Villa VaraderoRiviera Nayarit, Mexico
- Small tube TVs in all rooms
- Rooms are no-frills (but have all the basics)
- Some bathrooms could use an update
- No kids’ club or fitness center
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A mid-range family hotel with different meal plans and a lovely beach
Villa Varadero is a small family-friendly resort in Nuevo Vallarta. It doesn’t offer as many amenities and services as neighboring properties, but rates are lower year-round, and it is right on a lovely sandy beach.
While the hotel’s two pools are nice enough and have ocean views, the restaurants (a buffet and a glass-enclosed papala serving snacks throughout the day) are nothing to write home about. The hotel offers both all-inclusive rates and an American meal plan (which includes only the breakfast buffet), so those who don’t mind venturing outside the resort to explore the restaurants nearby might want to consider the latter option.
There are three different buildings, one newer than the other two, but it is an older property overall and some features could use an update. The facilities are in decent shape, and the management has made updates throughout the years, but they clearly belong to a value hotel; plastic furniture in the restaurants and by the beach, for example, feel cheap.
If you can see past the lack of amenities and don’t mind staying in a simple room, the hotel does offer perks that add value, including freebies such as parking, Wi-Fi, and free use of bicycles, kayaks and boogie boards. Plus, the beach is one of the prettiest around, with fine, golden sand and several straw umbrellas for shade.
On a pretty beach near the marina in Nuevo Vallarta
Villa Varadero is located on a sandy beach in central Nuevo Vallarta, adjacent to other small beachfront resorts. It is on the southern side of the entrance to the marina, where there are only a few other resorts and a golf course. There is not much within walking distance, but there are several restaurants and stores within a short drive. Public transportation is also available.
- 15-minute drive to Licenciado Diaz Ordaz International Airport
- 3-minute drive to eco-park Vallarta Adventures
- 8-minute drive to El Tigre Golf Course
- 12-minute drive to Flamingos Golf Club
- 17-minute drive to Bucerias
- 25-minute drive to downtown Puerto Vallarta
- 30-minute drive to Punta Mita
- 35-minute drive to Sayulita
Barebones rooms with old tube TVS -- but most offer wonderful ocean views
Rooms at Villa Varadero are barebones, with sparse decor and basic amenities. The few pieces of furniture present are a tad mismatched, such as the outdoor metal chairs placed around a wood table, but all rooms have a beach-appropriate soft blue and white color palette. While most rooms have huge windows offering wonderful views of the ocean and the sunset, a few rooms face the hotel’s parking lot and have only partial views of the marina behind some buildings.
There are three room types in the hotel: Standard Rooms, Superior Rooms, and One-Bedroom Suites. Standard Rooms have partial marina views and feature microwaves; most Superior Rooms have pull-out couches and ocean views, but no microwaves; One-Bedroom Suites offer two double beds, separate living areas with three pull-out couches, fully equipped kitchens, balconies, and partial ocean and pool views.
Two long, narrow pools with underwater loungers and ocean views
The hotel’s two pools are connected to form one long, narrow pool along the main building. The section closest to the snack bar has underwater loungers, but they’re facing the building instead of the beach.
- Poolside chair massages available upon request for a fee
- Small whirlpool adjacent to the bar; doubles as wading pool for kids
- There’s no bar service, but guests can bring their own drinks from the snack bar or the bar, both in the pool area.
- Ocean views from both pools
Pretty stretch of sand with loungers and straw umbrellas for shade
The beach is one of the highlights of the hotel: It’s sandy, with palm trees, loungers, and straw umbrellas, and it boasts gorgeous sunsets. This beach is part of Banderas Bay, so there are waves, but the waters are generally safe for a swim near the coast or for splashing around with the kids in the shallow areas.
- Free use of boogie boards and kayaks
- Volleyball court
- A couple of rope hammocks tied between palm trees
- No bar service
One-Bedroom Suites can sleep up to seven guests.
While the hotel lacks a kids’ club, the big One-Bedroom Suites, decent pools, and the great beach make this a popular pick among families. Banderas Bay is known for its great surf, but the beach here has mostly gentle waves. However, always make sure to check the flags on the beach and ask the front desk about the sea conditions for that day before letting kids go for a swim.
- One-Bedroom Suites can sleep up to seven guests (four in two double beds and three in the pull-out couches in the living room) and have fully equipped kitchens.
- The kids’ pool is actually a whirlpool by the bar.
Pretty average buffets and a reservations-only restaurant open for dinner only
- La Mesa del Capitan is an indoor buffet open for all three meals and offering beach and pool views.
- Drake’s is the glass-enclosed poolside snack bar; opens after breakfast and closes before dinner.
- At night, Drake’s turns into the only specialty restaurant in the hotel, which is reservations-only and available to all-inclusive guests staying three nights or more.
- Drake’s Bar is located adjacent to Drake’s and offers drinks with ocean views.
- All-inclusive and breakfast-only rates available
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AddressRetorno Nayarit Lote 83 / 84, Nuevo Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit 63732, Mexico
- One-Bedroom Suite
- Standard Room
- Superior Room