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“WOW good place with no big issues” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Pacifico

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Hotel Riu Palace Pacifico
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Av. de los Cocoteros, Lote Hotelero G | Nuevo Vallarta - Nayarit, 63732, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #18 of 86 Hotels in Riviera Nayarit
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“WOW good place with no big issues”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2010

WOW...Our family of 5 (2 adults, 2 teenagers and 1-10 year old) were at the the resort for 2 weeks. Started off by booking a specialty restaurant in advance of arrival through Monica at 'customerservices.palacepacifico@riu.com'. We ate at all 4 of the specialty restaurants twice. Enjoyed most the Krystal and Guacamole. Its a change from the
buffet and the food is different. Low scale fine dining but a different experience than the buffet food. The hotel buffet however was awesome and there is so much selection and variety you can always find something. Was continually changed up based on nightly themes. I also recommend the kitchen tour for what happens behind the scenes in case anyone has any concerns about hygiene.
The hotel is very clean and everyone is super friendly. The entertainment staff is so up beat and make a great effort to involve people in the 7 hours of daily activities. Everything from shooting, bocce ball, bingo, spanish lessons and yoga...lots more. Was concerned about keeping the kids entertained but there was always something available. The only issue is everything is at scheduled times. Other than ping/pong you must do the activity at the scheduled time or the equipment is not available for use.
Did the free Scuba demo in the pool. Had such a good time that we did an extra hour lesson and the whole family did an ocean dive at Las Caletas for $135 inclusive. This also included a city tour for the day. Full ocean dive certification is $440 if anyone is interested. The catamaran and windsurfing are free for 1 hour per day after you take a $29 lesson. Probably makes sense for the catamaran in case you get into trouble. I paid the fee and took the catamaran out about 6 times. The wind doesn't pick
up till the afternoon so there are really only 3 bookings (1pm,2pm,3pm) you can make before the watersports centre shuts down about 4:30pm. They have 2 available catamarans. Lots of kayaks and boogie boards to be had with time restrictions. There is a nightly 1 hour show starting at 10pm preceded by usually a band show which started at 9pm. The 10pm shows were for the most part good especially Michael Jackson and
the Mexican show. We had great experiences from all the staff at the hotel and they were so accommodating. The beach waitress was always by every 10 minutes asking if we wanted anything. Tipped $1 every few drink orders. Had to keep an eye on the kids who would have 1 drink on the go at their chair and another in the pool. It was our 25th anniversary and they greeted us with a platter of chocolate covered strawberry's and an anniversary card. The room mini bar was restocked every afternoon and if you asked specifically for more of something it was not a problem.
Think the hotel was about 60% Mexican and 40% American/Canadian. A very diverse range of groups from families to older adults.
Went to the other 2 Riu's and they looked pretty crowded, food selection not as good and weren't nearly as well kept as the Palace.
Took a walk 30 minute up the beach to small town of Bucerias. Small little town with a flea market and a few restaurants. A little cheaper than PV if you're looking for something to do 1st thing in the morning before the temp goes up.
One downside of the area is taxi fees. You are about 40 minutes from PV. Most of the excursions don't include hotel pickup so you have to pay to get to a meeting point. It's about $28 to PV,$20 to the airport,$8 to Bucerius and $10 to vallarta Adventures each way. The fee doubles if you have 5 or more people which we had in our group. Doesn't matter whether its the same van as for 4 people or not. This starts to add up for extras. You can take a city bus for I think about $1.50 each with transfers to keep the expenses down.
Being August is part of the rainy season, it did rain mostly at night. We had some great lightning shows. We weren't affected much by the weather but noticed that the PV area clouded over most days by mid afternoon where we had full sunshine in Riviera Nayarit to the north. This is probably because of how close PV is to the mountains.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Fort Collins, Co
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2010

My friend and I took our 18 year old daughters for a one week stay, August 3 - 10. This was a beautiful, clean hotel. You could have eaten off the floors! The entertainment staff was fun and upbeat all the time, trying to get people involved in games. Pepe and Diego are the best! Also, Arecely our waitress out by the pool was fabulous! Overall the food was great and it felt very, very safe.I recommend walking north on the beach to a little town called Bucerias. Also, we hooked up with a man named Charlie that offered horses for riding on the beach, alot of fun. We took the public bus one day to Puerto Vallarta, but liked the smallness of Bucerias much better. Saw other reviews that the pool was overcrowded, but never an issue for us.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2010

We just returned from 10 wonderful nights at the Riu Pacifico PV. The food in the buffet was excellent as were the a' la carte restaurants. We also toured the kitchen and I a former quality inspector for a food factory was totally impressed at how clean it was. The pool was wonderful just the right temperature to cool off in. The rooms were "excellenta"
clean and very roomy. The only complaint was the beds are a little hard, after a few nights though we did not have trouble sleeping. We attended all of the shows and were very impressed with the Michael Jackson show, well worth seeing. Everyone of the very friendly staff go out of their way to make your stay enjoyable. We have been to PV twice before so we did not partake of any adventures this time. We did take a cab to the town of Buceries, a very poor village, there is some shopping. We helped them out with a little US currency. We did tip often and they totally appreciated it. Note: the wait staff at the pool make $5.40 a day for approx. a 12 1/2 hour day. The pool is open until 8:00 PM.
I would like to mention that while we were there we noticed several people middle aged and young alike order a drink at the pool bar then turn and dump it into the pool, liquid, glass, straw and all. I believe you should treat these resorts as if it were your own home, my husband jumped one young man approx. 18-20 yrs old for doing such right in front of us as we were in the pool. In one of the elevators two teens decided it would be fun to punch holes in the wall of the elevator. It would not take long for acts such as these to ruin a beautiful place. We walked the beach to the RIU Vallarta and I am very glad we did not book there, we talked to one of the staff at the Pacifico and found out the Vallarta is only 3 years old but it already has a lot of issues. There is quite a bit of water damage.
I would highly recommend the RIU Palace Pacifico.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Bay Area
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2010

My husband, my sister, my 8year old daughter, and myself just got back from 12 fabulous days in Puerto Vallarta.
I have never been to such a clean place as this hotel. The buffet was great, people were friendly, rooms were very spacious and the location was quiet at night, just what we wanted.
Every bathroom was super clean, so was the beach, and the hotel in general, I could not have hoped for any better.
The food always offered many different choices. There is one hour where only the sports bar is open with sandwiches, sweets, and nachos, otherwise one can attend the breakfast buffet (fresh juices inside) that offers anything you can imagine. If you want a cappuccino just order one or get yourself the coffee you want from the sports bar. Lunch buffet is incredible as well. You can always find healthy choices.There is such a variety in different food served that picky eaters don't need to worry. At night, in addition to the buffet, there are four different restaurants that you can make reservations for it in the morning or the day in advance.
A the beach one can request an umbrella if you want one.
For free, one can "rent" kayaks in the morning. The staff also rents buggy boards until 4pm. (Bring your own if you want to keep it longer and you don't want to wait for it. There were three hobby cats available for free. The first time "lesson" is $28 dollars - then you can rent it for 1 hour for free on all the other days. The staff at the beach sells tours. In August they had the deal that if you buy two tours, they give you a third for free. Check at the beach before you buy anything else.
In order to get the chair you want, put your towel down before you go to breakfast and you'll have the spot your want. Don't leave a towel over night - again, daily, they will move every chair to clean around it.
The hotel offers animation every 30 minutes between 10am. and 4pm. . (Sand volleyball, stretching, bingo, shooting, ping-pong, water aerobics, water v-ball, just to name a few).
We never tried the kids club since the area between the hotel an the pool is not so big our daughter made friends and moved independently around.
The big pool is suppose to be an adult pool only - which is a joke. All the kids are swimming in the pool since the kids pool is only about 3ft. long and wide.
At night, the hotel offers a kids show from 8:30 - 9pm. At 10pm. each night, there was some kind of performance. Nothing outstanding but not too bad either. The shows were usually done between 11 and 11:30pm. If one wants to go party in Puerto Vallata, the hotel meets you in the lobby at 11:30pm. take you to a party place where everything is included and probably drives you back again for free. We never tried this but we were glad that it was quiet at night.
The rooms were very big. We were at the 8th floor, viewing the sea, which was great again. Besides the two large beds, there was a couch, where one kid easily could have slept.

A couple of tips: don't buy the transfer. A taxi ride from the hotel to the airport is $18 dollars one way, 4 people, 4 suitcases included.
Bring enough sunscreen. The hotel has a store - but it's way too expensive. The Mega Market is a taxi ride away (5-6 dollars) and sells is a bit cheaper - yet way too much.
The towels at the hotel are big enough - so don't bring your towels.
Changing money can be easily done at the hotel. We exchanged some at the airport. It would have been better to change it in the hotel :)
We did tip the waiter and the hotel staff on a regular base. As a result, the wine from Chile was usually waiting for us.
Wireless is free - but only in the lobby. You can pay to use the internet in the sports bar.
If I could change one thing in that hotel - it would be to arrange for a non smoking area in the outside seating area. Since August is not high season, it never was a big problem and
overall, we had a fabulous trip. I would return to this place at any time.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
16 reviews 16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2010

We have stayed at many AIs across Mexico and the Caribbean and the Riu chain is the worst one. I do not want to go on vacation and have to argue and complain in order to enjoy myself.

The food is atrocious! The food in the a la carte restaurants is comical. You would serve this to a stray animal. No dish is what it is described to be and everything tastes drastically off. I looked around and saw similar exasperated looks and heard comments echoing that sentiment at each restaurant. Each night, we were forced to go to the buffet after eating in the restaurants just so we could get a meal. The buffet got old quickly. The hotel was so overcrowded and it was impossible to find a seat at the buffet. The servers consistently refused to open additional outdoor seating to accommodate diners so we were forced to eat standing up. We finally gave up and began eating out each night.

The service was terrible from the majority of staff. The front desk is nice until you ask for anything. I booked an Ocean Front room through Cheap Caribbean and they tried to give us a garden view first. After we complained, they moved us to an obstructed ocean view and finally, a third room change, to the Ocean Front room we paid for. The service is fantastic if you are Mexican though! The hotel guests seemed to be about 25% English speakers and 75% ESL.

I did not think much of the fact that there is only 1 pool but it makes a huge difference. This pool was overcrowded and few people seem to depart the pool to relieve themselves after hours of drinking. There is nothing interesting or quaint about this resort (unlike other resorts we have been to). There are no pools or restaurants tucked away through a jungle path. The hotel is truly like going to a big condo complex in Florida.

Also, the tap beer smelled like urine and the wine was awful (not that this is particular to this Mexican AI). We ended up buying drinks at a neighboring hotel along the beach and bringing them back to the resort. I recommend bringing a box of boxed wine to MX - it beats the pants off the stuff they serve there.

We visited the neighboring Rius and they were filthy, crowded and the pool water smelled funny and was very cloudy. After seeing the other Riu resorts, we stayed put in our overcrowded pool.

We frequented the spa and it was nice for pedicures. Also the evening kid show (Riu Land) was great for our 7 year old. The wireless worked great in the lobby. The rooms were nice but the beds were rock hard and the linens were rough and piling and of low thread count.

Given the extra costs incurred in food and drink elsewhere, we should not have stayed at this AI because we ended up spending an extra $800+ (not including the $350 we dropped on tips while there)!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2010

Just got back from Riu Palace.... Where do I start!

First of all, let me point out that my family and I travel to mexico three times a year, and spend about 2 month per year in mexico. We LOVE mexico and this is the first bad experience we have ever had in mexico... Here it goes.

This hotel was tremendous in size, however not in service. This place has little character. Most of the employees seem to resent the guests and HATE their jobs with exception of a couple of the bartenders, such as Raul. Upon registration, my husband told the reception representative that it was our 15th anniversary, and the man enthusiastically said that he would send us some special gifts... on the 5th day, we ran into the same reception man, and my husband said, hey, we're still waiting for out special gifts... He acted so surprised that we had not received anything and said he would send them up... guess what... NEVER GOT ANY SPECIAL GIFTS.

We paid the extra cost to stay at this Riu, because we were told that they had better quality food, cocktails and accommodations than the other two Riu's located footsteps away down the beach. The food was NEVER quite right. What was supposed to be Filet of Minon... was actually london broil. When I pointed this out to my waiter at the Steakhouse restaurant, he insisted that it was filet minon. When I pointed out that I am a chef... and asked to speak to the manager, he then stated that the kitchen had run out of filet minon, and now had to replace it with london broil.... so he intentionally had lied to me with his statement only moments ago. This kind of thing happened left and right at this hotel. My teenage daughter stated to my husband and I that "everyone at this hotel lies to you... and tries to pretend that everything is something that it is clearly not". She said it very well!

Overall the food was 2.5 out of 5. Food is very important when you are on vacation. It makes all the difference in the world to myself and my family. The food was what you may expect on a cheap carnival cruise. Pretty bad!

If you ordered cocktails, they did have a few decent brands of liquor, however the mixes were the cheapest, artificial crap I have ever had. The strawberry daquiry had no strawberrys in it. Just artificial color and flavor. There was no fresh fruit to be found, not even a banana!!!! They claimed to be out. Seriously, we felt quite robbed for what we paid to stay here.

The "specialty restaurants" were ridiculous! Waiters smirk at the guests and giggle and shrug their shoulders when you point out that what they brought you was not what was described on the menu. We tried each specialty restaurant, and did not get one meal served to us that was tolerable. We are not hard to please people... we just expect quality and honesty! You will not get either at the Riu Palace. If you try to so called Japanese restaurant... OMG! So horrible that they should be ashamed!!!!!

The redeeming thing about this hotel is it's location which is beautiful. It is on a long stretch of beach with warm inviting ocean. We boogy boarded, kayaked and used their hobie cat sail boat, which was ALOT of fun. Our days were fabulous when we were utilizing the beach and it's activities.

The pool was always overcrowded and I could not muster up the courage to enter. Filled with children and dozens of adults guzzling down drink after drink, however never leaving the pool to go to the bathroom... need I say more!

The rooms are clean and decent. We were on the 7th floor in the center and had a lovely view. The bathroom was already coming apart... and the hotel is supposed to be a year old.

We went to the neighboring Riu Jalisco and found that they offered the exact same liquors and the food seemed to be the same. I do not see any reason to pay the extra money... Unless the bedrooms are gross... I never saw them at the other Riu.

Long story made short, I would not advise going to the RIU Palace, unless you got a screaming deal that you couldn't pass up. I can think of a million places I would rather be, that would cost me a LOT less... than what we paid.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario, Canada
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2010

This hotel was gorgeous! Everything was wonderful; the rooms, the service, the food, the location. If you stay here you can walk 10 minutes left on the beach to the other RIU's or 30 minutes right on the beach to a little town with shopping.
I hope to go back here one day.

The only negative thing that I can say about this place is; if you are hoping to party, this is not the hotel for you. There is no disco and the night life is very tame.

  • Stayed March 2010, 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 Palace Pacifico

Address: Av. de los Cocoteros, Lote Hotelero G | Nuevo Vallarta - Nayarit, 63732, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Nayarit > Riviera Nayarit
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:
#8 Business Hotel in Riviera Nayarit
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Riviera Nayarit
#11 Luxury Hotel in Riviera Nayarit
#14 Spa Hotel in Riviera Nayarit
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Riviera Nayarit
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Palace Pacifico 4*
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 * 5 km / 3.1 miles from various shops * 13 km / 8 miles from the airport * 1 km / 0.6 miles from Flamingos Golf Club * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Pacifico Hotel Riviera Nayarit
Riu Palace Pacifico Nuevo Vallarta

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