Old Reviews – RIU Jalisco

  RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta   Maggie ~ Vancouver Island

April 2009

Arrival: March 14 to March 29
On our arrival which was late evening, we were told we could get a sandwich and a drink in the sports bar, first mistake, full of drunken march breakers some not legal age very drunk , very loud and it carried on from ther and got worse.went to our room and listened to the drunks running around the hotel,

Our first room was mouldy damp and fairly clean, within the first three days we were sick from the mould and our bed was wet in fact we put beach towels down to sleep on , our cloths were wet and no other room available untill the following week, no choice had to go and speak the sunquest and they did find us another room , we started to then dry our cloths out, and slowly my breathing got a little better, the rooms some are worse than othere’s , we talked to other guest and found some of the shower’s had so much mould and mildew, and some looked like they were about to cave in from above.

Restaurants and Bars
The theme restaurants served the same food as the buffy,maybe served with a little more class but the repedive food.

The grounds at the Riu Jalisco are very beutifull a five star grounds and pool.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Lots of stuff to do , howerer the pool was full of drunken teens and could not get to the swim up bar, launguage was very bad and there most people went to the beach for some peace and quite,went by ourselves to Puerta Vallarta and bucerias.

Other Comments For a Riu hotel we were indeed surprised they let March Breakers in .so much was damaged and broken , vomite in the hall way’s and a bowl movment was not what we expected,its very sad to see 15years old up to 20 year old’s who are supposed to be escourted just let go , our holiday along with so many other people’s was a waste of time, and even if you go after March break easter I’m told is as bad , and if you miss these times altogether remember the mould and mildew, I’m still sick and still coughing, be well advised I will be reading these review’s befor I book our next trip,This hotel is a 3star and thats pushing it.and thats great as long as your paying for a three star, we paid for a five stare. by by Riu Jalisco.

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  RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta   Maria ~ Vernon, BC, Canada

March 2009

Arrival: Feb 28 Very courtious and efficient

There was four of us two couples.

Perfect our room was not far from the lobby, It was comfortable very clean.Yes the beds are firm but we still had no problem sleeping.it did have a musty smell if you leave the patio open there is no smell.

Restaurants and Bars Great!!!!!

Service was wonderful Thomas was our waiter most of the time he was great.

Beach/Pools/Grounds Awesome!!!!!!!!!! More than we expected once again very clean well cared for.

Beach was our favorite spot to spend every single day.Late afternoon was by the pool.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We did go on a fishing trip that was great we saw Dolphins,Sea Turtle,Humpback whale and her Baby,also did Para Sailing that was a blast.

Other Comments I would recomend this resort,You make it what you want it to be. Already planning to go back.All the pictures you see are exactly what it’s like.

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  RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta   April, Elizabeth and Rosa

April 2008

We stayed at the Riu Jalisco during the week of March 28th to April 4th, 2008. Realizing we were going to a “Mexican” Resort and not spending our holiday in North America we were well prepared to live on “Mexican time” for the week. It was fabulous! The Sunquest bus greeted us outside the airport upon arrival and were very friendly and informative. Check in was a breeze…if not, just relax, have a drink at the bar and enjoy, until your room is ready or someone is available to assist you.

Our room was very nice and adorned with marble tiled floors, a lovely courtyard/ocean view and large shower area. Mini bar was fully stocked with Corona and a variety of soft drinks, as well as a liquor dispenser that included tequila, rum, gin and vodka. Although it smelled a little musty, my only comment is this…You are in a tropical climate, so this is to be expectedJ….Just enjoy the positives.

Hotel grounds were exquisite! As an avid gardener myself I brought back many ideas for my summer gardening renovations.

Pools were very nice and warm and crystal clear/clean. During our stay there were many families at the resort who seemed to be having a great time at poolside. We love the occasional visit from the resident iguanas, usually on the rocks at the children’s pool or on the grassy areas close to the shrubbery. They were a big hit with the kids!

No problem getting a great drink. If they are not strong enough for you just ask for extra alcohol as the bartenders are more than happy to spruce them up if needed. The selection is very good and bar service outstanding.

Evening shows were entertaining but keep in mind…this is Mexico. We loved the talent of the dancers, the humor of the staff and the enthusiasm of some of the guests who were asked to participate in various shows. The staff really wants you to have a good time. Let your egos down and join in the fun!

Restaurants offered variety and something for everyone. Of course not all choices enlightened my taste buds but there was enough variety to have a wonderful meal for even the most finicky of travelers. Don Emiliano’s had an awesome buffet. During one of our evenings there was an incredible seafood buffet that was really a treat…including sinfully delicious truffles at the dessert bar. The flaming Spanish Coffee at the Italian, seaside restaurant was soooo yummy also.

Keep in mind that not every thing may be working 100% of the time, or live up to your personal expectations. I find that leaving my expectations at the Vancouver Airport when leaving on my holiday is the quintessential ingredient to arriving home with a great experience.

When in Mexico take it all in as an adventure. There is a lot to learn from this culture. Mexican people are warm, welcoming and hospitable. The Riu is a very nice place to sit back, relax, enjoy and experience a lifestyle that most of us could not afford at home. The staff is sincerely interested in making sure you are comfortable and have a great time, as much as they are able. Most speak fluent English which certainly makes the experience much easier, but don’t forget to learn a little Spanish while you are there…they really love to teach you the language! I am already planning a second trip back for the fall with my fiancé.

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  RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta   Radu

March 2008

We have spent 7 days at Riu Jalisco, between March 17-23.
Here are our observations:

Beach: great, enough loungers, sand OK, beach sports and activities available

Restaurants and food: very good. It is a little bit complicated to book a la carte and it is not worth it. (you have to book every day; they don’t take reservations). The buffet restaurants, especially Don Emiliano are amazing and we have found nothing to comment about the service or the food.

Pools: good; the only observation that I have is that the kids’ pool was 4ft deep everywhere, so if your kid was not taller than 4ft he could not go in there unless he/she had water wings or such.

Rooms: not bad, however, the 2 double beds are connected together by one big headboard, leaving no room to move between them. Also there is absolutely no sound proofing from the hallway side. You could hear somebody dropping a key from 150 ft away. Not to mention that you could hear every single piece of luggage getting moved, maids talking, springbreakers trashing their rooms, etc., day and night. The bathroom was separated from the room by a curtain and then in there you had a door to the toilet and another curtain to the shower (unlit).

Entertainment: medium, except for the Mexican evening and the Circus act.

Now comes the part that makes the above-mentioned goodies fade away in the dark:
– the hotel was 40% springbreakers, mainly from California and Wisconsin. We assumed their ages were between 14 and 22. They would crowd up the bars all day. Some of them were there with their parents. Every single night, between 10.30pm and 3 am we had to listen to countless drunken parties, on all floors. We heard bottles being smashed onto walls, thrown outside in the courtyard, bodies literally being dragged in the hallways between rooms as their owners were too drunk to move back to their beds.

I have never seen as many drunk young girls as here; not being able to call the elevator, because they could not see the button, or passing out in the main lobby at dinner time. It was so bad that Mexican police had to be called in a few times (during our 1-week stay) to break up fights and parties that threatened the adjoining rooms there. We have to note that management made quite some efforts to get on top of the problem, including coming up on stage one night and asking people to call security if they heard of any disturbance after 10 pm.

So, to sum it up: – being the father of a young child, would I go there again? – not even if I had free tickets – if I was college age and prone to excess, that would be the place to go. Same atmosphere as a college or army dorm, only way better surroundings (and all inclusive)

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  RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta   Steve ~ Peterborough

February 2008

Arrival – When we arrived at the hotel, almost everybody from the bus went to the front desk, except for a few of us who went to the first bar and had a few drinks until all the others had been dealt with. Twenty minutes later, we went to check in and it took about two minutes.
No complaints.

Rooms – What people have to remember is that they are not at home. The rooms are a good size, have a seperate toilet area, large sink area, lots of room for all your gear and a great balcony. Nice having the mini fridge and the bar available as well.

Restaurants – Only ate at the buffets and there was always something good to eat regardless as to how picky of an eater you are. Never made it to the ala-cartes, too busy having fun in the sun.

Bars – In regards to the bars, what can you say, more than enough to get a drink whenever and where-ever you wanted to. Even the restaurants had Corona on tap so you could pour it yourself whenever you felt like it.

Beach and Pools – Only hung around the adult pool and the beach, not the family pool. Both were excellent. Bars very close and accessible without a problem. If you wanted to have fun you could, if you didn’t want to have fun you didn’t have to.

Grounds – Grounds were always maintained and looked very appealing. Staff did an excellent job of keeping the place looking good.

Tours – Went on the "Dune buggy" excursion. Had a good time, it’s different driving a dune buggy through the crazy Puerto Vallarta traffic. Went into the mountains and to a Tequila factory. The only downside (this has nothing to do with the resort) is that our guy who we bought the tour from, paid for our way there but not for the way home. We had to fend for ourselves, which we were lied to about. He told us that they provided transportation both ways. He is a beach seller, so knock $15.00 off whatever price he wants so you can get a taxi back.
Other people told us that even if you book a excursion through the Sunquest rep, you also still had to pay your own way there and back. Cannot personally verify this as we did not book an excursion through him.

Conclusion – Now comes the good part, disregard all those negative reviews. I personally consider all those individuals who posted those reviews to be uptight, obnoxious and boring people. If you could not have a good time at this resort, you have some serious issues. The food was good, the rooms were good, the staff good (my wife thought Pulga – 0069, the Mexican James Bond ladies man, was excellent), great pool, excellent bars and service, great beach and the entertainment good. What people have to remember is your in Mexico, not Canada or the U.S.
In regards to a previous review, you are staying at the Riu Jalisco, this is your resort. What on earth are you thinking when you talk about making a "Grand Entrance" at a neighboring resort. I have a feeling that no one really cared whether or not you came over to there resort to make a "Grand Entrance". If you wanted to make a "Grand Entrance", why didn’t you stay there in the first place. It is people like you and the reviews you write that have people shaking there heads in total disbelief. People like you have to bring your heads in from the clouds and check your huge egos at the door. If you couldn’t enjoy yourself at this resort, I don’t know anywhere where you would be happy.

Just in case your thinking I am a novice traveller, your wrong. I am a very experienced traveller- most of Canada, half of the U.S. (including Hawaii), United Kingdom and a lot of the glorious sunny south all-inclusives. I have stayed in everything from hostels to 5 Star resorts. A vacation is what you make of it and what you put into it. On a final note, our group had one complaint about the trip – we saw "a" cloud one day, we didn’t know what to do, so we had more drinks. CHEERS.

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  RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta   From Peter & Vance ~ New Jersey

January 2008

Hotel Notes – Downside
Although this hotel had beach front access, it did not have a walkway to the Riu Vallarta. This was very important to know, because the Riu Vallarta “all inclusive” allowed access and dining at the Riu Jalisco. Not the other way around. The walk between the hotels were approximately 7 minutes and required either walking along the sandy and sometimes wet beach (which was not advisable during dark evening hours) or walking along the front entrance of one hotel to the other via the sidewalk (which required taking a similar path as the taxis, buses, and other cars.) Hence, we think there was never really a chance to have an elegant evening stroll, wearing formal attire, and making a grand entrance into the other hotel (possibly to meet other friends and guests at the Riu Vallarta.) It was at best uncomfortable and clunky of a walk. You could take a taxi from one hotel to the other, but this was not practical on a daily basis. In fact, there was a 5-story condo between the two hotels. The condo was their major downside from joining the two hotels by walkway. We think this note was important for all readers who are making plans, especially with guests at the other hotel. So, please be careful when reading the hotel brochures.

In sharp contrast, other resorts we have visited which have stated “shared facilities” did in fact have a common walkway in the center of the grounds, so that guest access was much easier. What was also common usually included the pool areas, buffet restaurants and the gym facilities. What was not shared included the high end theme restaurants and upper scale rooms, such as suites. So, the set-up here was different.

Contrary to the travel brochures stating these “hotels have shared facilities”, this again was not really the case for Riu Jalisco guests. In practice, only Riu Vallarta guests were allowed to use Riu Jalisco facilities. The gym, the sauna, the tennis courts, and the free beach activities were accessible during the day by Riu Vallarta guest. Not the other way around. Be careful of this important note, so as not to ruin your vacation, again, if one part of your group books at a different hotel. You should all stay together. Even when we tried to walk onto the Riu Vallarta premises the security guards stopped us. Same was true for all other hotels on the beach. We tested a few of them. We have heard stories of others able to get into the Riu Vallarta – but don’t bet on it.

Airport Notes – Downside
First time travelers to Mexico must be aware of liars and scam artists that prey on the innocent tourists at the airport. Immediately after getting your luggage and before you find a taxi or shuttle bus, we had to pass through a corridor of scam artists pretending to be “our ride to the hotel.” Even nicely dressed fake security guards pointed us towards liars who ended up being time share scam artists. They pretended to be our orientation guide and shuttle bus contact. They would say, “Yes, we are the shuttle bus.” Once they got our attention, they proceeded to try and sell us free stay at other hotels, free snorkeling trips and so on. All this free stuff was a big rip off. We were shocked that the Mexican Airport authorities would allow such a scam, but they did. Once out of this hallway, we found various taxi and shuttle bus operators. Even with these people, we feared taking a chance.

Luggage/Packing Notes – Downside
We packed some (but not enough) sun tan lotion, reading material, a small medicine travel bag which included band aids, lotions and anti diarrhea pills but no board games. In retrospect, a deck of cards, a board game (checkers or backgammon) and more sun tan lotion would have been nice. In any case, the various hotel gift shops and cigar shops were helpful to meet our needs. That was easy.

Hotel Grounds – Upside
The lobby areas, restaurant areas, bar areas, pools and beach side had ample space for guests to feel comfortable lounging around. With two large pools, one for kids with mini-slides, and one for adults with a swim-up bar, it was easy for both adults and kids to have fun, rest and relax. There was ample space on the grounds and in the hotel rooms not to feel crammed in (even with the 700 rooms). The nicest thing about this hotel was space. Lots and lots of space for everybody to relax about. The hotel grounds were directly in-font of the beautiful Banderas Bay beach. Many guest took advantage of this by securing a hotel lounge chairs with their hotel beach towels (early), then arriving later to catch up on their suntans and beach fun. Maybe even read a good book and bask under the warm Mexican sun. Some even ventured long walks or jogs along the beach during the brisk mornings or evening sunsets.

Hotel Grounds – Downside
There was also plenty of noise coming from the entertainment staff near pool side, urging for guest to participate in pool activities. At times the music was very loud and disturbed the guests who were trying to relax. Some, like us, just got up and walked away from the “lunch time tequila party” offered by the activity coordinator. We left for the beach. Then, we came across another surprise rule.

Security guards at other hotels would not allow us to walk from the beach into their hotel and onto the road on the other side, nor from the road to their hotel to reach the beach. There was no access allowed. Not even for use of use their bathrooms. Just imagine if there was a bathroom emergency and you were several miles into your walk or jog.
This lack of pass through by other hotels did not sit well with us. But the guards were just doing their job. Sure, these guards were very apologetic, yet, because many could not understand English, they seemed very insensitive when we talked with them. It would have been nice to be alerted of this during a hotel orientation meeting. We found out the hard way.

We also learn about the grounds and facilities in this 6 floors, 700 plus rooms complex by walking the premises to find where the various staircases would lead us. The gym, the beach side restaurant, the tennis courts, and so on – all required us to discover their locations. They were outside the main building. But the elevator maps showed them in the building, on the first floor. This was confusing. The hotel room signs were not so useful since they were not color coded, so a few people got lost as to which side their room was located. With 700 rooms, some additional clues would have helped, such as the north side in green, and the south side in red color. The hotel room lacked any notes on hotel facilities, such as any rules or hours of operation. So, we found learning the rules difficult at best, via trial and error (not the best way, mind you.) Even the various entrances into and out of the large complex from our hotel room and to the restaurants required some exploring by walking up and down various stairs. And that took time. We suggest improvement in this is needed.

Hotel Rooms – Upside
Our room was beautiful, large in size and elegantly decorated. It provided ample space for our clothes and any beach wear. That was a welcoming touch. We think this room was about 10ft by 17ft, with a king size bed, double chest of drawers with a TV on top, two drawers on each nightstand, two chairs and a table. And a balcony with a sliding glass door. This was ample room for us to unpack all our clothes. Even hang wet bathing suits outside to dry. Nice, if you can imagine, really nice. The tile floor and bathroom was decorated in exceptionally rich colors of yellow and red. These were pleasant Spanish accents of floral design. The room was both air conditioned and had a ceiling fan. The combination of both in use made the room comfortable on hot/humid nights.

The fridge and tequila bar were both interesting from a marketing perspective and dangerous from a practical perspective. The tequila bar must have been a big hit with the alcohol drinking guest. But it was really a wall cabinet with four different quart sized container drinks, racked upside down, hanging in their original liquor bottles and ready for pouring into a glass by pushing the glass up on the nozzle. The fridge contained some free bottled water, soda (Pepsi Cola) and tonic water. As you will read later, these glass soda bottles should have been made of plastic, to prevent breakage by irresponsible guests.

Hotel Rooms – Downside
We would have preferred not to see a tequila bar in the room. First, because we could just imagine all the potential guests who got drunk on their first night due to the excitement of the “all inclusive” offered by the hotel. And second, because it added too much access for children and young adults who most likely would not be able to control their alcohol intake when so tempted. We worried for other people’s children (why, because we love kids and this was a temptation and danger.) It was too easy for children to sneak in a few drinks or adults to sneak in few too many drinks. Hence you can see the danger. Drunks running around the halls, late at night, and so on. It makes a Parent’s job that much more difficult – when kids sneak off to get a few drinks. It makes a Wife’s job just as difficult in watching over their husbands. And so on. We have seen problems with guests under the influence, none of which resulted in pleasant outcomes. For example, broken bottles smashed in the hallways, irresponsible guest talking with a loud voice drunk late at night. We understand that the hotel was trying its best to please the needs of its guests, but free alcohol in the rooms – not a wise thing. Sometimes, it is better to allow a bar tender to serve the free alcohol – that way, they can prevent a few of the disasters that usually start late at night. Oh, mi amigo no more, ok? Oh, mi amigo, go to bed, you are drunk, ok?

Anyway, often times we stayed in our rooms at night, and watched TV on a 15 year old TV equipment, often where the channels had a fuzzy picture, static, or problems with the satellite signal. Yeah, this was just another miss opportunity by the hotel.

Hotel Activities – Downside
We certainly would have preferred not to watch TV at nights. Instead a long walk on the beach, or see a funny evening show or go disco dancing. That would have been nice. Well, the nightly beach walk was going to cautious at best. Then, there was the hotel’s nightly entertainment.

This hotel provided very little in terms of nightly entertainment, to our dismay. Possibly hoping for a similar attraction as that in other resorts, we kept our spirits high. But, once the children’s activities were over, we waited another 20 minutes for the children’s awards to be over. Well we were tired by 10:30 PM. A few times there was even an audience sing along, yet no evening show. This pattern continued for several days.

One day, there was a glimmer of hope – a Mexican Dance Show. Wow, maybe, just maybe, we will see a show. Yet, the costumes and dancers were not well presented, and the show seemed more a warm-up practice run rather than a final showing. We were deeply disappointed. The stage actors could not dance in step with each other, and their lip sync was completely off. Other times, their gestures did not even match the music lyrics. They seemed to wear what ever costumes they had in the prop’s trunk, as half the staff was in a Mexico theme, while others were in a 50’s style Grease theme. This was not an entertainment show; it was at best a high school practice show. How do the teenagers say it “what ever.” That about summed it up.

Maybe if we took the staff advice during the hot summer day at the pool scene, and drank the tequila until we were blue in the face, all this would have seemed so much nicer. Yet, for us, a husband and wife just wanting to have a fun evening – well it was not going to happen. So, we also waited for the disco to open at 11:30 PM. We hoped and waited. Then we waited and hoped. What else could we do? We were thinking, oh maybe, just maybe we could dance the night away – and forget the lousy nightly entertainment. Just forget that bad show. We waited along with about five other couples for the disco to open, sitting outside in the wonderful night sky. Some having a soda, and others a nice glass of red wine. We waited for other couples to enter the disco. Then, each and every one of them came out. Oh boy, not again, we were thinking. Nothing was happening at the disco.

Sorry, mi amigo. That disco turned out to be another big disappointment for young couples, not just us. We were curious as to why all the couples left the disco so quickly. Then upon our entry into the place, we found out. Oh, the smell was terrible. The foul smell of vomit resonated through the disco area. The staff cleaned up the mess (whenever it was,) but had no means of getting rid of the awful smell.

As you can imagine, we stayed away from the nightly disco from that day onwards. And because we love to party and dance, so this tore deeply into our vacation expectations.

The kids, on the other hand, had plenty of fun. So again, we think the hotel was ramped up for a family entertainment – making sure the children from age 10 to 16 were having fun at night. (Read further about disco for kids.)

The pool area offered pool volleyball, tequila at the swim-up bar, a scuba diving class, a whirlpool, kid’s slides, and pool dance class. But please, as an adult, don’t get your expectations high on this news. Most of the adult activities were centered on the staff asking guests to drink beer or tequila until they are blue in the face. This did not sit well with us.

The bay water was murky and not suitable for snorkeling. Swimmers were restrained into small areas, away from the Jet Ski and parasailing activities. The sands were a brownish grey – reasonable by most standards.

The beach was perfect for children, since the area was contained. Sorry, no life guards, but plenty of willing and able parents. But the beach scene for adults was nothing great to get excited over. A better choice was to focus on getting a dark tan.

Hotel Activities – Upside
The show staff was mostly ramped up for children activities, games, and singing on stage. Mind you, we were very happy for the kids and the parents. At times we joined into the activities. Yet, we were not on this vacation with kids. So, we waited for the adult show. The children’s stage show and stage activity was usually followed by the children’s award presentation, which lasted another 20 minutes. Awards for volleyball and ping pong games they played during the day – the Parents were proud and took many pictures at these times. It was nice to see them happy and their children happy. The entertainment staff asked the audience – “Hey, how do you like the show? Answer is EXCELLENT.” The staff forced this response from the audience. Definitely this was not a democratic method of voting.

So we conclude that for family with kids, this place is generally going to be fun and memorable.

The children disco time was 8:30 PM and they seemed to have fun at the disco. We say lot of kids dressing up as young adults, with make-up eagerly waiting to get into the discotheque and have a blast of a time. We assume they probably had a reasonably good time. The entertainment staff also assisted promoting the kids disco events.

The hotel had kayak, buggy boards and catamaran boats. But the boats were not in service during our stay. Possibly the catamarans were in need of strong winds. Anyway, we had fun with the kayak. Guests had to sign a waiver agreement prior to using the sports equipment, such as the kayak.

Kids seemed to enjoy the pool activities and beach activities. Buggy boards anybody?

Golf games were available at the font desk. We did not ask to play, but we now regret that choice. It was perfect weather for golf. Not too hot, not too cold. We were sure that this was something we missed as an opportunity. There were three or four courses in the near by area, and we should have tried going a round. But we passed it up. Basically, we just wanted to relax.

The hotel gym was reasonable, with treadmill, weights, row machine, and yoga mats. Just remember to bring a room towel to the gym (because they do not provide any.)

The weather was reasonable for beach goers coming from a cold climate. Since the sun was overcast for several hours, there were very few sun burn cases. Now that was something nice to write home about. Nobody got hurt.

Tennis courts were reasonable, and we were able to play a few games. But the tennis balls were either dead, nor needed be dead. Probably the balls were two or three months old. Which interprets as worn out, frayed, with no bounce. The rackets in contrast were pretty reasonable. So, we played. Yet, guest should be aware. The front desk staff makes no effort in getting you on the court. They would prefer the guests to “hint” at abusive guests by pointing to their watch and saying “time is up, it is our turn please.” The courts were not managed by any staff. Nor for that matter, were any of the activities. The staff seemed to have had a poor response to such issues as guest’s tennis needs.

Next time, we will bring our own tennis balls.

Hotel Meals – Upside and Downside Together

We were very satisfied with the “all inclusive” meals and never had any side effects or tummy problems.

The fresh fruits included watermelon, pineapple, cantaloupe, bananas, lime and on occasions papaya, pear and strawberry. Dried fruits included prunes and apricots, and on occasions glazed figs. The fresh juices included lemonade, orange, pineapple, and in one restaurant corner, our favorite – cranberry juice. We often spruced our meals and water with a squeezed lime juice for preventive measures against digestive problems. It seemed to have worked.

We brought with us Anti – Diarrhea pills but never needed to use them.

The breads lacked variety. Most were white, and few were wheat. We found none in terms of multi-grains. Nor did we find any bran muffins, our favorites. We did find very nice hot oatmeal in the mornings, and the coffee was good. Their fruit jams made the morning toasts reasonable. But, noticeably missing was the fresh milk. We suppose the flavored yogurt with cereal was a better healthy choice since the milk was of the evaporated type. At other times, our breakfasts included hash browns, egg white omelet with onions and tomatoes. Cream cheese and smoked salmon was available at the lunch menu. This was the start of our gaining weight.

The lunches included plenty of salad choices, spinach, shredded carrots, peas, beans, tomatoes, cheeses, fresh beets, pickles, radishes, tuna fish, pasta, coleslaw, and a variety of cold cuts. Several salad dressings were available, too. On the hot meal lines, we would also get hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken burgers, potato fries, spaghetti and other pastas. For those who wanted a heavy meal, fish and pork cops were also included on the lunch menu.

We tried the fish at lunch and dinner time and found it either to too oily (fatty) or too salty. Other meats such as their beef also seemed too fatty. We try and stay away from the fatty meats as much as possible, so on occasion we found their hamburger with fried onions and spicy hot sauce (this was a very tasty alternative to their other selections.)

The place which had the fattiest meat was the Brazilian theme restaurant. Here, the turkey, the sausages, the chickens and the roast beef all were way too fatty for our normal diets, yet we were on vacation, so we chewed it up.

Along with the Spanish coffee served that night, it was all together “ok.”

Basically, we concluded that the meals served us during our stay did not include any high end meats or fish. For example, the Brazilian replaced top sirloin with roast beef. On Christmas Eve, the crabs were small and not easy to open. Furthermore, the restaurant and entire hotel grounds did not have any nut cracker to break the shells. What a disaster. 300 small crabs and their crab legs and no way to break open the shells. We watched as each table near our table also asked the waiter for a nut cracker. Sorry, mi amigo. Also, our turkey came without any cranberry sauce.

For the folks who want to travel here, please be prepared for your dinners.

We also found the evening dining experience less than attractive. When the restaurant disposed of dirty dishes with some food leftovers, they cleaned these in sight of guests seated at the tables eating. This view was not at all easy for the stomach. We would suggest getting some metal bus trays, in which dishes can be stored away and brought into the back room or into a corner area hidden by standing partitions. The sight of the waiters cleaning dishes into a rubbish bin was just a bit more that we wanted at a restaurant. Hence, another area of improvement the hotel can use.

In general, we both gained weight. So, the food was good and plenty.

Hotel Service – upside
The hotel cleaning staff worked very hard in keeping the place clean. This included the hotel lobby, the hallways, the elevators, the staircases, the restaurants, the walkways, the lounge chairs, the pools, and the grounds. Every morning a staff of 50 workers started the day by cleaning the outside entertainment areas and working their way into the hotel building and the rooms. They worked very hard. Furthermore, the restaurant staff also had the same work habits. Prior to each opening of the restaurant, every table and chair was cleaned and arranged nicely prior to guests seating. The meals and counter area were always very clean.

We were surprised at how well managed these areas of the hotel were – considering our experience to several miss-cues by the hotel staff. We particularly think the entertainment staff (above) needs improvement, as does the activity staff (above.) But as for the housekeeping and restaurant services, they were excellent.

We would recommend several additional “higher level” management staff be added to over see the various departments, and to handle guest problems.

Hotel Service – downside
Careful of the front desk’s words “come back tomorrow,” or “we will fix this tomorrow.” Basically, that means they hope you will forget it by tomorrow.

As we mentioned above, additional staffing was missing. We encountered a hallway completely riddled with broken glass from a smashed soda bottle. This was not a fallen bottle, with minimum danger, but a smashed bottle where glass was smattered all over the hallway. When we alerted the hotel front desk, they said they had no housekeeping on duty at that time of night – and they would get to it early in the morning. Well, 6:00 AM went by, 7:00 AM went by, 8:00 AM went by and nothing. Guests were using the hallway, with children at their side – ready for breakfast and the beach. Guests appeared in all in their beach clothes and flimsy flippers. This was not a safe situation. We can only conclude that the “cleaning staff” does not have any additional help to meet with guest problems. They were fine in doing their job. But not when there were situations that caused danger.

We found a similar situation with bottles broken during the evening performances. Guests bring these soda bottles from their rooms and out onto the open grounds, usually with good intent. Yet in a very few crazy cases, alcohol becoming a factor, a guest got out of control and smashed a bottle onto the tile hallway floor. The hotel “high level” management should have pulled away staff from other duties and take care of dangerous problems. That was, if they had a high level management staff at these times of the night. Or, they should have had a stand-by staff of 5 ready and able to handle these problems as instructed by the front desk. Donald Trump, where were you?

Opportunity for the staff to listen to guests was vital in providing good service. It seemed to us that the hotel staff was unable and untrained to listen to guests and their feedback in a constructive manner. On another occasion, service was provided after a guest started to raise their voice. This also was not good. Hence, as you can imagine, this hotel had a lot of downside. We have talked to other guests, and the majority said that the services have come down drastically in the past year. These guests were repeat vacationers that stayed in this Riu Jalisco last year. Now, they are not so sure of returning to this particular hotel.

City Shopping and More – Notes
A walk up Massage Hut offered $70 US for two hours – and we took up the offer. We were very glad with the massage, and this was nice. We found this by word of mouth from other guests at pool side. The hut was located away from the hotels, on the beach, in a stand-alone white canvas roof top hut.

Setting baby turtles free to the ocean at the beach – this was just another way to get $2 US from us. Yes, we paid the $2 and got a turtle to set free. Later, we found others got a few turtles, and they did not pay any money. So, “what ever.” Maybe we should have read about this first.

We tried shopping downtown in Puerto Vallarta and in Bucerias – at both of the flea markets. The quality of the tee shirts with embroidered patches seemed not so good. Your skin will itch not from the tee shirt, but from the patch inside to make the embroidery. So, be careful of what you buy.

We did read from other contributors about taking the public buses from the hotel to downtown. And so we did take the bus downtown. No problem.

Last note – you may want to strongly consider not buying a time share unit in Puerto Vallarta. The maintenance expense can be high – especially if the buildings were built with shabby materials.

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  RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta   Jody ~ British Columbia, Canada

January 2008

My husband starts by saying PU to the Riu. We booked a juniors suite for a week all inclusive. Which wasn’t cheap but we figured in a new hotel it was probably worth it. We had a flight from Canada which didn’t arrive till 12:00 P.M. There was no transportation to the hotel when we arrived,which maybe was our fault for expecting.We have had it with lesser stared hotels though. Strike One.

We were ripped off by the cabbie because we had no idea how far we had to go. We ended our long day of travel climbing into a bed that had a plastic covering on the mattress. It was like sleeping on a rubber dingy. We woke to a really nice buffet breakfast but after 7 day of the same thing and no choices kind of got to us. There were 3 other restaurants in the hotel. But only for dinner. All of which needed a reservation. We only went to one and it was so bad we walked out. We heard from others that another one was just as bad. I guess 2 out of 4 isn’t bad. There was a broken elevator when we arrived and the same one was still broken when we left a week later. Which left one elevator the whole time we were there. We walked the stairs most of the time. Maybe they figured we needed the excersise.

The first 3 nights the fire alarm went off again and again. I don’t know if they ever figured out what was causing it. We all stood in the lobby at one point for an hour and a half at 2:30 in the morning. That was the same night that someone broke into our room,with a key, and stole our digital camera. Which was in our suitcase for the night. And my husbands reebok cap. hmmmm coincidence.

The whole week we were there we were never offered a drink unless we went to the bar to get it ourselves. And there was only one bar open at a time. So you stood in line for a while.

Other than all the bads that I would never return to. The beach and grounds were beautiful. Except for the sting rays we nearly stepped on a couple times.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Kirk

September 2007

I visited the RIU Jalisco, Nuevo Vallarta on September 12-16 with my wife and two children age 6 and 2. We stayed in room 1178, which was on the first floor located conveniently near the restaurants and pools. The resort was well maintained and staff was extremely helpful. I expected a more structured children program, although this time of year there were not that many children staying there. But my children still enjoyed the pool area and the activities they offered. I must commend the resort on their staffing. They were very cordial and friendly. One day I was serving myself at the restaurant and the server asked me if I was enjoying my stay. This to me says a mouthful of the staffing at this resort. Normally, I don’t even hear a peep from the servers. In addition, the entire staff was fluent in English. This is not the case in some resorts I have visited in the Dominican Republic.

In reading the reviews about this resort, I was not surprised. In my opinion, when you travel to a Caribbean/Mexican resort “All–Inclusive” style, you should not expect to be pampered as if you’re staying at the Four Seasons! In saying this I don’t mean to undermine the RIU Jalisco, I was more than content with the facility, grounds, food, entertainment and above all the staff.

I have stayed in other “all-inclusive” resorts, and by far this has been the best. I understand how some may comment on the beds being to hard, or about some bugs near the pool area, even the noisy hallways, but let’s face it. This resort is not brand new to brag posterpedic mattresses, or should you expect a bug free environment where people are drinking and eating all over the resort/pool/beach area, nor should you expect a quiet environment in the hallways which are long and where echoes travel.

My only word of caution is not the resort, but the airport at Puerto Vallarta. DANGER, DANGER, beware of the timeshare leeches. The Mexican authority should do something about these clowns! I was warned to be on my toes, but these guys are unbelievable. Lucky that I booked via an agency who detailed what my tour guide was wearing. However, little did I expect that once I left customs a mob of people would be waving signs and screaming? Since I was with my family which included two small children; I was extra careful. One guy calls me in English and says are you waiting for your guide, he then directed me to a counter right inside the airport only a few steps from where I exited. I said to myself this is seems safe. The guy at the counter asks me to show him my voucher for transportation. Then goes into a song and dance that my bus left 5 minutes ago and the next bus arrives conveniently in 20 minutes. Once I hear his pitch about how to get around town, I thought to myself: Wow, this country offers a great service to tourists. But then the sales pitch comes, “would you like to visit one of the Hotels in X area, we’ll cover your transportation and meals”? This is when I asked him what functions he serves and left the counter proceeding outside. To my surprise the same thing almost occurred again. Only until I was nearly outside of the airport in an area where locals await was I able to spot the tour guide who was calling my name and wore the color shirt I was advised to look for.

Lastly, I recommend everyone to take a cab ride to town and see the malicon and visit the “bodegita”. Overall, I enjoyed my stay in Nueva Vallarta and the RIU Jalisco, a nice vacation spot.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Nicky

April 2007

Just got back last week. There were 8 of us. The beds were VERY hard. We all woke up soar every morning. The hotel was VERY loud. Every loud talker could be heard day and night! Overall though, a nice place. Lots of food (nothing incredible but good). Bartenders were great. Mixed good drinks and were fun! Do the Dolphin swim and the horseback riding at Ranch LasPalmas.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta David & Bella

April 2007

Just returned last night from a 7 day stay at Riu Jalisco. Beware of time share sharks at the airport. Check in at the hotel was a breeze. Very well organized. Our room was on the 5th floor far away from the elevators. This was great, as it gets very noisy by the elevators. We always used stairs (much quicker).

Hotel is very clean. There is always someone cleaning something. This hotel is older. You can see wares and tares. People working at the hotel are very friendly. Service was excellent, never had to wait for anything. Our drinks were re-filled very quickly, dirty plates were taken away sometimes without us noticing. Front desk staff was friendly and helpful. Nice change to the usual unfriendly staff we encountered at other resorts.

Nice long beach with very fine brownish sand. No sea weeds at all!!! Very clean and warm water. Lots of waves, great for boogie boarding. We went for long walks everyday and saw absolutely no see weed anywhere on the beach. It’s not like Caribbean. Ocean water is not see through. It took me a little while to get used to that.

Now this is where we were very disappointed. The food was terrible. This is not our first all inclusive. We have been to our share of all inclusives (Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, etc…) nor are we picky eaters. We can usually make do with what we have and we definitely had to do that here. We know what to expect from buffets. This place had no variety. Every day the same thing over and over and over. In our opinion, breakfast was the only nice meal. Lunch consisted of under cooked pizzas with cheese barely melted. The same chicken nuggets that you can find at dinner time. Undercooked fries. Very thin hamburgers with no taste to them. Even deserts were lame. We were not the only ones disappointed with food. Talked to other people at the resort who had the same view. Most people we talked to said they went to town couple of nights to get away from this tasteless food.

Yes, beds are extremely hard. I like a hard bed, but these are ridiculous. By the end of the week, my back was very sore. I over heard someone saying that they requested a pad for their mattress, which really didn’t do much good. Pillows are thin like pancakes. My husband used two pillows to make one.

There are two pools. One for adults and one for children. These pools get very busy. In my opinion, they could use another pool. Children’s pool has three slides. Last couples of days, slides were closed for painting. Pool water is warm. This is a nice change from Dominican Republic, where pool water was absolutely freezing in our hotel.

There were lots of children during our week. They have a kids club, which looked like it was well organized. Our daughter never used it. Just didn’t get around to it. We were busy building sand castles and looking for sea shells. I did see other kids who were in the kids club, they looked like they were having lots of fun.

Took a trip to town. We took the bus there and a taxi back. You have to take two different buses. It’s really not a big deal. Bus stops right outside the hotel. Take it all the way to Wall Mart. Get of there and at the same bus stop take another bus called “Central”. My husband bought some liqueur, so we decided to take taxi back. You have to negotiate the price before you get into taxi, otherwise they will charge you what they feel like. Trip to town each way by taxi costs $18.00 US.

Over all we had a nice time. But the food factor really put a damper on things. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this resort just because of the food issue. From what I understand Marival down the street is much better. We will definitely return back to this area just not this hotel. Actually, I don’t think I would ever stay at any other Riu hotels again.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Franco ~ Canada

October 2006

I have just returned from a week at the Hotel. I was there with my family/in-laws (19 in total) as we were celebrating the 50th wedding anniversary of my wife’s parents.

To begin, this was my 2nd visit to the Riu Jalisco in just over 15 months. I have travelled to other resorts over the years, and in comparrision, and my estimation, this resort does not live up to a 5 star rating. The differences lie in the small things that a resort does, the attention to detail and the attention to guest needs. Using a cookie cutter approach where details are compensated for by alchol and an over abundance of mediorce food is not the answer. But let’s be more specific…

The hotel and grounds are beautiful. But the open concept of the hotel coupled with stone and concrete construction amplify any sounds made from one floor to the next. SO if any drunken idiot at 2, 3,or 4 in the morning, decides he or she wants to scream, hoot or holler as they go to their room, everyone in the wing will her them (unfortunately, making hotel staff aware of unruly drunks get’s you no where). Similarly, as families get going at 7 AM, and excited children begin yelling back and forth, you will hear them. There are only a few elevators to service this large resort, but given the amount of food and drink that is available, be thankful for the excercise. And for the past comments of slow drains, musty smells, etc, you’re in the tropics, what did you expect?

The food is unimaginative and get’s tiresome quickly. However, it didn’t stop me or anyone else from our party to put on a pound or two in a week.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Canada

March 2006

my husband and I just returned from a week at the jalesco. We found it very clean and the food was great.The Mexican workers are all lovely(tho owerworked and under paid.) We found it way too big and noisy(people partying till early am) And we were disgusted at the amount of waste -the food thrown in the garbage was a sin-especially as it is buffet- Would we return there no-older people should find a smaller resort.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Janet ~ Canada

March 2006

We just got back from Puerto Vallarta, staying at the Riu Jalisco just yesterday.

WOW! Gigiantic resort. Beatiful well groomed grounds and very clean. Hope you like walking. Take a good size bag so you can put all your beach stuff in it and avoid going back and forth to the room. We stayed in room 6103 which was not too close to the elavator at the front of the hotel and had an oceanview. Couldn’t hear the steady traffic of people walking to their rooms. However, the walls are thin so you could hear your neighbors when they came in late (4:00p.m.). Bring your own towel if you want a soft one and let the hotel staff make an animal with the ones they supply. No need to take your hair dryer. Bar fridge always full with beer and soft drinks. Check the room thoroughly as we did not have a safe key and our toilet was plugged on arrival. We had to ask to extra blan! kets and pillows but no problem. Great movies on the TV but try not to get hooked on the TV you may end up missing the fun. Mostly Amercian visitors.

The dining was buffet and only 1 restaurant which served vagely an a la carte,you had to get the veggies, potatoes, salad and dessert. Not worth the dressing up. The buffets were the same, breakfast was the best. Couldn’t get roast beef every night, only one. The meats were fatty. Not the best but duable. They often ran out of ice cream. Service was outstanding and immediate. The bartenders work hard, never a wait, and anything you wanted, except Crown Royal and other specialty liquors. No service at pool side you had get your own.

The beach is very windy and the waves are good for body surfing. My 8 year son loved it. The mini club was okay ! but there wasn’t a lot of encouragement from the staff for children to participate. My son is very shy and found it hard to get involved.

Entertainment at night was not the best. There was a mini club show before the adult show. We were too tired anyway so it didn’t really matter and we were up early in the morning. Best time to get on the jet skies. $45 US./half hour or take a skooter.

There is no shuddle bus into Puerto Vallarta from the hotel, but the bus is cheap. For three of us it was 90 pesos in and out. Its 180 pesos by taxi one way. Study the map before to get where you want faster. Try not going in when there are cruise ships in dock. Too many people! There is a Walmart and a Sams Club. Buy the chips and pretzels there as the hotel shop charges 3 times the price. There is a lot of good shopping! for everyone to enjoy. Go to the Bank to change your money – get more for the Cdn $ then at the hotel. Wear comfortable shoes.

We went swimming with the dolphins. BEWARE. Better to book it from home on the internet as I was charged $311. dollars for 2 at the hotel. Whereas the internet Adventures Vallarta would have charged me less. The only catch is the booking time may not be what you want. Always a catch in Mexico.

The people as always are wonderful, friendly, always willing to help. Can’t say enough about that. They want to make sure your holiday is a good one.

Love PV but the same town charm has gone. Now its like anything else big and commercialized.

The weather however is perfect! I still love it and will go back again but to a smaller hotel closer to town.

Have fun in Mexico.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Shannon ~ Ontario, Canada

March 2006

We just return about two hours ago after staying at this hotel for one week.

During our stay we realized that we hit “spring break” or “reading weed” for some areas.

The weather was wonderful, hot, sunny, no cloud and no rain..
I have gone back and read some of the reviews and here are my thoughts…

-we did not have to go to the front desk a lot but the staff was friendly, eager to help check in and check out went were quickly -our sunquest rep was there most of the day making it very easy to book tours or get information -the beds are hard and the pillows are flat (but most resorts are the same) -the walls are not sound proof and you can hear the other guests as they come in after being out on the town with the group or early morning risers but hey you are on holidays so just go back to sleep -we were on the 5th floor room 5138… it was fairly close to the stairs (but 5 floors up) but still a walk and even farther to the elevator.. other guests complained about the walking.. really they need more elevators in different locations but since that is not going to happen be prepared to walk -the food was good though it tended to be the same most days.. couple of days they ran out of some food (could work on their timing), most days you were able to get your food without long lines – ice cream was very good -shower drains very slowly -NO ALARM CLOCKS OR ANY CLOCKS IN THE ROOM AT ALL -the pools were very clean.. (NO BUGS) I really liked the idea of the two pools one for adult and one for kids. The adult pool was very busy and at times very loud and kids really should not be there. Their pool was much quieter and included a small water slide. -bathrooms very clean though three different times during the week there was no toilet paper in the stall -great beach -nice sunsets -bars were good…… tip, smile and be kind to the bartenders and the service is great… look for Tomas… helpful, nice smile and remembers your drinks -we did not have any problems with the a/c, we were at the beach end of the hotel and it could be a little damp in our room hint: bring along an extra bathing suit as some mornings the suits were not completely dry -the hotel was too large for us, very busy and at times loud.. but we are there for r/r and prefer a small resort -when ordering any rum drinks we asked for Bacardi rum, never a problem -loved the towel animals that we receive daily.. -we used the safe for the entire week to keep our passports, traveler’s cheques, money etc and did not have any problems

-entertainment was like most other hotels, however, Grease was a big hit,

In all we enjoyed our week, we thought it did not quite meet up with the Riu that we spend in the Mayan last year but still felt we got our money’s worth. We felt that over all, the hotel just missed those small details that make the difference from a good resort to a great resort. The Riu Grand is expected to open in November/06. This resort is reported by employees to be couples only. We would consider trying this the next time we are in Puerto Vallarta

Tours -we did the jungle tour, tour guide was wonderful. If going on trip I would request J.C. (Juan Carlos) as your guide.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Donna ~ Ontario, Canada

February 2006

We returned home from having a great week in Puerto Vallarta with two other couples in early February 2006. The weather was great, food good, rooms not too bad with the exception of the hard beds and flat pillows. Also, the walls aren’t too sound proof, you can hear people in the halls at all hours of the night.

Went whale watching, wow, awesome tour.

The night before our departure for home, both myself and our friend, neighboring rooms, had money stolen from our safes.

We gave reports and they advised that it takes 48 hours to investigate. I have since written 3 emails and have not received a reply to date.

Donna ~ Ontario, Canada

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta SK ~ Toronto

January 2006

My family (my wife and I, mid 40’s, and our 2 teenagers) spent our 2005/2006 winter vacation at the Riu Hotel in Puerto (Nuevo) Vallarta, Mexico for 2 weeks from December 23, 2005 to January 6, 2006, and we had a fabulous time. The weather is great – sunny, no rain, low 80’s and the nights are a bit cool in the high 60’s (jeans and a light sweater). The hotel was very good and I recommend it. It is in Nuevo Vallarta and a 20 minutes from the airport. The resort is beautiful, modern, clean and very well kept with beautiful grounds. Try to avoid a hotel room near the elevators as the halls can get noisy (ceramic floors). The food is excellent with a large buffet and wide selection. I have been to many all-inclusive and this was the best food I’ve had yet. They do have an a-la-carte restaurant. The beach is very good (but not as good as Punta Cana, DR) with plenty of lounge chairs, and you can go for very long walks (we love walking), and safe. There are 2 beautiful pools, but they are not heated which I didn’t like – the water was too cool and I think they should be heated. There are 2 tennis courts with lights, ping pong tables, and a very nice spa and gym. The animation staff doesn’t really get too involved with the guests, and there is a show every night, but the entertainment quality is fair – we’ve seen better. The bars, drinks, and atmosphere at night are very good, and they put on an excellent New Years Eve party with great fire works. We were with our 15 and 17 year old kids, and they loved it as there were so many teenagers. The visit to the town of Puerto Vallarta is very nice, it’s a 30 minute taxi ride (hold on!), and it’s really beautiful with great shopping, and safe. Overall, we had a wonderful vacation there, I’d go back to Puerto Vallarta, and I recommend it.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Wendy ~ Kelowna, BC, Canada

December 2005

We stayed at the Riu from December 3rd through 10th – 2005 and this forum was a wealth was information for us as we embarked on our first ever “real vacation.” I read every review on this site regarding the Riu and was somewhat reluctant about this resort; however, very pleasantly surprised.

We found the service to be outstanding, very prompt and courteous. The employees always did their best to get to your table right away, whether it be at breakfast, lunch or dinner and offer you a drink before heading off to the buffet. Of course, with 10 tables seating themselves at the same time, these folks were very busy but did an excellent job at accommodating everyone. If you could not find something good to eat, you had to be a very fussy eater as the selection was tremendous. The Brazilian Restaurant was certainly fun the one night we went for the “meat” dinner. For those that commented that there was not enough seafood, you should have been there the night prawns were served. I can see why the hotel can’t serve meals like that all the time as people absolutely made pigs of themselves with heaping platefuls of prawns and nothing else instead of having a little bit of everything. We saw people carrying 2 plates of prawns when 2 or 3 prawns each and, say, lasagna was plenty – people very much over-indulged.

The rooms did smell a little musty but only for a moment when you first walked through the door; after that, you couldn’t smell anything unpleasant and the a/c worked great.

The room service was prompt and our fridge always had water, beer and pop. (You have to ask for “light” Pepsi if that’s what you prefer but you only have to ask once.) The showers may have drained a little slow during “peak shower time” in the morning but it was no big deal.

The grounds were spectacular and every morning, cleaned meticulously. We walked both directions (north / south) on the beach – it was a very beautiful walk with the ocean lapping at your feet.

The front desk was never really busy which was nice – you never had to stand in line if you wanted to pick up an extra bottle of water on your way to the pool or ask a question. Any tours we wanted to go on were arranged very quickly by our Sunquest hosts, Valentina and Alfonzo, always with a smile.

Adult pool – occasionally, there were kids in the adult pool; however, they were asked to leave just as soon as someone complained. If the kids were behaving themselves, they were not asked to leave. The resort was at 100% occupancy and we could always find a lounge chair whether it be on the beach or at the pool as many people leave the resort for day trips.

The resort entertainment staff was great. They absolutely went out of their way to entertain everyone but especially the kids. Every night before the show, the kids were up on the stage dancing and playing games with the resort staff.

We couldn’t find too much wrong with this resort and rate it the 5 stars it deserves.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Shelly

November 2005

My husband and I visited the Rui Jalisco from Wednesday, November 23-26. Overall, we had a very nice experience. I have commented on a few points;

Resort Overall – The resort overall was very nice. It was well maintained and manicured. The staff was mostly friendly and cheerful. This resort is about 30 minutes from the city of Puerto Vallarta. So be prepared that you are not too close to the city. You can take a bus ride for 1.50 US or a taxi ride for 18.00 US one way.

Rooms – The room was very nice and clean. The air conditioner worked great (a little on the cool side). There were no ants. The room was a little humid, but you are at the ocean. I did take an air freshener as some suggested but we didn’t really need it. The mini bar was well stocked and replenished. You cannot drink the water in your room so they provide plenty of bottled water. We were near the beach in room 1126. We had a mountain view (but were hardly in the room so that was fine). I would say that it was a little noisy. The long hallways do not have anything to absorb noise so when people returned to their rooms throughout the evening you could often hear their conversations. If you are looking for luxury accommodations with fluffy down beds, you might want to try to Westin.

Pool/Beach – The pool and beach were very nice. There was always plenty of space. They had an adult pool and kids pool. They were very good about keeping the children out of the adult pool. The pool and beach area was very clean. The staff was friendly and the event staff were not too annoying. The beach has a ton of palm trees for shade and the pool area has a ton of shade as well.

Food – The food was average. But we did not go for gourmet food. I will also say that I am a vegetarian and did find it difficult at times to find something to eat other than chips and guacamole. It was adequate. They had a ton of bars at the resorts. The drinks were always good. I always asked for Bacardi in my drinks and was always happily obliged. We did tip for drinks and service.

This was a nice family resort. And we enjoyed it as a 30 something couple. It was a relaxing trip that I would recommend to others. I highly suggest going in to town. The city is old and has some old Mexico charm as well as good deals on goods.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Barb

November 2005

We stayed at this resort Oct 31 to Nov 5, 2005. Beautiful resort. Well groomed grounds, clean, spacious rooms, and awesome service both in the restaurants and bars. The hotel was quite full because of the last minute bookings to accomodate all the people who originally were scheduled for Cancun and Cozumel.

The weather was perfect. 90’s and sunny.

The beach is nice and there were plenty of beach chairs. There was plenty of room under the palms for those wishing for shade. Food: Now we are not fussy people, but the food was very boring and repetative. They do not have a true "classy" sit down restaurant. The Brazilian restaurant requires reservations, but we discovered other than them bringing the meat choice to you, the rest is buffet. Not a reason to get up and reserve at 7AM. The noon meal by the beach which at night is the steak buffet is very boring. The burgers off the grill smell good, but by the time you grab a burger and load up the burger and add a salad to your plate, the food is cold.

The other two inside buffets were the same, day in and day out. Nothing to write home about. Food was never hot. Entertainment: Same as at all resorts. The activities crew kept the pool crowd active all day.

The shows at night were different nightly.

We were in room 4134 which was close to the stairway leading to the walkway to the pool. We overlooked the courtyard. Good location if you like walking stairs. Not a problem for us, but for someone who can’t walk stairs and had to walk to the elevator, I could see that being a problem. Shopping in Bucerias-about a 45 min walk by beach. The flea market has some awesome deals. Restaurants and bars all along the beach. Quaint original Mexican town $7.00 american to get back to Riu via a Taxi.

We stayed at the Marival last year and I think I would choose the Marival over the Riu. The food at the Riu was much better.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta  

November 2005

My husband and I just returned from the Riu a week ago. We had a wonderful vacation but we have been to Mexico six times and we know that we are not in the US anymore. Things are different here. The hotel was beautiful, as all of the other Riu’s.

We were one of the folks that ended up in Puerto Vallarta because of the hurricane and it was a good thing. We have always wanted to see more of Mexico, so this was our chance.

The hotel was great in everyway as far as the staff, the entertainment at the pool, the beach, the room, the view, and the weather is more predictable than the Caribbean. They could not have tried any harder to make us happy and most spoke English very well.

I probably will not stay at this Riu again beacuse of the food. Some days they ran out of food, and others, we just got sick of the same thing day after day. I missed the Mexican salsa that is common everywhere else, and there is no seafood. The last day we ordered Dominos Pizza just to avoid eating in their restaurants. Funny thing, the young man at the desk knew the number without having to look it up.

I have heard that there are many great places to eat in town but the taxi fare is $18 US one way. Next time we will look for something closer to town.

Puerto Vallarta is a wonderful place to visit and I am happy to have been there and will go again. I do recommend the day trip " Sierra Madre Expedition." You will learn alot about Mexico, their traditions, cultures, some relaxation on a private beach, but be prepared for a wild ride. There is much more to see. Adios amigos!

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Kelly ~ Canada

September 2005

My daughter and I just returned from at week at the Rui Jalisco and loved it. I read all of the reviews on this resort and had a few reservations to say the least. But they were so wrong. I manage a hotel for a living so I knew what to look for and what I wanted.

The hotel itself was clean, efficiently run. Our room did not smell bad. The A/C worked great, the drain in the shower drained quickly and my sheets were changed daily. The staff through the whole resort were friendly and willing to accommodate you for all of your requests. My daughter felt like a princess the whole stay with the treatment she got.

We booked all of our day trips through the Sun Quest rep at the hotel and they were all good money spent.

The food was good and plentiful. I will say for a teenager, she did get little bored and we went out and got pizza one night. But all in all it was fine and hot. We ate most of our meals at the restaurant by the beach because of the wonderful sunsets. We did go for the ala cart meal one night and it was well worth getting up early to book.

The pools were nice clean and not to crowded. They let my daughter stay in the adult pool and I did not find the bathrooms to far at all and they (the bathrooms) were clean. The staff around the pool were friendly and there was always something going on.

The entertainment was enjoyable. There was a different show every night and lots of things to do during the day. I did leave the resort one evening and my daughter went to the night show by herself. She felt safe and had a great time.

I was so worried after reading some of these reviews but I will tell you that it was one of my best holidays and I would defiantly go back to this resort again and again.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Cristina ~ Canada

July 2005

Okay, I just want to start by saying that I read all of the reviews on this site before deciding to book this vacation, and I completely ignored all of the negative reviews I read. I figured that this was a RIU and a 5 star resort, so how bad could it possibly be? I have visited RIU resorts in the past and had a wonderful time. This resort was definitely not to the standards of a 5 star rating. I traveled to the resort with my family, 14 of us in total, ranging from ages 8 to 77 years old. We were bored after about 4 days, and dying to get home after our stay was up. Thank goodness we had a great group and entertained ourselves, cause otherwise, it would have been really bad.

The problem with this resort is that a lot of tiny details are overlooked, often causing frustration and discomfort for the guests. I don’t know exactly how to articulate this properly, but the best way I can put it is that you basically felt really unwelcome during the stay and like you putting the staff out by asking for simple things like drinks at the bar and a cup in the morning for your coffee. One thing that we all noticed in this resort was that they really catered to the Spanish speaking guests. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that we, as Canadians were visitors in the country and so on, but it was really ridiculous as to the amount of favoritism that this particular staff showed toward the Spanish speaking population of the resort. But, all of you considering to book at this hotel should realize that this particular RIU is very popular with the Mexican population. I would estimate that at least 60% of the patrons were Mexican, and therefore they were the majority and were catered to accordingly.

THE POOL: DISGUSTING!!!! Absolutely no filtration in this pool. We were unable to open our eyes under water because of the potency of the chlorine used. The pool is simply too small for a resort of this size. True that they have two pools, one geared towards children, and the other towards adults, but honestly, we couldn’t swim in either of them. They were simply gross. The first day we got there, we actually called the staff over to clean up the pool because of the amount of dead bugs and dead crabs in the pool. (Yes… crabs) I am not talking about one or two, but literally all along the edge of the pool under the water. The staff member laughed at me when I asked him to remove the crabs and bugs and told me that they were pets. Then, when the guests of the resorts actually starting removing the crabs themselves, they remained at the side of the pool for hours until someone would get around to removing them. Needless to say, this completely turned us off the pool and we opted for the beach (which was wonderful). Also, the water was really warm and really gross, and it was hard to really swim cause of the amount of people crammed into it, and the fact that if any water touched your eyes, it burned really bad. The kid’s pool was the same, only impossible to swim in because of the chlorine.

THE ENTERTAINMENT: All in all I would rate this as okay. Compared to the quality of shows at other RIU’s, this place does not measure up. Also, be aware that they only run on a seven day rotation. This means that the shows rep0eat weekly. So, if you are planning on going for 2 weeks (like us) it is an instant replay the second week. The kid’s show basically sucks. I am a teacher and the people they have running these shows have absolutely no imagination for games to play with the children, and no charisma at all. Not to mention that all the kids there that did not speak Spanish were left in the dark throughout most of their instructions, as they focused on the Spanish speaking children, and muddled through a sketch explanation in English later.

THE ROOMS: The rooms are beautiful, but they do small kind of musty. I brought a plug in air freshener and that did the trick. The air conditioning worked great!! One tip for you guys planning on going there; the fan in the room is set to blow the air in the room down. This makes the room absolutely freezing and difficult to stay in, but if you stand on the bed and flick the switch on the fan it causes the fan to reverse. The air will them circulate around the room, and not be blasting down on you. The rooms got really cold and the airconditioning accomplished this, but it did not remove any of the moisture, so eventually the room got really damp and wet, kind of like sleeping in a fridge. Very uncomfortable, and everything I brought back was soaked. I was there for 2 weeks, and it took the hotel staff 10 days to change my sheets. It got really bad because I never had dry linens. I called the front desk and they informed me that the sheets were to be changed daily. This definitely was not the case. Also, what is being said about the hallways being really loud is ABSOLUTELY TRUE. I never got to sleep in past 9:30, but not because of noisy guests. I was awoken every morning either by a loud walkie-talkie or a group of staff members laughing and talking to each other in Spanish. I asked them to please keep it down a few times, but after three times, I gave up and told the front desk, which got me no where.

THE FOOD: No complaints here. There was little variety in the morning, but you got the typical breakfast stuff. Dinner was good, and the lunch stuff was good too. Everything was prepared well and there was a lot to choose from. No one got sick or anything like that. The service was really hot and cold in the restaurants. It seemed that some nights you had to beg for cutlery and a refill on your drinks, and other nights they were pulling your chair out for you and lighting your cigarettes. Really inconsistent. We joked that the Manager must have been around on the really good nights, and off the resort on the others. It was really bizarre. One experience my mother had was actually arguing for a mug. It was the morning, and the tables were not set well (cup missing, a fork missing, stuff like that). So, she went to a guy setting tables and asked him for a mug. He explained that she had to use the one at her table. She told him that they were missing a mug at the table, and could she take one of the ones he had on his cart (he had like fifty mugs) He flat out said “no” and that she would have to use the mug at their table. My mom grabbed the mug out of his hand and got herself a coffee. I had a similar experience at the coffee machine at dinner with a wait staff member. I didn’t see any sugar and I asked a waiter if he knew where the sugar was. He told me that he didn’t know and that he couldn’t help me because I wasn’t in his section. BIZZARE! The drinks are totally watered down, so drink up, cause if you get drunk, it’s the sun, not the booze. They had Corona on tap (I think that was not watered down) and liquor in the room and bottles of Corona in the fridge and bottled water and soda in the room stocked almost daily.

THE MANAGER: Finally, after a few days my Aunt finally got to have a word with this gentleman. Very nice guy, and very sympathetic to our complaints. He explained that there is a Union in place in Nuevo Vallarta which protects the wait staff and bartenders. He went on to explain that there are more jobs than people to work them in the hotels, and the incentive for promotion and raises just isn’t there. He went on to tell my Aunt that they just basically quit if they are unhappy and go next door to a new job, so they have no interest in doing a great job, just a mediocre job. He actually has only been at this resort for a shot time, but he worked in the Mayan Rivera. My Aunt explained how we have loved RIU in the past and how this Hotel, although aesthetically beautiful is really lacking in stupid little ways. He completely agreed and told her that it was the attitude of the workers because of the Union.

THE TOURS: We did two excursions, the city tour which included the tequila tour, and the Pirate ship. Both of them were great, however, the Pirate ship does not include your transportation to the Arena and does not include the fee to get into the Marina. Apparently, the taxi drivers don’t let buses into the resort to take guests places, another charm to this whole experience, We were never informed that the Marina would charge us admission to get to the Pirate ship, and luckily we all brought money with us, that is extra money after paying the cabbie to get there. We went on the Pirate ship at night and the view and fireworks were spectacular. A cool night out nonetheless.

BUGS: I don’t think they fumigate this resort because we saw tons of beetles and fruit flies and even mosquitoes, luckily no sand fleas. But on the bug topic, the rooms being really damp are a perfect little breeding ground for these particular tiny little bugs (like little grains of sand). My fiancé had hundreds of them around the frame of his door and in his sink at night. This totally grossed him out and made his stay in the room really uncomfortable.

THE JIST: This resort is beautiful. They did not spare a dime in the décor and ambiance. However, the service sucks. They really cater to the Spanish population, which makes perfect sense since most of the guests are Spanish. If you have gone to a RIU before and are expecting the same level of service, you will be really disappointed. If this is your first visit to a RIU, I think you will get the wrong impression. This chain is exceptional in its serve and food and comfort, this resort does not reflect that at all.

I would be happy to answer any specific questions you may have, please email me at pitapoda@hotmail.com

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Robert

June 2005

We just spent a week at the riu in puerto vallarta and had a WONDERFUL time…. There were a few things that we complained about example…. the food being cold or just warm, we could have taken the fingerprints from the people before us on the mirror and was still there when we left, the showers drains very slowly, no alarm clock in any of the rooms, and if you like to see women in thongs the shows are for you only a couple night did we see something entertaining, but the main thing was the air conditioning it took us 2 days and to get mad at the manager before something was done after that the room was cool and very nice to relax in… alot of people were commenting on the burgers at the pool we thought they were not good at all the bread was not fresh and the ketchup was horrible (if you want good ketchu bring your own).

We had alot of good things too like the staff (except the air conditioner incident) was wonderful always helpful and always said Hola to us, Crusty in the entertainment area was sooo funny always saying "i need lovins’ and giving us hugs and talking, Roger at the bar (villa) in the evenings is very very good if you go ask him about his special banana it is a hoot.. after a few days he knew us by name and always had a smile for everyone, we found the restaurants in the hotel better than the ones on the beach and didnt take the time to get up to reserve the other restaurant (after all we are on vacation) the food was not always hot but there was plenty of it and the waiters were always pulling out chairs for the ladies and placing the napkins in there laps, The beach is wonderful… for miles and miles always places to sit and relax if you prefer, the pool is very warm from the sun around 7pm and the bar is closed by then and its a good time for a very relaxing swim. Checking in and out only takes minutes and is very fast and accurate… the front desk doesnt always have change (american) for a $20 so you might get US and pesos……

Shopping in buceria is good lots of things to look at and the beer is cheap. beware of the people trying to sell things while your sitting if you buy from one kid they notify there friends and you will be bugged while your there, puerto vallarta was ok,,, alot of people and hot hot hot…. nice to see how the people live there and meet them, alot to see. The taxi’s are another thing…. i just walked down the line til i got the best price and went with that one…. I am not a good bargainer but you learn quickly how to bargain with them.

I would recomment this hotel/resort to anyone who wants to go… it is worth your money and to enjoy there hospitality.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Kathy ~ Canada

April 2005

Five of us from Canada stayed at the Riu Jalisco in Puerto Vallarta for the first two weeks in April.

Some of the on-line reviews complained of musty smelling rooms, and they were right. We had 3 different rooms over the 2 weeks, and one of them was just awful. It seems the mustiness is coming through the A/C. The second and the third weren’t too bad. The bar fridges weren’t stocked every couple of days as advertised, but when we called the desk they did bring more water and beer. The rooms were clean, but not exceptyionally large.

The "U-Shaped" layout of the resort contributes to the loud and boisterous nighttime entertainment. It’s all contained within the "U" and you can’t get away from the noise, so it was the microphones until mid-night and then the drunks after that. The resort is only 3 years old, but it did seem a bit tired around the edges.

The food was pretty good and plentiful. There is only one "special" restaurant and it is NOT al-la-carte. They do a meat-lovers plate there. Roasts of a variety of things, beef, pork, ham, chicken, ostrich and they bring you a bit of each, and that’s it. There are 2 sittings and the 6:30 one does not get the special coffees. I guess there is more time for the 8:30 group. I would much prefer to see at least one more restaurant and have them do an al-la-carte menu.

The beach is awesome. It goes on forever in both directions and is sandy enough to walk barefoot for miles. However, there are always big waves (it IS the Pacific side after all), but the sandy bottom is wonderful. It’s not so warm as other places we’ve been but again – it IS the Pacific.

There are 2 pools and the kids pool was the best. There were no washrooms near the adult pool, and it wasn’t all that big by "resort standards". It was being used as a bathroom by most of the drunks most of the time, I think.

It is very much a "family" resort. Lots of Mexicans and Americans, not many from other places. The Mexicans bring their kids, so there were always lots of kids running around. It’s not the place for adults only, but generally the kids were just having fun and were well-behaed.

We loved the town of Puerto Vallarta. Very quaint and interesting. We travelled by bus in and out of town a couple of times, and enjoyed that lots. We had an absolutely fabulous dinner in town at a Tapas restaurant overlooking the bay at sunset.

Sunquest reps were helpful at the resort. Although we booked one trip to snorkel and were very disappointed. The tour guide was rude, no place to sit on the beach, etc. We made that known to the Sunquest gal, though. However, the other tour we took into the mountains was simply wonderful.

We would rate the resort no more than a 4 star – definitely not a 5. We have been to a few places and so do have some references for comparing.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Jennifer and Vince ~ Campbellville, Ontario

April 2005

We just returned from this resort in April. We vacationed there with a group of approx. 30 others, some with children/teens and most were couples only. After reading reviews posted here, we were a bit wary, but instead it turned into a very pleasant vacation, probably one of the best we’ve had in our 15 years of travelling.

Flight: Flew with SkyService out of Toronto. Very cramped planes with truly no leg room anymore. People use to complain how small lavatories/toilets were in planes, now they are the place to go to sit and actually stretch out your legs!! But this isn’t about planes, so check in is quick, flights with no problems and customs are quick and polite in Mexico.

Transportation in Puerto Vallarta: Buses were there to take most guest for the 15/20 minute drive to the hotel, but we had arranged a rental car over the net, and all the car companies have booths in the terminal. Just don’t tell the "greeters" that you are renting a car, as they will get maps and try with nice smiles and a bit of strong-arming, to get you to see a timeshare. They went on about free tickets to see whale watching (we already knew the whales left, like two weeks ago), so they switched to offering $100 US. If you have the stomache for it, go for it, but we didn’t want to waste any of our vacation on listening to something we didn’t want, not even for $100

Driving in Puerto Vallarta: It’s easy to drive there, much like home, but be aware that most left turns are made from a seperate RIGHT lane. Make sure you either have insurance coverage with your usual carrier, thru your credit card, or buy some there, as taxis drive like mad men, dump trucks don’t have well-covered loads, coconuts drop off trees and families ride all in back of their pick ups, with stray things bumping out when they go over speed bumps (tope). The car company will charge you for any and all damage.

Hotel: RIU Jalisco is a large grande hotel, with 700 rooms on 6 floors. 6th floor suites even have a 7th floor jacuzzi with wow what a vista,with their room!!! Yes its truly that large. So, if you are looking for someone to always remember how you like your morning coffee, or save you "your" table, this is not the place for you. If you have a disability, you can get a room right near the elavators, or ground floor, but get in touch with the hotel ahead of time. I fyou have enough time, get a RIU perferred guest card, on RIU online site, and then it’s even easier to make a special request. Staff speak english very well, from most maids, to kitchen staff, to front desk. We had a difficulty with a neighbouring guest, and the front desk arranged for us to moved us to a lovely suite, so no complaints from us on how well the reception/managment handles difficulties. The rooms are large, in general, and the suites are approx. twice the size of the standard room, so a nice upgrade if you are taking a child with you. Noise is a problem that thr resort might want to address. The corridors are tile and open air, so there is no noise dampening. Mats, flower baskets might help. The best help is the installation of inner and outer doors, like in the suites, and some standard rooms on the second floor. Suddenly, quiet, and a peaceful nights sleep once in the suite!!. For those who are not back sleepers, you might want to bring a better pillow, as the mattresses and hotel pillows are ultra firm. Maid do little extras like making little elephants, doggies, birds and cobras out of towels and kiddie huggy blankets, just watch what your maid can do!

We found the resort VERY clean. They are aways cleaning; gardens, floors, everything. Just spotless. If you find something out of order, a quick call to the desk, and maintenance is there right away, to deal with a bottle falling out of the mini-fridge or a drawer handling falling off. Yes, the reviews are correct, the air-conditioning isn’t great. Our standard room was warm, the suite a bit better. Most had it warmer then they would have liked, but the night air is pleasant and gives you a cool nights sleep.

Meals: Here we found it to be better then some reviewed, but perhaps not quite 5 star. If you are use to cruise ship dinners, or hotels in the Bahamas, it will not be up to your liking, but it’s MUCH bettter then Cuba!!! Breakfasts are many styles of eggs, an omlette station, Mexican breakfast foods, fruit, juices and all the sides. Not bad by our books, especially the omlettes. Lunches are in the various smaller venues, choices of hot and cold lunches. Unfortunately, much of the hot food is mostly sort of warm , but with the winds off the Pacific being strong, it is hard to keep things hot. Kids can always find hamburgers, hotdogs and pizza, often with fries, though the ketchup isn’t quite the same. If you have a ketchup lover, bring your own Heinz. Dinners range from absolutely fabulous, to ok. One dinner was lobster, prime rib and shik-ka-bobs with delicious mashed potatoes and veggies (Oh wow it was out of this world). Rib night was super too. Most days, steaks were great, but for two nights, well it was all just ok, food undercooked, running out of the sides etc, I imagine it was chef’s nights off.

The reviews about desserts are mostly right, not quite what many would enjoy. I think we like sweeter desserts and richer. What looks like cheesecake is actually a pudding filling made from heart of wheat ("cream of wheat"), not quite what the cheesecake crowd wanted. Chocolate isn’t as rich as our either, but one glorous day, wow, we had good desserts. Cream puffs shaped like swans that were filled with cream and strawberries (tasted like Flakies but better), yummy cookies, a divine nut cake and a carrot cake. For those who need their dessert fix, bring chocolate bars, and vachon cakes for the kids, just incase the pastry chef wasn’t working that day.

Entertainment: Here we disagree with many reviewers. The staff put on great show, from Grease, to Caberet, to Carribean night. Yes, there were two nights of "audience participation" shows where the audience carries the show, but I think staff deserve two night off. We loved them. The little children seemed to very much like the Mini club, dancing, kitchen tours etc, but our young son is shy and did not take part. Then we get to the pools. Yes, there are children in the adult pool, but there is a good reason. Some architechs decided to make the adult pool mostly 2 feet deep (don’t want drunken adults to drown???) and made the "kiddie" pool over 4 feet deep, THROUGHOUT!!! So any little ones would be in way over their heads…!!?? So be kind to those of us with our little kiddies in "your" adult pool, they can’t go anywhere else, or they drown. We made sure our son didn’t splash sunbathers, and for the most part, the adults understood, once they knew about the depth of the kiddie pool.

Beach: Many, many chairs, lovely high palms, great clean beaches and a terrific surf. Kids and adults can play for hours. Yes, the timeshare people come here too. Many of us just ignore them (any one who comes up to you to "strike up" a friendly conversation, is recruiting for a time share, even the guy in the local Walmart, who you think is a the greeter "Senora, you need a buggy for your groceries?" they aren’t, they are only there as time share peddlers . I remained rude and wouldn’t make eye contact much less tell them from where I was, but how you handle then is up to you.

Day Trips: All the tours are from a group called "Vallarta Adventures". I think they are behind many of the time shares, and trips through them are what the time share people offer. Inspite of this, on trips, you will not be bothered. Most rips are not for children under 8, or under 5 feet high. So, that make the Las Caletta trip one of the only for children. A former home, it has a nice beach, wild life around, very nice day. The canopy trip is a tree to tree adventure, not for little ones, or those how like terra ferma under their feet. Catamarin was good, but not great, nothing too special with that. Fishing, only get the boats that will truly take you well out, few fish near shore. Some went golfing, had a good time. There is a water park nearby Splash Vallarta, you have to ask for a taxi there. Approx $8 to $10 US for 6 hours of fun. There are dolphin swims, expensive, like everywhere else they offer that. For those who rent a car, taking a drive though the mountains, and going into nearby town is fun, and very inexpensive. Little ones sleep in the back while you get a mountain cruise……Nice tunnel on the back entrance to Puerto Vallarta. Watch for the travelling nun in Bucarais, she gets everywhere collecting funds, nice lady!

Other Information: The management do care about this hotel, and will make every reasonable effort to assist. When some of our things did not make it to our room during the room transfer, and I was in tears thinking that for sure they were stolen. Firstly the management assured us that they financially would have compensated us in what was clearly their possible error, then they proceed to stand everyone and everything on it’s head to locate things, and yes, items were indeed located(wrong room had been written in the books) and the extra cost of the suite upgrade was waved to make up for our stress and my many tears the night before. We have had things stolen in the past by staff in other hotel in the carribean, and we were most impressed by the honestly and caring at this hotel. Many compiments to Horatio at the front desk from being a true gentleman through all this with us.

Though we may not return to this part of Mexico again, we like to see as much of the world as possible and we go somewhere different every year, we would recommend this hotel to others, most definitely, with a few asides that were mentioned. We are impressed by RIU Hotels, and would stay at another one in the future!!!

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Christine & Eric ~ Warren, MI

March 2005

Just returned for the Rui Jalisco on 3/27/05. We are easy going, active individuals and take what is written here with a grain of salt……our mistake! Most of what is written of this resort is very accurate. The resort grounds are beautiful, the beach is beautiful, and the staff is great. BUT….the food is terrible. The only meal worth eating there was the breakfast. We dined out for five out of seven nights in Puerto Vallarta and Bucerias. Found some great resturants there and met a lot of great locals. Our room was on the sixth floor, and it seemed the air conditioner never functioned properly. Our room was always warm and very humid. The toilet backed up the first morning there, and the shower didn’t drain very well. The adult pool was filled with children, and the beach bar, which is the only bar open after 12:00 midnight, was filled with teenagers both in front of and behind the bar. They were doing body shots off of the girls that were laying on the bar. We are in our early 40’s and like a party as much as the next guy, yet this had a "spring break" atmosphere that was a little hard to take. It’s never fun to be around a bunch of 18 year olds that don’t know how to hold their liquor!! I don’t think we will return to this hotel.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta K. ~ Okawville, Illinois

March 2005

Spent one week at RIU Jalisco with two other couples. In short, the hotel was too big (700 rooms), the food was just okay (cold, undercooked), and the public bathrooms were horrible (too few, no toilet paper, smelled, no paper towels to dry hands). Also, if you have trouble walking, this is not the place for you. The hotel is located far from the beach and if you are not on the first floor, there are only steps to get to the other floors, unless you want to walk further and take the elevator in the lobby. The hotel rooms were very damp and had a moldy smell.

I will not go back.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Richard and Kris from Ontario, Canada

March 2005

Just got back from 2 weeks at the Riu Jalisco. My wife and I have been to the Riu Tequila and Riu Playacar about 4 times, and had a great time, this year we decided to try the other coast this year. We researched your reviews and most seemed very positive on the Riu Jalisco. We were disappointed however. That expression " great house but nobody home comes to mind". This resort is rated 5 stars and we don’t think that should be the case. It may only be about 3 years old but most people agreed that it appeared to be much older ie. fans badly rusted, air conditioners that were not working, the public washrooms were not cleaned, dogs and their waste on the beach. At the Tequila and Playacar they were always cleaning, the washrooms were kept clean, dishes and beverage glasses picked up promptly so that the seagulls weren’t swooping down for leftovers and leaving patrons covered with you know what. It just seemed that there wasn’t enough staff around to keep this huge resort clean. It’s back to the Mayan Coast for us next year and possibly a change from the Riu group is in order. Friends that came with us because of our recommendation of the Riu Hotels were very disappointed. We’ve been to Mexico 12 times now each time seemed better and better. The last time at the Riu Jalisco was a step back.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Kelly ~ Campbellford, Ontario

February 2005

My husband and I spent February 16 – 23, 2005 at the Riu.This was our first visit to mainland Mexico and our first visit to a Riu. The weather was fantastic – around 25 – 27C every day, no rain, some cloud cover and a nice breeze.

Hotel: The hotel was beautiful. Everywhere you looked it was stunning and very clean and well maintained (the gardens were gorgeous). The room was very spacious and clean and a very good size considering it was a "standard" room. There is a minibar in the room with hard liquor and a fridge full of water, pop and Corona. The room was musty when we first came in but we started the fan and opened our patio door. In 1/2 hour the smell was gone. Beware of the shower … it’s a lovely 5′ X 5′ shower however pay attention to how the taps work for hot water. Turn both taps to the left to turn hot/cold water on equally and both turn right to turn off equally. They are not set up the same as at home and hence I almost got scalded (hot water comes our right away). The bed was a bit hard for my taste but I survived and the noise out in the hallway would wake a hibernating bear in the middle of winter. People coming in drunk from the bars were not exactly paying attention to their sound levels.

Beach: The beach was terrific. We never had to search for a lounge to sit in. You are asked frequently if you are interested in buying something but we just were polite and then we were left alone. There are lots of activities at the beach if you wish to participate in some. I only did a beach 1hr horse back ride for $30.00 US. Have a tip ready for your horse/rider guide at the end. There was beach volleyball, hobby cat sailing, boogie boards, Sea Doo’s and a market with silver jewellery and anything else you can think of.

Walking is lovely .. if you are facing the ocean turn left and walk that way … you won’t seem to be bothered by anyone and can walk forever. Barefoot is great – no worries.

I didn’t find the water clear enough to swim in … the only thing I didn’t like and can only compare the water to what I remember of the Carolina beaches … lovely to look at but not ideal for swimming. Not clear like in Jamaica.

Also be prepared as there are dogs that frequent the beach … this is just for people who are afraid of dogs … they will be around.

Dining/Food and Drinks: Always lots and always good. If you are a vegan try the fish … it’s wonderful! Pasta is good and the prime rib served in the evenings at the beach buffet is terrific. Do try the grilled food at the beach … terrific. The Brazilian restaurant is worth while making a point of getting to for one night. Dinner is terrific and the "coffee show" at the end makes it worth it. One note … we came with clothes being prepared to be in a 5* hotel. This was not the case … they really lacked in the 5* allowing people to generally go and eat in whatever … baseball caps, cut off shirts, bathing suits, barefoot … I don’t know why we bothered … if I wanted that I would have gone 3* and would have paid a heck of allot less money.

Bartenders are great and drinks are always in front of you … Try to meet Leo and his son Alex they work the evenings at the Villa bars just beside the stage. Try the "Dirty Monkey" … very good drink.

Security: I found security was quite obvious on the beach and in the hotel. We choose to utilize the safe in our room to keep our passports and extra money in.

Money: You don’t want to come home with Peso’s so do yourself a favour bring either US dollars or change only $25.00 US at a time to pesos so you are not left over with any to take home. 1 US dollar = 10 Pesos roughly. We used travellers cheques and cashed them as we needed them at the front desk.

Activities: Always something going on at the adult pool … to the point of being obnoxious. I found as the afternoon’s wore on the pool got louder. Unfortunately we were there during the beggining part of the "reading week" and had some seriously drunk individuals. This dampened our will to be near the main pool. My husband and I took to the beach in the a.m. and then moved over to the kid’s pool in the afternoon to keep away from the main pool as we were really just looking for "quiet time". At noon there is a great aqua aerobics class and at 10:15 a.m. there is a nice stretching class to start your day after breakfast.

Staff: Wonderful and always polite. I always left a tip for our maid and she always did up a "animal towel" for us daily! We also tipped the bartenders and the seaters for the restaurant … trust me … they will remember you and make sure you are comfortable.

Overall: I was happy with our stay but not ecstatic. For a 5* hotel the room was of quality and so was the service and the hotel was beautiful. We were looking to have a quiet romantic getaway but this wasn’t the case. It was loud and even trying to dine out was loud. For couples I wouldn’t recommend it (if it’s romance, quiet dining, etc you are looking for) but if you have a family GO FOR IT. Lots to do and the kids are always encouraged to participate in the shows at the stage in the evening. I honestly can say we would not go back due to I thought for a 5* it would have a little more class. Live and learn … for the cost/trip ratio for us I would say I was disappointed. I thought it would be more exclusive for the money.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Dose – Canada

February 2005

A group of 21 of us recently stayed at the Riu Jalisco for a cousin’s wedding. We really enjoyed our stay at the resort. I think the only complaint that we had was that there were bathrooms close to the adult pool which was a little inconvenient after having all those ceasars supplied by the special events co-ordinator. There were lots of things to see and do in and around the resort. I would strongly recommend taking the 4 hour 4 wheeler trip through the small villages and country side just outside of Puerto Vallarta. This trip was organized through a man named George who worked at a small hut just down the beach in front of the resort. It is really neat to see how the Mexican people live. We rode horses down the beach and the view of the ocean was as pretty as a picture. On the whole the food was good. I wasn’t overly impressed with the a la carte restaurant but the buffet was good and the lunch served at the beach restaurant was great, especially the hamburgers. The staff were all very friendly. The entertainment was also excellent especially ‘Buff Daddy’ and the ‘Pig Farmer from Hearst”. We really enjoyed our week at Riu Jalisco and would recommend it to someone looking to go to Mexico.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Lois ~ Calgary, Alberta

February 2005

We spent 1 week at RIU Jalisco in Jan 2005. (two families) This is a very large and impressive resort. I won’t mention anything about the flight or airport as that has nothing to do with a resort review.

The Jalisco has 6 floors of rooms on a U shaped hotel. There is only one set of elevators in the middle of the U. We were on the 4th and 5th floors near an end of the U and we used the stairs everyday and saved tons of steps and time. Made one not feel so bad for over indulging. The rooms are basic but nice enough. We made a call to the front desk once because the maids didn’t leave any shampoo, and our friends called about a drain problem. Both were tended to within 30 minutes. Excellent. I do suggest you bring your own shampoos and conditioners.

The beach is fabulous. Not the crystal blue of the Caribbean but it is very sandy (no sand shoes required) and the waves are great to body surf and boogie board in. We rarely had to wait for a board – I believe they had about 20 of them. There is also other things available to do on the beach sports wise. You could walk for miles in either direction. The pools were ok. The adult pool is far more lively and noisier than the kids pool. And the water is warm, the swim up bar busy all the time. We did bring travel cups with us so we were happy we did. The usual assortment of activities are offered at the pool. (aerobics, volleyball, polo, etc)

The food is ok. Not a lot of superior seafood, and the deserts all look store bought rather than homemade but there is an enormous selection. The freshly made donuts at breakfast were a major hit with us. Depends how picky you are on how happy you will be. It does repeat but just make different choices. The beach restaurant was our favorite for dinner. It has live music and good coffees in the evening. If you can’t get into the specialty restaurant (you need to line up at 6:30 am to have a shot) don’t sweat it – it was our least favorite meal. Only the coffee made it worthwhile.

Have been to 6 other all-inclusives in Mexico and Cuba and I find them to be all rather similar. Jalisco doesn’t have great snorkeling on site but it does have a lot going for it compared to other 4 and 5 star resorts. You’re on vacation – chill and end enjoy.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Bonnie ~ Canada

January 2005

We were at the Riu Jalisco from Jan.15 – 22 and enjoyed our stay immensely. The food was wonderful especially the burgers at the beach on the outdoor bar-b-que. There were 10 of us friends that had gone and everyone had a great time. Staff was wonderful, rooms were a little musty (oh well, light a candle) but clean, there were 5 rooms in all, we were in 5126 which had the best view of all but was a little noisy at times because we were right by the elevators. Just one thing could have been better was more bathrooms, but otherwise we felt it was 5 star. I would definately go back and stay again.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Brenda from Georgetown, Ontario

January 2005

We spent the week of Jan 14-21/05 at the Riu Jalisco. There was a group of 18 of us. All in all we had a great time. The resort and grounds are beautiful. However there needs to be more bathrooms closer to the beach and adult pool. It is quite a walk when Montezuma’s Revenge hits. And it hit almost all of us everyday. We had Imodium with us but it didn’t even seem to work. A few of us also got really sick and couldn’t leave the rooms.

The beach is alot of fun. You have to rent a Boogie Board. My husband, daughter and I went boarding and had a blast. Just don’t wear a white bathing suit like I did, it won’t be white for long.

A group of 12 of us went on a four hour four-wheeler trip through the small villages and farms ($60pp). It was so much fun. Just to see how the locals live. We made a stop in the village of Ixtapa and then at a Tequila plant. You will get dirty on the ride, so don’t wear your best clothes. Bring something you wont mind getting dirty. If you have goggles, bring them too because the dusty roads you take, do a number on your eyes.

Some of us rented Waverunners ($20). It was fun. We had been speaking to some people whe rented them and had dolphins swimming with them. That never happened to us, but it was still fun.

We also went parasailing ($40). That was neat. What a great way to seen the surrounding area. And so relaxing.

I suggest that you get out of the resort on your last night and go to Bucerias for dinner. We went to a restaurant on the beach called Meson Bay. It was fabulous and inexpensive. Surf and turf was $20 and you can pick which type of steak you want. You also get two lobster tails. By then end of the week you need have some "real food". The buffets get really boring and the Brazilian a la carte wasn’t very good. I am sure that wasn’t chicken we had. The ham wasn’t like ham either; more like balogna. The soup, salad and the lighted coffee show was the best part.

The best resort food can be had at the beach restaurant with the bbq.

For the most part this is a great resort, but like alot of other reviews stated, some rooms are very musty. Mine wasn’t, but some in our group were terrible. It seems the mustiest rooms were in the 200 section of the 5th floor. (all in our group were on the 5th floor). I don’t know what the other floors were like.

We had a great room (5138) looked onto the courtyard. It was close to the stairs to the courtyard and theatre. Every morning we had some type of animal made from towels. The elephant was the best. Way to go Magdelena. However, like everyone in our group, we found the wal

ls pretty thin.We could hear everything going on in the adjacent room. There are at least 4 stray dogs that roam the resort. And they are in need of a good meal. We were feeding them crackers and sandwiches. I don’t know if we were supposed to be feeding them, but they were very thin. In the towns as well there are alot of stray dogs. All the dogs are very friendly. So don’t be afraid of them.

Bring an insulated coffee to go mug with you. The drink glasses are very small. Being Canadian we also brought Clamato Juice with us. We had cesears by the pool every day. It was wonderful. The bartenders didn’t mind that we asked for glasses of vodka.

When going to and from the towns, dicker on the cab prices. Don’t pay what the driver is asking. He will come down. And beware of the yellow cabs in Puerto Vallarta. When we went on the 4 wheeler trip the manager of the company had paid $40 to the cabs (3 of them) to bring us home. But when we got back to the resort, the cab drivers wanted $30 more. When we refused, they threatened to call the police. So just watch yourself. I suggest if you have a group, take the white vans. We normally took these and had no problems with them at all.

One last thing, never leave shoes unattended. Three people in our group had shoes stolen from the pool area. Went to Management and they didn’t seem to care.

I don’t think we will be returning to this resort, for the fact the items were stolen and bathrooms are few and far between. Also, being a five star there was only a shower in the rooms. Some days a soak in a hot bath would have been nice.

Thanks for listening

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Barry ~ Vancouver, British Columbia

January 2005

We have just returned from Riu Jalisco on Jan.14.

Like so many of you I was concerned after reading some of the reports on this resort. We spent one week and enjoyed every minute of it. Our room was 4151 on the north wing over looking the court yard with a little view of the ocean. This side is in the shade in the hot afternoon if you sit on your balcony (nice). Our room was immaculate & well kept every day, our fridge was well stocked with beer, pop, water etc. We did leave our room maid one dollar every day,which ensured good service.

The hotel is beautifully kept & clean-up, pick-up & painting go on continuously. The selection in the buffet restaurants is vast. Quality of food is excellent. The specialty restaurant is an experience in fine dining, make a reservation, it is fabulous. The bars are great and the bartenders work so hard to try to please everyone, even though they are usually very busy. All of the staff at the hotel are very friendly & go out of their way to try to help you.

The entertainment is rather loud and goes on well into the evening, however with your door closed and the air conditioning on you won’t hear anything. The entertainment at the pool is poor, the fellow on the loud speakers loves to hear himself. He gives dancing lessons and counts from one to eight continuously at least 500 times a day. I guess that’s why there are so many people at the beach and not at the pool.

The beach is beautiful ,nice sand ; it is too bad they don’t clean up all the cigarette buts and plastic straws every night. Swimming is good and the water is nice and warm, especially in the afternoon when the tide goes out and the surf is small. The restaurant at the beach was our favourite for lunch and dinner with a BBQ grill right there, super burgers, ribs, chili. They play nice music for the older crowd which you can dance to.

Lots of young children there but they were no problem.

The weather must be the best in the world, every day mid 80’s, no clouds and a nice sea breeze. We have spent two years next door at Solare/ Samba and love the area. We will return next year. Finally there was no musty smell in the room or elevators. Enjoy

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Coppola Family from Calgary

January 2005

My family and I have arrived home from our vacation and are pleased to visit the Pto. Vallarta area. Very beautiful country. The resort was a beautiful site and very pleasing to the eye. The employees at this resort are not overly friendly. The beach is very nice and a great waves for boogie boarding. The food was ok. Our rooms were in the front part of the resort and it was very quiet.

We had money gone from our room and reported it. We were told that they did not know were it had gone. Because of this incident I will not stay at this resort again.

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RIU Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta Steve from Illinois

January 2005

We spent the last few days of 2004 and first 3 days of 2005 at the Riu Jalisco. After reading some of the reviews prior to departure, I was a bit concerned. After arriving, we were pleasantly surprised. The staff was friendly, rooms were clean, and great pools. The food was excellent-definitely take time to make reservations at the Brazilian restaurant. There was never a shortage of alcohol. The beach was ok. We didn’t care for the horses constantly going up and down the beach which meant you had to watch your step. There was always a shortage of using the boogie boards. There was no charge to rent them, however you allowed to use them for one hour which many people abused the honor system. They only had 8 of them available for the whole resort. We were never hasseled about buying time-shares or other items by the locals.

The hallways were a little noisey during the night. The tile floors had a echo to them. Overall, I definitely recommend the Riu Jalisco.

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