We embarked on our journey to the Golden Crown Hotel in Puerto Vallarta on 03/09/12 and returned home on 03/16/12. I will warn you now this is lengthy.
CUSTOMS and TAXI--- When we landed at the airport in PV, we of course had to go through Customs. We had to wait in line about 11/2 hours, but we talked to other people that had to wait even longer. The "shark tank" was easy, just avoid eye contact and keep walking no matter what they try to use to get your attention. Finding a cab was easy, it cost approx 100 pesos ($10 US) for two people to get to the hotel. The cab ride was interesting to say the very least, they made me nervous but we arrived safely.
HOTEL ARRIVAL---The hotel was gorgeous, and exactly as described. We proceeded to check in, and was given a cold drink and offered a cool towel. Bit of a warning here, avoid the "information desk"..they say they are not time share reps..but that's exactly what they are.
HOTEL GROUNDS AND CLEANNESS---The pool was heated and clean, the grounds keepers were always maintaining, trimming, watering, painting to keep the hotel in good condition. One night I stepped on a tile in the Breeze way and noticed it to be loose. I mentioned it to my wife and we continued to our room to prepare for dinner. Upon returning 30-40 minutes later, I noticed the tile had been replaced. I was impressed that they took note and repaired it so fast. The hotel cleaning staff was always cleaning as well, sweeping, moping, wiping down hand rails. Everyday they would scrub the dinning tables, lounge chairs by the pool, and rake the beach. Very clean I have no complaints with the cleanness of this hotel.
OUR ROOM---- The room was very clean, with a beautiful view over looking the ocean. House keeping maintained our room everyday, and worked very hard to make sure we were happy. We tipped them approx. 30-40 pesos ($3-4 US) a day, and they left mints, and made decorations (swans) with towels and left them on our bed. I felt comfortable leaving personal belongings out in the room as well. Our first day we left the tip for house keeping on the pillow. It just so happened that we came back to the room as house keeping was cleaning the room. As we entered our room, We noticed that the tip had been moved to the dresser. The house keeper pointed to the money and asked if we had left that for her. We said "yes", and she thanked us. It impressed me that she asked if we left it for her, instead of just taking it. With that being said...Use your head here...I am not suggesting you leave a lot of money or a $5000 ring laying around. I am simply stating my experiences.
HOTEL EMPLOYEES-- The employees were very helpful and hardworking as well. They went out of their way at times to make sure we were happy. They work long hours as well, often times 18plushours a day. They had a smile on their face, and would greet you upon contact.
RESTAURANTS ---We did not do any of the reservation restaurants, however no one we talked to had anything negative to say. We ate at the buffet breakfast, and lunch and dinner at the outside restaurants everyday. We found the waiter(s), to be hard working polite, and friendly. They have a rotating menu, every X amount of days it was the same. But the food was always good, and we did not try any thing we did not like or would not be willing to order again. Our solution to the rotating menu was, try something else...pretty simple. We usually tipped the waiter 30-40 pesos($3-4 US) a meal.
BARS(the pub,tiki hut, and pool bar)---- We found they had a variety of drinks. I preferred Cerveza (aka..beer), but they did have a lot of top shelf alcohol too, just ask for it. The bartender(s) learned what we drank and was friendly. Whether we were at the restaurant, pool area, or on the beach there was a waiter walking around taking drink orders. We tipped the bar waiters 40-50 pesos ($4-5 US) every 5-6 drinks.
TEQUILA VOLLEYBALL--- I would highly recommend this game, regardless of your athletic ability. We had a blast...drank way too much but had a lot of fun. The last game we played, I was on the losing team and had to roll in the sand in shame..but it was all in fun. They played it everyday at about 430, and no its not straight shots of tequila its more of a daiquiri. Say hi to Janet, and Paul the referees for me, if you do play.
BEACH/FLEA MARKET VENDORS--- Beach vendors are not as bad as I had heard. Yes, they are presistant (sp) but if you just say "no, thank you" they would walk away. They might be back in ten minutes, but hey they are just trying to make a living too. If you do buy something from a beach vendor, or a vendor at the flea markets, haggle with them. They will come down on the price, and I found it to be a lot of fun.
CLUB NITRO--- This is the club directly across the street from the hotel. They host nightly shows, a lot of the shows are kid oriented but are very good. I would recommend the magic, Mexican, and Latin shows the are very good. There will be children there but it is a good show, and your drinks are included. Tell Paul, Janet, Anna, and Eric, I said hi if you attend.
MALECON/BOARDWALK--- It is a must see, it cost us 50 pesos ($5 US) for two people, each way. There is a ton to see, and can easily make it day of it.
SAFETY---I heard horror stories about how unsafe Mexico was, although I can not speak for every where in Mexico. I can tell you, I found PV to be VERY safe. All most every two blocks, I seen security/police. And at no time did I ever feel unsafe. With that being said---Again use your head...crime is every where...no large amounts of cash, listen to your gut if it doesnt feel right then its probably not, travel in groups, nothing is free...ect...common sense stuff
Now that I have bored you to death, I will close. We had a GREAT time and are already planning our next trip. If you have any questions, comments please feel free to reply. Hope to see you there
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC