I travel to the Riu Vallarta from Nov 22 – Dec 6th with my fiancé and 25 of our friends and family. I was slightly concerned given the constant negative reviews on trip advisor but I was very happy overall with my experience. Obviously if you are looking for something to complain about you can find it anywhere you stay. The resort its self is a little on the older side and yes they can use some updating, but that’s like every resort in Mexico! So here is the breakdown on what my experience was like:
Arrival: Once we cleared customs we were directed to find our Sunwing representative outside. We found her without any hassle and were immediately given our wristbands for the resort and were quickly checked in on the bus. The drive from the airport is about 15-20 minutes total which isn’t that bad because I have had some bus rides that take upwards of 2 hours to arrive at your resort.
Check in: Like I stated we were pretty much checked in before we even arrived at the resort. Once we arrived there was a huge table with everyone’s room keys on them and complimentary welcome cocktails (they were yummy!) There were a couple mistakes with rooms and names but they were quickly rectified by hotel management.
Rooms: We received the master suite as a complimentary upgrade due to our wedding. The room was AMAZING! I have never stayed in a room that nice EVER! Everything was clean and tidy and ready for us to move in ;) …..Our rooms were cleaned daily and nothing was ever taken or stolen. People complain about the fact that you have a safe key but we quickly fixed that problem by hiding it in a special place in our room, no hassle, no worry! The room keys do have your room number on them so keep them safe. If you are smart you can just bring a small bag or something and keep your key in there and you shouldn’t have any problems finding or loosing it!
Pools Given the fact that we were there with all adults and no children we did not use the “kids pool” but it did look clean and it did look fun if you had kids. The adults pool (like most resorts) was clean in the morning but by the time they closed it (6pm) you could definitely see the sunscreen floating on the top of the pool. One piece advise I can give is don’t hang around the pool bar if you don’t need to as you will notice no one ever gets out ;) …..if you know what I mean….DONT PUT YOUR HEAD UNDER THE WATER BY THE POOL BAR! Lol Overall the games, entertainment and music at the pool were always high energy and entertaining which was nice
Food Ok, the food the first couple of days was not bad but about a week into your trip I will guarantee that you will get sick of the buffet so definitely use your al la carte restaurant reservations to break it up! Given the size of our group it was quiet difficult to make reservations for everyone at once so we didn’t do any of the al la cartes together unfortunately. You can only make reservations for the restaurants between 8am-2pm daily and you can only book a couple days in advance. My favorite al la carte was the steak house (which was where our wedding dinner was held). It’s funny because most people reviewing the restaurants said that was the worst! Guess its all in perspective. The food and service was great and I couldn’t have been happier given the fact that it was my wedding! We made reservations once the group left at Sir Georges. WORST EXPERIENCE EVER!! We had reservations for 7:30pm and unfortunately the only day the spa could get us in for our couples massage was the same day as the restaurant reservations, so we had to rush from the spa all greased up to the restaurant. When we arrived (on time) they said please come back at 8:00pm…we were like OK? So we sat outside and waited went back at 8:00pm then they told us 8:30pm….so at this point we were quiet annoyed…..we walked out….THEY LOCKED THE DOORS OF THE RESTURANT!? So we sat in the courtyard watching numerous people who Im sure had reservations for the times they were arriving struggle with the door and look very confused, then they just walked away…..Not sure if they ever did come back. We were lined up waiting for the restaurant to unlock and open their doors. At 8:45pm they finally unlocked the doors and let us in. It took them almost half an hour just to serve us bread and take our order. Our reservations were originally at 7:30pm we didn’t even get our appetizers until 9:45pm! Not the best service either. The waiter looked like he absolutely hated his job and acted like we were annoying him? ANYWAYS, I blocked that from my memory for the rest of the vacation so the rest of my trip wasn’t soured. We went to the Asian restaurant which was nice (buffet style) the food was great. You have to try the deep fried ice-cream! SOOOOOOO YUMMY! Service was good as well. No complaints there. There are 2 main buffets. If you like breakfast then I would suggest getting to breakfast before 8:30am, all the food is hot and fresh and they still have bacon! It’s funny how much people like bacon. By 9am daily the bacon was GONE! Another thing, if you like ketchup (like I do) make sure you just ask one of the waiter’s for real ketchup…..they hide it and people who don’t know any better get stuck using catsup! YUCK!
Disco The disco was fun when all of our friends and family were there as we basically took over the club. It opens at 11pm after all the nightly shows and music is done and closes at 2am. I did notice the noise as a lot of people have mentioned. You can hear the disco if you are on the same side as its location. As for the nightly music it wasn’t that bad as long as you kept the sliding door closed. If you are a light sleeper BRING EARPLUGS! You will honestly use them. They played newer dance music and the bartenders were great! Once our group was gone it was quite dead so we didn’t really go after everyone left.
Bars As everyone knows if you tip you get good service. Most of the bartenders were quick to get out the drink orders but I do feel they probably could have used more at night time as they did look quite swamped. The swim-up bartenders were great! Pablo, Alfredo & Angel WE MISS YOU!!!! They were hilarious and always smiled and were very friendly which made our experience that much better! Make sure you tip these people! They work HARD and definitely don’t get the money they deserve!
Entertainment The entertainment staff works constantly! I saw them day and night and they were always high energy and always smiling even if they have already been there for 16+ hours! Alan, Jimmy, Gabo & DJ Corona, YOU GUYS ROCK!! So happy to have nice, friendly & smiling staff. You guys were the highlight of my & my groups trip THANK YOU! The daily / nightly games/ shows they put on were GREAT! I give Alan props! He was there 6 days a week 16+ hours a day and you could never tell. He was always on and ready to go. The best show they did while I was there was the women vs. men; HILARIOUS! My husband and I participated in it and Alan thought we were hilarious! (We are quite competitive! Lol……women lost but only by default (STUPID UNDERWEAR!) lol never mind if you watch it you will see what I am talking about! Lol
Excursions We did 4 excursions while we were there and they were all GREAT! We did the Yelpa Snorkel Tour, The Puerto Vallarta/ Tequila Tour, The Rhythms of the Night Tour and the Extreme Outdoor Adventure Tour. The Yelpa tour was low key and nice for the older people and hung-over people of the group lol. They take you to a waterfall and let you snorkel in a small bay and give you booze, lunch and some on board entertainment, made for a great day! The Puerto Vallarta/Tequila Tour was good as well, you get to go through Puerto Vallarta to the shops and then you get a small stop at the arches then you are severed lunch at a nice location then it’s off to the Tequila Tour. Honestly I have been all over Mexico and tried numerous different types of tequila; this place BY FAR had the best Tequila I ever had….I honestly wish I bought more. If you are into Tequila you have to go to this place, IT’S AMAZING! Another excursions we did was a night one and it is a MUST SEE (Read my review on that) it’s through Vallarta Adventures and it’s out of this world! Last but not least was the Extreme Outdoor Adventure Tour we did. MOST FUN I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE! If you are into extreme thrills GO GO GO!! (You can also read my review on that) All of our tours were booked through Sunwing and were all done through Vallarta Adventures, GREAT COMPANY!
Wedding My wedding was the best day of my life! I know its cliché to say but it really was and it wouldn’t have been possible if the management and wedding planner (Lidia) weren’t as great as they were! Lidia was amazing and so friendly and on the ball! She was easy to talk to and really made my day that much extra special. Everything was planned via email so I was nervous, but if you are getting married at this resort DO NOT WORRY, they WILL take care of you! Everything was exactly the way we planned it and then some! The colors, flowers, dinner & photos/video were more then I could have ever imaged or asked for! Aldo was my photographer and he definitely has a knack for what he does. He had an eye for every photo and wasn’t letting me leave until we got the shots that he knew I would love! The videographer was great as well the video he put together is AMAZING and it definitely brought tears to my husband and my eyes when we watched it. BEAUTFUL, AMAZING! I can’t even put into words how happy I am with the way the photos and video turned out! Definitely 10 out of 10 for the wedding day for the staff and photographers! My cake was so good too! I thank the baker for that. I swear it was the first wedding cake in the history of wedding cakes that was completely finished! The spa was great as well. They were more then accommodating the day of the wedding. They had everyone ready (hair, makeup & nails) on time and ready to go. They did a great job as well! No touch up’s required! We did a lantern release on the beach with everyone that was there and it was a great decision; it turned out better then I thought it was going to! If you are getting married at this resort that is something I would recommend looking into!
Thank you to everyone that read this all the way to the bottom as I have rambled on for quite sometime! I definitely would recommend this resort, and I never go to the same resort twice, but Riu Vallarta I WILL BE BACK!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE BEAUTIFUL AND MEMERABLE EXPERIENCE THAT I WILL TREASURE FOREVER! So everyone GO!! This resort will not disappoint! Xoxoxoxoxoxo
- Also Known As:
- Riu Vallarta Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
- Riu Vallarta
- Riu Vallarta Hotel Nuevo
- Riu Vallarta Nuevo
- 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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