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“Great Resort for Families” 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 #12 of 27 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Lake Saint Louis, Missouri
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60 reviews 60 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Great Resort for Families”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

I was very pleased with the hotel. There is limited but free wifi in the lobby. The hotel is located in Riviera Nayarit so not actually in Puerto Vallarta. If you want long stretches of nice beach, this is a great location. Keep in mind that you will need to taxi or take a bus if you want to visit the town of Puerto Vallarta. The hotel has a family pool, best for young children and an adult only pool. It was lacking for older kids or teenagers in regards to pools. There were many activities on the beach such as volleyball and fun games.

Room Tip: Closer to beach for better oceanview or over the lobby area for oceanfront. You may want to decide i...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,976 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 (830)
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English first
Rancho Cucamonga, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

We stayed for a week from 7/12 to 7/18; family of 4, all adults so we had two connecting rooms. The rooms seemed clean, but the sheets and the pillows had a horrible smell. I went to the front desk and asked that the sheets be changed, but no one was sent to the room. The beds/mattress were also uncomfortable, which made it hard for us to sleep well. I had never seen a resort so crowded so I inquired about it and was told that the resort was advertising special rates, there were lines everywhere. The food was average, but they serve pretty much the same thing every day. There are 3 restaurants in the resort, but due to the amount of people during our stay, it was close to impossible to get reservations.
The water at the adults pool was murky and the tiles were slimy.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 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.
Kansas, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

We stayed for 4 days 3 nights: July 3 Wednesday-6 Saturday.
Reserved 3 rooms using Expedia: 7 adults and 2 kids (ages 6/7). I booked the 7 adults, since it didn't have the option of kids. During arrival check-in desk clerk advised we needed to pay for kids. We had no issue paying and it actually worked out even better. It was cheaper to pay for kids at the resort than online.
Room 1: Two joined queen beds.
Room 2: Two separate queen beds.
Room 3: Two separate queen beds.
-All had balconies.
-Mini bars filled. Hard liquor dispensers where eh, ok. Only recognized tequila brand others like the vodka and rum had never hear of brands. It also included a big water bottle, several different brand sodas and beer.
-Room service was great every day they created a different towel animal, which my kids enjoyed. We had no issues whatsoever with the rooms. We had also requested conjoined rooms of which was all next to each other.
-Food: Our favorite because it had so much to choose from would be the Buffet.
Fancy, clean, roomy, and very nice atmosphere.
We did book at the a la carte restaurant. We first tried Sir George, but since was 20 minutes late they cancelled our reservation.
The next day we woke up early around 7sh. We stopped by the lobby to make reservation for later that night, before heading out to gym. No reservations left as Sir George is a small restaurant and only times left was early 6PM. We went for Flamingos steak; felt the food was a tad bit mediocre. After eating at flamingos a la carte decided to just eat at the Buffet for the rest of the stay, since they had something for everyone.
-GYM: The first time we went to the gym. We where not allowed inside, because we didn't have a sweat towel. They had a water pitcher, but no water bottles. Machines include: 1 Elliptical, 2 treadmills, 2 bikes and other weigh lifting machines. Its ok if your like me that likes to do 15-30 min of each, but there where people that didn't use any other machines other than the elliptical or treadmill. Making it hard for the rest of us. Oh, and some machines where not working. Asked Gym/Spa desk clerk of which was no help.
-Spa: Jacuzzi and Sauna are included in the inclusive plan, but have to make reservations (6 max). They had 2 jacuzzis one which was too hot to even stand in and the other too cold.
-Drinks: I am really into the martinis, vampiros, tequila sunrise, screwdrivers, etc., I gave up asking for drinks I was use to ordering here because every time I did they where disgusting. The Cosmo Martini had chocolate syrup and taste like fruit syrup. Recommend: Pina Coladas, Alfonso 13, Margaritas.
-Courtyards: We had read we only get 1 towel per day. Towel lady on our first 3 days, would trade our wet for dry ones. It wasn't till the 4th that was a different lady and didn't trade our wet ones for dry ones.
-Considering we had children, we stayed in the Kids pool. Clean and spacious. The only downer is that it had older kids around there 13s and where tossing cups hitting one of our family members in the head and none of the employees kept piece. It was upsetting because we had our kids in there and those older kids where not considerate of others..
-Night entertainment was amazing. Love it!!! The only recommendation is to get there early enough to get good sitting, specially if have a big family.
-Pacha Night club: Was ok, the dance english music wasn't up to date. Felt the songs needed a little bit of base to give that nightclub feeling. Overall, eh; ok. They played different genres. Tons of teenagers here, but after they started to play Mexican country music they started to disappear ..ha ha ha
-Beach: Clean and tons of sitting near the palm trees. Limited chairs w/umbrellas in front of ocean. We tried to get Canoes/Kayaks but where always occupied.
-Lobby: Nice and clean. Strange that Wi Fi isn't unlimited. You only get 90 min total per day and only works in the lobby. To obtain Wi Fi need to get in special website. Apple products go through Safari; Front desk has a paper that guides you.
Overall, Great resort. My Family Loved it. Water bottles are always available at the lobby. Bars did tend to be severely overcrowded.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

We stayed for one week from 7/10 to 7/17; family – 2 adults, 3 kids (ages 13, 11,10). We had reserved this place 5 month before. The hotel portion of our trip was about $2,200. We got a family room (2 large beds with a small table and 2 chairs; small balcony) on the same level and close to the lobby (room #1080). The room was ready and clean when we arrived there around 3:30 pm. Our room had good and bad features. Good: minimal stairs required to go anywhere; no need for elevator; quiet, away from the music by the adult pool and night band music; view of the mountains. Bad: view of the next hotel’s parking lot; no view of beach or oean. Overall, our room was good - A/C, small frig, and tv worked great. The toilet didn’t flush once but seemed to fix itself. Beds were firm, but comfortable. We always left the ceiling fan on while we slept to feel a small breeze. The room did not small musty to me. The in-room liquor dispenser was a plus, but hardly used. The four types of alcohol tasted cheap. Frig was restocked. Bottled water was always available at lobby front desk; you need to ask for it.

You are given two keys – one for your room (with a big rectangular key holder) and the other for the in-room safe. I recommend not having then together on the same key holder because if you lose them both, whoever finds them can then get into your room and steel the stuff from your safe. We always used the in-room safe. We did not leave anything of value out in the room when we left the room. I highly recommend taking large safety pins and pinning the safe key to some piece of clothing you are wearing or beach bag. If you lose the safe key, they charge $60 for someone to come to your room and drill out the safe lock. The safe is big enough to fit a regular size iPad and a bunch of other little stuff and medium sized camera. You are also given a towel card. Towels were always available when we needed them.

This is the beginning of the rainy season. It was always overcast in the morning, but usually cleared up by the afternoon. It was good to get a break from the direct sun. I recommend putting on sunscreen on a regular bases because you are continuously sweating it off – it’s so humid. It usually rained late at night. It always felt muggy outside and in the outside restaurants and bars, but get used to it.

This hotel is far away from downtown PV where the Malecon (boardwalk) is and other shops, bars, restaurants, discos, and history are (at least 40 min drive). It’s a good $25 to $40 cab ride to downtown PV, depending on the group size and type of taxi taken (small un-air conditioned car vs. large air conditioned van). You can take the locak public bus into downtown PV. We tried it one Sunday morning but got tired of waiting around for the bus. Supposidely, they pass about every half hour. The front desk can give you a schedule. I recommend you do your shopping in Buceria, which is a small town north of the hotel, less than 10 min cab ride.

Supposedly, this is the low season. It may be low for foreigners visiting the hotel, but it was high for the locals. It was %98 locals and %2 from US, Canada and other European countries. This was about the same ratio of people in other nearby hotels next to ours. I would guess that the local clientele was low-middle to upper-middle class – same as us - with their kids, iphones, camcorders and ipads trying to enjoy their vacation. I did not see any excess drinking or rudeness going on, as reported by others. There are some smokers. We always felt safe. The staff was always friendly and polite although not always effective. My wife said she saw some sort of manager acting very arrogant to a customer (not sure what the situation was). I asked for an extra trash can for the room one night, but never got it. My wife and I both spoke Spanish.

The style of our room (an entire hotel) is in art deco. I loved it. I wouldn’t say its outdated, like some people have mentioned before. That’s just the style. I didn’t notice any excessively worn furniture. Overall the hotel is very beautiful; nice paintings and architecture all around. There are always people cleaning. There is no room service. The few times we called the front desk for help (needed more hangers; toilet not flushing; room cleaning), they were slow to non-responsive. Room cleaning for us always came early in the morning. Some days when we slept in, the room wouldn’t get cleaned until the afternoon. No big deal. They don't want you taking food from the restaurants to your room. When two of of our kids where sick for 1.5 days, we tried to bring simple food back to the room, but were told we couldn’t. But after we explained that it was for our sick kids, they let us.

Hotel food is good! Lots of choices in the buffet restaurants. We went to all three “reservation required” restaurants (Steak House, Nirvana, Sir George) as well, more than once. When you make reservations, you can reserve up to two restaurants. As recommended by others, try to make your reservation early. Although it is not required. On the day we got there I was able to make reservations for two different restaurants at abour 4:30 pm. We always went for the early opening – 6 or 6:30 pm. The fried ice cream dessert at Nirvana is great!!. The steaks at the Steak House are not that think, but they’re good, especially with the oil and garlic sauce they give you. Sir George is the fanciest. I forget what we ordered, but the food comes out looking good. My son loved the different flavored icecream at Don Rafael. Breakfast is a mad house in Don Rafael. If you can, go early to beat the crowds. If you go anytime after 9 am, it is crazy. I did not see any fancy sea food – lobster, crab, big prawns. None of us got sick from the hotel food (two of my kids got sick from food in central PV).

There are snack availbe at the sports bar 24 hrs. We didn't try the re-heated hotdogs and hambergars. The fruit trays and noches did the job for thos late night snack urges.

The gym is good. I worked out three times and all the equipment I used worked. They don’t have the latest gym workout machines available, but they do the job. There are no free weights. You are required to wear tenny shoes. I went jogging one morning on the beach around 8 am. There are a lot of people out by then walking up and down the beach.

There are two pools: adults and kids. Since we had kids, we hung out at the kids pools only. It is super crowed. We were never able to find lounge chairs right next to the pool. The adult pools seems to have more chairs available. Usually, after about an hour or so at the kids pool, we would head down to the beach. The kids pool definitely got cloudy by the afternoon.

Our fun centered around hanging out at the beach and playing in the waves. We definitely enjoyed the beach more than the pool. The water is warm and you can go several yards out without it getting too deep. I always kept an eye out on my kids though. The sand is fine to course and the water is green and murky (you can’t see past your hand) - typical pacific ocean water. The waves pick up in the afternoon. You could always find a lounge chair at the beach under the palm trees. Lounge chair conditions varied from new to old and worn. You could move the lounge chairs closer to the water if you wanted. Beach umbrellas were available to rent $10/all day (outside vendor). There are some vendors on the beach, but not many. A plus was the drink service from the beach. It helps to tip the waiters. They need more waiters at the beach. We enjoyed the boogie boards and kayaks provided by the hotel. You need to check them out and have reservations for the kayaks. I tried the Hobbie sailboat one day. It was fun, especially because it was windy that afternoon. You do need to pass a “test” before they let you take it out by yourself. I recommend reserving the test time and take out time in the morning at 9 am at the sailboat shack, for the afternoon. Unfortunately, if there’s no wind in the afternoon, you’re out of luck. Two thumbs up for Francisco at the sailboat shack. He really bent over backwards to give me a test and sail time one afternoon, even though I wasn’t scheduled. Watch out for the waves, they can get big. I lost my sunglasses due to a big wave at the beach. We did rent jet skies twice. Expensive - $60/30 minutes. Those were really fun for my kids; it was their first time. You can go on long walks along the beach, both north and south of the hotel. We only walked north. The more north you walk, especially past the big hotels, the dirtier the beach gets - from both human (plastic, paper) and ocean (wood) waste.

My kids participated in some activities - dart throwing one day; they had fun. We saw ping-pong, water polo, soccer, volley ball activities as well, but they didn’t want to participate. I think most of the kids activities are before lunch and we didn’t make much of an effort to go to those because we were still getting up and trying to have breakfast.

We did not do any excursions. They all seemed expensive to begin with (for a family of 5). The zip line tour seemed the most exciting, but some of my kids weren’t too sure about it. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money for them just to sit around.

The night shows are great! They start at 9 pm and have a different theme every night – from professional dancers to audience participation. Go early to get a good seat. Plan on being there at 8 to get a good seat. Relax, play cards and have a couple drinks while you wait. We liked all the shows. For it being a "family show", some of the dancers do show a lot of skin. If you have young kids, they can participate in kids activities on the stage around 8 pm.

There is a live band that plays afterwards, at 10 pm, but we didn’t stay. By that time, our kids were tired and we went back to our room. From past reviews, I was expecting the band to play in the center part of the hotel, outside, but they did not. I think because of the predictable rain at night, they moved the band to the stage where the shows are performed.

There is a small disco below the stage. Good music, youg crowd. I didn’t dance, but if you’re into that, it fun. I did not go to the disco at Riu Jalisco to be able to compare.

We did go twice to the Riu Jalisco to try out their pools and lunch buffets. The Riu Jalisco is two resorts north on the beach – 10 min walk along the beach. Their kid’s pool was less crowed - we actually got some lounge chairs next to the pool. Kids could go into their adult pool. I think the Riu Vallarta lunch buffet is better than the Riu Jalisco. The Riu Jalisco is an older hotel but it has a more Mexican architecture and charm. From one of the waiters, the Riu Jalisco is going to be shut down for renovation soon.

Overall I would rate our family vacation pretty good. I don't believe they are a 5 star hotel. I was expecting a less crowded hotel during this time with better front desk customer service. The other staff (bar tenders, activity coordinators) really works work to accomadate the enourmous amount of guests they receive. The reason we picked this hotel was because of its relative low price and location on a long strech of beach. We would not go back to this hotel (at least with kids). Maybe next time, we will spend a little more money on a smaller hotel, that's not so crowded, in a different location, with a better view of the beach/ocean.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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19 reviews 19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013 via mobile

This place was absolutley beautiful. The customer service was over the top. You are treated like royalty here. The food was amazing, including the buffet. The pools were big and spacious. Hardly saw any kids around. The best part of my stay was the room service that was included in the "all inclusive". French toast, and mimosas every morning brought to our room while sitting on our balcony looking at the ocean.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Edmonton, Canada
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

March 2013 This is the 5 th Riu Hotel I have stayed at and it was one of the nicest so far I have found the RIU's to be very good value. Pureto Vallarta...is amazing...loved the area, hot weather, mountains...the beach is huge and the water was warm! Hotel was impressive! it is like a palace , designed to look like it was from the 1920-30's. When you stay at this hotel you can play at the Riu Jalisco.All the Riu's are on the same beach...a 10 minute walk. The beach is huge! and the sand is powder soft. Very cool is that the sand lapping up on the beach is black with gold running through it..I have never seen more beautiful sand anywhere. Rooms, very nice..a bit older but still very nice...marble through out. We stayed in a Junior Suite...well worth it! Ocean Front...killer balcony and view of the ocean and grounds. Two pools..one for adults and one for kids...this is great .I went with my sister in law and although the hotel was almost full. The separation at the pools between families and adults made it easy to relax. Service and staff was excellent. The buffet has a great selection and food was very good. We ate at the buffet almost every day. ..loved being outside on the terrace. Entertainment was very good.. huge outdoor covered theater, with tables and chairs..very nice and relaxing, along with live bands playing in the courtyard by the big bar...till midnight so fun! dancing etc...adults and families. Riu entertainment staff do a great job of keeping everyone entertained. The disco was nice but they have a shuttle to take you to the clubs in PV every night at 11pm...we didn't go but those that did had a great time The spa is very nice!! check out the hidden roman hot tubs and the massages were great. The gym is small but has all you need. For fun we did the ADVENTURE tour...Zip line and rappel...it was so exciting.!! top notch experience from the start on the zodiac down the coastline to the beach where Predator was filmed..up a mountain on a mule...then zip line ..across mountain peaks to rappelling down waterfalls...Absolutely worth the $80 ...you will be thrilled....there was a 10 year old and 70 year old in our group..all had fun..but it was challenging. I will check out Riu Palace or the Jalisco next year. The Riu Jalisco is now being renovated and will be looking fresh and new in 2014. If you decide to go to the RIU Palace you can play at all 3! Riu's have never let me down.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Clarita, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

For our annual trip we decided to visit the Riu in Puerto vallarta. I base most of our trips on reviews. I was curios and wanted a resort feel rather than the excluded hotels.
Now where do I start. The hotel itself is HUGE and very clean I have to say. I loved the decor and atmosphere. All the staff were very friendly and accommodating.
Our room was clean, smelled great and always serviced to perfection (and when we were down by the pool, no interruptions)
Food: I did like, they had a couple of restaurants but only two were open the whole time we were there which sucked but still enjoyed the other two.
Pool: was great but soooooooo many kids. maybe when I have kids it wont bug me as much.
The last couple of days were not so great because I felt nauseated. Maybe because I was eating the buffet food which has so many different options and you end up with a full plate and a variety. NOT blaming hotel. But overall is was nice. Would I visit again. NO. We are into secluded hotels now, maybe well change our minds later when kids are in the picture.Have traveling.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 2
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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:
#5 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#9 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#13 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-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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