Disclaimer: This was an internal trade as part of a Marriott Time Share property, where I stayed as a guest of a timeshare owner. This review also does not factor in the sales presentation that may be a requirement to stay in certain buildings. Anyone familiar with the Mexican timeshare pitch can breathe easy because I will not be discussing that in here. Additionally, as always, hang onto your receipts and check your room charges upon check out, to make sure they’re all valid.
A Massive Property
The first fact and item that blew me away was how large the property was. It is host to over a dozen pools, 6 hotel buildings, dozens of restaurants, and even a lazy river. Having been twice, we’ve yet to see it at full capacity where you can’t find a place to drop your towels by one of the many pools or find a chair on the beach. While the size can be intimidating, don’t worry, as there are shuttles to take you from building to building, in case you do not want to walk. If you want to walk, there are boardwalks that you can follow to most places.
The six hotel buildings on the premise are of different quality levels. They range from motel style condo to luxurious to high end luxurious. The Grand Luxxe is considered the high end luxurious, to the extent there are plunge pools (cold soaking pools) on the deck, each unit contains a full balcony accessed by both bedrooms, and there is one pool that is exclusively for Grand Luxxe members. Some of the luxurious rooms are fairly similar to the Grand Luxxe, but smaller or without a full kitchen.
No matter which building you’re in, it is recommended to choose a room on a higher floor due to the noise at ground level. Also, as there are plenty of rooms, if you do not like your room, do not hesitate to request a new one. Some seemed recently refurbished or cleaner than others.
The food options are plentiful (over 40 restaurants and lounges), even for your pickiest individual. From Asian to French to street tacos, they have a wide variety to choose from. If you don’t want to eat out, there’s the ability to make your own meal and shop at their well-stocked grocery store in La Plaza. Some of the dining options also include entertainment, such as the Asian restaurant Gong, where they have a light show over the lake at night or teppanyaki performances. Other options offer nice views, such as the French-themed Azur, where you can see the sunset or the fireworks from the balcony outside. If you’re looking for a low key, casual lunch, grab some al pastor tacos and a beer at Tacos Break or grab a salad or sandwich at Fresh Co. by the pool. Don’t forget to inquire about the meal plan when you check-in!
For those who need the relaxing day at the Spa, Vidanta offers a secluded Spa where you won’t hear anyone screaming or splashing at the pool. They offer a variety of massages including hot stone massages. After your massage, you have the chance to relax in the indoor hot tub and take short dips into the ice bath to improve circulation, if you can brave it! There’s also a small outdoor section of the spa where you can sip on fruit water and relax on a lounge chair in your robe.
This was the one aspect we did not partake in – however, there are lessons, short play, and longer play offered, so a variety for all skills of golfers.
The Vidanta property has plenty of pools and they come in all shapes and sizes. Some have swim up bars, some are infinity pools, and there’s even a lazy river! Be sure to check out the infinity pool overlooking the beach during sunset with a bucket of beer! The lazy river is extra lazy, so be ready for a slow ride. If you’re staying at the Grand Luxxe, you are allowed to use all the pools, including the Grand Luxxe Only pools.
With miles and miles of boardwalk, I believe at least 6, there’s plenty of walks to be had. The beach is also perfect for a stroll and during sunset you’ll see many people out walking. The resort is right next to a nature preserve so the morning walks are very relaxing and you might feel like you’re in a jungle.
For those gym rats out there, the fitness center is quite luxurious. They offer classes like spin and yoga. The gym has five rooms, two are dedicated to cardio machines, one is for spin, one is for yoga and stretching, and one is for weights. No need to stop working out because you’re on vacation! It might even motivate some to come in because of the great A/C.
Every night the Santuario, a very large open-air entertainment center, hosts a variety of artists including musicians, singers, dancers, ranging from Mexican styles to the music of the 70s, 80s, 90s, and everything in between. There’s an act for everyone here. They have seating around the stage and on the stage itself; it’s up to you how close you want to be to the action. During some performances the audience will get up and dance. We went here a few nights during our stay, grabbed a few drinks, and had a great time listening to the music and watching the performances.
Getting to the Resort
The resort is an easy 15-20-minute taxi ride from PVR airport. Check with the hotel ahead of time to see if they will prove you a free shuttle ride from the airport to the hotel, as they often will.
Going to Puerto Vallarta
As nice as the resort is we had to check out Puerto Vallarta – Check out my post here on Puerto Vallarta. It’s around a 30-minute taxi ride and about 250 pesos each way. I would definitely recommend taking one or two days out of your week stay to check out Puerto Vallarta.
This resort is great for everyone. While it’s location could be a bit closer to Puerto Vallarta proper, at the end of the day, there are plenty of activities to cover a week or more. The service was always spectacular no matter where you went. In the future, the resort plans to expand and open a state of the art futuristic Cirque du Soleil theme park… I can’t wait to see what’s in store!