We just returned from our Winter 2012 Family Vacation at the Plaza Pelicanos Club Beach Resort and had a wonderful time. The Resort is a little older and the property is beginning to show its age but the staff is doing the best they can with what they have. The Service is Fantastic! The food choices could be better, but what was available was always tasty. Drinks service was wonderful. No watered down drinks here. Beer choice is limited to Corona, but the mixed drinks are all freehand pour, and a very generous freehand at that! My family had a great week vacation stay...now for the details....
Why, Where, When, How:
When it was decided that we were going to an All Inclusive for our Family Vacation during the Winter 2012, we started looking on Trip Advisor at the different details about Cuba, Dominican Republic and Mexico. Just for some info, the family consists of two adults and two kids, one four year old boy and an eight year old girl. The boy is rather finicky when it comes to food. This being our first AI experience, and based on the price and comments that the food in Cuba was generally awful, we chose to go to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Sunwing Vacations had a great price on the Plaza Pelicanos Club and even though the reviews were mixed, we booked it.
The flight on Sunwing was great! What other airline offers Champagne to start your vacation, as well as a hot meal with free wine? The order of service was a little strange, and I would recommend you bring something with you to drink onboard. (order of service was, champagne, duty free, hot towel, hot meal with wine or water only, coffee & tea, and then finally the bar/soft drinks/juice service.) The meal was great and the staff did try and help, but would not under any circumstances give you a regular drink until the "proper service".
Transfers, Check In, and the Resort:
The hotel transfers were easy to find at the PV Airport, and because of the time our flight arrived (1 am) we didn't have to contend with the Time Share Sharks. Check in at the Pelicano's was easy, although a bit slow. Knowing there was a bus load of people coming to the resort, I would have hoped they would have had more than one person working the desk, but it was after 1am. The bar was already closed, so we were not offered the usual welcome drink, but I had one the next day and it was quite tasty. The bell hop was quite efficient and we were at our room in no time. The rooms are in three, three story buildings that are arranged in a U shape with the courtyard created containing the pool area. There is a Time Share building that is accessed across the street from the main reception area. This area contains another pool, bar, snack bar, tennis courts and the beach.
Our room was a standard dual double bed arrangement with a dresser, shared night table, older tube style TV (with a good selection of channels, both Spanish and English). While simple and quite plain, the rooms were clean and the beds were comfortable. There have been some reviews (under the Pelicans Grand) that state that rooms appeared dingy...yes the window coverings were slightly dirty, there were some cracks in floor tiles and the bathtub could have used a makeover, the building is older, and the staff are constantly cleaning or doing maintenance of some kind. There were no bugs in our room, though a few other guests mentioned that a few small cockroaches were spotted. The halls are all open to the outdoors and we did see a few monster sized moths (see pictures), but you need to remember that the subtropical rainforest is only a few miles away. The cleaning staff does a great job, and we made sure to tip our housekeeper 20-50 pesos each day. ($2-$5USD)
The Food/Bar Service
Breakfast was probably the best meal of the day for us. There was a good selection of breakfast cereals (Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes, Fruit Loops, Bran) and the hot food selection was nice, but always the same from day to day. Choices included Mexican as well as American/Canadian menu items. Eggs, pancakes, sausage, hash browned potatoes, French toast etc...there is an omelette bar where omelettes where made fresh to order as well as alternating between fresh pancakes or French toast (the other choice was always available on the buffet, these were just make fresh on alternating days). The omelettes were amazing!
We usually took lunch around the pool, ordering off the "snack" menu which had a variety of items such as Hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza, chicken nuggets, French fries, nachos, etc. These could be ordered at the bar or from the pool side attendant. The few times I looked in at the lunch buffet, it was an interesting combo between Mexican and North American cuisine. There was always something edible.
Supper was always a different theme night, and as with lunch a mix of Mex and NA cuisine, but always something edible to eat. Proof of this was my 4 year old. He is quite a fussy eater, but always found something to eat. Also we met up with a family that had religious dietary issues, and the staff did an awesome job making sure they had edible choices.
Bar Service: The hotel is a "Pepsi Property" which made us happy. The choices of Beer are one, Corona Draft, but it did the trick and was quite tasty. Hard Liquor choices were great. A few different types of Tequila, liqueurs and the Rums were Bacardi. All hard Liquor choices were free hand pour right out the bottle. I witnessed sealed bottles being opened regularly, so no chance of watering down drinks here. A few pesos tip, and the drinks seemed to get stronger, and you were NEVER without one, we had more than a few great nights.
Pools, Activities and Beach
There are 2.5 pools at the Pelicanos Club. There is a separate kid’s pool that is attached to the main pool via a water fall, the pool was heated, and the pool side bar was great. The bartenders were excellent and my kids were both pleased that they had great variety of virgin cocktails to choose from. Service was quick and efficient...sometimes too efficient, lol.
The second pool was ocean side at the time share complex. This pool was not heated and COLD! There were an adequate number of lounge chairs (although on the weekend, Friday and Saturday, you needed to get poolside/beachside early due to the influx of people from Guadalajara coming for the weekend). Upon check-in towel cards were issued for every guest. Towels were available when you needed. You could either exchange your towel for a fresh one, or get your card back. I thought it was a great system.
There were some great activities pool side. There was the daily aqua aerobics class, water volley ball, water polo, bingo and the "Crazy Contests". The stage for the nightly show is near the time share side pool, and the shows were always entertaining.
Kids Club: The kids club was good. They did a variety of arts/crafts and had some supervised pool time. My kids enjoyed this area on more than one occasion.
The Plaza Pelicanos was a great place to take a family. We all felt safe and secure, the staff are second to no one and the service was AWESOME! Sure you get "locals" checking in on the weekend, but I am of the frame of mind that they know where to and where not to go, and if they are coming here, it’s because they too feel that it’s good value and a great place to bring their families.
The Plaza Pelicanos Club Beach Resort is a great value for money and if you can look past the small issues I don't think you will be disappointed! If you want a Hilton or Signature Club type vacation, I suggest you book that type of holiday, if you want a clean, safe and economical place to stay that's also an All Inclusive, this is your place!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located only 5 minutes to downtown Puerto Vallarta, at Plaza Pelicanos Club Beach Resort entertainment is always available: all day long and beyond the sunset, there is a full activities program for all ages that suits your wish to live it up in paradise; from beach and swimming pool contests to theme nights with live music and karaoke. All rooms fully furnished with two twins or one king size bed (view and type of bed is subject to availability), air conditioning, safety deposit box, fully marble equipped bathroom and bathrooms amenities. Non beach front section, access to the beach (walking steps) crossing a private street. ... more less
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