We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Riu Vallarta” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Vallarta

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 5 more sites!
You added Hotel Riu Vallarta to your Saves list
Hotel Riu Vallarta
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Av de Los Cocoteros S/N | Lote Hotelero G, Nuevo Vallarta 63732, Mexico   |  
Hotel website
Hotel packages
Hotel deals
Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Ranked #14 of 27 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Calgary Alberta
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Riu Vallarta”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2007

I have to say this Hotel is not what the one writer said it was, it makes me wonder if they were at the same hotel. The adult pool was extremely clean and i would know i was there everyday. The service is outstanding, and the staff work hard to keep you happy. The ala carte restaurants are NOT hard to get into, and the
steak house was my favourite. The rooms do not have bugs, I think that writer brought his own, they were clean and lovely and cared for by the maids. Whatever we wanted we got, and a call to the room to ensure we were happy. The elevators worked excellent, very prompt and we never waited for one to arrive for more than one minute. We had a corner room on the 5th floor, with a beautiful view of the ocean and mountains. The entertainment was just ok, nothing special. If you do decide to go the Puerto Vallarta for dinner/lunch try my favourite, Le Dolce Vita, always consistent with excellent service and food.
Hint, try the food next door at the Jalisco for a change, it's excellent.

Stayed February 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,895 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
See reviews for
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 (801)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Commerce, Michigan
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2007

We just returned from a 10 day stay at the Riu Vallarta.We have been visiting PVR for winter vacations for the last 14 years, staying at a variety of all inclusives. Overall, we enjoyed our stay. However, while we realize this is a mid range resort and we would not expect the level of service to be that of the Grand Velas or even the Vallarta Palace (but check their rates), this Riu has a long way to go in terms of reaching a mid level guest service rating. This lack of service may be due in part to their only having been opened for two months.

FOOD: Average all inclusive food. You will not go hungry. It will become repetitious, but a visit or two to the many fine restaurants in PVR or the several restaurants in nearby Buscerias will break up the monotony. Cab to PVR is $18, to Bucerias $7.

At the Riu buffet restaurant, there was generally no one present to greet and to seat you, so you were on your own to find a clean table. A staff person would eventually fill the water glass and offer you red or white wine from a pitcher. This was usually the last you saw of them other than when flying by to pick up dirty dishes. They seemed under staffed. The wine was terrible and many virtually untouched wine glasses were observed as guest left after finishing their meals.

Sir George is the only real ala carte restaurant, with reservations being required to be made on the same morning. Early seatings for Sir George require you to be downstairs before 7:30 am. Infact, we had an early departure and when we came down at 6:50 am , they were already lined up for reservations. I suspect there are early risers that are making reservations on multiple occassions, making it difficult for other guests to make reservations. Most all inclusives limit the number of visits to their ala carte restaurants. The lamb chops were thin and over cooked. The pasta dish I was told was very good. The wine was drinkable, coming from a bottle. We felt hurried in our meal, the staff being anxious to set up for the next sitting. This is the only restarant with a dress code (no shorts, t-shirts, or sandals for men). Also no children.

Nirvana restaurnat is an oriental buffet with average food. California rolls were pretty good. It is unclear why reservations are required or why they place a menu on the table to tell you what is available at the buffet. The Flamingo (steakhouse), where reservations are also required, is ala carte only to the extent of ordering your main course. Otherwise, it 's buffet lines for starters,soups, desserts,ect. The rib eye was very good. The "half chicken" turned out to be a set of chicken legs. Again they appeared under staffed at this restaurant.

ROOMS: Our junior suite was of ample seize, nicely decorated and furnished, and worth the $20 per night extra over a standard room. Housekeeeping was a headache, as we were constantly missing towels or washclothes, requiring calls to the front desk which to their credit would have the missing towels/washclothes delivered. We were leaving a $2 tip (which continued at my wife's insistence), although this obviously did not result in even average level of service.The room also seemed to be only minimally cleaned (as opposed to the public areas whose beautiful marbled surfaces were being constanly being scrubbed and polished). Unlike the Riu Jalisco, this facility does not have excessive noise problems. Once the nightly shows end at 11:00 pm noise is not an issue. If you are bored and have nothing else to do, go to these shows not expecting much and you will not be dissapointed. Yes, the animation staff works hard, but that doesn't make these shows even remotely good.

BEACH: As with all of Nuevo Vallarta, the Riu sits on a beautiful beach, but don't expect white sand and crystal clear blue water of the Carribean. The Riu does not have palapas and relies on newly planted palm trees for shade on the beach. These palms have not spread open much, so provide limited shade. You will have to do a lot of moving around to stay in the shade and if this is important you may be better off in the pool area where umbrellas are available. Plenty of loungers. One of the few times I have seen a resort with more than enough. Unfortuneately, unlike most resorts, no bar service at the beach (or pool area to my knowledge). This means walking across the beach, up about 20 stairs, and then across the pool area to the beach bar, which makes the worst drinks among the bars at the resort (no complaints with other bars, good service and good drinks). Not suprisingly, serious drinkers were observed to be having their drinks placed into traveling mugs to minimize these long journeys from the beach.

OVERALL: Nice rooms, beautiful common areas (as with most resorts in this area), and the laid back atmosphere of Nuevo Vallarta (which compares to a suburban area, if you want city activities - bars, restaurants, clubs - stay closer to PVR). The level of service at the Riu Vallarta needs to be greatly improved and perhaps will be once they have been opened longer.

  • Liked — Room and beautiful grounds of resort
  • Disliked — Poor level of service
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2007

My wife and I booked 10 days at RIU Vallarta, 01/23/07-02/02/07. We go to Mexico every year, and for the last 3 years have stayed at RIU's. Never again at RIU Vallarta. There was absolutley no service, it was unfriendly and rude at times. You could clearly tell that the resort employees were very unhappy. The food was by far the worst I have ever encountered in Mexico. We had raw food on 4 occasions. Bloody chicken, and pork, Fish that was raw. We could not get service in the main restaraunt. We could not get reservations in the specialty restaraunts. We found out later if you tip Milldred (reservationist) you could get in with no problem. After going to a manager on the third day to see why we could not get in, he did get us in to Sir George. My wife got very sick that night from the food. We didn't try agian after that. Many guests were complaining about the same issues. The adult pool was dirty, full of sand, leaves, not up to 5 star standard by no means. The drinks were so weak, you have to ask for doubles all the time. You do have to ask for upper shelf otherwise you get the nasty stuff. On the 8th day is was apparent that there was some sort of employee stirke. As none of the morning staff showed up. The managers were running around frantically trying to do their jobs. My Apple rep was very good, and tried to help me with the Hotel manager ( Omar). Omar was so rude to me and to the Apple rep. Our Apple rep told us that the Sunquist rep had so many customer complaints that Omar called Sunquist and told them he wanted a different rep at the hotel. That will solve the customer complaints - not!! Omar told me to fill out a cusotmer complaint form, but he did not want to give it to me, he made me go get it. I never heard back from any management. For 9 days the elevator was broke. There were bugs in our room. We had to steal TP from the bathroom in the lobby. The day I made the complaint we did not get our room cleaned. All I can say is never never again at the RIU VAllarta. Very Dissapointed Dallas from Chicago.

Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2007

We stayed at the Riu Vallarta for one week in late January and just returned on 2-2-07. The resort is very lovely and staffed with hard working, friendly and helpful employees. The facility itself is brand new. Food is all buffet in all 4 restuarants and is above average to excellent. Fresh fruits every day, soups and varying menus each day in the main dining areas. Our room on the eighth floor, although described as a run of the house room, allowed us a great ocean view and beautiful sunsets. Beach is filled with lounge chairs and has a nice sand beach. A few vendors pass by on the beach. Entertainment provided nightly was average although the professional Mexican dancing was excellent. Other evenings were filled with Riu staff entertaining which was mediocre. As for location of the facility, it is north of Puerto Vallarta and costs about $18 to take a taxi, one way or by public bus, about $3 per person. A small town of Bucerias (one hour north by beach from Riu Vallarta) or $7 by taxi is a small typical Mexican town, complete with vendors and small oceanside restuarants. We enjoyed this area for several day trips. All in all, we enjoyed our stay and would recommend the Riu Vallarta to others.

Stayed February 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2007

We stayed at the Riu Vallarta Jan 24 to 31st/07. We travel extensively to all inclusive resorts and we have been on a number of cruises in the last few years. After reading the reviews we were at first hesitant to book the trip at the Riu but we had previous experience with the Riu Caribe in Cancun in October and it was all great there , so we booked on our own via the last minute club and we got a great deal. We live in Toronto, Canada and it was time to get out of the cold and get some R and R. Again we were very impressed with the RIU chain. Please read on and make your decision should you wish to stay at this brand new resort.

SERVICE - All staff tried to speak as much Eng as they could and we used our limited Spanish. A smile and small tips from us went a long way. We always left our maid 2or 3 US$ and that came back at us in extra towels, blankets, mattress toppers, service,etc. Anything we asked for we received in no time. Bartenders were polite and if you wanted extra shots you got it and just ask for premium brands ( Smirnoff, Barcardi, etc. ) Sorry no Canadian Club, but hey that was OK. They made Bloody Marys like our Ceasars here in Canada.They were pretty good and spicy!

ROOMS - We booked a junior suite, well worth the extra $240 Canadian. It overlooked the ocean on the 9th floor . Ask for the rooms directly facing the ocean and not the sides of the building via email proir to your trip. Sunken living/sitting area with sofa was great. Decor is exceptional and beautiful. I loved the towel art, the animal creations are a fav of mine. The rooms were immaculate, bathroom has double sinks, jacuzzi tub, and the king bed was comfortable. We asked for a mattress topper ( egg crate ) The nights were cool so we put an extra blanket on top of the egg crate and that was all we needed for comfort . Take a sweater or light jacket for mornings and evenings.We left the balcony door open at night and pulled the top blanket over top of us. It was wonderful listening to the ocean and the waves crashing. Note that the entertainment square is directly below so it will get noisy at times. We enjoyed watching from our balcony all of the events, dancing, singing, etc. and especially the romantic sunsets. We have been married 27 years , just retired thankfully at 50 years of age and the sunsets still set the tone!

TOURS - We did the ATV tour with the Sunquest rep advising us. It was amazing, hot, dirty/dusty, and fun. We had a riot going through the mountains on our double ATV visiting the tequilla factory, sampling it and moving on to the small mexican towns. Four hour tour left at 8:30 a.m and we were back at the hotel by 1 p.m. ready for a swim. Cost was $50 US each. We also went into town on our own, via taxi $18 US. Great shoe shopping and fine clothing in off of the main boardwalk area. Shopping was a pleasure, no one begging or bother ing you as you browsed. Not like other cities or countries we have been to. Watch out for the time share agents! The sunquest agent was great, and there are a lot of other agents available all day in the main lobby to assist you.

RECEPTION DESK/LOBBY- Very accomodating and friendly. We landed at 1:09 p.m. in PV, we took a taxi from the airport ( $25 US ) and we were in our junior suite at 2:30 p.m. That was quick and easy. We were prepared to wait until at least 3 p.m. which is check in time, but it was our lucky day. The lobby is breathtaking. Everything is so new, clean, vibrant and tasteful. We often sat having a cocktail in the early evening or a coffee in the morning just people watching in the lobby. They also served drinks to you while you waited in line at the main desk when checking in and if you had to wait long in any line that was rare. The lobby washrooms were also so clean and decorated beautifully. The hallways on each floor had prints hanging every couple of feet!! I have not seen that before except on the ships when we cruise. Tile work, art work and attention to detail is very impressive.

ENTERTAINMENT & FOOD - Mariachi band, Flamingo dancers and pool side events, entertainment were exceptional. The late night stage performances were OK. We didn't go to them all but what we did see was fun. The staff work tirelessly to make it happen musically and they provide a lot of variety. It is too bad that it doesn't start until 9:30 p.m., as many are getting tired after a long day of tours and/or sun at the pool or beach. We enjoyed shopping in the main promenade at night as well. The tables were set up just after sunset and there until around 10 p.m. The food was plentiful and better than OK. Lots of choices but for us many dishes were too salty. Once you get to know your way around the buffet stations you will be fine. Breakfasts are exceptional at the main buffet. Lunch at the beach side restaurant was great, try the pasta bar area with the fresh sauces! We particularly liked Sir Georges speciality restaurant. I could have eaten there every night but you have to be smart to swing that one. We know people that did and we managed a few extra evenings as well. They will tell you that you are limited to one night only at each of the three restaurants. We did not care for the steak house and we did not go to the Asian one, so we got creative with our excuses to book @ Sir Georges! The crab bisque, fillet of beef, the lamb, the presentation and service were tops. You get better wine there too. The wine everywhere else was awful. There is a dress code at this restaurant, no shorts or sandals for men, but I saw some get away with it at the late seating. Best coffee was at the sports bar open 24 hours. My husband got our coffee for us everyday around 6:30 a.m. and brought it to our room. We had them fill our thermos cups so that we could enjoy ours on our balcony .No room service was a problem but you get use to it. We just took fresh fruit and some sandwiches to our room everyday from the sports bar and put them in our fridge. We stayed clear of the old hotdogs and hamburgers .Fully stocked frig in your rooms is the norm - beer, pop, water. Liquor dispensors are on the wall.

POOLS/BEACH/WEATHER - Pool water was cool but refreshing. Weather was in the low 80's, mostly sunny everyday we were there. Beach was clean and ocean was warmer than the pools. It is however not the Carribean crystal clear turquoise water I love. Beach venders were polite, and not aggressive. You can walk for miles and over to the Riu Jalisco if you want. Lots of chairs, towel service, umbrellas, etc. Tight security on kids not being allowed in the adult pool. I loved that! They had their own pool with slides.
Pool area was very clean, flowers everywhere, entertainment great. Staff come out in costumes constantly to visit with the guests and get you to join in their upcoming events. The beach party the second day we arrived was complete with outdoor buffet, drinks, balloons, dancing contests, and staff in traditional costumes. Balconys have a neat drying rack for wet bathing suits and clothing.

OVERALL - We were so pleased that we did not listen to the overwelming negative reviews. Yes it is a new resort and it has a few kinks to work on... the water does go hot/cold and they could add a bit more quality to their buffet food, but for the dollars we spent we got a great deal. This is a 5 star brand new resort for a 3 star price. We got more than we paid for, we were pleasantly suprised and we got lots of R&R. We will book at another RIU in the future.

  • Liked — cleanliness and service
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2007

Ok, first I have to admit I was very apprehensive about the Riu Vallarta. I too, found a "Hot Deal" from K.C. and then started reading the negative reviews.

My husband and I are in our mid 50"s and we traveled with another couple in their late 40's. We left K.C. MO on January 17th and it was 1 degree! Arrived in PV and it was 80 degrees warmer!! What's not to love! We booked through Fun Jet and we highly recomend them and the service that we had from their representive, Hector. We were on a bus to the resort within minutes and checked into our room within one hour of arriving. As suggested, I emailed for an upper room with an ocean view. We received a room on the second floor (2029) facing the roof top of the stage. I asked to be changed. They said because this room was ready immediately, we could have it now and would be able to change the next day. My husband said the room was fine and we stayed there the week. However, our room had 1 king and 1 double bed. It was larger then most standard rooms. We always took the stairs and never had to wait on an elevator. (The one on our wing was not working.) Yes, the beds are firm, but we actually liked them and so did our friends. Our room was cleaned every day. They work so hard! Cleaning sand is an endless job! Also, we never had any unpleasant odors.

The resort is beautiful and immaculate! We had wonderful service. I'm not sure what some people want. At the restaurants we had excellent service. The staff is so friendly. They work so hard. We came especially aquainted with Kuco. He is a 21 year old from Argentina and is part of the animation staff. Look for him-he is the tall one with long curly hair. They work 12 hours a day-7 days a week! Such enthusiasm and love of life! He spoke Spanish, English, some Italian and French and is self taught! What an inspiration!

Now this was our first time at an all inclusive resort. We have gone on 2 cruises and prefer the dining service on the dinner cruises. We were able to book all 3 restaurants on the first morning. No one was in line and only the Flamingo Steak house was busy in the evenings. My favorite meal was the Mexican Restaurant at the Jalisco. The shrimp was excellent! Also, enjoyed the coffee and ice cream. Especially the soft serve at the Flamingo. Had one on the beach every day.

We booked two tours with Vallarta Adventures. The Rythms of the NIght and Yelapa. The tours run regardless of the weather. It was a very rough sea on the Friday evening cruise and many became ill. However, the Yelapa tour was the highlight of our trip. Jonathan was an excellent guide and he made a memorable day; he and the 89 year old native woman that went on the land tour with us!

Yes, the children are part of the night time entertainment, but at 9:30-10:00 the adult show starts. We went every evening and on Mon. we went to Jalisco for their presentation of Grease. (Same dancers from the Vallarta.) We really enjoyed the dancers.

The thing we loved the most was the beach front. You can walk for miles. Very clean and no one bothers you. We considered walking to Bucerias, but took a taxi. We enjoyed the flea market. We were told that the cheaper prices were on Saturdays and Tuesdays; as that is when the everyone else is in Puerto Vallarta.

Yes, I would recommend this hotel to my friends. We found it to be a better value then the cruises we have taken in the past.

  • Liked — the beach location
  • Disliked — No exhaust fans in the bathrooms
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2007

Stayed Jan 20 - 28. Ride from the airport is a breeze. Maybe 45 minutes from getting off the plane to arriving at the hotel. The hotel is absolutely beautiful!!
BIG issues with the elevators!! Only one was working and it constantly stopped at every floor wether there was anyone there or not. We waited almost 20 minutes after check in to finally get on the elevator (we were on the 8th floor, so taking the stairs was not an option with 4 suitcases in tow).This was probably the biggest issue for us over the week stay. The hotel was full so we ended up taking the stairs alot during the week.
Rooms are very nice. We have stayed at a few Rius over the years and it looks like all the others. Had a beautiful view from our room. If you can, get a room that directly faces the court yard, otherwise your ocean view is from the side. Noise was only an issue one night for us due to going to bed early our last night. The theater is in the court area and you will hear alot of noise until after 11:30 every night. The entertainment is terrible!!

Food is OK. Gets VERY routine by the end of the week. We ate in Bonaceros and Puerto Vallarta to break this up. Both towns are great!!! All in all we had a nice stay, not awesome. but nice.

The main problem with this hotel is they try too hard to cater to what we eat at home( which isn't even close) and listen to entertainment wise, rather than showing us their culture with food and entertainent. When I go to Mexico,I want some Mexican food and to listen to some Mexican music or bands a little. If you want anything that has to do with Mexican culture than you MUST go into Bonaceros (this is a $7,10 minute taxi ride) or Puerto Vallarta $18 and about 30 minute taxi). Big tip....Use only the white taxis to go into town and the yellow to come back to the hotel. Something to do with different unions and the Riu is in different State than Pueto Vallarta.

Stayed January 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Hotel Riu Vallarta? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#13 Family 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Orbitz, Expedia, Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., BookIt.com, Priceline, Despegar.com and Hotels.com so you can book your Hotel Riu Vallarta reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Riu Vallarta Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
Riu Vallarta Nuevo

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Hotel Riu Vallarta, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.