Grand Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive
Puerto Vallarta is one location I have never stayed before so this was exciting for me.
Video by Love on Tour
Day One Arrival
I had flown in on a flight from my local airport with only a short layover in Atlanta on the way. It was about a 7 hour flight. The flight was fine, just a little bumpy on the way down for the landing.
You land at Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport, which is very close and convenient to the resort. The distance is just 4.8KM or an 11 minute drive. The resort even assisted with transportation, which was just another item of my list I did not have to worry about.
When I first arrived, I was blown away by the appearance of the resort. Not because it was ultra-modern or something. But because in my mind this is what I have for the picture of a seaside resort. Perhaps it is the look from the pool area how the main building seems to lean back by design to provide the best balcony view for every room. It could also be that the architecture is something that we have seen in movies and TV for many years.
Puerto Vallarta was formerly known as Las Peñas and has become a tourist mecca. The beautiful beaches, warm weather, and proximity to Mexico City and San Francisco make it a popular place for tourists.
The city of Puerto Vallarta was founded as a small Spanish settlement known as Villa de San Miguel de los Mascarones. It became a municipality in 1891 and gained its current name in 1918.
After the founding of the state of Jalisco in 1934, the city’s population exploded. The town reached a peak of about 50,000 residents in
In 1945, Puerto Vallarta was designated the state capital, and in 1951 it annexed the nearby town of Malpaso. By the early 1990s, the population had dropped to about 21,000, and a new urban sprawl began.
The city had its first floods in the spring of 1971, then was badly damaged by floods in 1992 and by an earthquake in 1995.
Over the years, the amazing area has been the backdrop for many movies. The night of the Iguana in 1964, in part, was responsible for a major surge in tourist visits to the area.
The Night of the Iguana (1964)
Herbie Goes Bananas (1980)
Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008)
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019
Travel to the area is mostly via direct flight from the USA. Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport is located about 10 minutes from the resort and the resort provides free transportation to and from the resort and airport. The transportation is free for anyone staying 4 nights or more.
When driving through the city, or in my case chatting with the driver and looking out at the city on the drive. I noticed some scenes in the distance from the movie Limitless. I liked that one. The view is much like that from the 1980s movie Herbie Goes Bananas which you can watch poor quality clip of here. It is amazing what you can find online these days.
My first view of the resort
The resort itself is park like. It is huge and self-contained with pools, cabanas, and so much more, all in addition to the main building.
The main building is tower like but has balconies that are stepped backwards and provide an ideal view for every room of the ocean and the pool area.
Here you will find accommodations from 374 sq ft to over 1,200 sq ft. The suites here are very spacious and offer great views.
My room was a penthouse king and had an amazing view. After checking in and getting my bags taken care of. I was ready for some food, a drink to relax, and then a short nap. The flights were not bad, but for some reason they often take the energy out of me. It could be folding my large body into tight spaces.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- In-Room Safe
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Free WiFi
- Outdoor Pools
- Business Center
- On Site Restaurants
- Fitness Center
- Concierge Services
The resort has six restaurants.
LA CEVICHERÍA, Seafood | Casual. As the name suggests here, you will find local fresh seafood, prepared by their talented chef.
RESTAURANTE ASIÁTICO TIANTANG Asian | Casual. This Asian restaurant offers Asian seafood dishes, as well as other traditional Asian treats.
EL MEXICANO Mexican | Casual. Authentic Mexican, as well as some American Mexican favorites.
THE GRILL – Barbecue | Casual. This is the light burger kind of bar food fair that is nice after a swim, or great for lunch.
ROSATO Italian | Casual. Traditional Italian favorites here, including pasta and meat dishes that are surprisingly yummy.
CHULAVISTA Buffet | Casual. The buffet is for something fast anytime, and for a great daily breakfast buffet.
For my first meal, I stepped into LA CEVICHERÍA for some fish tacos and a shrimp appetizer that was great. I washed those down with a few gold margaritas and I was a happy man. Next, it was back to the room for a short nap, just enough to give me an energy boost.
Afterwards, it was time to have a few more drinks and get to know the resort better.
Day Two Resort & Town Fun
When you stay at an all inclusive, it is hard to make yourself leave the resort. Especially when the food and drinks are good. Before I share my experience and thoughts, look at a few reviews of others whom have stayed at this resort.
Well, I just don’t know where to start! So let”s start with check in, flight was late and the front desk, concierge and bell boys were great – checked us in with little or no stress. Got us a late dinner reservation, above and beyond the call of duty. The rooms were airy, clean, and spacious. The beds and pillows were better than at home. We were on the 3rd and 7th floor and cleaning staff were so attentive good at their jobs. She even folded my clothes and wiped my tablet screen! Wow, what can you say!
Next, the elevators were very clean and ran very efficiently, even more so than a lot of hotels in the rest of North America. Let’s move on to the service around the pool and beach. I can’t remember all the names but it doesn’t matter because we sat every around the pool and beach and the service was so spot on. The pool bar bartenders don’t take a back seat to any bar I have been to in my life, including my bar. Servers especially in Vancouver, when they want to work, can go to school on how to be a server from this hotel. Let’s move on to the lobby bar.
My Wife and I have owned a bar and restaurant for over 20 years and were in awe of the quality, speed and accuracy of the servers and bartenders. The hotel was packed and the lobby bar was the only outlet after a certain hour. The floor was usually full and service to the restaurants was relentless till midnight. Again, WOW. And what was amazing this top notch service was performed by 1 1/2 bartenders and 2 waitress. I wish I could remember their names, but that was Jim Beam’s fault. If I could, I would replace my staff with all of these Mexican 5 star lobby bar staff. But, to be fair, any of the beach, pool and restaurant servers would also be welcome to come to Vancouver and work with us. I Should also comment on the restaurant staff top to bottom they were top drawer. I would be remiss by not mentioning the blood line of any service business and they are the bussers, cleaners, prep workers in the kitchens, dish washers, laundry service, ground keepers and sanitation staff. All the staff reflects the “family” service that is given and this has to steered and given direction by a competent upper management and, of course, competent ownership, kudos to them. Last but not least is a giant shout out to the piano player in the Italian restaurant. He was a joy to listen to.
The people and all-inclusive package. Location is very convenient. Short walk to many great restaurants outside of the hotel and a short 2-1/2-mile walk to the center of Old Puerto Vallarta.
It is a wonderful place to relax and have fun, delicious food and the hotel staff is very good. We’re still here at the hotel and I love it every minute. Thanks guys Keep up the good work..
Seeing the old down town. As mentioned by one of the reviewers, the resort is very close to the Old Puerto Vallarta area. I hired a local company for a tour of the city. We were so close once they picked me up at the resort that this area was our first stop.
Next I went to the Botanical Gardens
Even if gardens are not usually your thing, these are hard to pass up. Online, you can book a guided tour of the site and it is well worthwhile. My tour provided had already arranged this, to my happy surprise.
Next was a tour of a local church. Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. My words could not do this church or area justice, so I am providing you a 4K video view.
Video by Wander The World
After a day about town, I was ready to go back to the resort for some more great food and drink.
Day Three Nothing But Chillin
I know Chillin is slang but it really just worked for what I did all day on my 3rd day at the resort. I ate, moved, soaked up some sun, then drank ate and moved again.
I know it sounds boring, but it was amazing. I unplugged so completely that I do not think I knew my name at some point. Not from being blind drink but just from letting my mind wonder, and from complete relaxation. I was that kind of rested one gets where if you ask them a question it might take them time to even acknowledge your question, much less answer it.
Sure, more than a few adult beverages did not hurt with that slow response time. But I was just so utterly relaxed that at some point I forgot to add more suntan lotion after a few dips in the pool, and in just a few hours’ time I was a level of red not seen in local lobsters from the area.
I knew that my first shower was needed but also that it was going to hurt badly. The kind of bad that should have two D’s at the end of it. This required preparation in the form of more libations. A few tropical cocktails later and I was ready to jump in the shower and deal with the pain of the sunburn. Ouch, even two sheets to the wind. I was looking for a 3rd to take me for an out-of-body experience.
In short, I was miserable for a few moments. When I finally managed to get out of the shower after a scene that would look like the shower from the Crying Game. I was able to dress and head down for dinner, then some drinks afterwards. My appearance gained me instant sympathy from the nice gal from night one who had struck up a conversation with me.
One night one, it was likely out of boredom and interest, tonight it had to be some form of advanced pity or sympathy because I glowed bright red. But she was nice and not hard on the eyes, so why complain? I could use the company just as long as she never tried to touch my shoulders. I think if someone did right now, they would catch on fire like someone breaking through a thin crust above flowing lava beneath.
Sunburns aside, this is one of my favorite vacations and if you want a great all-inclusive vacation to remember, consider this resort and booking with TZort to save a great deal on your stay.