Upscale condominium resort with a great beachfront location and all-inclusive rates
Beautiful beach with thatched palapas and lounge chairs
Huge condo-style rooms with full kitchens or kitchenettes and up to three bedrooms
Massive freeform pool with zero-entry points and an infinity edge
Four restaurants that serve a variety of cuisines
Beautiful spa with numerous treatment options and a hydrotherapy circuit
Well equipped gym with a studio for fitness classes
Mini-market sells snacks, sundries, and light meals
Family-friendly atmosphere feels equally upbeat and relaxing
Guests have access to amenities at Villa La Estancia
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Time-share pitches are unavoidable
Might be too family-friendly for couples
Decor is slightly dated
Villa Del Palmar Flamingos is an upscale beachfront condo resort with a family-friendly atmosphere. The resort’s main attraction is its massive freeform pool, where guests gather throughout the day to swim, sunbathe, and take part in aquatic activities. It also has a beautiful beach, four on-site restaurants, a well-equipped gym, and a beautiful spa. The 275 condo units are spacious, and most have full kitchens, separate living spaces, and large private balconies -- but the Mexican-inspired earth-tone decor is slightly dated. Travelers looking for similar property with a more contemporary feel might prefer Marival Residences & World Spa, an upscale and all-inclusive property, though it's not on the beach.
An upscale family-friendly resort with a fun atmosphere and Spanish Colonial architecture
Villa Del Palmar Flamingos falls more on the upscale side of the spectrum and appeals to families who are looking for spacious, condo-style units in a resort setting. The eight-story tan buildings are designed in Spanish Colonial style, ornamented with blue-tile domes, red-tile roofs, and exposed wood beams. Buildings form a U shape facing the Bay of Banderas and flanking a central garden courtyard and a huge, gorgeous infinity pool. They all face the beach and sea on the northern shore of Bahia Banderas, so you'll get a great view no matter which room you stay in. Villa del Palmar lacks the constant activities schedules and wild atmosphere of some of its neighbors. This isn’t to say the property’s a total snooze -- pop music plays by the pool, guests take part in occasional water aerobics, and nightly entertainment consists of poolside movie nights and (tame) themed parties. Past guests have complained about aggressive time-share pitches.
Villa del Palmar Flamingos attracts all kinds of families, so couples may find the atmosphere a bit too kid-friendly. Next door, the hotel’s sister property Villa La Estancia, has a quieter, calmer atmosphere that might appeal more to adults.
In Nuevo Vallarta, with a prime spot on the northern end of the beach
Villa Del Palmar Flamingos is a beachfront property in Nuevo Vallarta, a popular resort town about 30 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta (20 minutes north of the airport). The hotel is located on the resort community’s northern end, which is quieter and less crowded than points further south. Nuevo Vallarta was developed in the ‘80s as a resort community, and hasn’t stopped growing since. The beach is lined with mega resort after mega resort, and large shopping complexes house restaurants, supermarkets, and American fast food outlets like Starbucks and Subway. Nuevo Vallarta doesn’t have the same authentic Mexican feel as Puerto Vallarta, and is known more for family-friendliness than nightlife. Travelers who want to spend significant time in Puerto Vallarta might want to consider renting a car, since taxis can be pricey and public transportation isn’t always reliable.
Spacious condo-style rooms with beautiful outdoor balconies and pool views
There are two basic room types at Villa Del Palmar: studios and apartment-style units. Studios are known as Junior Suites, and are the hotel’s smallest rooms. Measuring at 416 square feet, they’re still spacious enough to accommodate four people. Junior Suites have one king bed or two queen-size beds, fully stocked kitchenettes, and private balconies. Villa del Palmar also has one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites that range in size from 890 to 1,900 square feet. These apartment style units feature kitchens with full-size refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers, living rooms with foldable Murphy beds, and large bedrooms with private bathrooms. Some units have laundry facilities. All units include flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning, and free Wi-Fi. Spacious bathrooms feature showers and separate soaking tubs, some bathrooms have huge jetted whirlpools. Large vanities with one or two sinks are provided. Massive outdoor balconies provide even more living space. Most rooms overlook the pool complex, and some offer better views of the ocean than others. Oceanfront units, including a 3,500-square-foot penthouse, are available.
Room decor can be described as upscale Mediterranean with Mexican flair. Travertine floors, dark wood furniture, and wrought iron accents are distinctly Mediterranean, but hand-painted tile back splashes and colorful wall art allude to the hotel’s locality. While rooms are beautifully maintained, decor is a tad dated -- not in a horridly ugly popcorn ceiling and floral drapery-way, but more in a granite countertops and white appliances are no longer trendy way.
The massive two-level infinity pool with a waterfall feature might be the best in the area.
The massive freeform pool is the hub of activity at Villa del Palmar, but it’s large enough that different groups can carve out their own spaces. One area is dedicated to quiet relaxation, another is for activities like water aerobics and trivia. Kids play in shallow splash zones, and adults hang out above the infinity ledge. The entire pool is surrounded by lounge chairs and umbrellas. There’s plenty of space for everyone, so guests don’t have to worry about early-morning chair saving tactics.
Beyond the pool, the property opens up onto the beach, where thatched palapas and lounge chairs are arranged in neat rows. The beach has a long stretch of sand and calm water that’s great for swimming, kayaking, and boogie boarding. The beach has an activities hut where guests can rent equipment, or guests can purchase inflatable tubes and snorkel gear at the hotel’s mini market.
Villa del Palmar has three on-site restaurants. El Patron is the hotel’s signature restaurant that serves all three meals. In the morning guests can choose from buffet and a la carte breakfast options, but El Patron is exclusively a la carte for lunch and dinner. El Patron’s beautiful outdoor patio is a great place for sunset dinners. In addition to El Patron, Villa del Palmar has two outdoor restaurants that serve one type of cuisine for lunch, and another type for dinner. In the afternoons, the beachfront Pizza Bar serves pizzas (obviously), sandwiches, salads, and burgers. At night, it transforms into La Trattoria, an upscale white-tablecloth Italian eatery. Next to the pool is the taco bar, which serves authentic Mexican tacos during the day. At night, the taco bar becomes Yashinoki Suhsi Bar. The sushi bar serves a variety of maki, nigiri, and sashimi as well as different stirfries and tempuras.
The hotel’s mini market, Palmita Market and Deli, is a convenient amenity for hotel guests. The mini-market sells essential groceries and has a small deli that serves sandwiches, desserts, and ice cream. The market opens early in the morning for guests who want to grab breakfast on the go.
Villa del Palmar’s fitness center is packed with modern Life Fitness equipment, including treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, and a variety of weight machines. There’s also a separate studio for yoga and other fitness classes. The hotel’s 17,000 square foot Tatewari Spa (shared with La Estancia), is a beautiful Mediterranean-inspired oasis with 15 treatment rooms and a varied menu of massages, facials, and body wraps. The spa has indoor and outdoor components, and a hydrotherapy circuit with a sauna, steam room, pressure shower, and immersion fountain.
Wi-Fi is free for all guests and works well across the property, though it can sometimes to tricky to connect to.
Not a traditional all-inclusive resort, but meal and drink plans available
Though Villa Del Palmar is not a traditional all-inclusive resort, it offers all-inclusive rates. Guests who elect the all-inclusive package are entitled to three meals at any of the hotel’s on-site restaurants and Villa La Estancia next door. The all-inclusive package also includes unlimited beverages and wines by the glass, non-motorized water sports at the beach, and day passes for spa facilities (treatment prices not included). Speciality menu items such as Angus beef, jumbo shrimp, and lobster are discounted, but not included. Palmita Market purchases are also excluded.
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