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“nice views great food” 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
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“nice views great food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013 via mobile

Rooms were clean and provided excellent ocean views. The food at the buffet was phenomenal. The hotel was also very elegant. Beds are very hard but you can request memory foam mattress topper upon checking in. The adult pool could be cleaner as it is very cloudy at times. We also found that children, including infants were allowed in the adult pool area even though a children's pool was a few yards away. Overall not a bad hotel. My complaints are minor nuisances and we would stay again. Staff is very friendly.

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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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 (477)
Date | Rating
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English first
Calgary, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

Chose this resort based on the Riu we stayed at in Mazatlan and were not disappointed! Were there from Apr 28-May 5 with Sunwing/Signature vacations from Calgary.
Had read reviews that said the beds were incredibly hard (they weren't as bad as people made them out to be) and that the noise from the courtyard was unbearable (I'd take live music every night until 11 pm over hearing crickets in the resort right after dinner).
Food was fresh at every meal and super tasty (including at the 3 a la carte restaurants). Late breakfast was pretty busy and had some lineups at the buffet (10-11am) so I would recommend going earlier or just waiting until the lunch snack buffet opened.
Drink service on the beach is a major perk as is the liquor and fridges in the rooms.The spanish coffee they serve in the courtyard is also worth tasting!
Pluses: never had to fight for a chair at the ocean or pool, tasty food, very few beach vendors, awesome party vibe at night & great bartenders - definitely recommend it!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 4 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.
Winnipeg, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

Hotel is beautiful!! Very elegant....palace-like! If you are looking for Mexican charm in your hotel this is not the one to pick, but if you are looking for grand then this is a great choice!!
I would not give this hotel 5 stars... but 4 for sure!

We took a cab (white one) from the airport to the hotel which cost $30US. It is about a 40 minute drive. On the return trip we opted for the VIP late check out through Sunwing for $10US/person-what a rip off!! We were supposed to leave at 9:00am (instead of 7:30am) but did not leave till after 9:30!! and we were jam packed into vans!! It was chaos!! We got to the airport with enough time to check-in, go through security and barely get our dutyfree before boarding!! Would not waste the money on that again!!

Front desk service was AMAZING!!! We were checked-in in moments!! And although our room was not ready yet, we were given a time to check back at the desk & it was ready as promised! The hotel all around was always clean, lobby is incredible and grounds were immaculately kept!! I would like to point out that there are alot of stairs in this resort! So you will get your exercise!! However there are elevators.

Don't forget that in staying at Vallarta you have access to Jalisco too!! Jalisco is about a ten minute walk away. This resort has more of the Mexican charm. We really liked it there! Played tennis 4 times during our week. Had bevies there too! Please note that you can NOT book Jalisco's Al A Cartes.... you can only have lunch there. Jalisco's Disco was super fun!! great location off the Plaza (not in the basement!!). Easy to walk out and sit outside for a smoke and still enjoy the music! After seeing both Discos we always walked to Jalisco's. I will note that we felt completely safe on our late night walk back to Vallarta-we took the road not the beach).

I read lots of negative reviews on the beds... they were fine! They are like any other beds I have slept in while staying in Mexico. Room was spectacular!! Very clean, great view, quiet. Maid service was great.... room cleaned promptly and always lots of fresh towels. Mini bar stocked daily and the guys actually asked us the first day what we wanted in it!
Tip....you can get bottled water at the front desk anytime-it was the only place I found bottled other than our room.

Bar service was great!! Although at times there could have been more people mixing drinks... those guys and girls work their butts off!! To Canadian travelers... there is Canadian Mist & Jimmy Beam for rye/bourbon. Overall great selection of hard liquor! We spent alot of time at the Lobby bar and the bar by the theatre (not the Plaza bar....it was always very full in the evenings).

The Theatre area is fabulous!! Lots of bistro-style seating! So nice to have a table to sit at instead of rows of chairs. The Theatre opens to outside so you can sit inside or out!

I highly recommend sticking around after the shows (sorry...can't tell you what the shows were like as we were always eating dinner during them!). After the show is a live band in the plaza and everybody dances!!! This was our FAVORITE time!! and it was such an unexpected bonus!! They only play for about an hour so don't miss it!!!

Disco was crappy. It is in the basement and had a funky smell ;( We went to Jalisco!!

Buffet was amazing! Fresh and always stocked. Hardly any lines for food. Large variety!

Al A Carte restaurants.... so-so. tip... you can book for that night & the next night!!!If you want an early reservation get there early!! We had no trouble getting 8:30/9:00 pm times.
Steakhouse was great the first time we went...overlooks the ocean from the second floor. Steak was well seasoned, cooked right and tasty! Service was great! Second time we went we were on the main floor and the wind screens were pulled down so we had no view. Also they had run out of some stuff so were substituting...disappointing.
Asian restaurant was tasty....but it is a glorified buffet.
The Gourmet restaurant was stuffy and there was nothing spectacular about the food.
Sports Bar late night snacks are not good!! Microwavable hot dogs and hamburgers and nachos with a gross cheese sauce!! Also... there is no music in the Sports Bar at any time and you are not allowed to bring your own.

Pool was fun! Great in-pool seating areas! If you want an actual chair...get there early!! Beach was beautiful!! and yes... you do have to rent umbrellas (no palapas), but there are lots of palm trees to offer shade!! Beach is huge with tons of chairs!! We did not find that there were alot of children at the resort and there is a pool designated only for adults.

We decided to head to Puerto Vallarta one night. Checked out the Marina where the yachts are docked!! It was great!! There was a market set up of all sorts of goodies and lots of places for food and bevies! We headed into Old Vallarta for dinner at Blue Shrimp which was delicious with a beautiful view!! I will say that this cab was expensive!! About $30US one way and 45 minutes long!!

We walked to Bucerias along the beach one day which took about an hour. Was a very nice beach walk!! Did a bit of shopping! We happened upon a restaurant at the end of the restaurant strip called Breakers...what a great find!! Breakers is owned by a guy from Winnipeg (which is where we are from) and subscribes to Shaw direct....so they aired the Jets games!!! Woot!! We stopped there for drinks on the beach and went back one evening for dinner and to watch the game!! Also... the owner's mom makes perogies for the restaurant!!!
The food was tasty and reasonably priced! We finished off dinner with a complimentary Tequila shot with our server! The cab to Bucerias was about $8US...cheap!!!

Overall we were very happy with Riu Vallarta and Riu Jalisco and had a fabulous, beautiful, romantic vacation!!

Room Tip: We upgraded to a junior suite (cost of $60/person) and I highly recommend this! Our room was at the...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 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.
Sheboygan, WI
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

We were hesitant to try a square deal, only to be pleasantly surprised by this fine resort. We flew straight flight from Ohare to Puerto Vallarta. We've stayed at many other resorts, Mexico and other countries, RIU's and others, and this was by far the best experience ever. The staff from top to bottom bent over backwards to please. The negative reviews I read prior to my stay were completely unjust. We were overrun with Mexican tourism at it's peak during our stay, but yet never had bad service, bad food, or problems finding beach or pool chairs or towels. The separate adult pool and childrens pool were awesome and never an issue either. The service at all the bars and restaurants was remarkable. We found beach and pool chairs all times of the day. We actually preferred the main buffet restaurant over the others because there was always an ample variety to pick from and we always found something we enjoyed, but the others were good too. They weren't strict on a dress code for any of the places, though we dressed up for all of them. The beaches and views were great. We used all sorts of watersports equipment every day and never had to wait, and it was included in the stay. Every day starts out calm, beautiful and sunny, changing to breezy in the afternoon. The rooms were phenomenal with exceptional effort by the cleaning staff. If I had to be picky, the minor flaws would be the beds are somewhat uncomfortable, but they do have full queen beds rather than two twins put together. And from what others told me, they would have offered a pillowtop if we'd just asked. The TV is older and poor reception on many of the channels, expecially the english channels, but we weren't there to watch TV anyway. Finally, it was noisy at times from other guests and some late shows, so plan to stay up later every night. Out of their control, is the TimeShare salesman you deal with everywhere and anywhere off the resort. From the minute you get off the plane, or walk the beach from the resort, or go downtown, you'll cross their path. Just save yourself the time, and be prepared that no matter how the conversation starts, it ends with a Time Share if you're not on the resort. The AC in the rooms worked better than any other tropical resort I've stayed. Safes were provided free in the room. There was WiFi, but you needed to purchase it and I believe it ran around $20 for the week. I even had the misfortune of a medical emergency, and was pleasantly surprised by the exceptional care I received from an onsite Doctor visit, and later care at an excellent hospital in Puerto Vallarta. I would put it up against any care I've recieved thus far in the US. We took cabs several times to the different cities, and never had issues. We definitely plan to go again, and take family with.

Room Tip: ask for a pillow top immediately, and choose the 5 apple square deal
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

As someone who works in the hospitality industry, I know how subjective reviews are!! People will complain about room sizes as if every room of the hotel/resort is the same as theirs. There are many different room types- one cannot possibly judge a property by the one room they stayed in! Some people are also pickier than others and have impossible expectations for the quality of their stay. There are some people who will remain extremely difficult to please. Perception is reality, so it's important to evaluate not just the review but the reviewer.

All that being said, I thoroughly enjoyed staying at this property. I came with three girl friends, and none of us had cash to burn so one of our priorities was the value of our trip. We grabbed an $800 all inclusive stay through Sunwing. We were met by a bus after we landed and offered beers for the 20-30 minute ride to the resort. We were greeted with smiles and check-in was easy and professionally done. We even found a complimentary bottle of tequila waiting for us in the room. Our resort-appointed trip organizer gave us a quick run down of some of our excursion options and gave us an opportunity to select our choices.

Our room was spacious, clean, and comfortable with two king beds and a balcony. Obviously the first thing we did was throw on bikinis and head for the beach! We found mostly locals there and a lot of families with small children. The beach is wide and wasn't crowded while we were there- though that will depend on what time of year you go. Drinks are more than accessible enough. I can't comment on the quality of them beyond the first couple, but those were very good! We enjoyed dancing in the disco at night, and visiting in the sports bar just past the lobby. Every night featured different entertainment- most of which I found either funny or flat out impressive. One night there was a mini musical which showcased some serious dancing skill. There were a few nice restaurants on the property for us to try out. They all required reservations and we found the food to be delicious. I remember especially loving a fish option from one of these restaurants.

Above anything else I'd like to comment on the outstanding service. Every time we encountered a staff member was a positive experience. Special commendation to the events coordinators. I wish I could remember their names because they were so good to us. They put forth special effort to make sure we had a fun time and would even flag us down and call us by nicknames when they saw us.

Don't expect bar attendants to notice you every time- this is Mexico- sometimes you need to get a little pushy and make yourself known. However, tip well and they will keep an eye out for you. If you go around May, ask about baby sea turtles hatching. If it's the right time, you can walk down the beach about 20 minutes and see it. As with many places, if you are a woman it's wise not to walk around by yourself at night. During the day you will be fine, but we did experience a man trying to follow us around. We reported him to the front desk and it was followed up with immediately. Overall we felt secure on the property but chose not to leave it at night, as there can be no guarantees made at that point.

Staff were lovely, friendly, and helpful, the food was great, rooms were comfortable, the lobby was gorgeous, the grounds were immaculately kept. I would happily return to Riu Vallarta.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Stevens, Washington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

This was our second Riu experience and third trip to Puerto Vallarta. I cannot say enough good things about the resort, the staff, the food and the drinks! Alan, the entertainment manager went over and above everyday to make sure that the guests were all happy! Teresa (Terry) at the center bar was funny and made great drinks! Our housekeeping staff did a great job everyday and our towel art was a complete surprise everyday we came back to our room! She also made it smell fresh every time she cleaned! We asked for the mattress topper and extra pillows after about 3 days of sleeping on the wood bed and the front desk had it sent up within 15 minutes of us asking! It made a huge difference in the ability to get a good nights sleep so I highly recommend asking for it! The Grease show was by far the most entertaining (but I love Grease!) We were able to get Junior at Sir George restaurant to change our reservations to an earlier seating so we didn't miss the show. This was just another example of the staff going above and beyond all of the time. My friend that was traveling with me is a vegetarian, we thought this would be a problem anywhere in Mexico. Not at the Riu! They were very accommodating at every restaurant! At Don Raphael the buffet she was able to create her own veggie burrito and they cooked it right up for her! Sir George has a vegetarian option and the steak house of all place was the greatest! Don't miss out on the soup, Artichoke tomato! As with any all inclusive in Mexico bring your own cup! Not because you need more in one serving but because those little glasses they serve drinks in go down way to fast and easy and before you know it, well you know! Everybody from the USA and Canada are so friendly and I have never left Mexico without a hand full of new friends! The only complaints I have are 1. the sports bar: smells HORRIBLE! I can barely get passed the smell every time I walked in the door! Far to often there are children sleeping in there at 2 AM as well. Guadalupe however is a great bartender and works WAY to many hours! 2. The Disco also SMELLS horrible! Alex should lay off the fog/smoke effects too! Way to much! The drinks are terrible in the disco as well and it is only open from 11PM till 2 AM. Maybe going into PV to the club scene for $45 would be worth it. 3. There is really no way to tell when there is going to be a large Mexican holiday or competition like the Domino's championship that went on while we were there. So we were over taken this trip and I am sad to say that the Mexican vacationers treated the hotel staff like crap absolutely no respect! Their children also had no manners and we were pushed into the elevator on more than one occasion while trying to get out of it. Overall I would recommend the Riu Vallarta or Jalisco as I have stayed at both. The best part of the day was the pool and security did a great job keeping the kids out of the pool! It was a nice adult vacation and I cant wait to return!

Room Tip: I had a perfect view of the pool, ocean and beach on the 8th floor! All of the rooms between 8034 an...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013 via mobile

The beds were very firm, and the best service we had was by the waiters on the beach. All other waiters and staff had more of the attitude to move on to the next person. My wife and I were shocked that we made reservations at the Asian restaurant only for it to be a buffet.

The nighttime show were great. We personally did not care for the dance show, but they were entertaining though.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.

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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 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#12 Romantic 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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