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“It takes more than "fiendly" staff to make a resort GOOD.”

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Friendly Vallarta All Inclusive Family Resort
Ranked #19 of 126 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
73 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“It takes more than "fiendly" staff to make a resort GOOD.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2014

After visiting several tropical over the years (Acapulco,Cancun, Los Cabos,
Cozumel, Playa Del Carmen, Cuba, Dominican Republic) I think I can make an objective review of Friendly Vallarta Resort.
This is the WORST all-inclusive hotel I have been in the 13 different resorts I have stayed in. This resort is a “copy-paste” of the older hotel you might find in Acapulco, Mexico. The Friendly was built in the 1970’s and renovations are needed to make it acceptable to live in it.
Keep in mind, that Friendly Vallarta is not part of major hotel chains like RIU, Barcelo, Iberostar, etc. and it explains mainly the reason why this resort is not shut down completely...
The hotel common areas as the pools, restaurants, lounge, snack bar are kept super clean by the staff . The cleaning lady was doing a good job in the room, but finding “mold” stains all over the room curtains and in the shower area is not what I consider a healthy place to sleep. The plumbing system is as bad as it was impossible to take a nice shower when the water temperature was changing from extreme cold or hot within seconds whenever you took it during morning or evenings. Terrible plumbing and ventilation systems in that OLD resort....
The food selection at the buffet was the worst I have seen in all the places I went. Always repetitive food and only a few choice. I have eaten better in Cuba than at the Friendly and usually Cuba is not consider the best place for food. At Friendly Vallarta, you had to ask for everything: bananas, cheese, bacon...Many time those foods were hidden away behind the counter....You don’t ask, you don’t get it....What a poor way to behave with clients. Forget seafood’s dishes, the resort had trouble to offer on a regular basic their own Mexican Dishes. Always ribs, tons of veggies and fruits, canned beans, rice and meat stir fry’s. Nothing elaborate in terms of food presentation except 2 nights a week when the hotel made their beach party supper. A little more choice of dishes, and little more Mexican Dishes. The following days: same routine food selection. Not surprising that a lot of people were eating out.... Have you ever seen an breakfast or evening buffet with no cold cuts or slice cheeses ? Those 2 basic kinds of foods where not even offered....
2 days before departure, we learned that we could have ordered a special food plate (shrimps or something different from the ordinary buffet) by making a request to one of the staff employees working at the dining area. We were never notified about that possibility and I feel it was an unfair dinning practice. You offer the food to everyone or you don’t...
One positive thing: the snack bar was excellent and had a vast choice of food. Club sandwich, tacos, hamburgers, chicken nuggets, fries. That snack bar was the best thing in terms of food in that old resort. The staff was also very friendly and helpful.
The animation team was a BIG ZERO as they never came on the beach where 90% the clients were. They never try to encourage people to participate in their few activities always held near the main pool. The Friendly Resort should get rid of them completely.
Keep in mind that this resort average clientele has an average age of 70 years old. Don’t expect to have a big party fever there. Young people should look to go elsewhere for fun and action because at certain time, I felt I was in a tropical senior home...
In conclusion, look around for a resort if you want better quality room, food selection and animation team because the independent owner of Friendly Vallarta does not need to improve anything as old clients continues to choose this hotel because the staff is friendly. It’s not only the staff that makes a hotel GOOD....People who never travelled
and never seen better keep going to that hotel without knowing better. Believe me, for what we pay we deserve more, MUCH MORE.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank FrenchBoy
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 review, March 10, 2014
Dear FrenchBoy:

Thank you very much for your recent visit, we are glad to know that despite all enjoyed your stay. We have made many renovations in the last 3 years , we are still making them and even in restaurants , lobby , beach area , rooms, corridors , meeting rooms , beach club for children , Internet , among other things. We offer different dishes daily on the buffet , however always be a challenge to satisfy all our guests, some people love our food and others not at all. Our entertainment team makes every day different activities throughout the hotel , and they depend on each hour, guests are sunbathing does not bother them. It is true, many retired people visit us and gladly received during winter, like all our young guests . Thank you very much for taking the time to give us your advice, we really appreciate it and will take the positives from them :)
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2,953 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (709)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Regina, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2014

Just got back from Friendly Vallarta after a weeks stay. The staff of waiters and bartenders were excellent but they have to be because this hotel is run down and dumpy and needs all the help it can get.
The doors to the patios are falling out of their frames, the tub surround are gross, the sink was half plugged, only one elevator worked, in general the mechanical functions were all in need of severe maintenance. The food was the same for dinner as it was for supper everyday. There were three places to eat but they just moved it around and it was the same crap. I can see why elderly people like this place because its easier to get around but I'm fifty and thought it was a old crowd. We got heck for swimming in the infinity pool and making too many waves. We payed more for this hotel than we have payed for the 4-5 stars up the beach towards nuevo vallarta. Not very good value for your money. Also the activities staff could really give a crap if your there unless you want to do water exercise.Pillows felt like the were stuffed with old socks or rags. Noise from lobby comes up to first three floors till 2 every night. Go somewhere else.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank w m
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 review, March 3, 2014
Dear w m:

Thank you so much to share your experience. We are remodeling our rooms and your comments help us even more. We were changing the elevators (but during those days we had one in service, so there was no problems with this) today we have already the new elevators working perfectly. We offer entertainment and fun for all ages and it is absolutely true that we receive many retirees from Canada, and our priority is to treat everyone with the best care. The lobby music ends 11:00 p.m. a reasonable time for everyone to relax after this time. Always going to be a challenge to satisfy the palates of our guests, but we'll keep trying!. Thanks for all your suggestions, we appreciate this gesture from you will help us be a better place. Please feel free to visit us again, we hope to surprise you with the new changes we are doing for everyone :)
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Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2014 via mobile

So this was our second time at this particular hotel. I'm giving it a three-star although I think it is between two and three star
Let's start with the positive things…
As everyone says very good service. That staff are always friendly.
The infinity pool is very nice.
Two hot tubs a different temperatures which is very nice.
They had a fairly good variety of entertainment including dinners on the beach. The atmosphere was nice but the food sucked.
Now for the negatives...
We are not picky about food but this has to be the smallest and worst buffet we have ever been to. We ended up eating out most of the time.
On several occasions I noticed that they reuse the ice from somebody else's glass and served it to other people. This was not a one time observation but I seen it on several occasions. Always ask for fresh ice.
By the way the elevators are still not finished on the day that we left. They have been up for sometime and they always say next day next day.
I have never been to a hotel that the lobby bar is not open during the day. You have to walk all the way down to the pool bar in order to get a drink during the day.
Our maid was certainly not very friendly even though we tipped her everyday.
The only selection of beer was Crona and dark Modella.
The rooms are okay as the hotel is called but they are dated and could use some refreshing.
There are a large quantities of Mexican people coming into the hotel. Not that that bothers me but I seen them blowing their nose into the linen napkins. Disgusting. I think some of the forks and knives and napkins were being reused.
The first time we stayed at this hotel we did not notice these things because we were never on the resort. This time we were there for two weeks and spent some time on the resort but I will not be back again.

Stayed February 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Joy T
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 review, March 4, 2014
Dear Joy T:

Thank you very much for choosing Friendly Vallarta to enjoy your holiday. Was definitely surprising to read some aspects of your experience, especially about the ice and napkins, we reported this, we do not doubt your word but we are sure that this is impossible, is not a practice of our hotel and we will be honest with you, this is the first time that someone reported this. However if this happened will not happen again, we guarantee it. Our hotel is different in many ways and we know that, we are remodeling our rooms and also we were changing the elevators (but during those days we had one in service, so there was no problems with this) today we have already the new elevators working perfectly. This is for the sole purpose of our guests are happy and enjoy their stay even more. We regret not having met your expectations, however we welcome your suggestions, help us to be a better hotel. We thank you for highlighting the positive points of your stay, that speaks highly of the quality of person you are. We hope to see you again for you to realize how much we value your opinion :)
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Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2014

We vacationed at the Friendly Vallarta from January 4 to February 1, 2014. This was our 10th visit to Puerto Vallarta and our fifth time at the Friendly. Why do we keep coming back? This hotel boasts a large beach area with a breathtaking view, a large sparkling clean swimming pool with comfortable water temperature, clean spacious rooms and entertainment nightly. There are many dining options at the resort, each serving an extensive variety of well-prepared food. Each week there is a beach party supper and a Mexican Fiesta. The snack bar in the daytime is converted several nights a week into an outdoor dining room and a second rooftop dining area serves breakfast and supper. The 5-Star Gourmet Room is simply the best! But what makes this hotel special is the staff who are very friendly, helpful, fun to interact with, and will do everything they can to make your stay comfortable and pleasant. The best recommendation for the "Friendly" in our opinion, is the number of people who return year after year to this little spot in Paradise!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Sharon T
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 review, March 3, 2014
Dear Sharon T:

Thank you so much for sharing your experience, and for choosing our hotel to enjoyed your holiday, we feel flattered with all you wrote about us and is very nice to know how much you love to be here in our hotel. We are working every day to have a better place for all our guests!. See you soon! :)
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Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2014

First time here. The rooms are a little old but the hotel and rooms are clean. Beds were comfortable. The staff is outstanding. The service is excellent . The food and drinks were top notch.
Many guests were repeat stays and know I know why. We will be a repeat guest soon.

Location is great and the beach is outstanding.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BobF40
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 review, March 3, 2014
Dear BobF40:

Thanks for sharing your experience it will be really helpful to others, we value your opinion and are so happy to know that you enjoyed your stay, that is our greatest reward.! We are renovating our rooms, we hope that on your next visit you can see the differences. We would love to welcome you back anytime! :)
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Carrot River, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2014

This was our first vacation outsde of Canada,what an awesome first experience.The staff was amazing,the food was excellent,and the drinks were flowing.We had a beautiful view from our room,that was very clean.We loved it so much we are going back with our kids next year.We highly recommend this resort.And can't wait to see doubl double again lol.

Room Tip: we were on the 9th floor ocean view beautiful
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Veronica K
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 review, March 3, 2014
Dear Veronica K:

It has been a pleasure to read all about your experience with us, we are glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay! See you next year :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2014

I am a little reluctant to type this review because if too many people decide to try Friendly it might get overbooked.
My husband and I stayed at Friendly for the second time this year and we plan on going next year also. The staff are excellent, the food is great and the service is unbelievable. My co-worker has been staying at Friendly for many years now and keeps going back. We are scarred to try anywhere else because we might be greatly disappointed.
There are tours you can go on but even if you don't you will enjoy your stay.

Room Tip: Both times my husband and I stayed at Friendly we were in the tower. Room 3606.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Bev B
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 review, March 3, 2014
Dear Bev B:

Thanks for sharing your opinion, we really appreciate it. Thank you for all the good things you said about your stay, this will help to other futures guests. Please feel free to visit us anytime :)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Friendly Vallarta All Inclusive Family Resort

Property: 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:
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#13 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#17 Business Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#21 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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