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The Key to Choosing a Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
|There is nothing worse than planning your dream vacation, only to find once you arrived at your accommodations; the dream hotel was a nightmare.
Investigate Your Options
Before you even start looking at hotels and condos, you need to decide what your budget will allow and stay within those parameters. Give yourself a high-end and a low-end amount so you do have some leeway, and take into consideration your travel companions. If you are splitting costs, make sure they have agreed to the set amount, or you'll be busy splitting hairs while on vacation.
Location, Location, Location
One of the most important aspects of choosing your accommodations is choosing the location you want to be in. Before you decide on where to stay, take into consideration that the Bay of Banderas is very large, housing two states, Jalisco and Nayarit. To travel from the north point to the downtown area of Puerto Vallarta, plan on about an hour of travel time. If you plan on going to the restaurants, bars and discos while on vacation, you will probably be miserable staying way out in Nuevo Vallarta. On the other hand, if you are looking for a sprawling ultra-modern resort with hundreds of amenities, Nuevo is the place for you.
European Plan Versus All Inclusive
For some people, this comes down to price, for others, it comes down to convenience.
Large families with children find All Inclusive is probably their best option, as they have no worries about cleaning up the youngsters, rounding up the gang and finding a restaurant to go to. For others, the thought of feeling trapped at a hotel and eating buffet food three times a day for a week is not their cup of tea. This is not about which plan is better, it's about which plan is better for your vacation.
Also take into consideration, many hotels have specials for All Inclusive that is only a few dollars per person more than European Plan. In this case, you can have the best of both worlds; convenient food and drinks at the hotel when you want them and the option of going out for dinners and nightlife without feeling you are losing money.
Not Sure Which is Which?
In the United States and Canada, most hotels are European Plan or American Plan, with exception of a few Bed & Breakfasts. European Plan includes the room, usually based on double occupancy, and nothing else, although, some hotels have different rates for single, double and triple occupancy in their European Plan. American Plan is the same as European Plan but includes breakfast.
All Inclusive Plan includes unlimited the room, food, drinks, non-motorized sports, taxes and gratuities and is charged per person, not per room. Some amenities may vary depending on the hotel.
Sure, we have all heard the saying, "you are only in the room to shower and sleep, does it really matter?" in most cases, yes, it does matter.
There is no standard rule of thumb to rooms in Puerto Vallarta, nor are there standardized cookie-cutter hotel rooms. This is Vallarta, the land of beauty, art and free thinking architecture. It is uncommon to find a hotel that has identical hotel rooms, even in the same category.
Be aware that ocean view and ocean front are two completely separate room descriptions, and ocean view only means that someway, somehow you can see even the tiniest slice of ocean view.
Room amenities vary equally as well. It is not a given that every hotel has television, telephone, cable television or air conditioning. If any or all of these items are of importance, you need to make sure that your hotel choice has these items or you will be an unhappy camper.
If you are unhappy with a hotel room, of course, ask to see if another room is available. Not always is it possible to be relocated, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Don't expect though that because you booked the cheapest room possible, a complaint will get you the penthouse. Be reasonable, an upgrade usually only happens if you pay for it, and that is why hotels have different categories and room rates. Of course, a room description should match the room. If, by the unlikely chance you are given a room that is below the description of what you paid, you should be relocated to the room you paid for.
If a gym is on your list of necessities, Jacuzzi, a kid's club, tennis court or a Spa, it's important to check into these options before you reserve, and make sure you find out if there are extra charges for these amenities. Many hotels offer these items and services, but some come with an extra charge you may not be prepared for.
Once you have a pretty good idea about what accommodations will fit your bill, and you still have reservations about your reservations, you have options to help you along.
Read the customer reviews and opinions available about the accommodations you are interested in. For instance in this website, you can find opinions and reviews by previous clients in the accommodations section. Most hotels have at least one review, some with over 50 comments and personal reviews.
Ask the experts! If your vacation is important to you, it's better to work with people who specialize in a destination rather than a company that sells millions of accommodations world wide. A team of agents and concierge are at your service in Puerto Vallarta to answer your specific questions and help you choose the best accommodations for your vacation. Count on people who tour the hotels personally to give you the straight scoop, not the person reading you a brochure over the phone.
Collect information about the area before you decide where to stay. Often times, you find out information about the destination after you have reserved, only to find the area you want to spend the most time at is a great distance from your hotel. Read everything you can, and then plan, and finally reserve. In the end, you will a much better vacation.
In A Nutshell
Establish your budget, make a list, check it twice and ask your travel companions for their input before you reserve.
Ask questions! Can't find the information you need? Need help deciding? Can't narrow it down to one choice? The concierge can help.
We've compiled a list of our favorites, for service, cleanliness, amenities, location and special offers.