Puerto Vallarta

Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta

Review by Shelley, 3/21/2016

Hi there,

Just want to say a big THANK YOU for helping us book our recent trip for Spring Break to the Hard Rock Vallarta!  We had an amazing 5 days!  Great hotel, beautiful beach, perfect weather and fun excursions with our resort credits.  The suggestion for a separate room for our teenage kids was great also.  They were just 2 rooms away, and we didn’t all feel like we were on top of each other sharing one room. 

We also loved that it was family oriented and didn’t have crazy spring break college kids.  We are recommending Love to Travel and this vacation to all of our friends and family!

Thanks again!!!

Review by Amy, 1/4/2016

Dave,

Thanks for all your help in planning our vacation.  We had a blast!  The weather was beautiful as was the resort.  We did make some room changes upon arrival.  I was not comfortable being on a different floor from our young boys (10, 13) as I knew our adult kids would want to go out and that would leave the boys alone at night.  It was not possible to get the kids adjoining rooms which is what we really wanted/needed.  Fred & I gave up the room you originally booked us so that we could be down the hall from the kids.  The rooms were very nice, even thought we didn’t have the view that I assume we paid for.   I was skeptical before we even left KC about the room credits and we were disappointed that they were difficult to use.  For example, our kids all wanted to snorkel.  This excursion was only available to be used on Mondays.  We arrived on a Tuesday and left on Monday.  In order to take us all snorkeling it was another $600.  Unfortunately, this did not prove to be our favorite excursion.  Five of us used some credits to do the zip line excursion on Christmas day.  It was by far our favorite excursion and the only one that seemed to work out.  Catholic Mass was literally out the front hotel doors and across the street, so convenient and a nice surprise!  The transportation to and from the hotel was excellent.    The food, drink and service at the resort were all very good.  We enjoyed the pool, beach, boogie boarding and kayaking the most.

We appreciate your thorough packet of information you sent.  It might be a nice reminder to have folks contact their credit card company prior to leaving the country.  We did not think to do this and we did have difficulty using our credit card.  Not a huge deal, but it could have all been avoided with a simple phone call prior to our trip. 

Happy New Year!

Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta

Review by Don 6/21/2016

Hi Dave we really had a good time…we liked best the lay out that Hyatt had for leisurely fun…we went into town and also did a couples massage…regal limo was outstanding…thanks again for planning this trip!

Review by Ashlynn, 6/15/2016

We had a very excellent trip! The resort was pretty darn close to perfect.

The hot tub was one of my favorite things. The balcony and view were gorgeous. The people were very helpful and genuine.

We didn’t go to town. The two excursions we did were included with the resort: jungle tour (more of a hike!) and kayak tour (fun, but lots of work).

Review by Alex, 6/13/2016

Dave, 

We have been so busy lately. We had another wedding this weekend in Colorado that we just got back from. The Hyatt was great and we loved the resort! They have a great staff that wants to serve you regardless of how much you are tipping. Our wedding was perfect! We had great weather, food, and the ceremony was flawless! Vallarta Adventures did a fantastic job and we couldn’t have asked for a better wedding. We are still anxiously waiting for our photos from the wedding but will forward one along when we get them. Thank you for all of your help throughout the entire process! 

Alex

Review by Josh, 3/22/2016

Hi Dave, 

Trip was amazing. Thought everything was about as good as it could get on a vacation. The city was beautiful and the people were all very friendly. We took one afternoon to go visit the Macelone and the flea  shops, then took another to go zip lining up in the jungle. Both adventures outside the resort were well worth it. As for the resort itself thought we hit our trip perfectly. There were plenty of people there, but for the most part the place felt about half capacity, which meant we had about half the competition for drinks. When we would eat out at night it was fairly easy for us to pick a restaurant of our choice without wait. 

I ended up writing a nice review for the resort on trip adviser, naming a few key folks that made the trip special. All in all, not sure there was much we could have done differently to improve the trip. One piece of travel advice I might give to another patron is to wait to buy any excursions from vendors in town. We saw for ourselves and heard from several others you can save a lot of money by trying not to purchase like that from the resort itself. 

To boot, we named you as our travel agency and that it was a big contributor to how seamless our trip felt and it really did. Would you use you guys again in a heartbeat. Except next trip I think will be to Ireland! 

Cheers,

Josh 

Josh & Carey Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta

Review by Shawn, 11/10/2015

Dave,

Finally starting to catch up from the trip.

For starters – thank you so much for the Champagne and Strawberries…!  What a great surprise and we enjoyed them!

Overall the trip was great…here are some details:

– The flights were easy (a little early that first morning, but otherwise good).

– The room and the resort overall were great. Our room was on the 10th floor on the 2nd tower (2016) and had a great view.  We loved the sound of the ocean and kept the sliding doors open. The sunsets and the mornings were beautiful…it got pretty warm in the afternoons, but not bad if you had the right shade or you were near the pool.

– We decided once we got there to keep things really low key, so we just hung out at the resort the whole time. The whales weren’t in and we decided to just not worry about an excursion. Enjoyed sleeping in, reading, hanging out at the beach and the pools, working out and trying out all the restaurants.  The fitness center was very good…the spa looked nice as well, but we didn’t try it.

– The food was good – we had a great dinner at the steak place…and the other meals were all very good.  Service was ‘relaxed’, but not a problem and several of the servers and staff were very friendly.

– We didn’t do any heavy drinking, but the bars were convenient and the drinks we had were good (it’s been a while since I’d had a Pina Colada on the beach…).

– They did have baby turtles on site, so we got to seem them released while we were there – that was cool.

– The transfers to and from the airport were fine…they basically just outsourced us to local cabs but they were expecting us and they had all the paperwork and stuff ready.

– The only real downside to the trip was running the gauntlet inside the PV airport after we arrived. You had warned us to not worry about the vendors in the airport, but they were pretty aggressive and we got sucked in by sales guys twice – both times because it was someone in a uniform telling us we were going the wrong way and offering to ‘help’ us. Other than an annoying waste of 5 minutes or so – not a big deal, but I was surprised at how many there were and how aggressive they were.

I think it was just the kind of trip we needed – we both enjoyed it and it was a different kind of trip for us (different but good). I attached a few pictures below – I didn’t bring my camera, so these are just from my phone and nothing fancy.

Thank you again for all of your help and expertise – excellent job by you and the staff and I’m sure we’ll be hitting you up again in the future.

Shawn

Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta View of Garden & Ocean Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta Amazing view of the Ocean Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta oncean and sand, cabanas Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta pano view of ocean Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta resort at night

Iberostar Playa Mita

Review by Ron, 3/13/2016

Hey Dave,

Thanks for guiding us to Iberostar!  Some specific feedback:

Positives

– AmStar was prompt and easy to find

– resort was beautiful, modern, well laid out

– we were able to get 4 rooms next to each other with the bedding arrangements we requested

– the “dinks(double income no kids)” in the crew were quite pleased they opted for the ocean front rooms

– all of the workers at the resort were very friendly and helpful

– the nightly shows were fun as long as you realize you were not in Vegas

– SeaSoul bar was a great late afternoon hangout and to watch the sunset

– could easily walk on beach for miles

– golf course was 5 minute golf cart ride; loved the course design with ocean, rain forest, and mountain holes, price of $89 was very good

– horseback riding was nearby and included the mountains and the beach

– zip-lining was also nearby and included 10 segments – all of the kids loved it, I was the only adult and was a bit hung over so I did not have as much fun as the kids 🙂

– beds were super comfortable, even for the adults with bad backs

– wifi was free and worked very well (but was a little slow if trying to download and send big files)

– food was very good (not great, but very good) – we did not eat at French gourmet as nobody brought clothes for that

– Medico Center was used a few times, and service was very good

– concierge for each building was smart move to allow quick, efficient service

– games at pool area were fun and well received

– trip into Sayulita was fun and good exposure to “real Mexico” – got to watch some surfers while hanging at beachfront bar as the girls shopped through town

– no different levels for food & bev so everyone drank the same stuff

– easy exchange for pesos

– allowed exchange of $20s and $50s for $1s and $5s each day around lunch to help with tipping

– self serve soft ice cream machine at pool bar

– hotel was at 65% capacity while we were there, so crowd was just right to have enough people for activities but not too crowded to congregate at pool and get restaurant reservations

Not as positive

– red flags flew most of the week, so we only got to swim in the ocean once (obviously can’t be controlled by resort)

– smoking allowed in pool area – even though it is open air, the smoke can still be bothersome

– confusion over whether guests can eat at a restaurant more than once – got different answers from different people

– archery would have been fun to try, but it was only open during the 3:00 activity hour

– limited beer selection – Dos Equss Ale & Amber (not a huge deal, but would have been nice to have a few other options)

– coffee was rather thick, and tough to find good “regular” coffee so everyone ended up with lattes at coffee shop

Overall the TripAdvisor ratings and feedback seemed on target (90% rate 4 or 5, which is strong rating).  I

I hope this feedback is helpful, but let me know of any questions…thanks again, Ron

Review by Holly, 12/2/2015

Hi Dave,

Thanks for the follow-up!  The trip was really great, everyone had a wonderful time – the resort was perfect for us! We did have 2 days of rain from the hurricane which was kind of a bummer but we still made the best of it.  We went into Sayulita one day and really enjoyed that despite the rain. We didn’t end up doing any other excursions mostly because of the weather.  We really enjoyed the beach front rooms one floor up, great views and super-easy access. Transfers to/from the airport went flawlessly.

Thanks again for everything – working with you made it so much easier!

-h

Foster family in beach Iberostar Playa Mita Puerto Vallarta Iberostar Playa Mita Puerto Vallarta Family Pic

Marival Resort & Suites

Review by Corey, 4/26/2016

Hi Betsy –

Sorry, just now getting back to you.  Yes, the Marival Resort & Suites was fantastic!  We loved it there.  We did get building 8 on the 3rd (top) floor which provided a room which had two floors and two balconies.  The two floor concept is terrific for families with older kids (9+) since it provides more privacy and adds a cool factor.  Our kids thought they died and gone to heaven when they explored the room.

These smaller buildings are great for those who want to get some exercise from climbing the stairs which allows one to burn off all that food & drink!

The resort offers plenty to do, we especially enjoyed:

multiple pools, lots of palapas on the beach, boogie boards, kayaks, swim up bar, tennis, bike tour, night time shows, game room

We did not run out of things to do.  We really enjoyed the bike tour.  This place is great for active families or couples looking for relaxation (there is a quiet pool).

We did do an off-site excursion via Canopy River tours.  We did the 4WD Polaris Razor off-road tour.  It was nice to be able to do this off-road activity with the whole family since it held 4 people.  However, the ride to the facility was very long with several stops, all while riding in the back of a primitive open air truck with bench seats.   

Thanks,

Corey

Riu Palace Pacifico

Review by Connie, 6/13/2016

We had a great time at Riu Palace. Friendly staff. Would recommend to others.

Riu Palace Pacifico Jet SkiRiu Palace Pacifico BeachRiu Palace Pacifico girls on the beachRiu Palace Pacifico SunsetRiu Palace Pacifico View of property

Riu Vallarta

Review by Kelly, 1/4/2016

Hey Dave,

I wouldn’t say I’m glad to be home…but all good things must come to an end 🙁

The trip was good….here’s some feedback. The Riu was a nice place, loved the rooms, staff was great, variety of food was good as was the quality. Beach was nice….very crowded but didn’t bother us…not as nice as the “other” side of Mexico but had alot of fun in the waves all day!! Really the only thing about the resort that we would critique is that there just isn’t much to do there. The poolside activity wasn’t much and the nighttime activity/entertainment was very poor. With the kids along I heard lots of “I’m bored” late afternoon/early evening.

Scott and John did the Adventure Zipline excursion and LOVED it. Wish we could’ve done more but it’s just too expensive. We walked the beach to Bucerias one afternoon….that was fun!b The Island Sun rep at our hotel was wonderful…very helpful and so nice.

It was so nice to have you guys take care of everything…the transfers, fights, check in….I will not try to do that again now that I know how easy you made it.

SO….here’s my final thought…RIU was good- I’d say 3.9 stars outta 5 , Puerta Vallarta was good 3.5 stars….didn’t want to go to the Cancun side again BUT I think the beach is better there and more activity overall would take me back there before I’d return to PV.

Thanks so much for your help….very much appreciated!!! Happy New Year.

Kelly

Review by Beth, 12/15/2015

Hey Dave, our trip was great! This was our first time to that part of Mexico and the first time my youngest had been to the beach at all! He loved it! We could hardly pull him away from the ocean. I did miss the white sand and blue water a bit but that’s not a big deal.

  The Riu was nice and the view from our balconies were AMAZING. It was busier than what we are use to because typically we’ve traveled in Aug-Sept. but that worked out perfect for both of my boys because they met new people and made new friends. The transfers went smoothly and effortlessly (that group really seemed to have their stuff together). No excursions for us this time, just relaxation. Thank you once again for a fantastic vacation. (10 years, many vacations and counting)

Beth