Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pretty average buffets and a reservations-only restaurant open for dinner only
Villa Varadero is a mid-range resort popular with families. It features 98 no-frills rooms with all the basics -- including air-conditioning, coffeemakers, empty mini-fridges, and free Wi-Fi -- as well as large windows, most of them overlooking the ocean. The pools are nice and the beach is sandy and relaxing, but there are few other amenities on site. For those looking for an affordable, clean hotel on the sand, this is a good value choice, but note that technology could use an update, and food is only average.