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All reviews royal side lobster alfredo royal restaurant suites pool pool side pillow menu master suite ribs palladium resort private restaurant main resort pool bar jacuzzi tub travel club a la carte the mexican restaurant
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Reviewed April 15, 2008

We arrived on April 4. Sure was great to get warm again. The weather was perfect for the week we were there.
Our trip price was $3,142 for two people for one week. After we were there I felt kind of ripped off as other people paid about $1,00 less than we did. I have doubts about using my travel agent again.
We had to fly out of Vancouver which cost an overnight stay at the beginning and if we didn't want to put the family out at home we had to return via Nanaimo because the Friday ferries back to Victoria are full by 6:30 pm.
The Palladium Suites is separated from the Palladium Resort by a chainlink fence. Suites guests are welcome to both facilities but Resort guests are restricted entry.
I found the Suites side to be a lot more quiet. The pools were lovely and warm, if not a bit hot, more like a hot tub. There was pool service or rather sun bathing service as the waiter brought drinks right down to the beach. The drinks were higher end than the regular Puerto Vallarta AIs. I didn't notice what they were serving at the Resort.
The Suites included an al a carte that was fantastic. The lunch menu was always great. Hopefully I can attach some photos. I am all about the food when I travel.
I found the al a cartes to be okay. Some dishes are better than others but you can get that at home too. We were offered surveys at two of them and I completed them honestly.
Sweat part, was the non working air. For 3 days we didn't have air-conditioning and we complained and explained but nothing was done. Because of sensors on the door the air would work when you opened and closed the door. It would shut off after about 1 minute. So I guess they would check buy walking in and the air would be on. We hopped up and down all night opening and closing the door. Finally a non-English speaking guy came on the 3rd night and we worked it out that it needed an electrician. On the 4th night we said we wanted a different room and it was handed to us immediately. Why didn't we make demands before?!
I was really glad to move because I didn't like that room configuration. The jacuzzi tub was in the middle of the room and the toilet room didn't have a fully enclosed door. Even though we are married and my honey has seen me squeeze a baby out, I still don't want him to listen or smell me having to poop or visa versa.
We took the public bus to Buserias ($1) one day and to Wal-Mart ($1.50) another. We bought some booze at a store in Buserias. We could have saved a couple of dollars by buying it at the Duty Free. But what the heck. Next time. If you go to the Duty Free at the airport it is past all the security checks.
In the evenings they have very nice entertainment in the square by the theatre. However, we didn't enjoy it very much as it was very pungent. The air seems to change direction after dark and you would smell the zoo and also the roofs of the buildings are made of straw. It reminded me of the barn, hot straw and manure. Now add the body products of all the sweaty people, yuk!
Don't forget a hat, ear plugs, sunscreen, and oh yes, bug repellent. The Palladium is out in the country and we got bit multiple times. (No bed bugs though as we have been dealing with them at our work so every hotel gets an inspection before we even sit on the bed.)
$1's for tips. You maybe going on an AI but the staff get paid peanuts and need to rely on tips. A trip to Wal-Mart or the Mega Grocery will show you that the food isn't cheap.
Would we go again? Next time to Mexico we will be taking the family and going to the Royal DeCameron for sure. There are more pool options and quieter places to play. Plus the buffet breakfast never changed the whole time at the Palladium Resort. Boring. The pool that welcomes everyone is horribly loud with Spanish continually being yelled over a microphone or else it is techno music. I would go back to the Suites (adults only) but it would have to be a better price first.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
4  Thank Lavonne_Huxley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 1, 2008

We stayed at the Palladium Suites Mar. 24-Mar.31, 2008. We were looking for the "quiet time" which a resort far outside PV might provide. I have to admit, the suites-side of the Palladium provided exactly that, except from 8:30 - 11:30 P.M. every night, including Sundays, when loud speakers blasting music (live entertainment and CD's ) at the Sports/Hemingway bars precluded thinking or sleeping. We were in Suite #4213 in Building one, facing the Palladium bar-side. Were I to go again, I would request an even numbered suite in Building 2 or 3 because they might be more quiet.

Even though our room might have indicated we were on the 4th floor, it actually was the third. There are no elevators, but the flights of stairs are not difficult to manage, unless you have trouble walking stairs. I nopticed handicap ramps from the driveway to the lobby, from Villa 3 to the pool and restaurant areas. There were stairs to the terrace and the beach, but, again, these were not excessive.

Our room was clean. It was made up every day by 10:30 a.m. We left for breakfast, put the sign out to please make up the room, and when we returned, all maintenance had been done. Of course, we were never sure if we'd get 2 body lotions, and no shampoo, one or two packets of coffee, 3 soaps, or none. In other words, the re-stocking of the bath amenities was somewhat random. However, a quick call to the front desk or a comment to the maid resolved those issues quickly.

The jacuzzi was huge. The jets were clean & powerful. The rooms have a safe, a table with 3 drawers for clothes, a suitcase table, a small desk, two chairs, a small settee, bed, two bedside tables, TV that seems to get CNN & NBC only, & fridge.

The fridge is supposedly stocked daily with 3 beers, 3 waters and 2 cans of soda. On the first day, we had to request a bottle opener. Some days we got 2 beers; other days we got 3 sodas. Again the random factor was at work. We actually found it kind of fun to guess what we'd get every day.

There is only one wastebasket in the room. It could use two (personal preference). Each suite is provided with two terry cloth robes & 2 pairs of slippers. Nice touch! There is NO clock in the room.

The porch had a small plastic table and 2 chairs on it, under a thatched roof. Nice view of the mountains, and, a sliver of the ocean. In truth, the view didn't matter to us. We had a resident gekko we found fun to watch, plus a number of bird, butterfly & moth visitors.

There are two internet computers in the lobby at the suites. They worked fine. The lobby bar appeared well-stocked.

The Punta Mita restaurant food ranged between good to excellent. Breakfast eggs were generally OK; not great. The has brown potatoes tasted as if they had been made with cream. I found those indigestible, as were the sausages. However, there were sweetrolls, toast, cereals, and fruits available. When Giovani or Alfredo were cooking, the lunches and dinners were fabulous! Nothing better than their fish with their accompanying sauces!

After one week eating 3 meals/day at the Punta Mita Restaurant, tho, we found ourselves somewhat bored with the (lack of) variety on the menu. We never tried any of the restaurants on the Palladium side, because we heard from other guests that the food was terrible.

The beach is small and, as has already been mentioned, rocky. It is quite typical for the Pacific coast. The resort was using a small bulldozer while we were there to de-rock the area, and we saw people cleaning up the scrub and seaweed. It's simply not an Atlantic coast-type beach. We did enjoy looking in the tidal pools and walking over the hill to other beaches, picking up rocks and shells. This is not a super shelling area, tho.

The sewage smell people have also mentioned seems to come and go. The place where it is worst is under a grate going down to the ocean from the suites. There is a flagstone partially covering the sewer outlet that appears to have slipped. Were it not covered by a grate, I might have tried to shift it back into place. I did mention this to the concierge, but who knows if it will be taken care of.

The pool was warm, and clean. Poolside was quiet, with no children or activities bellowed on a bull horn, as over on the "regular" side.

Beverage service on the beach & poolside was good, and fairly frequent. Perhaps once per hour, someone would come by asking if we wanted fruit kebobs or something to drink. We always gave 10 pesos as a tip. In fact, for every meal, we left 20 pesos, ditto for the maid every day. Service people don't make much money, so we felt our tips (small as they were) would be appreciated.

The zoo over on the Palladium side seemed well kept, except for the one time when some worker abandoned a rake, tong-side up, in the cage with the ostriches. A quick call to the desk rectified this problem-waiting to happen. The zoo contains 2 spider monkeys, parrots, rabbits, 2 ostrich, 2 coatundis, two peacocks and pea hens, and some other tropical birds. They all look well-fed. There are crocodiles who are fed every Friday at noon in a pond at the front of the hotel; there is a cage with deer, that is somewhat smelly, but then what cage with a herd of deer wouldn't be?

I am surprised no one has mentioned the botanical gardens around the regular Pallaium hotel. The specimen trees and plants are clearly marked. We spent an enjoyable time walking the gravel paths around and up and down. People who have trouble walking should not attempt to go there, tho. The gravel is slippery, and the incline might be problematic.

The two small stores (a kind of general beach-resort, sun tan lotion, Mexican souvenir type) and a silver jewelry store were in the main hotel complex. Prices seemed higher than in town, but then, the articles have been "brought to you," so to speak, so you should expect higher prices.

Buses run to Punta Mita, Soyulita, Bucerias, the Marina and PV every 15 minutes until around 9 P.M. The cost from the hotel to Bucerias is 10 pesos per person. You catch the bus on the main road (right side for Bucerias, PV), and across the stree in fron of the real estate office for Punta Mita & Soyulita. Just wave the driver down.

All in all, we got what we wanted - a reasonably quiet vacation, at a clean resort with decent food.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank Travelingmaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 23, 2008

We enjoyed our time at the Royal Suites. Great value for the money.
***** Make sure to read my comments about Puerto Vallarta airport at the end. *****

Fact is the Suites & the Palladium are one property with some pathways to partition them.

The suites are an adult only pair of buildings with their own lobby, pool, bar, restaurant and beach access. There are many ways to wander over to the Palladium side.

We booked the Suites when we bought our package. Somewhat cheaper than than the $28US per person per day being quoted.

You get as many a la carte as you want and can book them from your room as opposed to standing in line for 3. In a week we only did 3 any way.

The resort was packed so some Palladium guests were upgraded to the suites gratis. You would have thought they would have placed people looking for a quieter environment over at the Suites but they rolled anyone over. Some looked for and tried to create the rollicking party where none existed. They may have had a better time on the Palladium side, I know we would have if they were there.

The rooms are good. Spacious and clean. Water temperature rolls from ice cold to scalding hot during many of the showers, a common piece of chatter pool side. Building 1, rooms that start with 4*** and end in odd numbers will have a lot of noise thrown their way as they are beside and fact the Palladium side.

There is a distinct sewer smell on the grounds, stronger at different times of the day and always around in some areas. Sometimes at the pool area.

Food is good to great. Never consistent but never bad and always looked & tasted fresh. The buffet is usually very busy. Empty food trays are common because of the traffic. The kitchen staff works hard to keep them full. Be patient.

The a la carte have decent menus that periodically change. The hours for each food place, including the buffet, are odd and limited. The staff is great. They work hard and seem to care. Their training and knowledge of the resort, it's amenities and policies are lacking. Tipping or not?...In some cases you get more attention in others it makes no difference. You decide, but they know who never tips.....The suites was easily worth the upfront money. Knowing what I know now I would have paid it at check in had we not booked ahead. If you want the option to go over to the busy resort side of music, kids, action & activities with the serene side to retire to - then you may enjoy the suites. The kids at the Palladium side were having a lot of fun Hey its Mexico. Enjoy the area, we did some good tours. It seems relatively safe in the area. Lots of guests took regular buses around. There are a few towns around with good sights, sounds and food. 5 Stars to Margaritas restaurant in Punta de Mita - tables on the beach for dinner at sun down.

If I didn't comment on whats important to you I can tell you for the price the Palladium is a fine resort. If you are missing what you want when you get there just ask.

*****
The "Gauntlet" at the Puerto Vallarta airport is merciless and cunning. Many tourists miss their buses because of the actions of the time share sellers in the "Gauntlet". The Puerto Vallarta airport authority has provided 2 areas which you will pass through after you get your bags. They are filled with people who will help relieve you of your time and money for time shares. They will say anything, represent themselves in any manner and never answer questions about your real tour operator or hotel. Get out of there! Never make eye contact do not say anything until you are outside with rain falling on your head or blue sky with a bright sun or black sky with stars. Walk, walk, walk do not stop. Did I say get out of there? If you can't take 2 minutes of incredible sales pressure DON'T GO TO PUERTO VALLARTA AIRPORT. We found numerous people from our tour company after we got past these 2 areas waving clearly visible signs as to get our attention. Do not believe the time share sellers when they tell your bus is late, or it will be here in 10 minutes or someone called with a message for you or anything else that comes out of their mouth. The people in the Gauntlet have NO responsibility to get you safely to your hotel or resort. Get involved with them and miss your bus - you are on your own. Check your tour company documentation, ours warned us about this. I want to add some emphasis. Straight ahead and out. You may want to ask your tour operator or airline why they would allow that to happen. There are many ways to buy time share without supporting this aggressive and threatening behavior. If you read this and see others getting pulled in during he Gauntlet walk let them know to keep moving. The time share "Gauntlet" is merciless & cunning.
*****

I am going to add a post for the Palladium as well. When you are at the suites you will spend a lot of time over on the Palladium side.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1  Thank RufEdfge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 8, 2008

We stayed at palladium on the resort side. We booked an ocean
view room(yes they do cost more).This was our fifth time at this
resort so we basically new what to expect. When we arrived there
was a beautiful fruit basket and letter thanking us choosing
Palladium. I guess they do recognize past guests!

The beach: This is one of the things we love as you can walk for
miles it seems with no other resorts on either side. It is also very
safe at nigh as it is so isolated. checked out the beach on the
other side not so nice! If you are staying on the suites side you
would have to use the resort beach.

The food: Yes it is resort type food which in my opinion all
pretty much the same.We did book the bbq and the mexican
for our a la cartes and they were all very good. One thing they
should change is the coffee service in the buffet. You end up
waiting for ever sometimes for them to bring you coffee it
should be available at the breakfast bar oh well not a big
deal I guess. The snack bar in the sports bar does make
the best pizza! He will even make to order for you.

The room: We had a fabulous room on the top floor in building
1 overlooking the ocean. It was amazing going to sleep with
the waves crashing and waking up with them as well. The
rooms themselves are not huge but have all the amenities.
I guess the balconies could be a little bigger though.

Day trips: we did not do any of the excursions as we prefer to
just get out and see some of the other small towns. We went
to Yelapa one day by water taxi I think it cost about $22.00 per
person return. Great day I highly recommend going there for
the day. We also did Bucerias a couple of times.One night
a bunch of us went in by bus to watch the hockey game. We
pretty much took the bus everywhere not because we are cheap
but because we love the adventure! Sayulita by far is one of
the most beautiful towns to visit. Very clean as compared
to say Bucerias and lots of great waves. We went into PV
one day and ate lunch at Que Pasa. Lots of ex pats to chat
with as well as really great food.

The resort: We did notice that it is showing its age a bit. Not a
big problem but there are definetly some improvements that
could be made. Lots of beach chairs though as the resort was
not overly crowded. We did not go to any of the pools as we
prefer to hang by the ocean.

All in all we had a really great time. I believe that your vacation
is what you make of it. The weather was great all though we
did find that it cooled off a bit at night so make sure that you
bring a hoodie or light sweater. We would absolutely go back
again!

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank lufzpv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 1, 2008

The Good:
The suites were spacious, clean and comfortable. Five stars.
( I understand that the rooms in the other part of the hotel left much to be desired.)
The pool area (where we spent many hours in our two week stay)was clean, quiet and the bar service very friendly. Five stars.
The private restaurant although a limited menu provided very good food. Four stars.
The entertainment was very good. Four stars.
The grounds (which included a small zoo) was well kept. Four stars.
The beach barbeque a la carte was enjoyable. Four stars.

The Bad
Although the service and spanish coffee in the Mexican a la carte was very good the food was not especially good. Three stars
The service in the Oriental a la carte was good, the appetizer good the main course not so good. Both my wife and I fely ill after. Two stars.

The Ugly
Each evening as my wife and I strolled across the bridge to go to dinner the unmistakable smell of sewage spoiled both our appetite and the ambience of the beautiful grounds.
The food in the buffet was apalling. I am not a fussy eater. I was raised to eat and enjoy what has been prepared. I have never encountered such bad food in all our years of travelling. Some of the meat dishes were so tough you simply couldn't chew it...not that you would want to it tasted so bad. The vegetables were overcooked ,mushy and terrible tasting. Some of the other dishes were disgusting looking and tasted as bad as they looked. I stress again I am not a picky eater. Last year for example we were at the Mayan and the food at the buffet was phenomenal. It was fresh and tasteful and the presentation was inviting..yet I did hear some picky eaters complaining about that. I shudder to think what they would say were they to sample the buffet here.

In closing, improve the quality and presentation of the food considerably. Improve the rooms in the main part of the resort and do something about the sewer smell.

We would not stay here again nor would I recommend it to anyone.

Stayed: February 2008
3  Thank gdjohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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