Picking a vacation destination can be one of the toughest decisions. Many of us have limited time, a budget to acknowledge, and we like to see and do different things. For years, I’ve been the planner that figures out all of the details of our vacations. Recently, I put the ball in my husband’s court and told him that he would be responsible for the next trip.
Then, one night we were watching Vanderpump Rules on Bravo with a bottle of wine, and we saw the cast visiting Hotel Mousai. Marc-Andre was like “let’s go there”. One week later, it was all booked and we’d be leaving in about a month. I knew almost nothing, but I was really excited to visit the west side of Mexico and live out my best Vanderpump life.
Our experience was incredible and this is a very positive review of Hotel Mousai. I will throw in a few suggestions, touch on things I didn’t get to experience, and rave about a few of our favorite moments. For anyone that’s looking for a laid-back vacation in a gorgeous destination, this place will hit all of the marks.
Travel Blogger’s Review of Hotel Mousai
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Puerto Vallarta is located on the Pacific coast of Mexico in the state of Jalisco. From Orlando, it was a short 2 hour flight to Houston and another 2 hour flight to the Puerto Vallarta airport.
It’s considered a resort town, just like Cabo San Lucas, but we heard from multiple locals and regulars that Puerto Vallarta is much less touristy and more authentic to the Mexican culture. I, personally, love that side of it all. The oceanside town is filled with colorful buildings, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, white stucco buildings, and red tile roofs.
Hotel Mousai is about a 25-30 minute taxi ride from the center of town. We arranged a private car through AirGo to pick us up at the airport. Immigration was smooth, but when you’re heading out to the pickup, make sure to turn down all the people located inside that will try to trick you into visiting other resorts for timeshare pitches.
Driving to Hotel Mousai, you’ll stay close to the ocean and wind up the side of a mountain. The resort is connected with the Garza Blanca Resort & Spa. However, instead of being right on the ocean, you’ll take the cobblestone road to the top where you’re greeted by friendly faces and stunning views.
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I feel like the first impressions of a resort are very important. It sets the tone for the entire trip. The lobby is grand with, what I’ll call, some boujee features. Life-size chess pieces, gold accents, and marble floors lead the way to the most impressive feature, the view.
Our check-in was casual and quick. We sat in two lobby chairs with Orlando, who not only offered us the fresh green juice but also a couple of tequila shots.
Any place that offers me a tequila shot upon arrival is good on my list.
Before heading to the room, we received our all-inclusive bracelets and made dinner reservations with the concierge, Paulina. Everyone treated us like royalty, but we learned pretty quickly that that was just the Hotel Mousai way.
Mousai Corner Suite
I can’t have a review of Hotel Mousai without talking about our incredible room. There were two things on Vanderpump Rules that convinced Marc-Andre to book this hotel and they were both on the balcony of the room – a hammock for two and a private jacuzzi.
The bell-hop assisted us to the room and showed us how to work all of the different features in the room. I’m talking powered curtains, “chill” ambiance buttons, music, lighting, and more. Our Mousai Corner Suite, located on the second floor in room 6026, graced us with a wrap-around balcony that overlooked mountains and the ocean. We had another condo building on the side but had plenty of privacy inside the room.
We might’ve slipped in the private jacuzzi with our birthday suits on, but I really didn’t care if the couple that always sat on the balcony facing us smoking cigarettes saw a little side boob. That’s just me. If that makes you uncomfortable, maybe ask for a more private room.
Our corner suite had over 1,300 square feet, including the balcony. Our bathroom had a perfectly-lit vanity for me to get ready at each evening. The closet lights popped on when we opened the doors and the walk-in shower had the most perfect rain shower head.
The entire corner suite was pure luxury. The purple and red accents wouldn’t have been my first pick for décor colors, but it matched the entire vibe of Hotel Mousai. The king size bed had plush bedding and in the mornings we would open the curtains with the iPad while we laid in bed. Those sliding glass doors faced northeast so we got to catch the sun rising over the mountains and that made my little heart so happy.
All Inclusive + Amenities
I couldn’t give a full review of Hotel Mousai without touching on the infamous all-inclusive plan and impressive amenities. You get the option of all inclusive, and I highly recommend it for Hotel Mousai.
We love to eat and drink, so this made sense for us. House wines and premium house liquors are included in the plan. We found ourselves ditching the wine because the list was a little dull compared to liquor options. You could find us at the rooftop pool taking shots of Partida tequila and sipping on skinny margaritas. If you want a bottle of wine, you have to pay for it. Silly, I know. But again, stick to the tequila and you’ll forget you ever wanted wine.
Ok, but it’s not all about the alcohol.
The package also includes all of your meals, non-motorized water sports, and hotel-hosted activities like yoga and hiking.
Room service is available 24 hours a day. If you need to hit up the gym while you’re there, you’ll have an ocean view and state of the art equipment. We had all of the plans to go paddle boarding but ended up at the rooftop pool every day watching the paddleboarders. 😂 We did go on the hike but it was very mediocre. Because it was their dry season, the waterfall didn’t exist and the swimming hole was just cold. At least it made up for one of my margaritas?
As I mentioned above, Hotel Mousai and Garza Blanca Resort share a property. That means you have access to most of the amenities of Garza Blanca – the pool, the beach, the restaurants, etc. Hotel Mousai is at the top of the hill and it’s a steep drive up the side. Luckily, the resorts have a free trolley that will pick you up every 15 minutes from the various locations to take you to different spots on the property.
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What’s a review of Hotel Mousai without talking about the food?! Hotel Mousai features seven different restaurants and several bars. We had meals at Hiroshi, Bocados STK, Aquazul, the Rooftop Bar, and The Terrace. The other night we ate in town at a restaurant called El Dorado. We loved it.
The Terrace was our favorite breakfast spot. A small restaurant located right at the entrance of Hotel Mousai, it has lush greenery growing along the walls and stunning views of the mountains and ocean. We experienced some of the friendliest servers during our trip at this restaurant. Because we were all-inclusive, you could catch me ordering the Vegan Omelet and the French Toast. I got coffee and a mimosa most mornings. Angel pretty much knew our order by heart.
Hiroshi is a contemporary Japanese restaurant located on the lobby level of the resort. Our table sat on the balcony of the restaurant, treating us to breathtaking views of the sun setting over the ocean. Everything we had here was divine. We asked our server for recommendations and just rolled with the suggestions. I’m so happy we did because sometimes I get nervous with what I’m ordering, but he nailed it.
The Rooftop Bar
We all know that we basically lived at the rooftop pool. I mean, an infinity pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean? Add in the unlimited cocktails and I couldn’t be happier. I had grilled shrimp tacos every single day of this trip. Marc loved the chicken burrito. My only regret is not having dinner here!
We only had one meal that we didn’t enjoy and it was at Aquazul. We were seduced by the idea of eating dinner on the beach. It’s an Italian restaurant but the meals were so-so. We met another couple the next day that had plans to eat at Aquazul. After speaking with us, they changed their mind and had dinner on the Rooftop Bar which they said ended up being the best meal of the trip. We had lunch up there almost every day, so now I’m sad we didn’t get to experience dinner. But that’s just a reason to go back!
Hotel Mousai had the Best Hospitality
I think one of the most important things to mention in this review of Hotel Mousai is that the hospitality we experienced was truly one-of-a-kind. Every employee we interacted with was a joy to be around. They remembered our names, what we liked, what we were doing that day, etc. We had genuine and fun conversations with so many of the employees. It made every day feel more inviting, comfortable, and fun.
The Weekend Fox Tips:
- All-inclusive is totally worth the money. With that said, don’t forget to tip the servers!
- We didn’t have a single peso with us but never needed it. American cash or credit card will do with the majority of places – even in town.
- We booked the popular tourist attraction, Rhythms of the Night. While the show was amazing, I wasn’t a fan of the boat ride (1 hour each way), buffet, or “VIP” seating. Overall, I’d give it 3/5 stars. You decide if it’s for you.
- The spa experiences are extra, but we got to check out the amenities. They looked uh-maze-ing.
- We visited in May and experienced perfect weather. Unlike other all-inclusive resorts, we never had to worry about getting a chair by the pool.
- As always, I’m a big fan of Flytographer. We booked a session with Jenn and she snapped photos that I’ll cherish forever. Use my code, KATHERINEFOX, for $25 off your session!
There it is, you guys! I hope this review of Hotel Mousai convinces you to jump online and click “book”. It was, honestly, one of the best vacations of my life. I know it will be for you, too.
Sunday 4th of December 2022
I greatly appreciate your review of Hotel Mousai. My wife and I just booked a trip there for May of 2023 and we are really looking forward to it. Some resorts have expected flaws like weak drinks or lower quality water equipment or whatever. Was there anything about Mousai that stood out as being something they should improve on (besides the decor choices)? What do you recommend taking with us on our trip? Are there dress codes to be aware of in the restaurants? Much appreciated!
Wednesday 21st of December 2022
Hi @Scott! Thank you so much for your kind words and I hope your trip is as wonderful as ours was in May 2019! I have a full packing guide you can view in this post -> https://theweekendfox.com/what-to-pack-for-an-all-inclusive-trip/
Hotel Mousai truly went above and beyond for us while we were there. Weak drinks were never an issue, but we did have one dinner we weren't thrilled with (Aquazul). However, I bet Mousai would've been happy to make up for it with some excellent room service. It's also easy to get talked into excursions that partner with the hotel. My suggestion would be to do your own research on local activities instead of allowing the hotel to book the excursions for you. They're total tourist traps. Enjoy!