Located on a spectacular beachfront setting with views over Bahia de Banderas and the tropical forests of the Sierra Madre Mountains, Hilton Vallarta Riviera All-Inclusive Resort is perfectly situated and just five minutes away from the town’s historic downtown.
(Los Angeles, California)
Nov 25, 2021
Recently stayed here for a 6 day/5 night girls trip which was our third visit to this resort. The first two times were when it was the Grand Fiesta Americana and this recent trip was after it was rebranded as a Hilton. The rebrand happened after I had made the reservation months before. I was happy that our timing was before the changes to a family friendly hotel. The original appeal was that it was adults only. Unfortunately, the change in management has shown this once luxurious full-service resort has lost its footing.
My interactions prior to arrival were not promising. I inquired numerous times about the included Covid testing and never got a satisfactory response. I also mentioned in my correspondence that the trip was to mark a special occasion. At check in, no mention was made about the special occasion or welcoming us back a three time return guests. Getting our room was a hassle and the room category I originally booked wasn’t honored. The day of the special occasion nothing was done either (usually you get a cake slice or note from the manager thanking you for choosing to mark the day at the property). NOTHING! Concierge didn’t help with off property dinner reservations for that night like last year (I did ask) so I made my own via OpenTable. Very disappointing and a missed opportunity for them to shine and show they cared.
Other observations that would matter to the average guest is the disorderly way you needed to make dinner reservations. There are only three restaurants serving dinner and they aren’t open every day. There are absolutely NO walk-ins allowed so you need to physically go to the snack shop at the lobby from 11am to 5pm daily to secure your spot. Completely inefficient. I needed to remember to leave the beach in the middle of the afternoon to book our meals. Overall the food was very good with Sunan (Asian) and La Luce (Italian) being our favorites. We were disappointed the tapas restaurant was no longer there but replaced with the aforementioned snack bar. For lunch, you have only two sit down options or can dine pool or beachside. Sea Salt was the better of the two. The other, Cocomar, used to have very good ceviche but we found it very fishy and not as good as before. We loved breakfast and found there was enough variety over five days. My favorites were the omelette and chilaquiles bars. They seemed to have gotten rid of the fresh juice/smoothie station from when it was the Grand Fiesta.
The alcohol selection was lacking if you want more than well drinks and pina coladas. The white and sparkling wines were barely drinkable which was a shame. Red wine during the hot day wasn’t desired. The mojitos are good but they frequently ran out of mint.
Another overall observation was the restaurant service was lacking. Many of the servers spoke limited English so there was a lot of menu pointing or just drinking/eating whatever wrong item came to the table because something was lost in translation. The beach service (with I think I remember the attendants being Alfredo and Jose) was superb and we never had issues. We chose to spend the majority of our time there. One minor thing to note about the beach/pool is you are only allowed one towel per person. You should be given two towels cards each so you can have one for your chair and your body. A bit stingy of hotel management.
We had some maintenance issues with our room with a frigid air con and slow draining sink but it was mostly resolved once we called. I say mostly because the air con would leak on our floor and not budge above 66 degrees at night. Wish we packed warmer PJs!
Final verdict: we probably won’t make a return visit. The uneven service, chaotic dinner reservation system, departure of longtime employees and lack of daytime variety makes it no longer our first choice of PV hotels. I’m not thrilled about the change to family friendly either but had this last trip blown us away, I would overlook it. Sadly that wasn’t the case. With all things being equal, we’ll probably check out the Garza Blanca next time around.
Relaxation at its Best
Nov 25, 2021
We have visited PV many times but never this area. We loved the blue water and the jungle like feel out the front door of the hotel.
Arrival- we arrived on a busy Saturday afternoon on a holiday weekend. The airport was busy but we were through quickly ( we did only bring carry on). Air Canada provides transportation so we were put in a taxi. 30 minutes later we arrived. They sterilize your luggage and take your temp.
Your first impression is a gorgeous lobby with a view directly to the blue water- stunning.
We were given a band - which is 150 if you lose it. You can’t check in until 3 so we sat in the lobby, grabbed a bite to eat, enjoyed a drink- checked back early and were able to get our room .
Room-We were on the 4th floor, which is where the lobby is. We had an unobstructed view of the ocean. The room had a king size bed, a nice sofa, table and chairs, big closet, dresser with lots of room for clothes, iron, ironing board, rain shower, hair dryer, l’occitane products which were replaced each day, a mini fridge stocked and a beautiful balcony with top quality furniture.
You are so close to the ocean that we could hear the waves at night with the door closed.
The room was spotless each day after cleaning and no problems with air conditioner.
Pools-There are 2 pools . One has the swim up bar and is mostly in the shade . The other has hot tubs and warmer. Both are infinity pools which are wonderful. The pools are needing tiles replaced. There are Bali beds which had all the mattresses replaced while we were there. They will be $80 US a day . At that price we would rather use the loungers of which there were lots. They also are going to be replaced soon.
Service around the pool was the best. Daniel was one of the best waiters we’ve ever had. He was personable, and took amazing care of his section .
There were lots of activities everyday around the pool from blackjack in the pool to dance lessons, Spanish lessons, etc.
Every morning Jaydy would come around and let you know what was up for the day and what was on for the evening show.
She shows an enthusiasm that is catching.
Twice our week there was a live band around the pool
Beach-the water here is beautiful and sheltered. The beach is great for walking also and is golden sand . There water is beautiful but there are warnings of sea urchins and we did see a few people getting the barbs taken out. I strongly recommended wearing after shoes and not venturing out to far. Lifeguards are on duty. There are loungers on the beach, and bar service. Vendors but they don’t bug you. There are no kayaks or paddle boards at this time .
Restaurants- breakfast is the only buffet and you are given plastic gloves to serve yourself. Great choice of food. Wonderful sitting outside looking at the blue water- great way to start the day with a mimosa served by the wonderful servers Jorge and Medardo. Always a smile - even a special last day cake send off.
LaLuce is the Italian restaurant and we ate there twice. We thought the food was great and lots of choices.
Maxal-the Mexican- food was wonderful, not as big of selection
Sunan—Japanese. Loved this place as we ate overlooking the pools. Food was also good.
Coco mar-this was open from noon -6 and offered lots of fish choices- food was good and quick. Wonderful view of the water.
Sea salt-was open for breakfast on the weekend and lunch. Offers lots of variety and was nice to sit outside but be out of the sun.
You could also order at your chair.
We did room service twice and it was the best we’ve ever had- arrived on time and always hot. Nice big patio to relax and enjoy the sounds of the ocean.
Azulina-grab and go cafe with cookies, coffees, sandwiches- open till 5
Azulinda- lobby bar, great atmosphere, live music every night, wonderful breeze. Top shelf alcohol
Mojito Bar- great fun- swinging chairs, lounges, TVs. Great martinis
Sky Bar- probably the best place to catch a sunset. It was never busy though. Standup tables would be a great addition. Hopefully in the future it will be busier.
This is where the hot tubs are.
Evening shows- we saw 2 and they were great.
We did our PCR test at the resort. It was more expensive $145 US but we didn’t want the hassle of leaving the resort. We had our results in 12 hours .
Thanks so much to Marco and Lila at the concierge desk. These two were always there to help with any questions you had. They were the best and cared to make your trip the best it could be.
Thanks to Michelle at the front desk who always had a smile and would answer any questions.
We were able to change our pesos to smaller denominations if you need to.
All information including menus and activities are scanned on your phone.
Reservations have to be made each day between 10-4 and I can see this being a problem as the hotel becomes busier. No one wants to waste there vacation standing in line ( and the person taking the reservation also serves the people in the restaurant)
Masks were worn by staff and most visitors in enclosed quarters. Sanitation at each entrance. We saw cleaning being done all the time.
The Hilton was perfect in so many ways. The service was amazing, rooms all face the ocean, you can hear the waves and oh those sunsets.
We’re sorry that it is changing from adults only but we would highly recommend the resort.
We missed Puerto Vallarta and the people.