VILLA ESPLENDORA ARRIVAL INFORMATION
Carretera A Barra De Navidad 4600
Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico
Tel. 228-0068 Fax. 228-0008
ADDRESS NOTE: For some reason, when you plug the address listed above into Google Maps, it shows the incorrect location. Also, the address doesn't mean a whole lot to the local taxi drivers. So, below we've provided a map with the exact GPS location as well as a script to show and/or tell the taxi drivers so that they know where they're going.
Script: Por favor, llévanos a Villa Esplendora. Es la villa justo antes de Casa San Sebastián. (Translation: Please take us to Villa Esplendora. It is the villa just before Casa San Sebastian.)
Exact GPS Location: (https://goo.gl/maps/poTZUTj5CZK2)
PRE-ARRIVAL REQUESTS: Prior to your arrival, we will send you an information sheet that you will fill out where you may request airport transportation to meet you at the airport and request food and beverage items that will be at the Villa upon your arrival.
ARRIVAL INSTRUCTIONS: It is approximately a 30-40 minute taxi ride from the International Airport in Puerto Vallarta Villa Esplendora. After you pass through customs, you will arrive in an area where there will be people asking where you are going, etc., providing transportation, etc. BEWARE: This first wave of people are Time Share Sales representatives that want to provide free or low cost transportation, tours, etc. in exchange for tours of time share projects. They will ask you where you are going, whether you need transportation, etc. Just keep walking and use the most important two words of Spanish NO GRACIAS, NO GRACIAS, NO GRACIAS or say you already have transportation. Just keep walking through this area and you will exit into the main arrival area where you will see people holding signs for arrivals, etc.
PRIVATE AIRPORT TRANSPORTATION: If we have arranged private transportation for you (to be specified on the arrival form, the driver will be holding a sign with your group name just outside of the customs area.
TAXI TRANSPORTATION: Just proceed straight to toward the exit doors where you will find people offering taxis. There are two competing airport taxi services, Yellow and White. There will be people trying to direct you to one or the other. Both are the same price and service. There will are three small elevated ticket booths at the end of this building by the main exit. Most likely someone will guide you to one or the other which is OK or just pick one.
Tell them you are going 1 mile North of Mismaloya. They have a rate chart by Zone and we are in Zone 3. As of Apr 2010, “Zone 3” is 284 pesos or roughly $23USD for 1 -3 passengers for a regular 4 door sedan and 557 Pesos or about $45 USD for 1 – 5 passengers in a mini-van. You will receive a ticket/receipt and will provide this to the taxi driver. TIP – Don’t surrender your luggage until you see the vehicle that it is being loaded in and also understand that you are paying for a private taxi, which means there are no other guests, pick-ups, etc. IMPORTANT – At this point, your taxi has been paid for and you owe nothing else to the driver unless you wish to tip a $1 or $2. Tipping for taxis in Mexico is not as normal as in the U.S. But if the driver is extra helpful, entertaining, etc. I like to tip a dollar or two. Most drivers speak enough English to get by, but if you prefer and particularly if you have not been to PV, by all means ask for an English Speaking Taxi driver.
Upon arrival just leave your bags at the front gate, and ring the front door bell for the houseman, Sergio. He will help you with your luggage and bring you a nice cold margarita.
PHONE: Our telephone number is 228-0068 as dialed in Vallarta. Dialing from the States, call 011-52-322-228-0068. Local calls are free. You must use your long distance phone credit card to dial the States. The numbers to phone the States using AT&T, MCI and Sprint credit cards are listed on all of the telephones in the house. The MCI card permits calls to countries other than the U.S. To make long distance calls to the States without a credit card, call "09" to reach the international operator who will help you make collect calls. If long distance charges are on the bill for the period you were in Puerto Vallarta, we will add a $50.00 billing fee plus the phone charges and forward a copy to you for payment.
INTERNET SERVICE: Villa Esplendora has its own free wireless internet network accessible by your laptop computer. This is a secured network and you will be prompted to enter a security key code. This security code is clearly marked on the modem, which is located on the kitchen counter.
FAX MACHINE: A combination Fax/Copier/Printer/Scanner is located on the table desk in Master Suite No 1 – The fax number is (322) 228-0008 and this is a dedicated line. A disk with software driver is available if you wish to use the printer. Just ask Sergio for the disk. Also provided is a USB printer cable for your laptop.
NO SMOKING: Villa Esplendora is a smoke-free villa. Smoking is available only outside. Ask Sergio or Carmen for ashtrays.
POOL & SPA: If you want the pool or spa temperature higher or lower tell Sergio or Carmen. Beach towels will be laid out on the lounge chairs on the pool terrace. Please use these beach towels rather than room towels. We request that you use the plastic “glass” ware around the pool and drink from cans instead of bottles. IMPORTANT: The entire house boasts of beautiful marble floors, including the pool area. AS YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE TO BE VERY CAUTIOUS WALKING ON ANY MARBLE FLOORS BUT ESPECIALLY WITH BAREFEET AND ESPECIALLY WITH WET FEET. We suggest ALWAYS wearing footwear.
KEYS: Upon your arrival you will be given sets of key: each set carries two keys: one for the front gate and one for the front entry door. When the front gate is closed, it requires a key to for either entering OR exiting. Obviously, make sure all doors are locked at night. If you have a car, Sergio will provide you with the garage door opener. Sergio will collect all keys and the garage opener prior to your departure.
WATER: Although Puerto Vallarta’s water is potable, Villa Esplendora has a state-of-the-art whole house water filtration system that adds additional assurance of safe drinking water from anywhere in the Villa. If you choose to do any cooking/food preparation on your own please note that you will find a small brown bottle of Microdyn by the sink in the kitchen (or available in supermarkets). Soak any fruit or vegetable to be eaten raw or not peeled in a sink filled with water and 6 drops of Microdyn for 15 minutes. (Allow 1 drop of Microdyn for each quart or liter of water.) We eat lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries, etc. with no problem, but USE THE MICRODYN, everyone does.
MANAGER: Claudia Goldman Garcia is the local property manager of Villa Esplendora. She speaks excellent English and is available by phone in the event you have a problem not resolvable by the staff. Her cell phone number is 044-322-294-0133.
EMPLOYEES: The very friendly staff of Villa Esplendora will go out of their way to make your stay comfortable. Our staff consists of: our houseman, Sergio (pronounced ‘ser-he-o’ or similar to ‘stereo’ without the “t”) our head housekeeper, Carmen-—our renowned cook, Daniel--and our gardener/maintenance man, José. Only the houseman, Sergio speaks English. The rest know a few words. If Sergio isn’t readily available, you will find that some “Spanglish” and a little sign language on your part will work pretty well with other members of the staff. For your privacy, our staff does not stay at the Villa at night. Normally, the entire staff is present by 9AM and at least two people are available until as late as 8-9PM. They will go about their work quietly and will provide you with a great balance of comfort and privacy.
Sunday is the regular staff day off and staff are off for all major Mexican Holidays as follows: January 1 for New Years Day, February 5 for Constitution Day, March 21 for Benito Juarez Birthday, May 1 for Labor Day, September 16 for Independence Day, November 20 for Revolution Day, and December 25 for Christmas.
If you would like to have dinner prepared or if you would like the service of the cook, houseman or additional maid service on Sunday this can be arranged but requires an additional charge to be paid in advance. Please advise our manager Claudia Goldman Garcia at least 24 hours in advance and arrange for pre-payment. Additional charge per day; cook - $75.00 usd, houseman - $75.00 usd, additional maid - $50.00 usd. Another option is to have Daniel prepare some simple items such as quesadillas, fajitas, on Saturday that can be warmed up on Sunday or to have the staff purchase food for the outdoor grill. Carmen, the head housekeeper and Angelica, her assistant, work just for you and go about their business quietly. If you have laundry you need done, put it in the hamper in located in your closet or bathroom and it will be back to you the next day. Relax, enjoy your vacation and let our staff take care of you. You will get used to it in a hurry!
Cooking & Food: Daniel will prepare two meals a day; breakfast and lunch or breakfast and dinner. He and Sergio will help you plan your menus and set a very warm table. We suggest giving Sergio $250.00 US on arrival for initial groceries. We have provided you will a menu of items to choose from that we prepare regularly but can prepare other things as well to your liking. If you have a special occasion and would like a decorated cake, let us know and we will either prepare or purchase one for you. For that matter, if you need a non-food item, we can purchase for you as well rather than have you make a special trip. Sergio will keep track of your bills and come to you when more money is needed. These bills are simply our cost of grocery shopping and do not include any mark-up or delivery charges. Just let them know what food and/or beverage items you would like to have the day before you need them as they will do shopping each morning on the way to the Villa. A good rule of thumb for food and basic beverage costs and typical amounts and brands of alcohol would be about $20 - $30 per adult per day. Naturally, this can vary depending upon your personal tastes.
As we aren’t set up like a restaurant, we prefer to prepare more or less the same dish for each guest rather than a different dish for each guest. Naturally, we can make adjustments as necessary. For example, if 7 people like fish, and one doesn’t, we can prepare chicken or something else. Also, if you have any dietary issues, restrictions, vegetarian needs, etc., please make note on the arrival form and we will happy to take care of that. Also on that same arrival form, you will tell us would you would you like for first night dinner. Otherwise, we will prepare traditional Mexican cuisine. This would be in addition to the complementary Margarita/Cerveza & Mexican Snack you will receive upon arrival. You will find Sergio and Daniel to be very flexible and accommodating to your needs.
AUDIO: There is a sound system located in the entertainment system in the family room with over 200 CD’s ranging from Pink Floyd to Big Band as well as local Mexican music. There are speakers throughout the Villa and in all the bedrooms and the pool area. In addition, the Satellite receiver has many music options with all types of music.
FM RADIO: Vallarta has five FM stations: 8.95, 9.03, 9.19, 9.43 and 9.99
SATELITE TV: The family room and each bedroom is equipped with Satellite TV thru the Dish Network & each of those rooms has their own individual receiver. The satellite package will provide most of the same cable/satellite programming in the U.S. with over 135 channel selections absent the local U.S. programming.
DVD PLAYERS: Each bedroom and the family room is equipped with a DVD player. We have a small library of DVD’s located in the entertainment center in the family room. There is also a Blockbuster in town for additional DVD titles.
OTHER ENTERTAINMENT: If you are familiar with the game “bags” (a bean bag toss game); ask Sergio to set bring it out to the pool area. Just remember to keep it in an area that is dry at night.
AIR CONDITIONING: All of the bedrooms are air-conditioned. The three master suites have central air controlled by conventional thermostats. The two garden bedrooms have individual A/C units controlled via remote control. Carmen or Angelica may adjust your thermostat higher during the day if you are out. Thermostats are in Celsius.
TIPPING OF HOUSEHOLD STAFF: Tipping of the household employees is strictly voluntary—however, it is customary in Mexico. The amount of the tips would, of course, depend on the service, the length of stay, the number of guests, special service and so forth. We are frequently asked how much to tip and have established a guideline that may be of help to you. $10.00-$15.00 USD (100 pesos) per guest per day seems to be the average for a Villa such as Esplendora. The staff uses a formula to distribute the tips, with Sergio and Daniel receiving higher shares than the others (you will understand why when you visit) but all staff receive some share of the tips. You can ask Sergio for an envelope.
Restaurants: Puerto Vallarta has literally dozens of wonderful restaurants ranging from very inexpensive to gourmet. Just ask Sergio for some recommendations. Local Restaurant and entertainment guides are available in the Villa. If you have special dietary requirements, please advise us through your rental agent in advance so we can be prepared.
Activities & Excursions: Sergio has a directory in the Villa of activities, excursions, tours, etc and can arrange these on your behalf.
MEDICAL ASSISTANCE: On this side of town there are two private medical clinics with emergency service: CMQ (tel. 223-1919), and Medasist (223-0444). If you are out near the Marina, there is a new clinic called Amerimed at Plaza Neptuno (221-0023, 221-0024) and San Javier Marina (226-1000). A very good doctor who will make house calls and speaks English is Alfonso Rodriguez; his cellular is: 044-322-227-2464, 222-1010, 223-1266 and of course, there is the Mexican Red Cross (222-1533). For additional emergency numbers please see "Important Phone Numbers" in this book.
TRANSPORTATION TO TOWN: Getting around Puerto Vallarta is very easy with plenty of taxis as well as public bus transportation. For 6 pesos (about 60 cents USD), the bus from Mismaloya will deliver you to the south end of “Old Town” Vallarta, an area that offers you an abundance of restaurants, shops, entertainment, etc. From there, you are about 10 minute walk to the Malecõn (boardwalk) area, the heart of Centro. Buses run regularly about every 10-15 minutes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The buses used to be Green/Blue but now they are changing to a yellow and white design with Dolphins. Just make sure the bus says MISAMOLYA or sometimes MISAMOLYA & BOCA. When you see the bus coming, just wave your hand and they will pull over, climb aboard and hand the driver the money. The bus can be picked up directly across the street from Villa Esplendora. Note: Be very careful crossing the street, as the oncoming vehicles are coming around a curve and are difficult to see until the last second.) They will make small change but better to have pesos in small denominations or USD dollar bills.. If you are paying for more than one person, just say “para dos personas”, “para tres personas”, “para cuatro personas”, etc. You can also pay with USD, but they will use a 10:1 exchange rate. When returning from town, make sure you select the Mismaloya bus that will pick up at the corner of Constitucion and Badilla right in front of the convenience store named “SIX”.
If you want to take a taxi from the villa, just ask Sergio or Carmen to arrange it. Taxi fare normally to downtown or “Centro” would be 130 pesos ($12 USD). If you need an English speaking taxi, just ask, as there are many drivers conversant in English. It is always a good idea to negotiate the fare before getting into the taxi. Keep in mind, if you have a large group, say 10 people, the bus would cost about $6 USD for all 10 people versus using 3 taxis & spending $36---more than that, using the bus system is very interesting. Just be VERY careful crossing any of the streets in Vallarta---especially when crossing the main road running in front of the villa. There is a bus stop directly across from the house but cars drive very fast on this road so be really cautious when crossing.
TIPPING AT RESTAURANTS: It is customary to tip at restaurants in Puerto Vallarta, with 10% being the norm. The more “touristy” the restaurant, the greater the expectation of U.S. style tipping. Locals do not tip taxi drivers, but taxi drivers have grown to expect a small tip from Americans. We like to bring a good supply of one-dollar bills (great for tipping).
CURRENCY: It is not a bad idea to purchase some Pesos for taxi fare, etc. prior to your arrival---but if you choose to wait until your arrive to buy Pesos there are ATM machines right at the airport for your convenience. Taxi fare from the airport is $20 - $25. Once you have arrived, there are plenty of other ATM’s around town to use to withdraw money in Pesos. Although U.S. currency is readily accepted everywhere, it is nearly always better to transact business in Pesos (and more fun). Local vendors like to pretend that 100 Pesos and $10 U.S. dollars are exactly the same but in reality there is a small advantage to the vendor to get paid in US dollars.
HOW MUCH MONEY TO BRING: ATM’s are located at the banks in downtown (Banamex next to the park area. There is also one at the Guadalajara Farmacia just two blocks from the bus stop in town. Bring enough to get started for a couple of days and then get your Pesos from the ATM. Also, avoid bringing in big bills such as $50’s and $100’s. Many places won’t take $100’s and it is difficult to get change for $50’s. I recommend bring in smaller bills such as $10’s, $5’s and $1’s as they are just much easier to use. TIP: DON’T BRING TRAVELERS’ Checks. Merchants won’t take them and it is difficult to cash them.
We know you will love Villa Esplendora. Please enjoy our Villa and come back soon.
Judy & Gary Feigenbutz
Kathy & Scott Wessel