More about Riu Palace Pacifico
Wonderful Time at the RIU Palace Pacifico
Hi everyone, just got back from the Palace. My husband and I stayed from 10/31-11/7.
Before I begin I have to give a huge shout out to a few of my friends that made my vacation so so MUCH fun!!
Hello Derby, KS (Shirley and Tom), Hello Ontario (Nicole and Lane), Hello WhiteHorse, Canada (Karla and Kyle and lastly to my VERY VERY Good Friend Mr. Don Julio!!!!!!
We arrived at the aiport without any complications. As other reviewers said go straight through to the 2nd set of double doors (the first set of doors is all about time share sharks, just ignore and you will be fine) Got a taxi right away for 24.00 USD. I know that other people said its cheaper to walk over the bridge to get a cheaper taxi but seriously folks its a haul with your luggage and it was a scorching 96 degrees when we got there. Its better to pay a little extra for the airport taxi.
Moving on- Got to the hotel, very pretty and looks very much like the RIU Las Americas in Cancun. The ride was a bit bumpy (they are still doing roadwork) but was greeted at the front desk with a glass of juice (which I found to be very nice). Check in was a breeze and we were upgraded to a partial ocean view. The hotel was only about 60% occupied. We took the chance and they upgraded us for free. We stayed on the 3rd floor. I DO NOT feel its wise to spend the extra money for a full ocean view b/c you can see the ocean and everything of the property with the partial. Save your money for PV. Room was very clean, beds were very comfy, refrigerator was stocked to the gills. The safe is the room is electronic, much easier then carrying a key around. Had no problems with theft(as other people have said). Room service can be ordered 24 hours a day along with breakfast in the morning. You just have to order the night before and hang on your door. Maid service was great, rooms were kept very clean and never had to ask once for anything.
Upon arriving to our room we had a bottle of champagne and a fruit tray with strawberries and chocolate waiting for us. (they knew it was our 1st anniversary). We were very happy that they remembered and paid attention to detail. Each room has a hair dryer and flat screen tv with english channels. The only problem in the room was that the bathroom does not have fans or ventiliation, not a biggie but worth mentioning.
The pool- there is one pool its very large and the pool bar is separated from the larger one. The swim up bar is very nice, plenty of seats to partake in cervasa. On the other side of the pool bar is a regular bar in which you can sit at. Plenty of chairs and umbrellas around the whole area of the pool. The activites team has many activites throughout the day in which you can partake.
The beach also has plenty of chairs although there isnt any shade. This of course is no one fault. The palm trees were just planted so in a year or two there will be shade. Drinks are offered at the beach and poolside by servers walking around
The best server was a woman names Marsela, she was great and will get you anything you need. Look for her!!
Food- I found the buffet to be excellent for breakfast lunch and dinner. There are plenty of tables to sit for outside dining. Service was great.
Breakfast was everything from Mexican, Made to order omlettes to fresh juices and even a place to make a bloody mary for those who need it!!! Mimosas and champagne as also served.
Lunch and dinner had a large variety of options along with any drinks you would like. We were very happy with all the selections, although some of the items were not named. Not a big deal, just ask a cook or server what it is if you are not familiar with the item.
Ala Carte- You can book up to two dinners a day. Never had a problem making a reservations as other people previously said.
Krystal room- service was excellent along with food. Champange and some very good wines are served there. I found the food to be excellent esp the Salmon entree with the pineapple chutney!Yum
Japanese- ok, if you are expecting raw sushi as I was it wont happen. Nothing is raw which could be a good or bad thing depending on how much you like sushi. The appetizer they bring you of sushi is all cooked. Food was ok, service left alot to be desired.
Steakhouse- Appetizer was excellent, steaks were good and service was excellent. You have the option of sitting outside to dine.
Mexican- Food was excellent (filet and shrimp), service was excellent and so so funny and I would recommend having the mexican coffee afterwards. It was wonderful and just the showmanship of them making it was worth it.
Drinks- very plentiful and strong. Some reviews said they were weak but I didnt find it to be the case. Always ask for top shelf, they have it and will give it to you without question.
Each floor of hotel has a ice machine and levels 1,3,5,7 have self serve coffee machines which I found to be a wonderful addition. The coffee was fairly good considering it was coming from a machine.
Entertainment- there is a show nightly in which you can sit outside or inside. Some of them were really funny esp the ones in which the audience participates. The outside bar near the theatre is open until midnight. There is also a lobby bar and a theatre bar.
The sports bar is very nice open 24 hours where you can get something to eat. Computers are located there, you must pay to use and cash only. Wireless is only found in the lobby area but there are plenty of places to sit and its free.
Buses, Cabs etc- Buses are right outside the hotel to go to Buceries or PV. Two buses are needed to go to PV, bus changes at Walmart in PV to get downtown where the shopping and restuarants are. Plenty to do and see in PV. Cab to PV is 19.00 USD each way. To buceries around 7.00 each way or to walk to buceries will take around an hour. Take a cab, better off.
We rented a car right from the hotel and if you have a RIU Class Card you get 20% discount. much easier, pick up and drop off is at the hotel. Be careful driving in PV, we were stopped by the police (streets are a big funny). They would have taken our liscence but we gave the cop 20.00USD and he let us go. If not we would have had to go to the police station and pay around 70.00usd. We ran a red light b/c we didnt know our way around.
The car was great, we drove to a town north of the hotel called Sayulita. Absolutely worth it, great little town much better then buceries. Lots of shops an surfers there. Ate a wonderful lunch at Don Pedros right on the water, just ask anyone where it is. I recommend the cervice and the mahi mahi fish ssndwiches, both were to die for!!!! About 5 minutes north of there is a town called San fransisco, another great spot. It will take around 1/2 hour to get to Sayulita without traffic. Roads are very windy but absolutely worth going to.
Cab ride back to airport is 15.00 USD in case you dont have a transfer.
I would def go back here, met wonderful people, relaxed and had a great time. Not a singles location though, more geared toward couples.
Few kids in the pool, but nothing worth complaining about.
Relax, have fun and enjoy yourself. We Did!!!
If you have any questions ask.
Another Fantastic Riu Palace!
My wife and I just retuned from a one-week stay at the Riu Palace Pacifico, and we have little to complain about. The hotel, only a month old, was running as smoothly as it possibly could. We've previously stayed at the Riu Palaces in Cabo and Palace Riviera Maya in Playa Del Carmen.
We stayed in an ocean view room on the 5th floor. Definitely worth the extra couple hundred dollars a week. The view was amazing and we could hear the waves when we fell asleep.
The grounds are beautiful and meticulously maintained. Staff members are constantly cleaning even the highest nooks and crannies of the massive hotel lobby. Like other Riu Palaces, the motif is very European inspired, not much Mexican authenticity but beautiful nonetheless. There is so much marble and natural stone throughout the property that it boggles the mind to think how much they must have spent on decorating and construction. If they cut any corners building this hotel, it would be news to me.
The food is very good, we especially liked all the fresh fish in the buffets. We ate at all the specialty restaurants and liked Krystal the best. They have a desert there with a fresh baked chocolate lave cake with a scoop of ice cream that was amazing. The Japanese restaurant Kyoto left a little to be desired, but we live in Los Angeles and are used to some of the best sushi in the country. Other guests said that they really enjoyed their meals. Just ok for us.
Probably the best part of the vacation was the activities and the RIU Animation Staff. David, Al, Brissa and the others really made an effort to please the guests. They were all so much fun to hang out with. The shows were also excellent--very well coreographed and enertaining. And all the good people we met and friends we made at the resort really enhanced the trip.
All in all, a wonderful resort and a great value. I've read several negative reviews posted on this site and was quite surprised. Everyone we met at the resort had nothing but good things to say. There was a day or two when local families with kids came in (they usually stayed for the day and then left), but even then you could still find peace and quiet if you desired it. I guess you can't make everybody happy, but I sure was.
Travel Agent Just Returned
Stayed at the RIU Palace Pacifico from October 22-29th, 2008 I have stayed at many all inclusives throughout Mexico and Caribbean.
I loved food quality at the RIU Pacifico. I could have ate all my meals at the buffett and been happy. It was that good. excellent quality, excellent variety.
The Resort is top notch. All construction is done, all aspects of the resort are completed and operational. The pools was wonderful and plenty of chairs poolside. The ocean and beach were cleaned everyday. Plenty of beach chairs - I mean plenty.
Front desk very helpful and quick, entire staff working very hard, from bellhops, to bartenders, to tour desk - everything worked well.
Stay at this resort, if you like upscale and a little more quiet.
No party scene at this property. If you want late night and loud music then stay at the RIU Vallarta - just three resorts down on the beach.
I'm currently sitting in the lobby of the new Riu Palace Pacifico trying to calm down a bit and get back into holiday mode. Like all things in Mexico what is promised and what you get are not always the same.
This is our 3rd visit to a Riu in Nuevo Vallarta. Last year we had our wedding at the Riu Vallarta and although the beach wedding itself was beautiful, Riu central booking messed up the reservations for 25 of our 45 guests. In the end, everything worked out and we all got upgrades to Jr suites but I didn't need the week of frustration leading up to our wedding.
After complaining to Riu central booking they offered us a "special rate" at the new Riu Palace Pacifico this year for my wife and our 7 year old son. The website for this hotel looked good and with 4 private restaurants to choose from (including a Steak House for me and a Japanese Restaurant for our son who loves to use chopsticks) we decided to give it a try.
Two days into our stay we have been disappointed with what is supposed to be a "step up" from the Riu Vallarta. On the first night we realized at 11pm that our sofa bed had not been prepared for our son. I called the front desk at 11pm and again at 12am and at 1:15am some guy showed up at our door with a sheet, a pillow and a blanket for the sofa bed.
Yesterday we booked the Steak House for dinner. After a one hour wait between our salad and main course I had to send the "steak" back 3 times until they cooked it rare like I had asked. (Also I would expect a "Steak House" to have more than one choice of steak other than a 1/4 inch rib eye. I know Mexican cuts of steaks are different but a steak house is supposed to be a steak house.)
Today we found out that despite no information on the website or in the rooms, two of the four restaurants do not allow children.
Finally, I have already seen staff selling drugs to guests in the lobby of the hotel two times. This is definitely not a "kid-friendly" place. I wouldn't have had a problem booking somewhere else if I had this information in advance.
5 Star Resort 1 Star ocean/beach
The previous reviewer hit it right on the head. For the money this place is a bargain. I am not sure how any one could complain about the RIU Palace Pacifico.....but I am sure there will be complaints like a previous poster.
First lets get the BAD out of the way. The bad is not the hotels fault excepting in its location choice. The ocean (Bay of Banderas) is brown! It has a very distinct pungent odor. This is not from pollution but the eight rivers that flow into the bay. If you like swimming in a crystal clear ocean like we do stay away from puerta vallarta. Secondly, because the hotel was only open 3 weeks an internet special for locals was enforce that enticed with "children stay free". And they did. When this offer expires and prices rise the problem will go away.
Now the GOOD! This place is absolutely beautiful. I liked the Italian renaissance design. The rooms are well appointed. If you are in your room for the view (gardenview) with the weather we had you are wired differently than most. Flat screens, marble nice furniture, english speaking channels for night viewing. The fridge gets restocked every 2 days for those who are not in the know. The food was well above average. If you had to pay for the type and quality we had....you would not have ordered. My guess is that most that go to all-inclusives are very budget minded. No problem in getting ala carte reservations. We liked Krystal. The steaks are still not a strong point in Mexican cuisine. The best part of the Steakhouse was the seafood appetizer.
The staff is over the top friendly do what it takes to please.
$15 each way to downtown PV. 20-minutes.
way out of control
First a shout out to DG from Toronto! and yes you too Lucinda !
Now to the review
We just returned from PV Riu Palace pacifico, what a joke ! we had 1000 people staying at the resort and 40% were kids! The resort as other travelers have mentioned allowed free kids, and wow the customers took them up on it ! I think they even brought their friends kids with them. The kids were running wild everywhere, the pool the buffet, the hotel, you could not go anywhere without having 10-20 screaming kids...not to mention the quite kids. The staff had lost control, management didn't care and did nothing to stop the insanity.
The resort was very beautiful....for a few weeks. I even heldped the hotel Mamager take pictures of the swim up bar area where kids had used the tables to jump from into the pool and had knocked off the tile about 20 pieces and broke one stool. There was rebar exposed in the pool. Yes later that day they sent soemone down to put construction tape around the table and clock it off.
we had a very nice room, the problem where it was located, right next to the coffee machine, so everyone on our floor who drinks coffee walked past our room and we would hear every coffee being made with a beep when it was finished ! We asked to move and were told SOLD OUT!
The food good
the hotel nice- should be all adult only-have the famalies go to Vallarta & Jalisco
the staff good
the management- should get new
the weather-great !
I would look at other resorts if you want peace and quite.
Riu Pacifico..Oct 08
Stayed at Rui Palace Pacifico Oct. 19-23rd.
Liked: Exterior of the hotel was beautiful. Nice pool area. Beach area was ok. Staff were wonderful and pleasant. Mexican restaurant was excellent, both food and service (especially the service!!). Buffet was okay. Entertainment staff worked hard. Located close to Vallarta Adventure office (Take a tour with them!! Outdoor adventure is awesome). There were a lot of kids there, but they did not bother us at all. Good value.
Disliked: Interior style not very appealing (to me), we went to Rui Jalisco one night and I prefer the decorating style there. Musty smell and lack of bathroom ventilation. Buffet was just okay (I guess we got tired of the same food, can't say any of it was exceptional). Pool, spa and gym close at 8pm. Dress requirements at the restaurants. No outside restaurants close to hotel.
Fun time at the RIU and PV
In reading some of the other reviews, it seems like they got it right. Too many kids, especially by the pool bar (Parents what are you thinking), some difficulty in getting reservations at the specialty restaurants, and no shade at the beach due to the Palm trees just being planted, give them 6 months and it will be great. I only can say that when a place just opens, there are going to be issues. EX. We had to leave a note in the room to get the refrig stocked. We've been to other Riu's and you can see that the economy is having it's effect here too. Compared to the CanCun Las Americas you are missing 1 extra pool and some of the hardware upgrades Ex Baldwin Door Locks in the Public Restroom area. Also no Smoked Salmon during breakfast and lunch. Are any of these a deal breaker, not for this price. Did people who work in the restaurants, the bars, the nighttime show, front desk, bell boys, and cleaning the resort work their butts off. You can believe that big time. For most of the problems did we speak up, Ex more booze in the drinks, yes we did and we got what we asked for. Did we tip a little to sweeten the pot? Yes we did and it got even better. Carlos in the Theatre bar was instructed one time about the way I like my drinks and all I had to do was catch his eye and it was there. Pablo, the best bellboy I've ever met, not only took care of our bags, but answered our questions and even got us to the Botanical Gardens South of PV by public bus transportaion , directions and all. If you are comparing this to the Club floor at the Ritz ,I can see why you would be disappointed, However if you are looking for very nice accomodations with air conditioning, pretty good food, nice surroundings, a friendly and helpful staff, animation team, and professional dancers for the night time shows, than this is the place.
Our Ocean view jr.suite was at the middle of the U shaped courtyard on the 5th floor and we could see the fountains, pool, and see and hear the ocean. Our king bed was very comfortable. Appreciated the flat screen tv, 4 bottle bar in suite, and cold beer and water, soda in the fridge. 2 sinks in the bathroom and a shower in the tub, but watch, the tub is slippery. We asked for a mat and it was brought right up.
We very much enjoyed our dinners at the Steak House, Kyoto, and especially dinner at the Krystal Fusion. Some nice Chilean wine was offered as well as some bubbly. The food was very good and the service too was helpful, and friendly enough to actually make the dinner memorable. One small point, when the resort says Long Pants at the specialty restaurants it should be enforced. Keep the tshirts and shorts for the buffet. The Sports Bar was terrific until we ran into the Pitts Steelers fans, just kidding, they were fun as well. However they could do better with the 24 hr snacks available, sandwiches, salads, fruit dishes, and typical nachos and cheese. The buffett had a nice selection. Servers were attentive, and we enjoyed eating there. Some of the food labeling was inaccurate, but when we asked to find out what this was, they were polite and helpful.
It was tough sometimes to get a seat and umbrella by the pool, the "lets throw our towel down to save our seat" than go off to PV for the day is really a people problem and is tough to deal with.
I also think they should add a restroom closer to the beach and have someone supervise the pool/bar area for unruly kids and adults who think just because it is "all inclusive" doesn't mean you have to drink it all!!!!!!!!! Some people commented about it being like a zoo, just walk down to the pool and bar at the other Riu's and you will see a real party atmospehre.
Vendors were brought in to the courtyard area some evenings before the shows and the entertainment was terrific compared to other AI's we've been too. No disco, but you can dance to a band after the show, or go to the other Riu's down the beach.
We did look at the spa and the rates were typical and it looked like a very nice facility.
Once the promos are gone and the rates go up, I think you will see the Palace getting back to the Palace atmosphere we have seen else where.
Brush up on your Spanish, understand that you are in another country, work with the employees and issues, behave yourselves, and be responsible for your own enjoyment by being friendly and courteous. I can't believe I just said that, but the one thing we've learned in traveling is that people do things differently than in the states and you have to be flexible to get the most enjoyment out of your vacation. Enjoy, we did.
Where to begin........
My husband and I just returned from a five day getaway and we cannot believe how bad our trip turned out to be. The company we booked our vacation through (bookit.com) had an option to purchase transfers to and from the hotel. When we arrived at the airport we went straight through both doors passing all of the abnoxious timeshare people and out into the area where there was supposed to be someone holding up our name so we know that is our ride to the hotel. Well our name was nowhere to be found and when we finally saw someone with a RIU name on their shirt we asked them. They ended up finding someone in a very small car with no air and no room for more than 2 pieces of small luggage in the trunk..so one piece had to go on the front seat. Ok, so we were just glad to be on our way to the hotel by now. We drive up and the hotel is beautiful. The bellman takes our luggage and puts it with 100's of others filling up the right side of the lobby. We stand on one of five lines and after waiting 15 minutes we get to the desk. We were told our room was not ready...Ok we understand we were a little early checking in....So we decided to go eat something. We went to the buffet and while everything looks good it isn't.....We ended up eating bread and peanut butter and some fruit most of the time. The dining room for the buffet was never cool enough to be comfortable at all...In fact the whole place was never cool enough, including the rooms. We went back to the lobby and stood on line again and then our room was ready. We got the keys went to the room and it was wrong...It had two beds not one king....So we went back down and stood on line and then they changed our room to the correct one. We get to the room and there is no electricity...So my husband calls down and they will send someone up....Well we figured out how to get it back on and good thing we did because no one came for 2 hours! They did not do a good job cleaning the bathroom it was dirty and one of the cleaning staff just opened our door and came right in, No knock just opened the door! I could not believe it! We unpacked and went back down to walk around and noticed that the people checking in were being shown a map of the hotel with explanations of where everything is and other information that they NEVER explained to us! We just were handed the keys and sent on our way....Some people were even brought drinks when they were checking in! I can tell you they were not Americans! We felt like we were treated like second class citizens and it was so obvious they were catering to their own people. The whole place was filled with locals and their children. One day while we were in one of the dining rooms a little boy was running around with 2 knives in his hands acting like as a samari warrior....We saw children sticking their fingers in food....We were told we had to make reservations for the restaurants so my husband stands on line (again) at their customer service desk to make reservations and he is told they are all booked up....WHAT? So, he asks for a manager and he tells us they can put an extra table and chairs in the Kyoto restaurant for us special so we can dine there that evening. The woman at the customer service desk tells my husband he has to make reservations starting at 8am. That evening we go to dinner at Kyoto- 6:30pm. We are one of the first couple of people to arrive...The service was good, the food was MUCH better than the buffet. While we were there we noticed that only half of the tables were taken. When we left there were many more empty. What kind of scam are they trying to pull here? The manager was going to have them set up an extra table and chairs for us? The next day my husband goes down at 8am to stand on line (seeing a trend here) to make reservations for dinner for the next two nights. He waits 25 minutes and when he finally gets to the desk she tells him they are all booked up! After explaining to her that SHE told him to come down and make the reservations starting at 8am she magically gave him reservations for the fusion restaurant Krystal and the steakhouse. The Krystal restaurant was good and the service was good too. Once again the place was half full. The steakhouse food was ok.... My husband's steak was way under cooked. One of the days we decided to go down by the beach and went to get towels and were told we had to have a "towel card". We showed the girl our bracelets that are worn while you are there and our room cards but that was not good enough. We were not going back to the lobby to stand on line to get a towel card that we should have received when we checked in. We went down to the beach and sat on the loungers they had on the sand and there were cigarette butts everywhere! It was disgusting. By the third night we decided to upgrade our room because we were in the middle of the hotel and right near the club they had there. It was very noisy. So we upgraded to a master suite while the room was very nice it did not do much for the noise. The air conditioning was broken and kept turning off and didn't do much when it was on. It smelled of cigarette smoke and in the large walk in shower there was no light which was odd so you showered in the dark. I would have to say overall a really bad experience. My husband and I have traveled to many places and this was the worst EVER! Oh there is more....This is not the hotels fault but just the icing on the cake for a horrible trip. We had all of our souveniers stolen from our luggage. Why we even bought any in the first place is beyond me. So don't put anything you value in your luggage if you want to see it again.
Craig In Maryland USA
We are big fans of the Riu Palace chain, having stayed at the Riu in Cabo San Lucas four times and the Riu in Aruba once. We love their “all inclusive” style of vacations.
We stayed at the just opened Riu in Puerto Vallarta, October 21 to October 31. For a hotel and facility that just opened, it was pretty amazing. The hotel is absolutely beautiful. The food and beverages were typical Riu Palace first rate. The staff was outstanding!
Our room was a “garden view.” Not much of a “garden view” just the building next door, but no matter, since how much time do you spend in your room? Room was the standard typical Riu and was just fine. The refrigerator was always stocked as well as the liquor cabinet.
We dined once in the Mexican and Japanese “specialty restaurants.” The Mexican restaurant was very good, but the Japanese restaurant left much to be desired.
We ate the rest of our meals in the dinning room with the buffet. All the entrees, fresh fruit, salad bar, and dessert items were truly excellent. The different kinds of fish nightly were outstanding, along with the pasta items and Mexican items.
The one BIG negative on our stay was this. With the Riu Palace just opening, they were running “reduced rate specials.” Of course we knew this when we booked since the price was very attractive. What we didn’t know was the “reduced rate specials” included kids staying for free. This brought in many Mexican families with their kids. While we have seen kids at other Riu Palaces, we did not expect to see them in such large numbers at a high dollar resort catering to mostly adults. If we wanted to see a lot of kids, we would have gone to Disney World, not Puerto Vallarta!
The kids were out of control most of the time around the pool area and were generally a pain. Screaming and crying kids were not great to have in the dinning room when you were trying to enjoy a good meal.
The Riu management fully realized that their “kids stay free” program was a big mistake and apologized for it whenever they came around asking how our stay was going. They said after October, the ill-conceived program would be terminated. Our wait personnel said they could not wait until all the kids were gone.
In comparing the Riu in Cabo and Puerto Vallarta, both are great. The Cabo Riu has two pools, one “quiet” and the other an “activity pool” which gives you a choice. However, for safety reasons, you should not swim off the beach at Cabo. The beach and water at the Puerto Vallarta Riu is very nice and can be safety used.
With all the kids at the Puerto Vallarta Riu, what management should have done was make one end of the pool for kids and the other for “adults only.”
All things considered, we had a great time and the Riu Puerto Vallarta is definitely on our “return list.”
Craig in Maryland, USA