I recently visited Puerto Vallarta for the first time and spent a few nights at an amazing adults-only, all-inclusive boutique hotel in the heart of town, the Villa Premiere. I found Puerto Vallarta to be lively, charming, and safe for families. The culinary scene was excellent and there are so many fun day trips and excursions for everyone’s taste.
It’s safe to say I enjoyed my stay in Puerto Vallarta very much, and it’s a place I’ll return to with my family sometime during the fall and winter months, especially since I’m always chasing sunshine and warm weather when it’s brutally cold back home. PVR is easily-accessible from my home airport, EWR (nonstop with United), so I’m already in the beginning stages of planning a family trip using points.
There are several chain hotels in the proximity of Puerto Vallarta, and many are a great value using points, surprisingly.
Of course when making a final decision, I also plan on considering the total costs (points vs. cash, resort fees, inclusions, etc.) and getting the maximum value at the resort in terms of status benefits, kid-friendliness, and food.
The first property that really stood out to me was the Hilton, which is only one of two Hilton properties that’s entirely all-inclusive (the other is Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa). What is even more amazing is the fact that children under 6 can stay absolutely free, and children between 6-12 only pay an additional $49 a night to receive all-inclusive benefits. For an all-inclusive stay, that’s an amazing deal for families traveling with young kids.
I am also a Hilton Diamond member, so I am curious about what status benefits (if any) will be available. There’s not much information about Diamond benefits at this property, but according to the FlyerTalk thread, the only thing I could find was that Diamond members do not have to pay extra for top-shelf liquor. If anyone has any more insight, feel free to share in the comments.
When comparing rates for a random night in June (which is technically low season – peak season tends to be between November – March, so I’d imagine higher rates), I noticed a $274 Honors discount rate per night for 2 adults (and children under 6) under an all-inclusive plan or 50,000 Honors points per night, including taxes and fees. Hilton Honors points are worth about a 1/2 cent each, so using points at this resort actually is a decent value, especially with family points pooling and/or the sign-up bonus from the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express (plus you’re not subject to paying extra in taxes & fees).
Another property high on my list is the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, which is a family-friendly resort. My kids and I really enjoyed the Hyatt Ziva experience in Cancun, so I’m naturally very curious about exploring some of the other properties. Room rates are 20,000 points per night for 2 people, and 10,000 more a night for each additional person occupying the room over the age of 3. 20,000 points per night for an all-inclusive experience is a great redemption, but it gets tricky when you are traveling with children over the age of 3, because it can suddenly become very expensive. I value my Hyatt points at around 2 cents a piece.
But considering the price of a family with 2 adults and 1 child for a random date in June, even during the 50% off promotion, using points still seems to make sense.
Marriott also has a property that’s priced at 35,000 points per night (or 11,667 Starwood points per night); however, since the standard rate is only $126 per night for the random night in June I plugged in, redeeming points would not be the best value. Also the rate quoted is only for the room, which means food and beverage would be an additional expense. Truthfully, I tend to save and use my Marriott points for the nights & flights packages or convert them to Starwood points to redeem for airline miles, so this property is not really high on my list.
Another option on points is the Westin, which is a category 3 property for 7,000 Starpoints (21,000 Marriott points) or $105 per night. Since I value Starpoints a bit over 2 cents a piece, it makes more sense to pay for the night. The Westin brand is focused on wellness, and it probably is a good choice if you want a relaxing getaway away from the downtown area. Since I’ll be traveling with kids, I’d want to be somewhere more lively.
Lastly, theres the Sheraton, which is also a category 3 resort for 7,000 points per night or around $108 per night. The location is great and walkable to downtown where all of the action is, but it seems like the resort is currently undergoing renovations, so there’s a lot of construction happening at the moment. This resort doesn’t seem like a bad pick, and there is a lounge for elites, but no kids are allowed, so…
Since I’m traveling with two kids, it probably makes the most sense for my family to stay at either the Hilton or the Hyatt Ziva during our visit to Puerto Vallarta. Both properties are kid-friendly, all-inclusive, and are a great value from a points-redemption perspective. As a bonus, I have top-tier elite status with both Hilton and Hyatt, so that’s another push in that direction.
Though I truly love the Hyatt brand and the Hyatt Ziva resort experience, it probably makes more sense for me to choose the Hilton, since I would have to pay an additional 10,000 Hyatt points per night for my 3 year old. I value 10,000 Hyatt points at around $200, so that’s a steep jump for such a young traveler who probably won’t be drinking enough to get our moneys worth.
Or maybe for review purposes I will stay 2 nights at each property, experience them both, and compare the two.
What are your thoughts? Have you visited any resorts in Puerto Vallarta recently?