Grand Park Royal Puerto Vallarta is located ten minutes south of the romantic zone and is surrounded by gardens, waterfalls and sandy beaches. Its experienced staff and exceptional cuisine, in addition to its completely renovated suites, makes the Grand Park Royal Puerto Vallarta the perfect vacation spot.
I found so much conflicting information about this resort before our trip, so I decided to leave a review that will hopefully help others with their confusion.
A friend and I decided we wanted a girls week away. We weren't set on a destination, but definitely wanted an all-inclusive beach resort. Long story short - we booked the Grand Park Royal.
First, the absolute best part of this hotel, is the view! It is spectacular! Every room has an ocean view, and you'll be able to see the sun set over the ocean every night from your balcony. I can't emphasize this part enough - it was absolutely gorgeous!
Ok, so clear up some conflicting info:
1. Free covid tests. The site says that the hotel offers free covid tests (which you have to have 3 days or less before returning to the US). This is true. However, they don't tell you that it's limited to two people. My friends adult daughter also joined us, so we had to pay for a 3rd test. This was $19. Not a huge deal, but...
2. Ekinox (adults only) Bar on the top floor - in my opinion, this shouldn't be advertised as part of the 'all inclusive' plan. Some sites I looked at didn't mention an additional fee, some did. I believe it was about $25/person a day if you wanted to enjoy this area. When we met with our tour rep, I asked if he could get us free passes for a day. He could not. He said the resort was very strict about giving out these passes and basically the only way you can enjoy it without paying is if you buy a time share. Yep - no thanks.
3. Dining - most of our meals were at the buffet (Veranda restaurant). Nancy is the best! Food was good, I wouldn't say spectacular. Dinner options were often repeats each day. Some of the lunch options seemed to be leftovers from the night before. The Munchies snack bar at the pool was always a good option, although the wait was often long. They offered good ol' American cheeseburgers, hot dogs, fries and nachos. And they were actually quite good!
There were three restaurants that you could have dinner at - El Pescador (fish/seafood), Frida (Mexican), Andiamo (Italian). However, you had to make reservations. The bad part about this, is that you had to make reservations at a certain time on the day you wanted to dine there - I think it was 1pm. And they filled up quickly! So if you're lounging by the pool, take a tour off-site, etc., you're not going to get in. We did manage to get in to Andiamo one night. The food was very good, however portions were small (per American standards...) My cannoli was a bout the size of a cherry. But delicious!
4. Elevators. I saw several reviews about the elevators, so I kind of expected this. There are four elevators - two on each side of the hotel. They are SLOW. They are also small, so when it does come, there may not be room for you to get on. It's also used by the staff, so we often couldn't get on because the maid service cart or beverage cart was in it. It also didn't seem to make any sense about which way it was going. But having a separate staff elevator would be helpful.
5.Entertainment. So, I'm used to staying at bigger properties (Riu's), so that's what I have to compare the entertainment to. The entertainment staff overall, did a great job. My only suggestion on daytime activities would be to post a schedule somewhere of what was going on and when. Then if there was something you really wanted to do, you could plan for it. Otherwise, you just have to be in the right place at the right time.
Nighttime entertainment - this was disappointing. But again, I only have my previous experiences at bigger resorts to compare it to! There is not a stage/entertainment area, per se. It was in a banquet room with a portable stage set up. Two nights are karaoke. There was also a live rock band one night, circus night, Latino night, and I can't remember what else. The room was small and loud. Again, the staff did a great job, but it just wasn't the level of nightly entertainment that I have experienced previously.
6. Location/transportation - this resort is located well south of downtown Puerto Vallarta. It's a good half-hour drive from the airport. There's good and bad about that. It was nice to be out of noisiness of the city, but took some planning when we did want to go in to the city. I would recommend using Uber instead of a taxi. However, when you set one up to pick you up at the hotel, it may take a half hour for one to get there because it's so far out of town, so plan ahead. Getting one from town back to the hotel only took a few minutes. The cost was $5-$8 at the most. We took a taxi once from the hotel to an excursion and wasn't pleased with it. It was only about $10, but he dropped us off a good 4 blocks from where we needed to be. Considering we didn't know where we were going, we had to rely on the help of locals to get us where we needed to be.
7. Room service - we had room service a couple times, and it was good. The information I had said that you were allowed one room service per stay. But it's actually one room service per day. Sometimes the orders weren't exactly right, but that was probably due to a communication issue when ordering.
8. Maid service - this was probably our biggest issue. When we arrived, we did not have any towels - none. After we called to get some, the maid just let herself in without knocking and took them to the bathroom. There were at least 3 days that we had to call (after 5pm) to have our rooms made up. Twice we had to leave notes to leave more toilet paper. And we never had washcloths. We did tip every day! The mini bar did get restocked every day and there was always plenty of bottled water.
8. Misc. - drinks were plentiful, however I think they were watered down. They were good! But not heavy on the alcohol.
Beach/pool chairs - these fill up quickly in the morning, so keep that in mind. This is no different than any other resort, unfortunately. People put a towel on a chair and sometimes don't use it all day ... just rude.
Rooms were clean.
Overall, it was a good trip and memories were made! But since I found much conflicting info, I wanted to offer my experiences, in hopes that it will help others.
Poor quality food. Not for English speaking guests.
Jul 25, 2021
Food and food service is a major weakness of this resort. Poor quality meat and seafood all other items served cold and stale. Food is cooked in an odd tasting corn oil no butter used. Long lines to make reservations that are needed each day or you must fight the crowds at terrible buffet.
Don’t believe the breakfast or lunch open times , we would arrive at open time or reservation time and wait 15 minutes as they prepared. Best of the bad is Italian and Mexican.
Resort is not for English speakers! Many of the servers and staff speak little or no english making it difficult to order food or to request anything. Also all service is slow, groups of employees stand around but we waited for everything often as long as 30 minutes for drink and over hour for food. Pool waiters stand by bar but often don’t offer drinks for hours at a time. Exception was Antonio at the Ekinox lounge which is the premium lounge he was awesome and friendly.
Most guest were families with children. Don’t come to this resort if you want a quiet day at the pool or beach.
Beautiful, clean and well appointed rooms. Except the decorative pillows on bed are filthy don’t think they have been washed in months! Clean and very well maintained facilities. Great views from rooms, restaurants and pool.