were moved without a problem. On the last night of our stay, the air conditioner started leaking on the (tile) floor, and I almost slipped and fell, so I had to turn it off. The maid service was very good.

The meals were less than desirable. Breakfast was good with fresh eggs, cereal, fruit and other buffet items. Lunch was either the buffet which was ok, or snacks by the pool. We chose the pool snacks most days. Dinner buffet was terrible. We did not attend the orientation session with the Sunquest rep, and therefore did not know that we had to book our A La Carte meals (2 allowed), as soon as we arrived. We went on Wednesday to book dinner and were told they were all booked up until the following Monday which is when we were leaving. We went out for dinner most nights to area restaurants or downtown Puerto Vallarta. We ate the buffet dinner twice and after the last meal both of us felt ill the next day. I am still having problems over a week later. I asked for white wine 3 times with my meals and they didn’t have any. They ran out of black tea as well for breakfast.

The pool was rather small compared to other hotels in the area and quite crowded. You had to leave your towel on the lounge early in the morning to be sure to get one at the pool. Lounges were available on the beach all the time and there was someone there to set them up for you all day.

The bartenders were very friendly and the lineups were usually short, but the beer was never cold. They poured a generous amount of liquor for mixed drinks. Many Canadians including myself, purchased Clamato juice at the grocery to have for Caesar’s.

The people were extremely friendly, other than one Skyservice rep at the airport, and we enjoyed our trip even though the meals were not the greatest.

The beach was clean but you could not walk very far toward Puerto Vallarta without climbing over rocky breakers.

We checked out a couple of other Hotels in the area and the Bueno Ventura and the Fiesta Americana were very nice. Even the Holiday Inn seemed nicer than our hotel. I’m not sure what the rooms were like, but the pool area was much bigger and 3 people at the Bueno Ventura said the meals were good there.

We would go again but stay at a different property in the same area or closer to downtown. We liked being close to the many restaurants and night life of Puerto Vallarta.

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