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“Good value. Great for adults - somewhat lacking for teenagers.”

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Friendly Vallarta All Inclusive Family Resort
Ranked #22 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Reviewed 13 April 2014

We had a group of seven travelers from ages 12-81. Staff is friendly and the rooms are very clean. The food was limited but fine.

We were disappointed that some of the amenities were not available for the kids (ages 12-15). Boogie boards and kayaks were all broken and unavailable for use. No kids in the hot tub or infinity pool. Gourmet restaurant does not allow guests under age 18.

Final thoughts, great economical choice for adults, but if you are looking for extras for the kids that help make a family vacation great, you may want to look into other resort options.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
1  Thank Donegal1968
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 22 April 2014

Dear Donegal1968:

Thank you very much for sharing your opinion here on TripAdvisor. We just purchased new boogies and kayaks, our pool for adults is exclusively for adults, is calm and away from noise, however we have a larger pool where children can play and have fun. Our Gourmet restaurant is exclusively for over 18 years, and we handle a different concept, but we have more restaurants where children can enjoy their vacation. We inform you that we are renovating rooms, hallways, lamps, and we have new elevators, new furniture in restaurants, plasma tv in all rooms, new bedding, among other things. We hope to see you soon, so you can enjoy these changes :) you will always be welcome at Friendly Vallarta :)

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Reviewed 13 April 2014

We have frequented all inclusives in Cancun/ Neuvo Vallarta. Jalisco/Cuba and others.. Quite frankly, this relatively resort was the best ever.. All inclusives will always have little things/events/ situations/ experiences that will take the happy out of a vacation.. The difference with Friendly, is that they will address the problem right away.. It will not always be possible to make everyone in the world happy, but at least these people give you the feeling that they are trying, and do care about making/keeping you happy.. The management at this place have picked up on the idea that their guests are a free advertisement source. The owner and his son were always somewhere in and around the resort, and always had time to stop and chat with guests.. All of the little things that annoy folks at other resorts were non-existant at this place.. Towels/bed sheets replaced every morning.. All the rooms have an ocean view.. I got up every morning to watch the 7 am to 8 am dolphins groups pass aross the bay , sometimes even a few hundred yards from the shore.. My pineapple juice and vodka eye opener while sitting on my balcony watching the mist burn off.. watching the dolpins(and even once two whales breach)Priceless.. No big line ups even on the busy weekends.. None of the getting up for deck chairs at five in the morning, because they have more than enough chairs for all the guests.. We aren't high rollers by any streach..and found this place on the net..We booked through Transat, on line..and had something called Novilis.. We got to our room..and there were three pints of rum/tequila/vodka/chips/nuts on our desk.. Nice touch.. The beach areas have the best young men and women constantly bringing guests drinks/food/help.. No request seemed to small or big to put the friendly attitude of those folks off.. The activity team work their buts off..but the older average age group(someone told me that tha average was around 40) I did notice that the Spanish speaking guests didn't seem to be big on even small tips.. One morning I watched a group of younger (than us) guests, get constant food/drink service from the young man working our area..But they never ever reached for even a small tip for his efforts.. Despite that..he always approached them to see if he could bring them anything..an always(like everyone else we had contact with) had the smile and always friendly attitude.
We stayed two weeks this trip rather than our one week traditional run.. I figured that the food/accomodations/service would get a bit boring..but it never did..The food was always well presented. and the chefs take pride in their work.. There were too many eating venues at the resort for us to spend a lot of time at each one..but It was very easy befriend the line cooks/chefs/servers at each location.. We have stayed at some very expensive hotels/resorts around the US/Canada/ Hawaii/Cuba, but have never been treated to such genuine friendly treatment at an all inclusive resort.. Tips are a source of good income for those folks..and Iip there.. I hesitate to tell anyone reading this bcause i would like to keep this little treasure as our secret destination..but it's too good to bogard.. The vast population at the resort eemed to be Canadian/mexican.. Not so many Americans..like Cancun. From the time we checked in..and asked for and got, a non smoking room on the two non-smoking floors to making small menu requests in the dining areas.. we were treated like VIP's..
The spout on our bathroom tub..had a little leak, which made water drip onto the bathroom floor during showers.. That is the complete list of negative things on our two week stay.. Not too bad eh ??
As others have stated..The resort is located in a very nice ocation..a five minute walk to a mall..where there is a bank.. and a nice 15 minute walk the other way to a wal-mart across from the marina..Lots of little stores/resturants/along the main bulevard.. Local shopping when there is a cruise ship in port is not a great idea..because the prices snap up 40% during the days that the ship is in. The bus rides are cheap..and the yellow taxis are a reasonable rate..(the white taxis are riskier becaue they can sharge their own rates..) We could, and did walk everywhere locally.. Most folks miss out on the hidden little community across the bulevard outside the main gate..There is a whole Mexican village walking distance(15 minutes) from the resort..No signs or indications..to tell you it's there..Some sort of local project to keep this little community as an authenic Mexican community..Not sure why they keep it "secret"..but But it's a treasure to enjoy. We spotted it in the little weekly magazine that is free on the front desk counter.. There are lots of beach vendors..but they keep outside the ropes unless invited in by a guest.. My lady is a real haggler, and always managed to get her little choices at incredible discounts.. Me not so much..
We did have a little problem that worked out ok.. We booked two transat day trips through the rep in the lobby.. Some folks can get a seemingly better deal via local sales folks, but it's always a buyer beware thing..We booked two tours and got a third one free.. If you only do one tour when you are at Puerto Vallarts..Take the Rythem of the Nights trip. Hard to describe it in a few words.. But you will rarely hear of a negative impression.... We messed up our first appointment..and got mislead/shanghied onto a booze cruise boat..and missed out real boat..(another vacation horror story which we refer to as the Gilligans island event)but the transat rep(GabrielCastille)in the resort lobby, managed to rebook us the next night for free..I would have paid again but it was nice that they acomodated us.. We also did the Sea Safari tour..another great idea that my lady had.. Time and money well spent.. As I mentioned on weekends there are a lot of Spanish speaking guests..and their children..But personally. I found that the "Mexican" parents seem to keep their children under much better control than us "Gringos".. Manners work both ways.. We were in their country.. My lady and i promised ourselves that for next year(Definately at this resort) we will take a few Spanish lessons.. Thank you to all the fine folks at "Friendly".. Like most guests..we will see you again next year.. Frank Poirier/Mila Kim

Room Tip: Ask for a non-smoking room..all rooms are "sea view"
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jfpoirierJOseph_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 22 April 2014

Dear jfpoirierJOseph_P:

Thank you for trusting us and for sharing your experience here on TripAdvisor. We value your opinion, we are so happy to know that you enjoyed your stay that is our greatest reward!!! We hope to see you soon :)

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Reviewed 7 April 2014

We stayed at the Friendly from March 14th to 28th, It was our second time in PV and 1st time in an all-inclusive resort, personally I am not much of an all-inclusive type but sometimes you must go along with the majority.
As mentioned by many reviewers, the Friendly is an older resort even though they have completed some renovations. However once you realize that it’s pretty clean, you forget about some of the outdated decorations and enjoy the vacation.
At the Friendly it’s all about the ambiance, the facility is quite acceptable, the food is good and people are cool, especially the staff, they’ll do all they can to service you well and you don’t get that nagging feeling that they’re waiting for a tip and they’re grateful when they do get one.
We also like the fact that you could catch a bus for the old town right in front of the hotel, so when you want to experience other types of cuisine it’s easy and cheap to go downtown.
I’ll take the freedom to suggest some improvements:
- Working gym equipment(I don’t mind older equipment as long as it’s working)
- Hooks in the women’s beach toilet(a suggestion from my wife)
- More brands of cereals

Room Tip: The higher the better
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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5  Thank Eric 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 10 April 2014

Dear Eric B

Thanks for sharing your experience with us will be very helpful for other guests. As we just mention in other reviews we have great news! We inform you that we are renovating rooms, hallways, lamps, and we have new elevators, new furniture in restaurants, plasma tv in all rooms, new bedding, among other things. We appreciate your suggestions, help us to have a better place. We hope to see you soon, so you can enjoy these changes :)

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Reviewed 7 April 2014

We hunted tripadvisor for which hotel we were going to stay at in PV. We made the right choice.
We have been to PV over 15 times.

Let me go through each category

Room
-yes, needs updating especially the bathrooms but they were spotless and everything worked, better water pressure than at home. There was a ton of storage space. The rooms are being updated to entrance cards instead of keys. The safety deposit box was ancient but it worked great. I believe they will be updating these soon as well. Big TV. Beds were very firm. Called for a topper and they were there in 15 minutes with extra pillows. The view from the balcony was one of the best that we have seen.

Food
Standard but better than average, always seemed fresh at the buffets, they did not let it sit for long. The sunset grill was a la carte and the food was very good, we also had breakfast here every morning (you can also go down to the buffet for breakfast). The snack bar was great for a light snack (they had beach service as well). The gourmet restaurant was also good. They made donuts beside the pool one day which were heavenly.

Drinks
Not a problem, the white wine was good, the red not so much. They made whatever you wanted. I am not too picky on brands. We went out into town a couple of nights and ordered specialty brands

Pool/Beach
I have to say that I floated in the adult pool most of the week, I only went into the general pool to play tequila volleyball (hello to all my Canadian friends that I met while playing) The pools are heated and very clean. Hot tubs were actually really hot which is hard to find down south.
The beach is big compared to some of the other resorts we walked to while we were there. Not to worry about finding someplace to lay or sit. If you need shade, the staff will quickly set up an umbrella for you. There are vendors on the beach but if you stay before the rope, they usually don't bother you too much. To me, this is just part of the PV experience. The ocean is a bit cool so you need to have a bit of a tough skin. The waves weren't too bad but I know they can get quite rough. I loved walking the beach in either direction

Nightlife
There was always something going on in the evening but we were either tired from the day or went into town so I cannot really comment to much on this.

Location
The hotel is located about 10 minutes to town. There is a bus stop right in front of the hotel which we used often - about 75 cents. It is efficient and safe. The buses are frequent but be prepared for a bumpy ride depending on the bus. The taxi ride is about 8 dollars, just ask the taxi guy how much before you get into the taxi.

Service/Staff
This is what this resort is all about. We have never stayed in a place where we felt so at home. The staff always look happy, smile, say hola. When we left, a couple of staff members actually looked really sad that we were leaving. The staff works so hard and I acknowledged this by tipping them often. I would tip my waitress/waiter back at home so why wouldn't I do this hear. They deserve every peso

That is it from me, letting you know that we will be returning to the hotel.

Room Tip: Main tower above 6th floor
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank beagleboys2
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 10 April 2014

Dear beagleboys2

Thanks for sharing your experience, we are very happy with your review, thank you to be honest. As we just mention in other reviews we have great news! We inform you that we are renovating rooms, hallways, lamps, and we have new elevators, new furniture in restaurants, plasma tv in all rooms, new bedding, among other things. We hope to see you soon, so you can enjoy these changes :)

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Reviewed 4 April 2014

My sister and I spent Mar. 23 to Mar. 30, 2014 at this resort and found it to be the best Mexican holiday in our lives....actually the first for us also. We had not wanted to holiday in Mexico after the many negative news reports we had heard and read. Our stay here has restored our faith of staying at this exact Friendly place and we plan to be back there again next year with our family members...that's if we're fortunate enough to co-ordinage times and dates, as they live out of the country. Wish us well and we hope to get a very good deal for a party of 14 people and a party of 8 in the month of November, 2014. Thank you so much for this magnificent HOLIDAY!!

Room Tip: Our 9th floor room, facing west was exactly what we would have ordered. We saw the sun set every ni...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Delores M M
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 7 April 2014

Dear Delores M M:

Thank you so much for your excellent review, all your stay was very well detailed and we loved reading about it. Thanks for all the good things you said about us, we will be waiting for you on your next visit :)

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Reviewed 2 April 2014

GENERAL SERVICE INFORMATION


I highly recommend traveling with comprehensive travel insurance before visiting another country.

If you are traveling for the first in this hotel, you will discover a wonderful world . this hotel is a 3 1/2 stars . if you hope to travel and sleep in satin sheets , and eat in fine china , you may be a little disappointed with your stay. But rest assured that you will discover a world of service worthy of the greatest palace , and you will feel better served here than if you did it yourself at home. this hotel is not newly built but offers a high standard of quality for its age, and is maintained by an expert team.

This resort hotel is located 10 minutes from the airport , in the hotel zone of Puerto Vallarta. you can take the transfer bus or take a taxi which could be faster. this hotel is extremely well located with three buildings divided into a main tower and two appendices on the side. all rooms have ocean view at no cost . this hotel is also accessible to non-resident with fee for a day pass , ask at reception. you can quickly access the beach, which offers a private section without traveling salesmen and public closer to the sea. the private portion of the beach is bounded by rope and 2 entry point guarded by hotel employees for a moment of tranquility during your sunbathing . hotel also offers rooms for disabled.


ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE

The registration desk does not seem open 24 hours a day , on arrival the clerk will give you your room card or metallic key, depending on where you 're going to be in the complex , as several improvements were already underway during my stay , the bellboy will bring your luggage to your room very quickly after being in your room. a security deposit is required upon arrival approximately U.S. $ 100 via credit card or you will be asked to leave an identification card such as a driver's license as guaranteed in the hotel reception .

BRACELET

your bracelet is very important because it is connected to your room, and entitles you to have access to food, and free alcohol for adults. if you lose your bracelet, a fee of U.S. $ 100 will require you to get a new one because the one who will find yours, may try to have free access to the hotel.

ROOM

The regular rooms are standard size and essentially built on the same model. the bathroom has only a hair dryer but there may be other items available in the suites. you have a large mirror in the bedroom and in the bathroom. personal commodities are provided. a safe is available in the room for free ask a key during registration . the rooms do not contain small refrigerator and coffee machine

A LA CARTE

a la carte restaurant is available on site. I did not try the restaurant so I can not comment on this one but you can reserve your place with the concierge at the hotel

BUFFET

Buffet at the hotel , offers a good selection of food for all. you will find a place for meat and fish an area for pasta you will find a regular buffet menu , and a section with Mexican flavors. for breakfast you can eat in the main dining room or on the outdoor terrace ( sunset grill ) with birds that are among you .

BEACH AND POOL

the Beaches hotel, are among the most beautiful swimmable beaches of Puerto Vallarta, with lots of sun chair and many palapas. you will find a place of your choice and every day . if you prefer more the pool, the hotel offers two swimming pools , a family with a section for toddlers , another closer to the beach, endless style for adults only . you will find between the two pool, two hot whirlpool for relaxing bath with a glass in his hands. glasses to drink are thick plastic so safe for the pool, you can even be served directly in water


THEATRE

The theater offers different shows on some nights , but I warn you that some of them are worth to be seen , but I greatly recommend the Mexican fiesta, I will not put the video of this show because I want to sell punch, but I guarantee you that you will love because it is a dinner show formula .

BAR

The lobby bar ( margarita bar) is open from 10 in the morning to 10 at night and offers a wide selection of spirits and mixes you 'll enjoy . you also have a bar near the endless pool with a variety of cocktails. If you take an espresso, a corner for coffee offers many varieties of coffee with or without alcohol of your choice . servers make it a duty to ensure that you do not miss anything during your stay in the hotel , they are more than just employees they become friends .

SHOP AND PURCHASES

a is shop located in the hotel allows you to purchase products, you may have forgotten at home, but the prices are more expensive than the others store near the hotel . only a few minutes walk and you will find all the shops you need , such as walmart , grocery stores, and pharmacies also open 24 hours a day with very competitive price

TRANSPORT
to visit the city, you can take a taxi from the hotel, just ask the bellboy that call for you. you will find a list of fixed price already established behind the counter of the bellboy , if you prefer public transportation to go downtown , which is cheaper if you are without children, it simply costs 7.50 pesos with a service every 2-3 minutes with a stop at the entrance of the hotel. the driver will give you the change but be careful not to give a big cut . Attention also during bus trips doors remains open during a large part of the runs , and the seats are hard plastic and are uncomfortable when the journey is in the streets paved in stone , but it is an experience

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Daniel G
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 7 April 2014

Dear Daniel G:

Thank you very much for sharing your opinion here on TripAdvisor, this will be very helpful to our future guests. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay and we'll see you soon, please keep in touch and do not forget about us! :)

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Reviewed 1 April 2014

Really enjoyed our stay here and would return. Food and drink were always available and good, and the staff were super friendly. Rooms were clean and fairly spacious, and entertainment was offered throughout the day. Just an all round fun stay.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Thank EMJK65
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 1 April 2014

Dear EMJK65:

Thank you very much for your review! We feel flattered for everything you say and we are so happy that you enjoyed your stay with us, that's our biggest reward. We would love to see you again, please keep in touch :)

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Additional Information about Friendly Vallarta All Inclusive Family Resort

Address: Km 2.5 Blvd. Francisco Medina Ascencio, Puerto Vallarta 48300, Mexico (Formerly Friendly Hola Vallarta Resort and Spa)
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#13 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#17 Business Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#21 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: £110 - £305 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Friendly Vallarta All Inclusive Family Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 218
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy the best all-inclusive vacations in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with the friendliest hotel! Friendly Vallarta Beach Resort & Spa offers incredible location in the hotel zone and a wide range of fun experiences. Friendly Vallarta Beach Resort & Spa is located in one of the most precious bays of the Mexican Pacific, with a unique location in front of the beach, in the heart of the hotel area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hola Puerto Vallarta Club & Spa
Hola Vallarta
Hola Puerta Vallarta
Hola Hotel Puerto Vallarta
Hola Puerto Vallarta Resort
Hola Club Puerto Vallarta
Hotel Hola Vallarta
Hola Resort Puerto Vallarta
Hola Club Spa Puerto Vallarta

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