|Old Reviews - Holiday Inn Puerto Vallarta|
Arrival: December 20th 2008
Restaurants and Bars:
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
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.
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.
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.
AVOID THIS RESORT!!!!