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“nothing too big to complain about”
Review of Hotel Riu Vallarta

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Hotel Riu Vallarta
Ranked #17 of 28 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 13, 2007

The food is good, can always find something to eat.
The rooms are large, the refrigerator was restocked.
The common bathrooms are far walks from the pools, restaurants and bars.
There are no coffee makers in the room
The mattresses are firm, not hard. The view from all rooms is breathtaking especially at sunset and enjoying the afterglow as well.
The wine is drinkable, but not as good a swallow as wine spectator would note, but then go buy a good bottle..........
The drinks are fine, if you call for Bacardi, Smirnoff or Cuervo. They are just not strong. The hotel probably does not want to deal with drunks............
Go to Tino's in Punta Mita for dinner at sunset. The food is wonderful and the view is picture postcard.
The help is not indifferent, just new to their jobs and still perfecting their system. Also some guests just cannot wait their turn, making it difficult to wait for drinks. Oh what a dilemma!
Would go again, but I would bring my travel coffee pot.

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
15  Thank rnlmcs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,896 - 4,902 of 5,507 reviews

Reviewed February 12, 2007

First i must say DO NOT LISTEN to any negative reviews for this hotel. I stayed at the Riu with a friend from Feb 1-6 and I have to say they went above and beyond to make sure we were happy. The service was TOP notch. When we arrived there around 2:15 pm we went to the main desk to check in and we requested a room with an inside view (ocean view) and told no problem just give us about 30 min, so we gave them 45 (what did we care we were given drinks when we got there) so when we went back they told us that the room needed to have maintance done to it but if we wanted there was another room we could have if we wanted they just had to get a new lock as the last guest took off with the keys to room, well this room was one of 10 rooms with HUGE balcony. The room was VERY clean and had a stocked fridge with pop,plentyyyy of water, and booze. THE food, the food was very very good, better then most of your food chains that we have in the states, so why are people crying over the food. It was fresh, lots of variety, and really quite good too. The wine is not bad either. Paula who works in the bar near the lobby is a superrrrr sweet girl and will make sure your drinks are always full and that your having a good time. The pools are nice and relaxing and no wild kids running around the adult pool and you dont hear them near the kids pool either. The staff does a good job of trying to make sure your having a good time and they do a good job of getting people to join in the scheduled activities throughout the day as well. ROOM SERVICE
our room was on the 8th floor (I recommend room #8029) the maid did an excellent job each day to make sure our room was clean. (hint- they love $2 bills) Now i know this is an all-inclusive but these people make less then 500.00 per month and if you pay attention, you see the workers there in the early morning and in the afternoon and then again at night, anotherwords they work LONGGGGGG days every day. DONT BE CHEAP give them a sm tip each day, the maid, the people in the resturants, the bell hop the people in the bars. Well i cant say enough good stuff about my trip to the Riu Vallarta and I have already started looking at dates for coming back in July and Nov. Dont let a few negative rewiews from people that have their heads in the clouds about what service they should get for such a good priced vacation spot. I would gladly answer any questions from anyone that wants to know about this fine hotel.

Stayed: February 2007
36  Thank liljoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2007

I have to say this Hotel is not what the one writer said it was, it makes me wonder if they were at the same hotel. The adult pool was extremely clean and i would know i was there everyday. The service is outstanding, and the staff work hard to keep you happy. The ala carte restaurants are NOT hard to get into, and the
steak house was my favourite. The rooms do not have bugs, I think that writer brought his own, they were clean and lovely and cared for by the maids. Whatever we wanted we got, and a call to the room to ensure we were happy. The elevators worked excellent, very prompt and we never waited for one to arrive for more than one minute. We had a corner room on the 5th floor, with a beautiful view of the ocean and mountains. The entertainment was just ok, nothing special. If you do decide to go the Puerto Vallarta for dinner/lunch try my favourite, Le Dolce Vita, always consistent with excellent service and food.
Hint, try the food next door at the Jalisco for a change, it's excellent.

Stayed: February 2007
31  Thank Kate3694
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2007

We just returned from a 10 day stay at the Riu Vallarta.We have been visiting PVR for winter vacations for the last 14 years, staying at a variety of all inclusives. Overall, we enjoyed our stay. However, while we realize this is a mid range resort and we would not expect the level of service to be that of the Grand Velas or even the Vallarta Palace (but check their rates), this Riu has a long way to go in terms of reaching a mid level guest service rating. This lack of service may be due in part to their only having been opened for two months.

FOOD: Average all inclusive food. You will not go hungry. It will become repetitious, but a visit or two to the many fine restaurants in PVR or the several restaurants in nearby Buscerias will break up the monotony. Cab to PVR is $18, to Bucerias $7.

At the Riu buffet restaurant, there was generally no one present to greet and to seat you, so you were on your own to find a clean table. A staff person would eventually fill the water glass and offer you red or white wine from a pitcher. This was usually the last you saw of them other than when flying by to pick up dirty dishes. They seemed under staffed. The wine was terrible and many virtually untouched wine glasses were observed as guest left after finishing their meals.

Sir George is the only real ala carte restaurant, with reservations being required to be made on the same morning. Early seatings for Sir George require you to be downstairs before 7:30 am. Infact, we had an early departure and when we came down at 6:50 am , they were already lined up for reservations. I suspect there are early risers that are making reservations on multiple occassions, making it difficult for other guests to make reservations. Most all inclusives limit the number of visits to their ala carte restaurants. The lamb chops were thin and over cooked. The pasta dish I was told was very good. The wine was drinkable, coming from a bottle. We felt hurried in our meal, the staff being anxious to set up for the next sitting. This is the only restarant with a dress code (no shorts, t-shirts, or sandals for men). Also no children.

Nirvana restaurnat is an oriental buffet with average food. California rolls were pretty good. It is unclear why reservations are required or why they place a menu on the table to tell you what is available at the buffet. The Flamingo (steakhouse), where reservations are also required, is ala carte only to the extent of ordering your main course. Otherwise, it 's buffet lines for starters,soups, desserts,ect. The rib eye was very good. The "half chicken" turned out to be a set of chicken legs. Again they appeared under staffed at this restaurant.

ROOMS: Our junior suite was of ample seize, nicely decorated and furnished, and worth the $20 per night extra over a standard room. Housekeeeping was a headache, as we were constantly missing towels or washclothes, requiring calls to the front desk which to their credit would have the missing towels/washclothes delivered. We were leaving a $2 tip (which continued at my wife's insistence), although this obviously did not result in even average level of service.The room also seemed to be only minimally cleaned (as opposed to the public areas whose beautiful marbled surfaces were being constanly being scrubbed and polished). Unlike the Riu Jalisco, this facility does not have excessive noise problems. Once the nightly shows end at 11:00 pm noise is not an issue. If you are bored and have nothing else to do, go to these shows not expecting much and you will not be dissapointed. Yes, the animation staff works hard, but that doesn't make these shows even remotely good.

BEACH: As with all of Nuevo Vallarta, the Riu sits on a beautiful beach, but don't expect white sand and crystal clear blue water of the Carribean. The Riu does not have palapas and relies on newly planted palm trees for shade on the beach. These palms have not spread open much, so provide limited shade. You will have to do a lot of moving around to stay in the shade and if this is important you may be better off in the pool area where umbrellas are available. Plenty of loungers. One of the few times I have seen a resort with more than enough. Unfortuneately, unlike most resorts, no bar service at the beach (or pool area to my knowledge). This means walking across the beach, up about 20 stairs, and then across the pool area to the beach bar, which makes the worst drinks among the bars at the resort (no complaints with other bars, good service and good drinks). Not suprisingly, serious drinkers were observed to be having their drinks placed into traveling mugs to minimize these long journeys from the beach.

OVERALL: Nice rooms, beautiful common areas (as with most resorts in this area), and the laid back atmosphere of Nuevo Vallarta (which compares to a suburban area, if you want city activities - bars, restaurants, clubs - stay closer to PVR). The level of service at the Riu Vallarta needs to be greatly improved and perhaps will be once they have been opened longer.

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
11  Thank TrueBlueMichigander
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2007

My wife and I booked 10 days at RIU Vallarta, 01/23/07-02/02/07. We go to Mexico every year, and for the last 3 years have stayed at RIU's. Never again at RIU Vallarta. There was absolutley no service, it was unfriendly and rude at times. You could clearly tell that the resort employees were very unhappy. The food was by far the worst I have ever encountered in Mexico. We had raw food on 4 occasions. Bloody chicken, and pork, Fish that was raw. We could not get service in the main restaraunt. We could not get reservations in the specialty restaraunts. We found out later if you tip Milldred (reservationist) you could get in with no problem. After going to a manager on the third day to see why we could not get in, he did get us in to Sir George. My wife got very sick that night from the food. We didn't try agian after that. Many guests were complaining about the same issues. The adult pool was dirty, full of sand, leaves, not up to 5 star standard by no means. The drinks were so weak, you have to ask for doubles all the time. You do have to ask for upper shelf otherwise you get the nasty stuff. On the 8th day is was apparent that there was some sort of employee stirke. As none of the morning staff showed up. The managers were running around frantically trying to do their jobs. My Apple rep was very good, and tried to help me with the Hotel manager ( Omar). Omar was so rude to me and to the Apple rep. Our Apple rep told us that the Sunquist rep had so many customer complaints that Omar called Sunquist and told them he wanted a different rep at the hotel. That will solve the customer complaints - not!! Omar told me to fill out a cusotmer complaint form, but he did not want to give it to me, he made me go get it. I never heard back from any management. For 9 days the elevator was broke. There were bugs in our room. We had to steal TP from the bathroom in the lobby. The day I made the complaint we did not get our room cleaned. All I can say is never never again at the RIU VAllarta. Very Dissapointed Dallas from Chicago.

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2007

We stayed at the Riu Vallarta for one week in late January and just returned on 2-2-07. The resort is very lovely and staffed with hard working, friendly and helpful employees. The facility itself is brand new. Food is all buffet in all 4 restuarants and is above average to excellent. Fresh fruits every day, soups and varying menus each day in the main dining areas. Our room on the eighth floor, although described as a run of the house room, allowed us a great ocean view and beautiful sunsets. Beach is filled with lounge chairs and has a nice sand beach. A few vendors pass by on the beach. Entertainment provided nightly was average although the professional Mexican dancing was excellent. Other evenings were filled with Riu staff entertaining which was mediocre. As for location of the facility, it is north of Puerto Vallarta and costs about $18 to take a taxi, one way or by public bus, about $3 per person. A small town of Bucerias (one hour north by beach from Riu Vallarta) or $7 by taxi is a small typical Mexican town, complete with vendors and small oceanside restuarants. We enjoyed this area for several day trips. All in all, we enjoyed our stay and would recommend the Riu Vallarta to others.

Stayed: February 2007
27  Thank rockfordgrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2007

We stayed at the Riu Vallarta Jan 24 to 31st/07. We travel extensively to all inclusive resorts and we have been on a number of cruises in the last few years. After reading the reviews we were at first hesitant to book the trip at the Riu but we had previous experience with the Riu Caribe in Cancun in October and it was all great there , so we booked on our own via the last minute club and we got a great deal. We live in Toronto, Canada and it was time to get out of the cold and get some R and R. Again we were very impressed with the RIU chain. Please read on and make your decision should you wish to stay at this brand new resort.

SERVICE - All staff tried to speak as much Eng as they could and we used our limited Spanish. A smile and small tips from us went a long way. We always left our maid 2or 3 US$ and that came back at us in extra towels, blankets, mattress toppers, service,etc. Anything we asked for we received in no time. Bartenders were polite and if you wanted extra shots you got it and just ask for premium brands ( Smirnoff, Barcardi, etc. ) Sorry no Canadian Club, but hey that was OK. They made Bloody Marys like our Ceasars here in Canada.They were pretty good and spicy!

ROOMS - We booked a junior suite, well worth the extra $240 Canadian. It overlooked the ocean on the 9th floor . Ask for the rooms directly facing the ocean and not the sides of the building via email proir to your trip. Sunken living/sitting area with sofa was great. Decor is exceptional and beautiful. I loved the towel art, the animal creations are a fav of mine. The rooms were immaculate, bathroom has double sinks, jacuzzi tub, and the king bed was comfortable. We asked for a mattress topper ( egg crate ) The nights were cool so we put an extra blanket on top of the egg crate and that was all we needed for comfort . Take a sweater or light jacket for mornings and evenings.We left the balcony door open at night and pulled the top blanket over top of us. It was wonderful listening to the ocean and the waves crashing. Note that the entertainment square is directly below so it will get noisy at times. We enjoyed watching from our balcony all of the events, dancing, singing, etc. and especially the romantic sunsets. We have been married 27 years , just retired thankfully at 50 years of age and the sunsets still set the tone!

TOURS - We did the ATV tour with the Sunquest rep advising us. It was amazing, hot, dirty/dusty, and fun. We had a riot going through the mountains on our double ATV visiting the tequilla factory, sampling it and moving on to the small mexican towns. Four hour tour left at 8:30 a.m and we were back at the hotel by 1 p.m. ready for a swim. Cost was $50 US each. We also went into town on our own, via taxi $18 US. Great shoe shopping and fine clothing in off of the main boardwalk area. Shopping was a pleasure, no one begging or bother ing you as you browsed. Not like other cities or countries we have been to. Watch out for the time share agents! The sunquest agent was great, and there are a lot of other agents available all day in the main lobby to assist you.

RECEPTION DESK/LOBBY- Very accomodating and friendly. We landed at 1:09 p.m. in PV, we took a taxi from the airport ( $25 US ) and we were in our junior suite at 2:30 p.m. That was quick and easy. We were prepared to wait until at least 3 p.m. which is check in time, but it was our lucky day. The lobby is breathtaking. Everything is so new, clean, vibrant and tasteful. We often sat having a cocktail in the early evening or a coffee in the morning just people watching in the lobby. They also served drinks to you while you waited in line at the main desk when checking in and if you had to wait long in any line that was rare. The lobby washrooms were also so clean and decorated beautifully. The hallways on each floor had prints hanging every couple of feet!! I have not seen that before except on the ships when we cruise. Tile work, art work and attention to detail is very impressive.

ENTERTAINMENT & FOOD - Mariachi band, Flamingo dancers and pool side events, entertainment were exceptional. The late night stage performances were OK. We didn't go to them all but what we did see was fun. The staff work tirelessly to make it happen musically and they provide a lot of variety. It is too bad that it doesn't start until 9:30 p.m., as many are getting tired after a long day of tours and/or sun at the pool or beach. We enjoyed shopping in the main promenade at night as well. The tables were set up just after sunset and there until around 10 p.m. The food was plentiful and better than OK. Lots of choices but for us many dishes were too salty. Once you get to know your way around the buffet stations you will be fine. Breakfasts are exceptional at the main buffet. Lunch at the beach side restaurant was great, try the pasta bar area with the fresh sauces! We particularly liked Sir Georges speciality restaurant. I could have eaten there every night but you have to be smart to swing that one. We know people that did and we managed a few extra evenings as well. They will tell you that you are limited to one night only at each of the three restaurants. We did not care for the steak house and we did not go to the Asian one, so we got creative with our excuses to book @ Sir Georges! The crab bisque, fillet of beef, the lamb, the presentation and service were tops. You get better wine there too. The wine everywhere else was awful. There is a dress code at this restaurant, no shorts or sandals for men, but I saw some get away with it at the late seating. Best coffee was at the sports bar open 24 hours. My husband got our coffee for us everyday around 6:30 a.m. and brought it to our room. We had them fill our thermos cups so that we could enjoy ours on our balcony .No room service was a problem but you get use to it. We just took fresh fruit and some sandwiches to our room everyday from the sports bar and put them in our fridge. We stayed clear of the old hotdogs and hamburgers .Fully stocked frig in your rooms is the norm - beer, pop, water. Liquor dispensors are on the wall.

POOLS/BEACH/WEATHER - Pool water was cool but refreshing. Weather was in the low 80's, mostly sunny everyday we were there. Beach was clean and ocean was warmer than the pools. It is however not the Carribean crystal clear turquoise water I love. Beach venders were polite, and not aggressive. You can walk for miles and over to the Riu Jalisco if you want. Lots of chairs, towel service, umbrellas, etc. Tight security on kids not being allowed in the adult pool. I loved that! They had their own pool with slides.
Pool area was very clean, flowers everywhere, entertainment great. Staff come out in costumes constantly to visit with the guests and get you to join in their upcoming events. The beach party the second day we arrived was complete with outdoor buffet, drinks, balloons, dancing contests, and staff in traditional costumes. Balconys have a neat drying rack for wet bathing suits and clothing.

OVERALL - We were so pleased that we did not listen to the overwelming negative reviews. Yes it is a new resort and it has a few kinks to work on... the water does go hot/cold and they could add a bit more quality to their buffet food, but for the dollars we spent we got a great deal. This is a 5 star brand new resort for a 3 star price. We got more than we paid for, we were pleasantly suprised and we got lots of R&R. We will book at another RIU in the future.

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
45  Thank earlOnario
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
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
#9 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: $176 - $297 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Vallarta 3.5*
Number of rooms: 550
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 24h All Inclusive Hotel Riu Vallarta opens all year round and is located directly on the Playa Flamingos beach, in Banderas Bay in Riviera Nayarit on the Pacific coast of Mexico. The RIU Classic Hotels offer comfortable rooms and excellent facilities with great leisure and relaxation facilities, as well as international gastronomy. Enjoy a relaxing holiday - whether alone, with family, partner or friends! The location is ideal because of its proximity to Puerto Vallarta PVR (13km) and Bucerías (2km) and invites you to explore the area. The hotel has 550 comfortably furnished rooms and offers many amenities. Relax in the spa area or get in shape at the gym. 2 outdoor pools with integrated whirlpool, 1 children’s pool. RiuLand Kids Club (ages 4-7 years&8-12 years) and for adults, day and evening entertainment, as well as our Pacha Discotheque. For lovers of gastronomy, we offer live cooking stations at our main restaurant, Asian, Gourmet specialty restaurants, Steakhouse and 6 bars. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Vallarta Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
Riu Vallarta Nuevo

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