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Friendly Vallarta All Inclusive Family Resort
Ranked #21 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Reviewed January 29, 2014

I enjoyed staying at the Friendly Vallarta Resort in Puerto Vallarta. The food is good, as is the beach, and the location can't be beat. It was easy to get to the the Marina and into town for shopping and sightseeing. Their was some entertainment every night, and the staff was friendly, attentive and helpful.
As with other reviewers, I was a bit put off with the smokers in the lobby, beach and pool area, but all the enclosed areas were smoke-free. And yes, the lobby furniture should be put out of its misery!
My biggest issue was with the beds. The mattresses were extremely hard, the pillows were flat and lumpy, and the linens worn and scratchy. Also, there were late-night revellers who would leave the lobby bar and then continue the party in the rooms in the wing I was in. Between these two issues, I did not get a good night sleep the entire week I was away.
All that needs to be done is restrict smoking to the public beach area, replace the lobby furniture and the beds. It would be a shame if these issues weren't addressed, as it is a good, though not luxurious resort and reasonably priced.

Room Tip: I wouldn't like the rooms in the main tower on the lower floors that overlook the pool or lobby...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank marionMississauga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta All Inclusive Family Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2014

Dear marionMississauga

Thank you very much for all your comments and suggestions. We are already aware of this situation and we are taking steps necessary to have a friendly atmosphere for all our guests. We hope that on your next visit you can see all the improvements we have, come back soon and thank you for being with us :)

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1,137 - 1,143 of 3,292 reviews

Reviewed January 29, 2014

We have just returned home from our first trip to the Friendly Vallarta, following a recommendation received from friends to try this smaller resort. We had a great two week visit, made new friends, enjoyed the very friendly staff, food was good, and the view from the 11th floor was truly awesome.

A very big negative for us though (and for many others who are expressing this in their reviews as well) was of the smoking being allowed in the lobby. This was the first time in 15 trips to various Mexican resorts that we have run into this. A suggestion for management, and for the comfort of non-smoking guests, would be to designate the lobby as a non-smoking area. There was also a lobby bar which attracted smokers and we had to walk past it to go to the restaurant or outside to the beach. Restaurants were smoke free, thank goodness. On the day we left we did notice non-smoking signs were put on the walled area by the coffee and ice cream bar alcove, and signs were also put on those tables and ashtrays removed. We hope this signage will continue to include the whole lobby area as a common courtesy to guests.

We discovered, several days after we arrived, that there are indeed two floors in the tower designated as non-smoking rooms. It would seem a very good idea for management to expand the number of floors as being non-smoking accommodation. While our view on floor 11 was truly amazing, we had a connecting door to the room beside us, and every evening we used towels against the bottom of that door to try to keep some of the smoke out of our room from the heavily smoking occupants next door.

Having said all the above, we do have to commend the wonderful smiling and happy staff we encountered daily, in the restaurants or on the beach or around the hotel. We certainly enjoyed food and beverages being brought right to our beach chairs, by always smiling and happy staff members.

All in all, we really did enjoy this cozy, clean and comfortable resort, we will go back again, and to hopefully find that management has been paying attention to comments by many guests requesting that the lobby be designated as non-smoking.

Room Tip: a room in the tall tower, above the 8th floor or higher, allows a little more distance from the loud...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank StoneybrookAlberta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta All Inclusive Family Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2014

Dear StoneybrookAlberta.

Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us, we are aware of the recent comments about having non-smoking areas and happy to inform you that we are taking steps to control it. Here at Friendly Vallarta we are to please. Hope to see you soon :)

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Reviewed January 28, 2014

What a wonderful place, we have been to over a dozen all inclusive resorts from Dominican Rep., Cuba, and the Riviera Maya, Ixtapa, Mazatlan and this is the best experience so far. The long term staff appears to be the difference, they all seem happy to work here and it permeates through the whole resort. We met the owner Igor in an elevator adventure and he is extremely respected with the staff as he mingles with everyone and shows genuine concern for staff and guests. He lives onsite when in town and eats from the buffet line to ensure standards are to his satisfaction.
There is always something happening and they utilize the expansive beach as a venue for entertainment and BBQ food services at night. Live band dancing, DJ dance parties, movie night, Tropical night (live, DJ, BBQ buffet), the amount of effort is astounding, they set up the dance floor for every venue, but tropical night adds many tables and a large buffet to the mix. On the few nights that evening beach venues aren't occurring there is the theatre at 8pm for entertainment with well trained and choreographed dancers and performers, some astound me with their feats that defy bone structure.
During the daytime they have beach drink and food service which we’ve never encountered before, and there is plenty of shade via palms or umbrellas, Abraham can always set you up with chairs and umbrellas on request. The waves are gentle as compared to the Malecon or other locations north or south of here. The activities board has many venues daily varying from cooking lessons to bracelet making, Spanish and dance lessons. On certain days the chefs prepare paella on the beach near the beach restaurant La Fiesta, other days it's churros or donuts poolside. One suggestion would be an extensive daily calendar of events on a larger scale to advise of the special events as it was mostly osmosis for us, possibly placed upon exit from the main elevators.
In the lobby there are several TV's primarily showing soccer, the Sweet Corner serves coffee, Danish, ice cream all day long. Bar service in the lobby begins at 5pm and Mary is our main and favourite server, always a smile and she actually runs when it gets busy, that's when El Capitano Victor brings more servers online to assist her to keep things running smoothly. A popcorn machine is available during bar service hours and located on the bar counter, every other night you will find Victor making special coffee's near the dance floor and creates quite a stir with his presentation.
Smoking is permitted in all common areas except the restaurants and certain floors. There are NO TIME SHARE people onsite! but if you miss that, many opportunities abound once you reach the street (kiosk at end of driveway), and really bad at the mall across from the marina. If you are wanting to shop Walmart, walk left on the same side as the hotel because the sidewalk is in much better shape. Scotiabank is in Plaza Peninsula about half way to Walmart (2 miles) or the Marina Pier for your excursions, do cross the street there as it's controlled and much safer. At this crossing watch the pedestrian signal, it's a running a man and he sprints when the countdown reaches 5 seconds, too funny. Otherwise cross the street at the hotel and catch the Walmart bus for 7.50 pesos and walk back, after about 11am there is no shade on either side of the street.
The resort is renovating the rooms a floor at a time, we noticed many lanyards with room keys, but our room 3508 had been reno'd. We had room cards, the bathroom was fine with no faults, no flat screen unfortunately and the room safe really needs to be replaced, bolt with key and ours was twisted and made locking it a real chore.
On Tues. Jan. 21 the elevators were taken offline for complete replacement, many previous comments requested this and now it's happening....... for a month. Everyone including the housekeeping staff must share the utility elevator or walk the stairs. There is a staff member doing elevator duty rotationally, and a fluid station with a staff person on the Lobby floor at the entrance to this elevator, they have gone to extremes to ensure the guests are comfortable and welcome under these circumstances.
You get one ala carte per week and it can be booked on the day of at the Villa Linda International Restaurant near the pool. The Sunset Restaurant (roof top above villa linda) serves breakfast and when really busy also does dinner buffet along with Villa Linda when there isn't a special event occurring. Sergio (double double) is the comedian at the roof top but also serves drinks and food on the beach, he's everywhere and everyone knows him well, quite the character. The food both ala carte and buffet is very well executed and in our consideration that best all inclusive meals to date.
We travel extensively and have experiences at many all inclusive resorts, we have not returned to the same resort or hotel chain previously but would certainly make this our first exception. We have met so many people that have returned for their 5th, 15th, 20th time under three resort names but the same staff over many years that we will consider being part of this group. A hearty WELL DONE to the staff and management on a wonderful 2 weeks, see you next season.
Heather & Eduardo

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank rocktunes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta All Inclusive Family Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2014

Dear rocktunes.

Thank you very much for your review! We feel flattered for everything you say, your review will be very helpful to our future guests. We would love to see you again, please keep in touch :)

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Reviewed January 27, 2014

Our first impression was that there was smoking throughout the Hotel, inside and out. The furniture in the Lobby area is grubby and stained. Unfortunately, we took the recommendation of a friend who stayed for a week last year, and I did not research it properly myself. there are only two floors which are smoke free. While we were there several "no smoking" areas appeared up by the coffee corner, so there must have been complaints.
The food is mediochre, repetitive and only is good on Mexican Night, or in the Gourmet (although hardly?)
HOWEVER, The service from the staff is second to none though, helpful and kind and extremely hardworking. however, that is how it has been in EVERY Mexican resort I have stayed in. Our flight were delayed, but our armbands had already been cut off. Desk staff did not explain that, no band, then no service, anywhere in the Hotel. I had to ask quite firmly for any soft drinks. The Hotel is frequented by mainly Canadians, like myself. The noise on the first and second floor is second to none…. Towards the end of the Vacation we saw, guests puking in the restaurant, drunk, shouting at past 12.30 at night, music blaring from rooms and on the beach from personal speakers. No intervention for the comfort of other guests at all. Epoxy resin fumes in our room from renovations in the next door room, which needed maintenance called, who just closed the door and then used air freshener on the walls….which in itself was overpowering!
But the final straw was on the last day. A huge, morbidly obese lady was sitting on the sofa in the Lobby and after struggling to get up, peed all over the cushions. She walked away, and probably did not even know she had done it. I called over to the desk to let them know. Several Management turned up with Housekeeping, discussions and much talking. Then the maid just flipped the cushion over…..WOW. Really?
I have stayed in many other resorts and this is not in the top 5.
Vincente was our fav waiter. Smart, polite and very gracious.
This resort could be smartened up with just a few tweaks. Better food, better decor, better Management standards would increase the number of stars and would attract a different clientele….

Room Tip: First and Second floors are noisy. The whole place stinks of smoke…seek a place on the beach closes...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank Lolaljd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta All Inclusive Family Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2014

Dear Lolaljd

Thank you very much for being with us. We regret any inconvenience you had during your stay, we are monitoring the situation on smokers know it is unpleasant for many and for this reason we will do something about it. Thank you also for all your suggestions, your oponión is important to us. Please do not hesitate to visit again :)

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Reviewed January 26, 2014

My review would have been a 5 had there been some restrictions on smoking. Beautiful resort and extremely friendly atmosphere. We have been there twice now and it feels like home when we're there, good entertainment great food but it seems that we were subjected to second hand smoke every where we went.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
Thank Bill R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta All Inclusive Family Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2014

Dear Bill R

Thank you very much for sharing part of your experience, we are glad to know that everything was fine during your stay. We appreciate your suggestion and will do something about that so on your next visit things to be different :)

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Reviewed January 24, 2014

We stayed here Jan. 5 - 19, 2014...first time at this hotel. Have been to PV and Mexico many times.
Its a little older and can use some room renovations and a change of pillows. That's about all I can say other than good food, good service, friendly staff and made lots of friends!

Room Tip: Stay above level 6 in building 3...less noise and a great view of the sunset. Eat in the sunset res...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank jetred j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta All Inclusive Family Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2014

Dear jetred j

Thank you very much for sharing your experience will help others. We are renewing our rooms and we hope that soon you can see the changes. Our hotel is not a new model but steadily maintenance is given to all areas and make renovations to those who need it and our restaurants and lobby. Please feel free to visit us anytime :)

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Reviewed January 22, 2014

we stayed at the friendly some years ago when it was called the hola. it is a small resort, but yes, friendly. good food was always available. the burgers and fries at the pool were the best. we were six women and we stayed two to a room. it was nice that they had us all together. the weather was perfect that week. I think if you travel in December to P.V. you are always guaranteed great weather.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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Thank collee1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta All Inclusive Family Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2014

Dear collee1.

It was wonderful for us to read all about your experience with us. Thank you for sharing this review, it will be helpful to others. We are pleased to know how much you enjoy our hotel. Please feel free to come back anytime! :)

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Additional Information about Friendly Vallarta All Inclusive Family Resort

Address: Km 2.5 Blvd. Francisco Medina Ascencio, Puerto Vallarta 48300, Mexico (Formerly Friendly Hola Vallarta Resort and Spa)
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#17 Business Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#21 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: $153 - $389 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Friendly Vallarta All Inclusive Family Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 218
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy the best all-inclusive vacations in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with the friendliest hotel! Friendly Vallarta Beach Resort & Spa offers incredible location in the hotel zone and a wide range of fun experiences. Friendly Vallarta Beach Resort & Spa is located in one of the most precious bays of the Mexican Pacific, with a unique location in front of the beach, in the heart of the hotel area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hola Puerto Vallarta Club & Spa
Hola Vallarta
Hola Puerta Vallarta
Hola Hotel Puerto Vallarta
Hola Puerto Vallarta Resort
Hola Club Puerto Vallarta
Hotel Hola Vallarta
Hola Resort Puerto Vallarta
Hola Club Spa Puerto Vallarta

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