Some slight aging in exterior areas, such as discolored grout
Not all rooms have ocean views
Vendors and sometimes strong waves at the beach
Only one pool, and no hot tub
Some time-share sales pitches
Fiesta Americana is a smaller, older resort that still manages to be one of the best upscale all-inclusive resorts in Puerto Vallarta. It stands out for having one of the nicer stretches of beach in the North Hotel Zone, as well as superior customer service, with many guests raving about their favorite staffers. This is an extremely family-friendly resort, with a kids' and teens' club, plus playgrounds, water sports, and fun activities such as cooking classes. The heated pool is sprawling and has a swim-up bar and kiddy area, and food is good for this caliber of resort, with multiple a la carte options and no reservations required. Velas Vallarta is another great kid-friendly all-inclusive and has larger rooms, but it's a bigger property, the beach isn't as long, and it's in the marina area, farther from town.
An older, smaller family-friendly resort known for its friendly service and nice stretch of beach
The Fiesta Americana is one of the older resorts in the area, dating to 1979 -- which means it was able to snag a prime spot on the beach in the North Hotel Zone. Despite its age, the resort is well-maintained, if showing occasional spots of wear and tear. The property footprint is smaller than some competing resorts, which can be both a pro and a con. On the positive side, it means it is easy to navigate and no guest is ever very far from the pool or beach. On the negative side, the resort isn't as easily able to cater to different levels of activity preference and noise; for example, there is only one pool, and it plays upbeat music in the afternoons and hosts daily activities (though they're pretty low-key and guests won't feel pressured to join). In general, music can usually be heard throughout the resort, even at the beach, and the lobby music in the evenings can filter up to the rooms. The hotel does have plans to add another pool in 2017.
The resort is very family-oriented, but still appeals to couples as well. However, romantic-minded couples might prefer the newer, adult-only sister property Grand Fiesta Americana. Families who prefer the area near the marina, which has great restaurants (but a shorter beach) should consider Velas Vallarta, which also has larger rooms. Though most guests here hail from the U.S. and Canada, Fiesta Americana is also popular with a Mexican clientele.
The decor style here is influenced by native tribal art and the jungles of Mexico. The massive, thatched-roof palapa-style lobby is adorned with plenty of marble and granite, as well as a swirling river-rock design in the floor and lots of greenery, adding to the indoor-outdoor feel. There's a rock formation with a small waterfall that trickles into a decorative river, which meanders through the lobby and empties out into a pool in the main gardens.
On the edge of Banderas Bay in the heart of Puerto Vallarta's North Hotel Zone
The Fiesta American is located in the center of the coast facing the Bay of Banderas, and offers guests panoramic views out in all directions, including epic sunsets over the Pacific and a chance to watch the cruise ships come in during the morning hours. Plaza Caracol, an air-conditioned mall with a movie theater, is within a five-minute walk. The resort is roughly a 10-minute drive from the airport, and around 15 minutes from Old Town Vallarta, the historic area that's home to the Malecon, a waterfront promenade. Taxis are reasonable and the dirt-cheap local bus stops out front.
The beach in front of the hotel stretches for over a mile. The upscale marina development, with multiple eateries, is a 10-minute drive to the north. Nuevo Vallarta, home to the popular Flamingos Beach, is 20 minutes farther; its eight-mile long beach stretches all the way to Bucerias and has gentler waves for swimming; it also lacks the rock barriers found along on the beach here. Visitors should note that it has only a few public access points.
Clean rooms, most with ocean views; Club and Family Rooms available
There are 291 rooms at the Fiesta American, including an accessible unit. Marble floors are standard throughout, as is light-colored wood furniture with wicker accents. Rooms have a king-size or two double beds, with white bedding and coral and brown runners. The look is modern enough, if generic. Standard amenities include free Wi-Fi, and minibars restocked daily with beers, juices, waters, and snacks. Coffeemakers and coffee are also provided, as are flat-screen TVs, safety deposit boxes, iron boards and irons, and air-conditioning that works well. Travertine bathrooms have either shower/tub combos or big walk-in glass showers. Somma or Gilchrist & Soames toiletries are included.
The first floor of the building is dedicated to Family Rooms; these have larger balconies, but worse views and less privacy, as it is easy to look over into neighboring balconies. They have two double beds and a separate sofa bed, and can sleep up to six. Mountain View Rooms are the entry-level category and lack any ocean view. The second and third floors are dedicated to Superior Rooms, while the seventh floor is the Fiesta Rewards Members area, and the ninth floor is the Fiesta Club section. Guests report that upgrading to a higher floor is worth it for the better ocean views, and that the ninth-floor Club Lounge -- which serves an exclusive breakfast and evening appetizers -- is extremely convenient. All of the rooms feature private balconies with lounge furniture, but take note: the slight curvature of the building means that while your direct neighbors next door can’t necessarily see anything (aside from in the Family Rooms, where they can), guests on the far edges will still have partial views onto your balcony. The Governor Suite has its own customized decor.
One of the best stretches of beach in the Hotel Zone
The Fiesta Americana is on a great stretch of beach that's especially deep and long for Puerto Vallarta (not known for its large beaches). Guests would be hard-pressed to find a better stretch in the North Hotel Zone, although those willing to go north to Nuevo Vallarta can find an even nicer beach there. Waves here can be a little rough, but the cove in front of Fiesta Americana is a bit calmer and it is easier to swim here than in front of some other hotels. Loungers are blue mesh and plastic (these could use an upgrade) and shade is provided by palm trees and palapas. Though there are vendors, they're not supposed to cross over into the resort's dedicated beach area, and there is a .
Freeform pool with swim-up bar, kids' and teens' clubs, and a pretty spa with relaxation pool
The pool is big and sprawling, with a swim-up bar and a dedicated zero-entry kiddy section that's sectioned off. The entire pool is pretty shallow so adults can stand everywhere. The resort prohibits reserving loungers with towels, and will actively remove towels from loungers that aren't in use -- so there's no early-morning scramble to snag a prime spot. Food and drink service is provided at both the pool and beach. Daybeds are also available for rent; the fee typically also includes a massage.
The kids' club includes activities such as drawing, pool games, and Mexican lottery, and the teens' club has ping-pong, air hockey, and foosball (adults, take note -- only teens are allowed!). There are playgrounds set up around the property, and there are also volleyball nets and water sports. Organized activities may include beach volleyball, yoga by the pool, cooking lessons, salsa lessons, and water aerobics. There is usually live music in the lobby in the evening, and some nights there are shows such as Mexican dance performances.
Nakawe Spa has seven treatment rooms with air-conditioning, six with rain showers (some indoors, though one we saw was outdoors) and one couples room with a private whirlpool. There are also a steam room, a sauna, and a relaxation pool. The resort also operates a fully equipped gym with modern weight and cardio machines, free weights, and views out over the jungle landscape.
The business center has three computers, and three meeting salons, each with space for up to six. The convention center has seven salons and space for up to 520 people, with audio-visual equipment available for rent. The resort also has a variety of souvenir, boutique, and tobacco shops, along with free parking for up to 100 vehicles. Also on offer are babysitting service, laundry and dry cleaning, money exchange, and an ATM.
Most guests are very happy with the food at Fiesta Americana, and there are a good number of options for this size of resort. Chulavista is an open-air, palapa-style space that serves all three meals, including the breakfast buffet -- this is the only breakfast option. There are two other options for lunch, including the beachfront Cevicheria, which serves items such as fish and shrimp tacos (these are especially popular) and, of course, ceviche. There's also a casual poolside grill.
For dinner, there are multiple a la carte restaurants: Rosato serves Mediterranean and Italian specialties, L’Isola (which shares the same space as Rosato) focuses on meats and seafoods (surcharges may apply for lobster and steak), El Mexicano serves Mexican food, Tiantang serves Asian cuisine, and the Fajita House (which occupies the same space as Cevicheria) serves, you guessed it, fajitas. Not every a la carte is open every night and some may close seasonally; most guests report there being three or four options. Note that the Asian restaurant does not allow children under 12. Unlike at many all-inclusives, there is no formal dress code in the evenings. There is no regular dinner buffet, but there are usually a few themed dinner buffets each week, such as a Mexican buffet with an accompanying show.
Other options include a lobby lounge serving tapas, where there is live music in the evenings, the swim-up bar, and a coffee shop. Room service is available 24/7.
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