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The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico [Master Thread]

The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico [Master Thread]

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Old Jan 2, 07, 3:36 pm
  #46  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Thumbs up Rental car at PVR

Hardly pays to use taxi and cabs all the time in PV. I have a rental reserved from Hertz for $149 for 7 days inc all taxes.....Freedom to go and do as I please for $21/day. Sure beats waiting out front of the Westin for a cab.
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Old Jan 2, 07, 4:22 pm
  #47  
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Originally Posted by johnrph View Post
Hardly pays to use taxi and cabs all the time in PV. I have a rental reserved from Hertz for $149 for 7 days inc all taxes.....Freedom to go and do as I please for $21/day. Sure beats waiting out front of the Westin for a cab.
Well, as a first time visitor I had no idea what the downtown parking situation would be. Turns out there are a couple of garages in decent locations. I also don't drive stick (well) so I imagine an automatic would be meaningfully more expensive.



Originally Posted by DataPlumber
I would also add that the Westin PVR is in a great location. It is only minutes from the airport and there are resonable cab rides to anywhere in PVR.
As you could tell from my post above, I would wholeheartedly disagree with you on this one. I'd rather have 2 long rides to/from the airport for the enitre trip than daily long rides (and waits for cabs) to/from town every day.
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Old Jan 2, 07, 6:43 pm
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by johnrph View Post
Hardly pays to use taxi and cabs all the time in PV. I have a rental reserved from Hertz for $149 for 7 days inc all taxes.....Freedom to go and do as I please for $21/day. Sure beats waiting out front of the Westin for a cab.
The LAST thing I want in PVR is a car!!! If one is staying at a hotel anywhere near a central artery, then the buses do an excellent job of transportation. If we're dressed well for a nice dinner in town, we take a cab. However, we have friends who know PVR well and made the mistake last year of renting a car for their week there (they were making several day trips out of town over the week) and after one night of getting stuck in DT traffic and a near accident with seemingly no place to park, they drove back to the hotel, parked their rental and took the bus.
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Old Jan 2, 07, 7:01 pm
  #49  
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First of all, I'm laughing at the fact that this place had the audacity to actually ask $500/nt for a room. It is not the St. Regis. (I know...I know...somebody is actually paying $500/nt., otherwise they wouldn't ask for it.)

That said, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay there during Easter week last year. Felt it was a nice Cat 3. We wanted something easy, which is why we picked the Westin instead of El Careyes. Enjoyed the pool, enjoyed the Royal Beach Club, and enjoyed the on-site food for lunch. The food appeared to be vastly overpriced for dinner, but lunch was a decent deal for decent food. I liked the marina area and enjoyed the quieter roads on which to go for morning runs.

We had no trouble with cabs to/from town. We'd show up in the lobby and the concierge would hail one. Never more than a 2 minute wait. Maybe the recent experience is a New Year's thing...I would guess that it isn't prevalent at other times. To me, it seemed like cabs were everywhere.

The only thing unusual: we actually were willing to take a tour of the vacation ownership units, but couldn't get them to offer us much meaningful for our time. I get the sense that this property is doing very well and doesn't need to try very hard to sell timeshares.

I would probably not rent a car in Mexico. I think a lot of horror stories about Mexican driving are overblown - I just don't think you need a car unless you really know the lay of the land and plan on heading out of town or down the coast. Cabs are cheap & easy for downtown & back.
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Old Jan 3, 07, 7:04 am
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by anaggie View Post
Eat at La Jolla de Mismalloya .. freshly cooked seafood at the beach ...you will not regret this...ask one of the guys at the beach at Westin....
I second this as well. We took the public bus over to Mismaloya from downtown PVR. There are a few restaurants on the beach with cheap fresh seafood and coconut juice. We sat the the beach lounge chairs looking at the ocean and eating seafood, ahhh! life doesn't get any better than this. Also, while sitting on the beach you may be approached by some of the boat owners offering snorkeling excursions to cave area offshore. Their excursions prices are much cheaper than the planned snorkel tours in town and it can be done impromptu. I took a snorkeling trip with a Father & Son (9 year old?) crew who have lived in the US for many years and spoke perfect English. It was my first time snorkeling and it won't be my last.

I saw the sign to this hotel right at where the bus stop. Not sure if it's worth staying there.

http://www.barcelo.com/BarceloHotels...Mismaloya/Home
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Old Jan 3, 07, 7:13 am
  #51  
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I have a bunch of restaurants written down from our trip. My primary recollection is that we had a lot of good meals, but no truly great ones. We ate at a place called Le Kliff that was memorable for its views and ambiance - sitting on a cliff above the Pacific Ocean, secluded a few miles south of downtown. Again, the food was good, but I never did quite understand why PVR is gaining a rep as a great culinary destination. The magazines write this place up like it's a foodie's dream, but it's not like it's a Mexican version of Chicago or New York.
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Old Jan 3, 07, 8:26 pm
  #52  
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
First of all, I'm laughing at the fact that this place had the audacity to actually ask $500/nt for a room. It is not the St. Regis. (I know...I know...somebody is actually paying $500/nt., otherwise they wouldn't ask for it.)
Well, they had been sold out for several weeks beforehand (again, this was the week between Xmas and New Years), so I'm sure as bookings increased over the last few months, they kept jacking the rates up. When I booked in mid-October using points, they wanted ~$500. It's possible they couldn't sell any rooms at that price and subsequently reduced the rate, but by the time I checked again, they were sold out.

We had no trouble with cabs to/from town. We'd show up in the lobby and the concierge would hail one. Never more than a 2 minute wait. Maybe the recent experience is a New Year's thing...I would guess that it isn't prevalent at other times. To me, it seemed like cabs were everywhere.
I think it was a holiday week thing. And it was only an issue in the evening. But an annoying one.

The only thing unusual: we actually were willing to take a tour of the vacation ownership units, but couldn't get them to offer us much meaningful for our time. I get the sense that this property is doing very well and doesn't need to try very hard to sell timeshares.
Well, I was quite interested that I didn't come across a single timeshare salesperson while I was there. I was actually looking forward to checking it out. Perhaps they've sold out? Or maybe the salespeople take off this week because it's traditionally a bad week for timeshare sales?
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Old Jan 3, 07, 8:28 pm
  #53  
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
I have a bunch of restaurants written down from our trip. My primary recollection is that we had a lot of good meals, but no truly great ones. ... Again, the food was good, but I never did quite understand why PVR is gaining a rep as a great culinary destination. The magazines write this place up like it's a foodie's dream, but it's not like it's a Mexican version of Chicago or New York.
I agree. We ate at a few highly-rated restaurants (not Cafe des Artistes though) and weren't overly impressed. But we're snotty New Yorkers.
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Old Jan 3, 07, 9:42 pm
  #54  
 
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Was there between Xmas and New years as well.

No Plat upgrade.
Royal Beach Club (free breakfast and free aperatifs) was really nice.
Taxi's weren't a problem unless you were going out for dinner at night. Then you should walk to the street and find one along the Marina.

Recommend Daquiri Dick's for a great meal. And do the zip-line thingie too.

Resort was really, REALLY Jewish (I guess that's when all the families go away?).

And I really disliked the beach chair reserving (i.e., get up at 8am, look out window, see all the chairs with towels on them. See people not show up to "reserved" chairs until 11.30 - 12pm).

Nikki Beach was an awesome New Years.
The restaurant's 60USD buffet on NYE was not. (No drinks included)

Rooms were fine, a great Cat 3 imho
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Old Jan 4, 07, 7:26 am
  #55  
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Originally Posted by YYCOllie View Post
Resort was really, REALLY Jewish (I guess that's when all the families go away?).
Dumb question: what on earth does that mean?
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Old Jan 5, 07, 1:38 am
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by YYCOllie View Post
Resort was really, REALLY Jewish (I guess that's when all the families go away?).
I'm with pinniped on this one: confused. I'm thinking of traveling there this winter and will have at least one Jew in my party. Should I be worried? Relieved? Offended? All three?

Back on topic... I'm considering either the Westin PVR or El Careyes. I've heard great things about El Careyes, but is it worth paying 70% more than the Westin? I've never been to either. Since Careyes is leaving the *wood system in a few months, perhaps I should experience it while I still can (and earn points/stay credit for it). Our goal is to relax, so we probably wouldn't go into town much, if at all. I take it the beach is better at Careyes?
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Old Jan 5, 07, 8:56 am
  #57  
 
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FWIW, I just booked seven nights during Christmas vacation this coming December. I did it pretty early so I could avoid the point devaluation coming in February.

I ended up getting a 2 floor, 1 bedroom suite for 14,000 points per night, or 84,000 points for the week with the fifth night free. The standard rooms for that week, with taxes, was over $700 and with the free night, it works out to over 12 cents per point.

My sense is that they will minimally go up to a Level 4 hotel which would have made the suite 120,000 points for the week. More important, I'm sure we'll have a blast.

That said, I'm astounded by the comment about the resort's demographics. I think the poster owes this board an explanation of what he meant. Perhaps he or she has not noticed all of the problems in the world - there is no need to add to them.
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Old Jan 5, 07, 9:16 am
  #58  
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Originally Posted by AKronin View Post
Back on topic... I'm considering either the Westin PVR or El Careyes. I've heard great things about El Careyes, but is it worth paying 70% more than the Westin? I've never been to either. Since Careyes is leaving the *wood system in a few months, perhaps I should experience it while I still can (and earn points/stay credit for it). Our goal is to relax, so we probably wouldn't go into town much, if at all. I take it the beach is better at Careyes?
I have to admit - even though my overall experience with the Westin was positive, I kind of wish I would have hit El Careyes when I had the chance. We were a bit spooked because (a) we had a 3-year-old with us (and knew the Westin had huge pools, kids' stuff, etc.), (b) we had never been to the region and were a bit worried about being *too* isolated with few options for dinner, activities, etc., and (c) we knew we could get confirmed, adjacent rooms on the RBC level for $40 per room per night with our awards.

In short, the Westin was the convenient, low-hassle choice. But with a goal to just chill out (and especially if there are no kids in tow), I probably would have gone for El Careyes.
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Old Jan 5, 07, 9:32 am
  #59  
 
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My girlfriend and I were the only non-Jewish people there. YMMV
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Old Jan 5, 07, 9:32 am
  #60  
 
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Westin PVR vs. Careyes

Originally Posted by AKronin View Post
I'm with pinniped on this one: confused. I'm thinking of traveling there this winter and will have at least one Jew in my party. Should I be worried? Relieved? Offended? All three?
I have no idea what generated the Jewish comment, but I've been at the Westin twice in the past 2 years (last time 3-11 Nov) and there is no reason to worry about any race/nationality/religion.

Originally Posted by AKronin View Post
Back on topic... I'm considering either the Westin PVR or El Careyes. I've heard great things about El Careyes, but is it worth paying 70% more than the Westin? ... Our goal is to relax, so we probably wouldn't go into town much, if at all. I take it the beach is better at Careyes?
Two years ago we spent a weekend at Careyes. Yes, you'll need a car to get there but the ride is easy and enjoyable - especially over the mountains The hotel is very isolated so either plan on eating there (where I found the food so-so for the price) or driving several kilometers into nearby small towns for the local restaurants (choice of 3 or so?). The drive is worth it - at least once a day - as the food is fabulous! fresh, made from scratch, resonable. Don't forget to ask about the little fishing cafe just a mile or so from the restaurant on the next beach over. You'll be eating that morning's catch! Only open for lunch basically and could be in walking distance. Card tables and chairs right on the beach under a tent. Spanish only ;-)

The beach at Careyes is better than PVR - no question. and there is another nearby. There is also a stables and horseback riding ($) on the grounds. Much quieter and fewer people. Beautiful cliffs surrounding the bay in front of the hotel.

Is it worth 70% more? it depends on if you want to be near a city (PV) with shopping /dining /entertainment or away on a lonely beach
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