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“Better than Excellent”

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Occidental Nuevo Vallarta
Ranked #12 of 28 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 February 2012

Booked through Virgin, because there are not any direct flights from the UK, we had an overnight stay in Los Angeles outbound and a overnight in San Francisco inbound. If we had realised what there was to see in these two cities we would have probably gone for two night stop overs in each city, there was so much to see on our limited time in each city. Worth considering.
The Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta-----WOW
What a great hotel this is, we were on the 5th floor, the room was very clean and tidy and of a decent size, plus a mega sized comfy bed, the bathroom too was good with a very large shower area. Everything worked. The refurbishment of the hotel has been done to very high standards. Where to start, very difficult. The staff were friendly and nothing ever was too much for them, the effort they put into making our holiday special was amazing. The food was of a very high standard with plenty of choice. The outside area is large so you have a choice of pool or beach, the beach was our choice, there are beach sellers but don't worry they are not a pest and a simple 'no thank you' works. I could go on and on singing the praises, better still just go and be amazed. We were.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Perek24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,526 - 2,530 of 3,476 reviews

Reviewed 4 February 2012

Arrived at the resort on Jan 30th and are staying here until Feb 7th. This is a lengthy review but I want to be as accurate and honest as possible. Please note that the hotel is fairly newly renovated.
Also note that the typical room, unless you manage to have one on the main floor DO NOT HAVE BALCONIES. Typical room is approx 10 by 20 decorated in what looks like Ikea decor.
Alright. I am currently here at the resort as I write this review.
Rooms.... The decor is nice. The beds are good. The constant smell of sewage comes from the shower so we keep the door to the bathroom shut unless we are in the bathroom.
The resort is advertised with stocked in room fridge. When we arrived there was 1 beer, 2- 500ml bottled water, a can of orange pop and a can of coke. We have been here now for 5 days. They simply do not restoke the mini fridges. I have been to the front desk numerous times. They always smile when I ask for water and assure me it is on the way. It never shows. I find the secret is to call them every 15 minutes and harass the hell out of them until they are sick and tired of hearing my voice. They eventually will show up with one or two bottled water, if you are lucky.
Food.... At the buffet: Breakfast is excellent, a wide variety. Lunch is very sub par. Supper is very sub par. Tasteless, maybe 8 things to choose from. The meat we have had has been extremely tough. Chicken was edible. Pork is tasteless and very dry. Fruit and bread was good. At the Mexican Restaurant: Everything is very good. At the Italian Restaurant: not the best would give a 5/10. Seafood plate was definately the best
Night Restaurant.... They serve deep fried hotdogs, what we think are chicken nuggets and precooked hamburgers and cold fries. Noone speaks English at this restaurant so be prepared to order a hamburger and get served a hotdog..
Entertainment: Starts every night at 9PM. I think it would be alright but less than a dozen people show up for the shows so they are usually cut short or not as humerous if they had a larger crowd.
Beach/Pool... Both are nice. There are very few people staying in the resort while we are here so we have had no problem finding a spot near the pool or on the beach. Sunsets are very nice here.
Staff: Over all they are friendly. about 50% have some sort of understanding of a bit of English so communication is difficult but possible. They all have smiles on their face.
Drinks: If you order a drink ask for extra booze. As a rule they give you about 1/4 of an ounce of liquor with each drink. I ordered a baileys on ice. The bartender put 3 cubes in a cup and the baileys never even covered the ice.
Would I recommend this resort..... No. There are a few good things but overall it is a poor attempt at an all inclusive. I have travelled to Mexico many times and stayed all inclusive every time. This by far is the worst that I have experianced. In Canada, the travel agent sold it to us as a 4 to 4.5 star resort. So our expectations were such. In reality, this is barely a 3 star resort.

Room Tip: When you arrive ask for a balcony room. Only the first floor has balconies!
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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21  Thank Lawrence E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 22 June 2012

Dear Guest,

We welcome your feedback and the time you took to write a review on Trip Advisor. Let me begin by apologizing for not responding to you sooner.

I have carefully read your comments about the lack of water in the mini bar and I am very sorry to hear that you had that issue and the struggled to have the water delivered. I assure you that I have discussed it with the manager. In regards to the smell of sewage coming from the shower, we have thoroughly cleaned them to avoid this occurrence.

I am glad to hear that you enjoyed our Mexican restaurant, but I regret to hear that the rest of the food didn’t meet your expectations. I have shared your review with our Executive Chef, who has been making changes to the buffet, adding a pasta station, a paella station and new meat cuts, as well as new items at the Italian and Mexican restaurants. These changes have had great feedback from our guests.

Regarding your comment about the staff’s language skills, please know that they have all been selected and hired because they speak English. However, I have met with the manger about this as well, and we are making sure that they are maintaining instructive communication with the staff.

Be sure that all the points mentioned will be taken into consideration in order to benefit our future guests.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2012

We were at The Ocidental from Jan. 21 -Jan. 28, 2012. I must start out by saying we also were very concerned about the resort after reading Dec. reviews but were assured by our travel agent that it was just opening glitches and that it indeed was a fabulous property. This is a long review but Ifeel that many people are interested in new reviews on this renovated property. From arriving to leaving we were treated like valued guests and we had a wonderful time. The Occidental Grand is a smaller property with everything in close proximity. Restaurants, bars, lobby, entertainment are all close by and all have fabuous views.The rooms are beautiful with modern decor and lovely bathrooms. the showers are huge and have a open view option into the sleeping area which is unique.There are no balconies unless you upgrade to the Royal Club but we knew that going in. Our 5 th floor room had a very large window which we enjoyed. leaving the window open gave us soothing sounds of the surf. You can get ground floor units with patios but they seemed to all be taken by smokers. Dining areas are non smoking but as non smokers we did find that the best seats in the lounge bar taken by smokers which was annoying.


The food was excellent, selection not as big as larger resorts, but very well prepared and different every day. Wonderful fish, shrimp, squid selections, excellent chicken and tender beef. Also roast turkey one night which was delicious. Fresh salads, cheese trays and also good fruit and desserts. Wonderful flans and tarts and ice cream. Breakfasts had cooked to order eggs and omlettes, yougurt, cereals and Mexican selections. Service was excellent except for one morning when they seemed to have a staffing shortage. Otherwise it was top notch. The servers really try to please and are also pleasant and very friendly. The a la cartes were very good also, we especially liked the Italian,a fine dining venue with great service and deliciously prepared selections. You are allowed one visit to each but we actually booked 4 times as we didn't know the rules,some confusiuon over that. Service and drinks at the Beach Bar and The Lounge Bar was superb, Good quality drinks and very efficient servers. One thing is the coffee, it's not great but we learned to order cappocinos which were delicious. Some people complained about the house wine but we are not great judges of wine and really enjoyed it.

Theyhave a cocktail party to welcome guests ,the general manager and his staff wre all ther to mingle and the manager is a very personable man.Also very approchable, he was always around to talk to and has a great deal of respect and admiration for his staff. We spoke to him on several occasions and he really went out of his way to talk to guests. The concierge , front desk staff and bellman were excellent as well. Right now there is free wi-fi in the lobby which is great and we were able to access it in our room as well as it was right over the lobby. Entertainment is very good, excellent dancing and performing, they work hard. Not too much after 11 but they do have an excellent DJ and a disco some nights.The entertainment staff does a wonderful job during the day too with Spanish, dance lessons, volleyball etc. Very friendly to all the guests whether they participate or not.

The only sour note is that thet do have a vacation club and are tenacious in their ongoing efforts to get you to do a presentation. After a couple of days they did back off but were still pleasant. the whole area is very much into the time share shuffle as I call it. We booked tours and got good rates from some booths but had to sidestep all the time,a better bet is to book in the lobby and avoid that. We did The Rythms of theNight which was awesome ,the Las Palmas tour which took us to small towns, a ranch for lunch and a tequilla facory, also fabulous.Cabbed to PV,had lunch at Pipis which was fabulous. We alo took a cab to the Mega store for very good liquor prices. The local bus is great fun and we took it to Bucerius,2 buses but fun and Bucerius is a colourful town with great markets and places to have a Margarita and enjoy the beach.

You can walk for miles on the beach at the Occidental and it is absoluetly beautiful. We walked for miles every day. There will be beach vendorswhich works well because they come to you but are not a bother, they don't stop if you don't ask. There is also a palapa a few feet from the hotel which has very good prices. They also have boogie boards, tennis, ping pong etc. and they are working on golf packages which should be available soon. The resort is right across the street from The ParadiseVillage Mall which has a Starbucks, grocery stores, some very nice boutiques, food outlets, a laundermat and a place to catch buses and water taxis.

All in all we had a wonderful time and can hardly wait to return. Choose The Occidental Grand, you will love it.

Room Tip: 5 th floor rooms were lovely.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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14  Thank Luaulady495
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2012

Every place you visit in the world will have some positives and some negatives. I was prepared for the worst when I saw all the 1 and 2 star reviews about this property on Trip Advisor, but noted that they were accomplishing a renovation of the hotel.

The rooms and the common areas are all beautiful, in my opinion. That is a huge positive. I'm told from people that have been coming here for years that the remodel made the bathrooms bigger. The rooms were great, clean, well appointed, and except for a tendency to collect noise from the outside hallways, perfect. Only a very select few "endcap" rooms have a balcony, which is really unusual for this part of the world.

The food was plentiful. After a few days there was enough repetition to see where you could get sick of the food, and we definitely started to. The Italian special reservation restaurant was amazing. The Hacienda Mexican snack bar was great for lunches with good choices. Puerto Vallarta has so many good restaurants -- I mean spectacularly good restaurants -- that I'm not sure this is the city where you may actually want an all inclusive option. As others have noted, the coffee is horrible. We had a hamburger that was cooked in old oil from the fryer that was just horrible also.

When it comes to drinks, I'll add that the cosmopolitans here are awful. The dirty martinis they tried to make, but didn't always have olives. Sometimes the olives, when available, would have pits, sometimes not, sometimes they had the juice, sometimes not. The hotel allowed us to buy real cranberry juice, instead of the cranberry syrup they have available, and have us stock the bars for my girlfriend's favorite drink. The beers generally don't taste right. The pineapple juice was fresh, so anything with that was great. Vodka or Gin and Tonic are perfect. Lots of rum (hello Captain Jack Sparrow!), lots of poor quality wine. When we ordered champagne, sometimes they would open a bottle, sometimes they would refuse, according to the attitude of the server. The bars close early here. Tipping greatly helps service in all bars and restaurants.

The pool closes at 6pm, which is extremely early. There is sometimes a show at around 9pm or 10pm, with low quality entertainment compared to what you can see in town. No dancing to speak of. Definitely an older crowd here, definitely 90% Canadian, which somehow surprised me, but shouldn't have. Some fun people, some not so much.

We were invited to no less than 5 timeshare presentations by the hotel. When we were told we didn't qualify during the first presentation, they threatened to sue us for breach of contract if we didn't pay the rack rate of $800 per night. Booo.

They backed off that threat when they found out we had actually purchased this vacation through a Groupon type site, without signing up for a timeshare deal. But it soured our whole vacation, as they threatened to shut off our keys (even though we had pre-paid for 7 nights). Really, really REALLY bad form for the hotel staff.

Concierge was helpful and friendly, and the front desk and bell boys were great. They are paranoid about their towels, so be sure to keep your towel card or towels in sight. Not a lot of kids or families (as noted it was an older crowd), but there were a few families.

The beach was smooth and beautiful. There are definitely nicer properties, beach amenities, and restaurants, nearby, as you can see walking up and down the beach. But the beach is all the same in this area. There is a turtle hatchery just north of the hotel in a condo area under construction. Would have been amazing to see that.

One thing of note is that most of what you want to see in Orange County is in town, which is a $20-30 taxi ride each way, so that gets expensive. If you're just going to stay in Nueva Vallarta, not a problem. But if you want to participate in the main town, it's a trek.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Frogmani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2012

Everything was done for us and we enjoyed the whole experience. We would especially like to commend our bartender Jose at the Bar Ole on the beach. He was friendly, helpful and always cheerful and made us feel right at home. After walking for miles on the beach, we are convinced that the beach in front of the Occidental Grand Neuvo Vallarta is the biggest, cleanest and best beach in the area!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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7  Thank MaryK989
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Occidental Nuevo Vallarta

Address: Paseo de los Cocoteros No. 18 | Villa 8 Fracc. Nautico Turistico, Nuevo Vallarta 63735, Mexico (Formerly Barcelo Occidental Nuevo Vallarta)
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Nayarit > Riviera Nayarit > Nuevo Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Family Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#9 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#10 Luxury Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range: $243 - $526 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Occidental Nuevo Vallarta 4*
Number of rooms: 274
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The all-inclusive Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta is the ideal hotel for families, couples, and friends looking to enjoy a fun vacation on the Pacific shores of Mexico. Recently renovated, Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta has been updated with the latest modern amenities and technology to ensure a pleasant stay. The hotel is situated on one of the most beautiful beaches in the Riviera Nayarit, minutes from the Nuevo Vallarta shopping center and the best stores and restaurants in the city. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
Occidental Allegro Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
Nuevo Vallarta Occidental Allegro Hotel

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