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Wow, that was a crazy trip. First off, due to the crazy freak tornado in Colorado yesterday our 3 our layover turned into 6 hrs. And man, the Denver airport drove us freaking crazy. I swear Martin was delirious! lol, poor thing... We left our hotel at 11am, arrived in Dallas half past midnight and finally got home and in bed asleep around 2am.

 

Anyways, back to the beginning. Our first day of traveling we woke up at 4am, got to the Westin around 1:30. Check in is not til 3pm so we went and had lunch and a pina colada on Nikki Beach. This is how we ended the trip last time so it was neat to do the reverse. We wandered back to the front desk at 3:30 and they said our room still was not ready. We waited a little while in the front lobby but soon the pina colada wore off and we started to get pretty cranky from the lack of sleep and traveling. Went up to the front desk to inquire about the room and were told it still wasn't ready (about 4pm). They gave us 2 drink tickets at the lobby bar so we went and had our 1 drink each (btw, wouldn't recommend the Lobby Bar pina colada). Came back around 4:30 - still not ready. They asked if we had eaten. Unfortunately we had already paid for lunch and were not hungry - just tired and cranky! lol We sat in the lobby lounge looking pretty P.O.'ed. Eventually a manager came over and apologized saying that they don't have many King beds and they were full last night. Well ok, but this is today. We had booked a King Ocean Deluxe room. We explained our situation and told her that we were expecting to have all of our guests stay here next year but were now worried that this would happen to them (there was some front desk mix up last time we went in Dec too but it was promptly taken care of). She then proceeded to tell us that the hotel would most likely not be able to accommodate our group next year since we expect around 50 ppl and most of them are couples. Her reasoning for this was that they only have 50 king beds out of 200-something. wtf.gif This is a year out and you haven't even checked availability, lady... pokestick.gif She was extremely frustrating to speak with. Finally she offered us a King room on the lower level (a category below what we had booked) so that we could go rest. At this point we were just growing more upset so we took that. She said she would call when she got our room available. By the time we got to our room I felt exactly like a cranky baby, LOL. I just started crying because I was so disappointed in how they were treating us, and at that point we had pretty much ruled out this hotel for our guests. We did not factor in time to go check out hotels in the area so I was pretty bummed. We LOVED our stay at the Westin before. I was just feeling very disappointed and the lack of sleep was really starting to get to me. Finally Martin marched up to the front desk and demanded we be switched to the newly renovated side even if it was 2 double beds. We finally got our Ocean view room. The renovations did not look good. Everything was very bland - al white walls, little to no art, etc. The only cool thing was the flat screen tv. To top it all off they knocked out part of the wall between the bathroom and the bedroom and put in wooden shutters. lookatme.gif Hi, look at me while I'm on the pot!!!! LOL, wth?! We did get a couple of funny pics of me posing which I will upload later lol. By the time we got settled in it was nearly 7pm. We took a nap and woke up around 8:30. I think we went to Victor's in the Marina for dinner. Interesting place - you buy a beer for $1.50 and they bring you a shot of tequila with it. I was not in a big drinking mood but Martin tried the tequila and said it was pretty smooth. They also give you a night cap at the end that is sooooooooooooo yummmmmmy. A mix of Kahlua, Bailey's and creme. Seems to be sort of a tradition there as they did this at a couple other restaurants too. Ok I am drooling now - I may have to make myself one tonight wink.gif

 

The next day we went to the Pier at 8:30am to meet Nicole for our trip to Las Caletas. She's a super cute girl and was very sweet. Last time we had a difficult time finding Kelley and almost missed the boat so it was nice to see Nicole there waiting for us. We took some pics with a parrot, bought a souvenir and hopped on the boat. Unfortunately we were some of the last ones so we were not able to find a seat (my fault - I was too busy looking at souvenirs before we loaded up). Last time we went we took the afternoon cruise so this was a little different. No alcohol on board and a little more PG rated entertainment wink.gif I guess the drinks and constant entertainment on the way over last time kept me calm and preoccupied because this time I started to get sea sick. Uh oh... I went and asked for a Dramamine. Luckily Nicole caught me just before and told me not to take it because we only had about 30 mins to go and it wouldn't kick in and would only make me feel worse. Good call. The entertainment started then and she found me a chair. Giving me something to focus on REALLY helped and I started to feel better within 5-10 mins. Once we arrived all was excellent. Martin booked me a 1/2 hr massage and it was sooooo great. My only complaint is that it wasn't a full hour! As I was laying there I listened to the waves crashing and envisioned my wedding day. That was the most peaceful time of the trip for me. As for the stairs - I did them! It wasn't so bad. Actually I think I came back with a reduced fear of stairs! There are stairs and cobble stone streets all over PV and I did pretty well with all of them :) Nicole is great - very organized and friendly. Easy to work with. She left around 1 and we enjoyed the rest of the day exploring (LC girls, I FOUND THE BED! lol) and relaxing on the beach. The ride home was fine (alcohol included this time lol).

 

 

 

Ok this is turning into a novel so I'll try and be brief here on out..

 

After we got back to the hotel we were able to speak with another manager who was sooooo much nicer - she profusely apologized for the other manager, and she got us an updated King Bedroom immediately. It was on the Starwood Preferred Guest floor and had free water and a fruit basket. We discovered that the other "updated" room we'd been in wasn't finished. The renovations actually look pretty nice. When we left we gave her the flowers that Martin had gotten for me and she was extremely thankful. She gave us her card and said to call her for anything we needed from here on out. It's amazing how different the two managers were.

 

During our stay we ate at Las Carmelitas,Barcelona Tapas, Daiquiri Dicks, La Paloma Dorada (sp?) and Z-Tai. We were on a mission to find a place for our rehearsal dinner. Daiquiri Dicks was great - right on the beach in Old Vallarta. We walked from Barcelona Tapas to there and it was great to get out and really explore. D.D's has good, strong margaritas and good salsa. At Barcelona Tapas I had the sizzling shrimp and Sangria. Yummy. Las Carmelitas was really just so-so. The food wasn't very good and the view was not as good as we had expected. We also had a crabby cab driver who charged us way too much (we later found out he should have charged us half of what he did) so that could've thrown our perspective a little but I personally would not go back. We ate breakfast at La Paloma Dorada in the Marina and it was very good and inexpensive. Highly recommend it. Z-Tai is a cool Asian inspired restaurant - very modern. At night it turns into a club.

 

The Botanical Gardens were gorgeous but a looooong ways from town. I'll make a different thread about that since I really think it would make a nice place to get married when it's not the end of the dry season.

 

Uhhhm I think I've covered everything. Sorry if it was hard to read - my thoughts are kind of jumbled still. Of course we also have a ton of pics which I'll have to go through. If you are looking for a specific pic of one of the aforementioned places let me know and I'll try my best to get it posted or to you.

 

*EDIT* And of course, most importantly Tacos & Beer is now including Pizza... Tacos & Pizza & Beer!! rofl.gif

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Great review Jaime. I'm so glad you are not afraid of the stairs anymore! I can't believe you got sick on your way over though. I thought it was surprisingly smooth but I did sit on the floor- not the bench seating. We were the last ones on the day of the wedding too so there wasn't much seating. I think it's because they go to Nuevo Vallarta first.

 

So all in all, are you looking for a new hotel?

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Wow, that sounds like a whirlwind trip. It's really too bad to hear about the poor service you received from the first manager. I would be totally outraged by that experience! It sounds like the stars aligned against you that day. I'm sure that you will end up enjoying your wedding in PV though! Isn't it the coolest spot!?

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Originally Posted by LC_Rachel View Post
Great review Jaime. I'm so glad you are not afraid of the stairs anymore! I can't believe you got sick on your way over though. I thought it was surprisingly smooth but I did sit on the floor- not the bench seating. We were the last ones on the day of the wedding too so there wasn't much seating. I think it's because they go to Nuevo Vallarta first.

So all in all, are you looking for a new hotel?
Oh yeah, I didn't think about the stop before in NV...

Oh and Nicole told me that since ours will be a Sunday wedding they will take me over on a blow up boat of some sort with two engines that gets you there in 20 minutes! Whoa. Not sure if that will be better or worse for sea sickness but at least it's over in a flash wink.gif

Oh and they did do the tour of Los Arcos on the way over...

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Originally Posted by brittbrowne View Post
Wow, that sounds like a whirlwind trip. It's really too bad to hear about the poor service you received from the first manager. I would be totally outraged by that experience! It sounds like the stars aligned against you that day. I'm sure that you will end up enjoying your wedding in PV though! Isn't it the coolest spot!?
Yeah, it was no bueno...especially considering it wasted almost our entire first day there.

My Dad got married at The Westin which is a big tie for me. I think we will try and book there and see if looks like it will work out. If not I'll be searching the heck out of the hotel section on here! wink.gif I hope the Westin works because most of the hotels we saw we did not really like. I hear the Presidente Intercontinental is great but it's really far - further than Dreams & Playa Fiesta by like 5-10 mins. We've looked into some villas that I really like but haven't really found one that fits. That and since most of our guests will be first time visitors to MX I think they'd feel a little more comfortable at a "normal" hotel that they recognize.

Oh, and I heard from Nicole that The Melia in the Marina only has double bed rooms! What's up with the lack of King Beds in Mexico...??

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Presidente Intercontinental looked so pretty from the outside and it's not very big. I had looked at it in the beginning but I think we chose not to do it because it wasn't AI and it was nearly as much to stay at our resort which was AI. Our resort was even further than that. The distance wasn't too bad and it kept our group together.

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Originally Posted by JaimeLynne View Post

Oh, and I heard from Nicole that The Melia in the Marina only has double bed rooms! What's up with the lack of King Beds in Mexico...??
We'll be at the Melia in July so I'll let you know if that is true. I think they cater to families, I know Melia is more of a family resort. They do have Kings, I know since some of my guests booked them, however most of my guests are traveling with children or so they prefer a family room.

Thanks for the review J!

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Originally Posted by LC_Rachel View Post
Presidente Intercontinental looked so pretty from the outside and it's not very big. I had looked at it in the beginning but I think we chose not to do it because it wasn't AI and it was nearly as much to stay at our resort which was AI. Our resort was even further than that. The distance wasn't too bad and it kept our group together.
Rachel - did you stay at the Barcelo? That looked like another good option but too far for us...

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Originally Posted by Yari View Post
Are you a for sure LC bride now?? :)
I can't put my deposit down until June but it sure does look that way!

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Originally Posted by amyh View Post
We'll be at the Melia in July so I'll let you know if that is true. I think they cater to families, I know Melia is more of a family resort. They do have Kings, I know since some of my guests booked them, however most of my guests are traveling with children or so they prefer a family room.

Thanks for the review J!
Hey Amy!

Nicole said that she had a bride that they put in a room with double beds for their honeymoon... a honeymoon suite w/double beds! huh.gif I will be glad to hear your perspective of the Melia :)

Btw, I still love the Mayan. You are gonna love it there! We were laying on the beach at the Westin our last day there, and I was staring at the jetty just daydreaming. It is such a lovely location. Too bad Martin is set against a "hotel" ceremony. Or maybe that's a good thing because then it would be more decisions for me which I obviously don't need cheesy.gif

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Originally Posted by JaimeLynne View Post
Hey Amy!

Nicole said that she had a bride that they put in a room with double beds for their honeymoon... a honeymoon suite w/double beds! huh.gif I will be glad to hear your perspective of the Melia :)

Btw, I still love the Mayan. You are gonna love it there! We were laying on the beach at the Westin our last day there, and I was staring at the jetty just daydreaming. It is such a lovely location. Too bad Martin is set against a "hotel" ceremony. Or maybe that's a good thing because then it would be more decisions for me which I obviously don't need cheesy.gif
wow, that sucks! Honestly, I would never HM there. The hotel is so-so, I'm sure you remember my posts about this hotel, but it was affordable and and AI and in the vicinity. I doubt my review will be A+ but it will do and I'm sure we'll still have a great time.

I better love the Mayan! It will be too late to change plans once I arrive in PV- 3 days prior to my wedding day!

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Originally Posted by JaimeLynne View Post
I think we went to Victor's in the Marina for dinner. Interesting place - you buy a beer for $1.50 and they bring you a shot of tequila with it. I was not in a big drinking mood but Martin tried the tequila and said it was pretty smooth. They also give you a night cap at the end that is sooooooooooooo yummmmmmy. A mix of Kahlua, Bailey's and creme. Seems to be sort of a tradition there as they did this at a couple other restaurants too. Ok I am drooling now - I may have to make myself one tonight wink.gif
I SOO meant to tell you about Victor's Place in the Marina!!! Last time we went to PV we ended up going here almost every afternoon to relax & have a few drinks!! Do they still bring out the fresh chips & salsa while you have your beer & shot? Man that place is great!!!!!

So sorry to hear about some of that crap you went through!!!! I'm glad that you had a good time in the end, but wish it had been more relaxing for you!

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