Editor's Note: This property was formerly the Playa del Sol Costa Sur and the Costa Vida Vallarta.
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January 15, 2005
Costa Vida is supposedly the only hotel with a sea wall, which protects the beach from the tide and is home to a lot of different fish. I would lie on the rocks to sun and watch the boats pass by. There are kayaks available to rent. I took one out one day to check out other beaches, and I saw a few sea turtles! The wildlife in Puerto Vallarta is stunning.Resort Experience:My mom and I stayed in a studio that was beautifully decorated in Mexican colors and kept immaculate by the maids. There was a fully stocked kitchenette with a tall refrigerator that we stocked with fresh fruit from groceries bought downtown. The fridge and air-conditioning unit were kept unplugged to conserve energy, but they're easy to plug in and do an excellent job. There is also a stove, microwave, coffeemaker, and a small TV with satellite. Each room has an ocean view that is spectacular, and watching the sunset from the balcony or beach is a truly satisfying experience. The room is simple, but you won't be spending a lot of time in it. Be sure to tip the maids daily because they do an excellent job. We tipped at the end of the week, and I noticed the attention to detail declined with each day we didn't tip.
The main lobby is on the sixth floor, and the restaurants and pool are located on the ground level. The road in front of the hotel leads to either Mismaloya or the center of Puerto Vallarta. Transportation into the city is easy. Watch out for a green-and-blue bus that stops right in front of the hotel and takes you to the city. You have to walk a few more blocks to get to the Malecon. If you want to take a taxi, there are always a few nice guys chillin' in front of the hotel waiting for a patron.
There are very informal theme nights and planned activities, like cooking classes or pool volleyball, that Costa Vida schedules every day. Live music played during dinner a couple nights out of the week, too.
There are two pools, but the one in the shade is frequently abandoned. There is a towel service. The pools seemed more popular than the beach.
There are two bars in close proximity to each other and one open-air dining room with a view of the ocean. There's also a less formal dining area next to the bar. The food and drinks are surprisingly good, but the prices are similar to what you would find in America.
Amenities include a well-equipped and clean fitness room next to an Internet center, which I used frequently to keep in touch. There's a mini-mart and a fashion boutique, which are well-stocked but expensive. A trip to a supermarket downtown would offer a lot more choice for better prices.
Everybody working at Costa Vida is sweet and accommodating. We were only confronted with a timeshare presentation once, and he wasn't pushy at all. You can book tours through the hotel, but read up about some of them before you go. Costa Vida is a very intimate hotel. You get to know a lot of the employees and other guests in a very relaxed atmosphere. The amenities and services here more than make up for the size.
From journal Ending Summer in Puerto Vallarta
Orange County, California
January 7, 2001
Anyway, the rooms all look out onto the water with a little balcony to boot. There is cable television in every room, a mini kitchenette with stove, refrigerator, microwave and coffeemaker. The shower stalls were very large and the water was wonderfully hot all day long. The room itself was spacious, with a king-sized bed and room enough for the sitting area which included a couch, coffee table and a dining table with chairs.
Downstairs, the restaurant was on the pool and the food was OK, although nothing special.
The bar by the pool was large and played sports from the United States, like football and basketball, all day long on different TV screens - there was always tons of men sitting there.
Around the rest of the pool, aside from the regular guests, were those that had their timeshares from the beginning. They all seemed to love the place, all knew each other and, it seemed, just kept coming back year after year, even though it was apparent they could afford to stay in more expensive accommodations.
Town was close by i.e. a cheap taxi ride away, and I would say I enjoyed staying at Costa Vida very much.
Oh yes, they had free Internet access downstairs for the guests to use at their leisure.
From journal Puerto Vallarta - Diving, Flying and Dining
by invitation guy
February 16, 2005
The bar staff will remember your room number before you have a chance to forget it drinking the CostaVida Special. There is an older crowd, as many people there were owners and have been going for 10 to 20 years. It has four computers for guest use, which were always busy, but there is a 15-minute courtesy time limit per visit.
From journal Two Weeks in Puerto Vallarta
Honeoye Falls, New York
September 1, 2002
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