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Riu Vallarta Hotel - A to Z Inspection

David's rating - Thumbs Up!

The following is David's professional opinion from a recent hotel inspection.

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Ambiance -Wow, Riu out did themselves with this one. I was there about one month after they opened in December 2006 and it looked fantastic.

Beach - The beaches up in Nuevo Vallarta are nicer in my opinion than down in Puerto Vallarta. We have some good beach pictures on the more pictures page.

Charges (extra) - Spa treatments, motorized water sports and internet access would be extra.

Distances - In what is called the Flamingos area that borders Nuevo Vallarta. You are about 20 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta. Some people want to be closer to town but If you do not see yourself going into town each day, the location is just fine.

Entertainment on Property - Plenty of pool and beach activities during the day, a band that plays before dinner and a nice production show every evening in the theatre.

Fitness Area - Since they are brand new, everything including all the equipment is new too.

Food - There are 5 restaurants, 2 are a-la-carte serving asian and a french gourmet cuisine. Flamingos turns into a steak house in the evening. I have to say Riu does a pretty good job even with the buffet at Don Rafael. Excellent variety. You have to make reservations early in the morning for the a-la-carte restaurants but can make them days in advance. You may have breakfast and lunch at their sister property the Riu Jalisco but not dinner.

Getting Around - If you don't plan to be touring out on your own, taxis are fine. I rent a car when I am there on business but it is expensive once you add insurance and taxes plus you have to be a pretty aggressive driver. There are buses that go into town plus a water taxi that is pretty fun to take.

Internet Access -They have WI-FI in the lobby now and a cyber cafe in the sports bar if you want to use their PCs for checking email. Expensive though at around $8-$10 p/hour.

Jackets and Ties - Keep them at home, but the men will need at least one pair of casual slacks and collared shirt Sir George.

Kids - They have a kids mini club for ages 4-12 with age specific activities. I would say they are family friendly but not totally focused on the kids like other resorts. If you do not need a lot of organized activities for the kids, this is a good choice.

Little Known Fact-Avoid July if you do not want a lot on kids around. July is the month when many of the locals take their vacation and bring the kids.

Medical Services -On call medical services.

Negatives - Just as long as you know you are not 5 minutes from town this resort is fine. In fact, Nuevo Vallarta up to Punta Mita is where all the new resorts are being built, very similar to the Riviera Maya south of Cancun.

Nightlife - They have nightly shows, a band that plays each evening and their own disco. There is plenty of nightlife in town.

Pool -There are two large pools, one being adults only with a swim up bar (where you find me) and another that is for families and kids with water slides. They are pretty strict about no kids in the adults only pool which I think is appropriate.

Protection - In room safe at no additional charge .

Recreation - They have pool and beach activities during the day, diving lessons in the pool and plenty of water sports.

Rooms -Nice size rooms and their Junior Suite adds about 100 square feet to the room with a larger sitting area and little sofa. The Junior Suites are located in the middle part of the hotel and at the ends of each wing and have a direct ocean view. The standard rooms are located in the wings and have a view out to the courtyard and a partial ocean view or a view of the neighboring resorts. If you want to be assured of an ocean view then you need to get the Junior Suite. A couple of things you need to be aware of with all Riu Resorts. They all have liquor dispensers as part of the mini bar with easy access so keep that in mind if traveling with teens. The double rooms with queen beds typically have the beds pretty close together which almost makes you feel like everyone is sleeping in one large mega bed.

Shopping - Small gift shop on property. Plenty of shopping in Paradise Village only about a $5 taxi ride away and in Puerto Vallarta.

Spa- They have excellent spa facilities.

Terrain - Though it is a large resort, it is not that spread out so you do not feel you have to walk a mile to the pool and beach.

Tipping- A couple of dollars a day for your maid goes a long way. If you tip your bar staff, you will be amazed how the subsequent pours get stronger. Oh, if you tip the bartenders at the swim up pool bar, you will be a hero! Also, give your wait staff a dollar or two, it means a lot to them since most people at an all-inclusive do not tip.

Updates-You can't get more brand new than this.

View-Because of the way the resort is configured all the rooms other than the first couple of floors will have a view of the ocean.

Weather-Avoid August and September, monsoon season. But I have had families stay in this region during these months and they had great weather. Who knows anymore! December through April is just perfect. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the best combination of great weather and no crowds.

WOW Factor- I think this is one of Riu's best resorts.

X-Y-Z - This is a great resort if you want something that is a great combination or nice resort. great beach and a good mix of guests from all over. Riu's attract a very international following.

See more pictures: Click Here

Videos of what to see and do in Puerto Vallarta Click Here

"Just the Facts"

Hotel Location


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Address: AVE. DE LOS COCOTEROS NO. 160



MX
Local Phone: 011-52-322-226-6600
Toll Free Phone: 1-888-666-8816

Hotel Facilities


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Barber / Beauty Salon
Boutique Shops
Business Services
Car Rental
Disco / Nightclub
Meeting Rooms
Pools
Number of Pools: 3
Outdoor Pools: 3     
Swim-up Bar
Two swimming pool with integrated jacuzzis and children's pool.
Water Sports on Site
Scuba: Additional Charge
Health Club / Spa
Massage: Additional Charge
Nautilus Equipment: Complimentary
Sauna: Additional Charge
Spa: Additional Charge
Steam Room: Additional Charge
Manicure / Pedicure: Additional Charge
Facials: Additional Charge

Hotel Details


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Features five restaurants, five bars including a swim-up bar, 2 swimming pools, spa, fitness center and disco.

Beach:
Total Rooms: 640
Year Opened: 2006

Credit Cards: Visa, Master Card, American Express

Dining

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Riu Vallarta Hotel features 1 meal plan options:

All Meals, Drinks & Tips - All Inclusive

There are 5 Restaurants at Riu Vallarta Hotel:

Flamingo Steakhouse - Open for dinner. Dress Code: Casual Formal
Sir George - Open for dinner Dress Code: Casual Formal
Don Rafael - Buffet style with show cooking, international and local specialties.
Nirvana - Open for dinner. Dress Code: Casual Formal
Flamingo - Serves lunch and snacks.

Activities & Entertainment


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Nightly Activities & Entertainment:

Disco

 
Children's Programs

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Children's mini-club.

Children's Facilities
PlayGround
Children's Pool


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