We didn’t mean to get trapped in the bathroom, on display to our two little boys. Two pairs of enormous brown eyes peer at my husband and I. Seated dolefully on our bed my two sons stare through the in-room picture window at their parents, accidentally locked in the opulent bathroom of our room at the Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort.
Keeping an eye on mischievous kids who had inadvertently discovered the broken lock was probably not what the architect had in mind when they designed the bathtub-with-a-view, but it was handier than one would imagine. So too was the toilet-side telephone I had always found conspicuously ostentatious.
How did we end up in the situation? It all started because the bathroom in the Hilton was bigger than the master bedroom of my house. Had it been a regular hotel bathroom with only one sink, we wouldn’t have felt so comfortable sharing the space. Had it not been a trendy colossal pocket door, the boys might have felt less compelled to pull it closed with a mighty slam, causing the faulty lock to jam shut.
After many unsuccessful attempts to jimmy the lock, the panicked realisation that we were well and truly stuck set in which meant a somewhat frantic call to the front desk from the phone beside the toilet. Hotel maintenance was up in a flash to free us, and the maintenance man did get an eyeful of me in my nightgown, so I guess we all had a hilarious story to bring home. Oh, Dios mío!
Water When looking for an all-inclusive, each person has their list of priorities. I am happy to stay at upscale resorts like this; I wouldn’t lie. But after safety and cleanliness, all I really want is a beach and a beautiful pool to lounge by. The hotel is right on a lovely sandy beach. It wasn’t crowded during our stay but was kept lively with roving vendors and the occasional horseback rider coming through the surf.
The pool area was gorgeous, bright yellow accents on the hotel popping against azure skies and reflected in the clear blue water. The two main pools were over my five-year-old’s head with no shallow end for him to splash in, but we were able to find a life jacket to keep him afloat. There is a small kiddie pool separated from the central pool area by some hedges, but of course, he didn’t want to be relegated to the “baby pool”.
Food and drink I’m not a foodie. I like food, certainly, and tasty food is my hands down favourite. I found the food at the Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort to be very good. We mainly ate at the Seafire buffet that had a nice variety of American and Mexican food, plus a thoughtful kids’ buffet that was set at a lower height for kids to reach themselves. It was mostly pizza and chicken nuggets “kids menu” food which I try to steer my kids away from, but sometimes familiar food is good to have on vacation. There was not a ton of selection for my vegetarian husband (even the salads had meat!) which was a bummer.
In addition to the bars and snack shacks on the property, there are three a la carte restaurants that operate on a rotating basis, (i.e., not every restaurant is open every night.) We tried the Brazilian barbecue at FOGO on the beach. I liked it; the kids were lukewarm, serviceable pasta for the vegetarian was on the menu. My elder son and I had a lovely evening at the upscale Mexican restaurant at La Catrina. I would have returned had our schedule allowed it! The prices on the menu concerned me somewhat before figuring it was for those not on the all-inclusive plan so learn from me. La Delice is the third restaurant, and the menu looked lovely. Unfortunately, it is not open to children, so we didn’t partake, but as someone who sometimes likes a child-free meal, I understand completely!
For Kids: A chatty American woman who cornered me by the pool informed me that we had missed the mountain of children who had been staying at the resort the week before. And although other people’s children are far from my vacation companions of choice, I did feel a little pang for my kids. The time we spent at the Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort was filled with couples, lots of infants, and very few school age children that could have been playmates for my kids.
The Kids Club was being renovated during our stay, so had been relocated to the nightclub, making it the swankiest kids’ club I had ever encountered. My son was often the only child in attendance so had the undivided attention of the staff, which was nice but a bit lonely. The club had the stipulation that a parent must return each hour to check on the kids which meant some juggling and setting alarms to make sure one of us could get back every 60 minutes.
A stay at the Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort was just the relaxing vacation we needed, broken lock or not! The location close to shops and an easy bus ride to the Malecon couldn’t be beaten. The service was top notch, and parents and kids were made to feel very welcome. Now when can I go back?