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“Thank you Friendly Villarta!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Friendly Vallarta Resort

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Friendly Vallarta Resort
3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Km 2.5 Blvd. Francisco Medina Ascencio, Puerto Vallarta 48300, Mexico (Formerly Friendly Hola Vallarta Resort and Spa)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #24 of 119 hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Southington, Connecticut
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Thank you Friendly Villarta!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

While the Friendly Vallarta may not be the fanciest hotel in Puerto Villarta, it certainly is lives up to its name, and that makes all the difference! The staff is always willing to go the extra mile to be helpful. The grounds are immaculate and the food was terrific. The beds are hard, but all you have to do is ask the staff for a foam mattress topper and the problem is solved. I had a very nice room with a balcony overlooking the bay, nice for watching the sunsets. While there are vendors on the beach, they are very respectful if you say, "No, gracias." There is also a dividing line they can't cross. I can't wait to return!

Room Tip: Insist on a room facing the ocean, away from the pool, which is noisy.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta Resort, responded to this review, February 18, 2013
Hi BathshebanDavid!

Thanks for staying in our hotel, comments like yours make us feel very good!! We hope to see you soon this year :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (299)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Calgary
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

The Friendly Vallarta really does live up to its name. It really is as friendly as everyone says it is.

Layout of Resort: there are 3 accommodation blocks around a central lobby. There is one all ages pool (with kiddie area), 1 adults-only pool and two jacuzzis. There are three restaurants: the beach restaurant (open for breakfast, snacks, and a la cart dinners), the rooftop restaurant (open for breakfast, and sometimes dinner), the gourmet restaurant (dinner only) and the main, buffet restaurant (almost always open). There are two bars: lobby bar (evenings only) and beach bar (opens at 10:00 am). The beach area is a reasonable size, about half of which is roped off to provide a "beach vendor reduced area".

Rooms: good sized, spacious, clean, basic. Our room was completely adequate, exactly as advertised and did us quite nicely. We had a basic room which does not contain fridge, beverage service, or other extras like iron, pillow menu, or the like. Our room was on the 7th floor and had an amazing view of the bay. Shampoo, soap, conditioner and two bottles of drinking water are provided. Drinking water is not replenished daily. I drank the tapwater and had no ill effect.

Drinks: perfectly fine. I never had any trouble getting loopy, and can never understand why reviewers complain about "watered down drinks". Is the bar tender taking it easy on you with your 10:00 am paralyzer? Probably. I for one, don't want to be blotto before noon. But if you do - just go get another one. Its all inclusive. Highly recommend the daily cocktails, the mango daquaris and the "black forest".

Food: again, perfectly fine. Not fancy, but good. Breakfasts are the best. Get the chef to cook you an egg and piece of grilled bread. Delish! Food was basic, tasty, and had more than enough variety to keep us interested all week. Favourites: the mexican buffet night (do not miss!) the beach barbeque (do not miss! The cheeses were amazing. The ribs were great!), and the club sandwiches in the beach/snack restaurant. We found the food here to be really good. Fresh, and well prepared.

Activities: just right. There's just enough activities going on to be interesting, not too much to be in your face. I took in some Spanish lessons, and seriously thought about kayaking, dancing lessons, and cooking lessons - but after a few 10:00 am paralyzers... motivations suffers. The activity centre had plenty of toys, games, and a book-swap too.

Entertainment: hit and miss. The circus night was stunning. Others, not so much my cup of tea. For a hotel of this size to put on entertainment was an unexpected bonus.

The crowd: almost exclusively Canadian, almost exclusively adults (very few kids) and during our visit we found that most folks were 40's, 50's, 60, and a few in their 70's.

Little extras: coffee/tea bar - seemed to be open 24 hours a day. I loved grabbing a hot chocolate at all hours, or a late night cup of tea. Banana trees: these grow around the property and you are welcome to help yourself. The view from the 7th floor. The roped off beach area.

Little minuses: the hotel can get a little noisy - especially when the entertainment is in the lobby or on the beach. These don't go too late into the evening - it wasn't a huge issue for us, it might be for some. This is a smaller hotel and there are no private or quiet nooks to escape to. There is always music, and there are always people about. If you're looking for seclusion and privacy, PV probably isn't the place for you.

For Canadians looking to escape winter for a week or two - this hotel has everything you need. Beach, pool, snacks, drinks - you're set. What really sets this hotel apart from any other is the level of caring and friendliness of the staff. The "Friendly Vallarta" is exactly that.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta Resort, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Hi AnnaSuave!

Thank you for choosing our hotel for your holiday and also for sharing your experience, we are so glad to know that you enjoyed your stay. Please feel free to visit us anytime :)
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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

This was our second time at friendly and we plan on going every year! We have been at many other hotels in puerto Vallarta and have found this one to be one of the best. The service is the greatest . They have gone above and beyond. My husband had casually asked if our room had been cleaned one day (it had but I had gone to lye down and he didn't realize), next thing you know there are three staff knocking on the door to come and clean it. Sitting on the beach the waiters will bring you drinks and food to you.... Even when in the pool they will serve you. I have not felt so spoiled!! The food is great. Eggs anyway you want them, pancakes, waffles,French toast mmmmmmmm, the restaurant on the beach has pizza, hamburgers French fries, fajitas club sandwiches all excellent! You will not go hungry here. The only thing I could complain about is the pillows were hard but, if you get a sore neck you can always go for a massage. One thing I really liked was they made fresh donuts by the pool. Mmmmmm again!!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta Resort, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Hi Louise D,

It is wonderful to know that everything was perfect during your stay, please come back soon we'll be waiting for you. Thanks for sharing your experience :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

We had a great one week stay at the Friendly Vallarta the first week of February, 2013. The staff are very friendly, as the name says.
The hotel was very full the week we were there. There were a lot of people in the pool all day long. Music is loud around the pool in the afternoon. We were in one of the rooms around the pool. I was concerned about the noise in the room, but it was not too bad when we closed the patio door.
Chairs on the beach in the shade are hard to come by unless you grabbed them first thing in the morning.
The hotel is in a good location for taking a bus to town.
Staff in the lobby were always helpful and informative. The rooms and hotel were quite clean.
Restaurants were well run, and we found the food to be good, not exeptional, but good.
The biggest problem we had was the slow wireless internet, and you had to be in the lobby to be able to access it.
The strong points: Friendly staff, good food, good location, price is right.
The weak points: Internet access and noisy pool area.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta Resort, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Hi SLDCalgary!

Thank you very much for sharing your experience, we're glad you enjoyed your stay. Thanks for the suggestions, we are improving our coverage of Internet throughout the hotel. We hope to see you soon :)
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Oakville, Canada
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

The only thing I don't like about rating this hotel as excellent is that it is like a secret hide away to me that I fear too many people will want to go and I may not get booked in when I want to go!
The hotel deserves the rating it gets though, the STAFF is amazing, the breakfast servers never let you down from having great morning laughs, they are all awesome and I have become good friends with several of them. Start your day out with a full breakfast, eggs how you want them cooked, bacon, pancakes, waffles, all kinds of buffet foods, juices and of course, coffee and smiles from everyone!
Whether by the beach or the pool, the staff is there to look after you and make sure you are well taken care of. Drinks are served, food is served if you desire a snack or lunch on the beach and everyday something new is being made (make sure to try the fresh made donuts when they make them!). The ocean is so nice to go in and cool off in, and the infinity pool is such a nice place to stand having a drink and making conversation with others. The new washrooms on the beach are a great improvement and always kept clean. Abraham always is taking care of everyone like usual and is such a hard worker. He is out there at 5 am setting up the beach for us all to enjoy!
The entertainment team is always on the go. Although I don't participate in much, I do enjoy the beach shows at night! A lot of people do join in all the activities and there are plenty of them.
Dinners are always good and again the staff is amazing. I was pleasantly surprised to see Luis, who was the cook overnight in the restaurant, now a waiter and so happy to see him. We only went to the gourmet restaurant once this time during our stay and the meal was great. I like to do things at the spur of the moment so don't usually want to make a reservation to go there unless I am sure I will be around.
Although the pools do close a little earlier than I would like, I understand due to safety reasons why, plus they spend hours at night washing the area down and do it again in the morning. The hotel is always so clean and well taken care of.
We went on the Tuesday night to a staff soccer game which was a lot of fun and even got a chance to celebrate with the waiters after their win. Definitely a highlight of our trip was celebrating one of the waiters birthdays with them, the soccer game and super bowl at a local bar. We had so much fun and was great to see some of the staff out of their work atmosphere.
The rooms are clean and every day the maids do a great job cleaning. Make sure to leave a tip each day for them, as they are not always the same maids. We left a larger tip after we decided to go for a dip in the ocean one night after a few tequilas and unfortunately got a lot of sand in our clothes which ended up in our room! We cleaned up what we could but when we came back after our room was cleaned you would never have known it had even happened.
The waiters, bartenders etc all rely on tips as part of their wages. They do not make a lot of money as people may think, and are so very thankful for the tips they do get. I always start saving my $5 bills after my vacation towards my next one so that I have lots on hand when I get there. The hotel will also change your money to pesos and there is a cash machine there as well. I got a very good rate from my bank using the cash machine!
The only thing that is can be bad is the smell in the bathroom from the drain in the floor. I noticed this year they have plastic covers over them but occasionally the smell would still come through. It is definitely a sewer smell, and luckily we don't spend enough time in there for it to really bother us and I don't know any way they could fix this issue. It is in the tower rooms and it doesn't seem to matter what floor you are on. It certainly is not something that would make me stop going or to give the hotel a lower rating as it is something I know they have made an effort to rectify.
All the elevators were working fine this year, one was a little wacky last year and would either not work or put you to a random floor. It is nice to see that the hotel takes concerns seriously and does what they can to fix them as soon as they can.
The bartenders are the best and I love to joke around and have fun with them. Adrian, David and Ricardo are the best of the best and I always have fun trying different drinks!
I went with a co-worker again this year and she could see why I always return to this resort. She was crying saying goodbye to everyone when we had to leave, which in itself tells you how great this place is and the bonds you can make with the people working here.
I love the singer/dancing horse show that nolitours puts on for their guests. There are so many things about this resort that I could go on and on, but my rating should say it all. I cannot wait til my next visit and to see all my amigos again!! Thank you Friendly Vallarta for your awesome staff and first class service!!

Room Tip: I prefer the tower rooms
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta Resort, responded to this review, February 18, 2013
Hi KarenC1744!

Thank you for everything you say about us and share some of your experience with us. We hope to see you soon to serve you in whatever you need, see you soon!
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Goderich, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

We booked for two weeks at Friendly Vallarta and then extended our holiday to three weeks. Nancy from Nolitours was very helpful in facilitating our extra weeks stay.

The staff are very friendly, helpful and you are waited on all the time whether by beach or pool or in the restaurants.

We enjoyed the activities. Yoga/stretching on the beach with Karina or Cary was a great start to the day, particularly as each participant was given a 5 minute massage by the instructor at the end of the session. My husband and I enjoyed the tandem kayaks and on occasion were joined by a school of dolphins when we were out in the bay. The Thursday night dinner on the beach with white table clothes and all, live music and dance show followed by dancing on the beach for the guests was most enjoyable. The Circus show was amazing with one of the most flexible acrobats I have ever seen. The staff make the water aeroblics a lot of fun. The beach is clean and the water warm.

But the best thing of all was the view from our balcony of the ocean with surrounding mountains. If possible book in the tower at least 3rd floor and up to get the best views.

The food was never disappointing, Tea at the coffee/snack centre made us delicious capachino and for me decaf capachino, always with a smile.

There are always lots of activities going on, evening shows, music, games but you can just relax and enjoy the perfect sunshine as well. We did some of both. One highlight was the release of just born sea turtles. I understand that the staff rescued the eggs and buried them and then dug up the eggs when the turtles were ready to be born. It was quite and interesting sight to see.
We also saw whales right from the beach.

So all in all a great holiday

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta Resort, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Hi Kathleen22426,

It was wonderful to read your experience and will be helpful for future guests. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed your holiday, hope to see you very soon :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

Spent 11 nights here in January and can't wait to go back!

This is a typical Puerto Vallarta hotel in terms of a little older but awesome service. Rooms are reasonably spacious and very clean. The beds are quite hard though and I would say that is the only thing I could complain about with this property.

The food was very good at all locations on site. We particularly enjoyed the breakfasts, the fresh guacamole at lunch and the a la carte down at the beach for dinner. Special thanks to Carlos(Double Trouble), Jose, Miguel(no name tag) Double Double and Jhony. But all the wait staff are exceptional! I just can't name all of them.

The pools, hot tubs and the beach area are absolutely top notch! As are the staff that look after these areas. Everything is meticulously maintained daily and the beach guys will do everything to move your lounge chairs and ensure your comfort.

The activities group are absolutely amazing! Always something going on if you want to participate. I miss you already. Special thanks to William for being so friendly and helpful. He is wonderful person who goes out of his way to make sure you are having a great vacation.

Same type of experience with the Front Desk and Guest Services staff. You couldn't ask for better service at check in or check out. Very organized. Special thanks to Manual for the personal tour and Lilianna for going the extra mile! Way beyond any type of service I would get here in Canada. These people genuinely care about your vacation.

Our maid did a great job and always accommodated any little extra requests we may have had. We could even get wi fi in the room. That was an extra bonus.

We also loved the little extras like the poolsides snacks and the coffee bar. Great stuff!
I could go on and on, but it would all come down to this. If you want to find great value at an older PV hotel, this is it.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta Resort, responded to this review, February 6, 2013
Hi luvtogotomexico!

Thank you for choosing our hotel to enjoy of your holiday. We loved to read all about your experience with us, please feel free to come back anytime, we miss you!! :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Friendly Vallarta Resort

Address: Km 2.5 Blvd. Francisco Medina Ascencio, Puerto Vallarta 48300, Mexico (Formerly Friendly Hola Vallarta Resort and Spa)
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#13 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#23 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Friendly Vallarta Resort 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An oceanfront hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.100% Family. Renovated Rooms. Friendly Staff. Wide beach. Food Variety. 24-hour food and beverage program. Unlimited domestic alcoholic beverages, and non-alcoholic drinks. Main pool with children's wading area. Indoor and outdoor "Kid’s Club" with fully supervised children's activities. Gym and Spa. Entertainment room. Daily activity programs. Nightly entertainment and weekly live shows. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hola Puerto Vallarta Club & Spa
Hola Vallarta
Hola Puerta Vallarta
Hola Hotel Puerto Vallarta
Hola Puerto Vallarta Resort
Hola Club Puerto Vallarta
Hotel Hola Vallarta
Hola Resort Puerto Vallarta
Hola Club Spa Puerto Vallarta

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