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“amazing holiday”
Review of Hotel Riu Vallarta

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Hotel Riu Vallarta
Ranked #18 of 28 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 27, 2014

The hotel was clean and beautiful. We had eight with us six adults and two kids under the age of eight. Two pools one for the adults one for the kids with three large slides and there was entertainment for the adult and kids. The food was good lots to choose from for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The room as nice we stayed the junior suite and yes there was live music but that stopped at 11:00 then it was pretty quit. The beach was nice and clean. We saw baby turtles and that was really something to see especially for the kids. The entertainment staff were so nice and friendly.Overall we had a great time and we would go back.

Room Tip: spend a little more and go with the junior suite
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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6  Thank none22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 26, 2014

I would just like to say that our experience wasn't horrible, but, nor was it what we expected! We took our family on our first "family" Mexican getaway. We were assured by our travel agent that this place was family friendly, however, I tend to disagree. There was a kid pool and an adult pool. So for those with children in their tween and teenage years I wouldn't recommend this place. The activities in the kid pool are somewhat geared for children under 10. The only things our kids ages 10 and 16 participated in was water volleyball. When my husband was going to do 1 of the daily activities in the adult pool (which our kids just wanted to watch) they were kicked out of the area! Needless, my husband was angered and chose to no longer participate!!

The pool bar....The male bartenders were extremely friendly and very helpful. There was a lady who began working in this bar about 3 days in and was very angered if you didn't stand in the "proper" line. Which, mind you, took near 30-40 minutes to stand in to get a drink, even just a virgin margarita for our kids! Ridiculous! We all felt as though the resort itself not only in this area, but others as well, was extremely understaffed! We HAD to go to retrieve drinks on our own EVERYDAY, until the day before we departed. This was very disappointing as my husband and I have been to several other AI resorts in the past and we've NEVER had this experience anywhere else we've stayed. We wound up walking to the lobby bar after day 2 of our stay to get drinks at a MUCH FASTER rate!!!!! Highly recommended if your thirsty!

The rooms leave much to be desired! The beds are ROCK hard! Even our kids woke with backaches by day 3 of our week long stay. Also, their website is very misleading with rooms. We booked a family room and were initially put into a room with 2 full(?) size beds pushed together. Not suitable for 4 people! We then had to pay the hotel extra money to get what we initially booked! Very frustrating!!!!!

The salsa at this resort is out of this world phenomenal!! Wished we could have taken a bunch home with us! The best ala carte restaurant is the Sir George/Gourmet. We found the buffet to be very variable as well. Very good food overall.

By far the best part of our trip was the weather and two very commendable staff members, Choco and Julian, who are part of the entertainment staff. They were truly the only people on the resort who very friendly and went out of their way to make your stay fun!! There were some staff their who we felt very rude and we felt like we were a major inconvenience to them at best! We would have eyes rolled at us and just little tsk, tsk remarks. Very frustrating!!

We would leave it to make your own personal decision as everyone's opinion is different!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank JJL30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2014

We just came back from Riu Vallarta (2 adults, 2 kids under 10). I am so glad I didn't get infuenced by the negative reviews of others. We had the greatest time, the kids didn't want to go home. Everything at the resort is perfect. If you have issues with the room, noise, etc, address them and move on. The food is great, the entertainers at the resort are awesome. Don't miss the stretching at 10 am on the beach and zumba at 3 pm daily (Julian is great!). We walked to Riu Jalisco and Riu Palace next door. Riu Vallarta's guests seemed to have the most fun and the resort is laid out better. Go have fun and consider yourselves lucky!

Room Tip: If you don't like the room, ask to be switched. I did and had no problem.
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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4  Thank C4y0urself
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2014

Just returned from 6 days at the Riu Vallarta. We had 2 couples in our group and we are all in our late 40's - early 50's. We have stayed at a Riu Palace before in Cabo, for this trip we chose the Riu Vallarta:
RESORT: It was very clean for the most part. We found dirty dishes on ledges or the beach, but I think that is mostly from lazy inconsiderate people who couldn't walk a few feet and leave them on a table to be found and picked up. Staff is always cleaning, sweeping, etc.
POOLS: We spent our pool time at the adult swim up bar pool. In the morning it was great, but afternoon it was full of spring breakers so we moved to the beach. The service good, we always tipped $1. Our friend went down early each morning to reserve chairs. If she hadn't, we would not have been able to find an open one. They are all "reserved" by early morning.
BEACH: Great beach! The sand is super soft and easy to walk on. There are plenty of loungers. The water is great temperature and there were so many people playing in the water. We boogie boarded and it was perfect.
FOOD: I thought all the restaurants were great. I guess it depends on what you like. We got in the line to make reservations right at 8am and it took about 1/2 an hour to get to the front of the line. The nice thing was you could book 2 nights of restaurants at a time. We didn't have any specific preference on which one we went to on which night. We took what was open. So, we ended up eating at every restaurant while there. All good with plenty of choices. The breakfast buffet is fabulous. There are so many choices you can have a different breakfast meal every day. The lunch buffet is good, too. We liked the onsite wok grilling meats and tortillas.
BARS: There are plenty of bars/lounges and the service was great at all of them. The first night or two we thought it was cute when the 8 or 9 year old kids would be at the bar to order their non alcoholic drinks, but after a while it became annoying. The were typical roudy kids and when you can't find seats at the bar because they are all taken by 10 year olds, that just doesn't seem right.
We walked the beach to Bucerias, it was an interesting small town. Good authentic food. Lots of flea market booths. We also took a cab to Puerto Villarta, downtown by the marina. It was a $23 cab ride one way. That was awesome. Great views, art, entertainment, shops, restaurants, etc.

Overall, the Riu Vallarta was great. The staff were friendly, hard working and fun. I would probably choose the Riu Palace next time as there are just a few minor upgrades that make a difference and they are adult only.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Lisa_S70111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2014

Just returned on March 12th. Had a GREAT TIME! Extremely clean and staff was very friendly and kept everything very clean. The restaurant's were great and you did not have to worry about not having enough food to eat. I would recommend this Resort very High.
It was a Great way to get away from the cold weather in North Dakota!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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6  Thank 909Joey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2014

This was our 1st trip to Vallarta and the 1st time staying at a RIU. We are absolutely in love with this area and will likely return. This was a last minute vacation for us and the price was right. The mountains are breathe taking, beach was clean and you could walk forever.

Now the resort was gorgeous, clean, not too big and had lots to do. The rooms were very outdated, some mold in the bathroom but also no ventilation. Beds were like sleeping on the floor they were so hard. I guess you can ask for a mattress topper but after many times I never did receive one. I had to laugh we book a room with two double beds for the 3 of us and we received a room with two beds but they pushed them together so really it was more like one King.

The resort was very busy, line ups for everything and often took 10-15 mins to get drinks. I knew it would be busy with it being spring break so we had a pretty laid back approach to things. However it was frustrating when it came to eating because never once ate a hot meal due to waiting in line for just about everything at the buffets. We did eat at the steak restaurant once but we had to make a reservation 2 days prior which I hate on vacation because we don't know what we want to do from one hr to the next.

We spent most of time at the kiddie pool or beach. Kiddie pool was nice and water slides were a nice touch. I was surprised to see they even had a lifeguard on duty. It was very busy and most chairs were gone by 9am.

The entertainment was good and my daughter loved that they did a kids show each night. Was cute to see the kids on stage. The main shows were ok.

We did a couple trips. We did the Los colatis which was awesome. We saw at least 11 whales and one killer whale. The island was gorgeous. My daughter and I did the swim with sea lions which we loved, she did the kids zip lining ect and the lunch was the best food we had all week. I would certainly do that trip again. We also did a zip line trip in the mountains and again we loved it. Swam with dolphins on another trip and it was great.



The

  • Stayed: March 2014
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1  Thank jon_turner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2014

Our group of 24 booked this resort in September 2013. We read some reviews and began to question if it was a good choice or not. Our travel agent knew a few other clients that had been here and they had good stories. At least as the date got closer, so did the reviews.

We had an absolutely fabulous time and none of us could understand what the bad reviews were all about, except that there are a lot of hard to please people. We aren't that demanding and we are happy when we don't have to make our bed, clean the bathroom, cook or do dishes!

There were no glitches with our check-in. We were there before check-in time, so we had to wait a little for our rooms, but we went to the buffet and had some lunch. Our rooms were all together along the same hallway. They were great rooms. This is not a brand new resort, but well kept up and clean. I don't think anyone of the group had any room problems..

The buffet was large and had a good variety. There were some selections the same each day, but other items were different every day. What more could you want? All of us thought the food was good and plentiful. The coconut ice cream was a hit with several!

We made reservations for the Steak House one night. In the same day, we had other guest tell us it was awful and other guests say it was great! Our experience was on the positive side. Our meals were good and service was good too.

The lunch/beach buffet was also good. Some foods don't taste exactly like they do home, but good none the less. We thought the pool bar was great too. The drinks were not watered down and were quite good! It was fairly busy, but the bartenders were all busy all the time and the drinks were very tasty. THey earn every penny they make and deserve more. The pool area was quite nice too and very clean. For the size of the resort, we thought the pool area could have been a little larger, though. The chair area was full everyday. The pool had plenty of room in it, but a little larger would have been nice, but not so crowded that you couldn't move. The beach was just beautiful and around noon when the tide went out a little, was great for walking. The beach was clean, with no rocks, seaweed, or shells to watch out for. You could walk for miles if you wanted to It seemed that there were more people in the water than other places we've been and the ocean water seemed really warm.

The evening shows were the usual resort-type shows. We don't watch them every night. After a day in the sun we are ready for bed. Our rooms did overlook the plaza area and yes, we did hear the show or music. It didn't really bother us though. It didn't go late and it was kind of nice listening to the music from our room. It didn'tinterrupt our sleeping at all. Nothing to complain about.

The whole staff was very helpful and always busy! There was someone cleaning all the time. They were even cleaning the lights fixtures around the pools. All employees from bartenders, waiters, entertainment staff, housekeeping all worked very hard and all appreciated the tips we gave them. The tip from another reviewer about $2 bills was great. They liked them and were less bulky to carry than singles.

Overall it was a great vacation and we would definitely go back here again. The weather was sunny and warm everyday, which is what we wanted, especially after our Illinois winter!

We have been to several RIU resorts and haven't been disappointed yet!

We did a couple of excursions and enjoyed them very much. The only difference from other places we've been was that transportation to and from the excursions weren't included. It wasn't a big deal, we got taxis or they got big vans for us and the prices were reasonable. It was just different than other places.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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2  Thank nlc76
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
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#13 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#18 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range: $156 - $337 (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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