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“My most excellent vacation !!!” 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
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“My most excellent vacation !!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

I have stayed at The Friendly 3 times and every time. I have had excellent service and the best of times. The food is very good and drinks are great too!!The rooms are very comfy and the staff treats you like family. I will be returning this year. I would recommend this hotel to anybody that was asking.

  • Stayed November 2012, 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 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, May 17, 2013
HI hollyinvancouver.

Thank you for trusting us and for sharing your experience here on TripAdvisor. We value your opinion. We are so happy to know that you enjoyed your stay, that is our greatest reward. See you soon! :)
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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
Blaine, Minnesota
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

Well my fiance and I stayed here from April 27th- may 4th. I am sad to say, I have not had a worse experience at any hotel or resort ever.. Lets start with the first day. We check in and there are over 200 local mexicans in the lobby with tons of luggage waiting for a bus to pick them up. There was barely enough room to get to the front desk. We check in at about 4 o'clock they then tell us that we have 2 towel cards that cost $25 each if you loose them, a safe key and some generic lock that costs $100 if we loose it, a room key that costs $25 if we loose it, and then 2 wrists bands that cost $100 if we loose them.. This to me is a little ridiculous. I think I have enough to worry about . (Every other place I have been has had room key cards, and an up-to-date safe).

ROOM-- Well whatever we get to our room to find no refrigerator, no alarm clock, no fan in the bathroom, excess caulk on the tub (ill get to that later), no wash cloths, rock hard beds (I am talking rock hard) and last but not least there was only 1 plugin in the whole room, and a lamp was plugged into it. Lets talk about the caulk on the tub.. on the top side of the tub there was a 1" tall strip of caulk about 7 inches long on the front and back of the tub. (most likely to keep water from spilling over the tub while showering) this is a Beach Resort right? I couldn't believe what I saw. (I have pictures).. ok I am going to move on..

Shower leaked on floor every day had to put towels on floor to not slip.. Dirty bathroom, see pics

Food-- unless you like ridiculously bland mexican food that looks even worse than it tastes then I would suggest to stay away from here. There was one night on sunday night we had these great chicken tacos that actually had flavor. they were great but that was the only thing on the whole buffet that tasted edible. (waited all week and I never seen them again). The omelets in the morning were ok at best. The cook didn't know a word of english and so I had to point at everything that I wanted in my omelet. there was only one sit down menu restaurant that was only open 1 day of the week (thursday of all days)..

Drinks-- Not one of the bartenders or servers could make a drink to save there lives. Either they were too strong and tasted like i was taking a shot of tequila or vodka or rum. Or they were making them with so many different ingredients that they just tasted like garbage. I went to a bar down a mile or 2 on the beach and had a 9 year old girl make me a drink better than anything i had at the resort. only thing that was acceptable was taking a shot and chasing it with juice or pepsi.. NO COKE.

Pool-- the whole resort was full of local mexicans. The kids pool was so dirty and the adult pool was full of mexicans and no one spoke english. all of the music by the pool was in spanish and the all of the servers only spoke spanish. I speak a little spanish and they still couldn't understand me.

Beach-- the beach was beautiful- we walked about 2 miles down the beach and honestly the beach here looked like it had the best water and sand combo.. Very clean. But on the down side there was about 10-20 ppl walking by trying to sell you stuff. they just stay there and walk around and because we were the only (white) Americans on the beach every 5 mins I am serious every 5 mins someone was trying to sell you something ( from dresses, to sunglasses, and jewelry ) I said NO to the same person about 10-15 times a day.. Drinks on the beach come about every hour or so. These are tiny cups servers should come around every 20-30 mins minimum..

Entertainment-- The entertainment was scarce and ALL of it I MEAN ALL OF IT was in spanish. Not a translation into english NOTHING it was horrible. There was no pamphlet or anything to tell you what the resort was doing that day or anything. very unprofessional..

Location-- This was the only good thing about this place, 15 min walk to the marina or Walmart and a $5 cab ride to downtown. great location and because the food and entertainment was so bad I took advantage of the location by eating and restaurants downtown and using the Vallarta Adventures at the marina for entertainment.


Well I think I covered the basics. I feel I would have had a better time at the resort if it was a motel6 in the middle of Mexico City. THis place just plain lo bad. any good reviews on here are unreal and probably someone working for the resort trying to boost ratings.. I repeat do not stay here .. I paid $1702.00 total after taxes for 2 ppl with round trip airfare from minnesota, for all inclusive and i would never do it again I don't care how cheap it is. This place is bad.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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, May 8, 2013
Hi JOSHUA J.

Thank you for your recent visit and for sharing your thoughts, we value your opinion and we will not contradict you. We regret this unpleasant experience, but we want you to know that in Friendly Vallarta we have during all the week different activities in the beach and pool area, also many shows during each day. Drinks and food 24 hrs with different styles of cuisine, in addition we build new bathrooms at the beach, we remodeled the lobby area and also restaurants, and we are renovating different areas, all this to satisfy our guests. Regarding the minifridge, you can requested during the arrival or after, this service is based on our availability. We have an All Inclusive service with food and drinks during 24hrs and that's why we don't include a minifridge in rooms. We hope you come back soon, and you can see that what happened will never happen again in our hotel, we guarantee! :)
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Red Deer, Canada
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

This is an older hotel and the furniture is showing it's age...however...it does not detract from the spectaclur service and cleanliness of the place. The food was fresh and tasty! Pay no mind to others who complain about having the same food all the time. They obviously have not done without! With a hotel this size and the amount of food that goes through it every day, it would only make sense to use leftovers...which they do in an imaginative way.

The beachfront is really nice and there is an adult and family pool which is cleaned every day.

It is easy to get downtown for shopping (7 pesos or 50 peso taxi ride). Just be aware of a young man who (Juan Carlos) and others who have a permanent stand in front of the hotel who try to invite you to a time share breakfast by offering you free information and anything else you may need. He does not know what he is talking about and only wants to make his commission. Anyone that asks to see your credit cards (unless it's the hotel or booking agency for trips), at any point in time, should be avoided! The hotel staff are very knowledgeable and should be the first people you ask.

Loved the view from the room we had and appreciated the services offered (internet, massage, spa, valet) by the hotel. The beds are definitely firm but if you request extra padding (foam), they will add it to your bed. The rooms are spacious and there are chairs on the balcony. Awesome place and definitely worth the stay.

Room Tip: Rooms above the fourth floor have the best view!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 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, May 8, 2013
Hi KidsRGreat.

Thank you for your review we feel really flattered for everything you say, your opinion will be helpful for our future guests. Please feel free to come back anythime! :)
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Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I stayed here for one week from April 17-24. We had a great time! The staff and guests were all very friendly. We have never received beach service at any resort before even at 4 and 5 star resorts but here they were right there asking if you needed another drink before your first one was empty! We tipped but not everytime. No need to save a sun bed, just walk out to the beach and staff will come over and ask what you want and just go get it, chairs, umbrella, table and nice big thick lounger pads, awesome! We went into town a few times to eat at some local taco stands we like but other than that the food was all good at all of the restaraunts. I am a picky eater and I found the dinner buffet limited some days but this was not necessarily a bad thing as I tend to over eat when the selection is so extensive like at larger resorts. We don't concern ourselves with the decor of rooms, looked fine to us, clean, quite and beds were typical Mexico mattresses, hard. The only thing that I did not like was there were a few nights that there was beach entertainment, a wedding and then a party at the neighboring hotel that was really loud. Close the patio door and it wasn't so bad but we liked having the door open at night for fresh air. The hotel and the staff were extremely accommodating and if you don't see something just ask, drink not strong enough, ask for more. Nothing was too much for any staff member they all were very wonderful. The service was definately 5 star. We would return.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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, May 8, 2013
Hi Grateful_Kelly.

Thank you for sharing your experience, was very nice to read. We are very happy to know you enjoyed every moment at our hotel, our goal is that all our guests enjoy their vacation. Hope to see you soon! :)
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Airdrie, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013

Just returned from a week at Friendly Vallarta - it was NOT long enough!! Amazing amazing staff, clean rooms, and a smaller resort - we loved it. Thank you to my boys - Carols and Carlos, Hugo, Brasillo, Antonio, Double Double (Sergio),Cezar, David, Abraham, sorry if I missed you - way too many to name and some of the friendlyist staff we have ever had the pleasure to get to know. What an amazing vacation spot - our first time in Puerta Vallarta and we will definately go back. Entertainment staff was amazing and sooo talented - enjoyed the cooking classes on the beach and enjoyed watching the dancing classes on the beach as well. Totally memorable, totally fun - we will be BACK!!! Thank you so much!

Room Tip: Upgrade to a balcony - great veiws.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
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, May 8, 2013
Hi Ellen T.

Thank you very much for sharing your opinion and for all the good things you said about us. Hope to see you very soon, you will always be welcome at Friendly Vallarta :)
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Yellowknife, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013

We went to the Friendly Vallarta from April 15th to 25th. Arriving at the hotel was nice and a short taxi ride from the airport. There was no one in the lobby waiting to get checked in so we were luckily in our room in less than 10 minutes after arriving at the hotel. We had a room in the tower on the 6th floor, room 3906. The bed was a king size bed, and was rock hard but the room and views were nice. The hotel room is what I expected out of a 3.5 star hotel in Mexico. It was clean and the AC worked fine! One thing with the rooms is to ensure that the door handle is in the locked position when leaving the room. When checking to see if the door locked, you could just jiggle the handle a bit and the door would open. I called maintenance and they had someone up in a short time to come and fix it, they even got security there to watch the room so we could go enjoy our vacation and not have to wait around. That being said the service was top notch. We were taken care of very well from check in to check out! The workers at this resort do work very hard for us lazy vacationers! So tip if you can! The food at the resort was good and I think there was a little something for everyone. Breakfast was very good, you could have eggs anyway you wanted, pancakes etc. Lunch at the snack bar was good, the best was the sandwich station at the main buffet which offers club sandwiches, and roast beef sandwiches. The sandwich lady does the omelets in the morning as well and is very good at what she does! We went at a time when the Mexican Families were also vacationing, it got a little insane in the family pool to the point where you couldn't relax on a lounger without being splashed in the face by the young ones jumping in and out of the pool. So we just hung out in the adult only pool, which was always clean and refreshing! To relax we went to the beach, although the vendors will pester you but a simple "no thanks" does the trick for most people. Taxi to Central Vallarta is 50 pesos, so if you wanted to go to eat somewhere else the option was there. The massages were great, although much cheaper on a 10 minute walk from the resort, the convenience of going to the spa was just too much to pass up! $130 for two 80 minute Swedish massages. They also had a steam room & jacuzzi at the spa which is included in your stay. We met some great people at this resort, and really had a great time. The drinks are tasty, we recommend the Mango Tango! Double Double, Kalucha, Mary and the towel girl were all of our favorites from the resort. Overall I would recommend this resort to laid back people looking to have a good and relaxing time. The beach was great, the service was great and we might go back if we get a good deal like we did this time.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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, May 8, 2013
Hi MojitioBruce.

Thanks for everything you say about us and about your recent stay. Hope to see you soon, to continue treating you as you deserve! :)
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Prince George, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

I felt compelled to write this review after seeing a few negative comments made by guests during the same time of our stay (April 10-24).
The bottom line is this: if you are looking for plush beds, updated rooms, five star food and ice machines, stay at a five star down the beach for twice the price.
We stayed for two very pleasant all-inclusive weeks for a VERY reasonable price and enjoyed our time at Friendly very much.
The rooms are outdated, but not to the point that they arent still nice. The cleaning staff were excellent and were sure to clean our room each day (even phoning us to see if we wanted it cleaned the day we left the "Do not disturb" sign on the door, and cleaned at OUR leasure).
The beds are not fantastic, but if we expected the comforts of our bed at home we would have paid more to stay at a fancier hotel, or stayed home. We slept well each night...even if the coronas helped a bit.
The food was great, with a wonderful selection of fresh fruit and veggies as well as chicken, fish, tacos, and MANY other options every day. All of the restaurants arent open all of the time, but there is a board in the lobby that lists "where to dine" for each day and we usually had a few choices. When we felt like eating out, we took a 50 peso cab ride into town to do so and the money we saved staying here allowed us to spend the money to eat wherever we chose, and allowed us to experience the food and the culture or PV outside of the resort.
The drinks are fantastic, the bartenders and servers are great. Can they be slow? With a few hundred guests at any given time at this all-inclusive resort, yes. You might have to wait for your drink for a few minutes...next time order two.
The beach in front of the hotel was generally clean, and always beautiful! There are people on the beach CONSTANTLY approaching you to purchase souvenirs, but a simply "No, Gracias" was always enough to send them away. These people are trying to make a living in an economy not as good as the one we take for granted at home, but they also know that, without tourists, making a living this way will be much harder. The Mexican people were always respectful and pleasant to deal with. I suggest taking some time to learn about the area, the people and the culture of PV before you visit. It makes it much easier to appreciate all of the things that people who dont spend the time to learn these things might consider "inconviniences". It also makes us appreciate all of the things at home that we take for granted - I wouldn't last four hours hauling an ice cream cart or a 20-lb load of blankets down the beaches of PV, and these people do this for hours and hours every day for far less than you think....
The staff are incredibly friendly if you take the time to interact with them & were always willing to help with anything we needed. There are different activities & events daily and ours was one of the busier hotels on the beach - others were very quiet and we saw their guests watching our hotel from their balconies whenever there was an even on the beach.
We met some incredible people during our stay - other guests that were friendly and inviting.
One of these guests put it perfectly when he said "If you want a five-star experience with plush towels, bath robes and modern rooms, stay down the beach at a five-star resort. If you want to have fun, meet great people, party and experience the REAL Puerto Vallarta, stay at Friendly Vallarta"
We will definitely be back!

Room Tip: Ask for a room in "the tower" if one is available...you will likely end up with a breath-t...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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, May 8, 2013
Hi crystal c.

Thank you very much for sharing your experience and also for your support! We are very pleased to know that everything was perfect during your stay. We are so glad to hear that you were treated like you deserve and you enjoyed every detail in our hotel. Come back soon! :)
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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
#14 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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