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Starbay Suites Resort 3.0

Bucerias, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

Review Summary

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Pros

  • Pleasant, quiet beach with good ocean swimming
  • Almost all rooms have great views and balconies
  • Most rooms are one-, two-, or three-bedroom suites
  • Well-equipped kitchens in every room
  • Large, attractive pool complex popular with families
  • Free underground parking

Cons

  • No store on-site for groceries and essentials
  • Small fee for bottled drinking water
  • Highway noise in lobby area
  • Wi-Fi in lobby area only
  • Tight fit between 2 condo complexes next to busy highway
  • 20-minute walk to town (and restaurants)

Bottom Line

The three-story, 30-room Starbay is a bland time-share property sandwiched between a noisy highway and the tranquil waters of Banderas Bay on Mexico's Pacific coast. Aside from the enormous, traditional-style palapa rising high above the lobby and reception area, there is little about the look of this U-shaped hotel that says "Mexico" -- but the nearness of the beach and the great ocean views from every room help compensate.

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Scene

A 30-room property near a noisy highway, but right on tranquil Banderas Bay

Though close to a noisy highway, and hemmed in on both sides by condo complexes, the proximity to the tranquil waters of Banderas Bay makes the 30-room Starbay Suites an attractive, affordable option for a resort getaway. It's at the edge of town and the edge of the sea, literally, so there's not much going on except sitting by the pool or sitting on the beach; since the ocean is warm and welcoming here, and the pool is a good size, divided into kids' and grown-ups' sections, that isn't such a bad thing.

Banderas Bay is rich in marine and bird life, and so, even though there's a busy highway at your back and a city, Puerto Vallarta, not so far away, the ocean before you is very much alive with dolphins, countless varieties of fish, myriad species of birds, and even whales. Humpbacks winter here, and in season, occasionally can be seen cavorting offshore. Boats or yachts for cruising, sailing, whale watching surfing, fishing, or anything else in the way of sea-going fun can be chartered with a phone call.

Location

On the beach, 30 miles north of Puerto Vallarta

Map of Starbay Suites Resort

The hotel is located on the beach on the northern edge of Bucerias, a lively little town about 30 miles north of Puerto Vallarta in Bahia Banderas, a deep, horseshoe-shaped bay on Mexico's Central Pacific coast.

For those taking a taxi to Bucerias from the airport should note cabs right at the airport will charge about 500 pesos ($40); if you walk over Highway 200 on a pedestrian bridge, you can catch a cab for 250 pesos ($20), or take the bus for 14 pesos ($1.5). Cabs from the hotel back to the airport charge about 220 pesos ($18).

All the times below are assuming normal traffic flow. Cheap, frequent, and reliable buses connect all these destinations.

  • 30-minute drive to Puerto Vallarta Airport
  • 20-minute walk or 2-minute drive (about a 70 peso / $6 cab ride) to Bucerias
  • 40-minute drive to Puerto Vallarta
  • 20-minute drive to Sayulita
  • 20-minute drive to Punta Mita, home to two Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses -- one of which has been ranked among the best in the world

Rooms

Plain mid-range rooms, with a little Mexican flair

The hotel's moderately sized rooms are decorated with heavy, dark-stained wooden furnishings described as Mexicano Rustico by the management. These dark wood chairs, tables, and beds, (whitewash-stained in a few suites), are balanced by pale stone tile floors and a light palette of paint and fabrics, and brightened by the flood of daylight coming in through the sliding glass doors that open onto balconies. Ultimately, however, the effect is rather bland and utilitarian, as there is no art and the colors are decidedly neutral.

All suites have fully-equipped kitchens and balconies with water views. On the ground floor, these balconies are semi-private, separated from public space only by plantings.

  • All suites have beautiful sea and shoreline views, and large balconies with tables and chairs.
  • All suites have full kitchens with stained concrete or tile counters, four-burner stovetops, refrigerator/freezers, microwaves, blenders, toasters, coffeemakers, and dishes for four or more people.
  • As is true in many Mexican hotels, the beds are hard.
  • Most suites have two, three, or four flat-screen TVs
  • Bathrooms have showers only. On-demand hot water heaters providing an endless supply, but these heaters need a minute to heat up.
  • Most of the rooms are one-, two-, or three-bedroom suites. There are also two studios and two standard hotel rooms (without views).
  • The three-bedroom is the same size and has the same floor plan as the two-bedroom, except that the living room is walled-off to make the third bedroom.
  • One- and two-bedroom suites have sleeper sofas in the living rooms.
  • Ground floor suite balconies are only semi-private.
  • Suites come with drinking water dispenser. There is a fee for bottled drinking water.
  • No fee for daily housekeeping and towel service.

Features

A kid-friendly pool complex and a quiet beach

  • Fun, family-oriented pool complex with fountain, bridge, and kids' pool
  • Quiet, pretty little beach with palapas for shade
  • Tiny gym with two bikes and two treadmills
  • Meeting rooms on mezzanine above lobby
  • Secure underground free parking
  • View Full List of Amenities

Food

An on-site restaurant serves three meals a day

Situated under a palapa close to both beach and pool, the Star Bay Restaurant (under new management as of mid-2011) serves standard Mexican and American fare for three meals a day. If you don't like the menu, you can cook in your room, and the Mega supermarket is a five-minute drive away. At least a dozen restaurants in every price category can be found in Bucerias itself, a 20-minute walk or 2-minute drive.

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Things You Should Know About Starbay Suites Resort

Address

Avenida los Picos #833, Playas de Huanacaxtle, Bucerias, Nayarit 63732, Mexico

Room Types

  • One Bedroom Suite
  • Three Bedroom Suite
  • Two Bedroom Suite

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