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“Riu Vallarta, May 2012 trip” 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 | Riviera Nayarit, Nuevo Vallarta 63732, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #14 of 24 hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Halton Hills, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Riu Vallarta, May 2012 trip”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2012

Hi all,

TO share our experience: everything is very close to each other, which is convenient. A/C is not working very well at night, so for those who have troubles with humidity it will be a problem: you will cough every morning. There is one pool for families with kids, one for adults only. Room service is good, quite clean. The foos is not so good: same menu almost every day, and much better to go to the buffet. Other restaurants have very limited choice of food and wait time is long.

Internet: 90 minutes free every 24 hours with your own device. Very slow, only to check mail, forget about sending pictures or videos.

Staff is friendly. They are willing to help you.

Entertainment is not very well organized, during the day it's really boring, especially for those with kids. There is a kids club, but most of the kids don't want to go there.

Ocean is weavy, not too many palapas on the beach, so take lots of cream.

Shopping: there are couple of shops in the hotel itself. On the beach - nobody walks to offer you anything, instead you could walk left or right from the hotel and find a very small "market" to buy some clothes, no food.

!!! Huge amount of annoying birds, if you leave your food for 5-10 minutes on the table, please do not eat it again, they certainly already digged in.

Transportation, at least with Sunwing, was ok. Just have enough water, otherwise you will wait for a while.

For the price paid I would probably expect more variety of food and a bit more alive entertainment team.

If you are planning to go outside the hotel: you need to change 2 buses - about 40 minutes, to get to the city. There is nothing too much in comparison with old Vallarta but still ok. For those with small kids will be dificult.

I didn't see any insects (which is good)!

Overall - 3+ - 4 maximum.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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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 (477)
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Alicante, Spain
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2012

Due to a 7.5 hour delay of our flight into PV we arrived at the hotel after midnight. The front desk was set up to get us into our rooms very quickly which was great but our room was a disaster, air con on the fritz and everything was damp and mouldy smell. We phoned the front desk but no answer so we were unable to do anything until later in the morning.
Well on arriving at the front desk at 7:00am and complaining to the desk clerk the manager stepped in. He gaved us a key to another room and asked us to check it, have breakfast and advise him if the new room would work and it did. That was the start of a terrific week at one of the best "All Inclusive" we have stayed at. This hotel has the very best buffets in the business and I would have to say one of the very best staffs at any hotel I have stayed at.
There is Xavier at the buffet, the great Pablo, Vanessa, and Moy at the swim up bar, Richard serving drinks on the beach, Pepe, Mona and the rest of the entertainment crew.
This hotel is a very popular destination for Mexican tourists which my wife and I found very friendly and wonderful to mix with.
I must take a moment to talk about the buffet............ this one is amazing, really very high quality and great flavours, this is a buffet that can pass as a 5 star Gourmet restaurant. I have read at Tripadvisor some people complaining about the food........excuse me........ I have no idea what you eat but you have no idea. Everyone that was on our flight all felt the same - the food was exceptional. Tghey serve very good Chilean wine in the buffet and the bars serve very good cocktails and drinks.
I have only 2 small complaints........1) When the hotel is full the place where the lunch buffet is served is to small and it takes a while to get food....... the food is still very very good. 2) I do not know what has happened in Mexico recently but many of the "All Inclusive" are serving Dos Equis beer which is terrible in my opinion ( I wanted a good beer so badly I was going into Mega Store to buy beer to take back to the hotel.
This is a destination hotel I will return to and will suggest to my friends to visit.
I rate Riu Vallarta 4.75 out of 5 because of the beer and the crowding at the lunch buffet but folks it is a great place to spend 1 to 2 weeks. It is very easy and cheap to take local bus to PV & a little surf town of Sayulita or walk the beach into Bucerias all geat experiences.
We Loved It !

Room Tip: Do not take a room that faces the court yard as it can get a little noisy.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2012

As three adults (54, 47,44) we spent June 1-8 at the Riu Vallarta. We really liked the hotel itself.
Check in was fast and efficient and the man in charge tried to make it fun for travel weary guests. The rooms were very nice, quite large with a mini-bar, liquor wall, and courtyard and partial ocean view. Maid service was good. Service to the room was good. If they forgot to stock your mini-bar and you called they were there in less than 15 minutes. Food was excellent quite the carnivores delight. Beef, pork and chicken for lunch and dinner. They were always carving something in the dinner buffet and had several fresh food stations. The lunch buffet was excellent with a barbeque every afternoon when the hotel wasn't overbooked (more about that later). Drink service was very good. Dos Equis on tap, a good selection of liquor, and excellent waiter service on the beach. The beach itself is beautiful. It is wide and long enough to walk for hours. The waves were fun to frolic in and their was no quick drop off so it was safe for children (when it wasn't too rough). Now this is all true from Monday to Thursday around noon. Then it all changes. Hundreds of Mexican families arrive by bus. The hotel suspends their maximum room capacity rules and the rooms fill with 4 - 6 (or more) individuals per room. Every family has some combination of a couple, an infant, a toddler and perhaps one or two older children. And, of course, grandma. The entire resort is packed. There is no drink service on the beach. You have to line up for 20 minutes to get a drink. The Lunch BBQ was gone. The Lunch buffet was absolute bedlam. Food disappeared the second staff could put it out. People were butting in line. No dishes cleared away from tables. Garbage piled up. Bedlam. We avoided this experience in the evening by eating late at the buffet. After the crowds were gone the staff continued to put out fresh food which was very good, and the service was excellent. We also avoided dinner madness by booking ala cartes. Sir George was a very good gourmet restaurant. The steakhouse was excellent. Pass on Nirvana, its really just a below average chinese buffet. The evening entertainment had to be avoided at all costs. Hundreds of children. One night at the courtyard bar, again filled with children, a toddler was perched on the courtyard bar much to the facination of its parents. Toddlers on bars, really? For four days the staff made every effort to keep up, but it was impossible given the large numbers. Then on Monday all the positive qualities returned as the hotel must have returned to near full (normal) capacity. We would have really liked this hotel at another time of year. There were only small things wrong. For example the gym had no towels, no airconditioning, and only a few working cardio machines with some dated weight machines. But who really needs to work out on vacation? There were other small things, but not worth mentioning. The main issue is the overcrowding, overbooking, overcapacity. However, as long as the managements business plan consists of over booking, and suspending room capacity rules for the summer months North American tourists should avoid this hotel. I visited Riu Jalisco and it seems to be the same there. Except they suspended the distinction between adult and childrens pools. Good luck with that. Signature should stop selling this property this time of year or at least warn unsuspecting travellers. This is potentially an awesome hotel. You can see the five star quality in some things. However, I can not recommend it during the summer months.

Room Tip: At least go for a courtyard view, you get a partial ocean view as well.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethalto, Illinois, United States
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2012

This June I will celebrate my 11th trip to Puerto Vallarta. I usually try different resorts on every trip - until now. I had such a great time at Riu Vallarta last year, I am going back. Great resort, great staff, great food and drink. Get ready staff, I'll be bcak in a couple of weeks.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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Saint Louis, Missouri, United States
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2012

In June, 2011, we and another couple stayed for a week at the Riu Vallarta. I had read in Travel Advisor where a couple was given an upgrade for spending his birthday at your property, so I requested one, as well. We all got an upgrade to a jr. suite with ocean view, living room, Jacuzzi and balcony. And, all inclusive means all inclusive, food and drinks were all great and even better – already paid for! The servers, although usually busy, were very attentive and courteous. Rooms were cleaned and better than expected. The towel “sculptures” the maids left on our bed were a memorable touch. Front desk staff were very competent, and I can’t thank them enough for going the extra mile to make our stay memorable. I highly recommend this resort and look forward to returning in June, 2012!

Room Tip: Go on your birthday, they give you an upgrade!!
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  • Stayed July 2011, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, North Carolina
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2012

the facility was great - absolutely beautiful! the food was outstanding, especially for an all inclusive. the staff was friendly there just wasn't enough of them, especially for the price you are paying compared to the cost and service of other hotels I have stayed in in the area. you have to wait quite long to get anything to drink, even a coke. entertainment was so-so. Also, beware of the water sports rental place connected with the hotel. they seem to be running a bit of a money making scam by giving defective, worn equipment and charging when it finally breaks.

Room Tip: for some reason you could hear a lot of hotel noise from the room. try to get close to the top and e...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
West Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2012

My husband and I decided to try this property for a last minute getaway. We had stayed at the sister Riu Jalisco in March and decided to try this property as it is an "upgrade" from the Jalisco. Because this is a relatively slow travel season from Canada and the US, the Riu offers their rooms at super-cheap prices to Mexican residents. Consequently, the entire resort is full with families who each squeeze 4 or more people into every room. The resort is chaotic with children running everywhere from morning until well after midnight! It appears they don't have nap times or bed times in Mexico! And they smoke everywhere!

The food selection was extremely pared-down...no shrimp, crab, shellfish, smoked salmon or any other items you would expect to see at a 5 star. At the buffets, the protein selections were constantly out - just empty bowls. No cook to order stations, no bar drinks available in the restaurants - not a 5 star dining experience.

The rooms are adequate - but no robes (even if you request them) or slippers. Only shampoo and body wash available in small tear-open motel style packets that would be impossible to open if you were arthritic. The door and the safe both use actual keys...conveniently marked with the room number on them so that if you were to lose your key on the beach it would be super easy for someone to rob your room and your safe. The mini bar had 4 large bottles of booze - but only water and coke as mix - guess you should drink your booze neat!

While the grounds are lovely and well kept, the pools were absolutely filthy. They just couldn't keep up with the number of people using the pools (and sitting all day at the pool bar without taking a bathroom break...if you get my drift)! There are no bathrooms around the pool - the closest is at the Flamingo restaurant. The beach is lovely with palm trees for shade and lots of loungers. There are only 2 showers when coming off the beach and BOTH were not working for most of our stay. They finally got one going - but with huge line ups to rinse off your feet - most people just carried all their sand right onto the walkways and into the pool. This did not help with the cleanliness of the pool at all.

The entertainment was quite amateurish compared to other resorts we have been at (Barcelo comes to mind). Lots of the "entertainment" involved the hotel guests on stage providing the entertainment via couples contests, etc.

I would say that if you get a great deal on a vacation at this property, you will be happy enough. But if you paid a regular 5-star price, you will be very disappointed! By the way - don't pay more for this hotel than the Jalisco...it is not any better! We have heard that the Riu Palace is more like a 5-star - but I'm not sure I will chance it! There are lots of other resorts to choose from!

Room Tip: The rooms facing the inside of the hotel grounds can be a bit loud at night but offer water views an...
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  • Stayed May 2012, 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
    • 3 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.

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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Vallarta

Address: Av de Los Cocoteros S/N, Lote Hotelero G | Riviera Nayarit, 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:
#10 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#12 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Vallarta 3.5*
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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