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“Perfect Vacation”
Review of Hotel Riu Vallarta

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Hotel Riu Vallarta
Ranked #18 of 27 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Port Coquitlam, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
303 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“Perfect Vacation”
Reviewed April 26, 2013

We stayed a the Riu Vallarta from April 14-21st for a cousin's wedding. The resort itself is beautiful and spotless. We were greeted with a drink in the lobby and our junior-suite was ready ahead of check-in time.

The junior suite was perfect for my husband and me, the view was incredible! Although the bed is hard (as read here) the room and bathroom are large and very liveable. The liquor dispenser is complete with bottles of rum, tequila and vodka and the mini-bar fridge has beer, pepsi and water. We never drank the alcohol in our room but it was abundant - we emptied the water in the fridge frequently but it was replaced with no problems. We had a lovely deck with two chairs and a small table and a clothes-drying rack. There was some noise with the door open but it was good, happy noise and pretty much stopped by 11 or 12 every night.

The adult pool is amazing; great swim-up bar and plenty of in-pool 'booths' and loungers which we had no problem accessing at some point during each day. They do allow smoking in the pool which I have never seen before. There are plenty of loungers around the pool and at the beach and we got chairs every day even though we are not early risers! I suggest taking your own towels so you can recognize them on the loungers!! There are games and such at the pool daily and it can get noisy but if you're not into that then go to the beach for an hour and wait it out. They also had runners bringing us drinks at the beach which was anice touch. Don't forget to bring your own insulated travel-mugs for drinks as the ones provided are fairly small and the ice melts fast. The drinks are abundant and there is no worries about the water (all filtered except from the taps in your room) or the ice.

The food was abundant and very, very tasty!! We ate at Don Raffaelo's buffet mostly, and had some amazing dinners including fish, steak, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, pasta, pizza and lots of fresh fruits and veggies.The authentic Mexican food is also wonderful, the fritters are fabulous! I only ate one thing that was a bit too spicy for me. At breakfast there is a great juice bar and even a Caesar bar! There is all of the usual eggs, bacon, hashbrowns as well as Mexican specialties and lots of fruit. At lunch we ate at the restaurant closest to the beach and they had pretty much everything you could get at dinner so it was a food-fest all week! There are also pop-up taco stands which are excellent. On Friday we had a fiesta on the beach with huge, fresh paella and it was my fave!!

There was never any lineups for reservations for the specialty restaurants but we never wanted to go to one as the food in the buffet was great. Some friends reserved for us at Nirvana the Japanese restaurant and it was not very good, The sushi rolls all had cream cheese in them and they really rush you through your meal if you are in the first seating. They actually covered up the main course and took away the serving utensils before we had even eaten. We asked for a serving spoons so we could have our entree but was told they 'close' at 8 and the waiter/manger walked away and never did let us have dinner. It put me off going to the other secialty restaurants but like I said the buffet was awesome!

We took a $10 cab to Bucerias to buy some souveniers but there are alos some vendor tents set up on the beach at the resort.

The wedding itself was picture-perfect, wonderfully orchestrated and beautiful. One of the best I have been to and of course the backdrop was second to none. The reception was also beautiful and well orchestrated. The dinner was a choice of steak or chicken or ribs and all were very good! The dance floor set up on the beach under the stars and lanterns was something I will never forget.

Check out was a bit of a pain so get there early. There was only one staff member for both check out and check in so the check-in's took precedence and the wait was long. Make sure to bring your towel-cards back when you check out and all members of your party need to be there to have the wrist-bands cut off.

All in all it was a great vacation, I look forwar dto going back!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank BoomChickaCUBA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Waterloo, Iowa
Level 6 Contributor
267 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2013

We stayed at the Riu Vallarta in January 2013 for our honeymoon and loved it!! Pay no attention to the negative reviews that are posted---this resort it top notch. We have traveled extensively but this was our first stay at a Riu and we were impressed. It was rated at 3 1/2 - 4 star and you get that plus more we felt. We were upgraded at no cost to a corner oceanview suite and received a complimentary bottle of champagne delivered to our room. Drinks and food were plentiful and excellent. The ala carte restaurants were average with Sir George being the best. I would pass on the Japanese restaurant as it is just your average oriental buffet. The buffets changed daily and had a ton of healthy food options along with all the other good ole standbys. The beach was beautiful and great for walking. About a 25 minute walk to Bucerias which is a wonderful adventure. Nightly entertainment was very good. The crew worked incredibly hard day and night to keep guests entertained and always very helpful. Our rooms were always very clean and properly stocked along with mini bar. Liquor in rooms was pretty lame but who drinks in their room anyway? Go down to the bar and enjoy your vacation while meeting others!!! 24 hour sports bar/coffee shop was an excellent way to start and end the day.

Room Tip: we were in oceanview 419. It overlooked childrens pool but you could see ocean to the south and moun...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank BrenJ2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2013

This hotel is not the most expensive resort. If you expect to be pampered, this is probably not the best choice. Don't get me wrong. There are many accomodations and fun things to do, but it isn't Vegas luxurious by any means.
The food was very good. We went to all 3 restraunts and liked them all except for the sushi one. They don't serve actual raw fish (which is probably a good thing) and instead serve imitation crab and smoked salmon rolls.
The pillows are awful and the bed could be softer, but I had no trouble sleeping on them. There is non-stop noise until 11pm, and if you face the courtyard, you can hear most everything said (though facing the courtyard, you get beautiful views of the sunset!). The show ends at 10pm and then dancing in the courtyard until 11pm. The shows were pretty good, so I don't think anyone should head up to their room before that.
Overall, I would go back. It IS a nice place. Not the nicest resort in the world, but that's not exactly what you are paying for either. Very good value and great food.

Room Tip: Bring hand sanatizer. The hotel does not provide it at the buffet. You will definitely want some...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Coldpiza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guadalajara, Mexico
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2013

ABOUT THE TRIP: This trip began with the illusion of two sweet days with all inclusive relax and as we came from two wonderful days at The Westin Marina Vallarta we expected the same at Riu. But what happen was far from that. At the arrival day my husband got terribly sick but not for anything, but for something bad he ate in one of their restaurants. The next couple of days were not better, in fact we had to spend in a private hospital and medicines. Help from the hotel?? Their help is limited to call you their doctor whom charge you $150USD to go to your room because any other doctor is allowed to visit you at the hotel.

ABOUT THE ROOMS: When we get into our first room #8002 what we expected was much more than that. The rooms are like a 2 1/2 max 3 stars hotel. In fact we immediately had to change our room because this one had very insanitary stains in the bed cover-sheet. (Don't expect for soft bedding). We were moved to the #8019 which was pretty much the same but without the stains. Let me describe you the room (don't go with the photos on the web) their version of a king size bed is two double beds together, very uncomfortable and hard as rock, the pillows are like the $3 usd you can see in the supermarket, very thin. The tv's are big black box, yes the same you don't see on sale anywere now, well yes, they bought them all and better take your own amenities because those are not good at all.

ROOM LOCATION: When we checked in i was happy because as you, i did my research here too and as many people says the higher the better, well i was happy we got very up, well at this high you don't here the noise from the show downstairs, but that's because the sound is replaced for the show at the Riu Jalisco. Very noisy! you can even hear all what they are saying and singing.

OVERALL: We got a bad experience because of them, with this i mean, what they give us we bad, got sick, had expenses because of it, had a bad time and ANYONE CARES! they don't feel any responsability for getting someone sick with their food, nor them nor hotwire nor anyone.

I know some people have a good experience visiting this hotel, but alot of people don't.
What i'm warning you is that you could be one of those.

Room Tip: Any room is safe of noise
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TravellingDonkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Unityville, Pennsylvania
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2013

DO NOT BOOK THIS HOTEL!! You have been warned.

This place looks gorgeous on the web, but you cannot judge a book by its cover.

They have a 'stage show' every single night, 7 nights a week, from 8:00 until 11:00, with a very very loud amplifier. 3 solid hours of loud music and constant screaming on the microphone..

You will even hear this crap above your own tv in your own room. Even though you do not attend the show, it is so loud , you will hear every single word, every single night, in your room, ABOVE your tv. This noise goes on during the days also.

When You call to complain, the desk attendant will say "The show ends at 11:00". I do not care when the show ends. Since I chose not to attend the show, Why do I have to hear it?

If you want a peaceful vacation FIND ANOTHER HOTEL!!!!

One more thing. They have plastic or something on their bed, below the sheets. Every time you turn over, the plastic squeaks horribly, and it will wake up your spouse. Guaranteed. It is ridiculously loudl

DO NOT COME HERE IF YOU WANT TO REST. Go to another resort. Please.

This is my opinion.

Room Tip: Too much noise for resting or sleeping . The place is very pretty but the experience is not.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
3 Thank Annie O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2013

just got back from riu vallarta on flamingo beach peurto vallarta, it is a beautiful resort great service in every respect well kept grounds good food good rooms mine was 6018 good view of ocean great weather all the time and a short trip to airport good spa

Room Tip: get an ocean view room worth the little extra it cost
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ajtravelsmex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Alberni, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2013

We stayed here during spring break, so it was very busy. When we arrived they did not have our room ready for us, and we did not have a key for the safe until the next morning. That is our main complaint regarding the service. Otherwise, the hotel was very clean, but the beach is not. They do provide ash trays for smokers, but it is not enforced. So, if you smoke, please use an ash tray.

The food was 'okay', with the buffet being the best. The reservation system to reserve for the other 3 restaurants is awful. Basically, we had to wake up 1 hour before they took reservations to stand in line. Then, when we got to finally register we could not get our first choice. I am not a fan of having to wake up to an alarm on my holidays. As such, after we ate at the 3 restaurants, we never reserved again and just ate at the buffet.

Location is very good, and the hotel is close to many things to do. We really enjoyed the San Sabastian tour, and the Sayolita tour. However, in hindsight, we could have done the Sayolita tour on our own.

There is alot of night life, almost too much, and we were glad our room was away from the late night bar so we could sleep. The bar is outside, in the middle of the hotel property, so try to get a room facing the water or on the outside edge of the hotel.

My hubby really enjoyed the daily activities, including the wind surfing.

I am not sure if this place is 5 star, however, the service, loud crowd, and food was worse than the 4 star place we stayed on the east side of Mexico. Yet, that place was much smaller (200 rooms compared to 500). But, since it is the cheapest 5 star we could find, maybe we got what we paid for.

Room Tip: Ask for a room that is full ocean view or ask for a room in which the rooms are not facing the outsi...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ryan051
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
#13 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#18 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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