The Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort in Mexico is an all-inclusive resort located on the western coast of Mexico. Situated along the Bay de Banderas, this beachfront resort offers guests an all-inclusive experience with all your meals, drinks and activities included in the price of your hotel accommodation. The Hilton Puerto Vallarta also has a sister property called, The Hacienda, which is located just behind the property that offers guests a more private, adults-only atmosphere. Both hotels (the Hilton and Hacienda) are considered one property and guests of either hotel are able to freely walk back and forth between the two properties and enjoy the pools and restaurants from either side.
Hilton Puerto Vallarta Location
The Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort is located about 10 minutes from Puerto Vallarta Airport in the Hotel Zone (Zona Hotelera). From the airport, you can either pre-book a shuttle or take a taxi, which will cost you about $18/USD. Here’s a tip. When exiting customs at PVR, you will encounter several counters of very aggressive sales agents who appear to be very helpful. They are not. They are just trying to sell you a timeshare under the guise of offering you a free shuttle or taxi. Just ignore them and keep walking until you get past the sliding doors into the main public area of the airport. Look for a giant “TAXI” sign on the wall and go to that counter. This is where you can prepay for a taxi (set price based on your destination). Once you pay here, the agent will give you a voucher and walk you to a waiting taxi outside. You cannot just get into any taxi and pay at the end.
If you would rather take an Uber, walk out of the airport, make a left turn at the sidewalk and walk across the pedestrian bridge to the other side of the street. Unfortunately in Puerto Vallarta, Uber drivers can drop you off at the airport but they cannot pick you up from the airport. You actually have to go across the street for the drivers to pick you up. This isn’t a far walk but depending on the time of your arrival and how hot it is outside, it may be easier and safer for you to just grab a taxi to your hotel.
The Hilton Puerto Vallarta is located about 10 minutes from “downtown” Puerto Vallarta. There are some local shops and restaurants located outside of the hotel but it’s really not an area that you need to walk around and explore. If you want to do something outside of the hotel, I recommend a quick 10-minute taxi or Uber ride to the Malecon, which is the boardwalk area of downtown Puerto Vallarta. The taxi ride will cost you about $5 USD or $2.50 with Uber.
Hilton Free Night Certificate Exclusion
On this trip, I booked a partial ocean view room for two people and I used a free night certificate to cover one of my nights. I mention this because Hilton’s website specifically lists this as an excluded property but I can tell you that I was able to use it. I didn’t try to hide it or do anything special to get around it. I just called up the Hilton reservation line, asked to use my free night certificate and they were able to apply it. No questions asked. But keep in mind, it is specifically excluded so YMMV.
Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort Grounds and Amenities
The Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort is nice and perfectly acceptable for a quick getaway but there’s nothing special about it. It offers six restaurants, four bars, an adults-only lounge, several pools, a spa and fitness center and a complimentary kids club. The open-air lobby is fresh and welcoming but there’s nothing authentically Mexican about this place. The whole resort just feels a little generic. The Hacienda, on the other hand, definitely feels more authentic and the grounds are much more lush and green.
There are two pools on the Hilton side, adjacent to the beach. There are plenty of lounge chairs scattered around the two pools and there’s a dedicated area on the beach for hotel guests. The area is roped off to prevent non-guests from entering but you do get the occasional vendor that wanders up and tries to sell you something. The gym is nothing special with some treadmills/bikes, benches, free weights and a Smith machine.
The hotel is located right on the beach but to be honest, the beach isn’t that nice. The sand is super rocky and the water is really dirty. I think there’s a river that drains into the ocean nearby and because of that, there are a lot of rocks, mud and other debris that just washes up onto the shore. It wasn’t great and we just spent the majority of our time in or by the pool. If you’re looking for white sand and crystal clear waters, Puerto Vallarta is prolly not the place for you.
Hilton Puerto Vallarta All-Inclusive Restaurants
The main buffet is located at the Sea Fire Restaurant. Here, you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner between 7:00 AM and 11:00 PM. There’s a rotating menu every day of the week from Asian and Italian to more local cuisine. There are also several other specialty restaurants that must be reserved ahead of time. The good thing is none of the specialty restaurants cost extra to eat at. However, there are some items on the menu that will incur a surcharge. But you can easily enjoy a nice meal at any of them for no additional money so this is the closest you can get to a true all-inclusive resort. 24-hour room service is available but there is a surcharge per order.
I must say that the food here was just mediocre. Nothing was bad but nothing was memorable either. The all-day buffet was just okay and the sushi restaurant was limited to five basic rolls. The menu was much better at the specialty restaurants but the portions were tiny and we found ourselves having a second dinner almost every night. If you do go, you must make reservations at the Mexican restaurant. This was the best meal we had all week and the table-side margarita bar was incredible.
Partial Ocean View Room
The base room for this resort is the garden view room. I don’t recommend it as you’re looking at the street or other buildings (I don’t even know what garden they are referring to). The next room-type up is the partial ocean view and then a full ocean view. I originally booked a partial ocean view and was later upgraded to a full ocean view room. Thank you, Diamond status. The room features a king bed, desk, small sitting area and an open bathroom (with an enclosed toilet). Here’s the partial ocean view room. Very plain and boring, right?
The bathroom was kinda generic as well and unlike other Hilton properties, this location doesn’t provide Peter Thomas Roth bath and body products. Instead, it’s some generic brand that wasn’t anything special.
But this balcony view wasn’t bad.
There’s a safe to lock up your valuables and a small fridge with some sodas, water and beers. The fridge is supposed to be restocked daily but it wasn’t proactively restocked once during our stay. We had to call down every night to get it refilled.
And here’s the view from the full ocean view room. I didn’t take any pics of the full ocean view room as it was literally the same room; same furniture, same decoration; same layout. The only thing different was the view.
Hilton Puerto Vallarta Covid Testing
The Hilton Puerto Vallarta does provide guests with free Covid-19 antigen testing for entry back to the United States. Each room is provided with two free tests (one for each person). If you have more than two people staying in your room, I think the additional tests will cost you $15/person. The tests are conducted at a clinic 10 minutes away. They pay for the tests but they don’t pay for the transportation to/from the clinic but a roundtrip ride will only cost you about $8/USD.
Hilton Puerto Vallarta Bottom Line
We spent five days here and overall, it wasn’t a bad stay. I would rate this property a three-and-a-half-star resort. On the surface, it checks all the boxes you’re looking for in a Mexican vacation… beachfront property, all-inclusive dining and drinks, activities, spa and other amenities… but in reality, everything was just okay. The rooms were dated and generic and the beach was mere steps away but it wasn’t really a beach that we wanted to spend any time at. I think we spent all of 20 minutes out there before we retreated back to the pool area. There were plenty of on-site restaurants and the service was good but none of the meals were anything spectacular.
So would I recommend a stay at the Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort? Sure, if you’re looking for a cheap vacation and can set your expectations pretty low, then yeah, give this place a go. But if you want incredible meals, an authentic experience and an incredible room, then don’t waste your time or your money as you will only be disappointed.
Have you stayed at the Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort? If so, please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!