CN Dec62011

An Update from Nuevo Vallarta by Tex805

December 6, 2011

Tex805 and his family were in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico during the last half of November and sent us their update. It is informative and enjoyable. Following his update are photos of the property. Included is an architect's rendering of plans for Nuevo Vallarta. As we have noted in prior posts, the plans are impressive, and the property will become a popular destination by many travelers and local residents.

First, here is their update:
We just returned from two weeks at the Grand Luxxe Nuevo Vallarta. The week before we arrived, Luxxe III had its "soft opening." Apparently there were a number of problems (no power, construction noise at night, etc.) Then there was a general power failure, which was confined to III alone. Apparently, only the owners in III received the November 19th apology letter (we were in I). We heard that it was a very unpleasant time for those involved.

The Punta (3 bedroom "Presidential Suites") was partially occupied, and being aggressively sold.

Grand Luxxe Presidential Villa (3 BR)

Grand Luxxe Exclusive Master Villa (2 BR)

Grand Luxxe Exclusive Villa (1 BR)

Apparently those in the Punta our first week were there on a "trial" basis, to get feedback as to their reactions. Again, problems such as no TV or internet. Some from the Punta have been moved back to the Luxxe I as compensation, creating more problems at the Luxxe I, which is at capacity already. The views from Punta are indeed spectacular.

View From Grand Luxxe Punta Oceanside Deck

The halls are very dark, but the views from the unit make up for it. The units are theoretically being sold "by invitation only." The sales pitch now is that they have been purchased by more than 80 of the people that they have offered it to. There is a lot of talk around the pool about the Punta, and the initial asking prices are indeed high. Plans are for Punta units to be built at most, if not all, of the Mayan locations. The Punta's villa layout is similar to the Luxxe, but in a smaller building with a 3-bedroom "Presidential" suite (a two bedroom and a one bedroom lock-off) at each corner of four floors, plus two two-bedroom suites in the center without wrap-around balconies. Access to the Punta (at least for now!) is through the Luxxe I lobby (beyond the elevators) complete with security guards to keep out the general hoi-polloi. The upstairs corridors are unusually dark and surprisingly uninteresting with their current lack of decoration.

Grand Luxxe Punta Hallway

Lots of construction activity. Luxxe towers are now being referred to as "Phase I" (meaning towers 1 and 2), "Phase II" (meaning towers 3 and 4), etc.

Grand Luxxe Tower III A and B (Or Grand Luxxe Tower III and IV)

Tower 4 is close to completion, Tower 5 is four stories up with the concrete and steel, and Tower 6 is working on the foundations. Current plans (as always, subject to change!) are to have ten Luxxe towers along the north bank of the river. All towers except I do not have hammocks, and the hammocks are disappearing from I's balconies (safety reasons were cited). The view toward the ocean from tower 2's lower floors is definitely impeded by the raised road between the tower and the remains of the Mayan Palace. The view from tower 3's lower floors is similarly impeded by the raised roadway, and there appears to be little of an ocean view at all. However, there is a lake view, complete with an island that is said to be used for weddings in the future.

Directly in front of the Grand Bliss is rising a large steel-framed "palapa" which will be the central train station.

Train Station / Reception Area

Guests will exit the highway right after crossing the bridge into Nayarit, and board the train there, proceeding to the central train station.

Train Station / Reception Area At Highway Entrance

The tracks are almost completely laid. Near the highway boarding area are rising the first of the "commercial center" buildings. The first is the train station, then a theater and a place for Cirque de Soleil. More buildings will include grocery store(s?), hospital, shopping areas, a water park, etc.

We were told that plans for the next 48 months include spending $600 million US on the Nayarit site alone. Grupo Vidanta has apparently purchased (leased?) some several thousand acres on the south side of the river, up to the airport property. Future plans are that the railroad will be extended to the airport, and guests will go from the airport straight to the train, bypassing the taxi trip to Nuevo Vallarta. Of course, that will mean that guests will probably not be able to have taxis pick them up at the Luxxe or Mayan Palace to go to Puerto Vallarta or Bucerias. My guess is that also means the eventual end of the multistory car park building near the Grand Mayan. The southern wing of the Mayan Palace directly between Luxxe II and the beach is being completely torn down after initially attempting to get by with reducing it to just four floors. Why couldn't they figure out that leaving any of it would impede the view?

Longer term, the newly acquired land across the river towards the airport is said to include three new eighteen hole golf courses, one by Tiger Woods (his first?), one by Tom Weiskopf and the other by Greg Norman.

Plan for Nuevo Vallara - November 28, 2011

The Luxxe model units and the Bliss model units on the beach in front of the Grand Mayan have been torn down.

Grand Luxxe and Grand Bliss Models Are Gone - November, 2011

In their place are a lot of re-bar and excavation to be a large pool complex?

The weekend we left, there was a significant increase in security people, as well as private jet traffic at the airport. It turns out there was a large wedding (250 guests) on the beach Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The entire Punta was taken over for the wedding party, and most of the guests were housed in the Grand Mayan. The bride was the daughter of Daniel Chavez, the primary owner of Grupa Vidanta.

The problems of over-selling the available capacity and over-promising to get the sale continue. The problem was exacerbated by trying to open two new buildings at the same time (Luxxe tower 3 and Punta) when neither was completely ready for occupancy. Our take is that the service staff is excellent, but the problems with sales continue. "This is the very best price" is a sales claim that is not to be believed. We were told the Presidential Suites in the Punta contained "over 6,000 square feet" but he architect's blueprints clearly show it is slightly over 4,000. We were told the Buenos Aires Mansions of the World building would be ready in mid-2012, but the Mansions web site clearly says mid-2013. We were told that the lock-off Villa suites in the new Luxxe towers would have toasters, coffee makers, and a larger mini-kitchen. Definitely not true now, but there may be retrofit plans in the future.

We continue to enjoy our stays at the Luxxe, and visiting the local sights, but continue to have frustrations with the "update" (read: upgrade sales pressure) process.

Terrifc Tex! Thank you for your update.

Now, here are photos Tex805 sent us in 2011 and 2010 to share with everyone:

November, 2011

The Grand Luxxe Punta Pools at the Grupo Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta property will be available to all Grand Luxxe vacationers, at least for the time being. The lobby hosts a bar and make your own hamburger bar.
Which view is better? Certainly both sides of the Grand Luxxe buildings are wonderful. Sunrise on one side and sunset on the other.
The Grand Luxxe Punta halls are interior, and therefore very dark. Tex felt the decorating could have been more imaginative with brighter colors.
Grupo Vidanta is demolishing the south tower of the Mayan Palace at Nuevo Vallarta at their Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico property. Make room for better views from the Grand Luxxe Towers II and III.

The roof of the Train Palapa Station is nearly complete. The building is constructed of steel pipes and beams. Very noisy when banged upon. Visitors to Nuevo Vallarta will pass through this station to their respective resorts.
Grand Luxxe Towers consturction will continue up the Ameca River from the Bahia de Banderas. There could be ten or eleven in total.
This architect's rendering displays the future vision of the Grupo Vidanta property at Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico as of November 2011. Changes could come about, true. We will see.

July, 2010

The Grand Luxxe Punta at Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico in July 2010 was little more than a ground level construction area.
This view of the Grand Luxxe Punta in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico shows the amount of work done in a short period of time. The building held a soft opening on November 11, 2011.
Grand Luxxe II was nearing completion for its soft opening in November, 2010.
This view of the Vidanta Property at Nuevo Vallarta is looking north east past the Grand Luxxe II on the right and Mayan Palace on the left. The new train station is in the distance between the two.

Grupo Vidanta is adjusting the Ameca River to reduce the risk of flooding and other bad things during heavy rains.
This seemingly in auspicious culvert is now the employee entrance to the parking garage at Vidanta's Nuevo Vallarta property.
This photo shows what the first tee looked like in July, 2010 at Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.

Great update and photos. We all will stay tuned....

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