I travelled to the Friendly Vallarta with my mom and 7 year old son in December of 2012, and liked it so much that I returned with my son in March 2013. From the time we arrived until the time we left we recieved nothing but the most hospitable treatment. From the bellmen to the front desk staff, the beach staff (particularly Abraham), the servers around the pool (cheers to Kalucha, Carlos, Charly, Vicente, Double-Double & so many more - each one was great!), and most of all - the activities & kid's club staff - Karina, Caridad, William, Yaye & 'cookies'. I am missing many people who made the stay fabulous - including other guests, but these few were top on our list & the reason we will return in the future. The hotel is older and not fancy but it is everything I could ask for!! The food is delicioius & well-prepared. I am not a fan of buffet food in general, but at each meal there is one or two stations set up (depending on the restaurant) where you can pretty much order what you want, made to order - and it's delicious. My son likes the food at the Friendly better than any of the other resorts we have stayed at in PV - especially the pasta station! (And the pancakes made into seahorses for him in the mornings.) The activities staff are also part of the nightly entertainment 5 out of 7 nights, and put on a great family-friendly show each night, either in the lobby, the theatre or on the beach. Thurday night's beach show & HUGE buffet is definitely the best meal of the week. We hired a babysitter (Karina) twice during our stay, who we adore, and she came prepared with a gaming system and crafts for the kids to do. (A friend with kids also stayed at the resort & love Karina.) There is aquacize in the pool every day at noon, followed by basketball and volleyball, and poolside bingo. There are also dance classes, cooking classes, spanish lessons, bracelet making, etc etc. Oh I can't forget the ocean-front cabana were I receievd a great massage by the spa ladies! Never an end of things to do, and when wanting to just relax, the beach chairs are fabulous & have big squishy cushions (Abraham will set your chairs & cushions & umbrella up on the beach wherever you like!), and there is never a shortage of chairs around the pool. Some of the rooms have a musty smell to them, but are always very clean and a great size. Some have an extra seating area - loveseat & chair, some have a little kitchen - but all are nice. The only things a little off for me are the A La Carte, which I have never exerienced because children aren't allowed in. I do understand a need for a childless restaurant, but I think one a la carte should allow children in a child-friendly resort, and another downfall is that there is no outdoor bar where you can just sit around and visit - the outdoor bar is just one little hole in the wall on the way down to the beach here you can stop & get a drink. Great service at it, but it would be nice if there were somewhere to sit and visit other guests - we have enjoyed that at other resorts. ANd the only other strange thing was when I tried to pay for an extra night during the week, I wasn't allowed to, I was told to come back on the day of check-out & extend my stay then. (We had one of those weird middle of the night flights & I didn't want to check out at noon so I could let my son sleep for a few hours before the airport.) Anyways, in the end I did get to pay for another night in my room, but it was a little frustrating not being sure that it would be available until the very last day. But those downfalls are very minimal compared to all of the great features this hotel has to offer - mostly the staff!! We will definitly be visiting our friends at the Friendly for years to come!
I like to be closer to the pool and able to run up to my room often during the day without using the...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.