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12 37854 Fri March 6, 2015
Recommended By Ave price per week Average Rating
92% of reviewers $1,175.00 8.4

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Description: Hotel Riu Vallarta
Winter 2006/07
Av. de los Cocoteros s/n, Lote K – Cond. Flamingos
63732 Nuevo Vallarta
Nayarit Mexico

Location/General information

* Opening winter 2006
* 15 km / 9 miles from Puerto Vallarta, overlooking the Pacific Ocean
* Located on Playa de Flamingos beach, 2 km / 1.5 miles from Nuevo Vallarta
* Complimentary sun loungers on the beach
* 9-storey building

* 3 km / 1.86 miles from a shopping center
* 13 km / 8 miles from the airport
* 1 km / 0.62 miles from Flamingos Golf Club
* Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Diners

More Riu Vallarta Information


Registered: July 2006
Posts: 246
Review Date: Sun December 3, 2006 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: $1,600.00 | Rating: 0 

Pros: The same decor as a Palace Level Riu
Cons: None

The Riu Vallarta opened November 17, 2006. We began our stay on November 25 and completed our vacation on December 2. Our trip was booked through Apple Vacations. Our flight was a non-stop flight that left O'Hare Airport in Chicago at 6:00 AM. We waited a few minutes for our luggage at the Puerto Vallarta Airport then proceeded to customs where our pasports were scanned. We were on an Apple air conditioned tour bus which took 14 of us non-stop to the Vallarta. The ride took 25 minutes. When we arrived at the Resort, our luggage was put in the lobby and we were directed to meet in the lobby bar for registration. A Riu Reception Staff Member provided us with a map of the resort, gave us our wrist bands, gave us our room and safe keys. Before we finished our welcoming non-alchoholic punch drink we were on our way with a bellman who showed us our room. We were in our room by 12:00 Noon unpacking.

The interior of the resort is very nice. Huge, colorful paintings are everywhere. The interior floors are either marble or glazed ceramic tile. The furniture, trim, doors and mirrors are wood stained with a dark rich color. The interior furniture fabric has rich colors trimmed in gold, very classy.

There are 2 pools. The north pool is the activity/family pool. It has three slides and a bubbler jaquzzi. There is music going non-stop from 9:00 AM when the pool opens to 8:00 PM at closing time. There are approximately 200 padded plastic lounge chairs around the pool. The south pool is the adult pool. There is a 15 seat swim-up bar. There are 3 bubbler jacuzzis and several in-pool loungers. There are also several small tables with circular seats to congregate around. There is music in the backround throughout the day. There are approximately 250 padded plastic loungers around the pool. Both pools are no deeper than 4.5 feet at there deepest. The water temperature was somewhat cool in the AM but was certainly fine for swimming. By mid-day the water was perfect and never became too warm. The air temperature during our stay was 86F for highs and 67F for lows. Perfect blue skies with no rain. There was a constant light breeze. There were honey bees and yellow jackets buzzing around the bar attracted to the sugar in the drinks. They were a slight distraction but no one was stung during our stay. We saw only 2 house flies during our stay. There were no gnats or mosquitos at all, day our night.

There is one main dining room that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, all buffet style. There is both indoor and outdoor seating. Tables have white table cloths. There are ceiling fans every few feet. The indoor portion of the restaurant is air conditioned. Breakfast food includes freshly made juices including Papaya, Honeydew, Watermelon, Pineapple and Cantalope. Orange , Apple and Tomato juice are on tap. There are 2 cooking stations where eggs and omeletes are made to order. There are hash browns, fried potatos with onions and peppers, bacon, sausage, freshly made french toast, donuts and pancakes. Several types of sliced fresh fruit are available. Several types of mexican dishes are availabe at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cold cuts of meats and cheeses along with yogurt and cereal and several types af bread are also put out at breakfast. There a a variety of cold salads also available.

Lunch foods include griiled hamburgers, fish, pork and chicken. Nachos chips with fresh guacomole, fresh salsa, melted cheese and several sauces are available. There is sliced fruit, jello, soft serve and regular ice creams. There are 5 to 10 different cake and pie desserts each day. There is pizza, cold cut meats and cheeses. Several pasta dishes, french fries, assorted breads, salads and cooked vegetables round out lunch selections. The same menu is served at the Flamingo Restaurant located on the beach.

Dinner includes the same items that are served at lunch. There are several added items at dinner that include barbecue ribs, fresh avocado halves filled with tuna salad, fresh seafood salads, etc.

Soda, beer, red and white wine, juices and coffee are available at all the restaurant.

There are 3 specialty restaurants which are available by reservation only. The Steakhouse is located in the Flamingo beach Restaurant. The menu includes a buffet of fresh salads, warm breads and soup. You are served a choice of Top Sirloin, Rib Eye, Half Grilled Chicken, BBQ Pork Ribs or a Meat Skewer. Meals are served with steamed vegetables and baked potatos. There are several buffet deserts are available.

The Nirvana Restaurant serves Asian fare. The meal starts with a buffet of Sushi and sauces, limited salads and Miso-Shiro Soup. There are spring rolls, vegetable tempura, chinese rice and fried wan-ton. Station cooking includes noodles with vegetables, sweet and sour pork, chicken skewers, beef tapanyaki, tuna medallion and mixed vegetables. There is a carving station with Peking Roast Duck. Deserts include cakes and fried ice cream.

The Sir George Gourmet Restaurant has vegetable soup, Crab Bisque with shrimp, Rockefeller filled mussels, fine leaf salad with salmon and cheese roll. and couscous salad with seafood.
Main dishes include filet of Grouper, Beef filet, Lamb Chops, Chicken Breast and a vegetarian Linguini dish. Desserts include stuffed profiteroles and warm chocolate, fresh fruit with bees honey and crepe suzette with vanilla ice cream.

Reservations are made from 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM out side the Nirvana Restaurant. You can make same evening reservations and reservations for the following evening only. The gourmet restaurant seats only 50 people and is the hardest reservation to get. The steak restaurant is easier to get and the Asian restaurant did not fill up while we were there.

Full menus will be posted in the Riu Vallarta Gallery once they are scanned.

The food quality is good to excellent depending on your tastes. Eating at the 3 specialty restaurants breaks up the monotony of eating the same food each evening.

The beach area is very nice. There are 400-500 loungers on the beach among palm trees. The beach area is very adequate in size and never becomes too crowded. The water is faily calm with waves between 1 to 4 feet. The water is not clear enough for snorkeling. Water temperatures were warm enough for swimming during our stay. Vendors walk up and down the beach displaying, jewelry, blankets, tee shirts, etc. The vendors are not allowed on Riu property which begins about 75 feet from the waters edge. Ocassionally the vendors are given the opportunity to show there wares on the beach portion of the Riu property. This only occurs under the direction of the Riu Security Guard.

There are 3 room styles at the Vallarta. Standard rooms contain either 2 queen size or 1 king size bed. There is adequate closet space, a six drawer dresser and 2 night stands. Rooms are air conditioned and have ceiling fans. There is a television with 15-20 television stations. Most stations are local but there are a few international news and sports stations. There is a small seating area with 2 chairs. Bathrooms contain a tub/shower and 2 wash sinks. There are wall mounted hairdriers and makeup mirrors. Irons and ironing boards are available at the front desk. The rooms have a 4 bottle liquor dispenser with rum, vodka, tequila and grain alcohol. The refrigerator is stocked every other day with Corona Beer, Pepsi and Pepsi Lite, soda water and bottled water. Additional bottled water is available any time at the front desk. All rooms have a balcony containing 2 plastic chairs and a table. There is a keyed safe located in the closet.

Junior suites are larger and have double balconies as do the few junior suites with jacuzzis.

The sports bar is open 24 hours providing full service bar drinks. There are several LCD televisions. Internet service is available for $8.00 per hour. The internet is made available through an independent vendor. Pool tables, air hockey and video games are available for a per use fee. Nacho chips, sandwhiches and fress fruit is available for snacking.

Tour company representatives are available daily to book side excursions.

Employees treat guests extremely well. The General Manager of the Vallarta is Sr. Joseba Orbegozo. He demands perfection from his staff. You will see him at begin his day at 6:30 AM on the plaza. He will visit the entire property several times a day speaking with guests. You will see him still working at midnight most days. He sets a tone of excellence. He was a manager at the Jalisco when it first opened in 2002.

Child care is provide free of charge from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM daily. Child sitting outside of the free hours is available for $15.00 US per hour. The Animation team that care for the kids are fabulous. While the childcare period is free, most parents tip $25.00 to $100.00 US per day. There are planned activities for kids young and old alike.

Drinks are available for all tastes. There are dozens of menu drinks but the bartenders will make anything you ask for. The Vallarta waters down it's liquor like all Rius. This is probably good when you are drinking from 9:00 AM to Midnight. Very few people get drunk to the point of being obnoxious. The bartenders will glady serve full strength liqour by just asking.

Tipping is included at Rius but if you feel you are getting great service, please tip the employees. They all work very hard. There are over 400 employees at the Vallarta so you can't tip them all but please do what you can. We tip a total of $100.00 US for the week(no children at the Mini Club). We tip the bartenders, servers, bus persons, chambermaids and even the crew that mops the plaza.

The nightly entertainment is pretty good. The animation team works very hard and they are very talented. There are a few nights we laughed so hard we were almost in tears.

The mix of guest probably will vary during your stay but most guests were 35 to 70 years old. Fifty percent of the guests were from Canada, 25 percent were from the USA, 20 percent were from various cities in Mexico and the remainder were from the UK and other parts of Europe. There was an increase of Mexicans, mostly 25 to 35 year old professionals, on fridays and saturdays. Most of the guests were very cordial but as in all of society there were a few rude guests.

The landscaping is suprisingly mature since it is only a few days to a few days to a few months old. It does look a little sparse currently. View the photos in the Gallery to form your own opinion.

I probably forgot several details of this resort, but part of the fun is discovering this great resort for yourself. I will be adding dozens of photos, the floor plan, room number locations, menus and more so if you don't see the info here, look for it in the Riu Vallarta discussion board.


Registered: December 2005
Posts: 11
Review Date: Sat March 10, 2007 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Beach, hotel grounds, pool

My husband and I are a couple in our 20s and have cruised the Caribbean and stayed at hotels in Cancun, Riviera Maya, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica. We have stayed with the RIU three of those times and were very pleased with all our experiences. Often we have seen negative reviews about hotels that turned out not to be what we experienced. We try not to pay attention to those negative reviews out there and experience it for ourselves.

The RIU Vallarta is a great hotel and will provide a great vacation!

Beach and Weather: The weather when we were there in late February was fabulous. No humidity, great ocean breezes, we had tons of sun every day, and a temperature about 85. It was perfect! The beach in Nuevo Vallarta is an excellent walking beach. There are big waves for bodysurfing or boogey boarding. It doesn’t have the crystal clear blue waters of the Caribbean and if that is what you are looking for you will be disappointed. It is very outstanding in its own way. Many people took excursions or wave runners and saw dolphins and whales right in the bay. On a side note, if any ladies are prone to being cold like I am, I would recommend bringing a light sweater for some of the evenings in PVR. My husband loved the no humidity and the breeze, but on two of the nights the light sweater was perfect for me.

Pools and Grounds: There are two good sized pools at the RIU Vallarta. One is an activity pool with three slides and lots of families. The other is an adults only pool with a swim up bar and pool loungers. The staff does a good job of keeping the kid away from the adult pool. The water was a great temperature and this is where we spent most of our time on the trip. The grounds at the Vallarta are more mature than I thought for such a new resort and the staff does a great job. All in all the RIU Vallarta is a beautiful hotel and much more like an upscale RIU palace.

Bars, Drinks, and Entertainment: There is one pool bar, and three night-life bars at the Vallarta. There is a sports bar that also has computers for the internet, an elegant open air lobby bar by the reception, and a plaza bar in the main courtyard by the entertainment. The drinks were very good and certainly didn’t find any of them to be too weak. I recommend the mojitos, the mango daiquiris, and the café espanol especial. I am a wine drinker at home and though the wine was different than what I am used to, I enjoyed it. We did hear some people complaining about the wine, but it tasted kind of like Greek wine to us and we enjoyed a few glasses every night! We are not big hotel entertainment people, but one night they had a mariachi band in the plaza and a Cirque type acrobat duo perform. There was a lot going on in the main plaza which was always very nice. We enjoyed it very much.

Food: We found the food at the Vallarta to be very good. The breakfasts are very good with made to order omelets, homemade doughnuts, and freshly squeezed juices. While we were there they did not have brewed decaf. My husband asked for it a few times and they brought him out instant. I don’t know if this would be a problem for you or if the resort is going to fix this soon. My husband was disappointed but he got over it and drank regular for the week. The main lunch area is the flamingo restaurant with salad, fajitas, a pasta station, hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza, and other things. We found it to be very good, but did stick mostly to the Mexican selections. We ate at the steakhouse which we enjoyed. It wasn’t Ruth Chris’, but again we weren’t expecting that in Mexico. We also ate at the Gourmet restaurant. I had mussels Alexander and a steak with burgundy wild mushroom sauce. They were good, but we are not gourmet food people. Many people at the resort raved about the Gourmet restaurant. They did have very good wine at the gourmet restaurant. We really enjoyed the main buffet. They had an extensive salad bar, excellent guacamole and homemade chips, very good chicken, choices of seafood, and a carving station every night. They had an Italian section as well, but we were in Mexico and can get Italian anytime at home. There was one Mexican theme night while we were there which was good, though other hotels we have stayed at have had more themed nights at the buffet. This may be something the Vallarta develops as they are open longer.

Rooms: As with the other RIUs we have stayed at the rooms are exceptional. They have lots of marble, extra details, a refrigerator stocked every other day with coronas, soda, two 2L of bottled water, and 4 bottles of liquor for making mixed drinks in your room. If you need refills on any items between the every other day restocking or extra towels just call the reception and they’ll gladly bring it up. The best part of the RIU rooms in our opinions, are the balconies. Every room in the hotel has a private balcony. All of the Junior Suites directly face the ocean and are either on the end of the U-shaped hotel or at the base of the U. The Junior Suites have reclining and cushioned chairs and an additional seating area in the room. The Standard rooms face in towards the courtyard or out to the neighboring properties, two condo complexes. We paid extra when we arrived to upgrade to one of the Mater Suites, which are located on the inside corner of the end of the U. The Master Suites have an in-room Jacuzzi with an enlarged 270 degree balcony that looks onto both the courtyard and the amazing ocean sunsets. In PVR the sunsets are gorgeous so paying some extra money for a better ocean view might be worth it this trip. There are some standard rooms on the south side facing the courtyard that have an equally breath taking view of the ocean and sunsets. That would have been just as good for us but we really wanted to ensure a good view so we paid the extra upfront as opposed to taking our chances.

PVR: The downtown city of PVR itself is very interesting and we would highly recommend taking a cab to visit and experience. There are a lot of interesting shops, restaurants, and artists along the ocean boardwalk. There is a also a beautiful old church in the center of town.

All in all this was an exceptional vacation and we are so glad we didn’t get scared off by the negative reviews. We are also so happy that we stayed with the RIU! Wish we were back.


Registered: May 2008
Posts: 180
Review Date: Mon June 9, 2008 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: a great vacation, at a great price, in a lovely setting
Cons: the steakhouse was not so great

Below is a copy of a review I submitted to TripAdvisor

I know I am a day late and a dollar short on submitting this review. I started it last summer but didn’t finish it up till now. Anyway here it is. My Wife and I vacationed at the Riu Vallarta from August 5th – 12th 2007. This was our first time staying at an AI and our first trip to Puerto Vallarta. I must say that after reading the varied reviews I was a little concerned about our choice, but the price couldn’t be beat and after spending a week there I can’t imagine that the people with the negative reviews actually stayed at the same resort. Before I go on I would like to say that I am basing my STAR rating on price, value and service. For example, when splurging I would give a 5 star rating to staying on the concierge floor of a Ritz-Carleton Hotel and when dining I would give a 5 star rating to the Union Square café in NYC. That being said my review is below.

The Hotel

Our room was a Junior Suite located on the 4th floor (4066) directly facing the ocean. There were beautiful view of the pools and ocean from our balcony. My advice is to book a Junior Suite; if possible, it does break up the room a bit and allows one to read while the other watches TV, etc with feeling bothered.

I would say the staff was very friendly and most were able to speak English well enough to provide you the service you were looking for. When we arrived our room was ready and we went straight up. I would like to suggest you make sure that you get more than one key - apparently our room only had one key available, which we didn’t find out until my wife returned from the beach while I was napping on the balcony. Let’s just say she was not pleased when I didn’t hear her knocking.

We had had absolutely no problems with our room during our stay and the housing cleaning and “mini bar staff” promptly met our every request.

The pools were very nice and we had no problem getting chairs at any time of the day and no problem with people stealing/moving our towels. The beach is quite nice and you can walk for miles, which I did taking three trips up to Bucerias about 2.5 miles north and two walks about 3 miles south to the marina. However, the water is not as clear and blue as you will find in the Caribbean.

My wife used the fitness center most days and while it is small she never had to wait for a treadmill. We both also used the spa service for massages which were good, but not great.

The weather was great while we were there, although there were 2 late afternoon thunderstorms which apparently are common in July and August and I must say they were quite spectacular - I have never seen anything like them.

The Food

The reservations for dinner open at 7am and while we were there a queue start lining up around 6:30 am and I would say the Sir George (the gourmet restaurant) is worth getting up early for – especially with the Misses request to bring her a cappuccino up from the sports bar the first thing every morning. It is also the only time you will be able to get yourself a decent glass of wine (IMHO). We also ate dinner at the two other a la carte restaurants. The steakhouse did not appeal to us or to those around us (maybe it was just a bad night, but we did not return). The Asian restaurant was ok, but like a Chinese and Japanese Buffet than a real restaurant experience. If you are not an early riser and the restaurants are booked I suggest showing up 10 to 15 minutes after the seating time as there always appeared to be empty tables and I am sure a “little tip” may help.

We ate breakfast every morning at the buffet which was great. There was a, fresh fruit, cereal, yogurt, muffins, French toast, pancakes, eggs cooked to order, omelet’s, bacon, sausage, potatoes, plus authentic Mexican breakfast options as well.

We ate lunch pretty much every day at the buffet by the beach, the food was good, although not as good as good as the breakfast – just make sure you find the/guacamole station. While we were there it was set up in the rear right hand side of the restaurant. We also ate dinner at the buffet in the same restaurant where they serve breakfast a couple of times as well and found that it very good even a better choice that the Asian and Steak restaurants. We also ate lunch at the Jalisco one day and found it to be every bit as good as at the Vallarta. However, I will say that I can understand the negative food reviews if the only thing you ate while you were there was the “American” food offerings you probably were very disappointed as the hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, etc. looked just awful.


Corona was on tap at the buffets (self service) even at breakfast. The bars have Corona and Negro Modelo on tap. Corona was provided in bottles in your mini bar. There were also four liquor dispensers in the room with tequila, vodka, rum, and gin. Plenty of bottled water was provided along with sodas. The bars were pretty much fully stocked and we always made sure to ask for the "top shelf" liquor. If perchance you wind up with a hangover, thankfully we did not; the bartenders were making a very interesting, even tasty, concoction of beer, tomato juice and a few other ingredients which I can’t remember to make a bit of the hair of the dog.

Puerto Vallarta

One morning after breakfast we went to downtown Puerto Vallarta. It's rather though touristy, you get the feeling you are in Mexico. Just beware of the timeshare vendors they are everywhere, including Bucerias. For example a store you may think is a “tequila shop” really turns out to be a time share vendor. We ate lunch at a wonderful restaurant called Barcelona Tapas The food and sangria was great with a really nice view! However, if I went again it would be at sunset because the view must be amazing when the sun is setting over the Pacific

In closing, I am giving the Riu Vallarta 5 stars because it was a great vacation, at a great price, in a lovely setting and I had absolutely nothing to complain about.

Official Riu Bambuer

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 1907
Review Date: Sat January 2, 2010 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: The BEST Riu so far.
Cons: none

This is link to my Review , Two weeks Dec. 2009.


Registered: February 2010
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mon February 15, 2010 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? No | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 4 

Pros: barkeepers,activity staff
Cons: bad housekeeping, and front desk staff

Charged a phone charge to call front desk to request towels one day, and at 6:00 p.m. to have our room cleaned. This was our second year staying here, and the quality has certainly gone down. This year we brought 4 other couples with us.

Official Riu Bambuer

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 1907
Review Date: Fri May 21, 2010 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

Pros: Wonderful Staff. Food. Service.Entertainment.Room.Beach
Cons: None

2nd. time around.
We had good flights with West Jet. air.
Our 2 weeks stay, April 13,2010, went without a hitch.
20 mins. taxi ride from the airport to resort. Nice drink on arrival.
We got a reg. room (Junior suite in Dec. 09) but wanted 2 beds. room was on inner courtyard. 7th. floor. Nice for watching people and a nice view.
We found it noisy till midnight at least., so moved across hallway after two nights.
Smart Move.. we got a 9 x 16 Hugh deck, with a Much better view. Fantastic..

Enjoyed the food, Really good, and YES,, waffles too. Lol
Everyone knows the food is good at the Rius... everything from Turkey, good steaks, Ice cream.. pastries.. Umm.
Room clean, and kept clean. Although we are Not messy, so maid didn't have lots to do. Lol
Enjoyed sitting on deck after entertainment and watching Fireworks from Pt.Vallarta, South. with a drink or beer .
Staff, wonderful.
We met the new Lady General Manger. Very nice and busy.. busy.. lady.
We watched 2 weddings on the beach while there, Very nice.. Breezy in April.
Went to Riu Jalisco for Lunch and walked through the Riu Palace Pacific (not enough shade yet) Both are north of the Vallarta.
We really enjoyed our 2nd. trip to the Vallarta and would return again.

Official Riu Bambuer

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 1907
Review Date: Tue May 25, 2010 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Wonderful Staff. Food. Service.Entertainment.Room.Beach
Cons: Slamming doors

Flying for the first time with West Jet Air,out of Vancouver,B.C.Canada we had good service, on time flight., we found a taxi ,20mins. drive to Hotel,arrived approx.5.30p.m. .
Check in : they had our pkg. ready. You receive key,2 towel cards, key and lock to free in room safe,map of resort . We were Welcomed with a nice drink.
More instruction books are in your room. People should read these..Lol. Please don't take Bottles of Beer to Pool. We saw security taking them away. Take a thermo mug if you don't like beer from cups.

ROOM: We had a Junior suite in Dec.(our prior trip), but a Regular room on the inside of Courtyard with 2 double beds (that I had requested). As mentioned in lots of reviews, the courtyard is nice to watch the action, but can be noisy and it WAS,even close to midnight. We requested a move (as staying 2 weeks) after the 2nd. night. We moved just across the hall,one room down to end on the 7th.floor. WOW.. smart move.
Room had one King and one double beds and a HUGH deck facing South.
We had only one neighbor. Fridge was filled every two days,with Pop,water and 4 beer. If they miss you, just call desk.
Beds are Firm, so we did get foam pads. Maid left the wonderful towel arts.
We had wonderful service.
We watched 2 weddings while there, looked wonderful.
We did notice some children getting into the Adult Pool,on the weekend. Security would ask the families to leave in most cases .

FOOD: We enjoyed the Buffet, with the Theme nights and lots of carving stations so much that we went to only the Flamingo's Steak house on the beach (steak not so good as Dec. by far) and Sir Georges Indoor (smart to try Steak again).Lol
Both service good,
At the Buffet breakfast and lunch we found Estella again.. Wow.. she is just so helpful and Fast. You can't miss her. Wonderful other staff.cooks. Just Ask..
BARS: Again we found Vanessa there, just Super.. plus ,Victor,Luis,Roy and others.
We love beer and like nice drinks, Enjoyed lots, Try the Mud slides or the Brandy Alexanders.
BEACH: Most days were WINDY for the 2 weeks., but waves not big. Lots to do. Walk for miles each way.
Hubby went most days to see the construction going on just South. I think it will be called DelCanto. and ownership suites.
One hugh bldg. was at the Stop/just the shell in Dec. but construction is. started again. it will take more than an year., There will be 3 bldgs. according to the brochure.

We went to the Riu Jalisco for Lunch one day, It's nice there too., a few years older and more Families with lots of Kids.
ACTIVITY: the same animation crew are there. Lots of Fun.
Pepi is Fantastic. Jessis is now a Bartender.
You can do water sports or just plane crazy games., or just relax.
Shows were great. We skipped a few, to just relax at the Lobby Bar.
I Loved the Little boy who did the Larriette rope act.
Don't miss the RIU Dancer's when they come, almost every other night. Vegas night and Mexico night are the best.

We love the Riu chain. , but do go to other resorts as well
We would return to the Riu Vallarta.


Registered: February 2006
Posts: 100
Review Date: Thu October 7, 2010 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: People, ambience, beach, weather
Cons: Hardly any 'real' cons

Flights- Continental out of LGA were on-time. thanks to the counter service people who actually put on on an earlier flight when they noticed our connection in Houston was boarding when our original flight was scheduled to land. Gave us some extra time. A bonus was our bags made the earlier flight. Pretty sweet since we walked from the counter straight onto the plane.

Arrival and check in: No problems here, either. Bags were waiting at the carousel, and the Time Share gauntlet wasn't bad (I guess Wednesday afternoons are a bit slow). Apple folks waiting in the terminal directed us to wait a few minutes for the other Apple-ers. Gave me a chance to grab a beer ($4 US, no problems). The ride to the Hotel was a bit slow going over the bridge but not very bad. Again, a Wednesday afternoon before rush hour helped. Maybe a 10 minute delay crossing the bridge. 2 stops until our hotel and our crowd got off. 5 people total checking in at the same time. Getting our key, safe lock and bracelets took all of 5 minutes, barely enough time for the bell guy to grab us a drink from the bar before we were on our way to the room.

Room: 7th Floor overlooking the plaza with a nice view out towards the pool and beach. I could check the waves each morning before breakfast. Some folks had mentioned that it can get loud in those rooms. We did not have any issues with the sounds coming from the Plaza, either from the the show, the band or the general noise levels of people having a good time. Maybe a lower floor or one on the other side that faces the theater would have more issues, but we were not disturbed at all. The room was serviceable- King bed and all. Very nice, but no real opulence if that's what your looking for. A basic room that works for what we used it for: sleeping. Maid gave us a few animals, but not every day. I think she was spending more time actually cleaning the room and did that well. Fridge was generally stocked every other day, but they would refill the beer if I left a note or asked at the desk. Only complaint about the room was the shower area could use a light. Even with both sets of lights on in the bathroom it is a bit on the dark side. Another tip for folks is that the Tub's floor is quite a bit higher than the rest of the bathroom floor so be aware when stepping out of the tub. Nearly punted myself across the room when I wasn't paying attention that first time. Use the grab bar!

Food: Another winner here. Lot's of choices but *maybe* could use a bit more variety, Seemed like there was one special choice each night at dinner- either duck, turkey, fish, etc... Everything was good and you could still have something different every night, but it seemed like they could have had a few more 'special' type things. Breakfasts were good as well- lots of different things. My favorite was the in-house made donuts. Wow- put any Dunkin Donuts, Krispy Kreme and Tim Hortons to shame. I didn't do a lot of lunches so I can't really comment on the Flamingo's daily offerings. My wife did have a field day with the Salsa. Thought it was the best she ever had. And she had it with all 3 meals and sometimes would go for a snack if it was available. Not a complaint but an observation: Potatoes are NOT the genetically engineered, super hybrid giant things we have here. These are much more "earthy", a little bit starchier, a bit tougher and grainy but taste is not greatly different. They just 'feel' different, but they make good french fries!

Ala Cartes- Sir George was a little disappointing in the food department. Starters and dessert were fine, but the main courses were a bit of a let down. My wife had the chicken and it was a bit on the dry side, and my steak was little tough. Everything tasted fine but it could have been a bit better. Flamingo's Steak house was better in our opinion. We actually ordered 3 entrees for the 2 of us. The 1/2 chicken for my wife, Rib eye for me, and an order of ribs to share. All were excellent. (But again, the potato was a bit different, so remember that) The ribs especially were tender and the sauce was perfectly done. We did not go to Nirvana (Asian), but another couple felt that Nirvana was the best of the three.

Pool: Very nice here as well. Very little problems grabbing a pair of loungers in a nice spot that had some shade an sun. Only "lounge wars" were over umbrellas, not enough to go around for the front rows of chairs. The second row had the pergola covering so they would fill up a bit later in the day as the sun really beat down before the clouds moved in. Security were fairly quick to move in to clear the kids out, but overall most people followed the rules. They might give a couple with a very small child some slack if they came over to get a beer and kept the child on the little decks where the in-pool loungers were. Then they would move back over. I had no problem with that. The kids pool actually was sometimes quieter in the afternoons to grab a quick nap. The Swim-up bar would sometimes get a bit raucous but never really too obnoxious. Just folks having fun. Jesse is the main character/waiter and is a lot of fun to watch and talk to. But Leo is the man to get since he's a little more reserved. Okay- a LOT more reserved and will have have fewer distractions on his way back and forth to the bar. And he's a really nice guy to chat with- Grew up in Seattle and came back a few years ago to help his dad with their house, and decided to stay.

Beach: I loved it- I had waves nearly every day for my bodyboard. And waves to actually ride, not just whitewater to ride straight in. Again absolutely no trouble getting any lounger in just about any part of the beach or time of day. Sand was more of an US east coast sand with little gold flecks in it. Not as course as the sand in Puerta Plata, but not as powdery as Punta Cana. Downside here was the water clarity- even in normal conditions the water is not as clear as the south side near Mismaloya, but the recent heavy rains, flooding and some larger waves in the days previous made the water a murky brown. It was clean, just not clear. It did clear up a bit as the week went by and the waves. Wildlife included jellyfish, sea snakes and small sea turtles. the jellyfish were few, but I did get a couple of stings. Sea snakes were small- not aggressive and their mouths are so small they really cant get a good bite on a person. No Time Share sharks, though. Vendors not aggressive- they have their tents on the beach and will come out in the mornings and show their stuff. Just a quick no thanks or tell them you will check them out later before you leave and they move on. My wife had a back and forth with one for a couple of days until they worked out a deal on some stuff and that was that.

Excursions: We did the City Tropical tour that has a quick visit to The Melancon, City Hall, The Church then the Silver store. Then a trip to a Tequilla factory in the mountains south of Town. We enjoyed it. Our tour through Apple included lunch while some of the others did not. Our little group was taken to a different restaurant down the road a bit and up the hill. The Driver did an awesome job- he BACKED up the road for a kilometer since there was no way to turn around. The place was called "OK Corral". Spend the extra few bucks and get the seafood platter for two...$55 but worth every penny. They charge you the difference between your Apple allotment (about $10-$12 per person) and it works out to about $30-$35 for 2. We also did the ATV tours from "Wild Vallarta"in Bucerias. Another winner here, especially since the last part up to another Tequilla distillery was being worked on and it was nearly a kilometer of pure Mexican red clay mud. Special thanks to Luis and Ramon- our guides and nice guys because they helped me out of a bonehead tourist mistake. I brought my CC and Drivers license but failed to bring actual cash. Unfortunately I don't have a PIN for the CC! I explained the situation to Luis and we worked out a deal. Ramon would take us back to the hotel where I could get my Cashcard and take me to a 'real' ATM, get some cash to pay for the lunch, their tips and some extra for Ramon for gas. this certainly was embarrassing for me, but they made it seem like it happens all the time. I tend to doubt it, but I appreciated the effort anyway. While we did not do the "Rhythms of The Night" trip, we were told by all who did that it is fantastic. Gonzalo, the Apple Rep was a nice guy and did help with a few questions we had and was there to see us off on our last day.

Entertainment: The Animation folks do a good job trying to keep up the energy levels and getting folks involved, but not pests if all you want to do is sleep off the previous nights tequilla. The shows are fun and well done, considering. Remember this ain't Vegas.. or Reno. As stated in another review, the Mexican Show is the best.

Overall: Now, I'm sure you're all wanting to know about the "Local" issues. Seriously, there weren't any. We arrived on Wed. afternoon and the place was nearly empty so service was excellent. Thursday PM, there was an influx of... Insurance Salesman and their families for a convention. Service was STILL excellent. Things were a bit more lively around the pool bar and The Plaza for the shows because they had special programs for the conventioneers. But they were still open to the rest of the visitors. At most for the weekend, capacity was probably 50-60% and that dropped by Sunday afternoon. Another smaller group of conventioneers came in Sunday night, but they were hardly noticeable. On the morning we left I talked to Leo and he mentioned that Mon & Tues had 300 guests in the whole place. There certainly were a few folks over doing it, but I put that down to having too much fun and not the nationality of the person. The "Local" Children in the dining room were certainly not the rude screaming hordes of wild animals posted about on-line in other sites. 99.9% of them were mannerly and VERY respectful of the parents and Grandparents. Quite a few brothers and sisters as young as 7-8 yo. came down to dinner by themselves when the parents might be eating at an Ala Carte. They were treated no different by the waiters and they just had their dinner and had fun like every one else. The loudest and rudest kids I saw were American...

Our weather was perfect all week- even though it is still the rainy season there was 10 minutes of heavy rain on one afternoon- we missed it since we had gone to the room the rest and didn't even know it rained until we came down to dinner and saw some puddles. We could see the rain and T'Storms across the bay every night though, so they got a lot more than we did. It would be clear and crisp in the morning with slight offshore breeze, then at 12pm the sea breeze came up and cooled things down a bit. About 3pm some clouds would roll through and cool things off some more. Sunsets were awesome each night. Usually a slight breeze in the evenings.

All of the staff were friendly and efficient. Always someone around with a broom or a mop keeping things ship-shape. We had no real issues with the food, drinks, etc.. although there was one day of, lets say.. "Gastric indecisiveness" on my part, but that may have been an issue of a combination of drink and amount of food that day. It was over with later in the day and fine the rest of the week. One little secret is the Spa- you can reserve the Jacuzzi room for yourselves for about 1/2 hour. You can grab a sauna for a few minutes, then do the cold jacuzzi plunge then move over to the warm jacuzzi to relax. It's free, and I think you can get up to 6 or 8 folks at a time. It was real nice after sizzling all day to relax in there.

Checking out: Again smooth as silk, the Van came to pick us up and we were off to the Airport. Traffic was a little slow heading back over the bridge but hardly any problem. Maybe a 5 minute delay, tops. Dropped us off and we checked in for the flights and upstairs at the gate shortly thereafter.

Some postscipts as I remembered stuff: ( I will add to this as I remember stuff)

Yes, the bed is FIRM... but it wasn't medieval or anything. We didn't need the foam pad, but that would be a personal choice.

Fridge was stocked with some pepsi, orange soda, tonic water, XX beer (3 bottles) and 2 large water bottles.

the liquor things were there (we didn't use it) but it was the usual stuff- Gin, Scotch, Vodka and Tequilla

If you can and it isn't too crowded grab an extra cushion for your pool lounger- my butt was buzzing after a few hours with only one. 2 makes things more comfortable. Take it from the loungers in the open areas that have no shade- nobody in there all week.

Site Admin

Registered: September 2005
Posts: 11081
Review Date: Mon January 3, 2011 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 0 


This is JoLee's review from her recent trip:
We flew with WestJet from Vancouver .Canada again. Great flights.
Got a cab to Resort.,the Drive approx. 25mins. ,as the new bridge had just opened that Morning. Dec. 8th. Lucky for us, and lucky we didn't hit the Red light this trip at the Airport, that is alway Fun...

We returned to the Vallarta ,as we Love the Resort and Staff,and Wonderful Management, we went in Dec. 2009 and again in April 2010,all for two weeks stays.
We were made to Feel at HOME again,and offered any upgrade and nice Welcome gift in our Room from the Management and Front Desk staff. Nice.

ROOM: We had a Wonderful View and Extra Hugh Deck looking South to Pt.Vallarta. It was spotless . Fridge with Beer,pop,and water filled every other day, but I did have to phone desk often on our days, for more Beer and water, delivered right away.
We did have to use blankets for a couple nights, then we realized that the Air conditioning could NOT be turned off at all, we told the desk ,and a new control was Installed right away. WOW..great service.
Lots of towel arts too. We left a small tip daily along with Xmas Candy. Tipped the Beer fellow every time also.
You get Shampoo,conditioner,lotion and soap. Hair dryer,Iron and board and FREE in room safe. We got an extra key also.

FOOD: Fantastic, Just as good as last trips.
We went to all 3 Speciality Restaurants.and enjoyed Sir Georges (Gourmet) and Flamingo's(steak house) both with table service. the Asian (Nirvana) is really a Buffet., that I liked this time (GO early-Might be the key).
Loved the Buffet Don Rafael. Just wonderful food., with all the carving stations changing with different themes. Too much food to mention. Highlights for me were the Waffles with Pecans and the 12 types of Hard Ice Cream. Hubby's was roast Pork and Beef,Potatoes,and the Bacon daily.Lol
I took a Tour of the Kitchen., well worth the time. So Spotless Separate rooms,all glassed in . Washing station even has ultra rays in a Machine to be germ free. Anyone who says the food is recycled at a Riu is NOT correct.. Take the Tour and See the Wonders !!

BARS/Drinks: Fantastic. try them all. LOL. The Bartenders will Remember what you drink, so if you change Yell out.. The best are Mudslides or Brandy Alexanders... Yummy

BEACH: Wonderful. Walk to Bucierias (north) or south for miles and miles. Water was the same temp. as last Dec.

Stay at One Play at TWO: We enjoyed lots of time at the Jalisco,as our extended family stayed there, so we joined them daily off and on for their week. They Loved it there.(see my Review) and so did we. We ate there too a few times and enjoyed the food there also. Breakfast one day and Lunch about 5 times. Riu prefer you have Dinner at your own resort., but we managed to go to the Brazillian. Nice with the flaming food etc., but too much meat for me,not Hubby. Lol.
We watched 2 shows, same at all Rius. IMHO the shows are TOO Late at the Club Hotel Jalisco, Kids show starts at 9p.m. but at Vallarta it starts at 8p.m. "Much better" for families with kids.
Shows are the same.. when the Riu Dancers for the"dancing shows" come , they are the best to see by far. Wonderful costumns and themes.
Our Favorite are Mexican Night, Vegas Night and Tropical/Caribbean Night.

The nights that are done by the Annimation Teams are the "Crazy shows" like Mr. and Mrs. Riu or Ideal Couple and Kareoke.Some are NOT Family Friendly !!! so be aware.

POOLS: Vallarta with the swim up bar has Better control of keeping the kids OUT. New security seems to watch better instead of visiting with the Vendors on the Beach ,like last year LOL. We watched one day, as a child was told to leave 4 times, then asked WHO his parent was, then after a very LONG talk with the Mexican Father they finally left the Adult ONLY pool.
Seems the Kids are allowed, in what , the Jalisco calls the "Main" pool.
I would not want a child to see some of the things that go on at the Swim Up Bars...
Our family spent almost all their time at the KIDS pool., and we talked to Seniors who did the same.

STAFF: Annimation Teams are Great. I think a little more active at the Jalico, they even dress up in costumns (Elmo etc.) in the Day Time. WOW.
Vallarta lost Pepi for about 6 months, he is Back., now works Annimation and relief DJ etc. He Should be the Full time DJ again IMHO.
I could list A LOT of Exceptional Staff, but I won't ,as the Riu might Move them..LOL.
Never saw or talked to an Unhappy or unfriendly Staff. Give a smile and they will do all they can to help you. Try. Please,and Gracias.

COMMENTS: Rius hand out a Comment sheet one Night at Buffet. Please take time to make requests etc., as they DO read them. I know I got Waffels as a result,I think. LOL.

I would like to comment on a resent review "Dysaster" done by a Newbie(Just joined trip advisor),with not one post on the Forum, but now slams the Vallarta, for something Everyone KNOWS happens at times Anywhere,It is NOT a REVIEW of a Resort..
DUMB thing.,,
I found TWO room KEYS ,this trip,One at Jalisco and one in our Hallway at the Vallarta, we returned both to the Desks. If you Loose your KEY** then take the Responsibility for Any Losses from your Room, as it's your Own Fault, NOT the Hotels.
Have a Safe and Happy Trip. We sure did , what a Wonderful 2 weeks at the Riu . we will Return...


Registered: July 2007
Posts: 315
Review Date: Thu March 17, 2011 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: The Pool and great food!

Feb 24 – Mar 10, 2011

This was the first trip for our group to the Riu Vallarta. We go to have fun and regardless of any little quirks we always do.

With the bankruptcy of Skyservice last year, Sunquest is using Thomas Cook Canada for its airline partner this year. Jazz airlines are operating the planes on behalf of Thomas Cook. I have to say that we had high hopes for the new airline and were nothing but disappointed by the service provided. No sense going into details as you don’t have a choice of what airline to use.

Check In
After the 25 minute bus ride to the resort we arrived at the resort. We were given the registration forms on the bus and just had to hand them in to get our key upon arrival.
The keys to the safe are included with your package and were given out at the same time.

There were 2 double beds in our room and the others in the group had King size beds as they had requested. We had no problems with the water pressure or hot water supply.

Our housekeeping person was excellent. I had read about a lot of theft recently. We had absolutely no issue. I left tips on my pillow which they knew were for them. That said we didn’t leave electronics out – they were safely put away in the safe to be cautious.

Delicious! I’m a fan of Mexican flavoured food to start with so I was in heaven. Fresh Salsa and Guacamole at every meal – awesome!

The biggest disappointment for me was the lunches only as the location of the lunch buffet is basically on the beach and the wind howls through there so your hot food tends to be cold by the time you get back to your seat. That is the only complaint I have about the food.

Supper was always a different theme each night at the buffet so that was good. We managed to get reservations for the Steak House, Asian, and Fine Dining while we were there. To book the a-la cartes, you need to line up in the lobby between 8:00 and 10:00 either the day of or day prior to when you want to go. The Asian restaurant was the groups favourite of the three.

Snacks – There was never a time when we couldn’t find something to eat. Between the seemingly never ending buffets and the Sports Bar food was served 24 hours a day.

NOTE: Supper at the Buffet: Men can wear shorts but must have a shirt with sleeves to be admitted. We saw people turned away for having tank tops on. For the a-la cartes men must wear pants.

There are several bars to visit. There is the Pool bar, the Beach bar, Lobby Bar (at night), Theatre Bar, and the Swim Up bar. Each bar we went to made good drinks. By default they serve the cheap brands, but they have the name brands too – you just need to ask for it.

The Beach
The beach was as clean as you can expect. You need to watch where you walk as smokers seemed to be just putting their butts out in the sand where ever they chose. Perhaps some ashtrays would help with this habit. We did see staff cleaning the beach at night though.

We spent only 1 day at the beach as the water was a bit rough and it wasn’t clear enough for any of us to comfortably go in to it.

We made use of the adult pool all but the 1 day. The pool is very large and as other reviews have mentioned, the towel game is in full force. One couple told us they came down at 3:30 in the morning to book the chairs. The hotel really needs to crack down on this aspect. If you don’t have your chair reserved by 7AM it’s almost impossible to do so at the Adult pool. There seemed to be open chairs at the family pool later in the morning.

The Adult pool also has the bar tenders coming around taking drink orders. Jesse was by far the most entertaining bar tender at the resort. He’s funny and would toss himself into the pool on occasion to make up for some gaff on his part. He sure made the pool entertaining as the real entertainment staff seemed to spend much of the day at the family pool.

The Family pool has waterslides for the kids and is basically the same layout as the adult pool but a bit smaller and doesn’t have the swim up bar.

We did see some kids in the Adult area with their parents who managed to stay under the radar of the Entertainment team. If the Entertainment guys see the kids, they ask them to head over to the family pool. Actually, the family pool tended to have loungers available even when the Adult pool was fully “booked”.

We made it to several shows. Having been to other Riu resorts they were about the same, if not exactly the same. Nothing too special, but it’s something to pass the time. They also had nightly live singers too. The first week they were up on top of the stage, and the second week they had them set up in the court yard and guests were inclined to dance.

The Animation team had activities going on throughout the day on the resort. I didn’t partake in any but I did see them hold water volleyball, aqua-fitness and water polo plus a few “Crazy Games” (i.e. Belly Flop contest) to name a few.

We taxied it into Puerto Vallarta twice and once to Bucerias. I enjoyed Puerto Vallarta more so as there was more to look around at and enjoy. Both are safe destinations for tourists. As we were a group that needed a larger vehicle to get there and back, it was $43 USD each way for Puerto Vallarta (a normal taxi was about $22 USD).

A few in the group did the whale watching trip, booked via Sunquest, and had a blast. Saw lots of whales and said the service was great while on the catamaran.

We noticed an increased security presence after the first week. I think they were preparing for any spring breakers that may decide to be rowdy. Frankly I didn’t notice any influx of student age guests.

We did notice on weekend the hotel would sell rooms to the locals and unlike other reviewers I found them to be as polite and respectful as the rest of the guests.

Given the many negative reviews on some sites for this hotel recently I was a bit concerned but we encountered no problems that others apparently had. This was my first trip to a 5 star resort and while not a 5 star by North American standards, it’s pretty close. The service was great, the staff was friendly, and any problems we reported were addressed immediately. If it weren’t as expensive of a trip as it was, we’d happily return this resort next winter.


Registered: January 2007
Posts: 9
Review Date: Tue February 7, 2012 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: $750.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Super clean, great staff, really good food
Cons: Limited access to internet, SUPER hard beds

My husband and I stayed at the RiuVallarta Jan. 18 - 25, 2012.

Initially, we were a bit put off as we had to wait 5+ hours to get a room. We came from MN and snow and did have shorts packed in our carry-on bags, but it was still super inconvenient not being able to get settled and go enjoy ourselves. All of our sunscreen was in our large checked bag, so we couldn't really get to it.

After we got into our room we were very pleased with the size of the room and the view. It was absolutely beautiful! The bed was hard as a rock and sleeping was difficult for us, but other than that, the room was very nice. Great service to re-stock the fridge and the maid did a wonderful job cleaning every day.

The beach is beautiful and there are more than enough beach chairs as well as pool side chairs any time of the day. No need to get up super early to save chairs, which is super nice on vacation! We loved sitting on the beach and being brought drinks all day long!

The restaurant for the breakfast and evening buffet was really good. I thought it was much better than the two we stayed at in the Dominican. The selection and "freshness" of the food was just so much better here. The lunch restuarant was a bit lacking, but we always found something (or just skipped lunch sometimes). We only went to the Steakhouse reservation restaurant and had an excellent meal there. This was the first time we saw them make the "Spanish Coffee". It was wonderful and we asked them to make them for us each night after that in the buffet restaurant and it was awesome!

We had a little one (2) at home with the grandparents, so we wanted to be able to check in every day to make sure things were going well. The internet access is SUPER limited at this hotel. There are 2 computers that have access (located in the lobby) and there was ALWAYS a line to get on them. Usually people were on and off quickly, but it still was a pain to always have to wait on that. We were able to buy phone cards from our Apple Representative and walk down the street about 1/2 block to a pay phone to make calls every other night. That was nice and seemed to work fine. If you call from your room there is a connection fee and the rate is very expensive.

The sports bar was nice and we were able to watch the 2 NFL playoff games while we were there, so my husband was happy. We also got some english speaking channels on our TV in the room, so that was nice. My husband liked to watch movies in the evenings when I was wiped out and tired from the day.

We did have an excellent time, and would definitely consider going back, especially at the price we were able to book at this time.

Riu Rusty
Site Admin

Registered: September 2005
Posts: 5240
Review Date: Fri March 6, 2015 Would you recommend this Riu Resort? Yes | Price paid per week?: None indicated | Rating: 10 



Well I’m back Sad

Hey Folks, I’m back and I thought Id share some of my thoughts on the resort.

Large well maintained resort. The lobby has a very modern look, lots of grays and purple....... a stark contrast to the Riu Vallarta which looks more like a palace, lots of wood and cast iron. I like the palace look, but my girlfriend like the Riu Jalisco look better lol Subjective lol

Our Riu Jalisco wrist bands (Although different colours that the Riu Vallarta) did give us free access to that resort for everything but dinner (Bars, pools, restaurants) Etc.

The food was ok, Again, not palace food....... but there was lots of it.

The staff were great.

Lots of action at the pool, lots of sports, much more party atmosphere than a palace. Which I like better Smile

Rock-in music at the pool, and mostly rockin roll and some Reggie...... which was awesome....... not really into the "riu song" over and over lol

Puerto Vallarta...... yes I went but it's far from the resort.... Maybe 30 mins cab/taxi ride. I negotiated to 200 peso's about $15-$17..... Most wanted $25 lol but I stood firm Smile

Puerto Vallarta was nice, kinda like Playa Del Carmen.... A nice boardwalk on the beach with shops and bars. lots of people. the street was blocked off to cars (like Playa Del Carmen)...... I do like PDC better, but again subjective. I didn’t like the long cab ride.

There was a town called bucerias. It only cost 85 Pesos and you were there in 8-10 mins. Really cool town, a large market for clothing, silver, stuff lol There were shops too and some really cool bar right on the beach. And in stark contrast to Puerto Vallarta (where beer would cost us $5USDea) the bucerias beach bars would serve me a bucket of 6 SOL beer for 100 Pesos ($7-$8) for 6 beers!! There was live music there, but the market seemed to close at 6:00pm ish.

OK money exchange. Do NOT take USD's unless you exchange them into peso's. The resort will NOT exchange them and the locals are still using 10/1 not 14/1 as it should be. The resort "MAY" change your USD (Unofficially for 10/1) but they will officially convert Canadian dollars at 10/1........ so no point in converting and getting rocked by the bank, and then getting rocked again when you get down there. Most cabs, shops and bars took Canadian money. So, just take Canadian money and exchange at the front desk or Take USD and exchange at somewhere official (I’m should the Americans on this site can tell you where to go).

OK, Back to the resorts. Riu Vallarta in one resort over, we did notice than the riu Jaliaso was a much much bigger property than the Riu Vallarta, and I liked the extra grounds to roam great for strolling. The pools were similar..... the Riu Vallarta was furnished more like the palaces, the Riu Jalisco was more like a club hotel (Modern). The rooms at the Riu Jalisco were renovated and nice, but small. Not like the Riu Jalisco and the Riu Palaces with the sitting area in the room. They had 42” Flat Screen TV's and we took our PS4 (PlayStation 4) for the kids to use at night and it's worked great, as the TV’s have HDMI inputs Smile.

WIFI / INTERNET Well, it's been 2 years since I have been to a RIU and my last recollection was that we all had free wifi only in the lobby and it was dial-up wifi...... Well, things have changed since then. We ordered a week internet package for (650 pesos's) or $65.00USD or $65.00CAD LOLOL and that would get you 7 days of unlimited wifi anywhere in the resort! Even the pool area!! Your can have 4 people using it at the same time, so if you have 5 people, then one will have to wait until the one other disconnects. SO, put your phone on “Airplane mode” and turn your wifi on and surf and email away lol.

The internet is fast to, My kids were streaming with no problem. And if you have 2 rooms, no problem, the wifi is not assigned to a room, so we had 2 rooms, 5 people and 1 wifi account. Worked perfectly. Not one issue. The only rule for the kids was to “KEEP THEIR PHONES on AIRPLANE MODE”, and they were fine with that. They were always skyping (Video Calling) their friends back in Canada. No problem.

PDC (Playa Del Carmen) or Vallarta. I like PDC better because of the closeness to town and the exterior walks from the resorts which is a few years away for Nuevo Vallarta. We did walk out side the resort to the Riu Vallarta, through the riu vallarta to the beach then beach walk back to Riu Jalisco.

Entertainment. Ice been to many a Riu and I was happy to see some live professional entertainers (Really good) not Riu Staff Lip Syncing lol This was really nice to see.

Disappointments..... My only disappointment was that the dinners had no apparent dress code. Men in flop flops, tshirts, board shorts, very few dressed and most were wearing beach attire. The rules that they hand out say “Men long pants and long sleeve shirts and no sandals, but, no enforcement what so ever and so many people were saying that they packed dress cloths because they had read it, and only warn them the first night and felt silly and converted to shorts and sandals for the rest of the trip. I stayed true to their rules, but there were only a handful of followers.

OK, so My final view on this vacation …... we, it was awesome. We met some wonderful people, we partied, I had a beer or 2 lolololol and maybe ate too much. Great staff, Good resort, Large and you stay very connected if you wish and the pools were so warm...... usually they are soooo cold.

I would recommend this resort and would rank it some where in the middle of all the RIU's I have been to. Over all 5Stars.


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