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Hotel Riu Vallarta
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Reviews (5,632)
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Reviewed 26 April 2014

We chose the Riu Vallarta because it was indicated as being a five-star resort on the websites we'd been researching it on, and the information we'd been given about Rius by family who'd been to them before was that they are fantastic; we figured it would work for us for our first all-inclusive experience.
Now, this is probably one of the reasons why we were so disappointed, so take note now: we usually take cruises for our vacations. Still, believing we were going to a five-star resort, we arrived and first thought, "well, this is okay, but where's the wow?" The a la carte restaurants had mediocre restaurants that didn't inspire us to make reservations to dine at; the buffet meals were fine, but got boring after a few days; and the sports bar consisted of a man-made bar of what looked like plywood in the middle of a giant space that had typical cafeteria chairs and tables in it, a couple of tiny TVs, and a few recreational game tables--including an air hockey table that was out of order and a foosball table that had seen better days--for an extra fee. The room was nice, but nothing special. The beach was very nice, though.
All of that made for a nice vacation, but nothing that really made us feel like we have to change our travel habits and do the all-inclusive route more frequently. In fact, we were really underwhelmed when we experienced an extremely limited alcohol menu: one type of beer in the restaurant (in light or amber varieties, on the plus side) and one in the mini bar, one type of wine that was truly awful, and only local hard liquors of the cheapest varieties; and if you want a screwdriver? expect poor quality orange juice! Even more underwhelming was the service. We learned later that the reason for that was probably because we went over the week of Easter, but we were really surprised that we almost never were asked if we would like a drink, even when in a bar, and our mini bar was only once replenished the entire time we were there, despite us asking TWICE for 7-Up and water! It's not like we were drinking tonne, or anything, either! It was a soft drink and water we wanted!
The only person who really made a difference in all of this was Ramon in the buffet restaurant, Don Rafael. He was fantastic, and he deserves an award for being the only guy there who made every single person he came near feel special. Otherwise, I think we'll stick with cruising.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
8  Thank Freja72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2014

Wife and I just returned from a week in Riu Vallarta. First time in Mexico and had a amazing time. This was our 6th Riu which we stayed at. As always as expect. The staff were extremely friendly. Shout out to Victor, Jose and Vanessa at the bars. All the other staff are also extremely hard working keeping the place clean and beautiful. Food is just like any other resort with variety for everyone. For all those people who complain, this is not Canada or USA, it's Mexico. If you want your food like Canadian or American cuisine, then don't go on vacation to a third world country.
The beds are a little hard, but can't complain as we were barely in the room, other then to sleep at night. One minor set back was that the AC was down for the last three days we were there, but like i said we barely noticed it. We left the fan and door open, the breeze cooled us down. The beach is wonderful. Plenty of chairs and you also get drinks service on the beach as staff come around frequently, esp when they know you drink. There are two pools, one for adults with a swim up pool bar and another one for children. I liked that allot as we didn't get bothered with all the kids splashing around but the pool bar. If you with kids, then stop complaining about staff not allowing your kids into the adult pool. You can be with your kids on the other pool and get served drinks as there are staff waiting on you. It is a very family friendly and oriented resort. There are entrainment every night for the kids and also during the day the entrainment staff do the best to keep the energy up. Overall, the resort is bang for the buck and hence we usually choice the Riu. Definitely come back soon.

Room Tip: Choice the rooms on the higher floor, more breeze and air.
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank nendraku
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2014

We stayed at the riu march 4-11,2014.We have been to cabo and stayed at the riu santa fe and also the dominican republic so we have a few places to compare the riu vallarta too.When we exited the airport our driver was waiting for us.He took us to a store since I had forgot my sunglasses and some beer for ride.Wish I could remember his name...awesome guy!We arrived at hotel and checkin was quick and easy.We asked for an extra key and it was no problem.Our luggage was in our room within 5 minutes.Room was very clean,fridge fully stocked.We had an awesome direct view to courtyard and beach.rm #7043.perfect.We had a topper on our bed otherwise I hear beds are hard. Beach is beautiful and David the beach waiter ran his butt off...awesome guy and always took good care of us.He never forgot our face.....as soon as he seen us coming he was right at our chair...The swimup bar is ok....can get congested with spring breakers though.I did not care for the chairs taken by 8 am in moring but that is wherever you go.We ate at steakhouse and gourmet restaurant for our alacarte.We liked thegourmet better.The buffet is wonderful...there is something there for everyone.The lunch buffet on beach was nice too.We did two excursions...the rhythom of the night and snorkeling and yelapa fishing village.We totally enjoyed rhythom of the night...beautiful experience that we will never forget! Totally do it!The other excursion was good too.Walking through the fishing village and seeing first hand how these people live,beautiful island. We also went to bucerias one day and puerta vallarta of course.Bucerias is just the opposite direction of puerta vallarta from hotel.neat little town...Lots of shopping from flea markets..got some good deals.Walk down beach and have a snack and drink at fat boys. We had pizza at Lo Mo's sports bsr...very good pizza.very cheap to drink in town,put your feet in sand and relax! Even had a foot massage on the beach having a drink...it don't get better than that...When you go to Puerta Vallarta definately go to cheeky monkey for one dollar beer or margaritas!!beautiful view from there as well. Back to hotel.....we had some awesome cocktails at the lobby bar.....victor makes awesome cosmos and martinis.....every morning I went to sports bar for gofer and kahlua. Definately treat youself to a mexican coffee.It is quite a show in the courtyard to watch it be made! All in all we really enjoyed ourselfs.At any given time these workers are working hard to keep this hotel running smooth for you.....day or night......I would definately return!

Room Tip: Definately a higher up room....We had 7043 and it was perfect....direct view of courtyard and ocean.
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank sherri h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2014

We have stayed here 3 other times. This has been the worst. This will be the 3rd day without air conditioning room was not made up till 5 yesterday. Have been trying for 2 days to have bar glasses replaced. I have to agree with other posters maybe 4star on a good day. Definitely not a 5 star. Ps. Alacarts suck and stay away from Sunwing excursions they are knockoff of the Vallarta. Adventures

Room Tip: Get a junior suite
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Lift G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2014

We went to the Riu for a week in March 28-April 4. I"m not really one to complain about hotels.so my review is going to include the positive things about the Riu Vallarta and the negatives things. First the positives; the maids, bartenders and serving personal were so amazing. We tipped well because they deserved it. Thanks Norma for all the information you told us about Mexico. The food was fabulous!! And such a variety!! The beach was amazing and the pool was nice and clean..
Now the downside. We asked for a partial ocean view...and we got it...directly looking out to the courtyard. which was full of loud, drunken 18-25 year olds, way past midnight. They were so noisy that we had to close our balcony doors every night. Absolutely no security around to tell then to go away. Speaking of lack of security, there were drunk high school kids in the lobby bar and 1 boy started taking his clothes off. No parents or security around. I don't mind partys and seeing drunk people around. I object to them being loud and unruly late into the night. This hotel had a lot of families with small children staying as guests. It's not fair to them. Another thing is that our room smelled musty all the time. OUr pyjamas felt a little damp. The hotel advertised free Wi-Fi. Well, it came with conditions. It was free, in the lobby only, for 90 minutes a day. So if you used it for 40 minutes one day, you had to wait 24 hours till you could use it again. False advertising. Next time we want to stay in a Riu hotel, I'm definitely checking all the reviews on trip advisor. We thought this hotel was top notch. Not. HOpe this review is helpful.
Something that was amazing was an excursion that we went on. It's called Pegaso and it's a sailing ship. We sailed to an island to snorkel and swim.. The crew were wonderful and so professional. Definitely recommend this trip.

Room Tip: Don't face the courtyard..
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Soda54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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