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Hotel Check: Grand Fiesta Americana

Puerto Vallarta

BEST FOR Waterfront pools, a peaceful location, no nickel and diming

DON’T MISS Having a drink at one of the many specialty bars dotted around the resort

PRICE Internet rates for a traditional room start at $199.

CONTACT Grand Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive Adults Only, Carr. Costera a Barra de Navidad km 4.5, 48390 Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. Phone +52-322-176-1300.

VERDICT Come here – for either work or pleasure – and fully enjoy exceptional dining and extraordinary Pacific Ocean views.

BACKGROUND Brush aside any preconceived notions of an all-inclusive resort, as the resort’s two completely rebuilt towers are packed with high-quality dining options and panoramic views of the bay.

WHERE IS IT? About 45 minutes from Puerto Vallarta’s airport and a short drive from town, this beautiful resort has a secluded beach in a less touristy area.

ROOMS The resort’s 443 guest rooms and suites showcase contemporary style with tiled floors, colorful furnishings, duvet-topped beds with easy-access power outlets on either side, and day beds in the corner for lounging. Free minibars include local beer and snacks. Desks with speaker phones signal the hotel’s growing meeting business. Furnished balconies face the ocean. Rooms in either tower are spacious, but each floor boasts larger suites with separate living rooms. The top three floors of the north tower are reserved for Grand Club guests providing access to a lounge with premium drinks, all-day snacks and a popular evening sushi station.

FOOD AND DRINK There are lots of options for dining, and all are included in the rate. D’Brick is a reliable offering with its three-meals-a-day buffet. Next door is a popular grill dishing up burgers, salads and Mexican fare. The oceanfront pools have swim-up bars that stay busy. Reservations for the specialty dinner restaurants are a must. Asian fusion fare at Yuu draws a huge crowd while authentic Italian cuisine at Gulietta is another solid bet. No visit would be complete without a meal at Rojo Corazon where Mexican food in a beautifully tiled dining room is a show stopper. Freshly prepared ceviche is served between noon and 5 PM near the pool while Spanish tapas at Serrano Station Bar are a great way to kick off an evening. Numerous bars line the resort including in the open-air lobby, the Martini Bar, Sky Bar with panoramic views, and two additional bars with menus tailored around tequila cocktails and martinis.

LEISURE FACILITIES The oceanfront pools see sunshine most of the day with plenty of shaded chairs and a large bubbling whirlpool. Stairs lead down to the pebbly beach where non-motorized watersport activities are available. Haixa Spa offers a variety of spa and beauty treatments, many using traditional Mexican therapies.

MEETINGS AND FITNESS The resort has one of the largest convention centers in the region, and lightning-fast free wireless Internet that works everywhere.