I don´t know if this is the right place to put this topic.
Greg and I recently had a nice little mini-vacation at the Royal Suites Palladium (about 5 minutes south of Punta Mita) at what we thought was a great price. We wanted to recommend it for anyone interested in a really nice place at a pretty affordable price (at least in low season).
Basically, we booked 4 nights at the Grand Palladium (which is all-inclusive) through Groupon for ($329 US ) but when we arrived to find out that the Palladium was jam-packed with kids and busloads of some kind of convention, we upgraded to the adjacent adults only Royal Suites for $60 US per night (low season rate).
Greg and I both agreed that we could not possibly have made a better choice for what we wanted. . The Royal Suites had everything we wanted (like peace and quiet, comfort, no meals to prepare, a break from shopping and home maintenance) and none of the extra “bells and whistles” which we don´t even WANT, let alone want to pay through the nose for (like personal butlers, fancy décor, being spritzed with water or given a neck massage while checking in). Our room was very spacious and comfortable. It had a nice big bathroom with a Jacuzzi, a handheld shower, a separate shower stall. It wasn´t a big fancy suite, just a nice room with a little balcony and everything worked just fine.
You can use all the facilities of the Palladium, but we wouldn´t bother again. The Royal Suites has its own a la carte restaurant with a nice fresh/salad breakfast bar. No reservations required ever. Room service. Good booze, Mini bar. Great service. Beautiful pool. Very personal and, at least in low season, extremely uncrowded. Truthfully it felt like our own private villa. It´s a lovely location too. Built on a cliff, with lots of gardens. Not the best beach, but the overall atmosphere makes up for it. They even have those swanky pergola covered beach beds with curtains perched above the ocean at which you can get served. Sweet.
I particularly liked the service. It wasn´t that fawning "Welcome Home. I am your FRIEND" kind of thing. They were friendly, but not creepy friendly. They really made an effort to tailor the menu to what you wanted in the restaurant and otherwise meet any special requests.
Another thing I liked was there were no beach vendors and nobody tried to sell us anything (like tours or Timeshare). They had a Manager´s Reception for the whole Palladium and I thought "Here comes the pitch", but it was just an introduction of the managers (Let´s have a big round of applause for the Ama de Llaves!) They also wanted to know if anyone had any complaints or suggestions (Yes, really).
Even the maintenance staff was quiet. Despite all the lush gardens and jungle, I didn´t hear a machine once in 4 days, even on the Palladium side. All I saw was quiet sweeping, raking and the odd machete.
We would definitely go back another time or recommend it to anyone wanting this type of experience at quite an affordable price.
One general note, there were huge waves at the Palladium (good for surfing, not for tranquil swimming) but 10 minutes away, around the point, the ocean was like a swimming pool. I always assumed it was a seasonal thing. (It´s rough around the point in winter). Live and learn I guess.