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Hotel Riu Vallarta
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Reviews (5,702)
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Reviewed July 7, 2007

We stayed at the Riu Vallarta July 2 - 7th 2007. We choose the Riu Vallarta because we had previously stayed at the Riu in Cancun and LOVED IT! After only being there 12 hours (eating two meal and not even having a drink yet) my husband got extremely sick....vomiting, etc, , you name it...it was brutal. We are not sure what caused it (food, etc) but it was horrible. We ended up seeking help from the hotel doctor, Dr. Mario. He was extremely helpful and gave him antibotics and injections to get better. However, he only takes CASH. Being an all inclusive vacation, we had not taken a ton of cash with us, and the doctor was pricy, so we ended up having money wired through Western Union to us from family members back home. I would highly suggest taking lots of money in cash or travelers check as everything has to be paid up front. There are not ATMs close by, and the Western Union was a $36 dollar round trip cab ride.
Hopefully no one on your trip will get sick, but trust me, you will feel better having the cash available should you need to seek help.
Although the hotel was clean and beautiful with a nice staff, it was far away from things to do. In Cancun, you could walk a short distance and be at a flea market and a nice enclosed mall, but in PV, there was nothing to walk to.
We lost a majority of the trip to my husband being sick as he did not recover fully for at least three days -- so we didn't venture off the hotel property except to go pick up the money at Western Union so I can't comment on the shopping or excursions.
Lots of kids at the hotel as well - which we didn't find to be true in Cancun.
Lastly - we have used Funjet vacations twice to travel to Mexico and had good experiences each time. They are knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. We had no problems with transportation to and from the airport and the representatives from Funjet were available in our hotel every day.

  • Stayed: July 2007
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1  Thank KSUtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2007

After a poor start with an incorrect room allocation and a 2 hour wait - paid for a master suite and given a standard room - the holiday improved greatly! The hards beds and noise that other people have reported were not experienced at all by us! Our master suite lived up to expectations, with a huge bed, sofas, dressing room and bathroom with jaquzzi! We ate at all restaraunts, although having to get up at 7am to book was a bit of a pain! Main buffet restaraunt serves fantastic breakfast every morning and dinner which can get a bit repetitive after 2 weeks! Sir George is utterly fantastic, i dont know how other people can complain! We ate here twice! Also ate at Nirvana which was my least favourite and the steak house which was a lovely change on the beach! The pool is a little small and full of rowdy americans! The signs all say no floations but there are groups of teens lounging around on them right in the middle of the pool taking up so much space! The beach is lovely with lots of watersports avaiable! The ocean isnt very clear and blue but it is due to the volcanic sand! We did 3 of the vallarta adventures programmes, the dolphin trainer for a day which was fantatstic and well worth the money! We also did the city tour and the sierra madre expedition which i would also recommend to anyone!
All in all we had a wonderful holiday and would recommend the hotel to people who do not critisice every little thing but who want a lovely resort with decent food, good facilities and brilliant staff! Feel free to contact me if you want any further advice! thanks.

  • Stayed: July 2007
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3  Thank fairwaykb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2007

Having read the reviews before we went to Riu Vallarta we decided to be open minded and see for ourselves.
After an 11 hour flight from the UK we were hoping on at least a decent hotel and upon seeing the Vallarta had our fears put to rest immediately.
Excellent reception area complimented by very efficient staff .
Shown to our room which was more than adequate for our fortnights stay.
Restaurants with plenty of choice,although very same.ish after a few days,and really helpful staff.
Barstaff couldnt do enough for you.
Pool area and beach setting way above average.
So would easily recommend this hotel to future travellers without hesitation.

One `must do` for anyone planning an excursion.....do the Guadalajara overnighter with Arthurs Tours.....amazing value for money and the guide,Freddy,is a diamond.

Overall would not think twice about going back here again.

No bad bed experiences.
No bad stomach experiences.
No bad noise experiences.
No rude staff experiences.

Only criticism was the lack of adult entertainment on the complex,although this didnt spoil our stay too much.

Hopefully this review will sway it for those people pondering a visit....you wont be disappointed.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank mowythered
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2007

My husband and I stayed at the Vallarta from 19th June to 4 July.

Whilst we did enjoy our holiday and found the hotel to more than meet our needs there were a few little issues...

High's
Hotel is generally very clean and well kept
Food is of an excellent standard throughout even in the Buffet
Drinks are excellent and forthcoming - including International brands.
Mini Bar in the room was restocked on a regular basis
Rooms - Large and comfortable
Beach and Ocean

Low's
Swimming pool - Adults pool is very small and does become overcrowded.
Very loud drunk people in the adult pool.
Teenagers getting drunk and having to be taken to their rooms by the hotel staff in wheelchairs..... This also includes vomitting at the side of the pool.
Children everywhere! Including in the Adult Pool.
Rude Individuals being very abrasive with the bar staff - please and thank you go along way and are basic manners.

The hotel is great and the management can't be held responsible for the actions of it's guests however it would have much improved our stay if the hotel would limit the later sittings in the A'la Carte restaurants to adults only - we got up very early in order to make a reservation in the Sir George for 9pm and when we arrived in the restaurant I was disappointed to find that over 30% of the individuals in there were under the age of 10.

It would be lovely if the hotel could offer some segrigation for those wishing to enjoy their evening meals without babies and children screaming throughout.

I would suggest that the hotel is fantastic for families - children's entertainment all day with something going on all the time. If you are looking for a romantic adult getaway this really isn't the place to go.....

One recommendation - Go to a restaurant in Bucerias, I can't remember the name but I think that it's Christophs it is right on the beach near to the village square and it has a thatched roof - excellent Lobster and Shrimps.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Equifever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2007

This hotel was a huge disappointment. When you see the hotel online it looks beautiful and claims to have the best of everything. Well, it does look exactly in reality pretty close to the internet ads but the sevice, food, activities, entertainment, etc is just simply the worst. It's overcrowed, loud, smelly. There is no air conditioning in the lobby or hallways. 2 of the elevators were broken the entire time during our stay. The floors are marble and there is water everywhere on the marble floors. I almost fell twice and saw at least 2 people fall during our stay. There is no room service and no pay per view. The phone in our room was broken and if we wanted to make an international call we had to go to the front desk each time. There is a huge staircase that you have to take daily to get to the pool, gym, spa, beach, restuarants. Yes, there is an elevator but it's located around the corner and so it adds to your already long and unnecessary walk. The rooms are not sound proof so you can hear children screaming all of the time. Convenience is not their thing. There are no waiters at the pool or the beach taking any drink or lunch orders. All of the restaurants are terrible. The atmosphere of the buffet is like eating at Target or Wallmart. We got sick every day after every meal and spend a lot of time the bathroom. We were told that the water is purified so we ate freely but got sick anyway. It was short lived and self-limiting but not that pleasant. During breakfast there was a nice omlette station but b/ c it was so overcrowed we had to wait in line for 20 minutes to get an omlette that ended up being very disappointing.
The front desk was not helpful at all in anyway. Almost all the info they gave us about anything was inaccurate. The one person that we found who claimed to be the hotel concierge promised to make a dinner reservation for us at a restaurant in downtown. He not only did not make the reservation, he didn't even leave us a message as he promised and we never saw him again. When we asked for a late check-out they said absolutely not b/c they were so overbooked so we had to wait for our transportation for 2 hours in the lobby without air conditioning.
The one and only great thing about this hotel is this lovely jewelry store in the lobby that has wonderful things and very nice salespeople there.
Thank god that downtown Puerto Vallarta has so many great things to do and so many wonderful restaurants, that we still managed to have a fantastic time but that only happened because we left the hotel for almost everything. So, do yourself a favor, find another hotel that takes pride in the service they provide. The owners/managers of this hotel obviously dropped the ball!

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank HonestSalsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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