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“Fabulous & Fun” 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, Nuevo Vallarta 63732, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #14 of 24 hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Southern Ontario
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Fabulous & Fun”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2011

As you exit the Puerto Vallarta Airport MAKE SURE YOU IGNORE the 'taxis' inside that claim they are your 'rep' from whatever travel company. They are time-share salespeople that will take you to tour a timeshare before taking you to your resort. Your legitimate rep will be outside the airport directing you to your appropriate bus.

CHECK-IN
We were checked-in on the bus and given our wristbands. Our Sunquest rep then supplied us with our key after we arrived at the hotel --we had to wait from 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm for our room to be ready but were able to change and enjoy lunch and the beach until then.

ROOMS
Beautiful - big bathroom with tub and 2 sinks; always clean; plenty of towels; shampoo (no conditioner); good blow dryer; endless supply of hot water; standard rooms have a beautiful view of the courtyard, pool and ocean. The courtyard is the main focus of the evening activities--a great live band and a bar. The band always quits promptly at 11pm but the bar remains open and and partiers continue singing and making noise until about 12:30ish which can be readily heard in your room with the patio door shut. Earplugs a necessity for sure. As well, the hallways have a huge echo - very high ceilings and everything is tiled. Beds were extremely hard as everyone suggests. I requested a foam mattress pad and got one - helped a littled bit. Having the patio door open automatically shuts down the air-conditioning.

SECURITY
I was surprised by having a key with the room number on it and a safe key (free) that you were supposed to keep with you. No peep hole in the door and no deadbolt or chain lock from the inside

FOOD
Our group of 4 all would rate the food in the main buffet (had a gorgeous outdoor section) and beachside buffet (the only buffet open for lunch) as excellent. Never any big lines for anything. The a la cartes were also very good with the Sir George gourmet restaurant being the best - we enjoyed the filet mignon and filet of grouper and both were excellent. The Asian was our least favourite as it was a buffet but still worth a visit. The steakhouse is at the beachside buffet and can be a little cooler. We weren't expecting much, but our thin steaks were surprisingly tender, juicy and tasty and cooked as ordered--I'm glad we tried it.

POOLS
Cold - best description for sure. The adult pool was mostly in the shade and lounge chairs would have to be reserved. Definitely the party place - lots of games, music, etc. We didn't visit the 'family' pool.

BEACH
Best Beach Ever - no need to reserve lounge chairs no matter what time you visited the beach. Great for long walks especially when the tide was out. Good drink service at the beach.

EVENING ENTERTAINMENT:
Evenings shows were rather pathetic--mostly audience participation. This was our biggest disappointment--I expectted more from RIU. After the show, however, there was always a good live band in the courtyard. There was sometimes good live music in the lobby bar near suppertime--a great place to meet friends before supper.

GENERAL
Not much walking required--everything very close together. The weather was cooler in the mornings and in the evenings (14-18 degrees celsius - 60 - 67 degrees F) so take a sweater

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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)
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English first
St. Louis
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2011

Tip - keep safe key with you at all times. (This is hard to do since key does not have any kind of key chain with it) The resort also stresses if you lose the key you will be responsible for them breaking into the safe, since they don't have a master key. Hiding in the room is NOT a good idea. (Ours was hidden in jacket pocket). If you hid the key in the room and something is missing from the safe you are to blame not the hotel. First hand experience with this.

Musty smell of resort room will stay with you for days when you return home. When we exited the elevator and started walking down the hall of the 2nd floor you could smell a strong musty odor (imagine the smell of a 20 year old hotel in Southern Florida on the ocean). When we got to the room it was even stronger. We tried opening the window, and turning on a ceiling fan which did not help. Room 2029 has a balcony but is over a roof, so you could not keep the window open at night, since it would be very easy for anyone on the second floor to “hop” over the balcony and into your room. When I returned home and emptied my luggage my husband (who was not on the trip with me) said our laundry room smelled like a farmhouse that had been closed up for years. After 3 washings all my clothes still have a faint musty smell. Many people we talked to in the resort said they had the same problem with their room smelling musty.
Heads up that pool is not heated and was freezing. It was in the 50’s at night and 70’s during the day. Some hearty soles were standing at the swim up bar, but very few in the pool for the week.
Last issue at this resort is the noise. I had seen the complaints but figured it wouldn’t be a big deal. If you have a room facing the courtyard, you will hear music blaring until 11:00. They have live musicians every night. Even with a white noise maker we could not block the sound out. Riu halls are always loud and at 7:00 every morning like clockwork you could hear doors slamming and people in the halls.

Positives:
The bartenders, and waiters were extremely friendly and helpful at this resort.
Entertainment staff was great. Good shows, and fun daily activities.
Hotel clean. Many people working to keep halls, public bathrooms looking good.

  • Stayed February 2011
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2011

Stayed at the Riu Vallarta with family group. There were 8 of us including 2 x 2 years olds. The resort was very large, and had very nice architecture. Nice pools and very large beach area. The food was very good, and the buffet was the best I've seen in all inclusive resorts. The a la carte restaurants were also very good, though the Asian themed restaurant was not a la carte but rather a sushi/chinese food buffet. The Steak house was fantastic with a view of the sunset as well. Beach is very nice as well. the service was great and the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. the hotel was very clean.

I would recommend this hotel to adults traveling alone. It's not really geared towards families with kids. The family pool is a 5 foot deep pool with 3 very steep water slides. There is a little kids play area with a small wading pool tucked away behind a walled off area at the side of the resort. You're pretty cut off from the rest of the resort if you watch your kids there.

The entertainment runs until 11pm and you can hear it in your room as though it were just outside the patio. Thankfully my daughter can sleep through most anything. We faced the courtyard, but even my mom said she could hear it and her room was on the outside of the hotel. This is pretty significant because she normally wears a hearing aid.

Not a huge deal, but on a side note, WIFI was only available in the hotel lobby. Had come from a resort where the WIFI was also available poolside, which is MUCH better and an easy fix. The ladies had a great spa day and the spa was very nice. The gym is pretty clean and was some cardio equipment with some weight machines.

There was lots of stuff going on for adults. Lots of bars and drinking games going on at the pool. The service was good for the bars and the staff were pretty quick to bring you drinks at the loungers. There seemed to be a larger proportion of drunk people than I've seen at other resorts, and other people we met made the same observation as well. Again, great adult experience, but not so great for kids.

I would definitely come back if I was traveling with only adult or older kids. If I bring our young family, I'll probably stay at one of the more family friendly resorts I've visited in the area.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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Ancaster, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2011

Let me start off by saying this was a very nice resort.... It was very relaxing and the views of the mountains made it all that more tropical.
The resort was super clean! The workers were cleaning nonstop, to keep everything looking perfect. The inside of the hotel was very clean, and the beach was also very well kept. The rooms were also very clean.
I have mixed feelings about the rooms in this resort. Although they were very clean and had nice views, I had just expected more from a Riu hotel. I found the room to be very plain and quite small. The bathrooms were also fairly small, and didn't have anything that made it stand out from other hotels i have preciously stayed at. We found that the rooms also smelt a little bit odd, and the beds were uncomfortably hard.
The service was absolutely fantastic at this resort. Every employee was working all the time, I never had a empty glass anywhere. From cleaning, to cooking, to serving they were constantly making sure we were happy and satisfied. They also made our check-in very quick and easy.
The whole situation with the food was very confusing to me. This is because, the main buffet was absolutely fantastic. Anything one could want, they would find at the main buffet. The food was always very delicious, and the variety was extreme. For lunch there was a little buffet open at one of the restaurants on the beach. The restaurant was called Flamingo. There was also a descent selection and the food was well cooked. Now what was confusing for me were all the restaurants. They were so horrible, in my opinion. We went to two, and the food was cooked so poorly at both. The asian restaurant was a buffet style, some may like this but i was hoping to see perhaps the chef cook the food infront of us, just was not as I hoped it would be. Plus there was very minimal selection. We went to the main buffet after each restaurant because we were always still hungry.
The beach was beautiful. This location allowed to walk along the beach for kilometers, and the views were breath taking. From our beach we could see mountains in both directions, it was very different and we definitely loved it. There was a sunset on the ocean every night, and we were in awe every time. it was very beautiful.
P.S I would not recommend this resort for younger people( in twenties) who are looking to party at night. The disco is very small, and we only visited it twice, and it was usually occupied by older visitors. But I dont judge, many of them could sure party :)
In conclusion, we did end up having a really good time at this resort. We definitely found more pros than there were cons, and I would definitely go back.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 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.
Nanaimo BC
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2011

Right from start to finish this hotel, staff, food, service, beach were awesome. Anything we needed we just called the front desk (if it wasn't already there) and it was at our door in 10 minutes. The beds were hard so we called and asked for a foam mattress pad, it was there in 10 minutes. The live music and entertainment only went to 11 pm. It didn't bother us at all. Some nights we stayed in our room which overlooked the courtyard but the noise was minimal and we did not mind. We would go back to this hotel in a heartbeat. My husband and I had so much fun. It was the best vacation we have had in many years. When it got a little too crowded or noisy at the adult pool we went over to the childrens pool and sat there. There wasn't alot of kids there and they were less noisy than the adults. And there are no bothersome beach vendors. The Artisans are allowed to set up some tables on the property twice a week. We reccommend this place 100%. We will be going back.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kitchener, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2011

Went on a group with 3 couples. This hotel is quite beautiful in the normal RIU style. Very well kept, landscaped, seperate area for kids/adults. Lots of selection between the beach and pools. Tons of dining options, however the ala carte restaurants were disappointing like normal aside from the Oriental which was outstanding.

I'd recommend this for a group trip. Not too much walking, lots of seating and drinks to go around. Entertainment wasn't great, but we weren't there for that. Nightclub was dead as well as the all night sports bar, so staying up past midnight wasn't fruitful.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Yorkton, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2011

Front Desk Staff : Always smiling, friendly, cooperative, helpful and speak english well. Helpful with buses etc.
Mgmt: Micah always stopped to chat with us and made sure we were having a good time. Thanks for everything Micah. Great to see you at breakfast and then at the shows.
Food: We have no complaints about the food. Food was always fresh, hot, great variety, huge selection. The cooks were always clean and well presented, and friendly too. Never any shortage of food.
Entertainment: Ferdinando(head of entertainment) had exceptional shows. Entertainment staff do an excellent job. The live band after the shows in the courtyard is really good.
When it comes to pool/beach entertainment and getting guests involved...Peppe is just super.
Pool: We stayed at the adult pool. The waiters are very efficient have great memories and make sure your glass is always full. Jesse makes a great pool party environment. Always happy and outgoing. The water is a wee bit cool.
Bars: We really had no problem with any of the bars...all staff are courteous and hard working. We want to say that if you have the chance to be served by Vanessa she is a doll.
Beach: This is a great beach. Lots of chairs, good sand. You can walk the beach for miles..we always walk to Bucerias for shopping and lunch. Maybe a mile or so..but lovely along the beach.
Shopping: We walk to Bucerias to shop, we found prices are better then in PV. We usually walk both ways, but a cab ride is about 8 pesos/way While in Bucerias we enjoyed "Coritas" at the corner of Lazaro Cardenas and Galeana. Little family business serving true Mexican food for about 5 pesos/meal.
As well we take the buses..cheap and easy to get around. We run to Walmart or the Mega in Mezcale. You can ride the bus there but must cab it back, about 8 pesos.
Locals were friendly and helpful.
Rooms: The rooms are spacious (we stayed in a junior st), They are always very clean and fresh towels daily. We usually found towel art waiting for us. We have never had any problems with anything going missing, We lock up any valuables etc in the safe the minute we arrive. The beds are firm, but we are so tired at the end of the day from the sun, drinks and fresh air that we don't notice. As for the noise..we had an ocean view rm that overlooked the courtyard where the night entertainment/bar was. The band finished playing at 11pm and then we shut our patio doors and never heard a thing. As for the hallways, we never had any trouble with noise. We didn't find it that loud after 11pm. The rooms have air conditioning and ceiling fans that work great. Its a bit musty,nothing that bothered us.
Cleanliness: They are constantly cleaning. Scrubbing floors, washing walls, sweeping. Even scrubbing out the fountains and maintaining the grounds. We have been here a few times and have never had trouble with bugs or anything like that.
Sunquest: Hats off to Angel (PVR rep) for helping us with those little things. It meant alot to us...thank you !!
We experienced outstanding service and quality.
We stayed here Jan 7-14 and are going again Feb 7-14. We stayed here last year too.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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, 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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#12 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#12 Top resorts 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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