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“Nice but a little disappointing” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Riu Vallarta

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Hotel Riu Vallarta
Ranked #15 of 28 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
Auburn, WA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Nice but a little disappointing”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2012

The rooms were beautiful and the grounds were fabulous. The food was great and lots of choices. when we first arrived we had a couple of problems with our room but the front desk staff took care of the problems immediately. Unfortunately I cannot give this place a 5 star reting because they have no room service, no snacks at the pool, inexpensive liquior for thier mixed drinks with what tasted like sugar free mixers (as they always left an awful after taste)
you only got 3 beers in your in room frig every other day and anything else including water. Their bartenders almost never smiled nor for that matter even acknowlwedged that you were there except in the snack bar. Most of the servers in the restaurants were very pleasant but the servers around the pool acted as though they just as soon not be there. The entertainment people we never once saw during our 10 day stay. They may had activities down at the beach but they never came up to the pools to invite people to come down to join in. If you didn't know where an activity was taking place you missed out. Or when they had their Mexican Party night and you had dinner reservations at 6:30 you totally missed out. It wasn't as friendly as some other places we've stayed at but the value was there and knowing it isn't a 5 start resort we would go back it was beautiful and clean and reasonably priced

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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GoofySchmidt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,292)
Date | Rating
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English first
Highland, Indiana
Level Contributor
175 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2012

Four of us stayed at the Riu Vallarta in February 2012.

The good stuff at the Riu Vallarta: It is a very beautiful and grand resort. The food was excellent. The staff was very helpful and friendly. The grounds and pool were very well kept up. The rooms were clean. The bartenders were great even though overworked. The nighttime shows were very good. They did a good job of controlling the vendors on the beach so they were not annoying at all.

The not-so-good stuff: as with most hotels in this area, everything is tile or stucco. This means any sound is mulitplied all down the hallway and you hear every footstep or voice in the hallways in your room. OK at 7PM, not so good at 1AM. They also really need to look at the smoking policy. Everywhere we went there was cigar smoke. They do not allow smoking indoors, but outdoors, everything is OK. Forget sitting around the pool or the beach. by 8AM every choice chaise lounge had been "reserved" by others. They did announce that this was improper, but no steps were taken to prevent it. The "king" bed was just 2 doubles pushed together which was quite lame.

The most annoying thing was them not letting me check out 2 hours late. Instead they made us hang out in the lobby for 2 hours waiting for the Apple transport (which never came).

Added information. A lot of bad press has been tossed around lately about this area of Mexico. I experienced ZERO issues despite taking several tours all around the area including downtown and remote villages.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ScubaDave16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2012

Spent a week at the Riu Vallarta. This is at best a 4 star, have stayed and many Riu's and was disappointed with this one. The staff is amazing but to few of them around bars , wait for 15 minutes is the norm in evening for a drink. . The food is quite good but sports bar food,terrible! Moldy hamburger. Try and get a burger in lunch buffet, 12 people in line 3 burgers on the grill. The hotel is beautiful and very clean. I consider a 5 star to be perfect or don't sell it as one, for those who gave it a 5 star's you need to get out more and experience what a 5 star should be.ie Jamaica.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank David H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kingsville ontario
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 February 2012

This was a great trip. I am not picky at all. The food was good. Some dishes were empty though at times every day. Variety was plentiful. Beach has nothing to find except a few dead blow fish and pelicans. Alot of tipping going on when you're not suppose to be. I did tip the maids well since that was important to us. Some bartenders were tipped too. The first night sleep was non existant. Very noisy hallways some nights. Safes in rooms require a key and so does hotel room. Cumbersome to cart around all week. To take out a free kayak, they asked me for my passport. I told them to kiss it. Cab ride from airport for four was $55US. Hotel back to airport was $30US for the same four people. Overall, it was pretty good. Would I go back? No, I've been to this hotel twice.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank kfd68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2012

I went for my friends wedding and had a blast. I had so much fun at the pool with Tony, Lucio, and all the other bar and entertainment staff. The front desk staff was great especially Jesse. The buffet food could be better. The steakhouse and french restaurant were very good. I'm already looking at booking another trip back this year!

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank katie042886
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 February 2012

My husband and I returned from the Riu Vallarta yesterday after a week's stay. After reading the varied reviews, we anticipated the worse, but were pleasantly surprised by more positives than negatives. Our flight was delayed 2 hours, so we did not arrive until 2:00 a.m. Check-in was quick and efficient. Each guest was handed an envelope with info., pool cards for towels, room key, safe key, etc. and luggage was delivered to our room shortly thereafter. Although our package only consisted of a hotel room, our special request for a higher floor and ocean view were granted. We were on the 5th floor facing the Rui Jalisco with a partial view of the ocean from our balcony. We chose to shut off the air conditioning and slept with the patio door open to hear the waves crashing on the beach. Keep in mind you are in the tropics and your room will take on a musty smell; air conditioning on or not. The bed was harder than ours at home, but we still managed a good night`s sleep. The rooms were kept very clean, and we tipped the maid each day for her service and towel art. Knowing we would have to cart keys to the beach with us each day, my husband purchased an inexpensive key holder at the $1 store before we departed, which he wore around his neck insuring the safety of our keys. We also insured our valuables were locked in the safe before leaving the room, and nothing was taken or stolen. We had no problems with the fridge being restocked, but did have to call twice one day to have the rum replenished. We had no sooner put down the receiver, and an employee was at the door to provide us with whatever we needed. We were allowed use of the facilities at the Riu Jalisco other than the ala carte restaurants, but did not see the need to leave our resort.
We found our first day at the beach to be a tad bit cool, as we caught the tail end of a storm system passing through. Light cloud cover the first day still left us sun burnt despite our preference for a clear day. At the week progressed, the weather got better; no rain. We congregated at the beach each day where there were plenty of loungers and to make them more comfortable, there are chair pads located on the loungers around the pool, which many guests took down to the beach area. The beach bar was easily accessible to sunbathers on the beach, with waiters also making their rounds to take orders. The drinks were definitely not watered down and free flowing. Although we did not frequent the adult pool, it was busy and active each day. We did take advantage of the water slides in the kid`s pool, which was alot tamer, occupied by a few families and older people. The last few days of our stay, we did notice more Mexicans, Brazilians and Italians at this resort. Catamarans, windsurfers, boogie boards, massages and shopping all available on the resort`s beach. You can walk out into the ocean for quite a way with little undertow on most days, making boogie boarding and use of other water toys lots of fun! Whales can be sighted from the beach, as can be dolphins on a clear day. Apparently, no sharks in the bay because of the whales and the dolphins...very comforting! When the tides goes out, there is ample room to walk the hard beach sand in either direction. We took a taxi to Bucerias and then walked back to the Rui via the beach. Not much attraction in Bucerias other than an open market; that is if you like to be bombarded by every merchant within a half mile radius. We left pretty quickly. Our cab driver offered to take us to one of the beaches further north for 1,000 Pesos, however, we declined. Those beaches are supposed to be quieter and clearer, but we had no problems with the beach at the Riu.
Past experience at all inclusives has left us with the conclusion that the food is always better at the buffets; and fewer dress clothes to pack as well. The buffet was delicious; always something different including a wide range of Mexican dishes. We had everything from sea food to turkey and my husband`s favorite; mashed potatoes. We were amazed at the variations provided each day. The sweet breads and homemade soups were wonderful! One day during our stay, the chefs prepared an amazing paella on the beach; excellent! The floral arrangements and decorations carved from veggies and fruit are truly an amazing art form created by the talented chefs. Surely one would not go hungry with the amount of food and choices offered at both the Don Rafael (breakfast and dinner buffet) and the beach buffet for lunch. Signature Representative suggested using the ATM at the resort in order to purchase Pesos to get the best exchange rate. It was easy to use and very handy. Staff were always very friendly and the entertainment staff did their best to entertain, joke around and get as many guests as possible involved in their daily activities. Bartenders had good memories for our drink requests and were quick to teach us spanish words and phrases. They were always very appreciative for the tips we left. Although we did not frequent the nightly entertainment activity provided at the Riu, we could hear the entertainment crew performing nightly at the Riu Jalisco from our balcony. We later learned that the entertainment staff live on site at the Riu in the basement. While they did their best, remember, this is not Vegas quality entertainment, although enjoyed by many of the guests. After the evening entertainment, the disco opened; we did not attend. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our stayed at the Riu and would highly recommend. This resort was far better than what we anticipated from reading some of the harsh reviews. We are planning to stay here again next year, and cant wait to return!

Room Tip: Make your special requests for items like non-smoking room, high floor, king sized bed, etc. upon bo...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Stressedmess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 February 2012

Just got back from Riu Vallarta this morning with my family. We have 2 daughters age 19 and 22. I was a bit apprehensive after reading some reviews about thief from safes and other bad reviews, but I can tell you that this resort overall is as good as any other 4/5 star resort we have stayed in over the last 12 years. We booked 2 rooms. The rooms were very nice-junior suites with an ocean view. A couple of the lights were not working and the screen was missing on our balcony, but nothing we could not live with. Our room had a bit of a musty smell, never really figured out why. Our daughters had a corner unit and the room seemed better maintained-a huge corner balcony, no smell there. Thier only complaint was the hairdryer which got so hot it melted a hole in the side of the unit. Oh yeah. and the beds are very hard, but we slept quite well after we put the blanket under the sheet and got a couple extra pillows. Check in was very quick. We arrived at 2am, about 50 of us and they were quick to give us our rooms immediately and do the rest of the check-in the next day. We were given 1 room key, which had the number printed right on the key and 1 safe key. This is rather old fashioned and I was not happy about the number being stamped on the key. We had read about some thiefs and made sure to always lock anything of value in our safes and take our room key and safe key with us at all times. We also put the do not distrub sign on the door all the time unless we needed the room cleaned. We ended up getting another key for each room so everyone could come and go as they please, but you have to watch your key like a hawk, anyone finds it they can just go up and go in your room as it has the number stamped on the key. Anyway, we knew in advance that we must be deligent with valuables, as we usually are and we had no trouble of any kind.
On to the wonderful stuff. The hotel is very nice, the grounds are beautiful and the staff works day and night to get things spotless and running. The mix of vacationers was mainly from Canada and US. There were only a few small children, alot of older teenagers with family as ours were. Not alot of the spring break crowd. it was a pleasent mix . The staff is very friendly and will go out of their way to help you. We had great service from the maids, waiters ( we got served drinks everywhere we went from the beach to the lobby.) The food was good. the buffets had something for everyone. The a la carte resturants were a bit more informal than usual-except for Sir George(the gourmet), but that was fine with us. We never had trouble finding charirs on the beach or at the pools-did not do the wake up at 7 and run down to mark your space bit. They had activities during the day and special events during the week. We watched a couple of the evening shows-about average, but entertaining anyway. They usually had some activity in the main courtyard before and after dinner, and things get quiet from 10 on-unless you do the disco thing. We did a couple of excursions-would reccommend the outdoor adventure tour by vallart adventures if you want to do a bit of everything. We had to check out at 11 am the last day, but our flight did not leave until midnight. We had full use of the facilities, a room to store out luggage and use of showers. If the hotel was not booked they would have let us keep the room for a fee of 77 for the day. But we were not able to do that. We had a wonderful time, the resort was very nice and the staff were terrific. As with any resort- you have to use common sense and not leave things out to tempt anyone. The only thing I would really liked changed was the room number stamped on the key!

Room Tip: Rooms over the main courtyard will be noisy until after 10pm. Corner junior suites have really larg...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Sunfollowers_12
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

Property: Hotel Riu Vallarta
Address: Av de Los Cocoteros s/n | Lote Hotelero G, Nuevo Vallarta 63732, Mexico
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
#10 Family Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#11 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Vallarta 3.5*
Number of rooms: 445
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* In Riviera Nayarit, overlooking the Pacific Ocean * Located on Playa de Flamingos beach, 2 km / 1.5 miles from Nuevo Vallarta * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 9-story building * 3 km / 1.86 miles from various shops * 13 km / 8 miles from the airport * 1 km / 0.62 miles from Flamingos Golf Club * Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Vallarta Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
Riu Vallarta Nuevo
Hotel Riu Vallarta Nuevo Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit

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