Finally (but not) home! After what we thought would be a long ass week in Puerto Vallarta, it ended up being a short lived vacation at a home away from home. Our expectations before we got there were decent – blah blah balh all inclusive blah blah blah. What else was there to be excited about? It was Diana and I’s first time leaving for a week long vacation at a 5 star resort that we were lucky enough to stumble upon on WestJet’s sun sale for super cheap so we just knew we were getting free food and drinks and that’s where our expectations stopped and then were blown away after the first 5 minutes of arriving at the resort.
Never lifting a finger for our luggage, greeted with champagne glasses at check-in, and what I really loved was how everyone welcomed us “home”. The resort was made of beautiful marble, tile, wood accents and granite – nothing was overlooked. Diana and I agreed that the best thing about the whole trip was that every single soul that worked in this resort was genuinely eager to assist you and get you anything you wanted. I’m sure it was part of their job to say that it was “their pleasure” to help you out, but something that we don’t get back in North America is the actual feeling of genuine kindness from employees, let alone good customer service. It’s almost like these people came here because they loved it so much and not because it was their “job”. Who knows, maybe that’s why they’re hired to do what they do, but it almost makes you feel bad that they can be so kind. The other kicker is that they expect no tip, no gratitude, no special gift or anything from your pockets in return for their hospitality. You feel like they do it because they really want to and I think that’s what made it so hard for us to leave yesterday.
My biggest pet peeve is rudeness and the lack of manners or sense of gratitude towards others. Going to a place like this – it’s easy to forget where you came from and who you actually are. Here – you are a king and you are treated no less than that. Just because you are treated like a king, doesn’t mean you are one or have the right to treat others like garbage. I tweeted this while we were eating Italian one night because a couple that came in complained about everything, were picky about what they got, and just shook their heads the entire time while the server helped them out all with a smile on his face and went out of his way to make sure everything was right.
Diana and I both took $100 USD in $1 bills for tips for the week. We thought it was common courtesy to tip waiters and waitresses – apparently not. Not many people left tips after their meals or when their drinks were brought to them. Sometimes they rarely got a “thanks”. Yet, day after day the staff worked like they were getting paid a million bucks. We made sure to tip every single waiter, every single time. And if we couldn’t find them, we would sit and wait until they came close and handed it to them. The best thing is that they looked so surprised when you handed them a buck or two – like it just made their day. They would say thanks and invite you to come the next day. They remember your order, they make small talk and they are super friendly people. I think the people and the staff were the ones that were hard to leave – not really the place itself.
Now – whether it’s their job and they are trained to do it, that doesn’t matter to me. Because a 5 star restaurant here couldn’t come close to the service back there because technically – whether it’s here or in Mexico, your top staff should be the best of the best and comparable in terms of service. The waiters here – a majority of them anyway, wait on you for a tip. They expect a tip for their service. Period. We’ve had some really good waiters before and we’ve been equally happy giving them a tip. At our resort – all of them, wait on you for you to be more than satisfied. They expect nothing in return. Period.
I guess this was more of a rant than anything because everybody in that city – in the resort and outside of the resort – working their little stores or even McDonalds, has a genuine sense of what it is to be homely. To welcome people with the best of their ability. I think that’s what I miss the most and if I could go back again, I would. And I wouldn’t mind paying double what I did this time because even that couldn’t make up for the hospitality and service we were given. If you guys ever go to Puerto Vallarta – go stay at Now Amber Resort and Spa. Unbelievable people. The resort is just a bonus.
Onto the pics!
This was the night we got there. Beautiful sunset – chairs onlooking the pools and beach below with an overflow pond surrounding you.
We decided to sit and relax for the night after the plane ride. There weren’t many activities to do anyway.
The next morning – a shot of the beach and pools from our balcony. Awesome view.
I was chillin while Diana was still sleeping. Like always.
A night time shot of the area below. Still beautiful.
Everyday there was a schedule of things to do. Events every hour, drink specials, reminders, drink of the day, which restaurants were open. This was your map for the day.
Sometimes when we didn’t want to do any of the events at night, we’d borrow movies. Thor was one of them since I still hadn’t seen it.
I also replaced the back of my iphone glass because the lens was all scratched. I neglected to pay the $20 replacement fee and this is what happens. I had to ghetto repair it with tape.
This was a cool feature we didn’t figure out until the second or third day. The switches allow or not allow the maids to come in, should you need service.
Right beside the resort was a grocery store that I was dying to check out because I wanted to find some cool snacks that we didn’t have here. We bought bags of things and ended up only paying about $13 USD. So crazy.
Crazy flavoured popcorn that I’ve never seen before.
Bracelets. On the beach, there are beach vendors that sell things like bracelets, dresses, hats, sunglasses and henna tattoos. Diana and I went through this bracelet craze cause it was super “mexican” looking and it looked good with our beach wear hahahaha.
The poolside chairs.
The main pool with the swim up bar.
Our resort from the beach.
The rock that holds me down.
Our last night. Diana packing up all our things. Sad day…
On the plane home.
Finally – the best part is we got the emergency exit seats so we get the super luxurious leg room. The downside is no reclinable seats. OH welllllll…
That was the good part of the trip. In between the pictures, we drank and ate. That’s pretty much it. We had 6-7 drinks a day, 4-5 meals a day and we pretty much just got fat. All in all, money well spent and Canada is now my second home.