Old Reviews – Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa

  Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa   Joyce ~ British Columbia

June 2009

Arrival: April 11- April 25
We arrived about 3 p.m. at the Resort. Transfer from Skyservice Aircraft needed 2 buses. Welcome Drink for us all, we had Fast check in by Claudia at Desk. Because we were returning guests we were Upgraded to ldg.#3,Newly remodeled at NO extra cost.

Rooms:
Room: Fantastic View from top, 3rd floor,with flat screen t.v. free large safe.fridge with Pop and Water Only.NO Beer(only the Royal Suites get beer). Room was kept spotless. Quiet bldg.,but a further walk to Lobby ,Pools ,Beach etc. On our 2nd. day we received a bottle of chilled Champane and Chocolate dipped .Strawberries from Management !!

Restaurants and Bars:
Meals: We went to 3 Specialty Restaurants, You can now go to as many as you wish. We enjoyed all 3. 1.Viva Mexico (we got VIP table on outside deck-to watch the fantastic sunset.Wow BAR: We loved Hemingways Bar Lounge, Comfortable sofas,card tables, good drinks,and Air Conditioned. Wow) 2.Bambu -Asian.and Porfofino-Mediterranean. We did NOT go to the Beach BBQ., it is considered a 4th, although on the Beach. Buffet at ElBosque was good at all times. Breakfast,Lunch and Dinner. Never hungry and different Theme Nights daily. On the Asian theme night ,On Tues.nights, we had the BEST RIBS ever.,with No sand blowing in the food ,like at the Beach bbq. Lol. You can get a "Made to order Pizza" done ..Snack Bar by the Main Pool (Las Terrazas) had fantastic Rotis.Chicken, plus good burgers(ask for well done) hot dogs,pizzas, fries,ice cream etc. etc. Ricardo tried to keep the birds away.Lol We did not have anything at the other Snack Bar by the Main Lobby Bar

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Pools: Loved the Salt-Water Pool. Almost full for 3 days, then drained, then last 3 days Full and overflowing. Just great. Adult Quiet Pool: Enjoyed the view, you feel like you can step out to the beach, but it is 70 steps up a winding staircase. The resort watch that No children are allowed and ask them to leave if they enter. Resort Needs to Control the Drunk adults a little more,as some get out of hand. We heard several were issued Warning Letters for going back to the Adult Pool after it was closed and causing trouble. Main Pool:seemed too busy so spent most time at the Beach.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Entertainment: was Great.Costumes were New all around, Clowns, Vegas night, glamor night.International night, and the best Mexican night.,plus a casino night and others. Kids have games /show prior to the Nightly entertainment. Fun to watch them perform , even in Costumes one night., Lots of games etc., from Archery ,beach ball, water ball, Bocci Ball. Even Pool games at the Lobby snack bar. Good Kids club Lots and lots to keep the whole family busy at this resort. T.V.s are in the Lobby snack bar along with Computers.

Other Comments: Met lots of new and returning guests. Victor was the Best Bartender.,they are moved around, so he worked the Main Pool and Lobby bar lots as he is FAST. Fantastic fellow. Staff: all were very friendly and helpful, they do all they can to please you, Just Ask..Resort is built on Cliffs in a cove with LOTS and lots of steps. All the surfers Love this resort, but not good for people with mobility troubles. Bus: took the local bus to Bucierias town and the New Mega Store, 10 peso of $1.00 usa each way. Fun Ride. Desk will break down Large Peso bills into smaller ones for tips when asked. We truly enjoyed our Trip and will Return to Palladium Grand Vallarta.

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  Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa   Barry

June 2009

My wife and I do three weeks in Puerto Vallarta in November each year but this year we decided to go back for one week in April. I don’t know why I read the reviews on this (or any other) site because I think some folks are just chronic complainers. Like a dummy, I usually read these things ‘after’ I’ve booked and then start to worry. You’d think I’d know better by now. Other than a little annoyance at check in, (we arrived at 5:00 AM!) the rest of the stay was great. The food, always something we liked at the buffet and you could go to any of the three A La Carte restaurants as often as you wanted. The drinks – great! The evening entertainment, the usual "good" effort by the activities staff. The only caution I’d like to give here is that if you’re not able to climb stairs and inclines, this is not the place for you. It really is built into the side of a cliff and there is no way you could get ‘out and about’ with a walker or a wheel chair. They left as much forest and jungle as they could and it’s beautiful. This along with a bit of a zoo makes it a great place for all. It’s great for kids and there’s a very nice pool/tub for adults only. Just a little too bad the bar at that pool isn’t a swim/waddle up. You have to leave the pool, climb some more stairs for your drinks. Maybe this cuts down on the "drunks"!

Great place, great waiters and bartenders. Loved it.

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  Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa   James ~ Calgary, Canada

May 2009

Arrival: Jan 24 to Feb 1
We arrived early and tired from our red eye flight out of Calgary. We arrived at the resort around 7 AM. The hotel staff told us no rooms will be available until 4PM. The first day did not go well, as we needed to sleep a few hours after getting to the resort. Desk staff unhelpful.

Rooms:
We stayed in the older side of the resort. Rooms were adequate, old in appearance, beds were very old and too hard. The bathroom was not in the best of shape and there never was any water pressures

Restaurants and Bars:
Generally the buffet was great. Had a good variety of foods to satisfy all tastes. The was confusion however on the booking requirments for the a la carts restaurants and the BBQ on the beach. One day we wer told we need a reservation and the very next night we lined up early to ensure a reservation and thy told us a reservation was not needed. Bars were great well stocked, always got the drinks of our choice.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beach was so so, lots of rocks hidden below the waves. We basically just waded in ant out a few times as the surf was pretty rough. Very nice views at sunste. Pools were awesome, and the grounds well manicured.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: WE went ona Zip Line tour with Adventure Vallerta and would highly recommend this to others. Very safe and loads of fun with some well trained staff members who will ensure you enjoy yoursefl. Also visited Las Calettas by boat, rough ride out and the area was nice. We toured into the quaint village of Bucherius and also into old Puerto Vallerta. Had a great experience off the resort.

Other Comments:
This is a 3 star resort at best unless you get upgraded to the Royal Suites side which is newer and has more ammenities. WE will not recommend this to any of our friends as we were very disappointed in the hotel itself, but did enjoy our surroundings and vacation

jimdrolfe@hotmail.com

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  Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa   Colette ~ Fort McMurray, AB, Canada

March 2009

Arrival: March 6 – 14
check in was quick, but we arrived at 4am.

Rooms
Rooms were dirty, water stained shower curtains, dirt stained curtains, moldy smelling pillows.Patio windows were filthy, holes in bed covers.

Restaurants and Bars
Had no real complaints about the food however each time we went to attend an A La Carte it was closed for either Private Party or not scheduled to be open, we even called Guest services one evening to see when the Portofino opened, they replied 6:30, and it wasn’t even opened that evening. We got dressed for the A La Carte, walked all the way across the resort, to go to the Mexican a la carte only to find it closed due to a private party. These things should be posted everywhere and announced at the pool!!!!

Beach/Pools/Grounds
No complaints about the Beach, Pools, or Grounds.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Never went on any tours, will explain in next area. Activities were good.

Other Comments This staff is a unionized staff, don’t be fooled that they make little money, they make a lot more than people lead you to believe. They steal enough to supplement their income. Do not leave anything unattached or unlocked in your rooms. My husband made the mistake of mentioning when we changed some US bills that we only had large ones. I made the mistake of forgetting to lock up my wallet with the passports and tickets. We went back to our room after going to town and discovering that there was 4 US $100 bills stolen from my wallet. They left the small bills and took the large ones I guess so we wouldn’t notice right away. They asked us not to contact the federales(Do this right away!!!!)they would conduct an internal investigation!!! What a joke!!! Management and guest services are a joke! At this point I think they are already dividing our money between them. They did nothing!!!! As well we asked for a resort taxi to take us to a few places… ( the taxi price schedule is only a rough guideline ) We had a driver who couldn’t speak english, therefore they could not understand where we wanted to go. He got and english speaking Mexican to tell us when we got to Puerto Vallarta that he could not bring us back due to federal laws, so we had to pay ( in addition to the $35 US we gave the resort driver ) an additional $40 for a Jalisco taxi to take us back when he had to go back there anyway. So not an enjoyable place to go…… I would recommend that you go any other resort but here.

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  Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa   Kurtis ~ Gibsons

March 2009

Arrival
Not bad, very long wait to check in but had people bringing drinks while we were waiting.

Rooms
Kind of dirty, air condition didnt work very well, so was extremely hot. Has a safe to use and make sure to use it, first day there i left my cellphone on the nightstand and it was gone by the time i came back. the sink backed up one day and leaked all over the floor out into the room soaking our luggage. Housekeeping would constantly knock on the door early asking to clean and would keep knocking, even tho the do not disturb sign was up

Restaurants and Bars
A la cart resteraunts are good, the snack bar by the pool is pretty gross, the liqour is extremely watered down. Bartenders are really nice. Your not allowed to have drinks in the pools and security strictly enforces it.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
Beach was nice, kind of get annoyed by people trying to sell us stuff

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
They advertised a lot of stuff that they didnt have, some things they did have like kayaks they wouldnt let us use because it was "too rough out", went on a quad tour, probably the best time on the trip

Other Comments would NEVER go to this place again, had my cell stolen went to the front desk and they laughed about it and said there was nothing they could do, i had to cancel my phone but buy a ridiculously expensive phone card to cancel it cuz the front desk wouldnt help me out at all. Pretty bad experience almost made me not want to come to mexico again.

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  Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa   Ed ~ Regina, Canada

February 2009

Arrival: Feb 09 to Feb 17
Did not get the room we booked and no one would do anything for us they did not care unless we wanted to pay extra would do nothing.

Rooms
Bad room not clean and not the room we reserved.

Restaurants and Bars
Nice but you have to be lucky to get in when you want.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
Pretty and well kept.

Other Comments This can be a great place or the worst you have ever been too. It all depends on your luck. If you are lucky you will get a good room and get into the restaurants you wish if unlucky you will get a bad room and have no luck getting into your choice of restaurants. The grounds are nice and I cannot say enough positive about the staff who work there. I also cannot say enough negative about the management. If you have any problem at all they will do nothing about it except try to get you to pay extra to get into the Royal Suites side where they say all your problems will go away. This is the classic bait and switch ploy and is highly illegal in Canada and everyone who was told they bought a 4 + star resort should file a complaint against the travel agent that sold them the trip. The only 4+ star part of this resort is the Royal Suites part and even though you were told you bought your 4+ star package when you check in if you want it you will be asked to pay $600 extra a week for what you paid for already. My tour rep would do nothing for me nor would the management. The room next to mine had water leaking into it from the room above and management would do nothing. My room had one small bed that we could use and another that stank of old cigar smoke so bad you would throw up if you laid on it and again even though I had booked a king bed superior room ( Maybe superior to a hammock in a tree ) no one would do anything for us. I tried to upgrade just for the night of Valentines day and the concierge and I agreed to a $140 US fee for the upgrade in the time I went to my room to get the money he had changed his mind and told me it would be $200 US his word and the agreement did not matter at all. This is the kind of place it is. Also please be aware that if you use a credit card or exchange money at this resort you will pay a 30% premium above bank rates. That right 30% again this is the kind of place it is. As before it can be a great place and has wonderful staff but beware of the management.

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  Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa   Lynda and OJ ~ Vancouver Island, Canada

February 2009

Arrival: Jan31/09 – Feb14/09
Our arrival to this beautiful place and fast and speedy-no complaints at all about the check-in service. Very helpful.

Rooms
Our room was good-the bathroom was large and all updated-loved the shower…We had 2 double beds and I didn’t find them hard as some people were saying-it was comparable to ours at home -the room was nice with the in-room safe and mini-fridge and coffee pot-all things were clean and well kept. The maid service was excellant, we tipped every day as they certainly desearved it. We got extra water and coffee every day and the room was spotless. We were in Section #3 overlooking the gardens-beautiful and very quite. We would hear a door shut sometimes but other than that it was very quiet.

Restaurants and Bars
Loved them all-the food was excellant-never found any thing at all wrong with any of it-very fresh all the time and the selection was unreal. Their salsa and quacamole were the best I’ve ever eaten. The beach Bar-b-cue was fantastic-we loved the buffett dinner tho-ate there most nites. The bars were great-situated close to everything. Service was excellant again.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
The grounds were immaculant-clean and spotless-loved the adult pool.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Loved the daytime activities-we took part in alot of them and really enjoyed them. We didn’t do any tours. The staff doing the activities were awesome!!!! So much energy and a pleasure to be around. They made everything fun around the pool . I must give special mention to JC- he has such a personality and the stamina of 10 people. A very special person.

Other Comments The dancers in the shows they had every nite were just out of the world-I can’t say enough about them-absolutly the best shows I’ve seen ever. They were all so talented and really put their heart and soul into each performance. All in all these guys made our vacation for us-we enjoyed them so much and all the pool activities. We will definatley be back again-I would recommend this resort to anyone-young or old. This was our best vacation ever. Thanks again to everyone who made it that way for us!!!

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  Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa   Ronnie ~ Welland, ON

February 2009

Other Comments:
We have recently returned, from a one week stay, (Jan. 26th – Feb. 4th) at the Palladium Vallarta. We initially booked a superior suite with Signature Vacations and after reading the reviews here on TA decided to upgrade to the Royal Suites upon arrival at an additional cost of $90US per night. It was well worth the price as the Punta de Mita Suites are really like a small self contained resort all on their own.

We had a Junior Suite which was spacious, well furnished and maintained that also included 24hr. Room service, nightly turn down service, chocolate sweets and if needed fresh towels. W e were in building 5 which I think is a prime location as you are steps from the pool and bar, the a la carte restaurant and the private beach. Our room overlooked the jungle with a corner, distant view of the ocean.

The beach on this side is a bit rugged, but it is such a short walk to the salt water pool that we didn’t mind taking a daily jaunt there if we wanted to refresh ourselves in the ocean. There was quite a bit of wave action while we were there so we had quite a bit of fun being hurled about by the sea. The bali beds and padded loungers on the cliff overlooking the Pacific are a great place to soak up the sun or simply relax with a good book.

The heated pool is lovely although a bit too warm on the days when the temps rose into the high 80’s and beyond. But perfect for a late night swim. By the end of the week it was a bit cooler so pool maintenance must have lowered the heat a bit. This was a great vantage point for watching the humpbacks put on their daily show.

The pool bar made a variety of refreshing drinks, their specialities as well as your own requests. The pool service was excellent and we enjoyed the fact that they actually came in fancy glasses and not small paper cups. We had brought our own insulated mugs and never really had the need to use them.

The a la carte restaurant in this area is open air, situated on a small bluff with a fantastic view of the rugged Pacific coastline. We ate most of our meals here as we never felt the need to leave. The food is excellent, both in quality and presentation and the staff are simply the best, friendly, funny, and efficient. We did have dinner at the Asian, Mediterranean and Mexican a la cartes and had no real complaints but just seemed to prefer the little bistro on the suites side.

One of the features we really enjoyed was that there was an abundance of loungers, and/or chairs by the beach and pool. so you never had to play any "towel" games to reserve a spot. Didn’t matter what time you came down you could always find a spot in the shade and/or sun. Throughout the day you would find clean, rolled towels on vacant chairs, placed there by staff , just waiting for a body to take ownership of them.

The grounds as a whole are beautiful and well maintained. The zoo is a unique feature and as for the smell, no different than any compound where animals are housed. Even a farmyard barn has an odour associated with it. We found the beach to be very interesting as to it’s rugged aspect and soft sandy surface depending on which direction you were headed. At low tide it was not difficult to walk it’s length. For kids both young and old boogey boarding and surfing were popular pastimes. We found the staff throughout to be friendly and hospitable especially if you tried to use a few words of Spanish. They were more than willing to teach you a few common conversational phrases.

Unlike other places we visited there were no vendors hassling you to buy there wares neither at the resort, on the beach or even the flea market in the small town of Bucerias which we visited one morning.

Yes this resort is in a remote secluded area so if shopping, dining off resort or clubbing are favorite pastimes, this is not the place for you. The different buildings are spread out so you have to be prepared to do some walking to get to the restaurants, bars, theatre or disco. It was perfect for our needs, a small jewel in the pacific that we hope to return to one day.

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  Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa   Lacey ~ Vancouver BC

July 2008

Arrival and Flight
We flew with sunwing both planes were late and the service with sunwing is very bad. very expensive if you have overages with your suit case they charge 20 dollars a kg we bought a couple gifts to bring home and put them in our suitcase instead of our carry on at they charged us 140 dollars canadian we tried to take some out of our suit case to out in our carry on and they wouldnt let us because they wanted there money. Very disappointing

Rooms
We stayed in the royal suites, gorgous rooms. bath tub in the middle of the room. good for a couple but wouldnt be good for a family. Bed was rock hard and had to get a message from all the knots that i had in my back. but room was kept clean and the free safe was a bonus.

Restaurants
Restaurants were good but they only have two open a day and a very small menu. If your picky you’ll get sick of the food quick since there not much variety The buffet got very boring fast, almost the same everyday and there seafood was disgusting because the buffet is not air conditioned very well. We got sick one day from poorly cooked food and if your standing in line waiting for food you better speak spanish or the locals will walk in front of you speaking spanish and take the food you just spent 10 minutes waiting for. If your hungry between the hours they have listed for breakfast, lunch , and dinner good luck the snack bar was never replenished and gthe food was awful. the buffet, room service and restaurants are all open at the same time which was stupid so it was hard to find food at times.

Bars
Bartenders were nice but could not make a good drink. its was hit or miss. they watered down there drinks. I drank non stop the entire trip but was never drunk not even once. The bartenders only knew how to make drinks off the menu and good luck trying to explain how to make any drinks since the staff can barely speak english

Beach and Pools Pools were great on the royal suites but very crowed on the other side. adults only pool was very beautiful. pools have tons of bugs since they dont have anyone that cleans them just the pools cleaning system.

The beach had tons of rocks and had to wear shoes all the time. and the under current of the ocean made it impossible to swim unless you wanna get pulled out to sea and spend 10 minutes fighting trying to swim back to shore. Locals mentioned they saw a shark 4 days beofre we got there. which is expected but when you askt hey staff they’ll tell you they have no sharks. and the beach front does not have any nets set up around the resorts beach front

Grounds
The grounds are beautiful your in the middle of the mountians so its a very pretty place. They have a Zoo on site whichis not maintained very well and stinks of sewage The animals dont look very happy and never once saw anyone taking care of the animals. They were in tiny little cages. Lots of walking and very little air conditioning. But the views are wonderful since the resort is on a hill over looking the ocean. very large potential to bad the resort sucks because the location is amazing

Activities and Entertainment
There wasnt a whole lot to do in the day time except for a couple sports, but they always had nightly entertainment

Tours
We did rythems of the night with Vallarta Adventures which was the high light of our trip, great company and great food!!! AAA++++ It was very beautiful and they did not water down there drinks very nice to tourist and very funny guides. they got to kow everyone well and even played some top 40 for the younger crowd when we asked. very romantic would defenatly recommend

Departure and Check Out
Check out was the worst part of our trip. when you check in they give you this little crappy plastic braclete to tell you what part of the hotel your staying in. no one told us at the beginning to make sure you keep it and my boyfriend accidently lost his in the pool. apon check out we were in formed it would cost 20 canadian to replace this plastic bracelet that would end up in the garbage anyways. when we handed the front desk attendant 20 pesos by accident and she tossed it back at us and laughed. i ahve never been so disrespected in my life. when we informed the front desk attendant that was all we had she said she would not check us out and make us miss our flight if we did not pay. we had to borrow money off of a couple that was on the same flight and pay them back at the airport since the resort does not have an atm. very embarrassing and not helpful. staff was horrible to deal with on a regular bases.

Conclusion I would not reccomened anyone to go to this resort. the grounds are beautiful and the room in the roya suites were nice but the resort was awful we had a black out twice once for about 2 hours and the resort didnt have any candles or flashlights for anyone and the water came out brown from the taps. the resort stinks like sewage most of the time and good luck getting anything repaired or corrected the staff are not helpful and dont care about anyone. Horrible experience

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  Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa   Lindsay ~ Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

April 2008

Arrival and Flight
We flew with Skyservice out of Toronto. Both flights, there and back were on time. No problems!

Rooms
We booked with a travel agent and had put in a request for a King bed. We were quite disappointed when we arrived and were given a room with two double beds. We couldnt even push them together because of the headboards. We questioned this and we were told that only 10% of the rooms have a king bed and there was no chance we would get one. The beds were very hard and uncomfortable but other than that the rooms were ok. They were quite small but the bathrooms were quite spacious. We did have an oceanview room and the view was amazing. The rooms were quite up to date and the maids did a great job of cleaning them. We tipped the maids well, they do good work.

Restaurants
We did enjoy the restaurants. The buffet breakfast was great, and lunch and dinner were ok. There was a good selection everyday but it did get boring after a while. The pool snackbar was typically good, but we got undercooked hamburgers one day and that turned us off. The A la carte restaurants were a nice change. There is a LONG line for them (you book Sunday mornings in the Lobby) but they are worth the wait. We ate at the mediterranean one (which we did not like) although the decor was beautiful, we LOVED the Beach Barbeque, and the Viva Mexico restaurant was the best food of the entire week, HANDS DOWN. I highly recommend the Mexican restaurant. There is also an asian restaurant but you are only allowed 3 a la cartes per week, so choose wisely. The waiters at all of the places were wonderful.

Bars
We found there were bars all over the place and they were always quite fast. The bartenders were typically friendly. The bar by the pool had the longest line because it had the most traffic. The Sports Bar also has some snacks like nachos and a popcorn machine that were nice at night.

Beach and Pools
The beach was beautiful. The waves were very big so we didnt spend much time in the water, but it is very rustic and well kept. The pools were also very nice. The main pool is a little chilly, but I found it to be quite refreshing! The adult pool was warmer but also busier. Both pools have a spectacular view and you can see the ocean from either.

Grounds
Very well maintained. There were some stairs but nothing too strenuous. The botanical gardens make for a lovely walk, and the zoo was a great surprise. We loved the monkeys and we were in awe of the crocodiles. This was a highlight for us as a young couple, but kids would love it! Overall, the grounds were gorgeous, everywhere I looked, I saw nothing but beauty.

Activities and Entertainment
We didn’t take part in any of the daily activities, but there was always something going on and the people running the pool activities were more than friendly. I would say that the evening entertainment was probably one of my favourite parts of the trip. They were absolutely fantastic. They arent always interactive, but it is an all around great show. The performers are excellent. Try to take in at least one show, we went every night and looked forward to it!

Tours
We did one tour. We did the Sierra Madre tour with Vallarta Adventures. It was fantastic. Not only are the sights breathtaking, but you get a good feel of the real Mexico. Our tour guide was amazing. Be sure to tip these guys, they are worth it!

Departure and Check Out
We had to check out by noon but were not leaving the hotel until 3pm. We were told to keep our wristbands and towel cards and we were given a place to leave all of our stuff until we were ready to leave. There is also two rooms where you can shower and change before leaving for the airport. Very fast checkout!

Conclusion The resort is gorgeous. We were not sure what to expect because there were mixed reviews. Overall, we found the resort very secluded and quiet. The staff were helpful and we had no major problems. If you are looking for a quiet and relaxing vacation with an excellent view, this resort is for you. If you like exploring, this is probably a little far out of the way (45-60 mins to downtown Puerto Vallarta). It was actually more than we had expected.

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  Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa   

March 2008

We went in February of this year. Luck was on our side and we got upgraded to the Suites.

Rooms – Nice and big – huge tub. Cleaned beautifully everyday.

Resturants – On the suite side there is an al a carte menu for all three meals – you wouldn’t even need to leave but we did and really ejoyed the Med. Resturant. The snack bar was very good to grab a quick bite. Our resturant on the suites side overlooked the ocean and was never busy – we enjoyed many a meal and fun tequila nights. The staff treated us like gold

Pools The Pools were all beautiful. On the suite side (which we would definately book the next time) was nice a warm – we could even overlook the ocean and watch the whales. The service was excellent

Beach Enjoyed lots of walks – a bit rocky and the red flag was up but from our deck we could enjoy watching the waves roll in and of course the whales were very active

Grounds Lots of walking – loved the mini zoo

Bars Excellent service – we never waited more than a couple of minutes

We will be back – being upgraded was a special treat and got lots of added extras with food and premium drinks. The staff was wonderful. Would recommend.

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  Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa   Charlsey ~ Toronto

March 2008

Rooms – Rooms were a decent size, I’ve stayed in much smaller in other resorts. Lots of room in the bathroom for 2 women sharing with all their stuff. Always well cleaned and maintained. Perhaps some caulking in the bathroom and around the tub would spruce up the appearance. We didn’t have an ocean view but spent so little time there or on the patio it didn’t matter. I don’t think we’d have spent more time there if there’d been an ocean view.

Restaurants – there were 3 alacarte restaurants plus the buffet and an all day snack bar by the pool. Food was good, consistent and staff were friendly and helpful. The only suggestion I’d make is the weekly barbeque night on the beach should be larger and open to more people. We made our dinner reservations the 2nd morning we were there and it was already sold out.

Bars – More than enough! One at each pool, on the beach and a couple closer to the lobby area. Line ups were only occasional and it only took a couple of minutes.

Beach and Pools – I really liked the beach! Not your typical miles and miles of white sand. A bit rustic but that gave it character. There was always plenty of lounge chairs and your choice of location on the beach. Water was a bit aggressive at times but I’d give it an A+

Grounds – Beautiful, well kept and well manicures.

Activities and Entertainment – didn’t participate in daily activities but found the staff to be friendly and polite. I didn’t think the evening entertainment was very good but it didn’t impact my vacation poorly.

Tours – City tour to Puerto Vallarta was very reasonable ($35us, not including lunch). It was a full day, the guide was friendly and informative. A bit of a chore getting into and out of the city – Palladium being the furthest resort away you have to stop at all the others along the way and back. Added about an hour each way to the trip.

Departure and Check Out – Our flight was delayed about 18 hours due to storm conditions in Toronto. There were no hassles, questions or charges about an extra night at the resort. All was handled very professionally except for information about the delays. I realize this is the tour operators responsibility but resorts should think about a better means of communicating this kind of info.

Conclusion – I really liked this resort; the food was good; no surprises and well prepared and presented. Staff were friendly and courteous. If you are happy with a beach/pool resort and don’t mind being somewhat secluded and away from a major city, I would highly recommend Palladium Vallarta. One of the few all inclusive resorts I’d consider returning to.

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  Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa   Glenn

March 2008

The Palladium was everything and more than what we expected! My husband and I went with another couple for 1 week in February. We read the reviews before we went, and to be totally honest, we were not sure what to expect. Some reviews were not the best, so this made us a bit leery. But The Palladium Vallarta was everything and more than what we expected!

The grounds were breath taking! It was like we could not stop looking at the beauty no matter where we looked. It was clean and perfectly gorgeous to look at. The ocean was in our view no matter which pool we decided to park ourselves for the next few hours of the day. We could even see whales one day from the swimming pool area, looking onto the ocean.

The pools were most amazing!!!

The food was absolutely great! No complaints at all! When people write in complaints about the buffet always being the same, it is completely that person’s fault. If you learn how to eat at a buffet you would not experience the repetition that people talk about . If you don’t mix everything up in your plate every day (like most people do), the food would not all taste the same. Just make up your mind what you want to eat at the given meal, and stick to it! That is how to eat at a Buffet and not get bored or think it all tastes the same. The food was awesome. The service was GREAT everywhere on the resort. We were treated like Kings and Queens! And the staff was so friendly! If us Canadians and Americans could take about half of the friendliness back home with us that we recieved out in Mexico, our Countries would be a much better place. I think people need to learn to stop complaining and expecting so much, but learn to have fun, despite everything not being PERFECT. We recommend the Palladium Vallarta to everyone!

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  Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa   Lyna ~ Alberta

January 2008

Arrival – Great. The hotel was very quick to check us in and take our luggage to the room. A little note… if you go for 10 days like we did. It doesn’t include ground transportation. Just so you know.. no bus. Go get a cab. It is $65 to the hotel.

Rooms – Beautiful view, clean, TIP the maids! They work very hard and leave them notes using as much Spanish as you can if you need more water or towels. They leave beautiful towel creations in the bathrooms too! Beds…. unfortuately wasn’t comfy. I bought a Mexican blanket for a comforter and that helped but still the worst part of the trip. We were in the old part neat the Adult pool. Great access for night swims!

Restaurants – Please note you are only allowed 4 Al La Cartes / week so book them wisely. You WILL get tired of the buffet. Booking is 9am on Sundays in the lobby but not the front desk.. The other line up. There are lots of good places to eat in Bucerias or Punta Mita if you need a break. The mexican was our Favorite! But the BBQ on the Beach was really good too. All I can say is thank goodess for the Snack bar above the main pool! By day 4 we were looking for something different. Also the food in the Sports Bar is Really good too!

Please keep in mind… there will be line ups for food and drinks. It is all inclusive. What do you expect. Oh and the Dessert coffee at the Mexican place.. My husband is in love with!!

Bars – All good. All great staff. Again… TIP. And there are going to be line ups at peak times. Just relax you are on vacation.

Beach and Pools – The Beach is awsome. Always something going on. We swam, boogie boarded, and played so much Beach Volley ball. BRING water shoes or strap on sandalls. There are a few rocks. Not many but you will know it if you stand on one. The pools were great. We had fun in the main pool but loved the adult pool in the evenings! Nice and warm and relaxing.

Grounds – Very clean and well maintained!!

Activities – ALWAYS something going on. And great staff The evening shows were really good too! Try to take them in.

Tours- Oh and yes the hotel is secluded. Which is the whole point. Private beach!!!! It is a short $1 bus ride to Bucerias. Awesome shopping and cheaper than PV. And only $22 cab ride to The Vallarta Adventure centre in NV. And can I please recommend Vallarta Adventures!!!!!!!! We did the Outdoor Adventure@!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Sea Safari! (Where we saw more whales than the whale watchers) and the Sierra Madreas. Also good and very informative but a little slower paced. All the guides are amazing.

Conclusion – It was great! Please keep in mind if you are expecting a Canadian or US 4-5 star hotel. You will be disappointed. It was great. But I wan’t expecting to be treated like a movie star.. Apparently some people on this site were……. It was amazing and great for kids. We didn’t have any. But they were everywhere

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Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa Thomas Martin ~ United Kingdom – London Essex

September 2007

We stay for 14 nights, and was very surprised with the Mexican rating of 5 stars, first choice rated this hotel at 4 , but we would have rated it 3.

There was not a problem checking into the hotel, and know problems checking out, except they nearly took our armbands off us at 12am when our pick up to the airport wasn’t until 2:30, if we hadn’t mentioned the fact we was flying with first choice we would have sat in the lobby for 2 and a half hours with out one drink!,

During our 14 nights there we came across two major problems,

One was with guest services, at NO time was we told that we could only use the alacarte Restaurants 4 times during out stay, we booked all 4 for the first 7 nights not knowing that we could only eat in them 4 times, when we booked with guest services we used these exact words after booking the 4 meals, “so can we come back on Sunday and book into the restaurants again” Guest Services replied by saying “yes of corse come back on Sunday and we will sort out your restaurants for the next week”, it was only when we went back on the second Sunday that we discovered we could not use the on site restaurants no more! We spoke to our rep. he got us booked in to one more restaurant! It was either eat in the buffet for 6 more days or pay to eat off site, which we did for 4 nights,

Our second problem was with the maid, she knocked on our door at 9 am every morning, we was on holiday we wanted rest not to have to wake at 9 to tell her to go away, we came back to our room one day and say a letter sticking out of the door, from guest services, saying how one of the two mattresses was found wet, when we left the room we had only been asleep and we knew that the bed wasn’t wet then!, so what was they on about the letter was very very threatening saying stuff like, we had to call a member of security to your room, in the event of this happening again we will be sending you a dry cleaning bill, this was a horrible letter to receive,

When we confronted guest services we got no reply, they told us they would get back to us and we waited and waited. Since then when we checked the mini bar we always had 5 bottles of water and 4 cans of drink that was for 3 people

Overall the staff in some of the bars where very friendly, the day bar staff in the main bar would never smile, there was two members of bar staff that stood out as excellent to us, Victor who works in the relax bar during the day, and Ricardo who works in the beach bar,

We tipped them well because they looked after us,

Im conclusion for a first time to Puerto Vallarta we would not return

Although the hotel was good, we was very secluded.

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Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa Dee ~ Canada

June 2007

Spent 7 nights from June 16 – 22nd.

Overall the resort was disappointing compared to the 4.5 – 5 star ratings in the brochures. I would rate a 3.5

Flew with Westjet and had a direct flight with good times for arrival and departure.

No issues with checkin or checkout. We were able to upgrade to the Royal Suites sections and glad we did.

Royal Suites is only four months old but looks much older due to the lack of cleaning all over. The grounds were clean and manicured and the rooms were acceptable however nothing great considering that they rated their Suites 5 star. The hallways and the lobby all had dead bugs on the floors that would sit for 4 or 5 days before being cleaned up. There were birds building a nest on top of a light just outside our room and nobody doing anything about it. Dirty floors and tables throughout the Suites section and lobby that are not cleaned for 4 or 5 days. The room amenities were very basic (no hair conditioner or mouthwash which is usually standard even at a 3 Star level). Amenities were not replenished every day. The room did have a nice Jacuzzi tub although the water wasn’t clear and took forever to drain. Separate shower which was nice. The housekeeper was decent although had to constantly tip to get anything i.e. extra towels, water etc. One day she took the money but didn’t leave anything which didn’t impress us as we had been leaving her very good tips for her the first 4 days.

Royal Suites has a separate restaurant and pool which is also nice for guests. Pool was very nice to look at with 2 tiers and view of beach and the ocean. Could step up the cleaning a little as well. Pool was not cleaned everyday (leaves, bugs etc in the pool). Chairs were not cleaned and tables were rarely wiped off. Lots of options for shade or sun which was great. One very frustrating thing was that we tried to make a la carte reservations and 2 of the 3 restaurants were not open as it was not a busy week. If they are not going to have things open due to time of year, they should have a disclaimer or notify customers. We sure didn’t get a discount for low season so our expectation was that the resort would be operating 100%. We went to the buffet and the food look like it had been sitting there all day, crowded and dirty looking with marginal variety as they had some stations shut down due to not being busy. Our saving grace was that the RS restaurant was open all the time and they had good food. Another great option was that they had room service which we took advantage of. Bars served premium alcohol which was also nice.

Main and Adult pools: Main pool and surroundings looked dirty, adult pool was nice, cleaner with great view of the ocean and good bartender.

Beach on the suites side is very rocky and lots of kelp that is only cleaned once a week. Beach on the main pool side was considerably better which would make sense as that part of the resort has been there a long time.

Some staff were helpful, others were not. The reason for reserving here was to go somewhere quiet (which it was) for R and R. Hugely disappointed in the Suites in general. Star standards for Mexico may be a little different than other places however Palladium is a huge chain and the expectation to have clean surroundings is not unwarranted. Some small improvements on the Suites side would make a world of difference. The concept is great.. the layout etc is great..however, I would not recommend this resort to anyone unless they got an outstanding deal and they are willing to accept that it’s overrated in the brochures and wish to come to a 3.5 Star resort with the Suites being 4 Star at best if they can clean up their act. We supposedly upgraded – I’m not sure what it would have been like otherwise.

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Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa Jason & Karen ~ Southern Manitoba

January 2007

January 2007 – Myself, wife, mother and father traveled to Neuvo Vallarta & stayed @ the Palladium Vallarta during Jan 19 to 26/2007. What a wonderful resort and just simply thought that it was fabulous. Here are some of the highlights

Flight – On the way from Winnipeg on Jan 19th we had lots of turbulence…….but the flight was on time and it all worked out great. Departure was delayed by 2.5 hours which was effected by a winter storm in Manitoba – this is always frustrating but there is nothing that you can do (I have been on 5 vacations in the past 5 years and we have never returned on time). Travel home also was very turbulant………….but we made it home! We touched down @ Winnipeg Airport and we sat in our plane for 1 hour waiting for a terminal…………….this is very frustrating because we had not slept in 24 hours and we just wanted to go home

BUT THIS WAS THE ONLY BAD PART OF THE TRIP

Arrival/Check in – Check in was so quick…………….we arrived and our rooms where ready for us. Hotel was not understaffed as they had bellboys available to bring all customers luggage to there room asap

Rooms – Room was so clean and comfortable. We where in Building 1 which was between the adult pool and other swimming pool. Our room was an ocean view……..beautiful sunsets, just simply excellent. Room was cleaned daily by the maids – these ladies do such a great job. I found the room to be very up to date.

Resort – The resort was large and was beautiful with plants of all sorts. If you went from the lobby to our hotel complex there was a beautiful jungle that had paths cut out for a short cut to your rooms. Jungle was great………..in this area they also had a zoo which has alligators/deer/parrots/monkeys and ostriches. Pretty cool………as we where so far away from any major centre – the resort offered a lot of activities which kept the patrons very busy. It always felt that they had something for you to do. Ocean was alright but not the best – very rocky………….during the time that we stayed @ the hotel we enjoyed whale watching from the beach area. The adult pool was very cool as you looked over the ocean – it was great but too warm and crowded

Service – Excellent service……….bartenders kept the patrons happy with a large selection of drinks! I thought that is was a nice touch that the hotel offered Bacardi Rum…….that was my staple beverage for the week. Maids and waiters where also very good.

Front desk employees spoke good English which made it very easy to communicate………I thought that this was great. Last year we went to Dominican Republic and there was a huge language barrier. The entire staff @ Palladium made every effort to make us feel comfortable.

Food – Food was very good – I thought that we had a decent size variety of selections. Buffet was good but after 7 days it is time to try some new food. We really enjoyed the food @ the specialty restaurants. The best is the Beach BBQ – they bbq the best ribs that I have had in awhile……………..I encourage people to reserve a seat @ this meal as you get to enjoy a chicken and ribs bbq on the beach with the waves crashing in and the sun coming down while drinking some rum – excellent

Snack bar served pizza/chicken/salads and hamburgers………..this was a nice quick lunch when you where involved @ the pool area

Entertainment – Absolutely amazing…………the staff was well trained and they kept you entertained. I am a guy that normally would not go to the entertainment in the evenings but I anyways give it a chance. This year I was very surprised – they did some good work

Entertainment staff during the day where high energy and made you feel very @ home………..the hotel employed 3 Canadian girls which where a huge part of the show

Excursions – Traveled to Puerto Vallarta for a day of shopping – this was pretty neat.

Overall – . Overall I give this vacation a 4.5 out of 5…………….this was exactly what the resort was rated in the Signature Vacations book. I would have no problem’s referring a customer back to this hotel – completely great

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Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa Hlywud ~ Ontario, Canada

October 2006

Rate in Tour Brochures as a 4.5 star, I would rate as a solid 3.5 star resort due to beach, room and location.

Flight

We live 2½ hours from Pearson Airport in Toronto and with an early morning departure ventured down the 401 the evening before. We parked our vehicle at the Valhalla Inn on Burnhamthorpe Road. The rate of $99 included 7 days’ parking and a stay over the night before our departure. Continental breakfast is also included. They provide excellent customer service and the rate is reasonable. And the shuttle ride is very short. And efficient.

Once again we decided to pay the extra fee of $15 per person per on each-way trip for pre-assigned seating. Much to our pleasant surprise, we were pre-assigned seats 14A, B, and 7E and F on return.

We were scheduled to leave from Toronto at 6:00am and did leave on time for a 4 hour and 53 minute flight to PVR on a Boeing 757 with Skyservice. The 757 I felt had a much better seating room than the previous A320 aircraft I had been on. I was in seat 14A and my wife in 14 B and we were very comfortable for the long flight down to PVR.

Mexican Customs Check-in at the airport

was very quick and we were on our bus within a half an hour of landing and on our way to the resort with a stop to let off 46 passengers at the Decameron and then we being the only occupants rode for another 20 minutes in a huge air conditioned coach to the Palladium which is located 40 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta.

Check In

On arrival at the hotel we were greeted by the Nolitours representative and checked in about 5 minutes, we talked to her briefly and were escorted by the Bell Captain to our room 1209 in Building 1, on arriving at our room we were surprised that we had been upgraded to an Ocean view room.

Accommodations

While not a large room, we found 2 double beds, a dressing table with a small 20 inch TV and sitting chair and sliding patio doors to a very small balcony. The bath was a standard motel bath facility. It kind of reminded me of a room in the TV motel commercial “we’ll leave the lights on for you”. We unpacked quickly and headed to the buffet for a quick bite to eat and then off to the pool for an afternoon of relaxing and libations.

Later in the day we found that the drain in the tub would not seal and the water was not what you call very clear. Also after having a bath my wife found the supplied hairdryer did the melt down right in her hand and it short circuited out, in was nice to have brought one along just in case. We never did try and get it fixed as we went to relax and not deal with any minor problems. I would rate the room as 3.5 stars.

Restaurants

There was one buffet restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was air-conditioned with an outdoor covered seating area as well. The food was decent with a good selection and featured 2 cooking stations one for meats and one for various pasta dishes. There also was a beach grill that was open afternoons for snacks of hamburger, hotdogs and various Mexican fish barbeque dishes which was quite nice but we only went one afternoon as it was very hot on the beach. There were 3 a la carte restaurants Viva Mexico, Portofino (Italian) and the Bambu (Oriental), we made reservations for each of them and found the service and food to be excellent. The Portofino was under renovations so we had to take the day they moved the facilities to the Viva Mexico restaurant for the evening meal which really posed no problems. The buffet could be given a 4 star rating while the a la cartes were of the 5 star category.

Pools

On the lower level of the resort there were basically 3 pools available as on the same level, these were split into sections for families and has a separate children’s section and separate Jacuzzi section. We chose to se the Quiet Adult pool on the bluffs between building 1 and the Viva Mexico restaurant which had soft mood music playing daily and was very relaxing and quiet.

Bars

There were bars at each level adjacent to the pools, a beach bar, a beautifully appointed Sports Bar which was a covered open air bar with an air conditioned sports room featuring pool tables, foos ball tables, snacks and big screened televisions. Adjacent to the Sports Bar were two small souvenir shops, one featuring lovely Mexican silver jewelry and the other various lines of clothing and souvenirs. Behind the shop was a magnificently furnished quiet bar “Hemingway’s” which was open from 6 pm till 2 am, an excellent place to lay back and relax with some premium drinks that were part of the all inclusive package.

Grounds

Like any tropical resort the grounds were well manicured and kept well maintained with daily watering, they were in need of rain badly as during the week we only had two brief evening showers.

Construction of the new Royal Suites was going on daily adjacent to Building 2 and 3 but never posed a problems with noise or dust. Also the renovations of the Portofino restaurant and the replacing of the thatched roof over a portion of the lobby were nothing to be concerned about.

Beach

The beach was not a great beach, a mix of white sand and volcanic black sand with lots of rocks at each end of the resort and a significant number of rocks in the swimming area. The sand was very hot to walk on thus we did not use the beach often except for morning walks. I would actually compare the beach as similar to Juan Dolio in the DR. The surfers loved it as there was a decent surf everyday even though the winds were not high.

Entertainment

Each evening in the Sports bar they featured live entertainment, some was very good but others were loud rock style music, we did enjoy an hour one evening of Mariachi band playing. The animation theatre was right adjacent to the Sports bar but we never went to see the shows as we ended the evenings quietly in Hemingway’s.

Check-Out

Check out was very quick and efficient on our departure day and took all of about two minutes, then we waited for the taxi supplied by Nolitours for our return to the airport.

Accessibility

If you go to this resort beware that even though there are wheelchair ramps everywhere it is not a resort for those who have walking or handicap problems as there are many steep slopes and stairs to negotiate through the resort.

Weather

The weather was very hot and humid every day(90 to 95F) with nice puffy white clouds floating by and a nice soft breeze off the ocean with exception of the day before and the day Hurricane Paul passed 100 miles offshore, on these two days there was an overcast low sky with only a slight breeze and still lots of humidity. We were actually disappointed that the hurricane missed us, at a Cat. 1 the staff were not concerned with safety and we thought it might be nice to experience. Maybe another time.

Mosquitoes and Bugs

Like being in any of the tropics there are bugs, lots of butterflies, the occasional bee, dragon flies, praying mantis but never did we see a mosquito or any no see ums. The resort did have an area that was groomed and maintained as a rainforest area with pathways running through it, this was very nice to walk through the shaded area and see all the vegetation which was clearly marked and explained as to the species on placards. At the end of the rainforest was a small zoo containing macaws, parrots, bandicoots, peacocks, exotic duck, turtles, ostriches, crocodiles and spider monkeys, a nice entertaining area to view especially for the children.

Return Flight

The inbound Toronto flight was 1 hour and 40 minutes late arriving due to weather problems over the central United States, but our flight home was very fast and smooth with a tail wind we returned to Toronto in less than 4 hours.

Summary

Would we return to the Palladium Vallarta? Not unless we got another excellent sell off price., we are beach loving people and enjoy the salt water and normally do not remain at a pool all day which was the case with this resort. This trip even with the minor inconsistencies I explained was a bargain at less than $500 per person plus tax.

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Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa Bruce ~ Canada

November 2005

My wife and I (50+) just returned from 2 weeks (Oct 29-Nov 12) at the 4* Palladium Vallarta. which is located in the Mexican State of Nayarit about one hour north of downtown Puerta Vallarta. As previously noted in similar reviews this location will appeal to some and not to others and does require frequent local bus or Palladium taxi trips at additional cost, including the excursions with Vallarta Adventures, the best known and recommended local tour company. Some of the excursions which commence at the Nuevo Vallarta Marina require a $20.00 taxi fare each way and require leaving before the breakfast buffet is open.

We went on both the Sierra Madre tour and the Las Caletas Tour ($75.00 each pp) as well as the City Tour ($26.00 pp) as it was our first trip to PV. All tours were excellent and are recommended. The city tour, while somewhat "commercial" in nature is a great way to get your bearings and an appreciation of the geography, distances, and traffic, as any trip to the south of the hotel beyond Bucerias gets you into city traffic which is heavy most of the time. We were fortunate that our Sierra Madre tour fell on Nov. 1, and we could observe the "Day of the Dead" preparations at a small town up in the valley.

I can recommend the Palladium Vallarta to those looking for a quiet location, a private beach with no timeshare salesmen, excellent food, and a chance to mingle with Mexican families also on vacation. The rooms were of average size, balconies were small, cleaning was adequate, staff were friendly (most spoke some English) and we met many other guests mostly from Canada. On the downside, service was occasionally slow, the resort property is very hilly(I’d guess well over 100 feet vertical), the beach is small and it is rocky. Others have mentioned the rocky beach but I will describe it. There are what appear to be ancient lava flows from the shore out into the water. They are often black in color and are sometimes covered with white sand. When you are out in the water especially at low tide (pm) you are constantly stepping from sand to rock and vice versa. You spend so much time watching your feet you can’t keep your eyes on the waves. Fortunately the waves break close to shore(30 feet out) and once you are beyond them (especially at high tide(am) you are fine. Wave height was usually 1 1/2 to 2 feet with a few 3 footers for the surfers just to the south of the beach.

A second problem is jellyfish. This is not unique to the Palladium but to Banderas Bay in general where as the ocean temperature cools in the Fall the jellyfish move closer to shore where the water is warmer. Trust me, when the jellyfish are present–you will not be swimming in the ocean. We did however get to test the Safe-Sea antijellyfish suntan lotion and found it to be very effective–just be sure to apply it everywhere on your body(which is not how you normally apply sunscreen). Look it up online at $10.00 a bottle. The weather in November was perfect with cloudless days (no rain for the 3 weeks prior), 30-34 C days and ocean temperature of 30C near shore.

The resort occupancy was quite high due mainly to the Mayan Riviera hurricane and yes, the number of Mexican families increases markedly on the weekends(lots of babies and children). You will also notice that the buffet food also changes on the weekends with many more Mexican items. In general I would say I found the food a bit spicier than on the Mayan Riviera, Dominican Republic or Costa Rica. We ate at all the a la cartes. The food and service were good but most males will consider the portions too small–Mexican Nouvelle Cuisine. Reservations are made from 9:00 am in the lobby. You can only book one week at a time. If you desire to dine off-site there are seafood restaurants near Punta Mita to the north or in La Cruz and Bucerias to the south all within 10 min (bus or taxi) from the resort.

Speaking of buses, this is how most hotel guests travel to Bucerias, Nuevo Vallarta or Puerto Vallarta. The first two destinations are 15-30 minutes by the local ATM bus at a cost of 80cents. PV (downtown/flea market) is an additional 20-30 minutes depending on traffic for the same price again. You change buses at the Wal-Mart opposite the cruise ship terminal. Do everything in reverse to come back to the hotel. It is very easy. If you’re unsure just ask the driver if he’s going to your destination before you board. Sometimes the destinations are written on the front window of the bus, sometimes they’re not.

If you’re on vacation to see more than traffic, condos and 5 star hotels we recommend that you travel north. We went to both Sayulita and Guayabitos on separate trips leaving the hotel at 9:00am and were back for lunch at 2:30pm. Bring a bathing suit and towel and you could spend the day at either location. Here’s how to get there: take the local ATM bus from outside the hotel to Bucerias, get off, cross the street where you see the green and white Pacifico bus station. You can prebuy a ticket to Guayabitos for $5.00 one way. If you are going to Sayulita they will direct you to the proper bus stop. The fare is $2.00 one way. Sayulita is a 30 minute trip from Bucerias while Guayabitos is about 40 minutes. The two towns are similar in many ways. Sayulita is more informal, beach is great, shopping for souveniers is great too. Guayabitos is larger, more organized, better food shopping, many restaurants and small hotels and a fabulous beach that puts the Palladium’s to shame. If you’re thinking of your next "off the beaten track" vacation Guayabitos is super cheap..I saw one hotel with pool advertising $23.00 a night rates. If you like all -inclusive, it is home to the Decameron Los Cocos which is about $300.00 for 2 weeks cheaper than the Palladium. Read the reviews and see what Canadians have to say about it. Guayabitos is probably what PV was 40 years ago.

All in all, it was an excellent trip the high points of which were–fabulous weather, good food, lots of sightseeing and a very reasonable price.

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Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa Fred

September 2005

My friend and I just returned from a very enjoyable seven days (September 10 to September 17) at the Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa in Nuevo Vallarta. The resort is rated as 4 stars and I feel it is a fair rating. Everything about the resort, from the beach and pools to the food and service, is pleasing and it exceeded our wants. This is a beautiful, friendly and casual resort. The resort is not yet magnificent and it is not the pinnacle of luxury. Palladium is trying to make that transition. I believe that most people will find the resort more than satisfying. You would be hard pressed to find a nicer place with better value in the off-season. Our price from Vancouver was good and people who came from Toronto couldn’t spend a week at home for what they paid to stay at the resort. Do not let the low price scare you off. This resort is a real bargain.

September is the thunderstorm season in the area and we mentally prepared for some inclement weather and the extreme heat. Happily, the skies stayed clear all week with the exception of a short shower late one afternoon. We were in the adult pool at the time and the only impact of the rain was to dilute our drinks a little.

The resort could not have been more than 20% full during our first five days there. This provided the fortunate few of us who were there to have a really unique all-inclusive experience. There was no waiting at the bars or in the dining hall. The staff were particularly attentive and friendly. The beach and the pools felt like they were “for our exclusive private pleasure”. All of the guests were from Canada or Mexico. Because of the small number of guests, socializing was very easy. There were mostly couples and some singles. It was an all-ages, fun atmosphere but, not a party place. The beach and playing in the surf were the highlights of the resort. The adult pool was a close second. I did not notice any Americans or Europeans. There was no nudity or toplessness that I saw.

September 16 is Mexico Independence Day and it marked a noticeable change. The resort filled-up and overflowed with Mexican families staying for the weekend. The resort is not equipped and it was not very effective at servicing the huge volume of guests. We were happy to leave on the Saturday.

We would definitely return to his resort in the off-season without hesitation and recommend that you take advantage of this bargain while you still can.

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Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa Nancy ~ Ontario, Canada

April 2005

A group of 10 of us stayed at this resort from April 8th – April 15th 2005. This was our second stay with the Palladium chain. Our first stay was at the Grand Colonial Palladium Resort & Spa in Mayan Riviera in 2003 for our wedding.

Resort Info

First Impressions:
I believe this resort was formerly the Viva Vallarta. This resort is really beautiful. It’s nestled in a remote area in the jungle on a cliff overlooking the ocean. In comparison to the Grand Colonial Palladium Resort in Mayan Riviera, there’s still a lot of work to be done to improve this resort.

Accommodations:
We stayed in building #2, which were nice standard rooms. The bathroom was a tad outdated and there was a hole in the wall near the outlet. However, we didn’t complain about it since we didn’t spend that much time in our room. We had 2 double beds, a shower with tub, balcony, telephone, air conditioning, TV, mini-bar, iron and safe. There was no coffee maker or alarm clock. If you wanted an alarm, there was a wake-up service with the telephone. The mini bar was stocked every other day with water and soda. We simply left a note for the maid when we wanted it refilled more frequently.

My parents and friends were in building #1. However they moved after a couple of days because their room smelled and had mold in it. I also noticed that it smelled like sewer near building #1 near the hammocks.

Staff:
There was a little bit of a language barrier, which was somewhat annoying. However, some of the nicer staff tried really hard to understand and please you. It wouldn’t hurt to know a little Spanish before going. Our maid was super friendly and always gave us what we asked for. I.e. More towels, water, etc… We tipped her $5 to start and then $2 each additional day we were there. There was one server from the snack bar who was always there with a smile. He really made the trip for us.

We would like to thank a few key people who made our stay more enjoyable: -Jose Isabel who served us at the Snack bar. -Shorty from the water activities centre. -Caesar from the water activities centre who took us on a catamaran. -Jamie and Katrina (sorry if I misspelled her name) who made water aerobics very enjoyable. -Stacy and all the people who did the nightly entertainment show “Lights & Shadow” with us. They really made us feel like part of the group and gave us the confidence we needed to perform.

-Javier who served us at the Bambu restaurant.

Nightly Entertainment:
We watched a few shows and they were pretty good. I read countless reviews on how these were bad. If you want Broadway, then don’t bother watching them. We were lucky enough to be asked to participate in one of their shows. We had rehearsal, costumes and everything. We know for a fact how hard they work for one single show. After we were done, we were pooped and went to bed. Furthermore, these guys work all day. They were up in the morning teaching aerobics, organizing sport games, playing with the kids, etc.. They are there from probably 8am ‘til midnight so excuse them if it’s not a top-notch show!

They did have a live band one night. It was fun having a few drinks and playing pool. They also had a beach party, which was pretty fun.

The disco is pretty bad. They pretty much played hip-hop all the time and hardly anyone goes there. However, they do take requests.

Restaurants:
In my opinion, the food was terrible. They must cook with some sort of spice that I don’t like. (You should know that I’m an extremely picky eater) Out of our party of 10 only 2 of us had issues with the food. We loved the snack bar though but they were only open from 11am-6pm and then they re-open at 11pm. We would of loved for this place to be open through dinner since we didn’t like the buffet restaurant.

There is a beach dinner once a week. They served all kinds of salads, meats, deserts, etc.. Everyone seemed to enjoy this very much. You will have to use one of your ‘A la cartes’ to go here.

Bars:
There was a theatre bar, snack bar, beach bar and adult pool bar. There is no swim up bar. The drinks were also pretty bad. They didn’t seem to know how to make anything properly.

Beach:
We weren’t too disappointed with the beach since we read countless reviews about it being rocky. We simply brought water shoes. I’m not sure who complained that you couldn’t walk too far down the beach but they’re wrong. We took a few walks on either side and walked a really long ways. Sure when the tide comes in you shouldn’t be there but during the day was fine. We even found some pretty shells. You can boogyboard at this resort, which we tried. Just stay away from the rocks.

There are vendors on the beach but they don’t bother you. They’re located away from the loungers, activities centre and beach bar. It was nice to buy a few last minute souvenirs for family and friend here.

Bugs:
There are lots of flies/bees near the garbages so they should try to clean that up. I’m sure they’re there cuz people aren’t’ clean. They leave their cups everywhere. The staff have enough to do without picking up people’s messes! We simply brought our own insulated mugs so we didn’t have to waste so many glasses.

Resort Activities:
There were plenty of activities at this resort. They had kayaks, catamarans, jet skis ($), Spanish lessons and dance lessons, water polo, beach volleyball, botchy ball, water aerobics, tennis, basketball and the list goes on. You can never get bored here.

Pools:
I found the pool too small. It’s crawling with bratty kids and we weren’t even there for Spring break. As for the adult pool, it’s so warm, it reminded me of people using it as a bathroom.

Tours & Excursions

Puerto Vallarta City Tour:
Cost: $25/person USD (All day tour) Lunch is not included.
We booked this tour with our Signature Vacation rep and they arranged for a bus to pick us up at the hotel. The drive is a long 90 mins to get to our first stop. Our first stop was at a marina. We walked along and then got back on the bus. After that we went to a jewelry store where we were told it was the best silver store. Beware!!! My friend and I bought 2 rings and they had to resize them. They said we could pick them up on our way back from our day. Mine broke instantly splitting where they cut it. My friends broke a few days after she got home. We are still in the process of finding someone to fix it but apparently you need special nickel soldering equipment. I wouldn’t bother buying anything there. Then we went to a market but only had 45 mins to shop. If you’re there to barter, then you’ll agree that’s not a very long time. After that we went to ‘Chinos paradise’. The scenery is really pretty here. We had lunch there, which was ok. Then we went to a supposed teq! uila factory. To us, it was more than a store than a factory. Furthermore they say you can taste a few different kinds of tequila, which wasn’t true. They give us a little less than a quarter of a shot. Since this tour was only $25 then I’m not going to say it was terrible. I just wish they would have been honest about the things we were going to see and experience.

We rate this tour 3 out of 5 stars!

Las Caletas:
Cost: $75/person USD (All day tour) Lunch and drinks included.
We had to take a 15 mins taxi drive to the marina and then a 2 hr boat ride to the destination. There was tons to do there like yoga which I enjoyed, deer feeding, nature walks, cooking classes, kayak tours, snorkeling, etc. It was amazing! However, we weren’t there long enough to really enjoy it. We arrived at 10:30am, had lunch at 1:30pm and then had to leave by 2:30pm. The staff at Puerto Vallarta Adventures really go above and beyond to make you have a great time.

We rate this tour 4 out of 5 stars!

Buccerias:
Round trip cab fare is approx 25 USD with tip.

Since we didn’t have much time to shop while on our Puerto Vallarta city tour, some of the girls decided to go shopping here. We got amazing deals, such as 4 t-shirts for $20 USD and necklaces for $2/each USD.

Overall Opinion All in all it was a great trip. We’re glad we had our friends there to make this a more enjoyable experience. However, we don’t think we would go back to this resort. Some of the staff members tried their best but some of them clearly didn’t want to be there or bothered. We’re sorry for comparing this to the Grand Colonial Resort & Spa but if this resort is a 5 star like their website says then they should make improvements to make this a more enjoyable resort location. For pictures, go to http://community.webshots.com/user/nboyd0430 .

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Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa Canada

February 2005

We went to PTO Vallerta and stayed at the Palladium the last week of January. We had read the previous reviews and were alittle worried about what we would find. We travelled with another couple.

We flew Air Transit which we felt was alittle bigger than Sky Service. We had a good flight and arrived and found our Rep. Another couple we met were delayed by time share sharks and missed the taxi and had to take their own taxi to the resort.

Checkin was a breeze. We had requested a king bed and never got it. We were told "tomorrow" for the first couple of days and than we just decided to forget it. Also no tv remote and were also told several times "tomorrow". Finally I spoke with the maid and received one. It also helps if you know some spanish – that seems to work better than english.

Our room and the hotel were very clean. The grounds also were well kept. We bought gifts which we left on the pillow for the maids (received a thankyou note in spanish which was very nice!) Every day we had various towel animals left and our room was always made up – we never came back to a messy room! We also gave gifts to the waiter and the woman in the bar who took orders and cleaned tables. They were very grateful. Our waiter – Edurado(sp) would see us arrive for supper and immediately get our drinks for us even before we asked for them. He was amazing and very attentive.

The food was excellent – no complaints. You could always find something to eat – more than enough. We never made it to the Speciality restaurants as they were booked. But we did stand in line to book for an hour and a half (our second day there) and were told when we finally got to the rep that the restaurants were booked. She books the restaurants but also looks after customer service. Long wait for many! They should post the restaurants when they are full.

The pools were great. We didn’t spend any time at the adult pool as all the chairs were taken but there were very few people there. You have to get there very early to get a chair it seems. The main pool was great and we could always find 4 chairs. The beach was good also and we had no problem finding chairs. There are a couple of vendors on the beach but we found the prices in the silver shop really weren’t that bad compared to the prices on the beach and at least there you knew what you were getting.

We went to PTO Vallerta by bus. It is very interesting and everyone should do it. The people are very friendly on the bus and we talked to them on our way there and back. I spoke with a 18 year old and he was so interesting! The shopping was great there – good buys on silver, leather etc. We eat there also – Dulfeys (sp)Icecream – wonderful sundae! We also went by bus to Bucillocus(sp) Less stores but fun also. Also the hotel has vendors that set up in the courtyard. Prices are steep but you can barter and usually end up with a good deal.

We did the City Tour which we would recommend. The opal store was overpriced. Saw whales and went up in the mountains for lunch. Went to the boardwalk etc. Great day.

Checkout went well. We all had a great time. We enjoyed our stay and would recommend it. If you have problems walking this is not the resort for you. Many hills! It is also a good hour out of PTO Vallerta.

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Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa Canada

February 2005

My husband and I just returned from Puerto Vallarta and must say that we were extremely happy. We would definitely return to his hotel without hesitation. I was worried about going to Palladium after seeing the first review but decided to go anyway and good move we made. The hotel is spotless, the food is amazing and the hotel is absolutely beautiful. The exotic trees and romantic paths everywhere. We have no complaints whatsoever and recommend that you all visit this paradise.

Have a good vacation.

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Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa Pierre ~ Ottawa, Ontario

February 2005

Just returned from a 2 week vacation at the Palladium on the 7th Feb and simply stated “Fantastic”. I had read the first review posted on this site and became somewhat concerned, however that quickly diminished shortly after arriving.

It was quite evident that due to the new ownership that the resort had under gone extensive renovations and it was noticeable that some minor ones were still on going, however never interfered with any of the guests. Further, it is not fair to condemn a resort for improving and upgrading themselves. Fault the tour operator for not disclosing this information.

This was our first two-week vacation to an all-inclusive and thought that the second week may repeat the first. This was not the case. My wife and I saw all the shows performed at the theatre and not one repeated over the two-week period. Also, the food at the buffet restaurant was extremely vast. Even if one decided not to go to the a la carte restaurants on site, there were plenty of choices. In fact one night I enjoyed eating some Ostrich.

Further to the buffet was the three a la carte restaurants and as we were there for two-weeks we were allowed 2 visits per week. The a la carte restaurants were excellent.

We spent all of our pool time around the adult pool, since our children were at home, and it was great. The pool is situated on the edge of a bluff and over looks the bay. From the pool we were able to see whales and dolphins swimming in the bay. There is a bar beside the adult pool, which was never busy. They seemed to make excellent drinks and after numerous trips to the bar I didn’t care how they made their drinks, the end result was the same.

The beach was good and we had lots of fun swimming and body surfing in the waves. Lots of activities if you are not inclined to just lay down and relax.

The only warning I would issue would be to individuals with mobility problems. The resort is situated on a bluff, therefore lots of stairs and sloped walkways. Other than that I would recommend this resort to anybody and would certainly patronize it again.

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Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa Liliane ~ Ontario, Canada

January 2005

We just returned from a 1 week vacation through Sun Wing vacation to the Palladium Vallarta, Mexico flying from Toronto. Palladium Vallarta is the most beautiful resort we’ve ever seen. The resort has beautiful topical foliage and tropical zoo. The adult pool was great and has a beautiful view of the pacific ocean. The Family pool is huge and has a lot of place to lounge in the sun as well as in the shade. During our stay they had a beach BBQ. The food and presentation of the BBQ was great. We had a great time walking along the beach. Our rooms were very well taken care of and the service was great. We had a very large variety of food and was very tasty. The resort also had three a la carte restaurants. The Mexican restaurant – ambiance was great, food was good and service was great. The Bamboo – ambiance was beautiful, food was great and so was the service. We did not get a chance to go to the Mediterranean restaurant but heard it was excellent. The resort was kept very clean at all times. The entertainment was great. Only draw back was when exchanging travelers cheques into pacoes. A couple of times the front desk was unable to exchange them for us. Overall I would highly recommend this resort. We would definitely return again.

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Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa Ilean — Canada

November 2004

We have just returned from a weeks Signature Vacation stay at the Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa north of Puerto Vallarta, leaving Vancouver on November 13, 2004 and returning. This was the third time we had stayed at this resort, (previously Viva Vallarta) over a four year period and until now we had been happy with our vacations there. This time however, we were decidedly unhappy and not impressed by the changes. Whereas in the past we considered this to be a four to a four and a half rated resort, this time it came closer to a two.

My issues are listed below.
1) There was major construction and renovations going on at the resort that were NOT advertised on the Signature website or any other site I saw that the resort was shown on. You try relaxing to the sound of a jackhammer. I was never apologized to for any of the inconvenience this construction caused, nor was anyone else that I spoke to.

2) The washrooms by the Adults Pool…. There were no doors on the women’s washroom stalls and the men’s washroom stalls were closed. This made it so that anyone using the pools had to travel way around to the other side of the resort to use a public washroom or back to their rooms which were also on the other side of the pool. Neither were any nearby rooms made available for people to use the washrooms in. The men complained that the only thing they closed the men’s washroom for was to put walls between the urinals. However, they doubted that the flush lever was going to work when the walls were tiled because they were only about a quarter inch away from them when they were blank concrete.

3) Some of the taps in the ladies washrooms did not turn on at all.

4) The renovations were also going on by the main family pools. This made it awkward to get to and from the Snack Bar and frequently the handicapped access was blocked off. They would block off one area and work on it, and instead of unblocking that area and blocking in a new one, they just expanded the blocked off space the next day.

5) Many of the pathways between different sections of the resort were blocked off, or partially blocked off with no explanation. You’d get down to the end and find there was no way to go but back to the start. There were ruts across the hallways – six or eight inch deep holes with no boards over them to stop people from falling in them and only just a couple of caution signs beside them.

6) The Buffet. We were terribly disappointed this time. Usually we had always been able to find a variety of things to eat that satisfied us. This time, we found the variety and the quality of most of the dishes to have deteriorated. On only two days was there bacon available in the breakfast buffet. The rest of the time there was only red sausage available. There was also only one or two choices of yogurt available each day. It seemed that instead of putting out a selection, they just tossed out what every box they found. On some days we went through the whole breakfast without any of the waiters even offering us coffee.

7) The A La Carte Restaurants. – Everything under renovations. Again it seemed like there was a lot of staff missing. The same Maitre’D was at both the Mexican (Wednesday) and the Italian restaurant (Thursday). He was also the manager on a couple of days at the buffet. The same waiters were at all three a la carte restaurants, mainly because the Mexican and the Mediterranean restaurants were at the same location in the Portobello Restaurant building and the Italian restaurant was in the Snack Bar. (Ah, yes. Dining to the backdrop of blue tarps) This meant that there was a lot of competition for booking your meals and if you weren’t there in the first fifteen minutes that the girl was there in the lobby to take reservations, you wouldn’t get in at all because they ran out of spaces. They only had one of the restaurants open each night and it was one of the fastest set of meals I have ever gone through. Appetizer, Salad, Entrée and Desert and Coffee in less than an hour. Also the Maitre’D of the Mexican / Italian restaurant was rude. When we presented our reservation slip, he looks at my husbands arm and says “Show me again.” When we ask, “Excuse me?” because we don’t know what he’s talking about, he says “What, you don’t speak English?” Eventually, he poked at my husbands watch and said, “The light! Turn on the light!” Presumably this was his way of asking for the time, though I do not understand why he wouldn’t have a watch of his own and if he needed to ask, he should at least ask politely. Half the menus we got were (instead of being English one side and Spanish on the other) Spanish on both pages. And I’m sorry, Anitpasto in Spanish does not mean the same thing as Anitpasto in English. Putting Antipasto at the top of the English list of food, does not tell you that it is an appetizer.

8) The staff. One staff member asked if I had been at another resort. When I said no, but it was the third time I had been at this resort he asked, “What do you think of it now it’s under new management? Do you think it sucks?” This, I think, is rather strange for a staff member unless they are seriously unhappy. I also noted that the majority of the regular staff from previous years was absent. Since they had been there the previous two visits, I was surprised that so few were still there. Their replacements were not that impressive.

9) Nobody seemed to be able to give the same information as anyone else. Example? We went to do archery. Front desk said go to the Activities booth by the main pool. The equipment is there and they will take you to the archery range. We go there. They say, no, you have to go to the gym and they will take you there. “We do this very professionally,” they said. We go to the gym. The guy says, no, you have to sign up and they will come at 4pm and set you up. We sign up and come back at 4pm. The fellow that does archery is at the archery range already. We go there and two other people who signed up after us are already there. There is a right handed woman and a left handed man who had not shot before. They were both given right handed bows and no protective gear. When I ask the ‘pro’ about his, he says they don’t have any arm protectors or anything. I said they had them the last two times we were there. Then he disappears. When he comes back he offers me an arm protector, but still didn’t bring any more bows or protectors for anyone else. After she hit herself on the elbow with the bowstring twice (nice bruise coming) the other girl gave up and went to play tennis. Professional? I think not. Last time the times for archery were posted at the range and there were lots of people shooting. This time I only saw the two other people there and there were only two targets instead of four. These targets were in poor repair and any ‘bulls eyes’ went right through the centre of the target and came out the other side.

10) Internet. They have business services. I asked at the desk what the price was to get on the internet. One of the underlings at the front desk said it was 25 pesos for 15 minutes. I said that was good and I would be back. When I came back the next day to use it, I was told there were no 15 minute packages and that I would have to pay 50 pesos for 30 minutes. I didn’t need 30 minutes as I just wanted to check my email for messages from home. I refuse to be conned into paying a higher amount for services I do not need.

11) The tours. We took the Rough Guide tour into Puerto Vallarta. Part of the trip was a visit to ‘a restaurant’ and part was a visit to Liz Taylor’s home. We never saw Liz Taylor’s home, but we went to a restaurant out in the middle of nowhere where all that was available were evening-dinner-type meals at dinner type restaurant prices. Our meal of two small mixed shiskabobs and two sodas cost us 360 pesos or the equivalent of about $40 Canadian. Then, of course, a tip is expected. A young couple would not be able to afford this kind of a meal and I was not happy at having to pay for one. Not only was this not really an appropriate meal for the time of day, but there were others on the bus who were not meat eaters. There was little or nothing there for them to eat. They walked the long walk back to the bus only to find it was locked. Then they walked the long walk back to the restaurant and had something to drink. If you are going to put this kind of a restaurant on a middle of the day tour, you should advertise the fact so people are prepared. (And yes, you could charge it on your Mastercard if you wanted to pay a 5% surcharge on top of your meal.) Over half the time of the tour was spent picking up and dropping off people at the variety of hotels. Then we backtracked to halfway back to where we started before the tour actually started. It was a long, long day. The guide spent most of the time regaling us with things about him, rather than things about the city. The itinerary said we should take bathing suits and towels as they would stop somewhere on the way back for people to take a dip in the river. The river turned out to be the stream at the restaurant. A hint for tour goers. Ask if there are additional costs and if so, how much should you expect. Also take a backpack with bottled water, maybe a snack, and bug creams and anithistamines.

12) The checkout. We had to checkout by noon on Saturday. Our bus came at 5:25pm. We asked on the Monday about getting use of one of the hospitality rooms. We were told to come back on Friday and ask the manager. If our room was still not booked for someone else on the Saturday, we could arrange a late checkout, otherwise we could then book one of the hospitality suites. When we went back on Friday, we were told by the manager that we would have to pay $30 US for a late (5 pm) checkout and that we couldn’t book a hospitality room until Saturday morning. (ah, yes…. Consistency). We were also told we could use the showers in the gym, which we ended up doing. We were told there were towels there, but not that we would have to go and ask for them. The woman with her disabled mother came to the gym while I was there. She was given a hospitality suite that her mother could not access as stairs were a major issue. Nothing but the gym was offered as an alternative. I had to go ask the guy in the gym for a chair for this elderly woman as there was nothing in the change room for her to sit on. There was also no soap in there and the bathroom shower was not clean. No towel racks and no counter space to put your items on. Just a sink, toilet and a shower that was cold. Other people complained that they had been unable to get into the hospitality rooms as they were locked when they went. When we did the archery hunt (looking for archery) a couple days before, I told the guy at the gym that there were no paper towels in the women’s shower/washroom. There still wasn’t when I went to shower and change..

13) Previously when we went, there were the usual little items in the bathroom. Shower cap, sewing kits, etc. This time there was a comb, shampoo, body wash and towels. Facecloths were there only on three of the days.

Other annoying things:
The massage therapists. Why does it cost almost one and a half times as much there to get a massage as it does in Canada. (No, medical does NOT cover it in Canada any more.) The massage girls sit up there all day doing only one or two short massages a day at the most and the rest of the time reading books or chatting. (Actually, we were settled on the beach just below them and during the whole week I saw them give three massages.) If they cut the prices to a reasonable rate (like by a third or a half.) they would have been busy most of the time, because I would have had a couple of massages and I’m sure others would have as well.

The exchange rate: Why is it that the resorts need to soak people for the exchange rates? They only gave 7 pesos to the Canadian dollar and 10 to the American. The banks gave 9.26 and 11.25. Respectively. The bar. It became a game to see how many different kinds of Singapore Slings my husband would get. No two bartenders made them the same and very few of them made them the same way twice. Make sure you wear shoes in the water. There are lots of rocks and lots of places to turn an ankle under water. Not suitable for snorkleing near the resort. You would need to take the tour to the island. What was good this time?

The signature Rep was available on a regular basis which was a change from previous trips.
WestJet was awesome compared to AirTransat. Nice leg room, decent food – though it would be nice if their website gave the same information as the Signature ticket. eg. Westjet info – 70 lbs. of luggage – Signature 40 lbs luggage. Julian, a waiter at the resort’s buffet was awesome. When he was there, he went out of his way to make sure we got our coffee and juice. He was always cleaning up or setting up or making himself generally helpful. Something we couldn’t say for a lot of the other waiters and there were some days we were not even offered coffee by them. This boy should be promoted. Caesar who helps with bussing was also awesome and extremely polite and helpful. Other peoples’ comments:

One couple I met in the adult pool stated that they had purchased the upgrade when they arrived at the resort. This was to include (among other things) a robe for each of them and a coffee maker in the room. They never got the robe. They got the coffee maker after three days of complaining. They never got cups, cream or sugar to go with it and only received one coffee package. In the past, when they came to the resort (they, too were repeat customers) received one meal in each a’ la carte restaurant for each week they stayed there. This time they were only allowed one meal in each over the two weeks and did NOT get any preferred reservations in the restaurants. Another gentleman who had come on the bus stated he would from now on make sure that he asked if they were doing renovations before he came to a resort. If they were, he would go elsewhere. That’s something I will do from now on as well – look for bulletin boards. A lot of complaining over the quality of the buffet and not being able to find stuff to eat. Lots of complaints about the washrooms.

The Signature people and the bus drivers should be instructed to load handicapped people first. They put the luggage out and everyone crowded around and climbed on the bus. No one (but us) helped the lady whose mother was legally blind, frail, and hearing impaired get on the bus and by then, the only seat available was way at the back. At least one bus didn’t have a working washroom and the other one absolutely stank in the back quarter of the bus.

Due to the unsatisfactory nature of our experience, we have now decided that we will no longer patronize the Viva Vallarta / Palladium Vallarta resort, despite our previous enjoyable holidays there.

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