An October 2004 trip
to Puerto Vallarta by MaggieG
Quote: A few comparisons after staying at three different Puerto Vallarta Gold Crown resorts in 2 years
Club Velas Vallarta had a great lobby and lovely gardens and pools. Our unit had good-sized rooms with very comfortable (and new) furnishings and fantastic reading lights for the bed. The one- and two-bedroom units have a large balcony with teak chaise lounges and a dining table and chairs. The units all seem to have great views of the bay. The unit had a full kitchen that was very well-equipped with everything I could think of.
When we were there, they had an all-inclusive option that we did not select. (In figuring out expenses later, we figured that we would have just about broken even at $75 a day each – even excluding the meals we had in town.) The all-inclusive guests wore the wristband (and the tips were considered as already prepaid).
The restaurants were very good, as was the snack bar (which had happy hour beginning at 4pm) – everything we ordered was delicious. The pool/snack bar staff was very friendly and attentive and had some fun with the various drinks (such as making facial features out of fruit on the coconut shell of the Coco Locos).
The pools were really nice – they were free form but had a straight part for people who like to swim laps. There was even a waist-deep "river" that meandered through the gardens between two of the pools. One pool was used mostly for children’s activities. Two of the others had underwater benches, and there were two styles of semi-submerged lounges – flat and contoured – both with a built-in headrest. The fourth pool had a waterfall. The sandy beach seemed to be used only for the beach volleyball games, although there were a couple of chaise lounges there as well (on the sand and not shaded). There were varied activities for adults and children.
The mini-market was fairly well-stocked. The bus stop was just steps from the entrance. I would rate this as the BEST of the three.
Club Regina at Westin is a timeshare that is connected to a large hotel resort, and they have separate lobbies and check-in counters, but all guests may use all public facilities (pools, exercise room, etc.).
The grounds and pools are lovely. There is a very nice beach (rebuilt after the last hurricane removed all the sand), with numerous shaded platforms with chaise lounges. The four pools are free form, with islands with palm trees in the middle of some of them. Some are deeper than others (none over 5 feet deep – no diving!), and a couple pools also have the flat semi-submerged sunning lounges with built-in headrests and an underwater bench. Chaise lounges around the pools were located in both the sun and shade.
The rooms were standard sized, with a small balcony with two chairs and a café table. A very nice feature was the jetted hot tub on the balcony (one you filled when you wished to use it).
The view of the pools, gardens, beach, and bay was lovely (as long as you are on at least the fourth floor, so you can see the bay/ocean over the tops of the palm trees.) The furnishings were comfortable, but I ended up buying a 100-watt bulb to replace the 40-watt one in my bedside lamp. The partial kitchen had a full-sized refrigerator; a four-burner electric stovetop; a microwave oven; a toaster; a blender; a hand mixer; a small sink; pots, pans, and casserole dishes; a tea kettle; and dishes, glassware, and silver for four people.
The hotel restaurant was only okay, but Nikki’s by the Beach had a scrumptious brunch. The pool bar served very good snacks (the fried calamari and hamburgers were great). The prices for everything seemed higher than at the other places (perhaps because it was a resort hotel as well as a timeshare). There was a lobby bar in the hotel (on the lobby level, which was one level up from the pool area). The lobby bar offered happy hour everyday at 5pm – but the pool bar did not. So if you wanted a break on prices, you had to hike up to the lobby bar.
The mini-market was almost useless unless you wanted an ice-cream treat or a single-use camera. The bus stop was at the far end of the drive to the hotel – not convenient, so we ended up using cabs when we wished to go to town. However, due to the comfort at this resort, I rate it in the middle or BETTER of the good, better, and best.
Our rooms were huge, but the furnishings were old and shabby. They (including the bed) were also firm to the point of being rock hard. There was nice bathroom and lovely complimentary shampoo, lotions, and soaps. The partial kitchen had a small apartment-sized refrigerator; a four-burner electric stovetop; a microwave oven, a toaster; a blender; a shallow sink; limited and beat-up pots and pans; a tea kettle; and dishes, glassware, and silver for four people. Both the living room and bedroom had floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows that looked out on a tar roof. There was no balcony.
The pools were lovely, and the snack bar served tasty food. There were many activities (including children’s activities by one of the pools). The little mini-market was fairly well-stocked. The restaurant was excellent. There were security guards stationed all over the grounds.
When checking in, guests are banded with a colored wrist band (hospital style). The color indicates the assigned building.
The bus stop was just steps from the entrance.
From our experience here (mostly because of the lack of comfort and view in the room), I rate this resort as only GOOD.