In spite of a few shortcomings, I have to say that this is a fabulous resort and it is because of the amazing and extremely hard-working staff that I am able to make that statement. I have travelled a lot, and stayed in a variety of accomodations, from bed and breakfasts to Cuban casas to 2 star hotels and right through to 5 star accomodations. I have never encountered service of this caliber before. Everyone, and I mean everyone, had a smile on their faces and they could not do enough for you. If they offered you something and you declined, they were genuinely disappointed. They all work so hard every day, to keep the resort extremely clean, to offer you first class food and drinks, and to give you the best customer service possible. We even received hugs from staff members on our last day there!
Our room (#3209), although a little tired, was extremely clean and comfortable. The beds and bedding appeared to be quite new. The room was very large, with a writing table, a seating area and a large balcony with a fabulous pool and ocean view. However, our room was not even close to being quiet enough for our enjoyment and this really made a disappointing impact on our stay. Although we were 3 floors above the lobby bar, we were directly above it and music blasted out until 1 am every. single. night. It was so loud we couldn't hear the TV in our room. We literally prayed for 1 am every night so we could get some sleep. As a previous poster stated, DO NOT ACCEPT a room above the lobby bar!!
The food and drinks were very good. We never had a bad meal. It would have been nice to see a little variety from day to day - the breakfast buffet was almost identical all week. But the food that was offered was fresh and fabulous, every day. The weekly beach party dinner which we attended was outstanding, I couldn't believe the incredible array of salads, breads, main dishes and desserts. It was fantastic.
There were many activities offered to guests every day - from bartending classes to Spanish classes to towel art classes to yoga to dance lessons and more. They even had blackjack on the activity list! With beach and pool volleyball, water aerobics and a full gym there were plenty of choices of activities to keep you fit, too. Staff really went out of their way to engage you in the activities on offer. The pools and jacuzzis were nice and they were extremely clean. I know because I watched the maintenance guys clean them every morning and evening. I really loved that there was an "adults only" pool so I wasn't bothered by splashing and noisy kids. Staff were always available to bring another drink to you in the pool, if you wanted one.
I used the services of the spa twice during my one week stay. The services offered are wonderful, as are the staff providing them. Laura especially really worked hard to help ease the pain of my out-of-place neck and she was able to make the remainder of my vacation painfree for me. Hats off and muchas gracias to you!
We had to request the services of a maintenance man during our stay, when our toilet stopped working. One call to the front desk was all it took. A young man arrived within 2 minutes and had the toilet working fine in a matter of minutes.
My issues? As mentioned, the noisy rooms above the lobby bar are absolutely hopeless. Something needs to be done there, or those rooms should not be rented out. A second issue is that the hotel advertises that they have food and beverages available 24 hours a day. They do not. The lobby bar closes at 1 am and after this beer is available at the buffet restaurant (VillaLinda) until 4 am. From 4 am until 7 am when the restaurant re-opens there is no food or beverage options. No liquor options (for non-beer drinkers) from 1 am until 10 am, when the pool bar opens. I'm not a 24 hour a day drinker so it wasn't an issue for me but for others it was. And I don't blame people for being upset if they come expecting to be able to eat or drink at any hour of the day or night and learn, after they get there, that they can't. This is false advertising, and it needs to be rectified. Plain and simple. My other issue is that the website says swim up bar service is available. Am I crazy to think that this means there is a swim up bar? Because there is not. Service from the bar was available to you in the pools but it is definitely NOT a swim up bar, which is what I was expecting and, frankly, looking forward to.
All in all, I had a really amazing stay at the Friendly, and I would definitely stay there again, albeit in a different room. The completely amazing staff will make me want to return the next time I go to Puerto Vallarta. I have to give thanks in particular to Sergio (aka Double-Double), Vincente, Ricardo, Victor and Laryssa. You all helped significantly in making my stay at the Friendly Vallarta a most excellent one. Keep doing what you do!
Request a room well away from the hotel lobby bar!!
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
December 17, 2012
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Thank you very much for choosing our hotel, and for all the wonderful things that you say about us. We value your opinion and we will not contradict you, and appreciate your suggestions. Our service is 24hrs during 7 days and each day we have different food options to satisfy all our guests, we have chicken, beef, seafood, salads, pastas, desserts, juices, soda, water, etc. We regret any inconvenience regarding music, all our shows end at 10:00 / 10:30 pm officially, so that all our guests can sleep well at night. Regarding our bar "La Fiesta" basically says:: "Located poolside with sweeping views of the ocean this open-air bar". The information on our website is clear and without lies, we suppose you had a misunderstanding, but do not worry we will change the text to something much more simple, we do not want to continue creating false expectations. It's nice to know that you enjoyed your stay. We would love to welcome you back anytime! :)
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.