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jd May 12th, 2002 04:03 PM

Puerto Vallarata: Westin v. Sheraton
Am deciding between both of these hotels for a trip at the end of this month. Have heard that Westin is a nicer hotel overall, but there is construction going on out by the pool/beach area making it a miserable experience to lay out. Also have read mixed reviews on the quality/cleanliness of the Sheraton. Only upside for the Sheraton is the location. We are married, late 20's, looking for the comfort of an american hotel with the ability to spend our days in town hanging out.<BR><BR>So, if money is the same for both, and you have a choice of either hotel, what would it be for the trip, a Tower room at the Sheraton Bouganvilias (concierge level floor), or an oceanview room at the Westin Regina?<BR><BR>Thanks,<BR>JD

jd May 14th, 2002 11:57 AM

bump...oh come on, someone here must know about one of these....

Clarisa May 14th, 2002 12:44 PM

for jd: well actually not. i post endlessly about PV and places to stay (i love that town & have vacationed there 15 times in the past 10 years) but i stay in "old town south of the river". personally i wouldn't choose an American chain in Mexico, with so many other lovely possibilities.<BR><BR>the Sheraton's closer in towards downtown in the hotel zone strip; the Westin's in The Marina a bit further out near the airport.

barb May 14th, 2002 01:24 PM

Actually I did stay at the Sheraton. Granted this was 2 years ago but I found it a very nice property and the location is great. The Sheraton is (or was)a good place if this is your first time. Personally, I would not stay in any hotel in the marina area. Be fore-warned, the timeshare sharks are particularly relentless at the larger resort type properties.<BR>My next visit however, I will rent a villa or condo or something more "mexican".

jfaye May 16th, 2002 08:31 AM

I have also been trying to get input on the Westin. I have seen the property but never stayed there. I was very impressed with the rooms and the pools. And according to a friend, the "Heavenly Beds" are just that! There is no beach but I plan on wandering down to the Marriott or another neighbor hotel if I want to get close to the ocean. I am wondering about being in the Marina area. I can deal with timeshare sharks! Have you gotten any other feedback about the area?

The Marina May 16th, 2002 10:51 AM

The Marina area is very much like an "any resort anywhere" kind of atmosphere. Timeshare is all over PV, just say "no gracias" and mean it! I wouldn't stay in The Marina more because I LOVE the town and local people of Puerto Vallarta, and The Marina's got not a thing to do with that. Of course you can take a taxi or a local bus and ride the 15 mins. or so into the heart of things (El Centro, the Malecon, etc.). If actually seeing and experiencing Mexico is not high on your agenda, then go with either of your choices.

Kat May 16th, 2002 08:14 PM

JD<BR><BR>We stayed in the timeshare portion of the Sheraton. Very nice accomodations, however the bed were literally like cement. The main bed consisted of a mattress on a cement platform. It came as quite a shock as I flopped onto the bed after travelling for 12 hours - bone jarring. Not comfortable for sleeping at all. The grounds of the hotel are beautiful, especially the pool area - my sons loved the "lagoon"(sp?) type atmosphere. <BR><BR>I agree with other posters that the location of the Westin is not quite as good as the Sheraton. It is, however, a beautiful resort. I would take the construction into account. The first room we were shown at the Sheraton was next to construction (4 years or so ago), and we requested moving to a different room. Fortunately, since we arrived earlier than alot of other timeshare traders, we were accommodated. However, someone must have gotten stuck with less than desirable accommodations.<BR><BR>Kat

JD May 16th, 2002 08:51 PM

Well, I think that I'm leaning towards the Westin for our trip, given the "heavenly" bed and our need to actually catch up on rest this vacation. The trip to town might be a bit longer, but I think we can deal with that just fine.

Mindy Jun 6th, 2002 12:00 PM how was your trip? I am also having a difficult time deciding between the Westin and the Sheraton. Did the construction affect your stay at the Westin?

Kathy Jun 6th, 2002 01:10 PM

My suggestion - skip the hotels and try something new. I have been to PV 3 times in two years and am actually moving there next month. I have stayed in town in a privately owned home and a condo so of town, Both properties were rented from owners. I found the rental info on a site One time we travelled with other couples and rented a hosted villa (the only way to go and that's when we actually decided to retire in PV) If you can afford a nice hotel - you can afford a villa and it is worth it to have meals cooked for you etc and the pools/beaches are usually just for a very small # of people!

JD Jun 6th, 2002 01:47 PM

Westin Report:<BR><BR>We just returned from our stay at the Westin, and I can say that I had a wonderful time. The beach construction is continuing, but the pool areas are fantastic. While we occasionally heard some construction occurring, it was nothing that bothered us in the least. Management indicated to me that the construction should be over by July sometime. <BR><BR>My wife and I are more prone to use the pool than the beach anyway. The service is spectacular, we were never left waiting for food or drink, and the quality of food/drinks were good. The heavenly bed is amazingly comfortable and the rooms are tastfully decorated clean and spacious.<BR><BR>It is off season now in PV, so there are probably a lot less people than usual, which was nice. <BR><BR>Regarding location, I preferred the Westin in the Marina to the Sheraton which is closer to town. The Marina felt more resort-like and less busy than town. We did however go to town every day, usually at night taking a taxi which was usually about $5 each way in order to stroll the Malecon and have dinner. I would still take a taxi if I stayed at the Sheraton given the location.<BR><BR>Overall, I would definitely stay there again. On a high note, not once was I approached by timeshare hawkers during my vacation. I did not, however, go to the Club Regina desk even when offered free drink certificates for stopping by. <BR><BR>Just my two cents. Let me know if you have any questions.

joyce Jun 7th, 2002 03:42 AM

JD--Thanks for the good report. We are in PV for 10 days. Seven will be at the Westin and I need to make reservations for 3 more days. Any suggestions? I know you said you went to town--did you see anything nice there? I see alot written about Molino de Agua, Casa Andrea, and Camino Real. Would you happen to know anything about these places or something different than the Westin? Also, any recommendations for restaurants or bars in the Marina? And, did you do any excursions?

Clarisa Jun 7th, 2002 11:14 AM

for Joyce~~ Camino Real is outside of town on the other side from where you'll have been (5-10 min. taxi ride). If you want to stay IN town the other two would be better. Casa Andrea is a small B&B hacienda style low key kind of place. Very lovely place but definitely not a resort or even a "hotel". Molino de Agua is a larger, gorgeous property, a true "Mexican" style hotel and atmosphere. Either of these would put you easy walking distance to El Centro, the Malecon, Old Town, Playa Los Muertos, all the restaurants and shopping, etc. for your last three days.

JD Jun 7th, 2002 01:41 PM

Joyce-<BR><BR>I personally did not care for the hotels in town. Some areas of town around the Malecon were perfectly acceptable, other areas of town were very third-worldish in terms of architecture and cleanliness, at least in my opinion. You might be expecting something else going from the Westin to staying in town.<BR><BR>I was looking for a resort for my vacation, not a true "mexican style" hotel. The hotels in town do not have the amenities, to my knowledge, that a resort such as the Westin would have. While I am sure many prefer the old world charm of these hotels, I would be aware of this factor before going. Each has its own pluses and minuses.<BR><BR>I had dinner one night at the Marriott Casa Magna, also located in the Marina down the street from the Westin, and their japanese restaurant was very good. We toured the grounds and were impressed as well. <BR><BR>If I were going to spend three additional days elsewhere, it would be a no-brainer. The Four Seasons at Punta Mita would be first on the list (price being no option of course). Look at the website, and you'll understand. <BR><BR>It all depends on what kind of trip you want for your vacation...

JD Jun 7th, 2002 01:57 PM

With respect to bars and restaurants, there is a pizza place and fancy restaurant in the marina along with a beauty salon, but not much other than that. The hotels have plenty of bars, if you are looking for nightlife, the Malecon is the area to be. Lots of bars and restaurants. It is very fun to stroll at night.<BR><BR>As far as restuarants, I highly recommend a place called La Palapa on Los Muertos Beach, it is highly romantic, especially at sunset, probably one of the most awesome places I have ever eaten at, make sure to get a beach table for dinner. I also really liked Fajita Republic. We enjoyed hanging out and having dinner at the Hard Rock on our first night, the food was just ok, but they had a band playing some great music. We had breakfast at Memo's Pancake House, which was inexpensive and fairly good. Any taxi driver will know where these places are located.<BR><BR>I did not do the excursion thing, so I cannot recommend what to do or not to do as far as that goes. What I will tell you is that it is very hot and humid during the day this time of year, and great for laying out by the pool, but you will be a sweatball if you perform any physical activity. I heard the waterfall excursion is dry this time of year, but that information could be wrong. We were planning on horseback riding, but we did not want an excursion more than 2-3 hours at at time given the heat and that trip would have been longer.

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