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Reviewed 28 November 2013

Great holiday in Puerto Vallarta! Started with a great flight with Air Transat in a newly refurbished A330,which has a two,four,two seating configuration,so if you are traveling as couple you can finally sit together.The seats are a little wider and they have tablets in the back of the headrest with preloaded movie,network shows,etc. Made for a very quick flight with great service.
This was our first time in Puerto Vallarta airport.Once you get your bags and get through customs keep going until you get outside to look for you for your ride to the hotel.If you stop and talk to the sharks inside the Airport after you get through customs it will be all about time shares,even though they say they represent your hotel or travel agency.
Once we got outside and on our bus things went smoothly.Check in went smoothly,got a room on the first floor,very close to the spa/gym and elevators.
The room had 2twin beds,a safe,27inch tv,couch,table,dresser,large closet and a balcony facing the ocean.The only disappointment was the bathroom,which is a good size with a single sink,large mirror,hair dryer,toilet and tub shower area. The bathroom was in need of a make over,everything was very old and worn,the shower curtain could not keep water from spilling on the floor and the water came out so hard it hurt.The room was clean and kept that way all week.
Because we were on the second floor,it was very noisy until midnight when the shows and dancing in the main lobby ended.If we go back we would ask for a room above the 4th floor in the tower,for the better view and it would be quieter.
There were 3 buffet restaurants which were all good.We went to the gourmet restaurant 3 times and it was great each time.
The beach is nice and if you want to sit close to the ocean Abraham or his assistant will bring your loungers right to the spot you want ,along with a cushion for each lounger,umbrella and table,never had that kind of service at a 5star,and you really had to insist on them taking a tip for the service.
If you are wanting to get a cab talk to the bellmen and they will take care of you and tell you how much to pay.
The service at the friendly was very good and we would go back for that reason as well as the good for food and nice beach.
i would have given a 5 star rating,except for the condition of the bathroom,it also gets very busy on weekends with nationals and it is very noisy until midnight.
We met alot of happy people,tourists and staff.

Room Tip: Get a room in the tower above the fourth floor in the tower, for the view and the noise factor.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank square52
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 square52.

Thanks for sharing your opinion, we really appreciate it. Thank you also for your suggestions and for all the good things you said about your stay, this will help us to be a better hotel. Please feel free to visit us anytime :)

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Reviewed 28 November 2013

Too many children on weekends. Rooms require updating. Staff are friendly, food is palatable, same daily however. Family resort. Air conditioning very outdated and unable to cool rooms when hot and humid.

  • Stayed: November 2013
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1  Thank jan b
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 jan b.

Thank you so much for your review and for all your suggestions all of them are important for us, we will analize each one of them. We hope that in your next visit everything is better for you. We have done many improvements to our hotel, in the lobby area, restaurants, Internet, restrooms at the beach, rooms etc. We woudl love to welcome you back anytime :)

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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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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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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    • Service
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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