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Review of Hotel Riu Vallarta

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Hotel Riu Vallarta
Ranked #17 of 28 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 29, 2013

We stayed at the RIU Vallarta last year, the beach is great and huge. The staff was always great at the pool bar and lobby bar. The rooms were always clean. The views from the rooms were great even if you didnt have ocean front. The only down fall of this resort is the food gets a little old in the buffets. The trick is eat breakfast and lunch early.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank mizztravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 28, 2013

I'm hoping against hope that Choco and Ahmed will see this review and know how much they contributed to an overall wonderful trip at the Riu Vallarta resort. We returned last night after two wonderful weeks in Puerto Vallarta, where the weather was hot and sunny, and where the beach walks started each day, once with the sight of dolphins playing in the water barely a hundred yards offshore. We've been to Riu properties in the past and have always found them to be first-class resorts, and this was no exception. The staff is first-rate; professional and always happy to oblige. Choco and Ahmed are both members of the entertainment staff and went out of their way to provide much laughter pool-side every day, and every night at the theatre. They put in heroic hours, and with unfailing grace and good humour. The same goes for pool-side bar staff such as Hector and Richardo, who never stopped smiling, and were always attentive. I would not hesitate to recommend this resort. -- Jamie Hall, Edmonton, Alberta

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Jamie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2013

Arrived late on Friday Jan 18th. check-in was the most efficient I have ever encountered. Room request was for 2nd or 3rd floor but received assignment of 8th floor. I was too tired to argue so took room assignment and never changed it. There are 6 elevators serving the hotel and they were fast and efficient. I had the oppurtunity to see other room types while there and would definitely take upper floors just for the spectacular view. Like most reviews I agree the beds are not very soft and my wife had a bit of a problem sleeping.
Keys for the safe and door were problematic from the beginning but to receive another key took about 2 minutes and there were no issues with reception.
Staff was excellent and if you tip occasionally they will remember you and your drink type and have one ready for you as you come up to the bar. premium drinks are available in the lobby bar and all the staff there were very friendly.
Hotel was very clean and staff were eager to help you out if you had an issue. Please note that beach and water is not crystal clear like in Jamaica's Negril area but beach was extremely fun because of the size of the waves. People were getting pummelled on occasion if they weren't concentrating but otherwise it was fun just diving into some of these, which occasionally were over 7 feet tall. Many boogie boards were out on some of the bigger wave days.
Grounds were well manicured and staff were constantly updating and painting. For those who like to photograph the landscape around the hotel was nice and you could get really excellent views from the 9th floor which had a few jut outs on the front side of the hotel with panoramic views of the surronding area. 8th floor only had windows to take photos from on the pacific side.
Every night you could also obtain photos of the sunset, as the resort faces almost due west.
Food was typical for other Riu resorts and no one in my party got sick from anything they ate.
We tried all three of the ala carte restaurants. Nirvana was asian fare and was nice and food was not exceptional but our entire party enjoyed the variety. The Steakhouse was nice, location was down by the beach and for those who like beef it was worthwhile going there. Please note the cuts of meat are significantly different than those you can obtain in canada or the US. Finally, the Sir George gourmet restaurant was trying to be upscale and some of the dishes (grouper fillet and crepe dessert) were excellent but variety did not suit half of our party of 4.
Pools and entertainment staff were good and they really do keep the young kids out of the adult pool. This in itself was sometimes entertaining. If you have allergies to shellfish you will have to be extremely cautious with the buffet as shrimp in particular seem to show up in many of the dishes. If you have allergies to any type of flying insects(bees, wasps) stay away from the swim up or pool bar as they are everywhere.
Spanish lessons are everyday down near the bar by the pool. Entertainment nightly for those so enclined (show up early to get a seat anywhere near the stage) If you don't sleep soundly get a room away from the courtyard side as in other reviews it can get a little loud. No parties went on beyond midnight during my stay. If you don't like hard beds get a mattress topper on your first day you will get a much better sleep.

Room Tip: If you don't mind a little noise in the evenings courtyard rooms provide excellent views of the...
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank snowleopard5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

This hotel is Excellent!! Food was good.. lots to pick from, good taste .. STAFF was AMAZING!! - Very clean property - they are doing some re-painting so its looking even better! Rooms are large (we just had a normal with king bed) - ours didn't smell at all! Wasn't damp - I was cold the first night so I asked for an extra blanket - I ended up getting 2 so I was nice and toasty the rest of the week - we turned the AC off and left the patio door open.. yes it was noise with the band playing in the court yard but ALL was quiet after 11pm (one night i feel asleep to the music at 8:30pm lol ) - 1 night a drunken fool was yelling but I then heard a guard escourt him to the lobby :) Bed was not as hard as I had read in past review?? It was fine for us! We travelled with SunWing out of Ottawa - flight was delayed by an hour due to weather but oh well.. it was all good! Bathrooms were clean and large! We had a tub/shower - large! really nice!! Beach was beautiful - lots of chairs - we noticed a few went and placed towels before 7am but the staff went around and collected the towels! They have it in there policy book to please not set out towels!! The 2 pools were great - 1 adult 1 kid - The drinks were excellent!! Not watered down - we had a buzz a few times!! We booked adventures through SunWing (as we wanted the insurance coverage) - we got book 2 get a 3rd FREE!! CNT (CaribbeanNexusTravel.com) was the tour company.. went to Rhythms of the night - AMAZING!! - Snorkelling,Whale watching, horseback riding.. all was GREAT!! Husband even did Deep Sea fishing - :) It was a GREAT holiday and I would recommend it to my friends / family - we will not be going back as we love to see other places! (we have never gone back to a resort no matter how great).. Didn't feel scared or nervious the entire week - yes they have a key instead of key card but didn't bother us any! The safe locked fine and nothing was stollen of misplaced - staff was perfect!! OH - even went on the local bus to the "Town" - flea market - had no problems!! Police are around - very friendly!! Took a taxi back - no problem again!! The resort will exchange your Canadian Dollars into pasios (1 x 12.50) - Don't bring US (except for tipping if you like) - remember to exchange the pasios back to Canadian as Mexico changes there money ever 5 years .. weather was cloudy for the first 2 days then sun and warm the rest of the week - bring a sweater for cool nights - and if your going on the bay in the evenings - loved the place - LOVE RIU Resorts!!! Can't wait to see were we will end up next time!!!

Room Tip: no need to pay for a suite - just ask for KING bed :) We also had no problem getting a joining room...
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Smidette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

First of all, I meant to write this review a while back but just got busy and forgot about it.
We had an awesome wedding vacation at the Riu Vallarta with oour group of 39 people.
Our destination wedding took place Nov.30-Dec7, and the Riu was a great choice for us.
Absolutely everything went off without a hitch. The wedding coordinator Gabriel was very good and made sure all the details were looked after. Our beach wedding was picture perfect and beautiful and we could not have asked for anything better.
Now onto the resort itself,we were a bit concerned after reading alot of not too favorable reviews, but I have learned over the many years of travel that you have to take some reviews with a grain of salt.
Check-in was a breeze even with 39 of us, we all had suite upgrades and our room was upgraded to one of the "honeymoon" suites which was fantastic. The grounds were gorgeous and the staff was decorating for the Christmas season which was very cool. The hotel was very clean and well organized as far a layout goes. Many bars to service your thirst, great servers(especially Vanessa) we had our our drink named for us. If you see Vanessa ask her for a "Vanessa Press" you will love it!!! The food was actually very good for Mexico,and the ala cartes were quite nice. The beach restaurant was our usual choice for lunch and always had alot of variety. The buffets were also very nice. The shows were pretty good and entertained both the older and younger members of our group. Our group ranged in age from 17 to 70 and they all had a fantastic time at the resort, our trip was talked about for weeks(and it still is) the absolute best time ever!!!
The resort was not too crowded as we were not peak season, so getting either poolside or beach chairs was never an issue for us. Yes, the weekends did fill up a bit with locals, but why not they get a great deal and a great place to enjoy a weekend getaway. Everyone one was very nice and we would certainly go back to that resort if we got a good deal again(we like variety so we usually move around a bit to experience other resorts)
There was not ONE complaint from anyone in our group of 39 people so the Riu was a great destination for our group wedding.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Debdavelasalle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2013

This hotel was beautiful! The staff was very friendly and helpful. We booked this trip through our travel agent and Apple Vacations. It was so nice to have the Apple representatives at the airport to get you to your hotel. There are so many other 'helpful' people there trying to get you to go with them, and it was nice to know to just look for the colorful Apple shirts! :) It was a very organized trip with them. We loved that they had a desk at the hotel that we could stop at anytime and book excursions or ask questions. The excursions were amazing! We went on 4 different excursions through Vallarta Adventures. We would highly recommend these, "Rythms of the Night", "Offroad Adventure", & "Dolphin Adventure/Signature Swim". We talked with other guests that tried different excursions and they also had a great time.
The food at the hotel was very good. There was more to pick from that you could ever want. We certainly were never hungry!

The room was very clean, the bathtub area was a bit in need of a redo. You can only patch and recaulk so many times. The rest of the bathroom was nice. The beds and pillows were very comfortable and we slept well.

If I had to say something they could improve on, it would be to invest in some new lounge chairs and cushions. They were in pretty bad shape. We put our towels on them first of course, but some of them were so worn out, and the chair underneath was in bad shape also, that they were pretty uncomfortable. Also, like every other hotel in Mexico, or really anywhere tropical for that matter, that wonderful musty smell. Maybe if they put exhaust fans in the bathrooms it would take some of the moisture out and help with that issue, but it seems like a lot of the tropical hotels don't have these and I don't know why.
They did have wi-fi in the hotel lobby. You could get 90 minutes free every 24 hours, but all at once, you can't use 20 minutes now and come back later and use the rest. And if you start your time at 9:00 PM, you can't get your free time again until 9:00 PM the next night. Not a big deal really but just something to remember.
We did have an issue in the sushi restaurant. There were little ants, really little ants that were all over the table. I told the staff and after a while, I had to go tell her again because we were all standing there waiting for them to do something. She came and wiped that table setting for that one area of the table and thought that would do it. They were all over the place mat and it was just gross. She seemed irritated that we wanted to just move to a new table. Once we did move, it seemed as though we were ignored and they never brought placemats and everything else that usually sits on the table, they just pointed to an empty table and we took our plates and silverware with us. Sorry there were ants at our table??!! This was the 2nd time we ate there and the first time was fine, or we probably wouldn't have gone back.

Overall, I would stay here again. It seemed to be in a great location and we had no problems communicating with anyone. They were constantly cleaning and it seemed like a very well run hotel.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank JD07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2013 via mobile

This is a terrific Riu that allows you to see the Pacific Ocean and enjoy the beautiful Mexican flair. We have been return clients and would recommend this hotel in a heartbeat. The service was great. The food was fantastic. The pool was great. The ocean doesn't have that turquoise color though. It was cold too. The weather was awesome. Please, if you go, visit the Riu Palace next door. Now that is worth seeing. You won't be disappointed.....

  • Stayed: February 2012
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2  Thank jeffrey k
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

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
#12 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range: $156 - $332 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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