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“Great Stay @ Riu Vallarta” 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, Nuevo Vallarta 63732, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #13 of 26 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
chilliwack, British Columbia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Great Stay @ Riu Vallarta”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

We stayed here May 17-24, 2013 as a couple with 3 older teens and loved it! This is our first stay at a Riu ~ the resort offered everything for a great time. We booked 3 rooms - basic rooms - but they were clean and the maid service was excellent especially with teens! The food was the best of any all inclusive we have stayed at (Jamaica, Cuba, Aruba and other Mexico resorts). The buffet included everything you could imagine and there were new items introduced each day- and there were 3 omelette stations for breakfast. The food was fresh and delicious and we didn't get sick (we always pack immodium as any food change can upset a tummy.) We went to 2 of the a la cartes and the food was excellent there as well. There are 2 large pools - one for children and one for adults. There was security and first aid always present to make sure kids stayed out of the adult pool and drunk adults didn't swing from the fountains!
The entertainment troupe were exceptional! They worked long hours tirelessly and always had a positive happy and friendly vibe. Julian was our favourite - he's fabulous! We participated in aqua aerobics, intro to Spanish, beach volleyball, lazy game, target shooting, olympic games on the beach - all total fun. The shows at night were good too - Michael Jackson show was the best and the dancer who portrayed Michael was fantastic.
The beach was amazing at this resort - large and spacious with soft sand, warm water and great waves for boogie boarding. The resort provides free boards for body surfing and it was a blast. There are a few locals selling wares on the beach - they aren't pushy. Tell them 'no' and they leave you alone. Not a bother at all.
What stands out at this resort was the service - it was exceptional where ever we went. The staff everywhere - maids, bartenders, wait staff at all restaurants and the entertainment crew where fabulous. With or without a tip I always received great service - fast, friendly and attentive.
Yes, the beds are on the harder side. We never ordered the mattress toppers - by nightfall the sun, fresh air and libations put us all fast asleep. Yes the rooms have a musty smell - so did every room I've ever stayed at in a tropical climate. That's not the hotel - that's the weather!
I have read some complaints about the number of Mexican guests that were at the resort during our stay - I remind those reading and writing to recognize that we were there in late May - end of high tourist season - of COURSE there will be more local Mexican families staying during this time. We are guests in THEIR country and not the other way around. It did not hamper our stay - it made if feel more authentic! If you want to vacation without locals than visit during tourist season.
We walked to Bucerias one day - it took an hour on the beach - lovely walk - only bothered by one time share person. The stores and flea market have the usual items - fun little town. We taxied back for 85 pesos. A nice change for a day. We did the snorkel @ Los Arcos/beach BBQ and it was a great day. Snorkeling Los Arcos was a highlight - we saw many fish, coral in the calm clear water. Better than our Cuba and Aruba snorkel trips.
The evening show is 9-10, a band plays in the plaza from 10-11 (wonderful musicians) then it quiets down and those still wanting to stay up go to the disco downstairs that stays open until 2. The sports bar stays open 24-7 for those with the urge to play pool at 4 a.m.!
Overall - a great resort that we would recommend highly for those looking for a fun vacation. If you want peace and relaxation this isn't the place - it's more a fun action packed and active kind of holiday.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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2,524 reviews from our community

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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 (616)
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English first
San Jose, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

(May 17-26, 2013) It was our first time in Puerto Vallarta and we happened to pick Riu Vallarta as the hotel of our stay because it is 5 star hotel and it is known as a family friendly place. Overall everything was pretty good. Unfortunately one thing we did not know that the week before memorial day weekend is some sort of Mexican spring brake and they sell this hotel to locals with huge discount. The amount of people who came there was just insane. From restaurant manager we heard that the hotel is designed for 1200-1300 people but on the Friday, May 24 it accommodated around 2000 people. Everything: restaurant, beach and especially relatively small pools were overcrowded. People were standing in line in the restaurant for the pancakes or scrambled eggs which I have never ever seen before in all inclusive hotels. They ran out of towels in the pool by 2-3 pm.
On Sunday morning (the 26) I was jogging on the beach early in the morning and the hotel's beach was so dirty I could not believe it. By the 7:45 -8:00 am when I was done there was nobody coming to the beach to clean it but just one lady from the bar collecting empty plastic glasses from the sand, there were so may of them that she could not carry all of them at once.
The service and staff there friendly, no complains here but the amount of local people ruined the whole vacation impression. We are going to file the complain with Rio too.

Room Tip: Pick Riu Palace. This hotel is the higher end and locals do not go there.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2013

The main memory I have from my stay at RIU Vallarta is the locals. I have nothing agaist Mexican people, I was there with my mexican boyfriend and my familly in law, the problem was the type of locals that were at the hôtel. The kind of people od spit on the floor, listen loud banda music on the beach or in the middle of the night, the kind of people who goes to the beach without a bathing suit, I thought I was at the public beach in Puerto Vallarta, nothing like the image of a 5 star hôtel. My boyfriend and familly in law were ashamed to see that. The staff members exasperated bout the situation , because this type of customers only cares about eating and drinking and without mannes. I was feeiing bad for them. However I want to mention how excellent the service was and how gently and friendly all the staff were on the hotel.

It was actually my first time at RIU , and I am dissapointed. I am wondering how come the hotell managers can let that type of customers invade the hôtel.

The hotel was extremely full, do not go breakfast at 10 am, it will have 20 locals fighting for 10 hot
cakes. The same for the pool, always packed and really dirty . At the end of the day , you could litterally smell pi from the pool.

The rooms were okay. The beach was pretty , but also really crowded due to those groups of locals.

The food was good in général. I think it is a better choice to go the the buffet then to the a la carte one, where the food is really ordinary.

At the end, I was expecting way more from a 5 stars hôtels. I went to a lot of 4 stars and 3,5 stars and Ive never seen this kind of customers on a hôtel. It wasnt relaxing and pleasant at all to witness this kind of people and attitudes.

I really do not suggest this hotel to anyone, unless you have a really good deal and you don't expect too much and you are willing to close your eyes on the customers surronding you.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013 via mobile

First let me start by saying. Riu vallarta accommodated over 1,900 people in our stay and over 94% of them were locals the exact words from the front desk. The rooms smelled really bad "mildew" room. We asked to be moved immediately but that took a while since everything was booked until the following day. The safe not very safe at all they give you a key for the safe and one for the room and warn you if you loose the safe key it would be 60$ to break the lock. The locals were really rude pushing shoving at the buffet lines no consideration for others at all one of them told us. Americans tip because we want to and locals get the same service if not better without the tip. They would run out of pool towels around 3:00PM the pool was really dirty in the adult pool way too many people and since the restrooms were a bit far from the pool I heard people were just peeing in the pool disgusting! Over all the food was ok the service well the locals take over. One of the managers told us come around September or October otherwise it's always jammed packed.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Houston, Texas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

you get what you pay for. good food, average rooms (not too comfy), very dirty pools. Bring cash to tip. A dollar goes a long way when a bar tender has five orders to deliver. Also ask about an upgrade when checking in. They gave me an upgrade at no extra cost. Very family friendly

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

I stayed at this resort from May 5 to 12. The food was good, the majority of the staff is very friendly, however, one evening, we had a complaint that the staff was un-willing to look after. There was a woman chain smoking in the theater, a non smoking area. The 2 staff members working the area were put into an uncomfortable situation when we asked that they handle the situation. Yes, it is non smoking. and they are very sorry that my travel companion can't be around smoke. That is unfortunate. I escalated the situation and asked a third employee to speak to the manager. It was the manager sitting at the table with the chain smoker. I spoke to the manager, but we had already moved to a different table by this point that didn't have as good of view, and the table we had vacated was now occupied by the manager's female guest. So, if you expect 5 star service at this resort, the best way would be to get to know the manager, very well.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2013

Riu Vallarta is a gorgeous familly-friendly resort in Nuevo Vallarta.

The pools are awesome, the beds are comfortable and the food is delicious (especially the Nirvana restaurant à-la-carte).

The bartenders in this resort are incredible: very fast and efficient service and always happy to help out!

The resort is great for everybody. Good vibe during the day, cool dancing and music shows in the evening, not too loud at night and there is a Discotheque for the ones who wants to keep the party going. Speaking of the discotheque... it gets very hot in there.. and the hotel should pay for Dj lessons for the ones behind the decks. They were very cool, but clearly a bit unexperienced for the role of disc jockey.

If you are with some friends and want to get a hold of the nightlife in puerto vallarta, I recommend hanging out with the cool and friendly entertainement staff of the resort. They organise night outs in the hotspots of downtown Puerto Vallarta. For 45$ in just about every club, you get the open bar treatment (often bottle service, as much as you can handle) Fun and cheap way of getting messed up in the city with buddies.

Overall, the mexican, canadian and american people who visit Riu Vallarta are all very very friendly. I honestly don't think this place can go wrong!

Room Tip: I think all rooms are great. Can't hear any noise from outside
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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
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:
#9 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#11 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#13 On the Beach 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-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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