This is a LONG overdue review. My husband and I took our almost three year old son to the Crown Paradise on June 24-July 1, 2006. I am giving it excellent for a three star family resort. My travel agent suggested the Vallarta Palace, but their website shows no kids. If I didn't have kids, I probably would have stayed there...but for a family with a toddler...this is the place!
There are lots of other kids. Our son LOVED the water park. The rules posted say kids 4-11 are allowed, but toddlers can do fine with their parents. The frog slide, long yellow slide, and red twisty slides were just right for our little man. The four slides on the 1st level of the pirate ship were pretty dangerous though - the ending is high and drops right off.
Our days were mostly breakfast buffet, water park, pool, snack bar lunch, beach, clean up, dinner, and show. We missed the Disney show and wished we hadn't. While our son LOVED the shows...they really aren't very kid-friendly. There were thong bikinis, a strip tease down to boxers, and some pleather chaps that had our family a little red in the face. Perhaps that is our mid-American upbringing though!
The food and drinks were fine. We stumbled on some really good and some really bad. The buffet is fine for breakfast. The snack bar does the job for lunch. We alternated between the Japanese, Italian, buffet and room service for dinner. The beach bar has the best drinks. The Dirty Monkey was our favorite! Our son loved the kid's drink menu. Ice is filtered.
We had a family room. The view of the parking lot wasn't much, but if you kept looking up...the mountains are awesome. It was really worth it for our son to have his own bunk beds and TV. He watched his favorite TV shows in Spanish.
We did not use the day care. They workers didn't speak very good English. I think our son would have been fine there, however, we really weren't comfortable leaving him while we were so far from home and in a country where we didn't speak the language well.
Most of the staff was super friendly...especially to our son. That made us feel very comfortable!
We did go to Super Wal-Mart to buy sand toys and snacks. We walked there and took a cab ($5) back. I wish I had not used space in our luggage to bring toiletries, diapers, snacks, and drinks. If I had it to do over again, we would have just planned a Super Wal-Mart trip on the first day to buy all of that. We also took a cab to the Malecon ($5 each way) and enjoyed walking it.
As far as the beach vendors...remember that this is a public beach folks. Just because you paid to stay at the hotel doesn't mean you own the beach. I saw an American woman ranting and shouting "No more!" The vendors and I just laughed and rolled our eyes at each other. Go to Florida if you don't want to experience the Mexican culture. Try a "Buenos Dias", a "por favor", or a "gracias". After all...you are in their country. It will go a long way. We also met several Mexican families. It was a great experience!
Our minor problems: The first day we waited a LONG time with a tired crabby toddle in the heat, but that was the worst of it. Just wear your swimsuits under your clothes and prepare to relax when you get there. There was a small flood our second night, but the workers did the best they could and were handing out towels and helping people around with umbrellas. The ocean water is pretty rough. We had to be holding on to the little guy at all times out there. The hotel shut the power off one afternoon to repaint the power supply for the hotel (which was right below our balcony). To us, these were minor inconveniences. It’s vacation. Relax. Go with the flow! We stuck the little man in his stroller…he fell asleep and we had a great time enjoying the breeze and Dirty Monkeys at the beach bar!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A MODERN FAMILY-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT The ambiance here at the Crown Paradise Club Puerto Vallarta, All Inclusive Resort is one of casual family fun. Our oceanfront resort was designed with myriad places to have fun and relax with an aquapark with 9 slides a pirate ship and a castle, big jacuzzi with swim up bar for adults, 3 a la carte restaurants and more... All the fun for big and small! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Crown Paradise Club Puerto Vallarta Hotel Puerto Vallarta
- Crown Paradise Hotel Puerto Vallarta
- Playa De Oro