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The Pool at the Samba Vallarta - All Inclusive

Reviews summary

4
Good
3527 reviews
Brilliant
1981
Good
893
Average
355
Poor
182
Awful
116

10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

Excellent Vacation

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 14th December 2012

"I just got back from a wonderful vacation at the Solare. My wife and I were one of five couples who vacationed together at the Solare. I agree entirely with the last review from Calgary. If you want to nit pik everything you can find something wrong anywhere. Weak drinks! They put as much alcohol in a drink as you wanted. Even Absolute! I had to tell them to stop! Food: Same thing everyday is a bogus statement. We all loved the buffet each night. I'd say about 15 different things to pick from nightly. Rooms: they were a little musty. Big deal. We were hardly ever in them. Maid service was great. Towels folded like elephants and swans. Service: This was unmatched! Friendliest people I have ever seen. Service with a smile. They were there to serve you and to please you. What a great bunch of people! Thanks Fermin, Jose, Gabriel, Alex, Ruben and the many I didn't mention. American workers should take a few lessons from the Mecican workers. Tips aren't taken for granted there. Cleanliness: Workers are constantly cleaning. And with a smile on their face. I felt obligated to tip them also. Thanks. We were taking pictures at the end and all the workers wanted to get in the picture! A vacation is what you make it. If you like the people you're with and the sun and ocean you will have fun. If you want to go around looking for things wrong, stay home."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 10th February 2004

Best Vacation Ever!!!

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 13th December 2012

"My family and I just got back from one of the best weeks of our lives. To all of the people who thought this resort was bad, they should just stay at home. Of course the humidity effects things but it shouldn't ruin your holiday. It is not up to the resort to motivate you to have fun, it is up to yourself to have fun. Its your own fault if you let the small things irritate you. Maybe there was mold and maybe there was bad omelletes but that shouldn't ruin your whole holiday. Now to tell you what really happens at the solare. The staff goes out of their way to talk to you and entertain you, the bartenders and everyone else are always giving you smiles and serving you whatever you want. They were the only resort we saw that raked the beach! We walked along the beach and went into some of the other resorts and we found that the solare offered alot more than the more expensive resorts. Everything is always kept clean, the food was good, you were never left starving thats for sure. There were so many activities to do, you should never have been bored. For example we went kayaking one morning and wound up kayaking in the middle of a pod of dolphins. Imagine that! When we were at the resort they also booked an adventure to the Las Marietas Islands for us through Vallarta Adventures. This was well worth its money and was one of the highlighs of our lives. Everything about this trip was posotive for us. Just be aware when swimming in the ocean though, there are sting ray encounters all along the stretches of beaches. Well summarizing everything I think the solare is well worth it and is one of the best resorts in the Puerto Vallarta area. I recommend this resort to people who want to have alot of fun but i don't recommend this resort to a bunch of grumpy winers who complain about the smallest things. The solare is an AMAZING resort. If you are going to puerto vallarta go to the solare!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 8th February 2004

Had a great time. Highly recommend!

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 20th October 2012

"I was very satisfied with the Solare resort and my family had a great time. The added bonus was the amazing Activity Staff that got you involved in all the fun activities night and day. I liked hearing the surf and lively music from the poolside bar. The food was excellent and varied enough that you never got bored of the same things all the time. The staff were very friendly and got to know us and always chatted whenever they were at our table. We ventured out one day to Bucerias by taxi and had fun exploring the craft market. Remember to barter with a smile they like that! My girls had their hair braided at the beach, but I recommend doing it at the end of your stay (or be aware) because many people had sunburned heads, the delicate skin between the braids that usually does get much sun! I would highly recommend this resort! Have fun."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 6th February 2004

It was our first vacation EVER and given the opportunity, will go back.....

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 19th December 2012

"Where to start? Being our 'first ever' getaway of this type we didn't know what to expect. From all the horror stories we've heard of customs,etc. we didn't seem to have any problems. You do need to make sure that you have all your paperwork(ID's,etc.)handy during the coming and going of the aiport. We got the full meal deal. In the Mexico airport there is a 'light' system where you press a button and if yours turns green you move along, but if it turns red you get the luxury of them going through your luggage right then and there. It sounds horrible but it was nothing. Remember if you're not guilty you have nothing to fear! We just took it in stride and carried on. The bus trip to the Solare was informative and relaxing. We were surprised at how nice the bus was! Great service from the bell boy(man) upon arrival and that's the way the service was throughout our stay. We stayed a week(Jan 20-27). Our first impression was 'oh no, did we make a mistake?' but after we got the hang of 'relaxing' we really enjoyed it. I've read that people have not enjoyed this resort. I'm not sure what they're after? This is Mexico not Las Vegas. We found the food to be plentiful and full of variety..all be it maybe not to my taste pallet at times but that's my problem not theirs. The fruit was always fresh and cut up just right. To go through all the trouble of 'skinning' a grapefruit for us was incredible. Thanks to all the hard working kitchen staff. I'm not sure where some of the people who have complained about watered down drinks have been but we found the exact opposite to be true. Fermin, you are the man! He has a great personality and incredible memory for what you drink. My husband had to actually tell him to tone the alcohol down a bit. The waiters were friendly and accommodating. The activity staff were 'hard workers' and very entertaining. Thanks to Pancho, Caroline, Gabriel, Antonio, Erika, Enoch, Anna, Augustine, Marko and to those I forgot to mention. You made it very special and fun. The beaches were raked every evening so we could enjoy not only the manicured lawns up at the hotel but also 'manicured' beaches. Wow! I guess my only complaint about our room would be the musty smell and mildew in the closet. I'm sure we could of lessened that if we would of opened up our door to the balconey at nite. We were on the third floor so nobody could of 'crept' in on us. Not that that happens but it could be some readers' fear. Otherwise the room was great! Very clean. Comfortable king size bed. Good housekeeping,(Nice towel displays), wonderful showers and water pressure. Yes, given the opportunity, we would definitely return. Next time we would bring our three boys and feel totally confident that they would be safe and have plenty of food to fill their ever hungry tummies! Thanks to the few couples we met there that we chummed with . Darryl and Sandy, thanks for a great time and showing us the ropes! PS. NOT a party place. A few 'party' type people did come and over did it and made a few of us very uncomfortable with their actions. So much so that we were thankful we were leaving and that we didn't have to put up with that during our stay."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 4th February 2004

relaxing beach holiday

4
Good
by
Reviewed 17th December 2012

"We, both mid sixties, stayed Jan. 17-31/04 in an one bedroom ocean-front suite with two balconies. All facilties were as advertised and the all inclusive feature was varied and of good quality. The beach walking was fabulous - to Bucerias and beyond and to Paradise Village - especially at lower tide. The sound of the surf was a constant pleasure day and night. Highlights were p.p.p.s. - palapas, papaya, pasta and salsa. All was not perfect and we could nit-pick as some have done, but it's Mexico and this is not the Ritz-Carlton. In summary we would highly recommend Solare for a quiet and relaxing beach holiday with good food and drinks and a friendly efficient staff. p.s. bring your own hairdryer."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 4th February 2004

It's a 3 Star

2
Poor
by
Reviewed 17th December 2012

"We stayed at the Solare from Jan. 24 to 31/04. It's a 3 Star for sure! We have stayed at MANY all-inclusives in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Barbados and in several places in Mexico. Check-in went very smoothly, BUT the suite they gave us (Room 446) was EXTREMELY mouldy and musty. We didn't sleep the entire night because of the smell (we have a 3 year old), I didn't want her breathing! We advised the front desk and they screwed around for most of the next day but eventually put us in Room 250, ocean-front suite. It was certainly better but still had a very musty/mouldy smell and spots of black mould everywhere on the walls,etc. The air-conditioning was terrible, we did not use it at all. View was very nice from both balconies but the HUGE RIU Resort is next door and the music was very loud and their beach volleyball is right outside the room. Also, the Solare basketball court was on the other side of our room. So no peace and quiet for siestas! Housekeeping was exceptional. Always cleaned in the morning, room was very clean despite the mouldiness! There were painting the entire resort inside and out while we were there. Trying to cover up the black stuff!! Food was very good but did get repetitive after a few days. Continental breakfast in your room if you order it. Didn't matter what you ordered on the card, they still brought the same thing every morning. Seemed to have a very good selection of domestic and international drinks. Basically, no drink/food service at the pool or beach though. Pool(s) were very nice as was the beach. Activities during the day and night time entertainment were okay, not great. Staff are very friendly with children. Lots of activities for them, playground on the beach, a mini-club in a suite with a tv/vcr, toys, games, crafts, etc. Took a cab to Bucerias, nothing exciting, reminded me of Haiti when we were there. Getting out of the PV airport was a NIGHTMARE, worst I've seen anywhere. Too many tourists and no services/personnel. PV used to be a nice place to go but it's just too busy now. So many other, beautiful places to spend your money, like St. Lucia, Turks & Caicos, Barbados. PV is getting too expensive for shopping, eating, etc. We will definitely spend the extra money and stay at a 5 star again and not a smaller-3 star. Don't think we'll be returning to PV/Neuvo again. It was our sixth visit and probably last. P.S. We paid $5,000.00 CDN for two adults and a 3 year old for 7 days with Air Canada Vacations."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 1st February 2004

Laid back and friendly service

4
Good
by
Reviewed 31st October 2012

"This was not my first trip to a Mexican all-inclusive. As anywhere in the world, you spread a few dollars around on the front end and you get service. The bars had a good selection of major brands of the hard stuff, except whiskey. Treat the people you encounter with respect and it will be returned. Whether they push the broom or pour the beer. Everyone was helpful and accommedating...with the exception of the hotel desk....which I would give mediocre. Variation of food in the buffet was a bit limited, but there was always something to choice from. Who goes on vacation for the food? The evening Mexican resturant was our favorite with excellent service and fun atmosphere. Good Security. All the equipment we used was maintained and very servicable. I would reccommend this resort for a great family vacation."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 30th January 2004

Not the Best

2
Poor
by
Reviewed 14th December 2012

"I have to agree with the people who gave this resort only a two star. We stayed here from Dec.20 to the 27th. The grounds are kept very clean, that's about the only nice thing I can say. Our room was average, but the thing that got me was that there was black mold all around the airconditioner and also on the walls, some black spots in the bathroom. I had to wash everything and I mean EVERYTHING...... right down to my make-up brushes and souvenir t-shirts when we got home because it was such a strong mold smell. The food was the same everyday. I thought maybe on Christmas day that they would have a " special supper" of turkey with mashed potatoes,etc.....nope!, pretty much the same as what they had had the night before, and the night before that..........The people that work here (this is just the feeling I got) really didn't like tourists. They just want you to tip them for every little thing. And we did! But still had the feeling of being looked down on. Many people have written wonderful reviews about this resort, I just wish that we could've!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 29th January 2004

Go to the Viva Vallarta!

2
Poor
by
Reviewed 19th December 2012

"Okay...my husband & I read all of the reviews before going. I was apprehensive because I had booked this hotel in error via Funjet, but we decided to give it a try. Sad to say, we should have corrected our error and stayed at our original choice, the "Viva Vallarta."We are in our late 40's, and not particularly fussy eaters, but this place really took the cake! (Pardon the pun!) How's "squid with cactus" sound for a dinner entree? It was there! Beef - was either cut finely into a sauce with veggies or ground into something undistinguishable. Burgers at the poolside grill always tasted like they were sour/going bad. Forget baked or mashed potatoes - didn't happen in the buffet. The fruit was okay. Can't agree with the folks who hated the omelettes - they were the only good thing! Alcohol was really pushed - maybe to make one forget the food. Gee whiz, I never heard of Bloody Mary's made with tequila and clam juice! Ugh! For our dinner at the specialty Italian restaurant I ordered veal - trust me, it was round steak.The nightly entertainment was entertaining. The same kids try to work folks around the pool into a frenzy during the day. This is the best part...they advertise a rate of 2400 pesos/day for a suite (about $240.00 US), and you have to sign your life away to get remotes for the TV! I had read somewhere that the rooms had hair dryers...NOT! Again, I had to request one, and then you could only have it for an hour! We had a suite, which came equipped with a safe, but, guess what? We had to go back to the front desk and sign our lives away to get the lock and key! Their Air Conditioning wasn't properly dehumidifying, so any clean clothes we put on were always clammy feeling.Having someone take drink orders around the pool was really hit or miss. Mainly, if someone was around, they just picked up empty glasses. The pool was shallow and cold, so forget swimming laps. We went to the ocean, but I'm afraid to say after I saw a snake swimming near shore (and it wasn't a tiny one!), I stayed out of the ocean.It really surprised me - - most of the guests were older, but they insisted upon playing some techno disco most of the day around the pool. Although tips were included, we did tip the maid, etc daily. The best thing about this resort was that we met a couple from the Calgary area (Hi Darryll and Sandy) who really made the trip enjoyable. Don't waste your time or money - go somewhere else!Yes"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 24th January 2004

wonderful holiday at solare

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 13th December 2012

"We just returned from a wonderful, 1 week vacation at the Solare. I would highly recommend this place to anyone looking for a quiet, smaller resort. Very good for families but I would not suggest it for those who are expecting fast paced night life. Go to a bigger resort for that. The food was great.........I looked forward to that fresh, made to order omlette every morning, the staff ALL very friendly and many greeted us by name each day. The drinks were fantastic.......no shortage of alcohol there. The beach was great and we felt very safe all of the time with so much resort security around at all times. Both of our 15 year old boys enjoyed it very much as well and we look forward to visiting again.........Thank you everyone at the Solare for making our holiday suce a special one."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 17th January 2004

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