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“2 1/2 Star at best”

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Friendly Vallarta All Inclusive Family Resort
Ranked #21 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Reviewed June 19, 2014

We arrived Tuesday and were pretty happy. The resort was clean and the food was good. Tues Thru Fri I was impressed with the cleanliness. Our room was always very clean, as was the lobby and buffet dining room. The Gourmet restaurant was very clean n the food was good. All the employees were very nice and helpful. You could not ask for a better Maitre D. He had a special meal prepared for our anniversary.

Fri thru Monday. There were so many people in the pool, you could hardly get in. It could not have been sanitary. They did keep kids out of the adult pool which was a first in all of the many resorts we have stayed at, but the adults sat on the steps and wouldn't let anyone in. It was an infinity pool so this was the only way in. The pool bathrooms were so nasty. With that many people, they should have hired more help. We just went to town not even wanting get in the pool. There were plenty of beach chairs n we would've just gone into the ocean to cool off, but there was a big drop off making it hard to get out n in of the ocean.

The other thing that bugged me was the disorganization. They never knew when the only restaurant, the Gourmet was going to be open, if when or where the shows would be. I missed the treat of dressing for dinner then always having a nice show.

The location was nice. Only $10 for a taxi to town. The bus stop was just outside the grounds.

A nice clean hotel with nice people Tues thru Fri.
Fri thru Mon, the humongous amount of people n dirtiness at the pool have made my cecision not to go back.

Room Tip: We were in the middle tower, 8 th floor. Great view.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank EileenCanton
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 June 21, 2014

Dear EileenCanton:

Thank you very much for being with us, we are glad that your stay has been pleasant despite these observations. Thanks for the suggestions, your opinion is important to us and will help us be a better place, we will solve those issues, please give us the opportunity to serve you again :)

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Reviewed June 18, 2014

My Wife and I and another Couple Stayed at the Friendly from March 8th to March 22nd.The room was spotless
as good as some of the 5 Star Hotels we stayed at.The Food may not be a5Star Quality,but we always found enough Food we Liked .The Hotel can consider themselves lucky to have such excellent Staff.Our Friends had a bit of a problem as they had move to another room for a Day because of a broken Waterline.We noticed a lot of improvements since our last Stay there ,such as the new Elevators new Chairs and Umbrellas ,the Restaurant at the Beachand the Coffee Bar in the Lobby amongst others.We would definily stay there again.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank burk w
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 June 21, 2014

Dear burk w:

Thanks for sharing your experience, we are very happy that everything has been perfect during your stay, and also because you loved the new renovations. Please come back soon we would love to see you once again! :)

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Reviewed June 18, 2014

We stayed the two weeks prior to Easter and noticed many differences between the two week stay.

First I must shout out to Roger in the Gym! Amazing man who is there to help anyone with the fantastic equipment available. He is very helpful and a great guy. Please review gyms when you visit different resorts as it is difficult to find accurate information when I am researching our trips! My husband works out religiously and we now travel 2 weeks at a time so a well equipped gym is very important and this resort is the best one by far!

Clean, wow! I was so impressed with the staff constantly cleaning. You know the beach bathrooms are usually gross by 3 pm, NOT this place, they are in there all day long cleaning...god bless them!

We had butler service on the beach which we did not expect and was amazing.

There are many choices of places to dine and snack all day and were very happy with all of them!

Ocean is rather rough for swimming, but 2 pools were great, especially an adult only pool. Great long beach so you can easily go for long walks.

Would not return during holy week, too busy.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank AnneMarie61
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 June 21, 2014

Dear AnneMarie61:

Thank you so much for everything you say here on Tripadvisor, this will be really helpful to others, Thank you also for all the good things you said about us, we will be waiting for you on your next visit :)

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Reviewed June 17, 2014 via mobile

We stayed here with another couple for both of our 5 year anniversaries. Overall we had a good time and enjoyed our stay - but most likely would not choose to stay at Friendly again.

The staff was amazing and fun. The beach side drink and snack service was definitely a plus. The evening entertainment was pretty good. Several nights of dancing and games. The staff also made these activities enjoyable. Just would have liked to have more English spoken for the activities. We went to the dinner theater one night and couldn't understand a word.

The beach was great. Relaxing and very enjoyable. The big negative of the beach was the water seemed dirty alot of days, but we later realized this was due to the rainy season. The locals trying to sell things on the beach was extremely annoying and being basically the only Americans there..they seemed to harass us more. Also- the resort seems to always be overtaken by locals and very minimal American or English speaking people.

We didnt really utilize the pools because they were always very busy. One of the few times we did use the infinity pool we were scolded for "swimming" when all we really did was move our arms a little on top the water. They are very strict on walking only in this pool.

The cleaning service is not good. There was constantly sand in our bed and I dont think we ever got a clean set of sheets during our week stay, as they only made the bed and there was always still sand. The elevators are new. ..but extremely slow and HOT which was very frustrating.

As for the worst part - the food. We ate the same thing for lunch and supper everyday. Breakfast was also always the same, but understand less variety for that. Food was always the same, and never great. We ended up having to eat out a few times because the food was not impressive and we were tired of eating the same thing.

What made our stay enjoyable in PV was the staff, beach drink service, and the zip line tour, and also the night we went out to the clubs. Overall the stay was O.K...but will most likely choose another resort if visiting the area again.

Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank Amy L
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 June 18, 2014

Dear Amy L

Thank you very much for sharing part of your experience with us. We regret any inconvenience during your stay, it is indeed rainy season and some days the sea seems to be a little less clear. The staff who interact with our guests is bilingual this is the first time we received a suggestion of this kind. When our hotel is full, it's hard to be in the pool without feeling crowded around, but our guests are well behaved and we have staff that monitors the safety of all. Thank you for your observation on the sheets, we recently changed all the bedding with new ones, however our maids are instructed to change sheets and pillowcases throughout the stay of our guests. Regarding food, we have every day different types of food, pasta, chicken, meat, seafood, salads, fruit, side dishes are prepared, however it is a challenge for us to satisfy all our guests. Hopefully on your next visit you're with us, you will always be welcome here :)

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Reviewed June 17, 2014

This was my second trip to this resort. My daughter brought me last year and I liked it so much I invited my sister to join us this year. We absolutely love this place, it is older and in need of updating but they have started on that , and it is kept absolutely clean. The staff are so friendly that you feel you are at home. It is so nice that the staff can give you a hug or a high five and it is interesting to hear stories of their families and they are gracious enough to listen to yours too.
The only bad experience I had was at the Gourmet restaurant, I ordered fish and when it came it was bad and I couldn't eat it. The plating also left a lot to be desired, it was all pretty much one colour. IT was a disappointment as the previous yr. the food was wonderful.
The food in the other areas was very good but plain although there was lots of choice. It would have been nice to see shrimp offered more, I had been expecting to get some fresh shrimp and I only saw it offered once as a stir fry. Other than that it is a great place to go and I would go again and my sister says she cant wait to go back.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Georgina 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 reviewResponded June 18, 2014

Dear Georgina B

Thanks for visit us this year too! We have excellent news for you, we just renovated many areas of our hotel, our rooms, lobby, restaurants, meeting rooms, bathrooms beach, elevators, etc. Thanks for your suggestions about the drawback at our Gourmet Restaurant, we will notify this, so that does not happen again. We are very happy to know that you and your sister will be back soon :) we can't wait to welcome you once again.

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Reviewed June 17, 2014

Checked in Feb 26 (2013), checked out Feb 28. Booked through Nolitours and were given special gold braclets upon check in which mean absolutely nothing other than your room is supplied with a bag of peanuts and a mickey of tequila. After check in we were shown to our room which was located above an omelet tent and the hotel air conditioning unit, didn't even let go of my suitcase. They gave us a different room overlooking pool and parallel to disco lobby.UHHG. Buffet was pretty bad.Everything room temp.Selection moderate. Ambience? zero. Very much reminded me of a bus stop restaurant or a cafeteria. The pool was small and always crowded. The beach area in my opinion was a nightmare. You must have to get up at 3am and drag a chair out past the roped off area if you want sun, other than that you're stuck in the shade by the beach bathroom. Go past the roped off area and be prepared to be swarmed by beach vendors!!!!! not exaggerating...SWARMED. 9am morning of day two, I'm on the beach, in the shade by the bathroom again thinking "wow..so this it, I can't believe we paid for this...how am I going to endure 5 more days of this place"? My husband asked me if I wanted to leave..hell yes I do!! I told him to run, not walk, to the hotel and find our tour rep before he/she left, usually around 10:30-11:00 a.m. We had a place in mind, they had room for us, so we paid about an extra $200.00 on our credit card to Nolitours, checked out and hailed a cab to a different resort and were there by 12:30. What a relief!!! We managed to salvage most of the trip. I don't know why people love this place. My advice to anyone is this: if you're going to a "new" place based on reviews etc, or even someone you know whose been there...HAVE A PLAN B , an escape route. This is easily do-able if using a supplier like Nolitours etc.

Room Tip: probably a room at another hotel
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank beachpeach26
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 June 18, 2014

Dear beachpeach26:

Thank you for sharing your opinion with us, every comment is positive or negative helps us to be better. Since the last time you were here in 2013 things have changed dramatically, we renovated many areas of our hotel, our rooms, lobby, restaurants, meeting rooms, bathrooms beach, elevators, etc. Thanks for all the suggestions. We invite you to visit us again and you can see the changes that we have for you and all our guests.

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Reviewed May 20, 2014

First off we are a couple late 30s early 40s. i have been to one other resort and it was a 4* in PV.

Accommodations:
Clean Clean Clean!
older yes but Clean!
newly renovated
new beds new bedding
no smells unless you put your nose under the bathroom sink.
every suit has a balcony
yes ask for a suit in the tower as high up as possible to lose some of the noise from the roof top restaurant. and the evening entertainment.

Employees:
Awesome Fantastic and amazingly Friendly!
everyone to pass says Hola!
Beach front service of food and drinks!
they enforce all rules! ie, no kids in hot tub or infinity pool.
not to many rules here, Friendly in all ways you could think of, if u know what i mean!
David,Eduuardo and Vincent are the best Waiters there!

Entertainment:
there is entertainment everywhere you go!
smaller resort means you dont have to go across the world to get to your bracelet making or dance lessons it is all done right on the beach!
bean bag toss and giant connect four are waiting for you!
as well as the kids club outside park and in doors video games room.
evening entertainment ranges from beach party with conga line and circus acts in the theater while enjoying a nice meal.
also have dj night and karaoke night for fun!

Food:
ok im a picky eater and so is my hubby but we always found something to eat.
not as a big of array of foods as the 4* resorts but you cant go wrong with some of the choices
Breakfast: waffles pancakes bacon eggs omlettes french toast cereal fruit and random mexican dishes like beans and chicken
Lunch:
Pastas, salads, fish and chips, Ribs, Pork chops, beef, burritos
Snacks:
can order these on the beach
Club house sandwiches,cheese burgers,fries,nachos,fish and chips and if you ask really really really nicely you can get the best CoConut Shimp ever!!!
Dinner:
Ribs,Fish,Pasta, pretty much same as lunch.
but you can also go to the Gourmet restaurant where u can enjoy Calamari, Ravioli,stuffed chicken, giant prime rib steak!
best tiramisu ever!
Ice cream Stand and coffee bar also available all day long!
as well as pool side munchies including Donuts! fresh made in front of you!

Drinks:
strong drinks located in the lobby!
every drink u can imagine u can have.
use your imagination.

Beach:
Best beach around by far. we walked up towards the Malecon and by far the best sandy beach in the area.
decent sized too!
you can put your beach chair anywhere you choose and a beach guy will be around quickly to see if u want any umbrellas or beach chair cushions!

Vendors:
Friendly Vallarta has a private roped off section so they wont normally bother you to much.
but a simply No thank you will do.


we had an unforgettable time!
i had mentioned on their Facebook page that we were going to be arriving at their resort and told them it was our 18 year anniversary. upon arrival our king bed was decorated with flowers in the shape of a heart and said 18 anniversary on it! if that wasn't enough there was also complimentary champagne.
those little things are what make this little Friendly Resort a 5* rating!

we will be returning again next year and the year after that and after that!

Room Tip: Ask for the Tower as high as you can get. Ask for the Shrimp while on the beach! have lots of fun!
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ElizabethCampbell76
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 June 12, 2014

Dear ElizabethCampbell76:

We enjoyed very much to read your review. For us it is a great reward to know how much you enjoyed your stay. We are speechless and we appreciate your honesty and all the nice things you said about us. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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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:
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#13 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#17 Business Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#21 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: $145 - $387 (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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