Although we've stayed at several resorts in Mexico over the last few years, this is the first review I've ever wanted to write. I traveled to PV in February for 11 days with a group of friends, staying at the RIU for 6 of those days and loved almost every minute of it. Breaking it down for the pros and cons;
PROS: Great weather - (not a resort thing, but it IS the reason we left the upper midwest in February) and a great beach. At low tide, there is a large flat beach where even toddlers can sit and play safely. At high tide, the surf is kind of rough, but with a large shallow beach where you can walk out quite a ways and still be only waist deep. We enjoyed the beach every day. The staff - I don't know how these "kids" do it, but there were about 8-12 men and women that kept us happy all day and half the night. Between some fun times at the adult pool, the various tournaments (volleyball, ping pong, etc), the evening "pranks" on the plaza, and the nightly shows, I don't know when these guys slept. They were always so much fun! (a shout to J.J. and Jessie for all the laughs!) Each night has a show that runs about an hour. We saw a Grease dance show. A Michael Jackson show and a Fiesta. All of them were very good. Following the show there is a musical group and dancing (weather permitting) on the plaza until 11 pm. The bartenders are very competent, cordial, and always in a good mood, even when inundated with half drunk gringos looking for 6 different drinks. And they poor good quality here. Also, they keep the ground and rooms really clean. At some resorts, we've felt sand on the floor of our room after a couple of days (understandable at a beach resort) but not here. I was in the room once when the cleaning crew came in and I saw the way they cleaned every area. Related to this, after working out in the spa, I went to eat and left some cash and our digital camera on a ledge in the room (not in the in-room safe) and when I returned, there was a security guard in the room with the maid writing a report on the situation. The maid saw the cash and called security to be with her as she cleaned just because. The food was pretty good at the buffets, above average for resort food. I was especially surprised by the quality of the beef. Being a midwesterner, I know what a good prime rib is supposed to taste like, and this was a pretty good one.
CONS: Not many, but a few. The beds are hard, really hard. I like a firm mattress so it didn't bother me, but the others in the group thought them too hard. The management seems to be "pressuring" their subordinates on costs. There were no mimosa for breakfast according to one of the staff because "the boss" had to cut back on expenses. Also, they had cut back on wait staff in the buffets for the same reason. The only hitch in the restaurants offerings was the Asian which is a small buffet that, while good, was little different from the Great Dragon buffet at a local strip mall. The adult pool can get a little feisty some times, but there is a family pool that doesn't have a bar or blasting music. People save chairs at the pool with towels and such very early in the morning, but we never had any trouble getting chairs on the beach at any time. Lastly, while the management all spoke english and in some cases other languages, many of the lower rank employees such as cleaning crew did not understand even the rudiments of a second language (english, french, german).
So all in all I give this place a 4 out of 5 across the board. We had a great time, and would go back again without hesitation.
Related information - if you go during the whale migration and want to take a whale watching trip, hook up with "Wildlife Connection" on the internet. They have small boats and get you some great looks at the whales and dolphins. They also let you swim with wild dolphins as a part of the trip. We did and it was way cool! Our guide took about 300 photos of whales, dolphins and us swimming and sent us about 70 really great photos.
- 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