Playa Conchas Chinas Rating: 3.0 Pearls
Conchas Chinas, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Excellent beachfront location with great snorkeling
  • Spacious guest rooms with classic Mexican design
  • Quaint pool in a verdant setting
  • Adjacent to fabled El Set restaurant
  • Great beachfront restaurant adjacent to hotel
  • Stunning views from every room

Cons

  • Small beach disappears at high tide
  • No elevators and lots of stairs
  • Wi-Fi in lobby area only (free)
  • Hard beds
  • Some bathrooms are small and smell like sewage
  • Maintenance issues in rooms
  • No store on-site or nearby
  • No fitness center

Bottom Line

For budget travelers, the 20-room Playa Conchas Chinas can be a cheap, intimate, and even charming option. The upsides include the a small pool area surrounded by lush greenery and a quaint beachfront location (though the beach disappears at high tide). Rooms, however, are a bit mixed. Though most are spacious, with classic Mexican style (think: tiling and bright colors) and great ocean views, expect some maintenance issues (such as missing knobs on furniture and balcony doors that don't close all the way). Some bathrooms are small and smell like sewage. Though kitchenettes are available in many units, there's no grocery store close by so cooking in will prove difficult; the adjacent restaurants are both popular.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Intimate budget option with beautiful views

Playa Conchas Chinas was opened in 1979 on one of the sweetest little beaches in all of Bahia Banderas (though the hotel's stretch of sand disappears at high tide). This 20-room boutique is a bit worn around the edges and lacking in elevators and amenities, but some budget travelers may still find it charming.

From the street, the hotel is an unremarkable, somewhat drab-looking building, with a cobblestone parking lot out front. But once guests go into the neat little lobby with its brick arches and polished tile floors, down the meandering stairs, by the quaint pool and gardens, they'll likely have an entirely different impression.

The beach is a tiny and disappears entirely at high tide, but guests can stroll out among the offshore rocks and snorkel in clear waters. La Playita, one of the coolest beachfront restaurants in all of Vallarta, is shared with a neighboring hotel.

 Location

Near Old Town on a seemingly remote slice of beach

Playa Conchas Chinas is just three minutes south of Old Town, directly on the beach side of the highway.

Despite its close proximity to downtown, it feels a world apart; it faces the aquamarine waters of Bahia Banderas and there are jungled hills rising behind.

  • 30-minute drive to Puerto Vallarta Airport
  • 3-minute drive to Old Town
  • 30-minute drive to Marina Vallarta

 Rooms

Spacious rooms decorated in classic Mexican decor

The 20 rooms and suites are situated across two levels down a few dozen steps from the lobby level. They all have French doors opening onto balconies overlooking the scenic bay, as well as classic Mexican decor (think: tilework and bright colors). Beds are hard and there are some maintenance issues such as worn furniture.

  • Bathrooms feature authentic painted ceramic sinks and Mexican tile throughout. Some are quite small, however, and there are some complaints of cleanliness issues and sewage smells.
  • Many rooms have small kitchenettes with two-burner stovetops, sinks, refrigerator/freezers, and colorful Mexican tile counters.
  • Private balconies with ocean views
  • A mix of flat-screen TVs and tube TVs
  • Some guest rooms have whirlpools on the balconies.
  • No Internet

 Features

The beach is the highlight here, though it disappears at high tide

  • Free Wi-Fi in lobby
  • Small beautiful beach with snorkeling (though the sand disappears at high tide)
  • Small pool with lounge seating
  • 24-hour front desk

 Food

The hotel itself doesn't feature on-site dining, but there are a couple of great options at hand

La Playita, a perfectly located three-meal restaurant, lies on the beach at the bottom of the hotel. The restaurant, shared with a neighboring hotel, offers good, reasonably priced food in a wonderful spot.

El Set, the large, open-air restaurant next door on the street/lobby level (there’s a dedicated passage from the lobby to the restaurant) is sort of a legendary place that once upon a time was the hangout of choice for the gang shooting "Night of the Iguana" down the road (hence the name). It has some movie-related paraphernalia, a huge patio where tour operators bring busloads of cruise ship passengers for sunset cocktails, and Mexican food at semi-high prices.

 Bottom Line

For budget travelers, the 20-room Playa Conchas Chinas can be a cheap, intimate, and even charming option. The upsides include the a small pool area surrounded by lush greenery and a quaint beachfront location (though the beach disappears at high tide). Rooms, however, are a bit mixed. Though most are spacious, with classic Mexican style (think: tiling and bright colors) and great ocean views, expect some maintenance issues (such as missing knobs on furniture and balcony doors that don't close all the way). Some bathrooms are small and smell like sewage. Though kitchenettes are available in many units, there's no grocery store close by so cooking in will prove difficult; the adjacent restaurants are both popular.

Things You Should Know About Playa Conchas Chinas

Address

  • Km 2.5 Ctra A Barra De Navidad Playa

Room Types

  • Luxury Suite
  • Panoramic Suite
  • Presidential Suite
  • Superior Studio
  • Superior Two Bedroom Studio

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 20
Pool: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi (in room): Some
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Hotel Information

Location: Conchas Chinas, Puerto Vallarta
Address: Km 2.5 Ctra A Barra De Navidad Playa
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