logo Old Reviews - Holiday Inn Puerto Vallarta
   Holiday Inn Puerto Vallarta  Anita ~ Selkirk, MB, Canada

January 2009

Arrival: December 20th 2008
On arrival we were met by airport staff to guide us to where we had to go, they were friendly and helpful.We were delighted with the cleanliness of the airport, our first impression of Mexico was a good one.Upon leaving the airport we were greeted by transat staff who directed us to our waiting bus to take us to the hotel.Our luggage was put on the bus for us and all we had to do was sit back and relax. On arrival at the hotel we collected our luggage and were welcomed by friendly staff who explained some things to us and gave us our room keys.

When we walked in our room I was delighted to see that it looked like it did in the brochure. We went straight to the balcony and the view was wonderful and we fell in love with the place straight away. Because we had arrived at night we didn't get to really appreciate where we were. The morning sunshine and the view of the ocean and the mountains also the hotel resort even the flowers adorning our balcony were breath taking. Our room was spotlessly clean and the sheets were clean every day, We were lucky that we got a room right on the corner of the hotel and therefore we had two balconies, so we had the sun in the morning and the afternoon and we had two fantastic views.

Restaurants and Bars:
The restaurants had lots of delicious food, to good for our own good and they tried to change the menu around each day there was a good variety to choose from. We had two very good waiters Ricardo and Juan, it was a delight having them serve us. The service was good and we had lots of laughs with them.( I also found them to be very handsome )I hope when we go back again that we will get to see them we feel we made two new friends. There was also a Mexican and Italian restaurant there and a snack bar. The bars are very good and even though I am not a drinker of alcohol I did enjoy the drink called Virgin Miami Vice, I had lots of those and I bet every time I had one my husband took a picture of me with it and tells everyone I was drinking all the time but forgets to tell them there was no alcohol. My son tried a lot of the different drinks, I wonder if that is what upset his tummy.

The pool was very nice and catered very well for people of all heights. We had fun doing pool aerobics, the instructor had a very good sense of humor and the next day we sure felt muscles we forgot we had. It was also nice to be able to swim over to the bar and get a drink when we wanted.I couldn't help but notice how clean everything was kept, there was always someone either sweeping around the pool aria or washing the deck down and not only the pool aria but the hotel steps and pathways as well. The grass was watered every day to keep it looking nice and green. We got clean beach towels every day and could have change them for another one if we so wished.There were waiters who came around to ask if you needed a drink or they would get you a chair if you needed one. We enjoyed walking along the beach and watching local fisher men casting their nets at the edge of the ocean and catching fish while what looked like miniature Herring birds I don't know what they were called ran up and down with the tide eating something that the tide was bringing in, it was fascinating to watch. One part of the beach had an area where there was this very cold water that was running down to the ocean from the mountains, it was nice to walk back into the nice warm water of the ocean. There was a lot of other activities on the beach such as power sailing which I would have loved to try but didn't get up the nerve to do so because I wasn't sure if I would be able to land again without making a fool of myself but everyone who went up seemed to do a good job when they came down and the view they had from up there must had been wonderful. There was also sailing if you wanted and beach volley ball. They also had different contest you could enter right near the pool. You could have a massage on the beach if you wished wished,it must have been nice to do, relaxing and letting the sea breeze wash over you. People worry about the vendors on the beach but we found that if you just said no thank you they didn't bother you, so we wernt to bothered about them. You have to be careful when buying from any vendor as things are not always what they claim them to be such as Sterling Silver is usually only found in good jewelry stores.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We went on a bus tour around the city which was very interesting, we went to a Brazilian restaurant for a lunch to write home about, it was delicious. We then went to a family owned Tequila factory and was shown how it was made, very interesting.We saw how much progress Puerto Vallarta has made in just a few years thanks to the tourist and this is why they do everything to please you, we also saw part of the old Puerto Vallarta which was also interesting and we found the people to be friendly.Our next trip was on a boat cruise to see the Hump back Whales they come back to the same place every year to mate, it was an amazing sight to see along with Dolphins and a mass of fish that were flying out of the water. We then went snorkeling and saw beautiful color fish, it was my first try at doing this but worth it. We were taken to a beach where we enjoyed a snack and drinks and then back on board for lunch and entertainment. It was a very nice trip but I wouldn't do it again as my old bones cant take all that climbing in and out of a boat but it is a good trip for the younger people and you learn a lot from what they tell you.

Other Comments:
Because of all the horra stories I have heard about Mexico I wasn't looking forward to going there and was feeling a bit nervous but I am so glad I went, I had a wonderful time as did my husband and family. We even walked down town to the mall and I wasn't a bit uncomfortable being there, people would smile at us us and seemed quite friendly. We enjoyed everything about Mexico from the rooms, service, food, drink and the nightly show that the pirate ship that sailed by every night put on with a firework display short but nice. The only thing I would say definitely needs improvement is the nightly show that the Holiday Inn puts on, it really needs some professionals to get up on the stage. We did enjoy the Mexican night when we had our meal out on the beach while a Mexican band and dancers entertained us, it was nice to see some Mexican culture. It felt strange to listen to Christmas carols being played while eating a meal and the sun was shinning with balmy temperatures and even though they had Christmas trees all around the hotel it was different to also see palm trees but very nicely lit up. We will definitely go back again.

Top of Page


Holiday Inn Puerto Vallarta Jim and Sandra ~ Ontario

November 2005

The Holiday Inn in Puerto is definitely NOT a four star resort. We have stayed at various resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean so we would rate it as 3-3 1/2 star. We arrived a party of 10 on Nov. 11, 2005 via Air Transat which was delayed by 6 hours in Toronto.

Our first impression of the hotel was it was old and dreary. It needed to be updated. New elevators had been installed and rooms had new decor so some renovations have been done. The pool area was the saving point. It was well kept and very nice. The nightly entertainment was a joke. The first night a local kid's group put on a show that you would see on a Saturday afternoon at a local highschool.

The eating area was well serviced and out in the open with a nice 3 piece musical ensemble that performed in the mornings a few times a week. It was a nice touch.

The biggest fault we found was the FOOD. It was bad and no variety whatsoever. I would hated to have been staying at this resort for 2 weeks. Breakfast was basically the same everyday. We saw bacon and sausages one day of our stay.

The staff was friendly and helpful even though we never did get a playpen or crib we requested at the beginning of our stay.

We found that two thirds of the guests were Mexican and one third Canadian or American.

They did have a very good Kid's Club that our granddaughters enjoyed.

We took some tours and found the Pirate Ship cruise very good. We also went to the Rhythm in the Night, a buffet and dance set on a torch lit island. It was very nice. Our family went to the Mexican Fiesta at the Krystal resort where they have a buffet and a Mexican dance and cultural show. They would recommend it. We have seen it before on a previous trip and enjoyed it also.

We did have a good holiday but were disappointed in the hotel. It was not rated like it should be.

Top of Page


Holiday Inn - Puerto Vallarta Melanie --- Ontario, Canada

October 2003

I stayed at the Holiday Inn Puerto Vallarta for one week in January 2002. I realize this was almost 2 years ago, but because this site has just recently added the Holiday Inn to its list of reviews, I wanted to add to it. My boyfriend & I actually won our trip to Puerto Vallarta, and were originally scheduled to stay at the Blue Bay Club. However, we were 'upgraded' to the Holiday Inn a few weeks prior to our departure.

Although this resort is probably closer to a 3 or 3 1/2 star rather than a 4, I would not say that it was old or run down. The hotel is located between the marina and downtown, and was on one of the nicer strectches of beaches that can be found in Puerto Vallarta. We flew in on Skyservice, who just happened to lose the luggage of several passengers from Toronto. So upon check-in, there were many upset and disheveled travelers in the hotel lobby. I thought that the resort staff did a very good job of handling the situation, checking in the guests, reassuring them about the estimated arrival of their luggage, and advising us as to the nearby shops where we could purchase the articles of clothing we needed in the meantime.

We were put in a suite with two queen beds, a livingroom area and balcony. The rooms were spacious and kept very clean, and the view from our balcony gave us an aerial view of how well-kept the gardens and grounds were. The mattresses were somewhat harder than I prefer, but I have found this to be the case in most Caribbean resorts.

The pool was cleaned every morning and night and looked very nice. The staff at the pool bar were quiet until you made conversation with them, which at that point I found them to be very friendly. I found the drinks to be good, especially their banana specialty. There were always games and events going on around the pool, like bingo and volleyball. Fresh towels were provided at the towel hut every day. There were also poolside showers available for those who wanted to rinse off after coming from the beach.

The meals were typical of what you would expect from a 3 - 3 1/2 star resort. The breakfasts had a great variety, and you could have omelettes custom ordered and made fresh in front of you. Lunch was limited at the buffet, but they had a great pizza oven where you could order fresh personal sized pizza made to your specifications. Once we discovered it (it's located in a hut away from the pool), that was where we ate lunch everyday. Dinners usually varied depending on which 'theme' they had. You had a choice of eating from the buffet, as well as ordering from the menu. Some of the things are made differently than what you would expect in North America, but that's what traveling is all about! One of the evenings the hotel put on a 'Fiesta Night', where they set up a special dining area on the roof with live Mexican bands playing, and a spread of authentic dishes. I had no problem finding good things to eat!

I would also like to add that while we were there, my boyfriend and I took a day cruise. Leaving from the marina and cruising around the bay, we got a great view of all the other hotels located in the area. I cannot comment on their service or amenities, but with the exception of the 5-star resorts located directly on the marina, none of the other hotels striked us as impressive. In fact, many were located on rocky, unwelcoming beaches...including the Blue Bay Club we were originally scheduled to stay in. After seeing the other resorts and comparing them to our own, we were quite happy with where we stayed.

If you have already decided on coming to Puerto Vallarta for vacation, I would not discourage you from staying at the Holiday Inn. The rooms are basic but clean, the hotel grounds are well-kept, the staff is friendly and the food is fine for anyone who isn't very picky. I would pay just as much to stay there again as I would to stay in any of the other resorts, and it was exactly what I expected for the class of hotel it is rated at.

Top of Page


Holiday Inn - Puerto Vallarta Susan --- Canada

September 2003

Do not stay at the Holiday Inn in Puerto Vallarta -- it is an old run down resort that is advertised by Sunquest as a 4 star property. It may have been a 4 star at one time, but would be more like a 2 1/2 star now. We stayed there from April 26 to May 4, 2003 and the hotel is advertised as having "nightly" enterainment, which it did not. We arrived on a Saturday nite and there was no entertainment until Thursday! This is rather interesting because it was just before Cinco de Mayo and conincided with a lot of Mexican people arriving (THAT was when the hotel saw fit to entertain the visitors!) The drinks were extremely watered down and the size of the wine glasses were more like shot glasses. We noticed that while the people who spoke Spanish were not expected to give tips, we did not get good service unless we did tip. The food in the buffet was THE SAME EVERY DAY....the dishes in the Mexican restaurant had food baked on them (NOT from our order!) The food was not good and the service was also not good. I have travelled a lot in Mexico and stayed in all areas and THIS WAS THE WORST RESORT HANDS DOWN that I have ever stayed at ANYWHERE!!!!

For 4 of the 7 days the elevators were not working and on the two days they were there was oil running down the walls and doors of the elevators. Since we were on the 9th floor, this was definitely inconvenient. I decided to use the service elevator on one occasion as I had an armload of stuff and the maid took exception to that and stomped on my foot to show her displeasure!!!

There were two computers with internet access which CONSTANTLY HAD CHILDREN ON THEM and we couldn't get to use them unless we complained to the front desk that we had been waiting. Also on 3 of the days the hotel was down to only one computer. This IS NOT internet access for those who wish to check their email.

We chose the Holiday Inn and were not expecting a luxury resort, but this resort definitely caterers to Mexican tourists more than any other. We also chose the Holiday Inn and because it is usually clean and comfortable. Upon my return home, I wrote several complaint letters (including one to the Holiday Inn) and it seems that the HOLIDAY INN in PUERTO VALLARTA is not affiliated with the Holiday Inn chain, but they cannot get the Mexican owners to remove their name from this resort!!! To date, I have no heard from my travel agent, or the Holiday Inn Puerto Vallarta, (this is from APRIL 03) regarding my complaints.


Top of Page