We stayed at RIU Vallarta around New Year’s and had a good visit despite having 3 days of overcast and rain to start the trip. This is clearly not a 5 star (and is barely a 4 star) resort, but for the price, was still a good trip.
The Good Parts:
1.Service was excellent from the staff. The staff was consistently pleasant and helpful, whether at the restaurants, the pool, the bars, the health club and even the maids and mini-bar stocking staff provided good service with a smile. I was particularly impressed at how well they worked around the only rainy days we have ever had in Mexico-they changed the restaurant hours, expanded entertainment options and kept the facilities clean and puddle free. We did tip well (ok, very well compared to others we saw), but the staff seemed to have a smile for everyone.
2.Food was fine. Plentiful and varied, although not gourmet, even in the gourmet restaurant. Of the 3 ala carte places, we found the steakhouse to be the best and the chicken was actually very good. The asian place (Nirvana) is really just an asian buffet and was OK at best.
3.Had a great time in the Sports Bar, and made lots of friends watching the Rose Bowl and the NFL games. They were even able to get the English language feed.
4.The rooms and the grounds were spotless other than the bathrooms near the pools, which they could not keep clean no matter how hard they tried. The beach was raked and organized every day. While there were lots of bees at the bar, it has been that way at every resort we have visited in PV.
5.GREAT beach. Took long walks and there was lots to see. About 45 minutes each way to Bucerias if you are up for it. Lots of chairs on the beach, it was easy to drag chairs into the sun. Great sunsets around 6:30-6:45.
The Bad Parts;
1.You sometimes had to push to get what you wanted. When we checked in, we were told that there were no locks available for the safes in our rooms-she said they were “all out”. I told the woman that this was unacceptable and that we had heard on TripAdvisor about some theft issues and next thing I know, she hands me 2 locks for the safes. I was told there were no late seatings for New Years Eve (“All I have is 6:30 or 7”) and when I told him that we had tried to get late seatings by e-mails and that I would not leave until I got a later seating, suddenly there was an opening at 9pm. By the way, there were many open tables at that hour.
2.They have old fashioned keys for the rooms (on giant keychains) and the safes. They need to upgrade to computerized cards since I spent the whole trip afraid I would lose them. Plus, the room keys do not open the door from the hallway to the 2 rooms that are adjacent-still don't know what key opens that door from the outside.
3.You have to line up before 8am to get reservations in the ala carte restaurants. It seemed like the earlier reservations went faster than the later ones, but we did not care since we wanted to be in the sun as long as we could.
4.The rooms (particularly the bathrooms) looked a little tired and did have things that needed repair. Bed was hard as a rock.
5.The sign in the bathroom said the water was not potable, but people at the desk said it was ok to drink-which is it? We played it safe and used bottled water for everything.
6.The work-out facilities look nice, but several of the pieces of cardio equipment did not work correctly.
1.Bring insulated cups with lids with you to keep drinks cold. Plus, the plastic cups they use at the pool did not look clean so we washed out our mugs and then used the vodka in the room to “disinfect” them.
2.Even if there are no reservations for the ala carte places, ask to be put on the waiting list or even just show up at the restaurants and many times you will get in.
3.The front desk hands out bottles of water upon request so you are not limited to what is in the mini-bar. And every time they ask if we want the water with or without alcohol!
4.The maids leave behind towel sculptures if you leave a nice tip. The workers make very little money and work very hard, so the least you can do is tip.
5.Don’t plan on going to bed before the entertainment stops around 11pm since the noise goes everywhere. On the other hand, it was surprisingly quiet after that.
6.If you want to save chairs in the morning, keep your towels in the evening since the towel booth does not open until 10am.
7.We read a lot about theft so we kept everything locked up in the safe as much as we could. However the safe is not beig enough for a laptop so we just hid it each day. I think some of the "theft" issues are people being drunk or careless-one night as the Sports Bar was emptying out we heard the bartender yelling "Hey, who left their Ipad over here" No one answered and I am sure that the people who left it think it was stolen.
- 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