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“RIU Vallarta for locals only.” 1 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 #11 of 26 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Abbotsford, Canada
Level Contributor
43 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“RIU Vallarta for locals only.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

We visited the RIU Vallarta from Nov 2 - 16, 2012. As with most of the reviews I do not have a lot of positive things to say about this resort but will start with the good.

We had a ocean view jr suite. The room itself was nice and clean. Our housekeeper did a good job. but no amenities available. Ask for a bed topper if you want a softer bed.

The staff at the bar in the courtyard were amazing especially Claudia, Jorge and Vanessa. The staff at the buffets were efficient and worked very hard but were quite often overwhelmed as usually understaffed.

Now onto the bad.

The pool: as described in a previous post a cesspool by afternoon with dead bugs and scum floating in the pool. The service at the pool was quite often lacking. Not sure why they call it an adults pool when children are allowed to be around the pool although they are not allowed in the pool.

Ala Carte restaurants: The Steakhouse was terrible both food and service. Sir Georges had good food but horrible service. Nirvana (Asian Restaurant) had good service but greasy chinese buffet.

Alcohol and drinks: Cheap watered down alcohol. The mix they use is very cheap and leaves a bad taste in you mouth. Bottles of wine are refilled with cheap wine.

The hotel fills with locals bussed in from Guadalajara on the weekends who are rude and pushy. The hotel does not open extra restaurants to deal with this or increase staff. Very frustrating.

I would definitely not go back to any of the Riu's in the PV area. Unfortunately the management of this hotel was told over and over by the Canadian and American visitors and really did not seem to care that we would not be back. This is why they are struggling in the first place and having to fill the hotels with locals.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
7 Thank holidaygirlyxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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36 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

This is without doubt the ABSOLUTE WORST hotel I have ever stayed in. Poor food, watered down drinks, wine bottles refilled with cheap wine,pool is like a cess pool by noon,used bottles of pop left in the servabar upon arrival, careless staff. The food at the buffets disappears quickly from Thurs. to Friday, when the "Locals" arrive & the serving staff are in no hurry to refill the depleted trays for the North Americans. No ammenities in the bathrooms. Tha alacartes leave a lot to be desired & the "Steakhouse" is the worst of all---terrible food & service. Have travelled throughout Canada, U.S; Mexico, South America & the Carribean--THIS IS THE WORST HOTEL I HAVE EVER BEEN IN !!! My advice would be to avoid this property at all costs!!!
The Riu chain will certainly never see us again !!!!

Room Tip: Don't go here.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 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
6 Thank gringoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cochrane, Alberta
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

We stayed at the Riu Vallarta from November 4th to the 11th. Overall it was a great experience. If you are travelling with Sunwing, go on the catamaran snorkelling tour they offer. It is a blast and the fish you see are amazing! You may even get lucky and see some dolphins like we did! Hopefully your captain will be Gabriel! Say hi from Jay and Jessie! He is great! Overall I don't have any complaints about the hotel itself. The rooms were always clean, and the service was pretty good. I had to wait at the pool bar for drinks, but they were so busy as it was the weekend and that seems to be when the locals show up!!! I think they were overwhelmed!

We did not eat at any of the restaurants other than the buffet. I had zero problems with any of the food there. As with anything, it can get a little boring after 7 days, but really it was changed up every night for dinner! If you want to venture off the resort for an amazing dinner, head into Bucerias and go to Mar-Y-Sol. By far the best place we have been! The food is amazing, and you can't get anything better than the setting. Cesar took great care of us the entire evening. Ask for the Spanish Coffee ... it is to die for!

My biggest complaint (and it really isn't that much of a complaint) was that most of the guests of the resort were local Mexicans. But really, we are in their country so how can I complain about it. There were some instances where they were very pushy in lines at the buffet which was frustrating and it ticked me off, but I get ticked off when people are pushy at home as well! Also at night after the show they usually have a live band that plays until 11. The "dance floor" is always full of locals dancing away, and it is fun to watch ... as a person who was born with two left feet I quite enjoyed watching them dance. However if you want to go to bed early, or sit on your deck for some quite time, it is a little loud. With the door closed though the sound is muffled but if you are a light sleeper I would suggest bringing ear plugs.

All in all I would say it was a wonderful family vacation!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
6 Thank 1st_Mexico_Vacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

Let me start by saying the resort it self is beautiful. The room was lovely and clean, maid service was very good. The food was as to be expected, buffet, just okay. Nothing wrong with it but it did get a little on the boring side even though we tried all the specialty restaurants.
When we first arrived there was a hole in the ceiling of the lobby which was leaking water, a bucket under it to catch this. When we left seven days later it was a much larger hole with three buckets under it. It didn't affect us so I didn't let it bother me.
Now the pool........YUCK! It was filthy from the time we got there till the time we left. The whole reason for our trip was for a relax after a busy three months and before an even busier next three months. We were going to sit beside the pool the entire week and just swim and relax. I didn't pack a camera (big mistake) as I was only going to laze around, wasn't going to do anything that I would want a picture of and we had also been to P.V. several times so we had pictures of places already. Should have had it just to take pictures of this disgusting mess. The pool was so grungy that my husband, who managed to get a small cut on his foot, wouldn't go in for fear of infection. There was scum floating on it the entire week. On Thursday we were at the pool very early (always got there by 8:30) and there were two employees arguing about the cleanliness of the pool. The one person (looked like the manager) was ripping into the other person and telling him to get it cleaned. Two other employees popped into the picture and got in the pool with scrub brushes and set to work. This was at about 11 A.M. They scrubbed and talked for about 45 minutes, cleaned a section of about 10 feet and then left never to be seen again. All they did was make the mould that was in the groat float around and it was nasty stuff. On our final day when we went down to the pool there was crud floating EVERY WHERE. It looked like a bunch of people had just vomited and it was floating around.
We went to the front desk and asked for a manager. We got Ramon. We told him what the pool was like at that moment and what it had been like all week and how we were unhappy with it. He smirked at us like he just didn't care and was only listening because he had to. It wasn't until I called him by name and told him that a letter to Riu head office may be forth coming that he came to attention. Its remarkable the difference in attitude when a person realizes you Know their name and you may just use it in a letter to head office. Ramon told us that workers were out and cleaning it every morning at 6 A.M. I suggested that maybe the workers were sleeping in.
The unfortunate part of the story is we did not realize until that last day that we could use the pool at the Riu Jallisco. We walked over there and even though their pool is adult and children, it was pristine. They had a swim up bar as well. What they didn't have was the crude floating all around. We used that pool for the remainder of our stay, which was only a few hours. Wish we had found it earlier.
I have been trying to find a place to send a complaint directly to the Riu head office but as yet am unsuccessful. The only place I can find only allows 1000 characters. Lets see if they respond to the little bit I was able to detail.
So, while it was a lovely hotel, the pool is just an infection waiting to happen. BEWARE! Swim at your own risk.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
6 Thank Julie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dyer, IN
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

My husband and I stayed here from Nov. 5-9. Everything went smoothly for us. We got a free upgrade from a standard room to a Jr. suite with an ocean view. I think the rooms are the same, we just got a king size bed and ocean view with the upgrade. I had read reviews before we went and saw the beds were hard, so we checked it out right away, and it was a very firm mattress. I called the front desk and asked for the foam topper, and someone came up within ten minutes and put it right on for us. Our tv didn't work the first night, we didn't care really because we weren't there to watch TV, but I asked the front desk about it in the morning and by the time we went back to our room later in the day, it was fixed. Being on the courtyard it was a little bit loud at night, but i expected some noise anyway and brought earplugs. I recommend doing that if you are a light sleeper. We opted not to go on any excursions and pretty much just walked the beach in the morning and then hung out by the pool the rest of the day. We loved to pool! It was the perfect temperature to just sit and relax in! We had no problems with finding loungers, even if it wasn't in the best spot, we just put our stuff there and spent the rest of the time in the pool anyway. We weren't overly impressed with the lunch buffet, but we did make some really good tacos for ourselves with the corn tortillas! We ate the The Flamingo. It was ok, it was a nice change up from the buffet for a night, but the steaks were pretty thin. Not what we are really used to it. But the sauces to dip the meat in were really good! Service everywhere was great, we never had to wait for anything! It did get busier towards the weekend, with the locals coming in. It didn't bother us really, they didn't cause any problems. Some of them were rude sometimes, when it came to waiting your turn in a line, they didn't seem to understand that, but you just need to be more assertive. I don't feel they really got any better service than we did though. Our room was always clean, my husband called up one night for an extra pillow and they brought that right up also. Water on the beach was nice and warm, the beach wasn't too busy when we were there. We absolutely loved the dinner buffet at Don Rafael. I don't really understand the complaints about it! We liked the buffet better than the Flamingo, and were excited to go every night. We loved the bartender Lucio. He was really nice and fun. People are always out cleaning something all day long, we thought it was extremely clean. They kept kids out of the adult pool the whole time. If some did wander in, it was only a matter of minutes till they were told they couldn't be in there. We had great weather the whole time. We don't have any complaints. I wouldnt go back again, but just because I like to try a new place each time I go somewhere. Go to the lobby bar and get a cappucino. They are GREAT! Watch the sunsets too, they are absolutely amazing! I feel some people go to these places looking for something to complain about. If you do go, just go and have a good time. We went there to relax and that's exactly what we did. Oh, and we also had no problems with things getting stolen, just be smart and lock things up in the safe! We could fit everything we needed to in the safe with room to spare. We kept our cash, passports, jewlery we purchased, and camera in there when we were not using it.

Room Tip: We had ocean view, it was great, also had view of the courtyard. It could get loud, but I brought e...
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Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
9 Thank Alyson Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

Just returned from a weeks vacation at the Riu Vallarta. There have been many bad reviews regarding this hotel lately and from reading them I really wonder if we were staying at the same hotel. We arrived on a Thursday after a great flight and we found ourselves getting through the P.V. airport in record time so instead of taking the tour companies supplied bus, we grabbed a cab. We got to the hotel, checked into our lovely room on the 7th floor, facing the courtyard and with a gorgeous view of the ocean. We were changed and in the pool before 4 p.m.- Awesome! The weather was wonderful - hot and sunny all week. The ocean water was warm, I've never spent so much time in the ocean as this holiday - it was wonderful. The last two days of our holiday the wind was up and it made for great playing in the waves for hours - our only bit of 'exercise' the whole trip lol! Our room had a comfortable king bed and a nice bathroom, we had our 2 bottles of water daily and the mini bar restocked every 2nd day. One day we used all of our water so we went down to the front desk and asked for more. This was given to us immediately with no problem. Our t.v.'s cable was kind of wonky and not working so we told them at the front desk and by the time we came back to our room that evening, it had been repaired. There is a safe (standard size) in the rooms in the closet which they give you a key for when you check in. We ate at the buffet for dinner twice and also tried all three al a carts. I made reservations daily for these and never had to wait longer than 5 minutes to do that. Our favourite was Sir George (ate there twice). Nirvana was quite good also if you like Asian foods - sushi etc. We ended up walking over to the Riu Jalisco a few times for lunch as we found that the lunch buffet restaurant at the Vallarta was usually packed and we just liked the atmosphere a little better at the beach restaurant at the Jalisco. It's nice that we had that option. We went on one excursion through our tour group - Sunwing,and that was the snorkel trip to Los Arcos. That was fantastic and definitely a highlight of our whole trip. The water was crystal clear and we saw thousands of fish! The catamaran trip was fun and they even served us a hot lunch which was pretty good. We took a cab on Sunday to downtown P.V. for dinner and hanging out on the Malecon which was great. Family night in P.V. on Sundays so there's a ton going on in the main square by the church. Back at the hotel every evening we really enjoyed sitting in the lobby bar for a bit so we could catch up with our kids at home online and then make our way outside to the courtyard where there was a live band and dancing. LOVED watching all the Mexican families dancing - whole families, from Grandma and Grandpa to little ones - so cute and man do they know how to dance, not like us gringo's haha! The band usually finished up around 11 and then generally we found the resort quite quiet - on the weekends,Thursday's to Saturday's it was usually a little louder with people staying after the band left because of the bar, but I'm a light sleeper and I never had a problem with noise - I had my earplugs with me but only ended up using them once or twice. Just wanted to give a shout out to some of the special people working at the Riu, while everyone was so friendly and pleasant, there were a few who stood out - Ramon at the front desk, Caro in the lobby bar, Cecelia at the customer service desk, and Umberto, server and the Omelette lady (I'm so sorry I forgot your name) for those fabulous omelettes and also some easy spanish lessons :)!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
4 Thank mikriVictoria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
29 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

I am disappointed to report that all if the bad things I read here previous to our stay are true.

The beds are beyond firm but you can ask for a foamie. If you go, do do upon checkin to save yourself a painful night.

It's extremely packed with locals who are pushy, loud and there to party. Don't plan on any pool service Thursday through Monday and sharpen your elbows for the buffet. I've never experienced anything like that madness and I'm from a very large city.

The adult pool has a constant stream iof fully clothed parents bringing all of their kids with giant flotation toys in. Security works at this all day but only gets to so many.

There is bird crap all over the chairs and tables of the outside buffet seating as well as all of the beach loungers, most of which are totally sagging from years of use.

If you are going my tips are. Book the specialty restaurants thurs -sun for dinner as you will need a break from the buffet scrimmage.

If you buffet for dinner head for the carving station as they do excellent roast meats and sit in Ramones section as he will make you feel like royalty.

Prepare for bad drinks except at the lobby bar where they mix well. There are no top shelf liquors at all only generic or Cuervo for tequila.

Ask for the taxi driver out front named Oscar. For 30 bucks an hour he will take you on a beautiful trip to nearby small towns to experience real Mexico. Safe and clean great English and very entertaining. You will feel the need to get away from this resort.

The Jalisco is even worse. In ten minutes there I was stepped on twice, got a ball in the head and had a chair shoved into me with no acknowledgement from those on the other end.

It's not a relaxing vacation and even for those who want to party, unless you're with the families there, you will be left waiting for drinks or service.

This was my ninth trip to Mexico and the worst hotel stay I've had. I came home stressed out feeling I'd wasted my money and scant vacation time.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
3 Thank Anne C
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
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:
#7 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#8 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#10 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-story 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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