Vallarta Gardens a Boutique Private Residence Club
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
When you stay at Vallarta Gardens a Boutique Private Residence Club in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, you’ll be by the sea and convenient to La Cruz Sunday Market and Marina Riviera Nayarit at La Cruz. This 4.5-star resort is within close proximity of La Cruz Square and Playa Bucerias.
Make yourself at home in one of the 22 individually decorated guestrooms, featuring microwaves and flat-screen televisions. Your pillowtop bed comes with down comforters and Egyptian cotton sheets. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and cable programming is available for your entertainment. Private bathrooms with showers feature designer toiletries and hair dryers.
Spa, Wellness & Premium Amenities
Spend the day on the private beach or dip into one of the 4 outdoor swimming pools. This resort also features complimentary wireless Internet access and concierge services.
Food & Drink
Satisfy your appetite at the resort’s restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or stay in and take advantage of room service (during limited hours).
Business & Travel Amenities
Featured amenities include express check-out, multilingual staff, and luggage storage. A roundtrip airport shuttle is provided for a surcharge (available 24 hours), and free self parking is available onsite.
How to Get There
I booked this trip due to a promotion they were having-so yes I had to sit in on a 90 minute presentation which my husband paid most of the attention too because there was no kid center for my 2 young kids which it was told to me that they had one before booking this "all inclusive" resort. THERE IS NOTHING FOR KIDS other then the pools and beach area-which honestly you can only do so much outside in the heat in those activities.
NO KID CENTER
NO ONSITE ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS OR EVEN ADULTS
IF YOU HAVE A STROLLER IT IS DIFFICULT TO GO IN SOME AREAS cause there are a lot of steps and uphills and when your pushing 50lbs ontop of your weight its exhausting.
NO CHANGING TABLES for diaper changes in bathrooms so you have change them on the lounge chairs onsite.
CRIB they provide is like a tiny bassinet my almost 2 year old was crammed in this tiny crib and uncomfortable during our week stay-they do NOT have pack and play so if you plan on coming you may have to bring your own bed if you don't want to sleep in same bed.
My older daughter had to sleep on couch so there is only really 1 bed in the room we had so if your booking it on a promotion and have other kids be aware they never give you more then 1 bed in what every room you get-its either a studio or a 1 bedroom villa-so kids will sleep on L shaped couch.
CONCIERGE-is really horrible at details-They recommended a boating tour that on the advertisement it states you can zip line/snorkel/food is included-but they do not tell you that you pay for your taxi to the boat seperate-there and back which is about $50 or $800 pesos. There is an additional port fee when you get there for each person that is not a child, the boat is so UNSAFE FOR KIDS because people are sitting on plastic on unsecured chairs that move while the boat is moving and glide, and then you have to get on another smaller boat-a taxi boat to the beach area that is hard to get on and off with young children-NO STROLLER IS ALLOWED ON THE SMALLER BOAT-so you have to carry all your things. YOU HAVE TO BRING YOUR OWN TOWELS WHICH WAS NEVER TOLD TO US. THE MEALS INCLUDED are so horrible on the boat, and then on the beach the MEAL INCLUDED DOES NOT COME WITH A DRINK-these people are so CHEAP that they can not even include water with the lunch included. The people on the beach over charge for water and include their own tip in their prices-its all very shady. NOT TO MENTION THE WHOLE TIME ON THE BOAT THE MEXICAN MUSIC IS BLASTING SO LOUD AND THIS GUY ON THE BOAT TRYING TO ENTERTAIN IS SO LOUD YOU CAN NOT WIND DOWN EVEN FOR A MINUTE-DO NOT DO THIS BOAT TOUR-would not recommend it!!!! IT TRULY IS FOR THE LOWER CLASS and people without kids who just want to drink and not take much-cause you can drink as much as you want on the boat but not on land-otherwise you have to pay more. None of the other activities except for snorkeling is included-so the horse rides/waterfall/zip lining, parachuting, etc all are ADDITIONAL COST. IT IS NOT WORTH IT IN MY OPINION-and the conceirge-Augustine did not give us any of these details.
Augustine-she is the manager was not very nice as well when we were leaving-they wanted to kick us out at 12pm when our flight did not leave until 5 pm-she would not allow us to have a late check out until I complained so much more that she let us stay in a studio for an hour longer but booted us from our 1 bedroom quickly and then tells me that our ride back to airport is out of our pocket-when I was told that our ride there and to hotel was covered. The ride to airport is about $25 so its not a big deal but its the principle behind the whole stay that they do not treat you the same as when you arrive until after they find out you do not buy a time share. If they were smart they would treat people the best the whole stay so they would consider it-I WOULD NEVER GO BACK THERE EVER!!!
SO SECLUDED AREA-its not in puerta vallarta so its name is already misleading! You in the slums of La Cruz about 30-45 min away from Puerta vallarta. Its so dirty outside the gates there is nothing to see/your kind of stuck on this resort with nothing to do. THey have a gym and spa but none of that is included in you staying-ALL EXTRA COST to do a massage. AND THE AREA SMELLS LIKE DEAD FISH where you workout and do massage.
POOLS-the best pool-the only heated pool is the one by the beach and its falling apart-tiles are coming off, very slippery and people falling due to bad design. They had one under construction but not sure its much better. They have these other little pools all throughout but they are filled with debri and do not look clean to use nor are they heated. We only used the falling apart pool the most cause it was the most comfortable due to being heated but NOT IMPRESSIVE TO COME THIS FAR. NO SLIDES OR KID FEATURES in POOLS. BRING YOUR OWN TOYS AND BLOW UP ACTIVITIES CAUSE THEY HAVE VERY MINIMAL.
FOOD/RESTAURANT- CEASER for breakfast and lunch was AWESOME! He was the best and probably the best part of the trip because he really went out of his way to help us with my young one too. PASCUAL was also very good for dinner and very warm. The employees like KAREN/LUIS/MANUEL and many of the helpers that got drinks for us were very kind and we are grateful.
MENU-is not very KID FRIENDLY-they don't have a KIDS MENU-THey don't even change their menu daily-ITS THE EXACT SAME MENU WE HAD FOR A WEEK. We had to order Hamburgers for my little one every meal cause there was not a whole lot for him that he would eat. BRING SNACKS THEY WILL LIKE FROM HOME CAUSE THEY WILL NEED IT IF YOU HAVE KIDS UNDER 5. They have "specials" but those you have to pay addition $25 and many of the regular items were not that tasty-its like 3/5 star quality their food so I would imagine even their specials would be the same. It really seems like they have one cook and need some others to add some flavors to their food and their salad dressings were horrible. Ceser salad is the safest/Quacamole and chips/and the LAVA CAKE/deserts are decent, but otherwise the food is very bland/meats are dry-other then the hamburger. They use the cheapest cut meats like for the club sandwich, fajita-there is no carnitas. VERY POOR ON FOOD but there is nothing near you so you are stuck making your best. IF you add chicken to anyting they charge-IT SEEMS WRONG WHEN THIS IS AN "ALL INCLUSIVE" resort why one can not add chicken to their food.
There is not much shade and the sun is very hot so we felt isolated in our room and not a lot of indoor activities.
ATV riding excursion is the only one I would recommend if you have older kids, but with a 2 yr old I couldn't do it with my family and we were stuck in room.
THE LANDSCAPING AND RESORT IS PRETTY BUT WE DIDN"T GO THERE TO LOOK AT THE PLANTS AND STAY IN OUR ROOMS-its like attractive people-if they have no substance they get boring as did this resort quickly.
THIS RESORT IS GREAT FOR THE CLOSET ALCOHOLIC WHO JUST WANTS TO SLEEP ALL DAY AND OCCASIONALLY GET WET-NOT FOR FAMILIES WITH KIDS.
Coming to this resort really turned me off to ever going to MEXICO again because it was so disorganized and I felt that the kids were limited in many ways-food/activities/access and it was so ugly outside of the area that we couldn't even step outside the gates to go shopping cause nothing was near by. I would not recommend this resort at all.
They also go into your room even when you put up the sign "DO NOT DISTURB" so do not leave any valuables out in open because they do not respect your wishes. We used the safe in the room always and put our valuables in there but they have a key to access that as well.
ON RIDE HOME-they contacted a taxi but the taxi was not big enough so my husband had to cram the folded up stroller on his lab on the front passenger seat and carry it with him while sitting heading toward the airport. They are so unhelpful at the concierge so make your own arrangements cause they are not helpful and don't care about you. My husband had neck and total knee surgery so this exacerbated his current medical issues.
Stayed at the Vallarta Gardens as a part of their timeshare presentation.
Vallarta Gardens is NOT in Puerto Vallarta as the name may suggest. It is in fact located directly across the bay from Puerto Vallarta, between the Buccerias and La Cruz. It takes between 30 and 40 minutes (depending on traffic) to get from the airport and the city to the resort.
The area itself is rather dodgy, rural and littered. Immediately across the street there's a pharmacy and an obnoxiously fuscia strip club; there are also a couple of OXXO convenience stores nearby. Allegedly there are a couple of decent restaurants in Buccerias, but I didn't have a chance to explore.
That said, the view from the seaside of the resort is gorgeous; you see clear across the bay with the mountains behind it.
2. The Property.
Despite being in an overall dingy area, the resort itself is gorgeous. It is walled and gated, there is a lot of meticulously manicured greenery, and the buildings and paths are all very handsome. Great bird watching, if you're into birds. The groundskeeping staff does an amazing job keeping the property pristine.
There are two hot tubs and three pools on the property. One of the pools was under construction (apparently it will be an adults-only pool with a swim-up bar eventually). As a result, a substantial area near the restaurant was fenced off and construction was going on from sunup to sundown. It wasn't too much of a bother however.
One of the pools was in a pretty rough shape, with tile coming off the bottom and underwater light fixtures missing. It was still clean and usable, but clearly in need of maintenance.
I didn't use the gym, but walked through it; the building felt a bit dingy and there was quite the stench near the gym itself. No idea what caused it. The gym itself is fairly small.
3. The Beach
There is an artificial lagoon immediately across from the on-site restaurant; it is shallow and well-protected from the surf of the bay. The sand next to the lagoon is soft; however, if you go along the beach towards La Cruz, the sand gets rougher and there is more rocks. It is overall clean and well-maintained. Vallarta Gardens offers paddleboards and kayaks for rent. Paddling out into the bay or towards the nearby marina is quite nice, at least before the breeze picks up.
According to a mock-up shown to me by the salespeople, there is a plan to put walkways and some greenery on top of the rock walls of the artificial cove, and install a rather ambitious-looking seaside bar at the mouth of the cove. The salespeople said it was a five-year plan; but apparently the same mock-up was shown to people in 2014 and 2015, so I don't know how solid this plan really is.
4. The Room
We stayed in the Studio at the Hamptons. It is quite spacious, and was overall nice. The kitchenette, such as it was, consisted of a sink, a mini-fridge and a microwave (so don't plan on actually cooking there). The room had a massive flat-screen TV hooked up to a rather limited selection of satellite channels; a king-size bed, and a sofa. The bathroom was a bit smelly (I'm guessing they are having trouble cleaning under the wooden false floor of the shower). The shower itself was huge, with a glass door; there is a large fixed showerhead at the top and a handheld second showerhead, and a clothesline.
The toilet deserves a special mention of dishonor. I don't know where they found it, but the thing couldn't flush a single tissue without having to flush 2-3 times. No matter what you did, the minuscule amount of water it uses is woefully inadequate. Not a deal breaker, but quite annoying.
Hats off to the housekeeping staff - I don't know their names as I never actually met them, but somehow they would always find time to pop in while I wasn't in the room and tidy it up. Well done!
5. The Entertainment.
There is none, period. If you envision yourself doing anything at all after dark that doesn't involve strolling on the beach or sitting in your room, this is not the place for you. Bar closes at 6PM. Towel stand closes at 7. Kitchen closes at 9. If you want to socialize or drink late, your options are: go elsewhere, or organize a party in your room. The management's reasoning was that this is a family-oriented resort, but it felt more like a place for retirees who are seriously over the hill. Not bad if you are looking to unplug of course, but I was starting to go stir-crazy after a while. And it's not as if you could just walk out the front gate and go to a nearby restaurant or bar - as I mentioned, the area is a bit remote and dodgy.
I'm not looking to party all night long, but some late-night options would have been nice. This is the first reason for -1 point off the overall rating.
6. The Food.
The on-site restaurant is nice, and has no dress code much beyond "don't show up naked". The menu was varied enough to eat my way through it over the course of 5 days, but it would be fairly limited for a longer stay. Big shout-outs to the waitstaff: Manuel, Pascual, Heriberto, J. Carlos and our breakfast waitress Aracelli. Polite, quick, courteous, friendly and downright amazing. These people definitely made our stay better.
7. The Concierge
Overall good, though I thought they could have done a better job directing us to more interesting excursions. At the end of our stay, I was surprised that we were required to pay for our ride back to the airport, and it felt a bit like they were trying to get us out of their hair ASAP.
This is the second reason for -0.5 points off the overall rating.
8. The Sales Pitch.
Awful. Our salesman was Justin, whom I frankly found irritating. Instead of having breakfast with us, he just sat there and kind of watched us eat (weird). Got a little hot under the collar too during our chat over the meal, which instantly DQ'd him from selling me anything. He showed us several options of accommodations, then brought us back to the office and tried to blitz me with some out-of-context numbers (not a great idea when dealing with a former accountant). When I said no, he brought in the closer - a rather aggressive but entertaining British gent. At least this guy was fun to interact with (unlike Justin, who felt like he was impatiently going through the motions). The numbers they put on the table were not a good value for what was offered; at this point I was done with the whole shebang and gave them a hard pass immediately. I was then escorted to another office where a man named Gustavo had me fill out a survey on the salespeople performance, and then tried to sell me something that would have cost me $3,500 up-front, but then allegedly would have given me access to $20,000 to spend on travel in exchange for writing reviews. I asked for documents to take home and look over; of course there were none, and the deal had to be done here and now (a massive red flag). So I passed on that one as well. According to the reviews here they've been doing a similar thing for a few years and it didn't quite play out for people who bought into it. Glad I passed.
This is the third reason for -0.5 points off the overall rating.
9. Things I missed.
There is a fish market in La Cruz about 20 minutes walking along the beach, but somehow I never made it there. Also, people say there are a couple nice restaurants in Buccerias that are worth visiting, but I ended up dining at the on-site restaurant every time.
Great place if you want to just veg out by the poolside or by the seaside for a few days and not do much of anything. Gorgeous to look at, very well maintained and comfortable, but too remote from Puerto Vallarta proper and any kind of action that seems safe for the tourists. The timeshare part of it didn't seem like a good value for money however.
Vallarta Gardens is a beautiful high-end resort in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. The villas are large and very modern. The three pools are beautiful and they are adding more. There is a gym and health club and the outdoor massages are great ($45/hr). The resort is very close to both La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and Bucerias. The concierge staff is incredibly helpful and they made restaurant recommendations and reservations and ordered taxis to take us to the various restaurants. The water in the Bay of Banderas can be very rough so they built two breakwaters to provide a very calm and protected beach, which was great for the kids.
Don't get tricked. The resort and service are great, but that is how they draw you in. The sales presentations are not true. They get your money and do not give you what they promise. We continue to seek help from the resort to get what we paid for, but there is no response and we have not been compensated. So far we have not received any of the promised travel benefits that we purchised in July of 2018. NOTHING THEY TOLD US WAS TRUE. BEWARE!
A big shout out to all of the dining crew, especially Pascual and Manuel, but also Heriberto, Juan Carlo, Hassiel and Jorge! Treated my family like family :) The time share wasn't for me but an amazing retreat!