Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What is the process for making a reservation?
Once you request a reservation, we place a temporary hold on the calendar for you. We email the rental agreement and payment information. Your signed copy can be emailed or faxed back to 509-696-0692 within 48 hours of your request and we can then extend your hold for up to a week pending receipt of a 50% deposit to confirm your stay. Final balances are due 60 days prior to stay and 90 days prior to stay for Holidays.
2. What is the minimum stay?
3 nights in the Summer and 5 nights in the Winter (exceptions made for last minute bookings and/or fill in dates). We are currently offering Pay 4, Stay 5 nights or Stay 7 Nights, Pay for 5 for the Summer and Winter 2012/2013 Season. Rates and Specials are subject to change without notice.
3. What are Winter season vs. Summer season rates?
Summer season rates generally apply after Easter week in April through mid November (the week before Thanksgiving). Winter season rates apply from Thanksgiving Week through Easter Week. Christmas and New Years Weeks are Holiday rates and 7 night minimum stay.
4. What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept all major credit cards including AMEX, Mastercard, Visa, and Discover along with a copy of your signed rental agreement and your signature on the credit card authorization form. PayPal also accepted. Please add a 3% transaction fee to all credit card charges. We also accept payment by bank wire to our Wells Fargo Account, a branch deposit at any Wells Fargo Bank, or check by mail to Wells Fargo Bank in Portland, OR.
5. What if we have to cancel?
Full refunds (less a 10% facilitating fee) will be made if we are able to re-rent the villa for the exact same dates and number of bedrooms. We recommend that you purchase Trip Cancellation Insurance if you think there might be a chance you should need to cancel. We highly recommend www.travelguard.com or www.accessamerica.com.
6. What is included in the rate?
The rates are USD per night and the Hacienda can be rented privately on a 4 bedroom minimum at lower rates (please see rate breakdown under our “rates” page). The rates are per night for the entire villa. All rates are subject to 15% tax. If you are only renting 4 out of the 7 bedrooms at the Hacienda, you may select the rooms you wish to use and unused rooms remain closed and are never rented separately. You can always add rooms 5,6,or 7 at the Hacienda at any time prior to your stay for $100 USD/plus tax per room per night additional. All common areas such as the pool and terrace are private and never shared. Holiday rates are for all 7 bedrooms with a 7 night minimum stay. The rate also includes a full staff of a cook, houseman/waiter and daily maid service. The cost of food and beverage is not included in the rate. The cook will save receipts and you would reimburse the staff directly upon return from each trip to the grocery store. Receipts must be paid in USD at the current daily exchange rate or Pesos (staff cannot take credit cards or personal checks for grocery shopping). Gratuities for the staff are also not included. Private airport transfers can be arranged for $15US per person one way to the villa and you would pay the driver directly. The Hacienda has 7 Bedrooms and the neighboring Casita has 3 Bedrooms if you need additional space. Both villas are completely independent and private when rented separately. However, they can also be rented together as a 10 Bedroom villa for larger groups. Rates and special discounts are subject to change without notice.
7. What are the services of the full-time staff?
The staff will usually arrive ½ to 1 hour prior to your requested breakfast time. Breakfast is normally served at earliest at 9am. They work a full day and will retire after dinner service and clean up. Dinner is normally served at 6-7pm at latest. If you would like a later dinner, please pay the taxi fare for the staff when they leave (approx. $30 US or $300 pesos) as the last bus to Vallarta leaves around 8pm. Your cook will do all of the grocery shopping and will cook 2-3 meals per day upon request (see our suggested menu). Please give her at least 24 hours notice of your menu for the following day so that she has time to shop and prepare. If you can give her your menu for 2-3 days at a time, even better. Please pay the grocery receipts (and taxi fare to the store – around $5 US or $50 pesos each way) after she shops so that you are better able to track your spending. Please pay expenses at the villa is US dollars (at the current daily exchange rate) or Pesos. We aren’t able to accept Credit Cards or Travelers Checks. Meals are served family style (not a la carte) so please order 1-2 main entrees, 1-2 sides and/or soup or salad, and a dessert to share. We also have a kids menu.
Luis, your houseman/waiter, is your go to man for everything you need. He is your bartender, waiter, surf instructor, concierge and more!
Angela takes care to make sure everything is nice and clean every day. She can do light laundry. She assists the cook in the kitchen and vice versa.
8. What is the average cost for food and beverage per person per day?
Typically guests spend an average of $25-$30 US/per adult per day for breakfast, happy hour snacks or light lunch, and dinner. This average cost includes most Mexican beer, margaritas, pina coladas, call liquors, house wine etc. Of course, this “average cost” can vary depending on your menu and bar. For example, we have non-drinking groups that spend $15-$20US/day and groups that start their day with a bloody mary and steak and eggs breakfast that will go above the average.
9. What about tipping in Mexico?
Gratuities are always optional. However, tips are very much appreciated for a job well done. Depending upon the number of hours worked and number of meals you had at the villa, a good range would be $10-$13 US per day, per guest in your group per day to be pooled and divided among the 3 on staff at the end of your stay. For example, if you have 10 guests in your group the tip pool would be between $100-$130 US/day X 7 nights stay = $700-$910 US for the week divided by 3 on staff = approx $230-$300 USD per staff member at the end of your stay. Envelopes are provided in the information binder at the villa (Taxi drivers regularly include tipping charges in their fee, you do not have to tip the taxi drivers.)
10.What type of travel documents do we need to bring?
Upon entering and leaving Mexico, you will a valid passport. Children under 18, traveling without both parents, will also need a notarized affidavit for permission to travel. You will be given a tourist card by the airlines, which will need to be completed prior to arrival in Mexico and must be turned in upon leaving Mexico.
11. What is the best time of the year to go to Mexico?
Mid October to mid May is ideal. The weather is perfect in Puerto Vallarta/Bucerias and it’s good escape from the cold. Lots of sunshine and temperatures average around 80 degrees year round. You can also swim in the ocean year round. The Holidays are also a great time of year to get together with the family. Holidays are popular and generally book a year or more in advance. Light, comfortable, casual clothing is recommended. Sometimes a light sweater is necessary in the winter evenings. Don’t forget to bring lots of sunscreen! The Summer Season (Mid April to Mid November) is warm and can be humid. From mid June to August/September, it typically rains hard for a couple of hours in the evenings… just about every day like clockwork. However, the Summer can also be a nice time to visit and you can’t beat the rates. All of the bedrooms, living room, dining room, etc. have individual remote control air conditioning and ceiling fans.
12. How will we get from the airport to the villa?
You can take a taxi (car or van for larger groups) for $45-$65 US or we can arrange for you to be picked up by our local representative in an air-conditioned 10-12 pax van with cold drinks on ice. (Roughly $15 US per person one way paid direct to the driver). Rental cars are not usually necessary since everything is just a few minutes walk from the villa and taxis are inexpensive and readily available in most areas. The local buses are also an inexpensive (and entertaining) way to see the little towns around the bay (usually $1 US each way). Unfortunately, we don’t have car seats available for small children so please bring your own.
13. What time is check in and check out?
Check out is 11:00 am, Check in is 3:00 p.m. We will do our best to accommodate your arrival/departure times based on availability. We can also arrange to store your luggage at the villa before or after check in and check out if necessary. If you have a late flight out, we have made arrangements for our guests to be able to purchase a day pass at the Marriott beachfront resort just a few minutes from the airport. The cost is $350 Pesos per person for the day pass and they will credit back $300 Pesos towards food and beverage – so if you have lunch and a few drinks by the pool you essentially would pay $50 Pesos (or approx $4 US) to spend the day at the resort. They can store your luggage and you can use the pools, kids club playground, and gym which also has a shower so that you can change at the end of the day. The Marriott can arrange for you transportation back to the airport (approx $100 Pesos or $10 US for a cab). This option has worked out great for guests in the past- add one more great day to your vacation if you fly out in the evening!
14. What can we expect at the villa when we arrive?
We will send you an arrival package after your final payment is made (60 days prior to your departure) to arrange your menu requests, as well as transportation to and from the airport. Your staff will greet you with your choice of a full meal or light appetizers and drinks upon your arrival. Grocery shopping is usually arranged before you arrive, so food and drinks will be stocked and you can reimburse your grocery receipts with the staff after you arrive. We can also assist you with any other special arrangements beforehand… such as birthday surprises. The villas are always stocked with bath towels, linens, dish towels, etc. It has everything you need for a weekly rental.
15. What special items do you have for babies and children?
We have 2 pack n play style cribs, 2 high chairs, a booster seat, an umbrella stroller, dvds, books, pool and beach toys. We also have 4 twin size fold out mattresses that can be made up in any of the guest suites for parents who would like the kids to share their room (additional cost is $25 US/day).
16. Can you drink the water?
The villa has a purified water system and a large 5 gallon purified water station is always available. We can also purchase smaller individual bottles of water, but in an effort to be eco-friendly, we’ve provided the purified water station. The staff uses purified water for ice, cooking, and food preparation. Just in case, you can purchase acidophilus tablets to aid in the restoration of normal, healthy, intestinal bacteria. You should be able to find this at any local drug or health food store for approximately $5 for 100 tablets. It’s also a good idea to eat yogurt a couple of weeks prior to your vacation to help prepare your stomach for the slight
changes in food.
17. How far is the beach from the villa?
The beach is less than a minute flat walk from the front door. Each room has 2 beach chairs, a beach bag, and the villa has a cooler, boogie boards, beach towels, blanket, and beach umbrella. Luis, your houseman, will set up the beach for you with cold drinks on ice and snacks whenever you’d like.
18. How do we access cash?
You can always pay in pesos or US Dollars (no bills larger than $20 US). Most businesses will accept payment in U.S. dollars (at the current exchange rate), so there is no need to exchange money before leaving the states. On the other hand, some US banks have pesos that you can buy before your trip. ATM’s are available throughout Bucerias and credit cards are sometimes accepted (but never count on it). Programmable safes are provided in all of the bedrooms.