The sprawling, all-inclusive Meliá, on the beach and close to the golf course, is popular with families. The breezy lobby houses an eclectic collection of Mexican art and memorabilia. The plazas beyond have still more artwork as well as garden areas, fountains, ponds, and bits of whimsy such as a supersize chessboard with plastic pieces as big as a toddler. There's a huge pool, an outdoor theater with nightly shows, and elaborate children's programs and amenities—including a climbing wall and a batting cage. Rooms are quiet havens in subdued blues, creams, and sands. Considering it's an all-inclusive, prices are very reasonable.
Apr 25, 2011
We just got back this morning from our trip, and as soon as we hit NYC, JFK we were like "I want to go back snf snf". We actually visited this hotel 5 years ago, and accidently stumbled upon it again, We highly reccomend families to go here. There are couples that are there, but it is hotel for families. We have 20 month old twins, and they had a great time. To start the cleanliness is remarkable, everywhere you turn someone is cleaning something.
We upgraded to the M-Experience, it is truly not much more in money and it was worth it to us. We had a fabulous ocean fron room with a hammock on our balcony, we received a fruit basket the first night, and the concierge was on point and then some. Staff: top notch, it is rare to find people who truly love their job, truly care for kids, and truly have enough patience to deal with so many different children personalities and temperments. All the staff speaks english and spanish, and if they don't understand they don't brush you off they get someone to assist you. At the concierge desk, Oscar and Alejandra went above and beyond. For instance sounds silly, but I couldn't get my blackberry to charge, well I was waiting for some business calls. Oscar through his bag of tricks got me the right charger, it ended up not being the charger but at the time we started simple. then he got us in a taxi himself and told us where to go. It cost 6 US Dollars to get to this beautiful mall, and there we found some one who could assist, a new battery... UGH. But I was thrilled it was working, and when you feel anxiety and it is relieved the concierge did their job. Adriana at the Concierge was also fabulous, she checked us in and made sure all the accomadations were just right, and that my kids were happy and had cribs. My Kids were in the Baby Rock Club, I can not begin to tell the greatness of the staff! Karina and Nadia were amazing, they went out of their way for each child to do things they liked. Isabella likes elmo and Mickey, they had her dress up like Minnie Mouse, did face painting with her and put elmo on video for her. Dante loves trains, and planes they put together a train set for him, and also played in a pit of balls with him. The first couple times that we dropped the kids off it was tough a new environment new people, but the staff was great and they adjusted like most kids do! The pool bar staff were great, I never had an empty drink, and it was done with pleasure. And the Waiter at Vitrales (Italian Restaurant) named Jonathon was fabulous, he met the kids on Wednesday, and when we came for a romantic (no Kids) dinner on Friday, he remembered the kids names and was quick to ask about them. Adriana also at Vitrales she helped with wine selection and drinks, she also stood out from the crowd. The people I mentioned are the ones we had direct major contact with, but all the staff is great, from the maintenace to the spa, to the front desk, to the bell boy, everyone is friendly and greets you with a smile! Entertainment: very good, not always on time, but once it starts it is good from beginning to end. the staff put on a very professional performance. Ok I live in NY, it is not broadway but it sure is a nice copy. the dancers are well trained, and do a great job. everynight was a different show. One night was the Flintstones, earthday, circus, comedy, illusion show. and there is always a pre show for the kids, where all the kids get on stage and are part of the fun. Also during the day, you can do as much or as little as you want, the entertainment staff offers everything. There is pottery you can paint, dance lessons, scuba training, water aerobics ect. Food: OK I am a tough critic. Vitrales restaurant order the vealand the mushroom salad. We ate there several times for dinner. we also ate La Palapa (grill) bring bug spray as it is outdoors, and is right next to the ocean so a nice breeze. The food was good, but once was enough. We ate at Azulejos (mexican), which was good, but again once was enough it is also outdoors but not near the beach no breeze at all. The breakfast buffet is good, something for everyone just croweded. That is the same with the dinner/lunch buffets. There is allot of food. For the three main restaurants you need to make reservations as soon as you get to the hotel, especially if it is their busy season. Later dinner services are busier then the earlier ones. We did upgrade to the M-Experience, and I felt it was worth it. The room alone was great but there was nice perks as well. They also knew it was our 5 year weddin anniversary, so they surprised us at our romantic dinner with a mariache band, and on our dessert plates wrote happy anniversary (at Vitrales restaurant). The Concierge also sent up chocolate covered strawberries. mm mm yummy. Is it the Ritz Carlton ... NO, but then my kids wouldn't have fun, and my neck would hurt from keeping my nose in the air the whole time. It is a clean, fun, family focused location. Also there is no casino at this hotel, which I found to be a perk. I didn't want that scene around my kids. Also it is only a 5-10 minute ride from the airport, which gets your vacation started quickly. You hear allot on line about people trying to sell you time shares. Its true at the airport be careful, I did not see it at the hotel. Although they do offer it you make your own decision, we actually said to the concierge that we did want to know how much and what you get, but we would not buy then, and did not want our vacation wasted. they took us straight to the manager, we spent 30-40 minutes got the information and left no pressure, my husband and I are 50/50 haven't decided yet. Enjoy your vacation at the Melia you won't regret it!
Aug 13, 2009
We would have given this resort 4 stars except for the condition of the elevators. For most of the time we were there, at least one of the two elevators to our room was broken. On the last day, both were; so, we had to either walk up eight flights of stairs or go on a scary service elevator (and receive comments from the staff that we should not be on them!). In talking to the front desk, at first, they were unaware their elevators were broken and
had been since the night before, despite signs having been posted by the Melia regarding the situation. After confirming this was true, their attitude was more about questioning why were we complaining since it happens every time it rains. I guess if you are there during the dry season, this is not a problem. Overall, this place is nice, but nothing extraordinary. The grounds are lush, clean and generally well-maintained (except for a certain lamp post and a few other minor issues). Iguanas, geese and ducks wander the grounds and koi swim in their pond. One problem is the tiled main courtyard, which while pretty, is dangerous since the tiles are slippery when wet. The beach is okay, but nothing like a wide, blue water, white-sand Caribbean beach. Most of the time we received extraordinary service, but if we asked or needed anything out of the norm or complained, they were rude. Check-in/check-out took awhile. The resort consists of high-rises. Our room had a modern and clean look with a flat screen TV, but unfortunately, a hard bed. The floor is a marble-type material, which is slippery when wet. We could hear our neighbors, especially when the water was running. This resort is popular with Mexican nationals, so it is not a little USA-town. In addition, this resort is for families. Do not go stay here if you want to avoid children. They are everywhere. The professional and extensive kids club has entertainment specifically for children every night as well as daytime activities and sitting. Our children stayed at the four and under kids club, a rather dark place about the size of two hotel rooms. They have an outdoor play area but it seems they only go out for a brief period each day. We did not have a problem with this since we never intended to leave our children there all day and they already had plenty of outdoor time. Toys and a ball pit fill the room. The caregivers play videos for the kids and organize activities like play-doh and making jewelry from cereal. Our four year old seemed to have a good time but did not want to go back. Our one year old did not want us to leave him (normal behavior for him) but didn't want to leave when we came to pick them up. They have a basic playground that occupied our children for an hour at a time and one they wanted to go back to repeatedly. It is best for about one to seven year olds. The huge pool has about five sloped entrances and sections for little ones to stand up in/on as well as a fountain, although no slide. They have a kiddie pool but we never went in it. There is a swim up bar! but as a result, random plastic cups float throughout the pool. In addition, bees swarm the swim up bar area. The food was better than expected for a buffet and the Italian restaurant decent. We had no problems from drinks with ice, cheese, salad and fruit but I do believe we had a reaction to the salsa (which tasted incredibly good though). It appears that Melia guests pay certain rates for taxis. Posted at the security desk/bell hop, these rates are better than one would receive normally. We even received these rates when coming from places like Nuevo Vallarta or the Marina terminal. If going to downtown, take the bus. Way cheaper than a taxi, it doesn't take much longer. Catch the bus at a stop across the street from the Melia, to the left, by a lamp post. Look for others waiting, or ask. Take the bus labeled centro/downton to go to the malecon and main part of town. Take the "tunnel" bus for the zona romantica (although I am not sure whether these come through Marina Vallarta since we never caught this bus). Coming back, the stops in town are labeled and there were always people waiting along the northbound one-way street about three streets up from the malecon. "Marina Vallarta" goes to the Melia. On another note, if you want to help turtles nest or release baby turtles, contact this organization: www.vallartanature.org From May to November, they can arrange a time for you to assist the turtles at night. Their location is at the CasaMagna Marriot, just down the street from the Melia. Plan to do this early in your trip because if you don't see any turtles, he may let you try again.
Jan 2, 2008
My wife & I, along with our 2 children (ages 16 & 13) stayed at the Melia from Dec 20-26th, 2007. We had a fabulous time. We were at this Melia 2 yrs ago and decided to rebook again this year. We are happy we did. Staff & Service were excellent. Food was varied and good- except the desserts look great but are very average in taste. There's lots for children to do. The hotel keeps people active with water aerobics, water polo, volleyball,
climbing wall, shuffleboard, etc. The night shows are fun to watch and entertaining. Our room was adequate to good. We had a family room with two full or queen beds and a bunk bed. The bunk bed was surprisingly comfortable. We asked for a quiet room, since I read in an earlier posting that rooms on the 1st and 2nd floor can get noisy. The staff accomodated us per our request. However, at night, a band regularly plays in the main hotel unit. It can get noisy if you are an light & early (before 10pm) sleeper. We didn't get harassed with the timeshare, but we were definitely approached (only once). The staff is incented to sell timeshares. There is a convenient ATM outside the Melia. However, it was out of money a couple of times. Great value, Great hotel for families. Very lovely grounds. Huge swimming pool that my kids loved. Can take the bus into downtown. Very close to airport (make sure you bargain for the taxi ride from airport to Melia. Walk across street and get a cab. Cost us $6 US after haggling).