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Reviewed 8 April 2006

We had one of the most enjoyable vacations of our life here. From the time you check in with the glass of champagne to the time you check out you are in their cacoon. We had the all inclusive plan. The service staff was always smiling, wanting to go the extra mile, to insure that we had what we wanted. Tipping was Not required, but we appreciated and enjoyed the service. We thus tipped. Breakfast was delightful sitting next to the ocean, having us welcomed by a smiling face, asking if "we wanted cafe,chico?" Dinner in the two sitdown restaurants ranked with any fine dining establishment we have eaten in around the world. In Los Arcos, by the pool, we sat up on the upper deck under the gazebo, watching the ocean and the sunset, having steak. In the spanish restaurant, we had tapas that were excellent. I had rack of lamb. A pianist played soft "80's" hits while we ate. Both of these places, talk about romantic! In general all of the food was good and tasty. But, if we didn't like something, especially on the buffet, we just put the food aside and went back for something that was delicions. Get the lobsters on Monday night.
This place is mainly out of the way for you to rest. We did take the bus into town to go to the Malecon and had a great time of sightseeing and shopping. Go to the La Kliff for lunch despite you being on the all inclusive. It will be an experience of a life time. You go to sleep and wake up to the waves rolling on to the beach. The rooms are spacious, clean, and have excellent views. All in all, would go back tomorrow!

  • Stayed: March 2006
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7  Thank Pathfinder29517
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2006

I stayed at the La Jolla with my two teenagers (13,15) March 28-April 2. I booked online and got a great deal, a friend went to Riviera Maya the same time and paid almost $500 more for one less day. When I booked the property was represented as a 4 or 5 star and I feel that was accurate.
The resort really is lovely. Beautiful pool, grounds, and scenery. We stayed in Tower One on the first floor and it was fine. First floor balconies are HUGE and we still had a pretty view of the pool area and a slice of ocean. Yes, the decor is dated. My kids got a big kick out of the same three pictures on the walls. But, it was clean, bed was nice, and the air worked just fine. I will say that the one bedrooms really just sleep three. The sofa bed was in pretty bad shape, so one of the kids just slept on the couch. The set up reminds me of an Embassy Suites, the living area faces the courtyard and the sleeping quarters are in the back which is assumed quieter. We had dependable maid service, always plenty of clean towels. Turn downs every night, we were usually in the room already but the maid insisted on giving us the chocolates anyway!
I found the service here wonderful with no extra tipping required. They were clearing our plates at the buffet before the fork hit the plate. I should say that the hotel itself was not very crowded so maybe that was reflected in service. It did take a little while to get drinks at the pool but that poor girl was covering the entire adult pool and deck on her own so if I was in a big hurry for more Pina Colodas I got up and got one myself very quickly at the beach bar. Kids loved french toast at breakfast. There was good seafood almost every night, fun sushi including design your own on "Asian" night (Wed) including tempura shrimp AND tempura icecream, yummy fresh guac and pico at Cantina all the time, and good fish tacos at Los Arcos (grill by tower 2). Spanish place had good tapas and sangria but the food was just OK. None of us got sick either.
Entertainment was cute, sometimes a little cheesy, but they were very enthusiastic. Something every night, Mexican fiesta on Friday was the best.
I read all about the bugs and came prepared with bug spray. One of our tour guides did say that those bites are "no seeums" NOT bed bugs of any kind. He said you can buy coconut oil there that repells them. Or lime juice in a pinch (handy when you're done w/ your Corona!). Between the three of us in the same room, doing the same things, I got about 6 bites, my daughter got a handful, and my son got eaten alive. Go figure.
I do have to say that there is a strong security presence at the resort. But, being a single Mom, I felt comforted by that. We had to check in/out w/ each taxi ride, there was always a guard patroling, one even knocked on the door to tell me it wasn't shut all the way.
We booked two tours online and both were great. (Jungle ATV and Los Veranos Canopy) Canopy tour picked us up right in front of the hotel. My daughter and I also had the 2 for $70 massages at the "spa palapa" on the beach, very relaxing and on par with a massage in the states but 50% or more cheaper!
The resort is rather remote. I never took the bus b/c we always had some kind of time frame. I like to explore, so we took quite a few taxis. I ended up spended about $120 in taxi fares/tips. Went in town for ATV's, flea market, walk the Malecon and to eat at Barcelona (wonderful tapas place but pricey, we had a great time there).
And one more thing. Yes, goofy tourists do save pool chairs at the crack of dawn. We always found chairs when we wanted to hang at the pool after activities (around 3). The one day I planned on staying at the resort all day I was down there about 9am but my rule is that at least one of us had to be in the vicinity of our chairs at all times. It drives me nuts to see people claiming prime sun spots and the chairs sit empty for hours.
So there you have my humble opinion. I would say that as with most things in life, you get what you make of it. This is a lovely resort, in a quiet location, with good food and decent service. Enjoy that fact that you are on vacation and have a great time! We sure did.

  • Stayed: March 2006
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25  Thank TNTfab40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2006

Stayed here on the European plan, as our experience is that all-inclusive meals are usually indifferent.

This is an exceptionally well-run and located hotel, with beautiful grounds and well-kept suites. Staff were attentive, very helpful, and friendly. There are three pools dedicated to adults, exercise, and families, respectively, and all were clean and refreshing. The gardens in the central area were almost arboretum-quality, and in fact had some explanatory labels for the plants. This is our fourth experience with Mexican resorts, and this was by far the best from several standpoints. First, for us the hotel WAS relatively quiet and the clientele seemed a bit more relaxed and sophisticated than at other places. We especially appreciated the constant emphasis on local culture, especially in the ambient music choices, which had Mexican folks songs, Spanish opera, and Mexican popular music. Not much blaring Brittany to annoy one here....

The beach is NOT nonexistent, actually, but has a pleasant and rather private area on one side of the hotel, and a more extensive public area that has an interesting combination of Mexican families at leisure and other tourists from town. This section has several simple but good restaurants and numerous but polite peddlers. We hung out here alot to enjoy the great drinks and people-watch. It's true that there are tiny sand fleas, but we followed the advice of previous writers to this site and used the Avon spray bug-repellant/sunscreen, and found it to be nearly 100% effective.

The cove of Misamaloya is very pretty indeed, and some decent snorkeling can be enjoyed near the rocks on the north or south ends if the waves aren't too high. The diving at nearby Los Arcos National park was great, EXCEPT that the water was very cold at this time of year. Other interesting activities were the walk on the cove southside to the site of the set for "Night of the Iguana", the movie that "made" Puerto Vallarta into a tourist destination. Unfortunately, the restaurant there has been closed for a year and the entire site is in a curious state of being vandalized and redeveloped at the same time....it's not yet clear which process is winning. Nonetheless it's a pleasant hike.

We ate out most of the time, either at the above mentioned beach restaurants or at other restaurants in the village. All had good, fresh food at reasonable prices with friendly staffs, some of which are family operated. We tried the hotel buffet once, and did find it a bit bland, but otherwise okay.

We went into town twice on the cheap local bus....a real bargain at 50 cents each way (yes, you CAN pay in US money, AND they make change!). The town was also very enjoyable, and has every kind of restaurant to all tastes. And NO, we did not get sick......

  • Stayed: April 2006
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13  Thank Rocky099
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2006

I was REALLY NERVOUS about staying here after reading some of the bad reviews, but everything was great and I would go back. We were there Mar 25 to Apr 2. The grounds are very nice and the view from the rooms is stunning - even if you are on the lower floors I would imagine you get some ocean view. We stayed on the 7th floor of Tower 2 - nice room, comfy beds, clean, very spacious. Nice pools and hot tub. We never had a problem getting chairs by the pool or beach - they will take your towels in the morning if you try to reserve chairs. We had a couple bug bites (not sure from where, but certainly not from the beds!) but they weren't a problem and we didn't use any bug spray. Food was okay - fruit and smoothies in the morning were great, fish and seafood were always good, shrimp tacos from the the restaurant by the beach were great, pasta from the buffet got good reviews from the kids. The staff was fine - we saw some people being rude and getting a bit of that back, but they were always very nice and helpful with us. Make sure you paint some pottery - a guy sets it up every day in front of Tower Two. The beach had big waves the kids had fun playing in - not many people seem to sit there but it is beautiful and quiet. The spa down at the end of the beach/trail is great for massages - not as good for manicure. Rent a boat from the guys down the beach and go to Los Animas for a few hours, also snorkeling at Los Arcos. Take the Veranos canopy tour - it was fantastic and felt very safe. Walk way into the town of Mismaloya across the highway for a taste of real small-town Mexico. We took the bus into PV instead of a taxi and had fun walking around the flea market and vendors by the river. Skip Hard Rock Cafe for a meal - not up to par for that restaurant. I would easily stay at this resort again. It was smaller than the big resorts we have done in the past but still had everytying we wanted. The location is really good if you want to be away from the party scene and get more of an authentic Mexico experience when you leave the resort. It is still close enough to town to go visit a few times.

  • Stayed: March 2006
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8  Thank Passenger38189
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2006

We were sent to this resort on our Apple Vacations 6-Apple Square Deal 3/11 to 3/18. Check-in was good as was the late night buffet they set up just for us since we were very late in arriving because of a flight delay. The pool is absolutely gorgeous but needs more lounge chairs. Many of them were broken too. Our rooms were clean and spacious but the maid never gave us clean glasses except when we asked and then I'm not sure she actually washed them. We thought the buffet food was okay until we got sick--fever, chills, aches, vomiting and diarrhea. Definitely more than just the usual "traveler's diarrhea. Had a couple of experiences that made me wonder if the mgmt. needed to train their employees about health and safety issues. I wrote the hotel so I hope they took care of the problem because many people were sick while we were there. The beach reminded me more of beaches in Hawaii-small but picturesque. Evening entertainment was very good especially the Mexican Fiesta on Friday night. Unfortunately, our experience was tainted by our getting sick and the realization that the employees at the restaurants really didn't understand the importance of clean dishes and other health and safety standards that we take for granted here in the USA. Because of our experience, we will not return to this resort or to any other resort in Mexico.

  • Stayed: March 2006
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12  Thank Mickeymousefan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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