Hurricane Patricia has made landfall on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, and while the damage remains to be seen, hospitality companies, air carriers and cruise lines have already made alternate arrangements for travelers there and those arriving in the coming days.
Below is a summary of what is happening so far.
Fifty-three percent of hotels had been evacuated by 10 a.m. Friday, according to Gustavo Rivas, a spokesman for Puerto Vallarta. “Most of the people have been taken out of the city to Guadalajara, but we do have 17 shelters throughout the citing including the convention center,” he said, adding that its capacity is 10,000 people.
Among the hotels that had not yet evacuated their guests is the 20-room Hacienda San Angel in the old quarter of downtown Puerto Vallarta, which had eight guests and 5-6 staff sheltering in place as of late afternoon. “They’ve isolated guests in the safest rooms,” said its spokeswoman, Jennifer Barry.
The Grand Velas Rivera Nayarit, Casa Velas in Puerto Vallarta and Velas Vallarta did not evacuate their guests as of late afternoon either. They had moved people into the convention centers on the properties and a spokesperson said they believed the hurricane would make landfall south of them. They could not say how many guests were at the resorts, which range 80 to 345 rooms, but noted that it is low season in the region.
Four Seasons Punta Mita, 25 miles north of Puerto Vallarta, issued a statement saying that it had helped guests departing the resort and had prepared shelter for those remaining, including energy, water and food supply for “the next days.” It also said it had “contacted guests scheduled to arrive during this weekend to ask them to postpone their travel.”
The Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, which just opened last winter, did evacuate all guests to Guadalajara via bus. The resort does not have a plan for how it will handle future reservations, pending hurricane damage. In a statement on its web site, it urged guests with reservations in the coming days to contact their travel agent or or Hyatt Customer Care at: 1-888-591-1234.
The Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort is closed through Sunday, Oct. 25 due to Hurricane Patricia. Cancellation fees for stays through then are waived, its web site says.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts published an extensive statement regarding its hotels in the area. The Westin Puerto Vallarta and the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort began evacuating guests Thursday evening. Sheraton Buganvilias in Puerto Vallarta began evacuations on Friday morning. All guests were expected to have been evacuated by Friday afternoon and the hotels will be closed until the storm has passed, when they will provide updates.
Starwood also has two hotels in Guadalajara, which is 125 miles inland. Those hotels, Westin Guadalajara and Aloft Guadalajara, remain open and are operating normally. But those with reservations at any of the properties can receive a full refund or change the dates of their stay, according to the statement, which instructs guests to “ email your confirmation number to email@example.com (please include Hurricane Patricia in the subject line) or call 1-800-328-6242 if you are calling from the U.S. or Canada or 001-800-528-2975 if you are calling from Mexico.”
Puerto Vallarta airport was closed on Friday.
American Airlines will waive change fees for flights to Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta purchased before Oct. 22 for those scheduled to travel through the two airports on Oct. 23 and 24.
United Airlines has relaxed its change fees on flights between Oct. 23 to Oct. 25 at five Mexican airports, including Durango, Guadalajara, Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta and San Luis Potosi.
Princess Cruises’s ship the Ruby Princess cancelled its call to Cabo San Lucas on Friday because of ocean swells due to Hurricane Patricia and is returning to Los Angeles for its Oct. 25 schedule arrival.
Carnival Cruise Line has not had to make any adjustments (The Carnival Miracle is on a previously scheduled Hawaii cruise right now), nor has the Disney Cruises’ Disney Wonder, which departed San Diego and has scheduled calls at Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas.