Velas Vallarta Suite Resort All-Inclusive Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Marina Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Great beachfront Marina Vallarta location
  • Elegant grounds feature mature gardens and pretty fountains
  • Spectacular views from most guest rooms and suites
  • Nearby golf, with packages available
  • Fun pool with lazy river feature
  • 3 tennis courts lit for night play
  • 24-hour room service and assorted dining options
  • Spacious meeting rooms with elegant reception area
  • Fitness center and adjacent spa with various treatments

Cons

  • Many of the suites are worn and in need of updating (ongoing)
  • Old tube TVs in many suites
  • Fee for Wi-Fi
  • Time-share sales ongoing

Bottom Line

Velas Vallarta Suite Resort was likely one of the finest in Vallarta a couple of years ago, and no doubt, if management continues to put time and money into the ongoing upgrade, this all-inclusive resort will be top-notch again soon. The gardens and grounds are still charming, the pools (with a lazy river) and recreational options are excellent, and the restaurants are hitting on all cylinders. However, the suites are not quite up to modern-day snuff (drab furnishings and old tube TVs are standard). Upgraded rooms, though, feature flat-screen TVs and nicer furnishings -- while most rooms (renovated or not) feature stunning ocean views. The price is a bit high considering the needed upgrades -- for nicer rooms and similar amenities in the Marina area, consider lower-priced Melia Puerto Vallarta.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Elegant yet slightly aged convention hotel with a great beachfront location

The well-established Marina Vallarta hotel strip, close to the airport and not far from downtown, is home to dozens of hotels, most of them fairly high end. The Velas group owns several of these properties including, of course, this one. Though it is a bit worn and perhaps in need of some updating -- especially in the suites -- the 20-year-old property possesses a certain distinct elegance that is rarely evident in many of the newer hotels. Unique artistic details such as the murals flanking the entry passage, and the many streams and ponds with dozens of Koi fish, enhance this hotel’s singular quality, as does the visually varied appearance of the Spanish-style building, with its myriad arches, setback, and rooflines.

There are perhaps too many time-share people doing their business here, but that’s the nature of Puerto Vallarta and the nature of this hotel, which does sell fractional ownerships. Nevertheless, for beach- and pool-loving golfers or tennis enthusiasts, this is a dream come true: a fine, somewhat-luxurious beachfront hotel minutes from several fine courses, with tennis courts on-site.

 Location

In the heart of Marina Vallarta, on the beach, by the marina and the airport, just steps away from a golf course

On the beachfront side of a wide, well-groomed Marina Vallarta boulevard, between the beach and the Marina Vallarta golf course, the Velas possesses an ideal Marina Vallarta location. The proximity to the airport, five minutes away, may be a source of some noise distraction in the high season, but it sure is convenient. Downtown Vallarta is 10 or 15 minutes away via car, the boats and restaurants of the marina are close at hand, and the beach is right there in front of the hotel. The waters of Bahia Banderas along this stretch can run a little murky, however, due to the nearby Ameca River, which pours its muddy waters into the bay.

  • 5-minute drive to the airport
  • 5-minute walk to Marina golf course
  • 10-minute walk to the marina
  • 15-minute drive to downtown Puerto Vallarta
  • 15-minute drive to Nuevo Vallarta

 Rooms

Spacious rooms, most with great views

Velas Vallarta's rooms and suites are spacious, with nice balconies offering fine views (except the small, viewless studios), but many of them have not yet been remodeled and thus feel a little worn.

Rooms sizes include studios and one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites, which can be joined together and/or locked off in various combinations. The suites have kitchenettes with different set-ups -- full-size or mini-fridges, two or four burner cooktops, various counter and dining table options, and appliances -- but the overall impression is that the kitchens are not really set up for serious cooking -- this may be because, under the newer time-share contracts, owners are required to sign up for the all-inclusive package. The suites that are due for a remodel have old tube TVs and drab furnishings, while the renovated ones offer a nice dose of color and unique artwork.

  • Bathrooms have single-sink vanities and marble walk-in showers.
  • Gilchrist & Soames toiletries
  • Rooms feature regional Huichol artwork.
  • Great ocean and/or garden views from most suites
  • Many studios do not have balconies or views.
  • Suites feature living room areas with sofa beds.
  • Suites have kitchenettes with refrigerator, cooktop, countertop appliances, microwave, dish set ups, pots and pans.
  • Suites have plush robes and slippers.
  • Updated suites contain flat-screen TVs.
  • Suite minibars are restocked daily.
  • Suites feature different combinations of breakfast counters and dining tables with seating.

 Features

Beachfront location with beautiful gardens, nearby golf, and tennis

  • Gorgeous beach with volleyball net, plenty of lounge seating, including cabanas
  • 3 pools, including a lazy river, and a kiddy pool
  • Spa with beachfront massage cabanas
  • Three tennis courts lit for night play
  • Fully equipped, modern fitness center
  • Extensive kids' club
  • Walking distance to an 18-hole golf course
  • Ping pong tables
  • Boutique with clothing, jewelry, and other wares, and a minimart for snacks and trinkets
  • Business center with computers for guest use
  • Small putting green
  • Plenty of meeting and event space
  • Weekly schedule of entertainment including Mexican Fiestas, Casino Night, and Mime shows
  • Extensive list of on-site activities including beach walks, beach volleyball, Spanish lessons, scuba-diving classes, Bingo, and more
  • Gorgeous gardens with koi ponds and lavish greenery
  • View Full List of Amenities

 Food

Three restaurants, snack bar, and 24-hour room service

  • Andrea offers both buffet and a la carte, with interior and exterior seating, and ethnic-themed dining every night. Reservations are required for dinner.
  • La Ribera Steakhouse, overlooking the beach, offers a breakfast buffet, a la carte lunch, and themed dinners; steak is the specialty of the house. Reservations are required for dinner.
  • Alejandra, open in the high season, offers dinner only, with live music and a dance floor.
  • Snack & Ice Cream Station, by the steakhouse, with snacks and light lunch daily
  • Aqua Bar is a full bar located poolside.
  • Alhambra Lobby Bar, with live music and themed party nights
  • 24-hour room service

 Bottom Line

Velas Vallarta Suite Resort was likely one of the finest in Vallarta a couple of years ago, and no doubt, if management continues to put time and money into the ongoing upgrade, this all-inclusive resort will be top-notch again soon. The gardens and grounds are still charming, the pools (with a lazy river) and recreational options are excellent, and the restaurants are hitting on all cylinders. However, the suites are not quite up to modern-day snuff (drab furnishings and old tube TVs are standard). Upgraded rooms, though, feature flat-screen TVs and nicer furnishings -- while most rooms (renovated or not) feature stunning ocean views. The price is a bit high considering the needed upgrades -- for nicer rooms and similar amenities in the Marina area, consider lower-priced Melia Puerto Vallarta.

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 345
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Internet: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Kids Club: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Marina Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta
Address: Av. Costera S/N, LH2, Fracc. Marina Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 48354
(See Map)
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