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“Here are my strategies for dealing with the Riu Vallarta” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Riu Vallarta

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Hotel Riu Vallarta
Ranked #15 of 27 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Here are my strategies for dealing with the Riu Vallarta”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2012

Here are some tips for surviving your stay at this Riu Hotel;

1. LOCALS

Expect that from Thursday afternoon until Monday morning the hotel will be taken over by local Mexican tourists. You will not be able to get within 10 feet of a bar, a buffet or a pool. They simply over take the resort and management does nothing to correct things like kids in the adult pool, broken glass littered all over the resort of blaring radios from one end of the resort to the other. It took us 3 hours to check in when we arrived on 12/10/28 because the hotel was overwhelmed with people. The same thing happened when we checked out a week later, (see pics).

The best solution for this is to plan all of your outside activities for those days, like we did. If you would like to eat during the busy times, get to breakfast before 8 AM while the locals are still sleeping it off. Lunch and dinner are total disasters with endless line ups, screaming babies and people who have no concept of taking their turn in line. During the week, the hotel is amazing but the rest of the time, its a total write off.

2. ROOM DOORS

The doors in the room do not latch, therefore they do not lock. We discovered this pretty quickly which was a good thing because people were having things stolen from their rooms and I think this maybe be why. Although the door in your room closes automatically, you have to pull on it to make sure that fully closes, engaging the lock. We heard of an incident where 2 cell phones were stolen and $200 in cash was taken from a room and another incident where an Ipad was taken from a room. The door issue is probably the culprit here.

3. The SUN WING REP and the HOTEL MANAGEMENT

The Sun Wing Rep is there to sell you tours and to make sure that you get on and off the right plane or bus. He may be able to give you some helpful advice but for most people what ever he tells you is just usually common sense, nothing earth shattering. The Hotel Management does not care about anything that is happening in the resort. You can report problems but, rest assured, nothing will be done. If you understand these things and realize that your complaints will fall on deaf ears, you can conduct yourself accordingly. Knowledge and prevention will go along way here.

4. THIEVES

We lost a set of pool towels and a pair of sunglasses from around the pool. Naturally this was during the busy time. No point in complaining about because nothing will happen. Do what we did, bribe a waiter with $10 and he will happily grab you a couple of new towels from the towel shack. Bring $15 sunglasses and expect to have them stolen, because they probably will be.

5. FOOD

The food gets boring after a week, when you can get to it that is. The food choices and quality improve exponentially when the weekend comes, however you cannot get anywhere near it. The themed restaurants are a bit of a joke, for instance when the buffet at the Japanese restaurant is empty, the meal is over. They do not refill anything.

6. SCREAMING MEXICAN BABIES EVERYWHERE

There is no solution for this other than leaving the resort when its baby season, (Thursday to Monday). Screaming babies can be found everywhere but are especially popular at any restaurant, the adult pool, the pool bar or for diaper changing on the pool deck. There is no escaping them.

7. INTERNET

Believe it or not, this "5 Star" resort only offers 90 minutes of "free" internet access a day. You must go to the lobby to use it. Want it for a week, $70 please. Never have I had to pay for the internet while in a Mexican hotel. Bush league.

Summary;

This property has the potential to be a great resort. Lack of rules, special treatment for locals and the Riu philosophy of renting out every single room at fire sale prices to locals do nothing to make it great. Obviously the door issue is a major concern but at least you know about it now.

Room Tip: If you like noise until 4AM, choose a room facing the courtyard. If you like a view of vacant lots...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank RobB1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,405)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Burlington, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2012

We stayed there Oct. 4-11 and enjoyed it to the fullest. We found the food to be great and the staff very friendly and helpful. Check-in was very well organized and we got our room upon arrival. My husband lost his ipod but someone turned it in to the front desk and it was returned to him the next day. Thanks to the unknown person who was kind enough to give it to the staff, we really appreciate it very much. We would return there anytime for another great vacation.

Room Tip: We were on the 6th floor....
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ruby049
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2012

Hi,
Amazing how everyone has such different opinions about this hotel, and that's okay. I do realize that you get what you pay for and admittedly we got a great deal. Would I return and pay near double in the high season? Never. Here are the pros and cons.

What was great:

- Friendly, helpful, hardworking staff that earn on average the Mexican minimum wage of approx. $8 U.S. daily (work 6 days a week!). Please show your appreciation for their hard work and tip appropriately.

- Beach location was great and so was swimming

-Hotel decor and layout was pleasant, room was nice and much needed A/C worked well.


What wasn't so great:

-The food. Why do I say this when so many liked it? I happen to enjoy good, quality food. While the fresh fruit was a hit and so tasty, almost all other food (besides the self-serve beer on tap) was lacking. It was obvious that the buffet chefs had inferior quality of food to cook with. The food at Sir George arrived cold and tasteless. The coffee at breakfast tasted pretty awful - ask for a cappuchino from the server instead.

- Best food is a short cab ride/walk to Bucerias. Treat your taste buds, visit Restaurante Rosa Mexicano there, absolutely delicious, Mexican cuisine!!

What to bring:
- If you enjoy a decent coffee, bring your own instant from home. (Yes, perhaps an oxymoron, but the Starbucks instant isn't too bad and much better than the hotel's.)
-Insulated drink container to keep your alcoholic drink cold. (I stuck with the beer as the mixed drinks are uber-sweet and most use artificial syrups - eeck.)

I did enjoy myself, but would not return to this chain of hotels. RIU is cutting costs by providing low quality food and drink. This is not the fault of the staff, but the management.

The staff and my great company made the trip a good one, but not willing to be a future RIU guest.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank TortillaQueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
spokane
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2012

Riu Vallarta was a great property to stay at. The food was great, the drinks were plentiful and the hotel entertainment staff made sure you were enjoying yourself during your stay. There were nightly shows and daily activities for all to enjoy.
Other points: The hotel was kept clean, the rooms were nice and it was terrific to have a stocked refrigerator and liquor dispenser in the room. You don't really need it as the drinks on the property were readily available, but it was a nice touch.
One down fall was the bed...it was hard! I don't want to complain too much on this, as the view from our room was fabulous.
it was also nice that we were able to visit the partner RIU property and eat and drink there as well, all under the all-inclusive package.

Room Tip: We upgraded to the Junior Suite and had an excellent view of the property, pools and ocean.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank speedwalkermach10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omaha, NE
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2012

We stayed at the Riu Vallarta Oct 6-12. This hotel is beautiful and well cared for by the staff. Check in was a breeze and we were on the beach in minutes.The food was very good and there was a large selection each meal. The main buffet restaurant is busy for breakfast if you sleep in till 10am so if this is an issue you will need to go earlier. We ate at the gourmet and steakhouse restaurants and had a wonderful meal at each. The steakhouse you could see the sunset and the gourmet is a fancy room. Everything was great about the hotel but the main thing that made this over the top was the waiter/waitress and bar staff throughout the hotel. We had so many positive "customer service" experiences it would be hard to list them. They were so attentive and fun it really made our week special. We will be back for this reason alone.

Room Tip: I don't think you could get a bad room - it looks like all rooms have a view.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NEVacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
indiana
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2012

Went to RIU Vallarta last week. Had a wonderful time. Please do not let the negative reviews concern you. Just go and enjoy yourself and you will have a great time.

Some points

Restaurants - tried all of them and they were all great. Never went hungry.

Hotel - very clean and well kept

Staff - very helpful anytime and anywhere

Bar Staff - Teresa/Claudia/Richard/Pablo were great. Teresa works the main bar out side (between the buffet and entertainment area). She made her bar very fun. She has many games to trick you. She has a special drink for those who appears sleepy so beware.

Locals -never had a problems with any of them. After all, it is their country

Will go back

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank sbwpres
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Langley
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2012

Our trip started off with amazing service on Sunwing Vacations, the flight was amazing, the flight attendants were so awesome and then when we landed in PV everything went so smooth, then when we got to the hotel we were met by a very enthusiastic man named Jessie. The staff was so nice and the bar staff were so fun, the grounds were so clean and the food was excellent. The rooms were good (everything you needed was there). We did a day tour called the Outdoor Adventure through Vallarta Tours for $98.00 and it was the highlight of our trip...zodiac ride, 4 wheeling up a side of a mountain, then jumping on a donkey and then 9 zip lines through waterfalls...it was such a good time! The weather was great, the only thing was the beach had a red flag due to high waves. The week we went was Oct 5-12 and we are glad we went then cuz on the 12th of October (the day we were leaving) 2600 Mexicans were arriving to celebrate their Columbus holiday....our week was so quiet, no wait for drinks, the restaurants you could just walk in without even making a reservation. The Gourmet Restaurant was truly our fav!!!! Would go back again for sure!

Room Tip: Everything shuts down by 11 so anyroom is fine there....
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank carlsheilakels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Vallarta

Property: Hotel Riu Vallarta
Address: Av de Los Cocoteros s/n | Lote Hotelero G, Nuevo Vallarta 63732, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Nayarit > Riviera Nayarit > Nuevo Vallarta
Amenities:
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 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#10 Family Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#11 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Vallarta 3.5*
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-story building * 3 km / 1.86 miles from various shops * 13 km / 8 miles from the airport * 1 km / 0.62 miles from Flamingos Golf Club * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Vallarta Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
Riu Vallarta Nuevo

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