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Solo in Puerto Vallarta: Suggestions for lodging, please

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Sep 24th, 2012, 01:28 PM
  #1
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Solo in Puerto Vallarta: Suggestions for lodging, please

Young adult son was planning a trip with a friend to PV in mid-October. Friend bailed but he'd like to do the trip solo. At his request, I'm asking for recommendations for lodging. He was in PV years ago, staying at Mismaloya. This time, he'd like to be in a casual setting on the beach, preferably north of the center. He's looking at all-inclusives but would consider other arrangements. His budget is limited. He has traveled solo in Europe so is experienced in solo travel. Thanks for any suggestions you may have.
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Sep 24th, 2012, 03:13 PM
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I go to PV solo every year.

What is his approx. nightly budget (by "limited" do you mean $30, $50, $100/night)?

Also does it need to be ON the beach or would he consider a few blocks in? Because true beach *front* and limited budget don't really go together ;-)

And when you say "north of the center" do you mean in the Hotel Zone? I ask because I think the best places to stay to meet people are on the south-side (which is south, rather than north, of the center).
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Sep 24th, 2012, 04:24 PM
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Hi suze. I was hoping you would reply. I'll pass this thread along to my son. Thanks!
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Sep 24th, 2012, 04:56 PM
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Always happy to help!! Please pass it on to your son and let me know any specifics I might be able to tell him about.

Off the top of my head the All-Inclusives closest to downtown are Hotel Playa Los Arcos (mid-range) & San Marino (budget) which are both on the south-side on Playa Los Muertos (beach). The next closest AI to downtown is the Buenaventura.

But honestly to me, and as a solo budget traveler, I've never seen the need for AI in Puerto Vallarta. There are so many great places to stay, all price ranges, and to eat & drink, also all price ranges.

My favorite go-to budget hotel is this one: www.hotelposadaderoger.com singles in October are $42/night. It's a rustic but cute place (it's exactly as it appears on the website) with a pool and restaurant. It's 3 blocks from the beach.

Directly ON the beach The Tropicana Hotel would be my pick.

But since you specifically mentioned "north" he may have something else in mind.

Up along the Malecon I think Rosita and El Pescador are both worthwhile to look at. The beach isn't great there but both hotels have pools and it's right in downtown.

The maps at www.vallarta-info.com are excellent for getting your bearings on the layout around the bay (from the airport heading to town you hit: The Marina, Hotel Zone north, Hotel Zone south, Centro/downtown, Rio Cuale (river that cuts thru town), then South-side (also dubbed "zona romantica") and where I always stay.

If he's interested in an apartment, it's still off-season in PV and you can get some decent rates on nice 1-bedroom places. I use www.vallarta-getaways and have found wonderful spots similar or even less than a hotel.
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Sep 24th, 2012, 07:10 PM
  #5
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I have to agree with Suze. There is not need to go AI unless you really like to drink on vacation, which we do. And, I so LOVE AI vacations. We did stay at the Playa Los Arcos several years ago. Yes, it's an AI, but the food was a little on the iffy side and the beach red flagged our stay. The pool was heated, which was nice and since we do drink on vacation that part of the AI was good. The hotel is within walking distance to the Malecon and the toursit shopping area. There was several bars and restaurants within the vincinty of the hotel also. For a solo trip, it would be a decent enough hotel as the location is great. I would suggest to not get the lowest catagory room. It's small and faces the street. The bathroom is beyond tiny. Nice balcony though.
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Sep 25th, 2012, 06:54 AM
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hola KVR, nice to see you ere!

hey i "really like to drink on vacation" (lol) and still i don't go AI. i buy cold beers at the corner store cheap, and get a bottle of booze from La Playa (liquor store) and some mixers to have in my room or apartment.

I agree about PLA, if you choose that hotel you don't want the cheapest room category. Same reason up at Rosita, the very lowest price category faces a busy street so is very noisy.

At Roger's I have favorite rooms where you can get a little nicer room for the same price (they price by number of people not by room type).

Small addition... there's more than "several" bars and restaurants near PLA, literally there's dozens and dozens in that part of town, pretty much lining every street, with a few shops thrown in. Plus all the places to eat & drink on the beach.

Anyways, Betsy, let us know anything special your son is looking for and we'll try to help out and be even more specific with suggestions.
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Sep 25th, 2012, 07:00 AM
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oops, one more thing. Have him read the Puerto Vallarta forum (not the hotel/restaurant reviews section but a forum format like this one) over at Trip Advisor. There's a good group of people posting there, and they can help if he's intersted in any of the resorts in the hotel zone or about activities like if he wants to zipline or something.
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Sep 25th, 2012, 07:37 AM
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Thanks so much suze and KZR. He's contemplating. I'll let him know about the Trip Advisor forum. He doesn't drink at all.
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Sep 25th, 2012, 08:59 AM
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If he doesn't drink, he will probably spend less money than staying at an all inclusive.
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Sep 25th, 2012, 09:23 AM
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cabron's so right. For a non-drinker I definitely don't see any value in an All-Inclusive. There aren't any budget to mid-priced ones that offer food as good as almost any & everywhere else in town.

If his contemplation is about going alone, no worries about that part. That's yet another thing great about PV, all kinds of people visit (solo, students, backpackers, families, groups of friends, retired folks, etc. etc.)
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Sep 26th, 2012, 01:58 PM
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For a non drinker (like myself) AI is a huge waste of money. Also with all the fabulous restaurants in PV the mostly mediocre food at AIs is a poor choice IMO.
Go with Suze's Posada Roger. I stay at Los Cuatro Vientos, a lovely old inn, but most definitely not a young single guys type of place.
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Sep 26th, 2012, 03:55 PM
  #12
KVR
 
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If he is interested in the Playa Los Arcos he can book that hotel as a non-AI. They do both.

Here are our pics of that hotel/trip:

http://travel.webshots.com/album/561766503NrPOrx
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Sep 26th, 2012, 07:44 PM
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My sister and I stayed at Playa Los Arcos for a post-New Year's break almost ten years ago. I had no idea it was AI; we did b-an-b and availed ourselves of all the terrific restaurants in PV. Anyway, we really enjoyed the location of Los Arcos. Our room wasn't noisy. This was definitely a cheap vacation for us, but the best part was being in walking distance of the atmospheric parts of town. We drank, but we're not huge drinkers. Rather, we went on runs in the morning, went snorkeling, took day trips, saw the sights, shopped, and ate ate ate.

I've stayed in the Hotel Zone before and hated it.

Slight hijack: suze or other PV people, I need a solo getaway, stat. Am contemplating PV--that's why I'm grazing the Mexico forum. I am no longer a beach person (but I love Mexico!). Any ideas?
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Sep 26th, 2012, 07:58 PM
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Sure, go to Puerto Vallarta! I often spend 1-2/wks there solo and usually only hit the beach a time or two. Even that, more often to see sunset than sitting around during the day.

I'm heading down for 10 days early Nov alone. Have an apartment rented. I'll just kick around town mostly. Walking, Zumba classes, more walking, Centro, a little shopping, more walking, maybe a bus ride, exploring the inland residential neighborhoods, visit the church. I am never bored in PV.

My best hotel and apartment tips are up top of this thread.
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Sep 27th, 2012, 06:44 AM
  #15
 
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The south side of town - away from the beach - if very affordable and is a very nice residential Mexican neighbourhood, some budget hotels: http://vallartainfo.com/hotels.html#budget
or even a vacation rental ?
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Oct 1st, 2012, 09:09 PM
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Thanks to all who replied. He booked at Posada de Roger, which I think will suit him just fine!
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Oct 2nd, 2012, 07:08 AM
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Perfect!!! Happy to refer him to Posada Roger. I've sent lots of people there over the years, both online and in real life friends. Everyone has loved, liked, or at least been satisfied with it. The staff is friendly and helpful.

One trick to know is the rooms are very different, one to the next, for the same price. Have him ask the front desk when he arrives, if he can see a couple that are available since he's new to the hotel. In October it shouldn't be a problem. Some rooms are much larger, more airy, some even have a small balcony. Some rooms like the 1st floor courtyard ones are a little dreary.
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Oct 2nd, 2012, 08:00 PM
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suze, thank you for your response (I know, I am off-topic again). I really loved PV but have never been to Mexico solo. Good to get some reassurance. I like the old-timey, laid-back Mexican vibe of parts of PV.

Plus the food!
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 07:07 AM
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Leely2, I can't speak to all of Mexico, but I've been to Puerto Vallarta 20+ times, going again next month. Yeah! More than 1/2 those trip I've been alone. I stay on the "south-side" (south of the Rio Cuale river from Centro/downtown) in the area dubbed Zona Romantica recently, in the places I mentioned above. It's very safe, easy, welcoming.
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