Recommendation: Do not stay here. Now that that is out of the way, here are some more detail.
Just last week I took my wife and 2 year old daughter to Puerto Vallarta Mexico. We stayed at the Friendly Holy Vallarta. All in all we had a great time. The weather was fantastic, the water was warm, and had a good, fun, relaxing vacation.
First here are some pro’s and Cons
- The pools were heated
- The staff is very friendly (one exception)
- The place is very clean
- Great views
- Quick cab ride to town
- Rooms are clean but VERY dated and very rough around the edges. The drain in our friends bathroom backed up every time they ran the shower!!
- Pools close at 8:00pm!!
- Food was “okay” but beef was usually very tough.
- Blender drinks (Pina Coladas etc) were not blended properly, and often not blended at all.
- Not permitted to take meals up to the rooms
- We were charged $20 USD in order to eat on our final day!!! This was supposed to be all inclusive! More on this below.
- Bell boy service did NOT lock up bags as promised.
Our $20 BS Charge
This was our BIGGEST complaint, and it is all principle. Our flight to go home left at 8:15 PM on the Saturday and checkout time is noon. We checked out and turned in our keys etc at 11:00 that morning. In order to keep our bracelets so that we could use the facilities and still eat on our final day the front desk staff required a $20 “refundable” deposit. I asked three times about it being refundable, and they assured me that it was.
When we went to turn in our bracelets and head for the bus to the airport, they refused to refund the $20 deposit saying that it is never refundable!!!
When one stays at an All inclusive, you are supposed to get just that, All inclusive. There should be no charges for food on the final day. Our package price should cover everything from arrival to departure.
This incident put a very sour taste in our mouths and as a result we will NOT be recommending this place to anyone. $20 is not a lot of money, but to be blatantly lied to about it being refundable is total BS (and everyone on our flight had the same thing happen to them).
We’ll be complaining to West Jet Vacations about this, and if they will not refund the $20, then we will be contesting the charge to Visa. We love Puerto Vallarta, this is not our first time going and we will go again, but we will also never stay at this resort again.
Bell Boy Service
On the final day, you can check your bags with the bell boy. They say that all bags are stored in a safe locked room. They lie… They kept everyone’s bags in the lobby unattended. I never heard of anything being stolen, but if you trust them to leave your bags in the lobby be sure to keep your valuables safe with you.
For the first time in my life I had a pina colada where the ice was not crushed at all, just the mix poured onto full ice cubes. That is just plain lazy. Most of the time the drinks were also under-blended with huge chunks of ice getting stuck in the straw. The taste was just “okay”. We had a pina colada at a restuarant in town and it was amazing, almost milkshake consistency… too bad the resort can’t figure that out.
The food was okay. Not terrible, and some dishes were actually quite good. My problem with the food is that whenever they did anything beef, it was usually way overcooked and incredibly tough. The food was definitely 3 star quality, no extra effort here.
The pool is warm, big, and recently re-tiled. Its a great pool. Only problem here is that it closed at 8:00 PM!! Are you kidding me? Should be open till midnight. Dinner is at 6:30, so it is near impossible to go for dinner then a swim.
The staff was VERY friendly (with the exception of the front desk staff when checking out). The staff is very inviting and very welcoming of kids. The friendly staff made the cons bearable…