Hotel Riu Vallarta
About Hotel Riu Vallarta
- high speed internet in room
- swimming pool
- free internet
- bar lounge
- fitness center
- free parking
- public wifi
- wheelchair access
- air conditioning
- dry cleaning
- meeting room
- non smoking rooms
- laundry service
- concierge desk
- flatscreen tv
- banquet room
- multilingual staff
- breakfast buffet
- outdoor pool
- paid wifi
- conference facilities
- free breakfast
- private balcony
- breakfast available
- reduced mobility rooms
- facilities for disabled guests
- paid internet
- kids activities
- swimup bar
- poolside bar
- kids club
13 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"This was a fortnight's holiday for my silver wedding. You can get a drink or something to eat at anytime of the day or night. The beach is on the doorstep, the sea is lovely and warm,The reason I'm writing this review is to recommend how amazing the entertainment teams are day and especially night, you would have to pay good money to watch shows like this, can't recommend them enough. There is that much choice of food you can't go wrong , the steak bar is great for a snack in the day, we kept having a steak and onion baguette. I am that impressed I think we will book riu hotels again, maybe in Europe "
- Travel date: Tue 21st of February 2017
"It is often the mistake of hotel management to believe the magnificent surroundings in which their hotel sits somehow eliminates their obligation to provide basic services and edible food, such is the case of RIU Vallarta which is classified as a 5 star hotel by RIU and 4+ (whatever that is) by Thompsons, I would suggest 2 star would be more accurate and that's being generous.
Having just returned I am having trouble remembering when I last looked forward to the end of my holiday, probably on scout camp when I was a child when it rained for six out of seven days! That's not to say we didn't enjoy Mexico, quite the contrary - we loved it and will return.
The hotel is tired, basic and poorly designed. Whilst I appreciate it gets significantly warmer in the summer months, having an open plan structure where the wind accesses the lobby, reception, bar and every corridor on every floor doesn't make for a comfortable atmosphere. It also assists in the transportation of noise - one of my main complaints about this hotel. It seems that every maid, receptionist, bellboy, maintenance man and waiter were equipped with a walkies-talkie. This is great for communicating round a large structure but Iâd question the need of them having to be on full blast which gave the sensation of never being too far away from a very busy emergency services control room for the hard of hearing. Maids were plentiful but provided little in the way of 'making up' the room although their trolleys did form interesting blockades in the corridors to negotiate.
The food was appalling, bland at best and on several visits inedible. The selection was extremely limited on a daily basis and there was precious little difference from one day to the next. I have little doubt that some of the offerings were good quality meats/fish prior to them being either fried and re fried or incinerated. Many of the foods would make several appearances in different guises, usually ending up in a less than appetizing soup. I had never seen a shoulder of pork so over cooked that the meat crumbled.
Although this was a fully inclusive holiday we ate out about 75% of the time. We found the local restaurants and bars provided exceptional food at very low prices and the surrounding were far more appealing than the âcanteenâ at RIU Vallarta where queues entwine with each other off the various food stations.
Half way through our holiday the management had arranged for a questionnaire to be completed as they had their meals. The group on the table next to us were all busy giving full marks to the cuisine they had sampled. I was curious how theyâd arrived at this remarkable assessment and inquired into their criteria, without hesitation and almost in unison they responded, âWell, you can get as much as you wantâ.
Staff were, in the main, polite and helpful. The main exception were those staffing the poolside bar who clearly believed they should be tipped every time they served a drink. Iâm not against tipping when the job is done in a pleasant manner but not to actually do their job.
So, our first full day in the hotel we decided to chill out on the beach and absorb the beautiful scenery. Having walked the short distance to the beach we were unable to find a sun lounger. The Vallarta has a capacity of around 900 and I would estimate there are around 150 sun loungers. Many of these were no doubt present on the day the hotel opened many years ago and despite the fact many are useless they remain on the beach (giving momentary hope that you have at last found a comfortable perch for the day!)
The beach, although idyllic, is mainly overcrowded due to the amount of guests trying to get onto a relatively small beach. This situation becomes more painful when the entertainments guruâs, always clenching a microphone, roll into action. With repetitive banging music, cranked up so it can be heard equally well in the hotel foyer and the ocean, an area of the beach is cleared to allow the aerobics class to start. About half a dozen overweight drunks then began trying to follow the moves of their inspirational leader, each and every âactionâ delivered over the PA system for a full hour - Lovely. When we were eventually granted a rest from this, our enjoyment, and that of he vast majority of guests, was shattered with another creative and enthralling decibel shattering game of BINGO. I thought for a minute I'd been transported to Butliz but quickly realized we were not so fortunate.
A couple of days later we were given a further demonstration of the depth and breadth of entertainment available, the US v Canada v UK girls and boys drinking competition around the pool ....... all broadcast around the entire hotel at 2pm with very specific instructions on where the participants were to throw up - not what I was looking for!!
The Thompson couldn't do enough for us initially, very attentive and went out of his way to give accounts of the adventures he had enjoyed whilst in Vallarta. Once we'd parted with the Â£700.00 to go on the 'must do' list he became far far less interested. Later when I did raise an issue with him he was dismissive and clearly couldn't care less. All other aspects of Thompsons involvement in our holiday was good.
Will I ever venture into another RIU Hotel â not a chance.
- Travel date: Sat 13th of February 2016
Not as good the second time around
"A little disappointed this time. Rooms getting tired. The pool was not so good as it did not filter very well. In the afternoon we found cigarette ends and straws in the pool along with a film of sun tan lotion. People were allowed to smoke at the pool bar and the tile tables in the pool. I do not have a problem with this apart from the mess that was going into the pool. The life guard was always trying to clean it out with his net. The beach was beautiful you could walk for miles. Most rooms looked over the courtyard which was quite noisy until around 11pm.Cannot say that bothered us. The staff were lovely and all worked so hard. Do not think we would return unless it was a lot cheaper.We normally love Riu hotels .It is such a shame."
- Travel date: Sat 31st of January 2015
Great Holiday, great beach, great food
"We just returned from a week at the Riu Vallarta (Dec. 15 - 22). The hotel opened about a month ago, and therefore everything is still brand new. They thought of all the little extras that make guests feel pampered: Our spacious room (junior suite) had a large closet with more than enough hangers; the dresser drawers were big enough to accommodate ALL of our clothes, and there was an expandible drying rack on the balcony on which to dry bathingsuits. Maid service was excellent, even without tipping.
My husband and I like to take long walks along the beach, and here we had no trouble walking for an hour each way. A great beach, with fine, white sand on top and dark (volcanic?) sand below. The ocean had smaller waves in the morning and bigger waves in the afternoon (great for boogieboarding). - We encountered no corals near the beach, and young children had great fun playing in the shallow water during low tide.
The food was excellent in quality, variety and presentation. We did not have a single meal where we did not find something on the huge buffet that we liked. The 3 specialty restaurants were all first class, but we were just as happy eating at the main buffet restaurant, where we regularly found smoked salmon, proscuito ham and other delicacies. Yes, we gained a few pounds, but we enjoyed gaining each one of them.
If I was pressed to say anything negative about the hotel, it was the organization and quality of the "animation staff". Some were very good, others were not up to scratch, but that may change over the next few months.
In conclusion, we are already planning our next trip to the Riu Vallarta, this time with our family."
- Travel date: Sat 23rd of December 2006
Horrible - Left after 1 Day
"I've stayed at other RIU resorts in Mexico and the Carribean so I thought I knew what to expect at this resort. The resort just opened in November and they were offering great opening rates. I am in my thirties and was traveling with my adult parents.
We got to the resort between 12-1 in the afternoon. When the cab dropped us off in front of the hotel, there was no one outside to take our luggage. This was not a good sign. After dragging in our own luggage, we were told at the check-in desk that our room was not ready, but would be ready in one hour. We said that was fine and went to the bar to have a drink. We then looked around the resort. The building looked beautiful and so did the pool and beach areas. I was excited to begin my vacation. When we went back to the check-in desk more than an hour later, we were told that it would be another half hour until the room was ready. We were a little annoyed, but went back to the bar to have another drink. When we returned about 40 minutes later, our room was still not ready. We we told yet again to come back in another half hour. I was really ticked off at this point. It was now very late in the afternoon. Had they been honest when we first checked in and told us that the room would be ready in a few hours, we could have changed into our swimsuits and gone down to the pool for a few hours. But they kept telling us it would be just a little while longer, Since we booked the trip through Apple Vacations, I asked the Apple representative for help in resolving the room situation. There were plenty of other angry people in the lobby who had been waiting a long time for their rooms too.
Our Apple respresentative talked to the management and we were then taken to our room. When I opened the door to the room, I was shocked. The room had two double beds that were pushed together to form 1 king-sized bed. They expected three adults to sleep in this make believe king-sized bed. I told them that this was unacceptable. In the other RIU resorts, we had always been given a suite with one King Bed and one sofa-bed. The manager told us that they did not have sofa-beds. I said that we would be willing to take a room with two separate double beds. The manager seemed unwilling to change our room. I was extremely upset and told our Apple representative that we wanted to switch hotels. When the manager heard this, he finally agreed to show us a different room. At last we were taken to a room with two separate beds. The room was o.k., though it had a view of the parking lot. This whole experience still left me with a bad feeling about the hotel, but at this point I was so tired that I decided to accept the room and not change hotels.
My family felt drained and we all fell alsleep for a few hours. A loud booming noise woke us up around 7:00 p.m. that night. The power had gone off in the hotel, our room was completely dark and people were screaming in the hallways. We made our way out into the courtyard and down to the buffet restaurant. Fortunately, we were on the first floor and didn't need to walk down many flights of stairs. There was very little light in the whole hotel. The staff didn't seem very concerned at all. I found this very strange. I started to wonder if a power outage was a daily occurance at the RIU resort. After an hour the power finally came back on. After a few minutes, it went off a second time. The management provided no explanation and no apology to the guests. This was the final straw. I decided I would switch to another hotel in the morning. There was nothing more I could do that evening. I would have to stay the night.
I ate a quick dinner in the buffet restaurant. The food was disgusting, far worse than in their Cancun and Jamaican hotels. Someone from the hotel management was walking around the restaurant asking everyone if they were having a good time. When she came to our table, I was honest and began to explain the problems we were having. I wasn't yelling or screaming, just quietly telling her that we weren't happy. The woman just walked away. I guess she didn't want to hear anything negative. While in the restaurant, the power was restored for the second time.
I retired for the evening and woke up bright and early the next day. When our Apple representative came in at 9:00 a.m., I immediately made plans to leave this resort. I was gone by 11:00 a.m.
In conclusion, I picked this resort because they had great opening prices. I learned an important lesson that low prices usually equal low quality. Also, this RIU is not as nice as some of their other hotels. I had far better experiences at the RIU Cancun, Riu Palace Las Americas and Riu Ocho Rios."
- Travel date: Sat 23rd of December 2006
Fabulous- Best holiday ever
"We were at the beautiful Riu Vallarta from December 1 to 15th.
The hotel is just out of this world, Riu really pays attention to delails, we just love what they can do with ceilings.. the Lobby looks like it belongs in a Palace.
We have no complaints, we did not like the red wine the first week. They made us fill out a survey and I guess enough people complained about the wine because it was changed a few days later, only the wine in the restaurants was changed though not the wine at the bar ( I guess until the deplete the stock). You can always drink something else, there are so many choices, I have to admit I aquired a taste for Mohitos.
The food was excellent, we never went hungry and we did put on a few pounds during our stay. The a la carte restaurant were also very good, our favourite was Sir George. You can book more than one restaurant at a time and I always booked at around 9:45 each morning and I never had a problem.
Our room was always cleaned in the morning, we almost always had little towel displays on our bed. One of the best part of the day was sitting on our balcony with a cold Corona watching the most beautiful sunsets, it was breathaking!!
We went for a seafood dinner one night in Bucerias, at Dugarel Plays, it was excellent, we had Lobster and 5 BIG shrimps for $35.00 usd. A bottle of wine was $6.00usd. We then went to the Shamrock, an Irish pub just a block up from the restaurant, that was also very enjoyable.
We met some very nice people during our holidays, we will definitely keep in touch. All the staff were super nice, everyone was always very polite and they are always smiling.
We went to the Riu Jalisco a few times for drinks, the furniture in the lobby is a bit dated but the grounds are so beautiful.
We were there for 2 weeks and we were still not ready to come back, we were quite amazed with the beach. We walked to Bucerias one day, and we stop for a Cerversa at the Tom Cruise bar, it's a big orange building, it's very close to the market. You can walk quite far in either direction on the beach.
We are very glad that we went to Riu Vallarta and I who knows we may go back someday!! ."
- Travel date: Wed 20th of December 2006
Very nice. Good Value for your money.
"My husband and I stayed at the new Riu Vallarta from Dec. 5 through Dec 14 2006.
We made our reservation for a junior suite through Riu's web site.
I emailed the hotel directly asking for a quite room as we have been living with major re- construction projects for over a year in our town of Sedona AZ.
I received a reply from Horacio saying that the rooms were assigned and they couldn't guarantee a quite room.
The suite we had was above the activity children's pool, and the night-time entertainment. The room was very noisy and loud. You had to keep the door closed at all times except from around midnight to noon.
The room was very nice the same as the room we had at the Riu Palace in Cabo San Lucas.
The bed was fine, it even had a pillow top. I would say it was firm. (we have a temper pedic)
There were a few problems, jets in tub didn't work but were fix within 24 hours. The maid forgot our wash cloths one day and both towels and wash cloths another day. I did tip everyday, so go figure.
Yes there is a slight oder in the room but it goes away if you open the doors or turn on the AC. The mini bar was always well stocked. Use the bottle water to brush your teeth! Very important as the water in the bathroom in not potable.
Food. Very good. I cannot understand anyone complaining about it. The grilled fish was excellent. We ate in all restaurants except the asian one.
We each had three massages and a facial. They were very nice and totally professional. Loved it.
Taxis to PV very expensive. We went to the dentist across from the Sheraton five time and it was $36.00 for each round trip. One night we ate at the Sheraton for dinner and it was excellent.
Things we did and recommend. 1. The Dolphin encounter is a must, an amazing thing to do. 2. The horse back ride at Rancho Palmo Real. They pick you up at the meeting place in a very nice bus and you get an educational tour of the country side. After you arrive at the ranch you are served a first quality mexican breakfast. The horse back ride goes through some beautiful countryside in the jungle to a waterfall where you may swim and walk around. After returning to the ranch you have a fantastic mexican lunch with beer, soft drinks and tequila. 3. The African Queen steamboat ride. You ride up the canals and they have huge crocodiles that come up to the boat. What an experience. They are located at the Paradise Marina at the Paradise Village."
- Travel date: Sun 17th of December 2006
Another Wonderful Riu Resort
"12/5/06-12/12/06. We waited for the Riu Vallarta to open and we were not disappointed. We have stayed at the Riu Jalisco five times so we knew what to expect. Wonderful new resort. Smaller than the Jalisco so easier to get around. Pools are beautiful as is the beach. Some of the help from the Jalisco have moved over so we saw some old friends and also walked to the Jalisco a couple of times for lunch. Restaurants are very good and we certainly ate and drank too much. We were upgraded to an ocean view suite and other than a few usual start up problems (the maid missed cleaning our room one day and all the power went out for 40 minutes at dinner time one night so we were stranded sitting at the bar) everything is operating extremely well. Great value, we will definitely go back in the spring. Can't get pictures to load so if you want to e-mail me at [email protected] I will send you pictures or more information."
- Travel date: Sun 17th of December 2006
Excellent Place for a Vacation
"Just came back from Puerto vallarta - Fri Dec 8th -Fri Dec 15 th- We had 2 junior suites and they are roomy, beautiful and very comfortable. There is a bit of noise from the hallways when guests get in too late and slam the doors- (I think I was one of them...)
This Hotel is amazing ! Yes, It is pretty well the same layout as the Jalisco but looks and feels like a luxurious resort. It is very NEW and the landscaping does not have the lush gardens like the Jalisco and there is a bit of touch upgoing on through out the hotel but it is very minor...Everything is Excellent!!!!!!!
I travelled with my Family ( 2 KIDS AGES 11 & 8 ) and some friends and we had the best vacation ever.
FOOD - All the variety in the buffet, great specialty restaurants - Chinese/Japense/Steakhouse/Sir George - upscale French Cuisine - make sure you try the Fried icecream its to die for.
SERVICE- Excellent alot of staff, pay real attention and are taking your plate away & drinks refilled at the right times
Entertainment - Good level for just opening
KIDS ACTIVITIES - Could use some moere (ie archery, organized games for the 7 plus age groups) disco good but not very busy
Resort is further out than most but its only 20-25 minutes into downtown Puerto Vallarta in a taxi
True 5 star...
I have tons of pictures and opinions on all sorts of stuff - send me an email @ [email protected] and I can send you & tell you all sorts of stuff - I just got back so am really busy and couldn't write enough to do the resort justice.. I know when I was looking I was waiting for all sorts of reviews and unfortunately because it is so new there isn't much out there...Feel free to contact me and I 'll see if I can help you out.."
- Travel date: Sun 17th of December 2006
"December 7-12 found my wife and me recharging our batteries at the new Riu Vallarta. It's difficult to find anything to legitimately complain about here, although the chronically dissatisfied were easy to spot and you will no doubt see their reviews on TA from time to time. Virtually everyone we talked to, from all over the U.S. and Canada, well-traveled folks, were blown away by the sheer monetary value of staying here, as well as the overall beauty of the facility. We booked directly w/Riu and paid a little over $800 for 5 nights, taxes, fees and all. We calculated that the food and drinks alone would have been valued at between $80-$100 daily . Do the math and see if you don't agree about the value. Be extremely careful at the airport. We were aware of and expecting the timeshare folks who were easy to recognize by their antics. But I was completely blindsided by a very professional looking guy who led me over to what I thought was the Riu Vallarta desk after I told him where we were staying. It was a scam to switch us over to the Mayan w/lots of "free" perks, a sure sign of a rip-off. Shameless stereotypical con artist tactics that should not be needed based on the Mayan reviews. After you retrieve your luggage and turn the corner, walk STRAIGHT through the wide double doors until you are OUTSIDE the terminal and see a guy in a light blue polo shirt holding a RIU sign ( assuming you booked directly w/Riu ). One of the first things you will notice in your room is a very distinct odor that many describe as moldy, mildewy. The building construction is virtually 100% concrete/masonry/ceramic tile with a dab of wood trim here and there. With the commons areas open to the humid outside air, typical of tropical structures, the odor reminds me of a damp basement. Keep the a/c on in your room and you'll be better able to deal with it. By the way, the door to the balcony has a magnet set of contacts mounted in such a way that the a/c shuts off when you open the sliding glass door. If you don't close it tightly, the a/c doesn't work. Beds are noticeably hard, way past firm. I did see some egg carton type foam on a housekeeper's cart so you might try asking for that or put the extra blanket that's on the closet shelf under your bottom sheet. There are 10 computers to use in the sports bar @ $8 per hour. There is one laptop port available @ $12 per hour but you'll have to go while the attendant is there and he/she will unlock the cabinet and pullout the cable for you to plug in. Restaurant reservations are made in person daily from 7-10 a.m. in the doorway of the Nirvana restaurant on the plaza level. Get there ASAP and while you're there, make all the reservations you plan on using for the week as the best time slots fill up several days in advance. I don't think they strictly enforced it, but Sir George, considered to be the gourmet restaurant, requires men to wear longsleeve shirts. Plenty of lounge chairs around the pool and tons of unused chairs on the beach under the palm trees. A huge staff constantly cleaning the grounds everyday. I would recommend this place to anyone. The staff was very attentive to our needs and made it clear they would love to have us back. If you have any specific questions, post them on the TA Nuevo Vallarta forum and I'll try to answer them. Go and have a blast!!!!!!!!"
- Travel date: Sat 16th of December 2006
"Just a quick review as I still have to unpack! Will provide details to any who contact me directly. Grounds/facilities are all up and running with the exception of the jacuzzi in the spa facility. Rooms clean, staff friendly. 3 choices of restaurants besides the buffet for suppers...must make reservations but can reserve for more than 1 restaurant, and for multiple days all at one time. Buffet restaurant posts the night's menu early so you can decide if you want to eat elsewhere... I'd recommend making a few reservations - you can always cancel or give them to someone else.....they do book up fast! Take a flash light - power went out for about an hour one night; pack beach necessities in your carry on if you have early arrival...they are running full capacity and rooms are not ready when you arrive...they will provide you with a towel card. If you have need of a high chair , insist on using a plastic one - they have the best stability... we saw a wooden 4 leg high chair topple over with a baby on board!
They do have lots of lounge chairs everywhere... on the beach and in the pool areas...there is enough shade from the newly planted trees on the beach; around the pools, there are ample umbrellas in bases that you can move to suit your needs - but people still reserve them with towels, etc.
- Travel date: Sat 16th of December 2006
Nice New Resort
"Dates of Visit: Nov 28 - Dec 5
Immaculate Facility (Brand New)
Above Average Food at Restaurants
Great Drinks at Bars
Friendly Service at Bars/Restaurants
Plenty of Chairs by Pool and Beach
Separate Pool Areas for Adults & Kids
Very Hard Bed
Lack of Shade on Beach (No Umbrellas Yet)
Entertainment at Night (Way Too Loud and Way Too Long - A Live Band Plays for Another Hour After the Show Until About 11:30 p.m.)
Spotty Maid Service in Rooms (Forgot to replenish towels several times)
Bad Tasting Wine (Especially the White)
Overall, a very nice resort relative to others in its price range. I'm sure they will work out some of the minor kinks over the coming months. This is a very modern, clean resort that should appeal to most travelers."
- Travel date: Mon 11th of December 2006