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Reviews (3,668)
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Reviewed 27 November 2013

Home is people. Not a place. If you go back there after the people are gone, then all you can see is what is not there any more. The staff will always make you family at the Friendly. The night time shows are so funny and some of the staff are a huge part of these shows. "TO YOU" hats off as you show your passion for all of us, when your on and off the stage.
To all the staff I can not even think of words to say but "Gracias enormes"
See you all very soon.

Room Tip: Yes please remember to smile and tip these very hard working employee's of the Friendly
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank James S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta All Inclusive Family Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 December 2013

Dear James S.

Thank you very much for your review! We feel flattered for everything you say. We would love to see you again, please keep in touch :)

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2013

We just returned after a week long stay and we had a great time. It was our first visit to this hotel and it is true that the staff are very friendly and accommodating. They work very hard to please, keeping the food fresh and the hotel clean. My husband and I had our two small children and my in laws with us. We had adjoining rooms and the view of the beach was unbelievable. The larger room had a balcony, fridge and table. There is also a safe in the room. The hotel is just the right size making it easy to get down to the beach, the pool, restaurants, lobby and back to the room within minutes if needed. One night the hotel hosted a buffet dinner on the beach which was beautiful. They had fresh cheeses, made salad to order and had live entertainment. The finishings at the hotel are a bit old but more importantly clean and no one got sick from the water or food. I loved that it is not pretentious. There is a coffee bar off the lobby and soft serve ice cream at 5pm. Banana trees around the pool. In the evening there is dancing in the lobby area. We noticed that there are many locals and lots of return guests at the hotel.

The kids absolutely loved that the occasional superhero would make an appearance and they got pictures with Batman, Spiderman and a Minion from Despicable Me. The beach is really nice and the kids were able to play and swim in the water. I would recommend bringing your own water toys and buckets for kids to play in the sand. The kids area on the beach has a bouncy castle and older swing set with a few table for activities like colouring.

The location is great - walking distance to a quiet strip mall that has a starbucks and kids playground. Walking distance to a another more local mall with a grocery store and a short bus ride to another large mall that has a Walmart. It's a 50 peso taxi ride to the downtown boardwalk/Malecon which is busy with tourists and has entertainment, restaurants and shopping.

Thank you so much to the staff - it was a great vacation.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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5  Thank mvici
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta All Inclusive Family Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 December 2013

Dear mvici.

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us, we are pleased to read everything you say about your experience, and we are delighted that your stay with us was enjoyable. Please come back soon we will be here waiting for you :)

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Reviewed 26 November 2013

I just returned from my second visit to the Friendly Nov 16-23, 2013 (my last visit was Feb 15-22, 2013) & I’m already trying to decide on when to go back again.
The Friendly is an older hotel & you can see its age showing BUT the staff work very hard to keep it presentable & extremely clean so you really don’t even notice its age other than the decor. This resort is very good value for your hard earned $’s, and many travelers go back year after year. (I met one person who was there on his 16th visit)
Speaking of staff, they are all very “Friendly” not once during my 2 stays did I notice anyone in a bad mood (if they were, they sure didn’t show it to the guests) Oh, and Double Double is still going strong and still as fun as ever.
Last February I traveled solo and didn’t participate with any of the activities & only went to one show, as that vacation was a much needed “ME” time break & I only wanted to rest & relax. This November vacation was more of a “Go have Fun” break; I traveled with a friend so we went to most of the shows, and spent a lot of time socializing in the lobby & meet some wonderful people. This hotel is perfect to do whatever kind of vacation you want to have. The lobby is the place to go in the evenings as there is music & dancing and just a plain good atmosphere place to be. The majority of the guests are Canadian so you’re sure of finding someone friendly to visit with.
Try to find the time to take in some of the shows as the entertainment crew do an excellent job, both on the stage & during the day with pool activities, Spanish lessons, crafts, volleyball, cooking lessons, etc. etc. Take the time to chat with them during the day as they are all very nice & a lot of fun! They speak English very well so communication isn’t a problem. (As do the majority of the staff who interact with the guests)
If you have any questions about the hotel or Puerto Vallarta, be sure to talk to Mitchel Coronado at the concierge desk and he will be more than happy to assist & give you good friendly, trustworthy advice. BTW - Mitchel also personally delivered a bouquet of balloons & a personalized Birthday Cake to my room after my travel companion mentioned that I was there celebrating my Birthday. He is just a sweetheart. The General Manager is also onsite every day to greet guests & assist with all your needs.
The buffet is the typical all inclusive buffets, the food is good but by the 5th or 6th day like the majority of all inclusive buffets it does get tiresome. I preferred to have my breakfast at the grill where you can enjoy the morning sun & have made to order omelettes, eggs, waffles, French toast or pancakes, all cooked fresh in front of you.(also available in the buffet) At lunch I preferred the beach dining area. Make sure you try the chicken fajitas with a side of fresh nacho chips & guacamole. Don’t miss the beach party or the Fiesta night as the food is awesome. I only went to the Gourmet Dining room once and the food & atmosphere was very, very good. If you drink hard liquor be sure to ask for a double or at least 1 ½ or you won’t taste the liquor. The waiters are happy to make your order satisfying. The beer was so-so (draft) and not nearly as cold as I personally like. Tips are not expected & you will get the same service no matter what. BUT if they go above & beyond (and they will), I suggest you give them a little extra something. (They all work VERY HARD to make our vacation an enjoyable experience)
The adult pool is great and so nice not to have children splashing around you, (this November there were several children at the resort, yet last February there was only a couple) plus you can see the beach & ocean from the end of the adult pool while sipping on a cool drink.
The beach area is also very nice & sandy for the Pacific side of Mexico. (I stayed at another hotel a few years ago and the beach was very rocky in comparison) There are plenty of beach chairs if you want to sit in the sun & the beach attendants will be happy to bring you an umbrella if you would like one. My preference was the Palm treed shaded lounge area with padded chairs and lounges that were much easier to get in & out of (I have a bad knee that makes the regular beach chairs a bit of a pain). Some days they were a little harder to come by as people tend to set their belongings on them then disappear for hours… Eventually I would just sit there anyways & only once did a couple come back (After I’d already been sitting there for 2 ½ hours) and I gracefully gave them their claim back.
The rooms are very spacious (one of the benefits of an older hotel) This visit I was on the 2nd floor and had a reasonable view but last February I was on the 10th floor & the view was awesome! Both visits my rooms were close to the elevators but they were never an issue for noise. However, I did find the noise factor between the floor levels a bit of an issue during the evening until about midnight; you can hear the noise from the other guest having fun in the lobby way more on the second floor verses the tenth floor. The pillows this visit were a little lumpy for my liking as they’ve been washed a few to many times & are due for replacement. (During my last visit they were fine) On my 1st visit I had a king bed and it was very hard for my liking but the hotel does provide a sponge topper if you request one, this visit I had a double bed and it wasn’t nearly as hard.
I only wish that they would have had a mini fridge in the room or ones available for a reasonable additional cost. Personally, I like to have cold water bottles available to me at all times, something much needed for rehydration in the warm weather. On my 1st visit, I offered to pay extra for one at check in, but was told that they are only available for people who need them for medical needs. I didn’t ask this visit because I didn’t see anything on their website stating that they had fridges available (YET).
Make sure you try out the Spa at the hotel; I took my first massage on the beach in February and was kicking myself for never doing this before. Their spa masseuse is very talented and there is nothing like relaxing to the sound of the waves hitting the beach as you’re under her spell.
During my recent visit I had a slip & fall experience one afternoon, thanks to another guest who left a spill of either drink or water dripping off their swim suit on the tiles on the lobby floor & the staff was there in a few seconds to assist me. After I shook it off & rested for a bit my ankle started to bother me & when I asked if they had a tensor bandage available not only did they provide me with one, they also had a house medic on site to place it on my foot, and they inquired frequently during my stay, as to how I was doing. I’m not one of those who would take advantage of an honest accident, but they still made sure I was alright during my complete visit.
This trip I also discovered there was a Casino in the mall only a block+ away. (Slots only) at the shopping mall. If you’re interested in this you do have to leave a 50 peso deposit on the card that they refund when you cash out. This Casino does not take a % of your winnings like some of the Mexican casinos do.
The hotels location is great, only 50 pesos to the downtown area by taxi. While downtown check out the “Cheeky Monkey” for a cheap $1.00 Corona & the best bruschetta I’ve ever tasted or further down (by the bridge to Old Town) if you like good old rock & roll music (60’s – 80’s) have a seat at the “Day off Work” Beach Bar and enjoy the people watching & view.
Will I return to the “Friendly” for a 3rd vacation? The answer is YES. The staff are the people who make this resort what it is: FRIENDLY, Very Clean & a Great Value for the price.
My personal recommendations to management are: Put mini fridges in the rooms or offer them at an extra cost, you’d be surprised how many guests would pay up to an extra $5.00 a day for this amenity (the mini fridges would pay for themselves very quickly then the rest would be pure profit for years to come then eventually you could offer mini fridges in all rooms) Clean the white lounge chairs more often (Bad pigeon’s!) Also, in this day and age, add more Wi-Fi units in the hotel so that everyone can have full access from their rooms now that most people carry smart phones or tablets to keep in touch with our loved ones at home or want to post bragging pictures for our friends stuck in snow while we are playing in the sun & water. Plus, a coffee maker in the room for the first cup of coffee would be a bonus. Oh…. BTW the cold towels offered on the beach this trip was an awesome touch and addition to the great service you give your guests.

Room Tip: The higher the better in the tower
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Pam-51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta All Inclusive Family Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 December 2013

Dear Pam-51.

Thank you! Was so nice to read your experience, thank you so much to share it. We loved to know how much you loved all our little details we made for you during your stay. Please come back soon, we would love to see you one more time! :)

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Reviewed 25 November 2013

Just got back and we want to go again! The best part was the 'friendly' service, which was beyond compare. All of the staff are very happy and eager to please at all times. The location is excellent, and the resort is very clean. The food was very good but could use a little more variety from day to day. Room was good, except for the bed which could have used a new mattress. The view was good and could see sunrise or sunset depending which side you were on. Couldn't say much about the pool as we are beach people, but it looked very inviting. Nightly shows were a little lame, but they tried hard. The dancers were probably the best of all the shows we saw. Perhaps the most impressive aspect was the personal goodbye from one of the owners (I think), as we boarded our bus for the airport.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank David O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta All Inclusive Family Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 December 2013

Dear David O.

Thank you for sharing your experience, it's always a pleasure to know how much our guests enjoy their stay, we hope to see you once again :)

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 November 2013

Our friends have been raving about the 'Friendly Vallarta' for some time as they have been twice - they weren't wrong that is for sure! What a great hotel; it's in a great spot, very clean, good fresh food, super staff (every single one of them too) and service, fantastic view from the room and great beach area too. I can't begin to recall everyone's name but they sure made sure that we were taken care of which is not easy to find, we have been on a lot of trips, numerous times a year and this hotel's staff hands down is the BEST! Some names to mention; Abraham (beach chairs), Mary (super server in the lobby - she makes serving a huge crowd look so easy and we know it's not!), Jose, Barilo (probably spelled wrong sorry), Lupe, Jose, Double Double, Kahuala, Hugo, all of the front desk staff, the cooks, gardeners, maids, all the other wait staff, we never encountered anyone at all on the whole resort that was not awesome - Excellent keep up the great work, it's very much appreciated :)
Deb, Chico, Ken and Colleen

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Chico_Deb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Friendly V, Gerente at Friendly Vallarta All Inclusive Family Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 December 2013

Dear Chico&Deb.

It has been a pleasure to read all about your experience with us, we are glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay! We hope to see you soon :)

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