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“Great resort - Great Beach!”
Review of Hotel Riu Vallarta

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Hotel Riu Vallarta
Ranked #17 of 28 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Mankato, MN
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Great resort - Great Beach!”
Reviewed March 1, 2013

Our group of 24 spent 5 days, Feb. 20-25 at this resort. This is a great resort, GREAT BEACH, food was also very good and the staff was very attentive....the beds are rock hard! You can ask for a mattress topper to help ease the pain! I didn't care much for the fact that my "neighbors" were quite loud and gave me a daily 4am wake up. We were on the 3rd floor (3044) and had a decent oceanview, but our room also faced the tiled roof. Seems the people on the floor above us would throw cigarettes, old bandages and clothing over their balcony in front of ours! Not to mention the vomit and another liquid that I'm pretty sure wasn't beer! Other than that, everything was great! The bartender, Vanessa in the center bar was quick and attentive. More than I can say for Jeorge. Our Apple Vacation reps, Eduardo and Humberto were wonderful! Thanks to them for everything! We took the Pegasas on a whale watching tour. The tour was to last 3 1/2 hours, and actually went over 4. They served cervasa and a sandwich with chips and salsa on this boat. It was pretty good! That day was windy, which made for a rough ride and made it difficult to move around. Ricardo was the whale expert and didn't like it if you talked while he was! And he LET you know it, too!! He ended the tour with a 15 minute speech about how everyone should tip them....which everyone would have done anyway!! Our group had very few complaints. About the only one I heard was about the hard beds. We went to Bucerias one day to shop, and another day to the boardwalk. If you go to either of these places, the taxi fare will be less with more people. $17 for a van of 8 people....so just over $2 per person to Bucerias. The boardwalk was a little more at about $5 per person for 8 people or more. This is one of my many trips to PV and each time is better than the last! The RIU Vallarta might be hard to beat!

Room Tip: Avoid rooms on the 3rd floor that overlook the tiled rooftop.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank TravelgalMankato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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mpls,mn
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2013

was had by our group in Nuevo Vallarta. We stayed there Feb 1-11th. I haven't yet figured out where any complaints are warranted. The food was good as was the variety. The food and service in the Sir George was on par with any fine restaurant I've dropped $100 at in the states. If you request a bed pad you won't have any trouble sleeping and the rooms as well as the whole resort are kept quite clean. If you have the ability,you can walk the beach to Bucerias to shop and enjoy some food and 'refreshments'. You also have the ability to partake in the amenities at the RIU Jalisco with the AI plan, if you would like a change, although not the RIU Palace. All three are within walking distance of each other. I would not hesitate to recommend this resort.

Room Tip: Rooms on the outside of the 2 arms would be quieter, but I had no problem sleeping. I was on the 8th...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Ron C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
British Columbia, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2013

My family and I stayed at the Riu Vallarta Jan 20-27/2012. This was a fantastic resort! Every day we were continually amazed at the level of service and cleanliness of this place! We travelled with our 4 year old daughter, and she had a blast as well! We stayed in a junior suit, and the room was fantastic, the view incredible. The food at this resort is amazing, we were thoroughly impressed at every meal. The nightly entertainment was excellent. I would go back here in a heartbeat! The only downsides were, the beds were uncomfortable, but I hear this is pretty standard in Mexico. Also the pools were very cold. In the afternoon they were bearable. WE also liked that 2 minutes down the beach there was Riu Jalisco, which is also a beautiful resort that we had access tot he lunches and pools. Jalisco's family pool was way more fun.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jennifer W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, South Dakota, United States
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 28, 2013

This was our first trip to Mexico and our first time staying at an all inclusive. What a wonderful experience it was. We took our son there to celebrate his 18th birthday and what a memorable trip we had. The RIU was beautiful and so very clean!! There was staff everywhere all day...from cleaning and sweeping, to serving you drinks on the beach or just simply asking if you were having a great stay and was there anything they could get for you. When was the last time that happened for many of us. The beds were horrible as many travelers have expressed. We did call down to the front desk three times to ask for the bed toppers and never did receive. Oh well...we made do. I also wished there was a coffee pot in the room. I didn't always want to throw on clothes to go down to the lobby to get coffee so I could watch the sunrise with a cup of coffee, again not a big deal just one thing on my wish list. We enjoyed all the food and there was always plenty and if something was out, they had it there for you in just a few minutes. The breakfast buffet was incredible, really got our day off to a great start. Did the steak night at Flamingos which was really good. Other restaurant was Sir George and we had fresh seafood which was delicious. Did not try the Asian place. Bring cash and exchange for pesos, not many places take credit cards and if they do, you pay more. We did not have enough cash and fell short for cabs, tips and just general shopping. Our credit cards did not work in the ATM there, not sure why? We did get it figured out, but don't cut yourself short. As others have mentioned, the staff lives of our our tips and the service was great and they took care of our every need so tipping was so earned, I regret not leaving more but ran out of cash. Jorge and his staff at Fun Jet Adventures in the lobby were awesome....they created some once in a lifetime experiences for our family. The Rhythm of NIght dinner and show is a wonderful experience..a must see. One of the best meals we had while in Mexico. Such a great experience. The Canopy River Zip Line was breathtaking!! Scariest thing I have ever done in my life...50 and female. Scared to death but what an experience. The staff is over the top...entertaining, funny and truly made the zip line experience one that we will talk about for many years to come. We took in the Boardwalk, did all of our shopping here. Hotel was very expensive so don't shop here. Boardwalk has something for everyone and every price range. Food, fun, art and $1 beers everywhere. It was a great way to spend the afternoon. We took in all the shows at the hotel, all fun. Just watching all the people is entertaining to me. Our son did the parasailing from the hotel beach. $50 cash and they did a great job. They took him along the beach, safe take off and very safe landing. The afternoon entertainment at the adult pool with the swim up bar was loads of laughs. Staff did a great job getting the crowd involved with all the fun and games. I could go on and on....it was a wonderful trip with absolutely no regrets and very minor complaints. We will do this again. One another note, many of the restaurants have a dress code at night, long pants. Our son only had jeans and we kind of got the evil eye when we walked in. A little awkward but this was not mentioned in anything. So brings some long dress pants for the men, ladies sundresses/skirts would be fine. My dress code was not dressy enough and I felt way underdressed for some of the nightly dinners. I made do but felt like a slump. a On another note, try to avoid flying Frontier...what a mess. We now know why they have the poor ratings that they do. Just a bad experience and very poor customer service. Thank you to Jennifer with All About Travel in Sioux Falls, SD and thank you to the Riu Vallarta for providing us with a wonderful vacation experience.

Room Tip: We stayed on the 7th floor room 7063. Beautiful view of the ocean and the property. We had a junio...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tammy Jo Smith Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Paso, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2013

stayed at the Vallarta Feb 11-16th. Let me start by saying that this was the nicest hotel I have stayed at yet. I would not pay any attention to any of the bad reviews that are posted. I didn"t. Two years ago we went to Cancun and stayed at the Riu Caribe and I read many bad reviews (many good as well) and was a little worried after booking our trip. Well when we got back home I wrote a review entitled "Awesome". So after reading some bad reviews about this hotel I really had no worries. Some people just cannot be pleased. I will admit that their TVs are out dated and you can't gel any english stations, but do you really travel such a long way just to watch TV ? The grounds of this hotel are beautiful as is the pool, the lobby, the beach, and the whole atmosphere. The staff was great as well, and checking in took only five mins. I would not recommend buying anything in the gift shop in the lobby as the prices are about 3 to 4 times higher than at a regular store. The drinks at this hotel were better than what we had in Cancun as they have premium brand liquors such as Bacardi, Absolut, Beefeater etc. We did not eat at the Asian restaurant so I cannot comment there, but we did eat at the other two and at the buffet. WE did not like the steakhouse at all but the gourmet restaurand was fabulous. We each got something different so we could try 3 different entrees. The lamb chops were the best I have ever eaten, and the fillet steak was real good and came with shrimp and octapus which I enjoyed. We all ordered white wine which was not to bad. The red wine was not good. As for the buffet, the food there was great. So many different choices, and the desserts. Wow. Lunch buffet was pretty good too. Breakfast buffet was fantastic. Omlets made to your desire. Pretty much anything you can think of for breakfast, they have it. Even mimosas. The evening shows. We saw two of them. Grease I did not like, but then again I hated the movie as a kid. The Michael Jackson show was really good, and I don't like Michael Jackson. Boogie boarding was a lot of fun and I never had trouble getting a board. We walked down the beach to the other Riu properties and were pleased that we had chosen the Vallarta. Would definetly recommend this hotel. If we ever return to Puerto Vallarta again this is wher we will stay. Our next trip will be to Punta Cana, D.R. and we will be staying at one of the RIU resorts. I wouldn't think of staying at any other resort. And I will not pay any attention to the Negative reviews. One more bit of advise. When you arrive at the airport,and if you need a taxi, do not take the white ones. Simply walk outside and go to the left. Walk up and over the pedestrian bridge to the other side of the road. There you will find the yellow taxis which cost a fraction of the white ones. Also it is best to get pesos ahead of time. The taxis will take USD but the hotel will not. Another thing don't be afraid to tip the staff at the hotel. You will see a difference. A dollar here and there goes a long way. Hope you enjoy as much as we did, have some fun !!! Oh I forgot, The beds are somewhat firm, but if you ask for a mattress topper the first day they will bring you one. We did not ask, but everyone slept just fine.

Room Tip: Our rooms were 8081 and 8082 which were located on the left hand side if looking at the hotel. We co...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kyle p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Langley City, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2013

My family and I stayed at the Riu Vallarta at the beginning of February. For all of us, this was our first time to Mexico period. We were all a little concerned since news about 'dangerous conditions in Mexico' is always forefront on national news coverage. We were pleasantly surprised that at no time did we ever feel in unsafe or threatened.
Our sunwing flight was delayed for over 8 hours, so to say the least, we were all a bit antsy to get to Mexico and crash in the hotel.
A coach bus from the Riu awaited us at the airport and Valentine (a sunwing rep) apologized for the delay and told us that the rest of our stay in the hotel will be a true vacation.
When you first get to the hotel, it is quite jaw dropping. I thought it was gorgeous with many rich jewel toned colours and intricate details in the design. The hotel is very open and feels part of the outdoors. We went to our room and honestly it was a little outdated. It smelled a bit musty but that should be expected from any humid climate.
The bed is ,as other reviewers have expressed, quite hard. I had to get a mattress pad and although it didn't improve the feeling that much, I still passed out and slept all through the night.
One thing that you will notice is how friendly all the staff is there. They are constantly maintaining the grounds, smiling and working hard to keep you happy.
If any reviewers say otherwise, they are completely blind and really should just stay home.
The grounds were unbelievably beautiful; lush green grass, swept sandy beach and clear blue pool.
I tried all of the ala cartes and buffets. All food was good and you would expect to pay big money back in Canada for any of it.
In my opinion, all the ala cartes were exceptional and the breakfast and dinner buffets were great. I wasn't too impressed with the lunch buffet but only because they served more typical 'north american food' such as hotdogs, pizza and fries. While that is all good, I wanted to try more authentic mexican dishes.
The food was vast, plenty, delicious, fresh, always more coming and hot. What more could you ask for?
The beach was beautiful with a constant light breeze and coconut trees all above. There are ALWAYS beach chairs available. They might not be right beside the ocean but you can always take the empty beach chair and move it.
Staff continuously are circling around to bring you drinks while you lounge in your chair.
If you want a bit more atmosphere and fun, try hanging out at the pool and pool bar. Theres music and games going on if you want to be involved or just sit in the pool and drink all day, its your choice.
Nightly entertainment was fantastic! The performers were really talented and their dance numbers were complex and fast paced. The costuming was great too. I particularly loved the 'Grease' and 'Michael Jackson' shows. I swear it was Michael himself that came on stage, truly amazing!!!
Since I am in my early twenties, I will point out the crowd is a bit more middle age. I still had lots of fun partying it up with all the vacationers.
One thing that I will like to address that had me furious at time, was how us 'vacationers' treat the staff and locals in Mexico. I noticed many times how mean and angry people would be to the staff at the hotel. Trust me, the staff is AWESOME!!! They only want to make sure everyone is happy so really there is NO POINT in being rude to them. Also, I beg of everyone that travels to a third world country that we as travellers are so lucky to be able to go on vacations. A concept most Mexicans could never dream of. Their average wage is 7 dollers US a day. Please, PLEASE, PLEASE tip them. A doller or two for drinks and another doller or two for food will do a lot more good for them than keeping it and spending it on Starbucks when we get back home. PLEASE tip them. The hotel staff were fantastic and they really deserve to be treated that way too.

Room Tip: Junior suites have two double beds and a direct ocean view!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
12 Thank saritha m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edwardsburg, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2013

We just returned from a 5 night stay and had a great relaxing time. All staff are very friendly and fun. We especially liked Maricio the bartender! Drinks were great, lots to choose from too. Food was also just fine, no complaints here. Many restaurants and a huge selection at the buffets. We were also happy with the free wifi availability in the lobby area. Beach was also great for sun and body surfing!

One suggestion is that the hotel needs more staff at the reception desk during check in and out times.

This was our second time to stay here and are planning a 3rd trip for a group of our friends for later this year...so yes, we'll definitely be back!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
5 Thank bdwinz
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
#12 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#17 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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