Sharp, rustic spa with private semi-open-air cabanas
Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and rooms
Some areas of the hotel are dated and worn
Not all of the rooms come with full ocean views
Romantic Zone and Old Town not within walking distance
Noise can be an issue in rooms
Wi-Fi can be slow
A big and bustling all-inclusive resort, the upper-middle-range Buenaventura Grand Hotel & Great Moments ticks almost every box that travelers have in mind when they arrive in Puerto Vallarta. Situated right on the beach, there are pools for adults and children plus four restaurants, three bars, and 24-hour room service (though there's a fee for the latter). A spa and boutique as well as a gym and kids' club round things out, though food gets mixed reviews and the resort can be hectic. The 234 rooms are mostly modern, with marble details that add a little class, though some corners of the hotel aren't as fresh. Rates are similar at Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta, though the style there is a little more consistently dated and it's farther from town.
A mix of fresh and dated styles and a family-friendly ethos
Amid the seemingly countless resorts lining the shores of Puerto Vallarta, the Buenaventura has some features that set it apart, though it's largely a predictable all-inclusive with a hectic, lively vibe. It’s jam-packed with daily activities and features for the whole family, including the beach and pools, a kids’ club and teen club, and a spa and gym. Of course, this is to say nothing of the endless supply of food and booze available in the hotel's many restaurants and bars.
Style-wise, the hotel is trying. Many areas are modern and fresh -- the spa, for instance, and the majority of the rooms that we visited -- though the hotel is a work in progress, with renovations ongoing through 2017. The lobby is one of the more dated parts of the hotel, and is busy throughout the day. Expect to see travertine marble flooring, wicker lounge chairs, with metal-and-marble tables, though things are a bit worn, with scuff marks on the floor. There's a bar off to the side, though there are more pleasant places in the resort to hang out. For instance, once back outside, a path passes through the heart of the resort's gardens, ending at the first of the four pools. From there, it’s a maze of pathways in between the various pools, with loungers, beds, snack bars, and guests, culminating in the beach along the Bay of Banderas.
Given the wealth of features on offer, it's no surprise that this hotel casts a wide net when it comes to visitors, though most guests come from North America. Plenty of couples, groups of friends, and families alike head here year-round.
At the northern edge of downtown Puerto Vallarta, right on the beach
The Buenaventura is set at the northern edge of downtown Puerto Vallarta, right on the turquoise waters of the Bay of Banderas. While there’s a whole slew of activities and restaurants at the hotel, the town is packed with all manner of tourist shops, bars, and nightclubs -- not mention dozens of other all-inclusive resorts. There's enough within walking distance to keep most guests happy, including a few shops and restaurants, though the bulk of the action requires a decent walk. It’s at least 15 to 20 minutes on foot to downtown's Malecon and the central plaza. The same journey will take about five to 10 minutes by taxi. Old Town and the Romantic Zone -- the most popular part of town, with its narrow streets and bustling vibe -- is about 15 minutes away via vehicle. The airport is a 15- to 20-minute drive from the hotel.
Mostly modern, with daily-stocked minibars and small balconies, some with ocean views
There are 234 rooms at the Buenaventura Grand, including an accessible unit, and while not all rooms are equally modern, most are fresh enough to make them a pleasant place to rest. The relatively low rates for the area also make the more modern units feel like a particular bargain. These rooms include bright fabrics in hues like turquoise and orange, paired with bold accent walls and sparingly used -- but sharp -- patterns. Warm wood furniture and travertine surfaces up the class factor in these rooms, and the wood-beam ceilings in some of the units are a charming touch. Other rooms -- like the Honeymoon Suite that we saw -- feel a bit less uniformly modern, with a blend of contemporary blonde furniture, old-school chain hotel fabrics, and dated seating.
Amenities include flat-screen televisions with cable, free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, and minibars that are restocked daily with free drinks. Safes are in the closet, and there are coffeemakers as well. The bulk of the rooms come in the Deluxe category, with a choice of a single king bed for two people, or two double beds and room for up to four people (two adults and two children). Note that while all rooms have at least small furnished balconies, not all of these rooms come with full ocean views; you have to specifically book an Ocean View Room if you want the full vista. Beyond that, there are 14 Honeymoon Suites that feature king-size beds, stereos, whirlpool tubs, and terraces; and four Junior Suites with two terraces, king-size beds, small kitchens, and whirlpool tubs. These all have ocean views.
Bathrooms are fairly underwhelming and look dated, an underwhelming contrast in rooms where the bedrooms are sharp and contemporary. There are medium-size marble countertops that have enough space for storage, as well as garish multicolored tiling. We noticed some discolored or missing grout during our visit. Some bathrooms feature only showers, while others have tubs as well. There is a bit of wear throughout many rooms, including balcony doors that stick. Also, if you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself locked out on the balcony, as some of them are missing handles to get back in if the door slides shut behind you. Additionally, noise from the street and from hotel interiors can be an issue in many rooms.
Four pools and a beach plus plenty of activities for kids, teens, and adults
This hotel offers a solid number of features, many of which are well-liked by previous guests and which help make this a relative bargain compared to other area all-inclusives. The hotel’s four pools make up the heart of the resort. Two of the pools are salt-purified and heated in the winter and there are plenty of loungers, chairs, and umbrellas. Poolside service is available and one of the pool areas is reserved for adults only. Of course, the beach is another major draw here, and the hotel has rows of lounge chairs arranged on the sand along with beach service. Towel services are also provided at the beach and pools.
Beyond that, the resort has two clubs for its younger guests: one for pre-teens and another for teenagers. Activities range from painting and reading to video games. There’s also a children’s pool. Nightly shows and themed evenings with music performances are on offer for adults, and there are evening activities for the kids if parents want to slip away and have a romantic dinner at one of the hotel’s restaurants. Everything from cooking classes to kayak tours and bingo are all available -- check with the resort for schedules.
The Shakti Spa has a rooftop setting above one of the restaurants on the beach, with views out over the bay and rest of the property. There’s a couple of cabins in the back, plus a small pool and outdoor massage chairs. It's a sharp space, with a rustic-chic vibe that feels like a nice step above some of the more weathered parts of this hotel. The on-site gym has a variety of cardio and weight machines, plus free weights and views out over the pool. Free yoga classes take place on the beach as well.
The business center includes chairs and tables plus a few computers for guests to use. Note that while we were on-site, the free Wi-Fi was fairly congested and worked slowly. Numerous guests have mentioned that this can be an issue during heavy occupancy. Concierge services are available and the hotel also has a boutique and gift shop on-site.
The hotel operates four restaurants, and they all have their own dress codes. All are included in the hotel's all-inclusive plans, though food in general receives only mixed reviews. Frutas y Flores features themed buffets morning, noon, and night, and has a casual dress code, while the Beach Club Restaurant and Bar is open in the afternoons and focuses on snacks in a casual setting. The Sunset Restaurant focuses on Mediterranean dinners with an elegant casual dress code, and the Bistro Gourmet has fusion cuisine and an international wine list, and is also elegant casual. The three bars don’t have dress codes. The Lobby Bar is just off the main lobby area, and the Beach Club and Cabana Bars are out by the pools.
Customers Who Viewed Buenaventura Grand Hotel & Great Moments Also Viewed