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Reviewed 28 December 2013

My wife and I enjoyed another fabulous vacation at the Friendly Vallarta December 13-20, 2013, and we had a tough time saying "hasta luego" when our vacation came to an end. This was our eighth stay at the Friendly since December 2009, and there is no question we will return again. Upon our arrival at about 5:00 p.m. on December 13, we were greeted by the friendly and accommodating front desk staff who checked us in, and Gabriel brought our luggage to our room. We requested a room in the tower 6th floor or higher and were delighted we received a room on the 11th floor. On our way to the pool, we were greeted by service staff who were generous with fist bumps, handshakes, hugs and heartfelt "welcome home" pleasantries.
My wife's birthday is December 19, and last year the staff pulled out all the stops in making this celebration simply spectacular. We are pleased Mitchell has returned as concierge - in correspondence with Eloisa in reservations I was redirected to Mitchell and enlisted his assistance with birthday celebration arrangements. Thanks to Mitchell, Braulio and Benji (chef) for making my wife's birthday a complete home run.
Many of our friends ask us why we keep going back to the Friendly and for us the answer is simple: the service and servers are spectacular. One case in point: I had been battling an infection and it flared up the day we traveled to Puerto Vallarta, and I didn't feel well enough to join our friends for dinner our first night. My wife asked me what I wanted to eat and I half jokingly said "chicken soup and a clubhouse." About 40 minutes later, there was a knock on the door and there was a waiter with my room service order - chicken soup (which the chef made just for me) and a clubhouse. I was thrilled with this level of service and acknowledge this action as going above and beyond - this room service order is just one example of the incredible service we have come to know and appreciate at the Friendly Vallarta.
Thank you once again to all the service staff including but not limited to Raul, Monica, Braulio, Maria, Kalucha, Sergio, Hugo, Carlos, Jose, Miguel, Nabor, Nacho, Vicente, as well as the chefs, cooks and kitchen staff, housekeeping and maintenance, and the many new servers who we just met on this our most recent visit to the Friendly Vallarta.
We were pleased to see improvements to the hotel since our last visit in 2012, including new doors and fresh paint in the rooms on the 11th floor, the new floor and tables in the beach restaurant (and its addition as an la carte restaurant), the new tables and chairs in the buffet restaurant and the Sunset Grill, and the new air conditioning units in the Gourmet restaurant. We sincerely appreciate the ongoing improvements and we sure hope to see mini fridges in each room sooner rather than later.
On our first vacation to the Friendly we found the food and beverage service to be to be very good, however, on this visit we observed a noticeable step up in the quality and variety of foods in each of the restaurants. We especially like the availability of breakfast on the beach, the sandwich service on the beach, and the beach BBQ cook-out. Kudos to the chefs, managers, and staff as they continue with making improvements.
On this stay my wife and I noted there was a large number of repeat visitors at the Friendly Vallarta. We include friends of ours from the USA and ourselves in this growing list of repeat visitors and in conversation we agreed it is the incredible staff at the Friendly who keep us coming back. Not surprisingly, when it came time to leave on December 20, it was difficult to not get a little misty-eyed as we made our rounds to say goodbye. Although we find it difficult leaving, we are looking forward to our next visit to the Friendly Vallarta, but this next vacation will be either a 10 or 12 day stay!

Room Tip: The lobby doubles as the main bar at night, so If you want a quieter room choose the fifth floor on the side towers or fifth floor or higher in the central tower.
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank JandS1968
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 8 January 2014

Dear JandS1968.

Was really nice to read everything you've described in your experience, no doubt this will be very helpful for our future guests. We miss you so much and we would love to see you again soon, good to know you enjoyed your stay! Please keep in touch :)

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Reviewed 24 December 2013

First off, a big thanks to the staff. especially to kids club leader Karina, my 6 yr old daughter loved her time with you and I appreciated the extra time you made for her too it was above and beyond. As for an overall review. . . We have been going to Puerto Vallarta for a few years now. Overall this was one of the top picks for stays. Food is solid and quite good. Facility is laid out nicely and easy to get around. Beach is great. Location is nice, approx. 45min walk to downtown. Only down side for us was this is a full smoking resort, you can smoke everywhere. Plus side is that most smokers were considerate around the restaurants and during beach shows. Other thing is the beds are hard and the pillows are worse, but you can bring a pillow, or there is a mall across the street and up a block and you could buy one. Noise level is pretty high so if you are a light sleeper bring ear plugs and avoid first three floors. Rooms are a good size. FYI: you will be asked for a deposit 1000 peso ($100) roughly or to give a piece of ID for them to hold until check out time.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
2  Thank Ann P
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 8 January 2014

Dear Ann P.

Thank you very much for your review and also for choosing to enjoy your holiday with us. Thanks for your suggestions, we have gradually been reshaping every area of our hotel, hopefully in the near future you can enjoy even more of these renovations. We hope to see you soon! :)

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Reviewed 20 December 2013

Indeed a friendly hotel... Shoutout to Raul & the waiters: kalusha, carlos, etc...Shoutout to waiters in the Gourmet Restaurant and great bar tenders: Joel & David... Cook Lucy- awesome omelets
Also to Pamela.
Not a 5 star accomodation but it was an excellent treatment.. They will try their best to make you happy...
Awesome location... Walking distance to malls , bank (scotiabank) and yes... Starbucks!
Could use more activities at night tho ' for adults like us...

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank workhardplayhard2014
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 23 December 2013

Dear Angge S:

Thanks for sharing your experience, we are very happy that everything has been perfect during your stay, and please come back soon we would love to see you once again! :)

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Reviewed 19 December 2013

We just returned from a wonderful week at the Friendly. This is absolutely the best place to go in Puerto Vallarta for a down home, relaxed, and worry free stay. The staff of this hotel is without question the most guest friendly in the whole region. The hotel definitely lives up to its name. Our favorite was the beach. It is just steps from the hotel. There are palm trees, palapas, nice beach chairs and a bathroom right on the beach which makes it really convienient. There is a wonderful infinity pool that looks out over the beach and ocean.Also there is a restaurant right on the beach that serves a variety of sandwiches and occassionally some buffet items as well. Some days they cook on the beach, such things as barbecued mahi mahi and other fish with all the neccessary trimmings. The employee that takes care of the beach area is named Abraham and he is a jewel. If you want beach lounges, chairs, umbrellas, etc. all you have to do is ask and they are immediately available. If you like beaches, it will be an experience that you will long remember.

Our room was one of the standard rooms in the tower with beds, tv, a balcony and of course a nice bathroom. It was extremely clean even though the hotel is an older one. Our beds were comfortable and we could open the balcony doors at nght and here the ocean waves crashing on the beach. What a restful sound to put you to sleep. The air conditioning worked well but we only used it in the afternoon when we returned to the room. We left it off a night so we could enjoy the fresh air.

The food is excellent. The variety is good and even though the standards of beef, chicken, pork and fish are served almost every day, it is always in a different manner. On some nights they have a pasta station where you can get any kind of pasta dish that you desire. Some nights they have roast turkey or pork or beef and they always have a good variety of salad fixings. They have a gourmet restaurant which requres reservations but the food is worth it. Truly exceptional. My personal favorite is Mexican Fiesta night which is served on the mezzanine in the ballroom. The food is wonderful and traditional mexican, not the tex-mex that you get in some resorts. They do all of their own baking in house and on fiesta night they make little home made mexican donuts. They are so good.

There are two bars, one on the beach for daytime use and one in the lobby that opens at 5 PM. The drink variety is good and the drinks are well made if you know what I mean. They serve Corona on tap and it is always cold. They have shows in the evening either in the main theater or in the lobby and the activity staff does a wonderful job of entertaining.

The front desk reception staff is always helpful and if you need anything they will always endeavor to help get it for you.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Charlie C
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 23 December 2013

Dear Charlie C:

Thanks for everything you say about us and about your recent stay. We are delighted to know that you will return soon and we will be waiting for you :) to continue treating you as you deserve!!! :)

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Reviewed 18 December 2013

Would like to start and say THANK YOU to the friendly staff at Friendly Vallarta. They all go above and beyond to make your stay a pleasure and welcome you back with open arms. The food is good and they offer to make you anything you desire. The beds a bit hard, we asked for a foam pad to put on top, it was delvered immediatly. This is our 8th trip to P.V. and our 2nd stay at Friendly. Will we go bak to theis resort???? You bet, can't wait ot get there.

Thanks again management and staff at FRIENDLY

Room Tip: These are all ocean view rooms, so you get a good room no matter what.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank rjmca
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 23 December 2013

Dear rjmca:

Thank you so much for your review, we feel really flattered. All your words are a great reward to us. We hope to see you soon! :)

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