Samba Vallarta - All Inclusive Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Located on a beautiful beach with palapas for shade
  • Attractive, small-scale all-inclusive
  • Clean rooms with basic contemporary beach decor; some have balconies
  • Free use of kayaks, boogie boards, sailboards, and Hobie cats
  • Nice big pool with kids’ and toddlers’ sections
  • Game room with pool and foosball tables
  • Outdoor grill night once a week
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • The 2 a la carte restaurants not always both open
  • No swim-up bar (though there is a pool bar)
  • Far from Puerto Vallarta

Bottom Line

Compared to the many massive hotels at the north end of Nuevo Vallarta, the Samba Vallarta’s 183-room, four-story Spanish colonial-style building feels pleasantly small-scale -- and the pools and beach tend to be less crowded than elsewhere. The clean rooms have basic, contemporary beach decor (light woods, turquoise bed skirts and runners), and the general ambience of the property is family-friendly and relaxed. For those who want to go the all-inclusive route but don’t want a megaresort experience, this affordable mid-range property is a fine choice.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

A family-oriented, small-scale all-inclusive at the north end of Nuevo Vallarta

When the 183-room Samba Vallarta was constructed, the north end of Nuevo Vallarta was still fairly remote. Since then, a number of big-scale resorts have sprung up nearby, and the Samba Vallarta feels refreshingly small-scale compared to its megaresort neighbors. The grounds and gardens are well-kept, and the pool, with its linked sections for adults, kids, and toddlers, is perfectly scaled for the number of guests. The kids’ playground by the beach is simple and functional, and the beach itself has palapas for shade and usually isn't crowded.

The ambiance tends to be quieter and more relaxed than at the larger properties nearby, but there is a tradeoff -- dining options aren't extensive. There's an adequate buffet (but no better than adequate), and two a la carte restaurants -- though they're not always both open. The resort also offers a weekly outdoor grill night and a popular poolside snack bar. Entertainment also falls a little short -- the shows here aren't that impressive.

 Location

In Nuevo Vallarta, on a beautiful beach along northern Bahia Banderas, but a long way from Puerto Vallarta

The hotel is located on the beach at the northern end of Nuevo Vallarta, about a 40-minute drive from downtown Puerto Vallarta. The removed location means that the ocean waters are more pristine, there is little traffic, and there are fewer venders on the beach. Though Puerto Vallarta's attractions and restaurants aren't convenient, Bucerias, a five-minute drive to the north, has some good restaurants and shopping.

  • 5-minute taxi ride to Bucerias
  • 5- to 10-minute taxi ride to Flamingos golf
  • 5- to 10-minute taxi ride to Mayan Resort golf
  • 25-minute taxi ride to airport
  • 40-minute taxi ride to downtown Puerto Vallarta
  • 30-minute taxi ride to Punta Mita

 Rooms

Basic rooms with contemporary beach decor; some have balconies

The rooms are outfitted in basic, contemporary beach decor: light wood furniture, marble tile floors, turquoise bed skirts and runners. The walls have a dated machine stucco texture, and the marble-tile bathrooms do have water-stained showerheads and could use fresh grout in places, but there are few other indicators of the rooms' true age. Most rooms have balconies, and feature views of the pool, gardens, or the bay -- though lower-level ocean view rooms are partially blocked by plantings.

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Flat-screen TVs
  • Marble-tile bathrooms with shower/tub combos or walk-in showers
  • Pull-out sofas
  • Balconies in most rooms (though not all Superior Rooms)
  • Suites have [kitchenettes]] with mini-fridges, microwaves, and dishes for four; one-and-a-half bathrooms; a dining table for four; two balconies; two flat-screen TVs, and two bedrooms (one with a king-size bed, one with two doubles).

 Features

A lovely, quiet stretch of beach with palapas, free non-motorized water sports, and an attractive pool area with three linked sections

  • Beautiful stretch of beach, with palapas for shade, fewer venders than in Puerto Vallarta, and pristine waters
  • Attractive pool with linked, separate sections for adults, kids', and toddlers (though some have complained of kids using the adults' section)
  • Free non-motorized water sports, including kayaks, boogie boards, sailboards, and Hobie cats
  • Game room with pool and foosball tables
  • Outdoor, oversize chess set in a pretty garden setting
  • Air-conditioned gym with cardio machines and strength-training machines (though they're dated)
  • View more amenities

 Food

An adequate buffet, and two a la carte restuarants -- one Mexican, one Italian

  • La Hacienda is a buffet restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with themed dining in the evenings. The restaurant faces the hotel theater, where there are shows nightly. La Terrazza is a patio extension of La Hacienda.
  • Mexicana, located under a vaulted red tile roof, is an open-air restaurant by the beach and pool serving snacks during the day and a la carte Mexican food in the evenings; in high season it becomes a disco late nights.
  • Venezia, an enclosed, air-conditioned space, serves a la carte Italian food for dinner only. In a typical all-inclusive package guest are permitted to dine here twice in a week.
  • The two a la carte restaurants are typically not open every night, so guests usually only have one a la carte option for dinner. A la carte restaurants require reservations.
  • Lobby bar and poolside bar
  • Weekly outdoor grill night

 Bottom Line

Compared to the many massive hotels at the north end of Nuevo Vallarta, the Samba Vallarta’s 183-room, four-story Spanish colonial-style building feels pleasantly small-scale -- and the pools and beach tend to be less crowded than elsewhere. The clean rooms have basic, contemporary beach decor (light woods, turquoise bed skirts and runners), and the general ambience of the property is family-friendly and relaxed. For those who want to go the all-inclusive route but don’t want a megaresort experience, this affordable mid-range property is a fine choice.

Things You Should Know About Samba Vallarta - All Inclusive

Address

  • Av. Costera y Playa, 63732 Riviera Nayarit, Nayarit, Nuevo Vallarta, 63732, MX

Room Types

  • Balcony
  • Family Room
  • Romance
  • Suite
  • Superior

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Nearby Hotels to Consider

Villa Del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa
Krystal Puerto Vallarta
Hacienda Hotel & Spa
Golden Crown Paradise All-Inclusive Resort

Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 183
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Kids Club: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Address: Av. Costera y Playa, 63732 Riviera Nayarit, Nayarit, Nuevo Vallarta, 63732, MX
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