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“Great hotel well up to RIU standards” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Pacifico

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Hotel Riu Palace Pacifico
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Av. de los Cocoteros, Lote Hotelero G, Nuevo Vallarta 63732, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #8 of 27 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Nottingham, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great hotel well up to RIU standards”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2014

My wife and I stayed at the Palace Pacifico from 3rd to 17th July after being upgraded from the nearby RIU Jalisco where we stayed seven years ago celebrating our 37th wedding anniversary. Now, having retired, we decided to re-live the experience for our 44th. but after seeing the changes to the Jalisco we would have been bitterly disappointed. Having booked a junior suite at the Jalisco the price difference with the Palace was negligible and we are certainly not "Riff-Raff". In fact, I would not describe any of the people on our transfer coach as such!
This was our 6th RIU and we weren't disappointed. In most respects, standards were just as high as we've experienced in the past. The room was kept meticulously clean with plenty of fresh towels daily and turned-down beds in the evenings. The lobby is a cool haven giving some respite from the high outdoor temperatures during the day.
The buffet restaurant has a good choice of food but not as varied as other RIUs we've been to. Waiter service was excellent the waiters and waitresses being very efficient and worthy of a good tip at the end of our stay. The same goes for the service around the pool. The pool area is very well maintained and the animation team work well to provide entertainment involving the guests.
Evening entertainment is typical RIU, mostly tedious and generic. Something the organisation really should seriously look into.
We had only one complaint and that was taken very seriously after we reported it to reception. We went for coffee in the piano bar one afternoon. Five minutes later four Mexicans came into the bar and ordered coffees. We assumed they were Mexican as they spoke fluently with the barman. After waiting another ten minutes the other group were served with their coffees and the waiter knew nothing of our order. From that evening we were treated almost like royalty and were served promptly and often by a senior waiter.
Overall the holiday was very enjoyable. The flights on the roomy, relatively quiet Dreamliner were comfortable and the in-flight food did not leave as much to be desired as with our past experiences.
Just a word about Vallarta Adventures excursions. We did the san Sebastian Tour and Rythms of the Night on our wedding anniversary - as we did on our previous visit to the area. Excellent and professional service all round but having to pay for taxis to the Adventure's office is an unnecessary
expense in addition to the cost of the excursion.
Take plenty of bug repellant.
Whatever you do, don't miss the Thomson's Monday evening tequila tasting sessions!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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2,380 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Wichita, Kansas, United States
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2014

We stayed here for a week, and for a very reasonable price for two people. The staff was always willing to help and all were very polite. I appreciated that the resort had shows every day during pool time, and every night. It made the resort more fun! The food was excellent as well! The maids were always cleaning and very courteous as well. The drinks were decent at the bars, depending on which bar you chose to go to. We met some very fun people there, and it is very easy to as the resort isn't huge and has just the one pool. Our toilet even broke once, and we didnt' tell anyone, but it was fixed when we came back (don't worry, we were going to report it!). I guess the only complaint I have is that a lot of the stuff on the beach by our resort was fairly pricy. Normally, resorts have lots to do for free as far as beach excursions go. We were upgraded from a partial view to full view, and it was beautiful! I went only with my husband, but felt like it was a very family friendly resort, but also catered to adults as well! I was not overwhelmed by the kids. The beds were pretty hard, but I'm not too picky about that since we barely slept, haha. I was very pleased that when it said things were ALL INCLUSIVE, they actually were! We've been to all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica and Belize, which did not specify that certain drinks/foods weren't really "included". So this was a good perk for us. The wifi was reliable up until the last day, so I don't have many complaints about that either!

TIPS: Get to the pool earlier, around 11 or so. The chairs fill up pretty quickly.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange County, California
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

If you have the option, book transportation to and from the airport! Get your luggage and walk straight out the door of the airport. If you don't, you will get sales pitches from every new resort in Mexico. Once I arrived, the receptionists were ready. They upgraded my room to a full ocean view in the front. The room was on the 2nd floor. The ocean view is probably optimal on 3 or 4, but it was great and I was happy. There were some minor issues (broken closet door handle, safe was locked, my maid had a thing for chocolate, etc., but the room had a bar, a stocked refrigerator (large bottles of water, ginger ale, sodas), coffee / tea maker, wireless internet access, and a towel bar on the balcony so you could dry your swimsuit. The restaurants were very good (I recommend Krystal (fusion restaurant) and La Toscana (steak house). I missed Guacamole, but heard it was great. You need to make dinner reservations as soon as you arrive or they book up quickly. You can make two reservations at a time. The main dining hall has some phenomenal wait staff. They remember your name and preferences (we just loved Alain) and anticipate your needs. You can get an omelet made to order, they have fresh fruit and pastries in the morning and they even have a juice bar. If you don't like cigarette smoke or birds, eat inside the building. The pool is nice with a terraced infinity pool on top and a swim up bar. You are given a towel key when you arrive and exchange it for towels at the pool. The beach has lounge chairs out for you and you can rent equipment to go sailing or book a scuba excursion. There is a small gym with a few treadmills and stairmasters, but no free weights. It is attached to the spa which is under the main dining hall. Each evening they have some form of entertainment (they had a Michael Jackson show one night which was fun to watch and well orchestrated) and there are organized activities throughout the day. The most significant thing I noticed was that the employees seemed to genuinely enjoy working there. I'm not sure who the General Manager is, but I give them a lot of credit for high morale. The employees' attitude is contagious and you relax while you are there. As far as entertainment in the area, you can book day trips through companies who generally have representatives located in a restaurant off the main lobby (I highly recommend zip lining with Vallarta Adventures). For some local flavor, you can take the local bus into town. It stops right at the end of the driveway to the hotel and is very easy to catch coming and going. I won't lie - it's a little steamy and takes a bit of time - but it is a great way to really experience the area and meet some of the people. Take it to the old section of town and walk along the waterfront where there are a lot of shops, bars and restaurants. I would definitely stay here again. It was a good value for the money and I felt relaxed here.

Room Tip: Rooms on the inside may be quieter. The entertainment kicks into gear around 9PM and if you are look...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

Have only been here 3 days so quick review. Hotel large and clean. Very disappointed to hear that people with thomson were upgraded to this hotel so lot of riff raff here not your usual 5star cliental so will be making a formal complaint to thomson. Food- lots on offer.
Hotel grounds- clean and tidy.
Rooms- spacious 8052.great view.
Entertainment staff- not great better at other rius weve stayed in.

For a 5 star you should get the etra added touches- slippers and bathrobe, free unbrellas on the beach. Little things that make the difference.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

My (new) hubby and I booked this last-minute for our honeymoon, and based our decision on the price (great deal) and reviews.
Pros: our room was very nice - spacious and clean, with a mini-bar and alcohol dispensers, all included. We had a partial ocean view and faced empty land, which was fine. The staff were great, and although our toilet was leaking, they had it fixed. The hotel itself, bars & restaurants were all clean, well maintained and seemed new. The beach was so-so (not a lot of shade, umbrellas cost extra to rent), but I think that's indicative of Riviera Nayarit in general compared to the Caribbean side.
Cons: We're both vegetarian, so we're used to limited options, but we were both surprised at the lack of vegetarian Mexican food. We had dinner one night at one of the restaurants (Guacamole, the Mexican restaurant) and made it clear we were vegetarians; however, my husband found a huge chunk of chicken in his veggie fajitas. When we let the waiter know, he just shrugged and said that everything is made on the same grill, so that's how the chicken got in there. Not quite the response we were anticipating. The buffet food for veggies was standard, but again, that's what we expected.
All in all, the Riu met most of our expectations, and considering we're not "resort" people, it served its purpose. Too busy and loud to be especially romantic (especially with all the kids), but as it's not adults-only that's understandable. Lesson learned for next time!

Room Tip: Rooms on the south side face an open field with a nicer view, whereas the north side faces either an...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

My boyfriend and I stayed at the riu palace Pacifico from July 13- July 18. We made sure to call in and confirm our reservation a few days before our arrival, just to make sure. Upon arriving the gust of heat you feel stepping out of the plane is insane!! We also made sure to have transportation ready there to pick us up at the airport. We used puertovallartatours.net and they were great!

Check in was easy, although we did think it was weird the front desk didn't check our ID's to get our room. The hotel is grand though, beautifully air conditioned and lots of sparkly things to look at. We were impressed! Our room was great, they're big and all come with balconies, the bathroom is large too, and it comes with a bath tub/ shower combo that looks very nice but is super tricky to get into, be careful if you're short like me! They all come with these super cool alcohol dispensers that we barely used because you are given so much alcohol that the last thing you want to see in your room is another glass full of it. I think it's there for that "we finally made it shot" most people take. The rooms get cleaned and prepared twice a day (morning and night) make sure to leave your little green sign on the knob!

We spent our days at the pool. The hotel is located infront of a beach but the water is not pretty :( probably my biggest disappointment! It was full of seaweed, super warm, and brown. Enough said.
The pool area is very nice. It's big and it has lots of areas to lay in whether it be in the sun or shade. I had a few problems with the pool though... First off the pool water was super warm so it wasn't very refreshing at all, and it got dirty fast! I saw a bunch of blotches of sunscreen in the water just floating around like islands along with a TON of bugs. And, there aren't any bathroom located by the pool, so most people wouldn't go there to use it.... Which I'm sure added to the warmth of the water :/
Other than that, the pool service is great and everything was lovely to look at :)

The food was a big thing for us because one bad meal can ruin your entire day. La Peninsula is the main buffet that is open all day, lots of selection but it's nothing spectacular. We found ourselves eating the same thing from there everyday. The other restaurants are available for reservations that you make with the concierge. We ate at two of the four restaurants; La Tosacana and Kyota. Kyota is a Japanese resturant, and I totally understand that it sounds crazy to eat Japanese food in Mexico but I figured that the seafood would be great since the fish I had at la peninsula was pretty good, I was so wrong. So so wrong. The food was disgusting. Pre-made and just reheated. The menu had very complex dishes that did not hold up their part at all. My boyfriend and I barely ate anything and rushed to the buffet as soon as we could run free. After Kyota we were super skeptical about eating at la Toscana but we decided to do it because the menu looked good, and we were pleasantly surprised. The meat is very good and the service is great. My boyfriend ordered the ribs that were tender and delicious and I ordered the rib eye that was full of flavor! I definitely recommend this place for dinner, and lunch when they're open!

Every night at 10pm there is a show, I really enjoyed them. Lots of dancing and comedy shows. Get there a little before 10 to grab good seats! The riu has a group of hotel entertainers that lead the actives throughout the day and usually open up the show, I personally thought that some of girls in this group wore outfits specifically at night that were not professional. I'm a young woman and I thought it was a very bad representation of the hotel.

Great bars, specify your liquor orelse they'll use the cheap brand. Hangovers aren't too bad if you spend the next day sweating it out (which is likely).
Enjoy the thunder storms at night!
Bring change cause it's very hard to come by if you're the type that tips! We gave tips to a few of our favorite bartenders and a pool boy who found us an umbrella and carries it to us... Umbrellas are like gold at the pool, make sure you get there early to get your hands on one!

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

First and foremost, my family and I have just returned from a fantastic holiday at this hotel and would highly recommend it. As the title suggests, it is a 5 holiday grade hotel but not 5 star! It does its best to live up to its rating though and is probably the most meticulously cleaned holiday hotel I have stayed at ever. For a bit of situational awareness, there are 3 Riu hotels (Palace Pacifico, Jalisco and Vallarta) pretty much next to each other in Nuevo Vallarta and this is, by a country mile, the best for the UK traveller but also for its appearance and facilities. The others are pretty much dominated by Mexican and US travellers and we were actually moved here from our originally booked Jalisco hotel - what a result! I shall break down my comments into various headers as follows:

Rooms. They are well equipped, kept spotlessly clean and serve their purpose well. You may find little niggles like a broken TV remote or fan control switch but the main functions all work well. Our bed was huge (and firm) which suited us perfectly. It may not suit you if you prefer a softer mattress - be warned. The bathroom was excellent and I am reliably informed by my wife that the hairdryer worked well! All the drinks in the mini bar and the optics on the wall (tequila, vodka, brandy and rum) are included in the price. There is 24 hour room service food available too should you require it. The wireless network can be intermittent in the room but booms in at full strength on the balcony. An abundance of towels are provided and the room is made up in the morning with a turning down service provided in the evening - every day.

Food. The all inclusive buffet is superb and provides an abundance of variety every day for every meal. There are feature restaurants (see the website) but, frankly, they don't really offer anything over and above the main restaurant other than a different décor and slightly more exclusive and personal setting.

Bars. All very well equipped and the spirits are established brands, not local crap. The pool bar can be a little 'lively' during the day and, not surprisingly, more so as the day draws on. The pool is used for plenty of activities although they are very much focussed at one end; the other end remains quiet throughout. The sports bar is open 24 hrs and shows all the latest sport although there is an obvious bent towards US sports. All the other bars are neat and tidy and, in short, work well.

Pool and Public Areas. The pool is large and fine. It is not deep anywhere but deep enough for a swim and a 'careful' dive although this strictly isn't permitted. It is properly martialled by pool attendants all day who take their job seriously. There is an infinity pool too but this is more used by children than relaxing adult couples. The reception area is extremely well air conditioned and provides a very grand and comfortable escape from the heat of the day. It also has very strong wireless connectivity if that floats your boat. The beach has plenty of sun loungers as does the pool area although, as we left, the hotel was getting busier by the day. The sea gets deep quickly and is not clear or good for snorkelling. There are plenty of activities to undertake though so consider an area for 'doing' and you won't go far wrong.

Staff. The Mexican staff are superb. Naturally very friendly, they are attentive without being a nuisance. I particularly liked the poolside service of taking drink orders and bringing them to your sun lounger (not that it was far to the bar but 'when in Rome!'). All are appreciative of tips so taking a bundle of $1 US bills with you is a wise investment. I have to say that the standard of service was consistent whether you tipped or not. The front desk staff were very helpful and we had no issues with a single member of staff in any capacity.

Excursions. Be aware that even after booking and paying for your Thomson excursions, you will still have to pay for a taxi to take you to the excursion centre (and in most cases for the return trip too). This is a set price of 110 pesos (each direction) but was not explained at our arrival meeting. Having said that, the vast majority of excursions are administered by Vallarta Adventures who are superb. I have been on loads of First Choice/Thomson Holidays but these stood out, by a country mile, as the best we have been on both for activity content but, more importantly, for the standard of the guides and staff. The Jungle Adventure (flying hundreds of yards through the jungle over valleys and rivers on zip wires, abseiling and drifting down the river on rubber rings) is a must do. The hotel also has (independent) jet skis for hire $60 US for 30 mins but definitely go in the morning. The wind always picks up in the afternoon and it gets a bit too bumpy for "full speed ahead".

In short, this is an excellent hotel with very dedicated staff who take a pride in their venue. There are some very minor rough edges that a certain Tripadvisor reader type would feel the need to wax lyrical about I don't and if you want to go with Thomsons to Puerto Vallarta then look no further.

Room Tip: Ask for an Ocean View but accept that these rooms will capture the noise from below more than the ex...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Pacifico

Address: Av. de los Cocoteros, Lote Hotelero G, Nuevo Vallarta 63732, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Nayarit > Riviera Nayarit > Nuevo Vallarta
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#7 Luxury Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Pacifico 4*
Number of rooms: 445
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* In Riviera Nayarit, overlooking the Pacific Ocean * Located on Playa de Flamingos beach, 2 km / 1.5 miles from Nuevo Vallarta * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 9-storey building * 5 km / 3.1 miles from various shops * 13 km / 8 miles from the airport * 1 km / 0.6 miles from Flamingos Golf Club * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Pacifico Hotel Riviera Nayarit
Riu Palace Pacifico Nuevo Vallarta

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