help with Christmas trip to Mexico

Old Aug 8th, 2008, 02:10 PM
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help with Christmas trip to Mexico

Hi..we want to do a family trip with our three kids(twentysomethings) to Mexico over Christmas. We'd consider AI. I'm looking for nice quality, fun pools and things to do, good beach if possible. I don't know how to start...although I'm tempted most with Puerto V. ...please advice. Thank you.
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Old Aug 8th, 2008, 03:57 PM
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Why not Puerto Vallarta?

PV is a wonderful place & it's very festive at Christmas time plus the weather is usually near perfection.
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Old Aug 9th, 2008, 07:57 AM
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Could you recommend places to stay--AI and otherwise...?? Doesn't have to be 5 star but I'd like it to be nice and comfortable...thank you.
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Old Aug 9th, 2008, 09:58 AM
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If you're not familiar with Puerto Vallarta (state of Jalisco), the first thing that's good to understand is the lay of the land and general areas where hotels & resorts are located.

It's a wide stretch around the Bay of Banderas and your overall experience can be quite different depending the type of place and location you choose.

Nuevo Vallarta is the newer developed area stretching out to the north of PV (it's actually a different state, Nayarit). It's where the mega-property resorts are located. The beaches are very nice out that way. Bucerias is the closest town.

The Marina is between the airport and PV, about a 15-20 mins. taxi ride from El Centro/downtown. Casa Magna Marriott, Westin, etc. are located there. It's an upscale district with some restaurants and shopping.

Coming around the Bay, next the "Hotel Zone", hotel zone north then hotel zone south. By the south end you're staying within downtown (this may or may not matter to you, depending on your interests, if you want to be close enough to walk to things).

In El Centro, the downtown core, there are a few hotels here but not resorts. It's the older area, where you'll find the Malecon (a seawall promonade, lined with statues, sometimes featuring entertainment), the church (with the crown on the top that you see in photos), etc.

Crossing the Rio Cuale (river) then comes the south-side recently dubbed "Zona Romantica" in tourist brochures. Playa Los Muertos, the main local public recreational beach is located here.
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Old Aug 9th, 2008, 10:05 AM
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Here's some hotel and resort ideas, both AI and not, to get you started.

Marina/hotel zone:
Casa Magna Marriott
Velas Vallarta
GCP
Buenaventura
Villa Premiere

Southside:
Hotel Playa Los Arcos
Dona Susana
Los Arcos Suites
(these 3 are sister properties, sharing the beachfront ammenities at PLA)

Dreams resort (south of even the south-side 5 mins. down the highway, on its own each, AI)

Two best websites for PV:
www.vallarta-info.com
www.allvallarta.com

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Old Aug 9th, 2008, 04:19 PM
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Just a couple of tips ...

1) Christmas is very busy and I would try to book something pretty soon or you might be scrambling for lesser properties.

2) Christmas is usually the most expensive week of the year, both for rental properties and airfare, so make sure you check the airfares too.

3) With this many people it might be fun to get a private villa instead of staying at a hotel. I know that's what I'd prefer, unless the twentysomethings are looking for other twentysomethings to party with around the pool. If you were getting 3-4 hotel rooms anyway you could probably find a nice villa for a similar price and it will be more relaxing.

4) I've stayed at most of the west coast resort areas and Vallarta is probably the best for what you describe. I'd probably try for a villa just south of the center of town near say Conchas Chinas.

Do a Google search on "Vallarta villas" and go from there if this sounds appealing.

Bill
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Old Aug 10th, 2008, 03:52 PM
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Thanks for all this info...I had better get started. I'll have more questions as I start looking into these resorts. Stay tuned.
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