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Our Quick Puerto Vallarta trip Hotel La Jolla de Mismaloya Report

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Our Quick Puerto Vallarta trip Hotel La Jolla de Mismaloya Report

Old Sep 18th, 2005, 09:19 AM
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Our Quick Puerto Vallarta trip Hotel La Jolla de Mismaloya Report

I. We are 60+ needed quick and easy one week getaway from our home in central California. After consultation with Fodor friends here, we selected Puerto Vallarta. It was perfect for what we wanted out of this trip. Good food, tropical, nice hotel, easy, simple, quick. On all of that, we did good. Trip dates: 10-17 September.
After comparing deals on many sources, including direct, went with Expedia.com. At the time, my server was acting up, called their 800 number. I was more comfortable with this, first time using Expedia for international. Doesn’t cost any more. Expedia did outstanding. Will definitely use them again and recommend to all. Air, hotel, and round trip transfer worked perfectly. Our America West flights, with one stop in Phoenix, worked perfectly. No problems, and when we showed up a little early for departure from PV, got an early flight.
Arriving PV, after getting the green light (I let her push the button), kept looking straight ahead as we walked through the army of time share salesmen, and kept muttering “ExpoVallarta, ExpoVallarta” Some one pointed me toward their little office off to the right.
They were expecting us, called us by name, I gave them what Expedia had emailed me, and they presented us with some information and a coupon, and escorted us to our taxi. The taxi driver was young, friendly and gave us the option of tunnel or through town. We said through town, and he gave us a little tour with a running commentary, mostly english. We traded Mexican/English words. This helped us immensely to get a picture of what we had been reading about. For that I tipped him a little extra.
After a confusing hotel search, consulting several friends and Fodorites here, decided on La Jolla de Mismaloya, and we were very glad we did. The property is well situated on the fringe of the Sierra Madre rain forest, adjacent to the cool clear Rio Mismaloya and the quaint little village of Mismaloya. We paid a little extra to be above the 6th floor which is above the tops of the trees and foliage, allowing a great view. We were placed in Building 1, which turned out better. Even though Building 2 has a direct view of the sunset, its patios are directly exposed to the blazing afternoon sun and as such are completely unusable in the afternoon. The patio/decks in building 1 are always in the shade this time of year. Upon arrival, the hotel was virtually deserted, but became more active as the week progressed, especially Friday when a very large convention of dirt bike and ATV riders came in. They very well behaved and interesting. There had been a large competition in the forest nearby, and this was how they ended their week of racing. There must have been a couple hundred bikes and ATV’s, trailers, etc., in the parking lot.
Martin (Marteen) at the front desk was extremely friendly and helpful throughout our stay. He explained that the annoying little white wrist band was for security purposes. We later found out that white means NOT all inclusive, blue IS all inclusive, and red is for day use, which there were several each day, especially as we got nearer 15 September, Independence Day. We also found out from another guest that when one passes out at a bar in town, they know from the wrist band where to take one, and deliver one to one’s room in a wheel chair. By far, most of the guests were Mexican throughout the week.
ExpoVallarta has a rep that comes to the hotel each morning at 9:30 and we met him the next morning and booked an adventure with him. It was not necessary. The hotel activities desk is much more convenient, more information available (Estaban was full of information), can charge to room, etc. So we used the hotel desk from that point on. Same costs. Stay tuned for next part of hotel report.
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Old Sep 18th, 2005, 09:21 AM
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Continued from above:
The staff of the hotel was universally friendly and helpful. Constant cleaning and repair work ongoing. My little bit of Spanish was greeted gleefully, and we tried to help each other with our Spanish/English. At the internet office, Daniel told me one peso per minute, but I didn’t get charged. I think they have DSL.
We liked retuning to the hotel from our daily excursions to town as it was very much cooler out here near the jungle. I would say 5 to 10 degrees. There was a cool breeze most of the time. This is not to say it wasn’t hot and muggy. After all, it is September. But it seemed much more bearable up there, and my wife used the word “prettier” which is very important to her.
The beach was greatly effected by Hurricane Kenna in 2002, and now is very small. But on the north end there is enough for several lounge chairs and umbrellas. Quite satisfactory for us. The sand is very nice. At the south end is the little Rio Mismaloya which you can wade across to a confusing awray of palapa restaurants and boats for hire. Walking along this stretch of beach created much fun conversation with the palapa owners and vendors. Adrian was very talkative, and we sat down at his palapa and had a couple of Coronas for 150 pesos each. He swore his mother made the best pancakes in Puerto Vallarta. Never did go back to try that. My wife got into serious negotiations with a trinket vendor named Julio. They went round and round. 5 days later when she returned, he remembered her with a big grin. She finally bought a couple of toe rings at about half of Julio’s initial price a few days before. He was still grinning when we left.
The food at the hotel was, well, ok. And of course, hotel $$$. Didn’t eat there much. Had a box of cereal and juice from a store for our breakfasts in our room each morning, then usually ventured out for activity, pool lounging, or whatever. Room had a complete kitchen. Activity and restaurant report on a different post.
Taxi to centro was about $10 US, the bus 5 pesos each one way. The bus was fun, about 6 pm fills up with city bound folks, otherwise not crowded. We were usually the only gringos on the bus, but never, ever felt uncomfortable. There was a sign posted at the front of the hotel with the taxi fares to all major PV sites. So no more fun with taxi drivers. Uhmm. Not sure about that. It seemed like that part used to be fun. But that was some time ago. The bus left you off at Basilio Badillo and Constitucion, Pick up about a block away. Very convenient to downtown, shopping, etc. Only took 15-20 minutes.
Upon arrival we eschewed the mechanical musty aroma of air conditioning. Turned it off never to turn it on again. Opened the slider and soaked up the ambient tropical air. Only negative was the condensation inside the room made things a bit slippery, but hey, that’s what the slippers in the room are for, right (they came with the robe-very nice). Bugs were not a problem.
On Friday afternoon, a tremendous thunderstorm came to us. Thunder and lightning was literally right on top of our building. Rain was so thick, hard to see the hill beyond building 2. Mist shrouded mountains were beautiful, and the storm was awesome to behold. When the rain stopped, fog and mist danced among the greens of the forest. Lots of people stayed in the ocean and pool. We felt it coming, and scooted up to our room from Adrian’s palapa and watched from our patio. Little Rio Mismaloya was raised about a meter, and for a while brought lots of silt and debry. An amazing display of nature.
I will report on restaurants and activities (not very many) on another report. Got some work to do now. We did indeed enjoy the Mismaloya. Glad we stayed there. Felt quiet and remote and somewhat removed from the heat and hectic nature of downtown. Because of that, probably not for everybody.
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Old Sep 18th, 2005, 09:43 AM
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thank you thank you for the report (so far)... you know i was cheering you on for this trip! thrilled it turned out so well for you both.
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Old Sep 18th, 2005, 09:44 AM
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glad you were happy with your choice, and sounds like you had a great trip! Thanks for letting us know how it went!
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Old Oct 18th, 2005, 06:38 AM
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Topping for Allison's family.
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