With the perfect blend of authentic Mexican culture and history, the charming town of Puerto Vallarta welcomes first timers and allures repeat travellers to return time and again.
Air Canada Vacations (ACV) hosted its Puerto Vallarta MegaFam trip from Calgary this week taking 82 travel agents and ACV staff on a whirlwind two night trip to explore its most popular resorts in Puerto Vallarta.
One of ACV's top-selling destinations
Puerto Vallarta is one of ACV’s top selling destinations and a Canadian favourite, especially from Western Canada. The sunsets in Puerto Vallarta provide the perfect backdrop for weddings, and the affordability of the destination is attractive for groups and families.
With four flights a week from both Calgary and Vancouver, Air Canada is pleased to bring their new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to service Western Canada, including full WiFi access onboard by early 2019.
The new aircraft is modern and sleek, designed with comfort in mind for guests to start their vacation the minute they board the plane. Large storage spaces, enhanced onboard entertainment and new engine technologies provide higher efficiencies and decreased engine noise for an overall premium flight experience.
Dana Gain, senior director sales, groups, partnerships, ACV, is excited for the opportunity.
“Puerto Vallarta is a hot destination this winter and we wanted to give agents the opportunity to see it with their own eyes," Gain said. "They can share their own experiences and stories about the destination where they are talking about what they know rather than just selling it from a brochure. We are always looking for ways to support the agency community and it can be challenging without a Western Canadian office in Vancouver. My effort is in elevating the visibility of Western Canada and providing more support than we have done in the past."
Hotel inspections, entertainment, and more
The two night trip had everyone staying at the Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa for one night, and at Hacienda at the Hilton Puerto Vallarta for the second evening, including a wind up reception featuring authentic Mexican food and entertainment hosted by Secrets Vallarta Bay.
We visited several resorts, including:
Grand Palladium Vallarta
- Family friendly resort, located in the best area for surfing at Banderas Bay
- Recently launched in June 2018, the Family Selection program provides an exclusive VIP experience with added amenities catering to families and is the first Palladium property to offer the program.
Iberostar Playa Mita
- Quiet and relaxing resort surrounded by white sandy beaches, about 25 miles from the PVR airport perfect for families and wedding groups
- Location is ideal for golfers with access to golf course designed by Greg Norman
- Attention to detail evident with old trees artistically created into furniture and decor throughout the resort
- Oceanfront resort with mountain views, spacious suites perfect for families.
- Unlimited golf packages available with access to two different golf courses nearby (25 minutes and 45 minutes away), where guests just pay cart fees and transfers.
Canto del Sol and Villas Vallartas by Canto del Sol
- Ideal location, only 10 minutes from the PVR airport, and close to town
- Bridge connecting Canto del Sol and Villas Vallarta is being constructed and will be ready by April 2019.
- Studio, one and two bedroom suites available, ideal for groups or large families.
- Upgraded flooring in pool areas, refreshed rooms with a brand new chapel for weddings and Catholic masses.
- Nightly entertainment includes 17 different shows for a variety of performances
Hilton Puerto Vallarta
- First all inclusive in Mexico from Hilton brand with beautiful views of Bandera Bay
- Rooftop terrace provides perfect location for weddings and receptions.
- Close to town for guests to explore downtown Puerto Vallarta and the Malecon.
- Adults only section, Hacienda by Hilton, recently opened in April 2018
- Family friendly property with beautiful lush gardens throughout the resort, providing a quiet serenity in authentic Mexican environment.
- No additional charges for anything onsite, everything is included (WiFi, room service, etc)
- Seasonal turtle release program that guests can experience, as well as whale watching in the winter.
Marigold Frontuna, General Sales Manager for Western Canada concludes, “80% of the agents on this fam trip have been selling Puerto Vallarta for many years but this trip is the first time they have been able to visit so it has been a great opportunity to bring them down to experience it first hand. We want agents to soak up the destination to be able to help them qualify the right customer to the right hotel at the right destination to help convey what we are known for. We are ACV Dream Makers; we are making your dreams travel”