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“Nice place..... but do not stay there IT STINKS!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Vallarta

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Hotel Riu Vallarta
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Av de Los Cocoteros S/N | Lote Hotelero G, Nuevo Vallarta 63732, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #14 of 27 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Monterey, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Nice place..... but do not stay there IT STINKS!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2011

This is a nice average hotel but the problem is that it smells like mold everywhere!
The smell is so overwhelming that we had trouble sleeping. It seems to come from the air conditioning system but, if you turn if off, you'll cook inside.
Also, they seem to cater to Mexican families that bring with them lots of kids, that, for some odd reason yell and scream a lot. So, if you are looking for a peaceful vacation this is not the place for you.
We will not go back there!

Room Tip: Pack a memory foam pad if you decide to go. The beds are awful.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (802)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Appleton, Wisconsin
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2011

The food was awful. I am not a picky eater, but the food was disgusting. We had one good night of food at the Asian style restaurant, but when we ate there a second time the food was terrible. The bathrooms were disgusting. They were overbooked with so many locals. It's like the locals have never been around other people before, very rude. The first 3 or 4 floors smell like complete garbage, like they have a farm underneath the hotel. Luckily we were a few more floors up and the smell was fine. The rooms were dirty and the in-room liquor all tastes the same.

Most of the staff were very nice and genuine. They made sure we were taken care of.

We made the best of our trip by drinking as much as possible. We will never be back.

FYI - All of the entertainment while we were there was in spanish. So if you are expecting to enjoy the night shows, make sure you know spanish. Also watch out for the stingrays!

Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joliet, IL
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2011

My *brand spaking new* husband and I stayed here July 6-13th on our Honeymoon. When we arrived, we were slightly worried when they told us that our reservation, which was booked through "bookit.com", was cancelled. After a little bit of stress and discussion with the front desk staff, we were upgraded to a 'jacuzzi suite' on the 8th floor, overlooking the whole property! Thanks Enrique - it was beautiful!!

Pros: The staff was primarily attentive, respectful, proactive. I was injured the first night of our trip when I drunkenly slipped in the bathroom, and Javier Huerta was awesome - made sure I received medical attention, and also checked in on me regurlarly during the rest of our stay to make sure we were healthy and happy. The pool staff was good - Rigo, the pool bartender, was awesome!! Make sure you ask for "The Rigo Special" or a Red Eye, YUM! The Entertainment Staff was hilarious and fun - especially Jey, DJ Krusty, & Melissa - and the resort put on an enjoyable show each night. They were very engaging and helped us enjoy our stay (even though we didn't really participate in much!). The resort was mostly clean and well taken care of, the grounds were nice, the pool had plenty of chairs, although the beach was pretty gross and the pool was disgusting by the end of the day. Otherwise, the food was good - nothing over-the-top amazing, but good quality and plenty of it. Drinks were flowing continuously. The Spa was beautiful and serene - and cheap!! - Grisela was wonderful, as well as their front desk staff. And finally, the other guests we met there were lovely and kind. We felt safe and secure and happy to be there!

Cons: The daily busload of presumably local 'day-pass' patrons that were dropped in the lobby every morning. This is apparently a summertime situation, and while I understand that it's the slow season in PV and this is a way for Riu to make money in their off season, these daily 'visitors' were beyond rude - very little common courtesy for others (especially Americans), loud, pushy, obnoxious. And there were hundreds bussed in on a daily basis. It clearly made for an *authentic* experience, being one of very few English speaking guests on the property, but perhaps if the day-pass guests were more courteous it wouldn't even be worth mentioning. Example: there is meant to be a pool for the children and a seperate pool for adults, which while it was dilligently policed by the security staff, left quite a lot to be desired on the adult side when it came to the throngs and throngs of locals. Another thing my husband and I noticed was some of the staff members ignored the American/Canadian/Australian guests quite a bit and preferred to wait on the Mexican guests instead (specifically Iglesias at the center bar, who ignored both myself and my husband on numerous occasions, which Claudia made up for with her great service and winning personality!). There really aren't that many 'cons' to speak of aside from the resulting issues with the 'day-pass' guests (cleanliness of the common areas, the dirty pool, overcrowding at the lunchtime restaurant, etc.). One more thing - the beds were SUPER hard, like sleeping on a slab of wood, so be mindful of that.

Overall, our trip was lovely. It really was! The staff really made our week worthwhile, and we appreciate everyone's hospitality. Would I go back to the Riu Vallarta again? Probably not, as there are far nicer properties to stay in with more choices in restaurants, entertainment, pools, amenities, etc. We picked this property because it was extremely affordable for an extended honeymoon, which is what we wanted, but we've stayed in nicer properties before and we'd probably prefer to go back to a more familiar property in the future.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Chicago
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2011

We stayed for two weeks, June 21 to July 5. We had two rooms, one for my elderly parents, one for my husband and our 8 year old son, and myself. We were upgraded to the 9th floor with a Jacuzzi Suite because Apple Vacations botched our air travel (separate story, essentially we paid for direct flights and less than two weeks before our trip Apple cancelled those flights and rebooked us on flights with impossible connections, shame on you Apple.) the advantage of the Riu Vallarta over the Jalisco is it's close U shape building. You are close to restaurants, the club, and the beach. This is very important if you are traveling with elderly parents. We heard noise, but any "problem" noise at night was immediately addressed by security after we made a phone call. The rest of the noise didn't bother us at all, we were pleasantly reminded that we were on vacation!

The food was super. Often we had fresh fruit snacks and paella cooked and generously served on the beach. In addition to the regular buffets, we had special stations with ceviche and non-stop, endless bottom barbecues. We wnt fishing and my husband caught a yellow fin tuna. We brought it back to the resort and the chef prepared it for us for dinner that night. It was fabulous, thin cut, seared raw, seasoned with white wine, lime, and cilantro, served with a chopped garlic sauce. We were even given a wonderful bottle of white wine. At the end of our vacation, I asked if the paella would be prepared for tomorrow's dinner. The host said he could prepare it for our family! And he brought another beautiful bottle of wine. We had dinner in the same part of the restaurant, and outstanding service with Daniel. For breakfast, we always sat in Delly's section. She was just as wonderful and brought us fresh juices each morning. She also brought us little cups of arroz con leche and even decorated our son's bowl with a fruit loop border. For lunch, go early and sit down a level, in Huber's section and she will bring you your drinks, napkins, forks, etc. We found these three servers extremely smart and resourceful.

For entertainment, we had some very busy days with live bands and dancers, lots of competitions, followed by tranquil days with just a bit of noise during the day. By the kids pool there were always chairs just one row back, which we used because they provided shade. The beach was clean and vendors were nice, not bothersome. Waiters ran around both the beach and the pool refreshing drinks constantly, which really saved my parents energy. The Riu staff entertainment team is happy and filled with energy. The little mini club has gone through some changes and is more like day care than fun, we talked to Fernando about this, as my son was so bored. He said that it is a new change and that Riu is looking in to what is safe and fun. Our son had a blast with the Riu team building sand castles, eating lunch with them, and playing magnetic darts. In the afternoon, he played with us as the Riu team entertained the proficient swimmers in the kids pool. At night, there were songs and games on the stage, certificates and prizes. After, the adult shows started and we enjoyed them all.

We have been to PVR many times, always at a RIU hotel. This was our best experience. The easy layout of the hotel, responsiveness and extra touches by the Riu staff, and the delightful youthful energy of the Riu Entertainers al helped us enjoy two relaxing weeks of shores, no chores! We wish we were still there!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Schaumburg, Illinois
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2011

My husband and me and another couple went on a vacation. Our first time in Mexico. We had a great experience!

Tips: at the airport, don't let anyone stop you to sell stuff to you, go straight to bus!!

When we get to the hotel, we had to wait for our room because it wasn't ready but the other couple had their room so we put our stuff there, changed and went to the beach!!!! Beach is beautiful!!!!!! Amazing! Water is not clear blue, but it is very nice!!! You can rent bugie boards and kayaks. We had kayak races with the other couple! Lots of fun! The pool was nice, we didn't have any problems with the pools, it was nice and clean and water was good temperature. We didn't spend lots of time in the pool because we wanted to be on the beach!

Service is good, we didn't have any problems getting our rooms, waitstaff was always very nice, bartenders were very nice. Room was nice and clean, the bar was always full.

I will say food wasnt very variety... but it was good. Beds were a little hard, but after sitting in the sun all day and going on excursions, we didn't have to time to pay attention to the beds, we slept very well. My husband likes to run so every morning he went for a run on the beach and loved it!

I read some reviews and people say its expensive to go into town. Yes, it is, if you take a taxi... we went out front opposite the hotel and there is a bus which costs about $2.00!!!! You take that and get off the bus by Walmart. You walk less than a block. and get on another "old school" bus. That takes you into town! The downtown area is beautiful! We felt very safe the whole time! When you go shopping down there be sure to bargain. The silver jewlry is beautiful!! Don't stay at the hotel the whole time, there is more to see!

We did some excursions, ask the apple person if there are specials if you book more than one trip. We booked two seperatly and then he told us if we book together we get one free!! We were a little upset, but it's ok because trips were AMAZING!

We did the Vallarta Adventures, where you go ziplining!! It was breathaking!!! The staff is great! The whole experience was amazing! Ziplining is so fun!

The other trip we did was Rhythms of Night. It's romantic and very nice. Good food. If you get motion sick, take some medicine, if you forget, like me, they have on boat. Show was great! Food was great! Again, staff was great!

The club isn't very exciting, at least it wasn't during the time we were there. There was one night that it was a little noisy, but it wasn't anything after I would say I'm not coming back.

I would stay here again. Lots of people from Canada and they were all very nice.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2011

This is a beautiful hotel. Very small compared to the other Riu's I have been to. The food at this hotel is delicious. This is a family oriented hotel. So don't go here expecting a big hoorah party. It is boring. The entertainment staff are quite bizarre..and the head of the entertainment staff "Fernando" is especially weird, and quite nasty, saying rude things to women. This hotel is very noisy and the beds are hard. If you are planning on going to bed early forget it, there are always shows going on in the courtyard that last pretty late and all rooms at the hotel surround the courtyard. The water in the pool was freezing you could not go for a swim. The worst part about the hotel was that they did not have straws down at the pool bar and I had to take straws at breakfast everyday in order to have a straw with my daquiri at the pool, believe me I was not impressed. If you like lying on the beach than that is a bonus here. The beach and beds on the beach are fabulous. The waiters also come out to the beach which is pretty awesome. There is not much around this hotel. It is an hour ride into Puerto Vallarta in the taxi and even so not much to see down there. Also, it is very expensive...especially the silver. I would never go back here.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Calgary, AB
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2011

I am giving this resort 3 starts because they had excellent service, food and rooms. However, I am going to take away 2 for excessive noise. Bottom line: if your looking for a quiet and relaxing vacation this is not the place for you.

Due to the design of this hotel and the over the top 'fun team', there is no quiet place to relax at this resort. The hotel is shaped like a U and we were in a Junior Suite on the 9th floor, but any room inside the U is going to be bombarded by the music & noise coming from the plaza below. This plaza has a bar in the centre and the theatre is on its left. The theatre turns into a disco after the nightly show. All the noise from these events reverberates up the whole U and no matter what floor you are on, you might as well be in the plaza because you get all the noise.

While we were there every night had live music in the plaza from 7-9, then the show, and then live music again from 10-11. But after that you get to hear all the hoots, whoo-hoos, and hollers of all the drunks at the bar. We asked to be moved to the outside of the U on the third day, and were moved. We only had one night of relative quiet though, as on our 5th day they started playing movies on the beach from 10-12, and this noise carried everywhere, no matter where you were.

Daytime was not better. There was no place at the resort where you were not being bombarded by noise. On the beach are soccer or volleyball tournaments that require pounding music and loud announcing. At the pool it is the same thing. Breakfast and lunch (food was excellent) are both held in giant buffet restaurants and both are so busy you just feel rushed, not due to staff (who were great), but just due to the amount of people, you want to eat and get out. If you are looking to relax like we were, all this 'in your face fun' just gets on your nerves, you would be better to pay more and stay at the RUI Palace down the beach.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Vallarta

Address: Av de Los Cocoteros S/N | Lote Hotelero G, Nuevo Vallarta 63732, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Nayarit > Riviera Nayarit > Nuevo Vallarta
Amenities:
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#9 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#13 Family Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Vallarta 3.5*
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 * 3 km / 1.86 miles from various shops * 13 km / 8 miles from the airport * 1 km / 0.62 miles from Flamingos Golf Club * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Vallarta Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
Riu Vallarta Nuevo

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