We loved the new RIU
My wife and I spent two weeks at the newly opened RIU Vallarta. We arrived there one week after it had opened and we expected some minor problems but to our surprise, the hotel was ready to offer the guests a good time. We had been upgraded to a Junior Suite with a fantastic view of the Banderas Bay. We tried all the restaurants but our favorite was the Nirvana where they served excellent sushi and Peking duck. For breakfast, lunch and some dinners we went to the Don Rafael buffet restaurant which had always a big choice of differnent excellent quality food.
There are two big swimming pools with lots of chairs around and there was never a need to put a towel on a beach chair to reserve it. As the hotel is brand new, the landscaping is not yet as lush as at the older RIU Jalisco next door but there are lots of palm trees planted behind the beach to provide shade.
The evening entertainment under the guide of Alain was top most of the days. Overall we had a great vacation.
Riu - Pee U
We were very excited about our seven day family Christmas trip but quickly found out that the Riu Vallarta is not a top quality resort as advertised. The food is horrendous, there was not enough of it many times. You cannot take food out of the restaurants to enjoy in your room or at the pool. You must make dinner reservations between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. (only). There is no room service available either. This seems ridiculous to me. The resort was not cleaned properly. As a matter of fact, the same beer bottle sat in an ashtray in our hallway for five days straight. I don't think they mopped the floor in our hallway the entire seven days (and we were on the main floor). The resort is noisy and they were doing construction during the day and banging very loudly. The ceiling of the lobby fell down on some poor person who was sitting on a couch. Later three more huge holes had to be cut to prevent the ceiling from caving further. I would never stay in another Riu again.
My stay at the Riu Vallarta was between Jan 3rd - Jan 11th.
When we first arrived at the resort it was a very cloudy and damp day, but that didnt stop us from enjoying the beach. When you arrive at the hotel check in isnt until 3 p.m.....which is pretty late. Then they take you into a conference room and go on and on for 15 minutes about activites that are available which none of the people that i travelled with wanted to do. The rooms are very nice but the maids dont do such a good job cleaning them such as not always refilling the mini bar. There are only 3 specialty restaurants which one is an adults only restaurant which was inconvienent considering we were traveling with children. Other than that it was a great holiday. I would definitley reccomend this hotel to anyone that is booking.
Hope i helped!
Beautiful Vacation - Lousy Hotel
Myself, my husband, and two other couples came to the Riu Vallarta for fun. While we had the fun - it was all off property arranged by Apple Vacations. The hotel, being new has several kinks to iron out. Mainly in housekeeping. None in our group had enough towels, namely washcloths and in our entire week that was NEVER worked out. Our rooms (we had FOUR in all) were never thoroughly cleaned and never smelled fresh. We had requested a junior suite and were put in terrible, foul smelling rooms twice overlooking a dirty construction site. On the third try, we finally got a nice junior suite with an ocean view, but two days before we were to leave they left a note under our door saying we had to change rooms immediately because of a mechanical problem. We were furious, but they did put us in a two room suite. It was nice with a beautiful balcony, but it smelled terrible and the tub was dirty for both days and the shower did not work - only trickled water. We were mad when the next day we looked up at our former room, and saw someone sitting on the balcony! They lied to us and must have needed the room for someone else. While the outside of the hotel is beautiful and the beach and pools were very nice, we will not go back to any Riu because of this experience and would not recommend them to anyone either. The food was not good and no variety at all. Same old food everyday. Not cruise ship food by any means! We do highly recommend Puerto Vallarta and it's experiences, though. We swam with the dolphins, went on a whale watching excursion, experienced Rhythm of the Nights, all great. And - there are too many children in the area where they have the entertainment. If you are couples with no children, this is not the hotel for you. But - if you have children - they cater to them most of all. Read reviews for other resorts, but Riu Vallarta is not the resort for couples, seniors, honeymooners. Much too noisy. And - when we got there on January 3rd, there were so many college students there having the time of their lives. They had taken over the pool and were very loud. So - watch out for spring breakers.
Great Resort, OK food!
Our family including two teenagers 17 & 19 stayed at the Riu Vallarta from Dec. 22-Dec. 29.
Our daughters had a problem with the smoke alarm alarm in the room, (unknown to them but notified by management) so their room was upgraded to deluxe suite from a Jr suite. The room (taken over by the parents!!) was large with a spacious sitting room, a large king bed area, a bathroom you could hold a party in, including a large whirl pool bath in between the bathroom and the bedroom, and a walk in shower, and a separate room with a toilet and a bidet. It has a double size wrap around balcony. These rooms are at the end of the towers overlooking the pool and the beach. Really a spectacular room all done in marble. Oh and there was also a large double walk-in closet. The Jr suite where the kids stayed was also spacious and comfortable. To note: there was pull out drying wraps on the balcony which were handy for drying bathing suits. I had read many reviews about the firmness of the beds. This is true, but we had no problem sleeping, or any problems with sore backs!.
We found the hotel to be beautiful, with lovely rich marble decor.
There are a lot of steps to the main floor as the elevators were out of the way, ( to interest for people with mobility issues.) There is still one elevator bank at the end of the hall which is not working.
The service was very good and we found the hotel and grounds were kept very clean.
My dtr loved the beach volleyball and there were games on the go all the time on the beach.
The beach itself was very nice. The water was warm. We swam daily. The waves were great for body surfing and boogie boards. There is a significant undertow for those with small children.
The pools were beautiful. We stayed at the adult pool, but there were always activities and music at the activty pool if you like more action. I found that not too many people swam in the pool as the water was cool. Perhaps because the nights were cool. We felt that the pools at the Jalisco next door were warmer. There is much more extensive folliage and shade at the Jalisco, as the trees and bushes have just been planted at the Riu Vallarta.
The only fault we had with the hotel, was that with the exception of the Christmas Buffet which was spectacular, we found the food to be rather repetative and average at best. In comparison to other All inclusives we have been at, we found the sit down restaurants that we tried to be disappointing. We found this to be a general opinion of many of the guests with whom we spoke.
Several had opted to go into Bucerias or Puerto to eat instead for dinner. We went into to Bucerias on our last night and had an excellant seafood meal. Pipi's in PV for Mexican food was also a popular destination. We ate there for lunch and really enjoyed it.
We found the Asian restaurant (Nirvana) which is still buffet to be be very much like food court quality food. The steak restaurant was also average at best. I must add however that the service was always excellent and friendly.
We did two side trips, one to the Marieatas Islands off the mouth of the bay for snorkeling and whalewatching, ( We did see several Humpback whales from a distance) as well as trip to a private beach. It was a 7 hr trip which included breakfast, lunch and an open bar. Unfortuneately the sea was rough that day, so there were many people sea sick on the boat. Snorkeling was not great because of no visibility due to rough seas. The waves at the private beach were spectacular. I have not seen anything like that since Hawaii.
We also went on a pub crawl in PV. It was fun to watch the young people. It is nice to know what you do not want your dtrs to do on a spring break type trip!!!!
We took taxi's to PV and Bucerias for 17$ and 7$ US, the taxi drivers were friendly and informative. We heard bad experiences about people taking the bus, crowded, hot and taking close to 2 hours. We thought paying for the taxi was well worth it.
The entertainment at the hotel was fun, Typical for All Inclusive resorts, but the guests seemed to really enjoy it and staff work so hard!!!
The disco started at 11pm and seemed to be mostly attended by the teenagers at the resort.
There are plenty of bars, and the service was good.
Over all we recommend the RIU Vallarta, but would caution people if they are looking for outstanding food.
Would not return!!!
We just returned from the Riu Vallarta. We have never been so happy to be home. Upon arival we checked in to our junior suite. The room was smaller than an average hotel room. We were with our 1 year old son. We asked for a crib immedietly. It took us over 5 hours to recieve it. We went to bed around 9. We were abruptly awoken by the extremely loud show below us. This lasted until 11:30. The next morning we were able to switch rooms after speaking directly to the manager. Our new room was very nice and roomy. It was still loud at night but much better. The food was terrible. The breakfest was ok. It reminded us of a cruise ship except worse. The dinner buffet was the worst. It smelled very strongly of fish. We asked the chef to make our son a quessadilla for lunch - they said no. We ended up going out to dinner every night. There is no room service and no food allowed around the pool. There is no service around the pool. If you want a drink you have to get it yourself. The bed was so hard. the maid does not change your sheets. We had to leave a note and strip our own bed in order to get clean sheets. We were told we were going to be charged for a late check out after being promised one at check - in. We did not have a remote control in our room - it took 2 days to get one. They ran out of blankets one day so they just made our bed with out one. There were so many people that decided to change hotels. We yried but there was nothing open for our dates. I certainally expect more when I am paying over $400 per night.