Pool on the small side for a 4-pearl resort in the area
Fiesta Americana is quite spacious for a resort this close to downtown. A big plus here is that every room has at least a partial ocean view (full-view rooms cost a bit more) -- so you really can't book a bad room. A good selection of restaurants, a decent pool with swim-up bar, and a big stretch of private beach are all positives. But the Fiesta charges for certain amenities that should be free -- namely, use of the fitness center, in-room coffee, and Wi-Fi.
Natural elements like waterfalls and palapa create a calming oasis.
The Fiesta Americana has a big presence, even from the street, and when you pull up to the entry, you can’t help but be impressed by the enormous palapa that houses the lobby, and by the countless mature palms and other trees that have transformed the driveway and parking areas on the street-side of the hotel into veritable gardens. Between the plantings and the grand palapa, when you get here you really feel like you’ve arrived.
The spacious, busy lobby interior balances the vastness of its sheltering palapa with finely wrought details at ground level -- artwork, an elegant patterned stone floor, a rushing waterfall, and a stream that leads from the lobby onwards, to where a wide set of stairs descends to the manicured gardens that surround and interweave amongst the pools, bars, restaurants, and activity zones. Throughout the property, as in the lobby, the big scale is balanced by attention to detail, though some of the several restaurants have furnishings that appeared not quite up to the same level of quality. For those not used to non-all-inclusive hotels, since so many resort properties in the area operate that way, one needs to bear in mind that you’re paying for just about every little thing you eat, drink, or do here.
Beachfront location close to the airport and downtown -- but there are more conveniently located properties in the area
The Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta is situated on the Bahía de Banderas, the second largest bay in the Pacific Ocean. Its private beach is one of the prettiest in the area.
Puerto Vallarta’s Hotel Zone (North) starts up just north of downtown and from there its pretty much hotel after hotel all the way to the Marina Vallarta entrance, beyond which is another hotel zone. But in the long row of beachfront hotels in this original hotel zone, the Fiesta Americana ranks highly, not just for facilities and service but for space—more gardens, beachfront space, pools, and patios ring this softly curving building than at most properties along here, and lend it a soothing, inviting presence at a comfortable remove from the busy streets.
It's walkable to downtown's restaurants, but it's a long walk -- most guests end up grabbing a taxi and taking the 10-minute ride instead.
All rooms have balconies and ocean views -- but look out for hidden costs.
All 291 rooms and suites have balconies with either partial or full ocean views. They are open and airy, with crisp white linens and marble floors in baths and bedrooms. While there are modern touches such as flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and well-stocked minibars, beware of the costs -- both Wi-Fi and even water will get charged to you at the end of your stay.
All rooms have balconies with ocean views (partial or full)
Three decent restaurant options and a few fun bars
The Fiesta Americana has a reasonable selection of dining options to work with -- Chulavista (a la carte breakfast and Mexican lunch), La Hacienda (fine dining on the terrace featuring Mexican specialties), and Restaurant L'Isola (Italian fare with pool service). Hanging out at the pool or beach, you can grab a burger or a taco at the Sunset Snack Bar, or swim up to the Bikini Bar in the pool for a margarita until late night. Catch live music on weekends in the Lobby Bar.
A long walk away -- or a 10-minute taxi ride -- you'll find tons of great restaurant options downtown.
Chulavista offers buffet breakfast and a la carte lunch outside under a thatched roof
La Hacienda, a fine dining Mexican restaurant, is open for dinner only (reservations required)
L’Isola, near the pool, serves Italian cuisine late afternoon through dinner
Bikini Bar, at poolside and with a swim-up bar, serves drinks and snacks all day