Old Reviews – RIU Vallarta

  RIU Vallarta   Vincent ~ Montreal

April 2009

Arrival: April 20 to 27
My family and I took air transat from montreal to puerto vallarta and the flight was very good like usual. We arrived in Puerto Vallarta in the late evening and we announced our arrival to request our room.

The junior suite was very spacious and luxurious for 4 people. My parents, my sister and I. enjoyed that beds and everyting in the room worked very well. The mini bar was filled when requested or when they noticed that it needed to be filled. We also had a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean!! Amazing!

Restaurants and Bars
The retaurtants and bars were to die for… The buffet had a great variety of foods for breakfast and lunch (and supper). The a la cartes restaurants were very good and the meals were well presented. My family and I enjoyed all the restaurants and bars.

The Beach was very nice, but obviously you cannot compare to the caribbean or Cuban beaches. The beach was pretty fun because they’re were alot of waves and the water didn’t have any rocks or seaweed. The beach is very long, wide so you can walk for hours and hours.For example, my family and I walked on the beach every morning before breakfast for about 30 mins. I really enjoyed this!!! The pools were very nicely shaped and made. The water is very clean and there are slides for children. Also, there are bulit-in chairs in the pools to relax in. The grounds in this resort are very nice and the vegetation is beautiful. i enjoyed the grounds because there wasn’t alot of walking to do to get to the beach or pools, etc.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
There are many fun activities you and your family can do at this resort. But, my family and I went to many places out of the resort. We went to Riviera Nayarit (city centre) which was very beautiful because we walked on the broadwalk along the beach and visited many churches.

Other Comments Overall, i enjoyed this resort very much including the city of Puerto Vallarta (first time there). I would give this resort a 9/10 due to its beaches, restaurants and services. I extremely recommend this resort to families with children or just couples.

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  RIU Vallarta   Betty Ann B. ~ Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

August 2008

My husband and I stayed at the Riu Vallarta in November when it opened in 2006. The hotel is beautiful beyond belief, and the staff were wonderful. The hotel experienced some minor problems after opening, but even so, it was a great experience. I would definitely go back!

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  RIU Vallarta   Sue and Marv

January 2008

We are travel agency owner/managers who just had the pleasure of staying between Christmas and New Years at the all-inclusive RIU Vallarta (opened in 2006), a four-star resort with 550 standard rooms, junior suites and suites. This “classic level” resort is part of the RIU complex in Nuevo Vallarta on Flamingos Beach, just eight miles from the Puerto Vallarta International Airport. The adjacent RIU “ClubHotel” Jalisco opened about five years ago and the “Palace” Pacifico is scheduled to open nearby in the fall 2008.

There are three inter-connected art deco-style towers set back somewhat from the beach in a U-shape with the lobby/shopping/restaurants in the center. The standard rooms are more than adequate for two people and have many connecting room accommodations available for families with children. They are entry-level priced for value-conscious families but somewhat more than the Jalisco next door. All rooms have balconies. The junior suites and suites have hydro-massage bathtubs – a big plus – with sitting areas and large balconies. We stayed in junior suite #0068 in the corner on the first floor and enjoyed being out of the hall traffic as well as easy walking access to all of the public facilities.

There are a limited number of categories and it’s the luck of the draw as to how close or far you are from the action in the plaza, the two main pools or the dining venues. All of the 18 suites were booked throughout our stay so we cannot comment on them. They are located on the oceanview inside corners of the complex near the elevators so request one on the upper floors to avoid the noisy guests shouting in the halls as they climb stairs or catch elevators on the lower levels. There is no room or turn-down service in the RIU Club or Classic level resorts so, if this is what you expect, discuss a “RIU Palace” level resort with your travel agent. Look for an agent who is a “RIU Partner Club” member and who has been to some or all of the RIUs in Mexico and the Caribbean.

Situated on a beautiful long beach with clean but tan grainy sand, gentle surf and many palm trees for shade, the RIU Vallarta has more than enough lounge chairs both on the beach and at the two pools. Beach towels are tightly controlled with a card system and the towel hut is supervised by friendly staff. Lounges in the many prime shady locations are often taken by guests just after breakfast so stake your claim early. With no coral reefs and with the typical Pacific surf, there are no snorkeling experiences from the beach. There is a PADI Dive Center with windsurfing included and other water activities available nearby. There are a few vendors on the beach with jet skis and parasailing offered at your own risk.

There is an enthusiastic group of coordinators called the “Animation Staff” organizing endless activities. Those holding the microphones tend to scream when they get excited directing the adult’s activities and the DJ tends to turn up the volume a bit too high.

The Kids’ Club is a supervised program with a small playhouse and playground. A full-service Renova Spa has a small but adequate fitness center, two Jacuzzis and a sauna. The theater has seats for almost everyone and offers nightly local entertainment with lots of involvement of the RIUs staff and guests. There is a sports bar with internet access for a very reasonable charge of $8/hour.

The quality and variety of the food and beverages are very good. The elaborate, air-conditioned “Don Rafael” is the main buffet with show cooking stations at all three meals. We enjoyed the wide selection but found the traffic pattern to be a bit chaotic. Three specialty restaurants require reservations made before breakfast time each day for only that day and all have two seatings – 6:30 and 8:30p.m – a RIU policy that we do not favor. The Asian themed “Nirvana” is a buffet. The Flamingo serves continental breakfast, is the only lunch venue, and is the “Grill Steakhouse” – an al fresco semi-buffet dinner. Our favorite dining spot was the “Sir George,” an air-conditioned, refined, dining experience. It is a bit small and is always the first of the dinner venues to book solid.

There are bars everywhere, including a swim-up bar in the adult pool, all serving Corona beer, blended drinks and house brand spirits served up by a friendly bar staff. Every room has a refrigerated minibar and a liquor dispenser. NOTE: Get used to Nescafe if you require decaffeinated coffee – they do not brew it.

When you check-in, sign up for the free RIU Club card and get special discounts and offers. Tour and excursion operators have desks in the lobby and offer a variety of fun excursions and experiences at extra cost. We enjoyed a guided city tour along the Malecon, Puerto Vallarta’s beautiful beachfront walkway. We loved the beautiful three-hour horseback ride through the nearby Sierra Madre mountain range that we arranged through an excellent company, the Rancho El Ojo de Agua.

The public areas are imposing and beautiful with imported tile floors. There is an abundance of lovely, well-manicured gardens. The formal promenade is spectacular – especially at night – the pathways are well lit, and the signage is excellent. The dining, activity, and pool accommodations are easily accessible for the physically challenged.

As the sun sets, the resort begins to pulse with salsa rhythms. Live music starts to play everywhere. The staff shows warm Mexican hospitality with “Hola!” and a smile awaits you at every turn. American tourists and US dollars are welcomed in Puerto Vallarta. This resort is part of the RIU family owned and operated chain of 120+ hotels worldwide and every attempt is made to satisfy guests’ needs. We will be recommending it highly to clients of our travel agencies.

Sue and Marv owner/mgrs Marvelous Travel & Cruise Planners, an American Express agency Plymouth Mtg PA 19462

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RIU Vallarta Family of 3 ~ Toronto, Canada

March 2007

We just returned from 1 week at RIU Vallarta resort. We are experienced travelers and this is the 5th RIU we have stayed at. Overall the property was very nice, very clean and pretty much standard 5 star resort. Food quality was above average, but quality of al a carte restaurants was below average. Food was nothing special, ambience was really pretty plain. Hint to staff: turn the lights down, way too bright in the 2 restaurants in main building. We had a junior suite facing the ocean on 7th floor. Very nice, never a bug, pull out sofa bed for our teenaged son worked great.

One very important factor in this property is that it is squeezed on to a pretty small (narrow) lot compared to other 5 star resorts. Therefore the beach chairs are literally lined up 1 next to another (touching) in 6 or 7 rows of about 70 chairs each, with only a few pretty sparse palm trees in between. There are NO umbrellas allowed on the beach and NO other sources of real shade. So if you like to sit and bake in the sun, you will love it! We do not really like that so we were forced up into the pool area. The 2 pools are nice but very noisy with constant silly music/bingo/pool games etc. So the bottom line is that if you like to curl up with a good book and enjoy the sound of the waves at the beach under a nice umbrella/thatched palapa, this is not the place to do it! There is simply no where at the beach to get out of the sun, and the pool areas are all very noisy.

The beach itself is fine, nice and wide and lot’s of walking room. Note: quality of sand/beach pretty good but Punta Cana is better!

This was a very different RIU from the other we have stayed at. Much noisier at all times. Almost all Americans and Canadians. Did not see a single topless European all week, and also there were no loud french speaking people from Quebec. But there were a lot more Budweiser type’s with cowboy hats, and the number of overweight people was staggering. This was a very interesting reflection of North American diets!.

Overall rating: Food good; rooms excellent; cleanliness excellent; staff excellent; beach very good; ability to relax just average. Probably would not return.

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December 2006

Spent the week of Dec 1- Dec 8/06 at this resort. It is very beautiful. Food is excellent and there is always plenty of choices. Staff is very polite and accommodating, they will do anything to make your stay enjoyable. We had a junior suite and it was beautiful. Separate seating area is nice in the Junior Suites. The beach is very nice and kept very clean. The Pacific Ocean is the warmest water we have ever swam in. Some days the water is rough with an undertow, however they let you know daily as to the water conditions. This resort is extremely clean with workers cleaning constantly. You can walk on the beach for miles. We have stayed at 5 different resorts in various countries and this is definitely the nicest. We would highly recommend this resort to anyone. The only downfall is that the hallways are a little noisy at times because of the ceramic and marble flooring. There are numerous bars within the resort and we found they were able to mix any drink that we could come up with. Claudio at the theatre bar was wonderful and very entertaining. There are two pools, one for adults only and one for children. They seem to be very strict about this as we never saw any children in the adult pool all week. Adult pool has a swim up bar with little tables right in the water. Shade on the beach is a little lacking as the trees aren’t very big yet. Overall we would say this is definitely a 5 star resort and hope to return in the future.

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