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Riu Vallarta All-Inclusive 3.5

Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

Review Summary

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Pros

Cons

  • Wi-fi in lobby areas only
  • Old tube TVs
  • Guest rooms and suites are blandly decorated and nothing special
  • Long drive to Puerto Vallarta
  • Short on in-room amenities
  • Wall-enclosed showers in some rooms feel a bit claustrophobic

Bottom Line

The Spanish hotel company Riu offers three classes of all-inclusive (there's one of each in Nuevo Vallarta), with this one being the mid-priced option. Compared with its more budget-friendly sister property, Riu Jalisco, though, certain areas are lacking. For instance, the grounds aren't nearly as immaculate or impressive, and although the rooms have slightly nicer decor they're not much of a step up (plus, the Master Suites at Jalisco feature flat-screen TVs, while tube TVs come standard here). Jalisco even has slightly more varied dining options, though the ones offered here are varied enough to prevent standard all-inclusive-dining boredom. But the expansive beach and the two large play-inducing pools (with in-pool lounge seating, bistro tables, swim-up bar, and slides) are clearly in a class above.

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Scene

Commanding Art Deco-style building with basic grounds and fanciful interiors

The grand, white Art-Deco building keeps its era-specific design scheme consistent throughout public zones -- with surprisingly colorful decor popping up in unexpected places. The lobby, for instance, is a formal experience with its black-and-white checkered floors, stained-glass accents, and towering atrium with dazzling chandelier. The attention-grabber, though, is the regal-esque tufted-purple upholstered round bench -- which kids tend to love running circles around as they wait for their parents to finish check-in.

This sort of formality-meets-playfulness continues throughout the property. Beyond the lobby, which is encased by the two guest wings, a deco-style fountain centers the hotel's plaza -- a lively designed central gathering place ringed with multiple restaurants, bars, and the Riu's signature live-performance theater. Further along, perfectly groomed garden paths lead guests to the resort's biggest draw -- the two pools. It's a constant party around these areas, for adults and kids alike, with features like a swim-up bar with nearby in-pool bistro tables, a pool volleyball net, and three large slides. For a more serene setting, guests can head to the expansive, clean beach, featuring plenty of shaded and sun-soaked lounge chairs for a little beach-side R&R.

Location

Located on pretty Playa de Flamingos in Nuevo Vallarta

Map of Riu Vallarta All-Inclusive

Seemingly a world away from the bustling party destination of Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta is a sleepier resort locale with no real downtown -- just big resorts and upscale homes surrounded by a leafy enclave, pristine beach, or manicured golf courses. This is the area to head if you're on the hunt for a relaxing beach getaway with some golfing or spa treatments thrown in. To experience the culture, dining, nightlife, and shopping of Puerto Vallarta, you'll need to catch a cab for a 25-minute drive.

  • 15-minute drive to Puerto Vallarta Airport
  • 5-minute drive to nearby golf courses
  • 25-minute drive to downtown Puerto Vallarta

Rooms

Basic rooms with full or partial ocean views

Only a slight step up from the economy Riu Jalisco a few doors away, the Riu Vallarta's rooms are clean and comfortable, but nothing special. All rooms come standard (even the pricey suites) with old tube TVs, basic mini-fridges, and handy liquor dispensers.

Deck furniture is of the uncomfortable plastic variety, but every room features either full or partial ocean views, which is a plus.

  • Old tube TVs
  • Enclosed showers in some rooms feel a bit claustrophobic
  • Mini-fridges partially stocked with basic beverages
  • Liquor dispensers

Features

  • Two large pools
  • Theater with nightly live shows
  • Kids' Club
  • Spa and spacious fitness center
  • 24-hour room service
  • Well-equipped meeting rooms
  • View Full List of Amenities

Food

24-hour room service and diverse dining option, from casual to gourmet

  • Don Rafael: a huge, bistro-style room with a buffet available for breakfast and dinner
  • Flamingos: a two-story dinner-hour steakhouse by the beach, also offers late breakfast, and international buffet lunch. Reservations required for dinner
  • Sir George: serves gourmet dinners only, in a pretty room with crystal chandeliers and a quiet, antique look. Reservations required.
  • Nirvana: Asian menu, buffet-style
  • Sports Bar: multiple TVs, also computer stations (for a fee)
  • Assorted bars by the pool and off the lobby

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Address

Av de Los Cocoteros S/N, Lote Hotelero G, Nuevo Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit 63732, Mexico

Room Types

  • Double Room
  • Junior Suite
  • Ocean View Suite

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