|Old Reviews - Crown Paradise Club Resort Puerto Vallarta|
Arrival: Jan 18-25
Restaurants and Bars:
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
My name is Bob from New York. We had 3 families go for 10 days from February 17th to February 26th, 2006. Here is my report;
I'll just start off by saying what a tremendous disappointment in this resort as compared to the same resort in Cancun!!!
We had 3 families with a total of 10 people, 4 kids.
The trip started off with both wife's arguing with the check in lady at Kennedy airport when we arrived at 630am. We had done everything on line and had our seat assignment confirmations and everything. Well when she checked in they split up the entire 10 of us! Not just 1 or 2 rows away, 8 y/o kids in the back, parents in the front, 1 kid on one side, others on the other. Needless to say the women went crazy! Oh yeah, we booked thru Delta but they sub contracted the entire flight, there and back to Aero Mexico. So 30 minutes of getting the seats "reasonable" and the lady told my wife, "ok everyone is ok to Mexico City and the 8 of you are good to Puerto Vallarta". My wife says "W/T/F", there are 10 of us. Well the lady had deleted my wife and my daughter out of the computer for the second half of the trip. 30 minutes more and we had everything fixed..... so we thought. I'll give you the short version, but it was the same if not worse for all 4 take offs. Evidentially Aero Mexico's policy is to let people sit WHEREVER they want regardless of what their seat ticket says. I'm am extremely surprised there was no fist fight, I know I held back on the way home and my mother, yes my mother cursed out one guy. I will NEVER, EVER, EVER take this plane again and will NEVER recommend them to anyone.
Ok, now to the resort (did not get much better from the flight).
I don't want to bore you with the problems with checking in but once again the women had their blood pressure up. I paid for a drink at the bar and watcher the fireworks show. Finally we got into a room about 45 minutes after getting to the Resort. The room had no air conditioning, our view was of a yellow block wall facing the parking lot. Not what we were told we would get. Our friends, the other family, had bought the time share from the Cancun Crown Paradise Resort and were "supposed" to get a suit. They got the same room as we got. Since it was dinner time we decided to eat, sleep and worry about it tomorrow. The next day came and by lunch time everything was straightened out. We had a room with air and a view of the ocean, through a court yard of palm trees on the first floor, but a view none the less.
Ok here is the low down; as stated in the last post, the "Buffet" was EXTREMELY small with no choices, 2 or 3 entree's lame desserts and NO ICE CREAM FOR THE KIDS, this was the family side correct? In order to make reservations for dinner you had to get to the "activity" center area about 20-25 minutes before 9. Any later then ten minutes to 9 and you might not get a seat as the line got long. They had limited seating. There were only 3 restaurants, Italian, Japanese and French. Italian was the best but we did have 1 bad night with poor meat selection and cold food, not 1 dinner but all the dinners. The French was good, no problems here. The Japanese -- THE PITTS, don't waste your time. Very little selection for the kids at all the restaurants so they ended up going to the buffet almost every night.
Ok, Activities -- 2 words VERY POOR !!!! Again, this is or was supposed to be the family side. I guess if your kids are under like, 5-6 y/o then and you planned on staying with them the entire time then this was an ok place. We went here with the expectation that the 8,9,11 and 13 y/o would be able to go and have things to do. The main pool area had water polo, water basketball, water volleyball and water aerobics. The games were only about 30 minutes or so long and there were not too many people who participated. By the 5th day, the kids did not even try to play, it was not worth it for them. Every time they wanted to play shuffle board, bowling or ping pong an adult would have to get up and go to the activities desk and sign out whatever they were going to do, not such a bad thing, just wish I could have given my permission and let them take things out whenever so I did not have to get up and down. Here's a good one, a man in front of me had his son put a small crack a ping pong ball, they made the man pay $1 for the ball. The man could not believe paying thousands of dollars to come to this resort and having to pay $1 for a ping pong ball. He paid the dollar and they were going to keep the ball. The man asked for it back and proceeded to crush it and throw it away, after all it was now his ball he paid for it. Then this, this was probably the biggest kicker for us. The kids wanted to go out on the kayak, NO ONE UNDER 15 Y/O WAS EVEN ALLOWED ON THE kayak, or ANY water activity equipment!! You have got to be kidding!! My 2 kids had their hearts set on this, so I had to shell out $40 per 1/2 hour for the jet ski's... 4 times. They had a "kids Club" and arcade with 3 games -- 2 of which worked. I gave my son a $5 bill and told him to go get peso's at the front desk. He comes back and says they have no Peso's. What can I say? The "kids club" was about 10'X 10' and had the video games inside, some "CLUB". Then they had a ship theme building with 2 pool tables, 1 crappy air hockey table that you had to pay 5 peso's for each game and a bunch of tables to sit at. This was not too bad, the kids were able to play pool as long as their parent stayed in the building. They had 1 deck of cards and 2 sets of checkers, good thing it was not very crowded !! There was also a large pirate ship with water slides and fountains, great for kids under 5-6. My kids had nothing better to do so they behaved and played in here as best they could with the smaller kids. The kids wanted to play in the pool at night ... nope closed at night (not sure of the time). I will say this on a positive side.... they had 1 security guard walking around the grounds night and day and he really kept up on things, I did feel good about this. They had a Jacuzzi pool with a swim up bar, adults only -- in the kids section.... go figure. The kids could not even sit around the edge, the security guard kicked them out of the area. One day the Jacuzzi was sooooo hot I could not even get into it for about 15-20 minutes. They had 1 other pool in a court yard area but it was not heated and we heard it was kind of cold, we did not go in it. I almost forgot about probably THE WORST PART..... the vendors HARASSING you every 5 minutes. When I say 5, that's exactly, on average, what it was. The same people asking you to buy the same things every time they walked by you. Now I don't mind people asking you to buy things, I am not taking anything away from these people.... however there were at least 10 of these people working the same area over and over again. I flew 6 hours to go on vacation and not have to keep saying "no thank you" every 5 minutes. A few of them actually had the GALL to wake me up from a sleep. I almost went crazy one time, but kept my cool. The Ocean water was nice, a little cool but you got used to it after about 3-5 minutes. Hey, the air temp was 85-89 everyday so it was refreshing in the ocean, what more could you ask for February?
Ok, that was most of the bad things. Good things; the beach was BEAUTIFUL, black sand not white (still very nice) which got pretty hot during the afternoon. The water was calm every morning until about 1pm when the wind picked up and gave the water a little wave action. Then before the sun set it calmed down again. Plenty of chairs and Tiki huts to keep in the shade. My wife got up every morning at about 6-6:15 am and went down to watch the sun come up. It got light about 7am and the sun came over the mountains and the hotel about 9ish. She was one of the first out there and we got the same spot each day. If you got there after about 8:30 - 9am you might have trouble getting a chair, and forget about the hut. The bars were great! (hint, hint..... we brought our own 16oz red drinking cups and a lot of people brought their own plastic mugs, it's worth the little extra space) We started drinking each morning at about 10am and continued until about 6pm. Not heavy drinking, just a nice leisurely pace. Drinks had plenty of alcohol and my mom had strawberry daiquiris that were good, no problems here. The kids had tons of soda, Shirley temples and virgin pina coladas. We tipped the bartenders twice each day (most days, not every day), $10 in the morning and $10 in the afternoon. The sun set was SPECTACULAR, nothing more I could say. My wife and I took nice long walks in the morning, about 1.5 - 2 hours, very relaxing. My dad, friend and 2 sons went fishing one day. Had a great Captain who knew pretty good English. We ended the day with 8 Jack Cravalle, lost 3 and a few smaller fish, something called a "sweet mouth". Very reasonable price, like $200 for 5 hours and we gave him a $40 tip. While we were fishing the women went and had some mud scrub cleansing thing and a massage. They said it was absolutely great, a little pricey but they were on vacation. We watched the cruise ships come in 3 days and the pirate ship go out every night. The pirate ship even had a small fireworks show most nights at about 9:45pm. We did not leave the resort other then the fishing and the walks. If I could have taken the beach area and the view and put it at the Cancun Crown Paradise Resort, that would have been my perfect 10, or 5 star place.
My rating: 1-5 (1 the worst)
To sum it up, good place if 2 adults want to get away or if you have small kids, food was ok, bars were very good, scenery was great, rooms were good and if you have kids between 7 and 15 this is NOT THE PLACE TO GO !!!!! Also, the airplane ride from New York to Mexico City and to Puerto Vallarta was TERRIBLE !!!
Any other questions feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com.
We have just returned from a family vacation with another couple and their family, eleven of us in all. We had never visited this side of Mexico, usually going to the Mayan side. We thought we would avoid it this time because of the Hurricane damage. The resort rooms were average, not bad but not great. The pool activities were very low budget. We asked for a cot for our children's room and we were charged $140 for the week USD,. No blanket arrived with it, only a sheet. Bedding was clean but stained. The grounds were kept nice, beach was good with a nice view of the mountains however the air is very smoggy and heavy. Lots of pollution in Puerta Vallarta, a great little city, very friendly people and tons of good shopping. Bus ride into town was a lot of fun for all, and a cheap way to travel. The beach was nice but it was the Pacific so it wasn't clear and tropical like the other side. The weather was awesome, the entire week. No complaints with the weather at all.
Now to the food....absolutely horrible. I know that at all resorts the buffets get boring after time and it seems the same food is being served day after day but we would have welcomed it if had been. The buffet was so small and the choices were scary. A couple of examples of our choices were a soup tureen offering "Cornstarch" and inside was just that, cornstarch and water mixed. Another day a meat dish was served that was BBQ pork and mole. We still don't know what it really was but we never ate it. The guy that worked at the snack hut for lunch was the most miserable person we have ever encountered at a resort. The drinks were all slushy based with no real fruit as at other 5 star resorts, they all tasted the same and were made differently each time. Dishes were not very clean, I saw how they washed the plastic cups and I'm glad I brought my own mug with me. Although I did enjoy Puerto Vallarta itself I was so disappointed in the Crown Paradise Club Resort. It is not in any way a 5 star resort and should not be listed as such by Signature Vacations. I would rate it a 3 at best. I'm sure there are very beautiful resorts in Puerta Vallarta that are 5 stars but the Crown Paradise Club is not one of them.
Good luck in your choices,