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“Great hotel dumb general manager”
Review of Hotel Riu Vallarta

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Hotel Riu Vallarta
Ranked #17 of 28 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 May 2014

Great hotel great staff except for the general manager who yelled and never let me talk and contacted riu trough Facebook and was given the run around again beautiful hotel sad that it's run by an ignorant manager with anger issues if it was in USA I would have used them !!!!!!sad sad sad

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank Awesomealvarezz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,127 - 3,133 of 5,505 reviews

Reviewed 10 May 2014

We stayed at the Riu Vallarta April 26-May 3rd. Our check in was a breeze and we had a top floor junior suite with an amazing view. The hotel, guestrooms and grounds are beautiful and well kept. There is someone cleaning something all the time.

Now the not so good part...the buffet for breakfast (Don Rafael) and lunch (Flamingo) were cafeteria style - get your food (usually the hot items were cold, have someone push in front of you, bump into several people trying to navigate around, foot race someone or a kid to hopefully a clean table and try to enjoy your meal with screaming kids and loud families everywhere. We even tried to tip from the start of our stay to get better service. I think we were invisible as we seldom were offered any service once we sat down. Tipping didn't do any good. The staff all are working very hard and they look overworked. I didn't see many smiling employees (I have worked in hotels for over 20 years, so I am always observing). Dinner in the fine dinning restaurant - Sir George was very good. We ate there 2 nights and had great service coupled with a good dinner. I would not recommend the steak though. It is not as Americans are used to. We ate in the Steakhouse one night and had an awful meal. Warm shrimp cocktail, cold dinner, raw steak for my husband and we were rushed thru the entire meal in 40 minutes. Note - you can make reservations for the restaurants 2 days out - book 2 at a time if you can because they fill up day of.

The beach is beautiful and this was one of the main reasons we selected this Riu over the Palace up the road. In hindsight and after going to see the Palace, I wish we booked there. It has a nice beach, is a smaller hotel and from what we heard from people staying there, less kids and quiet. The vendors are constant on the beach. If you tell them no thank you they don't bother, but seem to have forgotten and are back within the hour. Drink service was sketchy at best on the beach. Again, we tipped $5.00 on our first round of 2 drinks thinking this would ensure good service...it didn't. There were 2 waiters and they were slammed with the large families ordering a tray full of drinks at one time. We were once again invisible.

Noise - music started in the morning and didn't end until around 11pm each night. The hotel is in a u-shape with the music is in the courtyard so all of the noise goes straight up. We couldn't sit out on our balcony in the evening and talk as it was so loud. There was no where on the hotel grounds to get away from the noise. Most hotels have some lounge areas or hammocks where you can relax, not here.

The room - as I said above, we had a beautiful junior suite with a view of the ocean. We saw whales and dolphin each morning. The room is updated and laid out nicely. Good luck with housekeeping replenishing your supplies. We didn't get our water, coffee, coffee cups or glasses restocked several days and had to call down or go on a search to find some. As other people have mentioned, the beds are rock hard. We had a foam topper and it helped a bit.

Overall, my experience was not the best and we have been to Mexico several times and have stayed at other all inclusive hotels around Mexico and the Caribbean. We speak some Spanish and always are courteous guests. If you are looking for a quiet relaxing hotel with good food and service, this is not for you. If you are looking for an inclusive deal and are ok with battling the masses in a cafeteria, waiting for service and are ok with loud music all the time, this will work for you.

Other activities - I highly recommend Rhythms of the Night with Vallarta Adventures! Fantastic evening and great staff!!! If you are looking to play golf - we played Le Tigre - close to the hotel, difficult but great course, lots of water and not busy. They also have a Bengal Tiger around hole 14 in a cage.

Room Tip: Book a junior suite and if you are looking for quiet, ask to not be above the courtyard, but further...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank IdahoSuninFun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2014

This was our second trip to Riu Vallarta. Visited in November of 2012 and was very impressed. Liked it this time but the amenities were significantly reduced. Quality of food, entertainment, and special plaza events was less than our last visit. Everything was cut back except the service. The staff and their attention to service was exceptional. Management needs to value it exemplary employees---all of them and not cut corners elsewhere.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank DNJM1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2014

My husband, son (3yrs.) and I stayed for 9 days at RIU Vallarta. It was great! It is very clean, which that is a super plus for us since we have a little one. The staff is very friendly and attentive. The food was great well seasoned....and I like that Mexican food was offered every time, if you go to any foreign country you want to experience the culture and food. Also, we were celebrating our wedding anniversary and the staff (dinner evening) went out of their way to set up our table with balloons, rose petals, candle and a special cake! The night shows were great, like if we were watching a Broadway Show. Very talented! The only thing that we disliked: was that smoking was allowed around the kids pool area and second hand smoke is a killer! Other than that we highly recommend this resort! You will not regret it. We would like to extend our deepest thanks to Mario, Freddy, and Rosi the evening dinner crew!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank loulander4u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2014

We just came back from a week's vacation with our two teens. I have to say that everything about this hotel was just fantastic. The hotel itself is really well maintained. It's very very clean, the landscaping is beautiful and perfectly maintained, our rooms were attractive and very clean and we did have a partial view of the ocean. The beach was big and had a lovely forest of palm trees. The water was really wavy and warm. There were hundreds of beach chairs. The staff at Riu Vallarta really do an exceptional job. Even though these people are working 12 to 14 hours a day, they never fail to give you a smile and a hello. From the waiters, to the housekeeping, to the cooking staff, and bartenders, everyone was friendly and couldn't do enough to keep us happy. The entertainment staff are professional, energetic and very organized. There was always something fun to do. It's a family resort and there is something for everyone here. We enjoyed the food. There was a huge variety and it was fresh and delicious. i hated to leave this place and I would go back in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Sherry58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2014

My fiancé and I stayed at the Riu Vallarta again for 2 weeks from April 20 to May 4 and thouroughly enjoyed our stay there. The service from Javier with sunwing was excellent and I was very surprised to see some of the staff that we met 2 years prior still remember us and treat us like family when we arrived. Hector, Pablo, Luis, Moy, Eduardo and Vanessa were always there to greet us with a smile everyday and provide us with excellent service. The buffet was always full of good food and never a shortage of anything. The wifi might be slow but that doesn't bother us as we are there to be on holidays and not be on the computer. The resort is clean and the staff were working the whole week we were there either scrubbing it down or putting new paint in areas. We got there and received a room on the 7th floor and asked right away to be put on the 9th floor and were given that at no extra cost with no issue other than having to wait a little bit longer for the room which was no issue to us either. We will definitely be coming back to the riu again.

Room Tip: Ask for a higher room for a good ocean view and it gets you away from the noise at night
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank hayser88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2014

We have enjoyed many AI Resorts in the Mayan Riveria area and the Dominican Republic, and for one reason or another this is only the 1st Resort that I would return to....2nd time to a RIU property, which would be my second choice, but there are so many resorts to try...this was the first time to PV.

We usually spend aprox the same $ (must account for inflation and time of year though), and stay in the same star rating too. I did not give the RIU Vallarta a 5, only because with my company I was treated to a true 5* property, but that resort is at least twice the cost Per person.....I would never pay that much for a vacation!

This trip was Hubby our 18 year old daughter, myself in one room and my Sister-in-law in the other room.

We loved the size of the resort.....lots to offer in a compact area. From lobby to beach in less than 5 min.

There are many eating options and bar areas, all with good service (well...maybe lunch could have been better, but isn't lunch a casual time anyway?). The hand-out we were given by the front desk showing the agenda for the week states the main buffet is closed over lunch time...WRONG...they are open at 1PM. We preferred to eat there, calmer and air conditioned or outside covered courtyard, away from the noise and chaos of the beach.

All of the bar tenders/servers were fully accommodating when we wanted to tweek a drink, to personalize to our tastes. Never more than a 1-2 min wait, and always greeted right away, great service.

We were able to try all of the a la carte restaurants, and as most have said, Nirvana (Asian) is a buffet....it was ok. Flamingo (steak?...doubles as beach side/pool side cafe during the day), was ok...variety was pretty good, the food stations are quite spread out in different areas. Nice view here, but can get windy....took 4 tries to get the same forkful of salad to the mouth as the wind kept blowing it off. Gourmet ....all 4 of us had the steak, very yummy...lightly seasoned with cheese then topped with a wine reduction maybe? The best steak at the whole resort! To do it again, I would try for the Gourmet more than once and skip the other two.

We had 2 Jr Suite rooms side by side on the 6th floor, centre of the "bottom of the U shape" of the resort, 6042 & 6043. With previous emails to the front desk, I found that our rooms wouldn't be closest to the beach as I had hoped, due to our need for a fold out sofa bed. All Jr Suite rooms are either at the "open ends of the U shape" with the regular sofa, or our location with the fold out sofas. And after our visit, I truly feel that the location we had, overlooking, the courtyard, the walkway to the beach, the gardens, with a view of the pools and then on through to the beach was the best location. By day the view was so colourful and in the evenings we could watch the small band and the other guests dancing from our balcony. The nights were quiet by midnight if not earlier.

If "Movie on the beach" is offered while you are there......don't think twice, go! Some of us had already seen the movie, but sitting under the stars, with the tiki torches lit and popcorn and drink service...it was the best experience! It took a bit of looking to find it, luckily it was about 10 min late starting.......they put up a big screen on the sea kayak racks.

Our rooms were nice, I have had better, and I have had worse. As others mentioned, the beds are hard and the sofa bed mattress was a joke, but I asked to have the foam mattress toppers put on all of them....Hubby thought it was still a bit firmer than he prefers...but it was better than many of the resorts we have been to.

The evening "shows" are fine, we have seen so many that for us it is not a big deal....a way to pass the evening....the small band that plays before and after was a nice touch though......dance or watch others, it's all good. Add a couple of your favorite drinks, maybe take some cards/crib board/dominoes, and enjoy the tropical evenings. Don't forget to check out the sunsets, we did see a few really pretty ones.

We did one day trip off the resort, taxi ride to walk along the Malacon...see the sites and do a bit of shopping....cost $23 US each way. We were prepared to take the 2 different busses at a much lower cost, but not realizing until we had been waiting for the bus, it was their Labour Day, the busses would be on a reduced schedule....if at all, so what the heck, taxi it was. We enjoyed lunch at the Cheeky Monkey, good food, good drinks, and you couldn't beat the ocean view....check it out!

I'm sure I'm missing some things in my review, but as I said, RIU Vallarta is the only resort I would return to so far, at the price we are comfortable paying and within the rating of 4 1/2 to 5 * depending on who does the ratings. Message me if you have any comments or questions.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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7  Thank lasekeye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Vallarta

Address: Av de Los Cocoteros s/n | Lote Hotelero G, Nuevo Vallarta 63732, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Nayarit > Riviera Nayarit > Nuevo Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#9 Family Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#12 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range: £126 - £211 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Vallarta 3.5*
Number of rooms: 550
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 24h All Inclusive Hotel Riu Vallarta opens all year round and is located directly on the Playa Flamingos beach, in Banderas Bay in Riviera Nayarit on the Pacific coast of Mexico. The RIU Classic Hotels offer comfortable rooms and excellent facilities with great leisure and relaxation facilities, as well as international gastronomy. Enjoy a relaxing holiday - whether alone, with family, partner or friends! The location is ideal because of its proximity to Puerto Vallarta PVR (13km) and Bucerías (2km) and invites you to explore the area. The hotel has 550 comfortably furnished rooms and offers many amenities. Relax in the spa area or get in shape at the gym. 2 outdoor pools with integrated whirlpool, 1 children’s pool. RiuLand Kids Club (ages 4-7 years&8-12 years) and for adults, day and evening entertainment, as well as our Pacha Discotheque. For lovers of gastronomy, we offer live cooking stations at our main restaurant, Asian, Gourmet specialty restaurants, Steakhouse and 6 bars. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Vallarta Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
Riu Vallarta Nuevo

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