Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • On an appealing stretch of white-sand beach
  • Contemporary rooms with flat-screen TVs, double jetted tubs and liquor dispensers
  • 2 large, free-form pools, a kiddy pool and 3 whirlpools
  • Upscale spa with several treatment rooms, salon services, and ocean views
  • Restaurants feature a range of cuisines and extensive wine lists
  • Well-equipped fitness center with pool views
  • Amphitheater with live entertainment and bar service
  • Free Wi-Fi in all rooms and public spaces
  • Purified water on tap

Cons

  • Most rooms have tiny balconies too small for chairs
  • Phone fees

Bottom Line

One of the most striking elements of the Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta (formerly the Palace Resort Vallarta) is its soaring lobby, with two huge installations made with LP covers and instruments. However, the rest of the resort is no less attractive, with two free-form pools, a spa featuring ocean views, and several restaurants offering a range of cuisines. The hopping bars, nightly entertainment and contemporary rooms with high-tech amenities, funky rock-inspired decor, and double-jetted tubs attract young couples and groups, while the lively pools (including a shallow one for kids), varied dining options, and pretty beach draw families. There’s free Wi-Fi, purified water on tap, and a wide array of amenities, but rooms are a tad smaller than those found in other resorts in the area.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Upscale all-inclusive with luxe amenities and lush grounds

The Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta (formerly the Vallarta Palace) is a fun alternative to the many upscale all-inclusive resorts in the area. It is funky, contemporary, and lively, with several bars and restaurants, a hopping pool area with daily entertainment, an amphitheater with live shows, and appealing rooms with red accent walls and music memorabilia.

The double-jetted bathtubs found in every room might make it seem like the hotel is geared exclusively to couples, but it offers a wide array of features for groups and families as well. It is also a popular spot for corporate events, and business travelers will find a well-equipped fitness center, expansive meeting space, free Wi-Fi throughout the property, and great bars to unwind at after work.

 Location

Oceanfront location in the ritzy enclave of Nuevo Vallarta, a 20-minute drive from Puerto Vallarta's bustling downtown

The HRH Vallarta sits right on the beach in the leafy enclave of Nuevo Vallarta. Located north of Puerto Vallarta’s international airport, the resort is a 20-minute drive or more from downtown Vallarta, depending on traffic. It may not seem far, but the difference in atmosphere is huge; wide, quiet streets, lavish homes with private docks and bobbing yachts, high-end hotels, and other signs of wealth are everywhere evident in Nuevo Vallarta. It is a great spot for those who seek a tranquil beach vacation, far from downtown's busy streets.

For those who want nightlife, a taste of urban Mexico, or a natural adventure -- whale watching, jungle biking, hiking, horseback riding, surfing lessons, sailing, or a dolphin swim -- it's possible to hire a car, cab, or boat with the help of the concierge. Meanwhile, this serene, luxurious hideaway has plenty to offer right on-site -- all-inclusive rates cover use of kayaks on the beach, the liquor dispensers in the TV cabinet, and the free Wi-Fi.

Traffic can be heavy in and around Puerto Vallarta, so what should normally be a 20-minute drive to downtown can take up to 45 minutes with traffic.

  • 12-minute drive to Licenciado Diaz Ordaz International Airport
  • 10-minute drive to Flamingos Golf Club
  • 20-minute drive to downtown Puerto Vallarta

 Rooms

Standard rooms are smaller than at other upscale resorts, but all feature decadent details such as double-jetted tubs

Standard rooms are a little smaller than those found at other upscale resorts in the area, but they have attractive decor: bright accent walls, crisp white linens, dark wood furniture, and music-inspired artwork. Stocked minibars and liquor dispensers are provided. All rooms have double-jetted tubs by the bed as well as walk-in showers in the bathroom. They also have French balconies -- most are too tiny for chairs, but they do provide views of the ocean or resort grounds.

Diamond Level Rooms offer a few special amenities, such as spa massages, aromatherapy menus, iPod docks, free beach bags, and upgraded liquor brands.

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • 32-inch flat-screen TVs with premium channels
  • Many rooms have sweeping views of Bahia Banderas and the beach.
  • Separate showers and double-jetted tubs
  • In-room wine and liquor dispensers
  • Stocked minibars
  • Sound Your Stay program, HRH's signature room service, offers guests music-related amenities, including guitars (full electric "menu"), headphones, and amps for free.
  • 24-hour room service
  • Suites feature iPod docks, pillow menus, and top-shelf liquors.

 Food

Four restaurants specializing in international, Asian, Italian, and Brazilian cuisines

This all-inclusive hotel contains four distinct restaurants, as well as 24-hour room service and a couple of snack and beverage options. As at many all-inclusives, breakfast and lunch are served buffet-style; the buffet cuisine here gets mixed reviews.

None of the restaurants take reservations, and they all offer wine, beer, liquors, and non-alcoholic beverages as part of the all-inclusive package. The remarkably diverse wine list (for an all-inclusive) includes 14 options on the all-inclusive menu and 17 premium options that can be purchased.

  • Zen is an Asian-fusion dining room with a sushi bar. Located in the lobby building, this restaurant is finished in black and onyx, and resembles a sophisticated, big-city restaurant.
  • The Market, done in sleek style, serves international buffets for all three meals.
  • Ipanema, a Brazilian Steak Grill, sets up on the veranda at The Market in the evenings.
  • Ciao offers Italian food in an airy dining room by the beach. It serves three meals including a breakfast buffet.
  • Triton Bar, near the pools and beach, offers drinks and snacks.
  • Sun Bar has inside and outside seating with live music inside.
  • Palm Bar located in the pool area and has stylish decor.
  • Poolside pizza oven

 Pool

Sprawling ocean-view pool area

The Hard Rock has two large free-form pools, a kiddy pool, and three whirlpools, and a poolside outdoor pizza oven.

 Fitness Center

Big fitness center

The well-equipped fitness center has a sauna and steam rooms. Cardio machines lack individual TVs, but there is a separate spinning studio.

 Spa

An ocean-view spa

Rock Spa offers massages, facials, and salon services with ocean views.

 Services

An ampitheater with live entertainment and a kids' club

  • Amphitheater with live entertainment and bar service
  • Kids' Club with supervised sports and activities for children ages four to 12
  • Outdoor putting green and tennis court with lights for night games
  • Mini market sells beachwear, jewelry, magazines, and other items
  • Wedding gazebo and event spaces that accommodate up to 400 people
  • Business center with free 30-minute computer sessions

 Bottom Line

One of the most striking elements of the Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta (formerly the Palace Resort Vallarta) is its soaring lobby, with two huge installations made with LP covers and instruments. However, the rest of the resort is no less attractive, with two free-form pools, a spa featuring ocean views, and several restaurants offering a range of cuisines. The hopping bars, nightly entertainment and contemporary rooms with high-tech amenities, funky rock-inspired decor, and double-jetted tubs attract young couples and groups, while the lively pools (including a shallow one for kids), varied dining options, and pretty beach draw families. There’s free Wi-Fi, purified water on tap, and a wide array of amenities, but rooms are a tad smaller than those found in other resorts in the area.

Things You Should Know About Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta

Address

  • Paseo De Los Cocoteros 19 Nuevo Vallarta, NAY 63732 Mexico

Room Types

  • Concierge Level Oceanfront Room
  • Deluxe Resort View Room
  • One Bedroom Master Suite
  • Superior Deluxe Garden/ Pool View
  • Superior Deluxe Ocean View

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 348
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Kids Club: Yes
Jacuzzi (in room): Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
Address: Paseo De Los Cocoteros 19 Nuevo Vallarta, NAY 63732 Mexico
(See Map)
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