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“Great Resort, Great Price” 4 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
Richmond, Canada
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great Resort, Great Price”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed here for a week during the last week of October 2012. We had paid only $700 and despite what alot of the reviews say, I had to admit it was a pretty good resort. Firstly, the adult pool with no children running around was awesome. During our stay we had gone to the resort next door just to check it out and saw a pool full of screaming children running around. Secondly, the the restaurants were very good. I enjoyed the steakhouse very much. The waiters there were friendly, and I went there both nights and had requested to get two skewers of shrimp instead of one shrimp and one beef, and they were very accomdating. They made a very very good caesar salad too, which I had requested seconds for and they were happy to serve me with more despite the fact that it was a restaurant not a buffet setting. Thirdly, the service was great everywhere I went. Everyone was friendly, by the second day a few of the bartenders knew us by name and served us even when we didn't even request to be served.

They also had volleyball nets set up for you to play on the beach and in the water. The entertainment at night was great, they did do the Michael Jackson show twice during our stay. I would have enjoyed watching the Grease show at least once, but the night they were scheduled to do Grease, the actors had gotten into a car accident. We had requested extra beer to be brought to our room several times and they gladly provided us with more. They also had 4 bottles of tequila in the room that you can drink from free of charge.

Overall, I had a very good time at this resort. They only thing I would recommend is not going there during Halloween. They celebrate Halloween in Mexico for two days I believe and I noticed that when Halloween came around, the resort suddenly was filled with a lot of Mexicans, like triple the popluation that was there prior to October 31. There is nothing wrong with that, however, I did notice that the service went down a bit once more Mexicans arrived. But for $700, I think it was a great deal and my boyfriend and I had an awesome time.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 3 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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2,208 people have reviewed this hotel

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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)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Edmonton, Canada
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

This place was not a good place for a Wedding. We got married there in Novemeber and to tell you the truth, the only good thing was the weather. We had over 50 people travel with us for the wedding and for what? The hotel workers were caught twice stealing out of the rooms. nd the did this within the last couple days hoping that most of our stuff was out of the safe.!! Our wedding photographer showed up late missing the whole wedding ceremony which is the most important part. so we were told that we were going to get a refund and didnt. We spent so much of our time on the trip trying to find out who to talk to about our wedding. it seemed like nobody had any idea about our wedding. All i can say is that this was no place to have your special day. for the kind of money you are dropping there for the wedding and thats the kind of service you get was just plan unacceptable. NOT IMPRESSED!!!!

Room Tip: when they tell you that they dont have any suites they are lying. We never got an upgrade until we p...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Plainfield, Illinois
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

I have traveled several times to Mexico and been in several locations. I always rely on TripAdvisor and should have trusted my instinct when I saw that overall the reviews were poor. I will give you my honest thoughts on many aspects and hope you make a good decision. I would definitely not stay at this resort again.
I traveled with my husband, our 14 and 15 year old children and our parents. We had 2 rooms, oceanfront junior suites. I will start from the lobby. Upon entering, I was not pleased. I thought the lobby looked terribly outdated, but my husband was quick to differ and state that it wasn't outdated, that the style was intended to be Art Deco, so I will leave it at that. The lobby is open air with no air conditioning. In January the temp was fine, but I cannot imagine how hot it is in the summertime. We had an easy process checking in. I have read people saying that they were able to upgrade rooms, we had already paid for the OF junior suite, so I didn't deal with this. I did however want to discuss the location of our rooms and was told by the desk staff that there were NO choices, that the hotel was booked solid. You are given ONE key. It is a real key on a large Riu Keychain. The room # is engraved into the key, so best not lose it, as anyone finding can access your room. We requested additional keys and I was given a look like I had 2 heads. They were able to give us 2 additional keys, but when we asked for a 4th we were told that's all they had. My parents were able to get a 2nd key but were told there was no 3rd key available. This can be an inconvenience when traveling in a group of 4 per room. You also are given a safe key and an "ancient" lock. The safe is not coded, and yes, there is only 1 key so that is another inconvenience if the person with the key isn't in the room when you want to get in the safe. The room itself is decent sized. I felt the furniture, floor, and bathroom were clean. The bedding however was not the greatest. Be warned- the rooms (all of them) have a VERY musty smell. I actually am washing every item we returned with regardless of whether it was worn or not because it all has an odor. Hats, fabric bags, suitcases, etc....they are all smell musty and will have to be cleaned. I am not thrilled about that. The beds are VERY hard. We got a foam topper, my parents could not get one and were told they were out of them. It was pretty ridiculous. Thir ceiling fan and toilet was also not working properly all week. They made several phone calls and were told it would get fixed and it DID NOT. I am ver disappointed with the service at this hotel. I felt like they just didn't care to please the paying guests.
Food- It was ok. Very catered to the "locals" (which I will address later). Thre buffet had variety, not quality. That was what I expected though. There are 3 other restaurants that you can dine in. You must first make a reservation (up to a day in advance). You have to stand in a line to make them and it opens at 8 am. I never had a hard time getting a reservation because I was in line by 7:45 am, but heard others complaning that by 9 am there were no reservations left. There is an asian buffett that was decent, a gourmet rest that was good and a steakhouse that was decent. Over all, if you are going on vacation for food quality this IS NOT the place for you. We were not, so I didn't really care so much.
The drinks were terrible. I could not find one I liked the taste of. I expected poor quality, but they were gross.
There are 2 pools. One adult (18 and over) and one family. They are not heated and are ice cold. We were stuck at the family pool, so it was loud and crowded. The pool and pool deck are not very well kept during the day. The lounge chairs have vinyl pads on them that were disgustingly dirty and many were torn. They do a nic e job of keeping the public bathrooms clean, though.
I am not an "beach" person and prefer a pool, but the sand was soft, the ocean was good for swimming and there seemed to be enough chairs.
Here is the BIG drawback- the "locals". I am not a prejudiced person at all. I am in Mexico and love the culture and the people. The problem is that all of the locals from Guadalajara come to Puerto Vallarta for their "vacation". They are given good rates and they travel there on the weekend from Nov to March and the 2 full weeks at Christmas and New Year's. This makes the resort very overcrowded. We also felt like they were always served first with drinks and meals and got better overall service. And I am positive that we paid a whole lot more to stay there than they did.
The resort has loud nightly music until 11 pm and it resonates up into the room as if you were right there next to the speaker. We were up at that time still but if I had younger kids I would not have been happy.
They have nightly shows, which we did not see so I cannot review.
My husband and son walked over to the Riu Palace and were much more impressed, however it was way out of our price range.
Please message me any quesitons and I will be glad to answer for you.
Overall, we had a great trip, but I would seriously advise to look into staying elsewhere or be ok with just an average resort with a must odor and not great service.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

This hotel was excellent. Our first couple days were not great weather-wise as it rained :(. I travelled with my mom on this all-inclusive for the first time ever. I usually travel with husband and other friends that are the same age as us, so trying to find things to do on such an age-scale could have been interesting since I am 38 and mom is 65. It was FANTASTIC . I found we were well taken care of at all times by everyone. We were there for New Years Eve and the party the hotel threw was above and beyond! So much fun and the dinner was amazing - steak, lobster, shrimp, crap - all you can eat!

We enjoyed the a la carte restaurants 1) Asian - pretty good food, although we are not sushi fans 2) Sir George - steak was delicious there and the servers were awesome 3) Flamingo - had ribs that were super (thanks to other people's recommendations. The buffet was definitely full of variety and busy all the time. I felt everything was turned over quickly and was always fresh! The only thing that makes a buffet less than lovely are the gross people that have no manners (coughing and touching utensils, allowing their kids to touch food or glasses or utensils and not taking them so then the next person gets to enjoy their germs...). There is always going to be that kind of stuff happening so you just have to go with the flow and accept that some people just don't get it, lol

Rooms - I laughed so hard because my husband and I have travelled lots to all-inclusives and have been very hit or miss in getting a King bed and we always request one. Naturally, travelling with my mom, I requested the opposite - 2 beds please! Wouldn't you know it, we got a king bed. The hotel was very accommodating in getting us a new room with 2 beds but our flight didn't get in until 4am and we had to wait until the hotel staff change-over to get a new room, needless to say we didn't sleep that day at all. No big deal, no one's fault - just happened to be the crazy flight times with sunwing. Beds are pretty hard, yes, but I like them that way with my back. Yes, it can be noisy but take earplugs. I travel with them all the time!

Pool - LOVE THE ADULT POOL! No kids running around, splashing, getting in the way. THE BEST THING about the hotel by far! I'm not against kids, I have one of my own, grown up, but I go away to get away from that! The kids have their own wonderful pool, with slides and other kids to play with . It is a great balance. I talked to many people who commented on this being the best part of the hotel. The entertainment at the pool (games, dancing, etc) was really fun. The staff really work hard at getting people involved, even though we were just spectators...there were many other participants every day. The loungers are way more comfortable at the pool than at the beach.

Night-time entertainment - this was also the best part for us. It was a great thing to do in the evening as it got us out for dinner and then a show afterward. They start with a kid show at 8pm where the staff gets the kids on stage - so cute and so much fun! The kids have a blast with it. At 9pm is the evening show - Grease, Michael Jackson, Mr. Riu, Men vs Women, etc. Each night is something different. We went to every one every night. After that is dancing with a live band and it is awesome seeing the locals mixing it up with the tourists, although we didn't do any dancing, we had so much fun watching the locals dancing the salsa, etc. Such beautiful culture.

The only negatives were 1) the weather for 3 days (out of our control) and 2) the flight times with sunwing (which we already knew about) - also delayed both inbound and outbound - very exhausting.

Staff to mention who were especially great - Pillor (bartender), Pancho (i think that was his name - at the bar beside stage), food manager (can't remember her name - but she was always dressed so cute with huge heels and short sparkly skirts lol), manager Javier (always walking around, checking on things, Tony at the buffet - we tipped him well! , awesome animation/pool entertainment team - Alex, Ahmed, Choko, and Gladys :) - they kept things hopping and were always so great!

I was very impressed with the mix of fun at this hotel for adults, kids, middle-aged people, etc. There was always lots to do, staff all very friendly! Would definitely visit again!

Room Tip: Rooms facing outside of hotel are quieter -
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Winnipeg, Canada
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

My wife and I stayed the week of Dec 28/2012 to Jan 4/2013. Hotel was very clean, room was also very clean and the cleaning staff was great. The grounds were very well kept, except for the sketchy electrical cords duct taped to the sidewalks and just taped to each-other.

We were quite disappointed with the quality of the food, buffets were always running out of food and when there was food, it was cold.

New years eve dinner was a joke, the only restaurant open was the main Buffet. It was poorly organized and it was a buffet AGAIN.

We did make dinner reservations on three other nights thinking it would be better food/service. Nope, Buffet at the Asian restaurant, poor service, and same food was available at the main Buffett restaurant.

Steak house 2 other nights. The meal was actually served at the table. Not bad food there I guess.

When we went for breakfast the tables were all dirty, stained cloths, had to clean off our own table and find our own pot of coffee. Chipped dishes were pretty much the norm.

The beach was always filthy, never raked. When using the beach loungers we never got a good one. It would be Broken, dry rotted, sagged out, or any combination of those.

The servers working the pool areas and the beach were pretty good considering they appeared to be under staffed. They were the only people I tipped.

The pool bar always had a huge line, due to pool and beach servers use this bar as well.

You may read this and think, "Here's another person who just always complains and can't be satisfied"

Well this was my fourth trip south and this is the only place that has disappointed me and my wife. Two of our last trips were also during very busy times with the hotels at capacity.

I will never stay at a Riu again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013 via mobile

Travelled at peak time and too much. Food was mediocre at best. The steak restaurant was good, and the news years eve meal was really good. The certainly went all out for this event. Recommend the dolphin adventure.
The beds are incredibly poor. Ask for a foam bed topper while checking in, you will be glad you did. If you bring kids, the swim up bar is not available to them. Our daughter liked this at previous hotels, so this was disappointing for her.
The pool staff was very good, the room was clean, shower was hot with good pressure. If you pay around 1000-1200 all in for a week, it would be a reasonable price. Anything more, and you could do better somewhere else, keep looking.

Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

All in all this hotel met all of our needs. We were two couples traveling together. The service was excellent. The drinks were watered down. If you are a beer drinker they have Tecate's and soft drinks in the refrigerator. The rooms are loud so bring a noise machine to sleep. The beds are hard- I asked for a mattress topper and never received one. The coffee at the bar in the lobby was excellent. The buffet food is average- you get sick of it after 6 days. You have a fridge in your room so bring your leftovers and heat them up in the snack bar. The 24 hour food in the sports bar is gross- use the microwave for your leftovers only. The entertainment is mediocre-the RIU in Cabo had better entertainment. The Steakhouse is the best restaurant food wise but service is long. Sir George has fast service and the food is good as well. We did not try the Asian food since we heard it was not that great. If you want to avoid theft, do not have your room cleaned. I didn't allow anyone to clean my room, and I had my drinks and towels stocked when I was in the room. If you tip the staff, you will always be waited on at the beach, bar, and restaurants. They work hard and I know a dollar or two will not break your budget when traveling. People stake out the chairs at the beach and put towels out so you have to get up early and reserve. There is a shaded area and open area near the beach. Waiters are down there taking drink orders. At night and early in the morning you can hear everything in the halls- EVERYTHING. Alot of locals come and stay at the resort, it makes for a fun evening. They dance, talk, and are all very nice. Everyone is entitled to a vacation in my opinion and the RIU caters to everyone. We paid 3K for a 6 day trip from December 31st-January 5th. It was not worth it at all- I would return to ANOTHER hotel. However, we made the best of it and the service was great. The noise, food quality, and beds need improvement.

Room Tip: If you stay by the courtyard it can be loud at night, if you stay on the edges- echoes are bad as we...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.

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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
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 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#12 Top resorts 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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