My husband and I booked the Riu Vallarta for my 30th Birthday/Valentine's Weekend get-away. It was our first trip to the western side of Mexico and we enjoyed it very much. The Riu Vallarta was clean, and the staff was very friendly.
Rooms were adequately sized, although the beds in the room were horribly uncomfortable. Be sure to ask for the egg-crate upon check in so you don't have to spend one night sleeping on that hard mattress. The shower/bathroom was clean and roomy, and we even had a little patio with furniture where we could sit outside and enjoy the sunset.
Restaurants were decent, but not the best all-inclusive cuisine we've ever ate. We went to the Nirvana which was an Asian restaurant...be sure to ask for the flaming icecream, very tasty. The other restaurant is a buffet during the day (on the beach) called Flamingos and then a steakhouse at night. It was okay, nothing special. The buffetts had pretty much no variety, and were the same stuff everyday. I did, however, enjoy the service...Oscar was a wonderful waitstaff attendant who would greet me every morning and walk me to our table. He was such a sweetheart. The worst part about the a la carte dining experience was making the reservations. As you read in the other reviews, it is true that you must wake up around 7 a.m. to get in line to make your dinner reservation for that night. Not exactly how I want to spend my vacation waking up early.
The pool was fun, neat swimup bar and plenty of alchohol in the beverages. Tip: Bring an insulated mug as the cups are about 8 ozs and plastic, and melt very fast in the hot sun! They had fun activities in the pool everyday. We did rifle shooting on the beach in the morning, which was really fun. The beach was beautiful, but don't expect clear water like in the Carribbean...it was not as blue and you could not see many fish. We took out a wave runner one morning around 8:30 a.m. and we were among 30 or so dolphins, which was amazing. Reasonable price on the rental too. Adult pool was seperate from kids, which was great.
The nightlife was okay, the shows were fun and they did have a mariachi band playing in the courtyard on all the nights we were there. The discotech at the Riu was fun, but my favorite was Christian the bartender that was at the big bar in the courtyard. He was a blast! Vendors would come in and sell expensive souvineers--save your money and take a taxi into Puerta Vallarta--you'll find things are cheaper there and you can barter. While in Puerta Vallarta, I recommend dinner at Pipi's in Colonia Centro. Awesome fajitas and hugest margaritas I have ever seen!
We did have a bad experience with the Spa, however. We had booked a couple massage on the beach. We went down to wait for the reservation time and apparently one of the massage therapists called in sick. So rather than tell us this and ask us if we wanted to wait until they found a replacement, we sat there for 45 minutes before we had to get up and find out what was going on. It was a total waste of time, and usually I get really upset about poor service, but since we were in paradise, I quickly tried to "let it go" and went down to the pool instead.
Overall, I would recommend the Vallarta to couples and families. It is not the most beautiful resort, but the staff really made it worthwile. I would recommend it to a friend, but I would also encourage them to look at all their options. If you could get a good last-minute deal, Riu is worth it. But if you are looking for a romantic get-away at a high-class resort, you might want to pass on the Riu.
- 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