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Hotel Riu Palace Pacifico
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Reviews (4,276)
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2,733 - 2,738 of 4,276 reviews
Reviewed April 21, 2013

We have been travelling twice a year to the Riu Palace in PV since it opened in 2009. We have gone to other resorts now and again for a change of scenery, but always return to the Riu Palace Pacifico because no one could compare on all levels. However, I am wondering if it is time to do some more comparison shopping. As everyone says, you pay top buck to stay here and expect value for your money. We just returned yesterday after a week stay, we usually stay two weeks but shortened our trip this year as we brought some of our family along.

Do they water down their alcohol? I am questioning that this time. I ordered a Baileys on the rocks and honestly it made me wonder, something was off. I am not concerned about the getting plastered reason like some, but when I order a drink, I expect it to taste like the choice I offered. If you want to get hammered that is not hard to do, just order tequila shots and your problem will solve itself, however if you want a high quality drink, you expect it to be just that.

The hotel itself is starting to show its age as well. Of course their staff work their butts off maintaining it all wonderfully, but perhaps it is time for a few upgrades or refreshing of the interior rooms. Stained curtains, and bedspreads, running toilets, do not impress. I think it is false advertising to claim to be a five star resort, expect your staff to maintain it to perfection, but not provide the necessary furnishing, etc. to make your guests feel they got their money's worth.

We visited the specialty restaurants and they were amazing, great food and excellent service, but 5 star, maybe not. The food at the buffet is always excellent and varied. The wait staff are the best. Three cheers for Teddy and his promotion!

I also think that it is time they put some serious consideration into putting in a bathroom closer to the pool. The patrons that sit at the pool bar or on the perimeter all day, are not walking to the restrooms, so what is one left to assume? YUK, makes one not want to enjoy the swimiing in the pool. There are areas where they could put in a washroom that would facilitate the pool and beach area.

They used to have vendors come three nights a week, it was always fun to visit the kiosks and purchase a few things to take home. They are gone now, apparently the hotel was charging them so much, they could not afford it. Sad, they haven't lowered their prices but appear to have lowered their level of service to their customers.

Not once did we see the Manager, doing a walkabout or speaking with guests. Always before the managers, made a point to talk with their guests and welcome them. Probably getting too many complaints now, so they run the other way.

My reason for writing this negative review is not to discourage anyone from experiencing the Riu Palace and all it has to offer, but I am saddened at the thought that, it will not be first on my list of vacation destinations anymore, if they do not make the effort necessary to keep the Riu in the 5 star category.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank chezhelen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2013

I did a fair amount of research before choosing the Riu Palace as it was my first trip to Mexico and first real vacation in 8 years. I read some of the complaints about food, bathrooms, and other various issues. We stayed there from April 6-13th and it was amazing! Anybody who has specific questions, feel free to send me an email and i'll try to answer. Let me touch on a few areas:

Food: Really, if you complain about the buffett food you should probably get mentally evaluated. The selection was huge and the food was good. People complain about the restaurant reservation system. We had no problems getting into the steakhouse and the Fusion restaurant. Just go to the customer service desk in the lobby and make the reservation. Simple. The food in the restaurants was really good and unique.

Room: We stayed the first night on the 2nd floor and it was awesome. When we checked in we asked for a room as high up as possible. The lady at the counter said she'd call us if another room came available. Sure enough, we got moved to the 7th floor for the rest of our stay. It was fabulous! The room is great. Drinks were stocked and the cleaning staff did a great job.

Pool: People complain about the chair hogs on these reviews. I went down there about 8:30 one morning and got poolside seats. Other days, we opted for the beach chairs and there was never a problem there regardless of time of day. Lots of vendors down on the beach. Not a big deal. They'll walk up to you and show you their stuff. You simply say "no thanks" and they move on.

Drinks: Yes, they seemed a little watered down at times. However, the service was awesome whether it was at the pool or on the beach. Several times I ordered two drinks. I honestly don't think I ever waited more than 20 minutes between someone asking if I needed another drink. You can always go to the grotto and get drinks with almost no wait at any time. Great service.

Tips: I observed the hard working pool servers and restaurant staff and if I had to estimate, I'd say maybe 10-20% of people tipped. We tried to tip 40 pesos every meal and 20 pesos per pool/beach drink. Not saying that's right or wrong, just an observation on the tipping practices.

Also walked to Bucerias one morning. Wife had a 60 minute $20 massage about 1/4 mile north of the palace on the beach that she loved. Bucerias is interesting. old town. Lots of good sales men and women there!


Had a fabulous trip. Again, anyone who has questions, please email me and i'll try to help!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank 665sg665
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2013

This was our second trip back to this resort and I fully agree with the majority that you will receive excellent service from all employees at the resort. It is clean and it is a smaller resort so very easy to get around.

The majority of our trip was wonderful but the second half of the trip was awful to say the least. A large group of 18 year olds celebrating their Senior trip arrived at the resort. The hotel has a policy that indicates that there must be a person 21 and over in each room and they were not even close for adults to kids ratio. The hotel did not hold to their own rule and for the rest of the guests at the resort we all paid the price for these out of control kids. I will not get into all of the details on why these kids made the stay so awful but use your imagination and you probably have it covered. The management indicted that they had to sign papers and have good behavior or they would be removed from the hotel To me this was an empty threat. We were lucky and left a few days before they were due to leave but I truly felt sorry for the lady that was requesting to move rooms for the third time when we were checking out. When I asked Management about the hotel policy I was told they had multiple complaints about the group but if I wanted a better experience I should plan a different time. Really? We stayed the same time last year and did not have any of these issues. My question to Management is who is more likely to return to your hotel these out of control 18 year olds or your couples and families that were there to enjoy a vacation?

Overall you should enjoy the stay you will receive excellent service from your servers especially Teddy. Beware of when you travel since you may be vacationing at the wrong time according to Management. Make sure you get a massage on the beach, $20 for an hour just head down the beach towards Bucerias and you will find them. About a 10 minute walk tops. Also go into Bucerias for a great meal and drinks at Miguel Angels. Cab ride is 85 pesos.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Sue C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2013

A group of us travelled to this resort for a wedding. Although the hotel was gorgeous, I expected a bit more for the price we payed to stay there. The very first night, our power went out. It happens. But after calling three times and waiting 1 hour for the maintenance worker to come, my sister and I were non to impressed. I was stuck in the bathroom as I had just showered. For another 45 minutes while the maintenance worker flicked the switch to the breaker and light switches. We had tried the breaker and told him that. My sister went down to the front desk to ask to be switched to another room while the power was being worked on. She needed to be quite persistent with the front desk person, as the staff kept telling her "just a another minute. It'll be done in another minute". My sister explained that I was stuck in the washroom and it had been 1 3/4 hours already! And it was 8:00 in the evening, we wanted to get settled in. After arguing a little more, the staff finally gave us a new room. With the wrong room number. We had to try a few doors before we finally were able to open the door.
For a large resort there sure is a lack of washroom facilities within the hotel. Especially around the pool and common areas.
I also had a surprise when I was checking out of the hotel. A balance owing! I had to purchase calling cards from the lobby area to call home. I asked the front desk staff where to purchase them and if I needed to know anything to use them. Any service fees, etc. The staff said how to use the card and that there were no extra fees to use it at the hotel. I was sadly misinformed! There were connection fees that was charged for everytime I used the calling card. The price also varied depending on how long the calls were as well. When I told the staff member that, he asked me who I talked to. I didn't think that I would have any issues, so I didn't memorize the guys name! Why should I? He told me I was told wrong, but I still needed to pay. I wasn't very happy needless to say.
Other than a few issues, the staff were very kind and helpful for the most part. The hotel was also very clean.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank maddyz79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2013

The Riu Palace Pacifico is amazing! It is the cleanest resort we have ever stayed in and all the staff works extra hard to make your stay perfect. The beds are typical Mexico style beds, but we slept very well ....just do not expect a pillow top bed. The rooms are large, well decorated, and extremely clean. Every room has a balcony with a view of the ocean, center courtyard, pool, and mountains.. We were on the 8th floor and had a cool breeze at all times. The Madera mountains sit all around the resorts and provide a breath taking view at all times.

There is so much to see in the Puerto Vallarta region. Don't just sit in the resort, but get out and see what the life around it. We have travelled all around Mexico and this is our favorite region yet. The resort is beautiful. The Riu Vallarta and Jalisco are both within walking distance and easy to visit. The Riu Palace has activities all afternoon, but limited activities in the morning. This is smart on their part, as people seem to want quite time before lunch, but ramp up for some fun in the afternoons. The entertainment team gets pool games, volleyball (sand and water), and other activities going based on what the crowds want.

Bucerias is a short walk (40-45 minutes north) on the beach. About 20 minutes north is the most amazing massages for $20 per person. The massages were a great combination of Swedish and deep tissue and are at least one-hour long....or more. Bucerias provides lots of shopping and bartering opportunities. Our two favorites bars/restaurants are Fat Boys and Miguels. Both places are a must do. If you don't want to walk ...taxi is $5-8 each direction.

I can't believe all the complaints about the bathroom distance. Really....just get out of the pool and walk across the courtyard. It's not that far away. There are always the people in the pool that sit in it all day and drink.....we know it happens. The pool is exceptionally clean and well maintained. My only complaint in the pool is that people allow their small children to swim into the middle of the adult volleyball games. Some adults do not even know where their children are during the day. If you bring your children with you on vacation, you are responsible for their actions. Do not get drunk and ignore your children at the resort.

The food buffet in the two restaurants are very good and offer a huge assortment of food types each night. We did not find a need to book the additional restaurants, as we prefer to eat on our own schedule.

The staff is friendly and treats everyone so well. I definitely agree with Apple Vacations on their rating of this resort of 6 Golden Apple!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank digitalkimi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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