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Booked Grand Mayan at Vidanta - Nuevo Vallarta - suggestions?

Discussion in 'Mexico Timesharing' started by woj027, Nov 16, 2018.

  1. woj027

    woj027 TUG Member

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    We just booked Grand Mayan - Nuevo Vallarta - 2 BR through RCI via Wyndam (if it matters).

    There will be 4 of us, 2 adults, 1 child (8), 1 grandpa, staying at Grand Mayan for spring break 2019 (last week of March).

    Any suggestions, must do's, don't do's for our week there? This will be our second time to Mexico, we went last year to Mazatlan.

    Thoughts about sitting through sales pitch to get upgrades or discounts? My wife and i will take one for the team if we get some reasonable benefit.
     
  2. jssquared

    jssquared TUG Member

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    I think you will love the resort and the area. A few highlights particularly with a child that age: wave pool and water slide at the resort, turtle release program at the resort (ask at the kids club to buy tickets), depending on mobility of grandpa you can walk along the beach to nuevo vallarta marina and eat there (we like Eddies Place for casual food), go to Malecon (boardwalk) in downtown Puerto Vallarta and wander around (about a 20 - 30 minute cab ride and lots of choices for food), check out vallartaadventures for an excursion (if the child snorkels a whale watching / snorkel trip to the Marietas islands is great), if you golf the lighted par three course at night is a really unique experience. Lots of food options from formal to casual. Eat at La Plaza with lots of kiosk type places (frozen yogurt, crepes, chocolates, pastries, etc.). I would imagine the general advice would be to skip the presentation as it will take the better part of a full day no matter what they tell you. Also, if you plan to eat on site at the restaurants buy the meal ticket book as it should save you money (especially if you are eating at the formal restaurants).Kids club and Joy Squad have some nice activities for the kids around the resort. Will likely be busy in March, so making reservations ahead of time will be helpful.
     
  3. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    If you booked through RCI, you will have to pay a resort fee before you go. There is a web link to a site Vidanta has that includes what you get for the fee. At the bottom of that page is a link for terms & conditions. Check what it says now, print it out, and take a copy with you. Last I looked, it included a 10% discount on charges to your room and a tour certificate for 2 to a local village. They give the tour in Riviera Maya as well (different one, of course).

    They’ll try to get you to attend a sales presentation, of course; typically you get 10% off room charges and a free breakfast. If you go, verify it’s another 10% since you already get 10% for the resort fee. They might change what they offer, but I haven’t done an RCI exchange there since they put up that site.

    If you walk out to the Nuevo marina where Eddy’s is, there is an OXXO store for simple groceries that’s cheaper than the resort store (La Plaza). There is a small market that happens there Saturday morning (crafts and some food - we got some good goat cheeses and eggs from a farmer there). There’s also a market at the marina in Puerto Vallarta, but you need to take a taxi or bus to get there. There’s a bus stop across the street from the OXXO; ATM bus going to Puerto Vallarta stops there ~ every 20 minutes and costs 18 pesos - the “directo” goes there directly but the “Riu” goes north to the Flamingos area first. You can take a taxi, but it costs more.
     
    T-Dot-Traveller likes this.
  4. woj027

    woj027 TUG Member

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    I checked out the resort fees on the RCI site. $630... yikes.....
    Looks like I don't get 10% either. Not sure what I'm getting thats worth $630, let alone $30.

    During your vacation at Vidanta, you will enjoy a variety of amazing benefits granted exclusively through your daily resort fee. Find out more about what great benefits you can enjoy at each of the Vidanta destinations:

    • Transportation from the airport to the resort
    • Refreshing custom welcome cocktail
    • Access to exclusive world-class entertainment experiences
    • Access to state-of-the-art fitness facility
    • Daily housekeeping and nightly turndown service
    • Convenient and environmentally friendly on-resort transportation
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi Internet on 3 devices to keep you connected
    • Daily newspaper delivery
    • Unlimited free local calls
    • Personal safe for secure storage
     
  5. Corey Watson

    Corey Watson TUG Member

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    The resort is great and even with the $630 weekly fee probably still a good value depending on what your RCI trade was worth (We have booked two 2 bedrooms for Dec 2019-the RCI points go a little father in December (outside Xmas or New Years week) than Spring Break. The 2 bedrooms are HUGE. Skip the tour and enjoy the vacation. The Joy Squad is their team of mostly young adults who set up the pool games They are awesome. We also go to WalMart on day 1 after we check in to get beer, water, etc...This is important: pack bathing suits in carry on as the resort is known for luggage taking a couple hours to reach your room. Check in is slow, and nothing you can do will change it. Get in vacation mode and relax.
     
  6. woj027

    woj027 TUG Member

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    Corey, Eric, Thanks for the insight. I've got a few more months to hear from others, just booked, so a bit excited.

    I'm a bit of a beer snob (pacific northwest, microbrews) will I be drinking a lot of Pacifico again?
     
  7. Corey Watson

    Corey Watson TUG Member

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    I don't remember any microbrews. Pacifico, corona, modelo, mostly...Funny story, we were in Playa Del Carmen a couple years back and the cheapest beer at Walmart? Coors light. No joke and they had a ton of it.
     
  8. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    https://www.vallartaeats.com/food-tours/craft-brew-bites-food-tour/ good tour of craft beer outlets in Puerto Vallarta. Cork & Bottle is a good retailer in old town.

    The OXXO at the marina carries tecate and carta blanca, which aren’t the greatest, and Dos Equis and Indio, which are better. The Dos Equis is the same as in the states. Indio is a Vienna lager/Octoberfest type of style. Indio costs about 12 pesos a can at OXXO.

    At the resort, there are a few craft beers available; typically they have 7 Barrios blonde, pale ale and porter, one called Latina that I didn’t care for as much, and a few others sometimes.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  9. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    Not sure that I’d agree that Coors light is beer. Their motto is “it’s just water” after all.
     
    dmurray007 and woj027 like this.
  10. woj027

    woj027 TUG Member

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    Thanks! I’m thirsty at home. I think I’ll have another beer


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  11. woj027

    woj027 TUG Member

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    That’s my fear, cheap beer that I personally don’t like


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    They do a good taco tour, too. Use the promo code pveats and you can get a discount on the tours.

    If you go to the Riviera Maya one, Akumal is a good local craft brewery with the usual ones (porter, pale ale, etc.). Haven't tried too many more there yet.
     
  13. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    Had a bit of extra time this morning to look at the difference in the resort fee terms when I go to the site. It turns out that they are different depending on which whether you go from RCI or the Registry Collection. From the Registry Collection you get (with differences highlighted):
    • Transportation to the resort from the airport and back to the airport
    • 10% off your entire bill at check out
    • An amazing tour for two to the historic town of San Sebastián del Oeste (Nuevo Vallarta) or Chichen Itza (Riviera Maya)
    • Refreshing custom welcome cocktail
    • Access to exclusive world-class entertainment experiences - (I believe this is referring to the resort amenities which are also available through RCI, though not mentioned)
    • Access to state-of-the-art elite fitness facility - (This sounds better for Registry anyway....)
    • Daily housekeeping and nightly turndown service
    • Convenient and environmental-friendly on-resort transportation
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi Internet on 3 devices to keep you connected
    • Daily newspaper delivery
    • Unlimited free local calls
    • Personal safe for secure storage
    From RCI you get:
    • Transportation from the airport to the resort
    • Refreshing custom welcome cocktail
    • Access to state-of-the-art fitness facility
    • Daily housekeeping and nightly turndown service
    • Convenient and environmentally friendly on-resort transportation
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi Internet on 3 devices to keep you connected
    • Daily newspaper delivery
    • Unlimited free local calls
    • Personal safe for secure storage
    Not sure if there is a difference coming from Interval. SFX doesn't have a warning about the resort fee, so I couldn't check to see what the differences are. I've received the welcome cocktail when using an SFX exchange there (although I didn't this last time). The resort fees for RCI and Registry Collection are identical, although typically the resorts that you can exchange from in Registry Collection are more expensive MF-wise to start out with and the exchange fee is higher. The taxi fare back to the airport is 185 pesos now IIRC, so that's not worth worrying about; might be higher with 4 people, though, but not more than double the 1-3 person fare. We haven't done the San Sebastian del Oeste tour yet, but I believe it was something like $59/person through Vallarta Adventures. In my opinion, it's nice to see they differentiate the benefits a bit for different customers based upon what they've invested in the trip there aside from the resort fee; it also makes some sense from the perspective of market segmentation. I have yet to ever see a daily newspaper delivery at a Vidanta resort, though, and wonder what paper they are talking about.
     
    rpennisi likes this.
  14. woj027

    woj027 TUG Member

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    Thanks. All this info is great info!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. Cabocowboy

    Cabocowboy TUG Member

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    I would highly recommend against the excruciating agony of a presentation. I hope you have a better experience checking in than we did 2 years ago. The choice of rooms is controlled by the sales department. If you don't do the presentation, they put you in a crappy room. Yes there are really nasty crappy rooms in Grand Mayan. I'm talking black mold with a view of a parking garage on the back side. I think if you tell them you will sign up and give them $20 security payment, and then keep postponing and never go to the presentation you will get the good rooms on the ocean side.
    If you survive the multi-hour check in process, you are going to enjoy the resort and beach.
    For sure, take an excursion over and see Rhythms of the Night. Short boat ride from the marina to the private island which is a short walk on the beach for y'all to get to the boat and marina.
    We also did a snorkeling excursion out to the Marieta's Islands. Very cool and family friendly. Good luck and enjoy Vallarta!
     
    Eric B likes this.
  16. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    For the multihour check in, you’re best off carrying your bathing suits with you and going to the pool while waiting for your room.
     
  17. woj027

    woj027 TUG Member

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    After reading more threads about Vidanta it sure seems like my wife and I will be better off avoiding the sales pitch and just taking the room they give us at Grand Mayan and not try to get an upgrade.

    We won't be purchasing any contracts from Vidanta
    So, the best we could do is:
    1) Upgrade would only be a 2BR on a lower floor to a 2BR on a higher floor with a view (the rooms are all the same?? https://www.vidanta.com/web/nuevo-vallarta/the-grand-mayan-suites )
    2) Possibly 10% off of our Restaurant / Bar tab (which could be something over 7 days)
    3) other? haven't read about specifics for non-owners (discounts on off site adventures?)

    Does anyone else have experience paying the $20 that Cabocoboy mentions about possibly getting a better room view.
    ??Are not all the rooms the same? "Yes there are really nasty crappy rooms in Grand Mayan. I'm talking black mold with a view of a parking garage on the back side."

    We are still hoping to be able to get off the property on our own a few days, that just involves some serious walking, unless they do have taxi pickup options like the app shows for NV)
     
  18. calberry

    calberry TUG Member

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    Cabocowboy, am I understanding you right that if you sign up for a presentation you give them a $20 deposit. And then if you don't go they just keep it and that's it? Assuming you have to unplug your phone for the rest of the stay ;-)

    This is the room we were assigned at GM NV by NOT attending the presentation: https://photos.app.goo.gl/wvoE7aBT4RSzGoKU9 First building, lowest floor, end of hall, NO VIEW, next to the 'mystery' building with truck back-up beepers going off at all hours. Definitely a clothing optional room as the trees blocked views both in and out! :)
     
  19. woj027

    woj027 TUG Member

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    Was this a 1 room suite? How was the interior? was it a it as bad as Cabocowboy says? nasty crappy room, black mold?
    is that the "plunge pool?"
     
  20. calberry

    calberry TUG Member

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    Yes, it was a 1BR. We did not find anything 'disgusting' in the room, it was just the location and complete lack of ANY view (there was no reason to spend any time on the nice large balcony because there was nothing to look at.) The shower did make some very funny/loud noises randomly at all hours (sounded like a toilet flushing but it was coming up from the shower drain). I called about the 2nd day and they told me they were doing work on the plumbing. Who knows...it didn't get better, but we just got used to it after a couple of days. And yes, it is my understanding that all 1-2BR units have the 'plunge pool'...a great idea in concept. We were there in March 2017, and the temps were actually on the cool side (high 70's to low '80s...and cooler over night). The water is not heated so it is ambient temp. I got in it once just for a 'photo op', but even after a long walk it was too cold to enjoy (went to the lazy river instead after that...LOVED the LR!!!)

    We will be trading in again (Interval) for next Feb/Mar for another 1BR, but will be going back for 2 weeks this time.

    Steve
     
  21. woj027

    woj027 TUG Member

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    Steve, Thanks for the update on the room. We are going through RCI via our Wyndham points with a 2 BR. 3 adults 1 seven-year old for spring break (2 weeks away!!!)

    oh yea,

    GO BEAVS!
     
  22. calberry

    calberry TUG Member

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    I'm not sure how you get in (RCI vs II) or what you use for trading (we use Marriott Ko Olina and Timber Lodge) has any impact on how you are treated and what room you are assigned.

    The adults should enjoy it, but the 7 year old should have a ball. We have 6 grand-kids and commented while there about how much they would enjoy it and that there was something for all age groups!

    Enjoy your trip...looking forward to hear how your check-in and room assignment process went.

    Go Bears!
     
  23. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    They do note how you get there (i.e., RCI, II, SFX, etc.) but I don't believe they get more personal info like what you traded with to get there.
     
  24. T-Dot-Traveller

    T-Dot-Traveller TUG Member

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    I assume your all in cost including the resort fee is $1500 or less / so your in the neighbourhood of an owners MF for a 2 bedroom -Grand Mayan.
    One reason for the resort fee is (this is IMO) a developer deposit into RCI so very little income to Vidanta from RCI .
    Vidanta wants/needs exchangers to feed to their sales machine . The TS sales revenue is used to keep building the (under construction) Celebrate Theme Park in NV etc. . The resort fee pays for the developer deposited rooms MF. IMO - SFX has a lower resort fee - probably because Vidanta & SFX have a different revenue split
    in their mutual contract .

    1) no rental car needed /& free incoming transportation
    2) All the towels you want , brought every day & full daily housekeeping (please tip the housekeeper)
    3) Rooms without an ocean view - yes *
    4) We have never had any room quality issues - if you find any / have housekeeping take care of it .(they will scrub)
    5) kids club & splash pool & lazy river are between the 5 Grand Mayan buildings and the beach .
    6) Turtle egg hatchery & release centre is on the beach (just to the right- facing the ocean) and has early evening /daily event for kids & adults .

    *March is high season & they are probably over 90% full . While the presentation bookers assign rooms , their inventory is based
    on who checked out that morning .
    You can get a decent location by saying - "I will think about it " & politely take what is offered with no comment - (then unplug the phone to avoid the follow up next morning phone call) If you ask " is this ocean view ?" - you are giving them an opening to pitch a room upgrade in return for a presentation booking.

    Non-ocean view gets the sunrise - I like drinking coffee on the balcony at 7:15 am as the sun comes up .

    Enjoy the vacation

    PS - keep walking / no talking as you go through the "TS shark tank" inside the airport .(after exiting customs)
    That is one reason for the free inbound transportation
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  25. woj027

    woj027 TUG Member

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    T-Dot, Thanks for the insight. Yea the more I thought about it I figured the resort fees were a way of managing the costs for current owners and making sure your maintenance fees don't go through the roof that would kill their time share sales. This way it's spread around..

    We are looking forward to all the things my 7 (nearly 8) year old will do, and the relaxing we will do.

    My only concern now is what kind of beer choices I will have....
     

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