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(2016) Puerto Vallarta Resort Input :)

Discussion in 'Mexico Timesharing' started by swiftyman, May 21, 2016.

  1. swiftyman

    swiftyman Guest

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    My wife and I just decided to go to Puerto Vallarta next month and we are looking at 3 resorts. These will not be timeshare stays, but I think at least 2 of them are timeshares, if not all 3, so hopefully you'll help me with my question(s).

    We have never been to PV or Mexico for a vacation (I went on a missions trip years ago, but it was inland) so it will be a new experience for us, but PV seemed like the best option for us without flying to the Caribbean side.

    We are looking at:

    Garza Blanca

    Costa Sur

    Marriott CasaMagna


    Garza Blanca and Costa Sur are our first 2 choices because we like to swim in the ocean and these 2 claim to have swimmable beaches if the tide is okay for swimming. Garza Blanca seems to be the more upscale of the 2 resorts, but Costa Sur's beach looks a little calmer. Costa sur is also a little cheaper for both AI and non-AI stays, but that's not a primary motivation (just something for us to consider).

    The Marriott is being considered because we aren't sure if we need to be closer to the "action", but we don't really know.

    If anyone has stayed at any of the resorts, or at least has knowledge of PV and their specific locations that could help me narrow down our choice I would really appreciate it.
     
  2. Seaport104

    Seaport104 TUG Member

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    I am a Garza Blanca owner so if you have any specific questions, ask away.
    Garza Blanca is the most upscale of the 3, although I haven't stayed in the other 2 just my observations driving by the properties.

    Garza Blanca and Costa Sur are not in the hotel zone while Casa Magna is in the middle of hotel zone. I looked at Casa Magna before years ago before I bought a timeshare and the lack of balconies made it a no-go for me.

    The beach in Garza is small but it is calm and very private. Costa Sur should be about the same since it is just down the road from Garza. The beach is Casa Magna is in the hotel zone so it is busier with vendors but you can walk along the whole strip.

    Although Garza is not in the hotel zone, it is a quick cab ride or you can take the bus right across the street to go to downtown PV and it drops you right by the resort coming back.

    The AI in Garza is worth it and you can just take AI for a minimum 3 days (but they must be consecutive days). The restaurants are fantastic and have awesome views.

    Here's my trip advisor review of Garza. I would pick Garza hands down when going to PV. If you go to Nuevo Vallarta, check out Villa del Palmar Flamingos (timeshare) but my fav is Villa La Estancia (fractional ownership)

    https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_R...anca_Preserve_Resort_Spa-Puerto_Vallarta.html
     
  3. swiftyman

    swiftyman Guest

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    Thanks for the reply.

    I saw on the website that Garza does a daily guided tour out to los arcos for snorkeling, but I was curious if they let you take the kayak out on your own to explore the coast line or if you have to keep it close to the resort?

    Also, any water or non-water activities you recommend as "must-do" in case we never make it back to PV?
     
  4. SciTchr

    SciTchr TUG Member

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    I would choose Garza Blanca if you can afford it. Staying south of town (Costa Sur is there too) is much, much nicer than the Hotel Zone IMO. It is a quick cab or bus ride to the South Side or El Centro/downtown. The beaches will be good south of town and the jungle is right there. Hard to beat.

    We toured Costa Sur on our last visit. Awesome location. The rooms are spartan and dated. Views are great. The pool area is lovely! The beach has a man made breakwater, which I would prefer not to have since I like ocean swimming, too.

    I have not been to the Marriott, but if it is true that there are no balconies I would not consider it. P!us, for us south of town is way better than the Hotel Zone. Just personal preference.

    I would pick Garza Blanca. I have not been there but it has a wonderful reputation.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  5. swiftyman

    swiftyman Guest

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    Ruth,

    Was there anything about costa sur that was a deal breaker in your opinion?

    We could afford Garza, but costa sur is about 60% of the price so we could either stay longer, or go back in the winter for a similar total investment...that's the main consideration to me.

    Twice as much vacation seems like a good idea, but not if it's a much less enjoyable vacation.
     
  6. SciTchr

    SciTchr TUG Member

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    The grounds are great at Costa Sur. Nice pool area with lots of people enjoying it. Seemed like a real friendly crowd. Beach was very small with a breakwater, which many like since it slows the waves. I would prefer a natural beach, but that is just me. The rooms were very basic, but totally livable if you do not want luxury or color. There is a kitchen which we have to have for breakfast and lunches. One building is studios and the other is one bedroom and larger maybe (can't recall if they have two bedrooms). Both have small balconies. When on the balcony you can see all of your neighbor's down both sides. There is no separation. Probably not a real big deal. We would stay there. I was looking at it on Expedia/Booking.com, etc. and they have some great deals with free breakfast. I guess it depends on what type of vacation you want. We were adding a week onto our normal place, which is Lindo Mar (RCI 2358). Now that place I highly recommend. When are you going? If it is soon (summer) you can get Lindo Mar through Trading Places International in their Hot Deals (rentals not exchanges).

    I have not been to Garza Blanca but have heard great things. It is over our price range for rentals, though. We like to stay longer, too.

    Are you exchanging or renting?



     
  7. Seaport104

    Seaport104 TUG Member

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    They do let you take the kayak out on your own but while Los Arcos looks close from the balcony, it's pretty far once you're in the water. I met a couple who did it on their own (on a previous trip) and they said it was exhausting.

    Unless you're an experienced kayaker, I would not do that trip on your own.

    List of must do's-

    These are my favorite tours (all from Vallarta adventures). They have a buy 2 get free promo

    http://www.vallarta-adventures.com

    Rhythms of the Night Tour or Las Calestas
    Outdoor Adventure (I did this 8 years ago when I was more fit and it was exhausting, not sure I can do this now :hysterical:)
    San Sebastian
     
  8. SciTchr

    SciTchr TUG Member

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    I just looked at Hot Deals (under the Rental Vacation tab) on Trading Places International and if you are going in June or other summer months for $349 you can get:
    * Costa Sur two bedroom
    * Lindo Mar three bedroom (most likely on first floor but has its own walled "yard" with a private whirlpool. The other three bedroom is the penthouse and it is very unlikely you would get that one, as it is usually owner occupied)
    * Lindo Mar two bedroom (better chance to get a room with a view)
     
  9. Seaport104

    Seaport104 TUG Member

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    Wow! I've heard great things about Lindo mar, that's a steal!
     
  10. SciTchr

    SciTchr TUG Member

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    Swiftyman, I just reread your original post that says you are going next month. You should really check out Trading Places Hot Deals. Lindo Mar is an incredible place. It is small timeshare (46 units) with boutique hotel feel. The restaurant, La Playita, is great. Pool is small but the ocean is unbelievable. It is a small sandy beach with rocky outcroppings. Great for swimming and snorkeling. There is a larger sandy beach (Conchas Chinas) real close. The bus stop is right out the door and down a little bit. You can walk to an OXXO for supplies. Taxis always available. It is really a lovely little spot!

    Now if you want to spend more, go for the $1500 Ocho Cascadas. It is an unbelievable experience. We have been there three times and love it so much. Incredible views.

    Check out TPI Hot Deals and get one of these bargain weeks. You can stay three weeks at $349 per week! And a one bedroom at Lindo Mar is only $294 for a week.

    PS My avatar is from Lindo Mar.

     
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  11. swiftyman

    swiftyman Guest

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    Thanks for the info! Unfortunately our tickets are already purchased and hot deals doesn't have days that line up with our flights.
     
  12. SciTchr

    SciTchr TUG Member

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    Oh, that is too bad. PM me your dates, if you want. I belong to a group where members rent out their Lindo Mar units for the maintenance fees. Maybe you would get lucky.

     
  13. timesharejunkie4

    timesharejunkie4 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We were at Costa Sur about 5 years ago; the beach was nice with easy swimming and snorkeling. We were in a 1BR unit that was severely dated but functional. The studio units were all being refurbished and were very nice but certainly not comparable to Garza Blanca. I would stay there again but in a studio.
    We have also been to Lindo Mar; we were in the 3BR penthouse which was to die for. We liked the on site restaurant. The beach was small and nice but both the beach and pool were very crowded at times; a few times we could find no loungers available at either. Lindo Mar has a nice vibe and I would stay there again.
    As others have said, Garza Blanca is your top tier resort. I have never stayed there but have only heard good things.
    The beach at the Marriott is just so-so. Someone said it was in the hotel zone which it is not; it is at the marina which is north of the hotel zone, close to the airport. You can do the most waking from the Marriott as there are quite a few restaurants and some shopping in the area. Of the three you mentioned, that would be my last choice because it is a hotel. The Marriott is maybe a little closer to the action of the south side and malecon unless you are counting the marina.
    You will need to get a taxi or bus to get to the real action from any of the three you mention. PV's bus system is great but you would have to cross what can be a busy road to get the bus into town from GB or CS.
     
  14. bjones9942

    bjones9942 TUG Member

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    I own at the Lindo Mar, and although it's off your list, I'll give a thumbs up to the Conchas Chinas area of town. Whichever resort you go with, I'm sure you'll have a great time!


    P.S. It was the posts like these that led me to scour ebay until a Lindo Mar unit came up for resale ... thanks for the most excellent pointers!
     
  15. SciTchr

    SciTchr TUG Member

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    Agreed about Lindo Mar. Love it there!

     
  16. macmanrider

    macmanrider TUG Member

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    There is one in there right now 2 bed 2 bath $1000.
     

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