Just returned from a great 10 day stay at the Riu Jalisco. As is normally the case with resorts in Mexico, you really have to look past some of the #firstworldproblems reviewers, unless you're extraordinarily picky - and if that's the case, you shouldn't be fishing on "Cheap Carribean" for your travel - go ahead and book the Four Seasons so it can accommodate your impeccable taste, and pay the premium associated with your need for vacation excellence. We've been a fan of Mexico for unbeatable vacation values for several years, and the Puerto Vallarta area in particular. After several trips, and reading the same reviews time after time - here's some broad tips: 1. It's Mexico. Sometimes they operate on Mexican Time, and sometimes certain things will not be spotless/like you're used to it in your home country - particularly at high-density resorts that get pounded by thousands of people daily. 2. You're right next to the ocean, and in the great (and beautiful) outdoors. Humidity/smells/things that don't happen in your backyard in Poughkeepsie happen. Birds will dive-bomb you for a meal sometimes. Stray cats will appear for a handout. You'll see a bug or three or get bitten by a mosquito. 3. You're in a tourist area, in a tourist economy. People will try to sell you things that aren't real. People will invite you to timeshare presentations. Cabs and transportation systems will occasionally be less safety-conscious than you're used to. 4. Mexico's full of great cuisine and fresh seafood. If you are at an all-inclusive, you'll get a slightly watered down version of that that sometimes presents as what it is - a large high-density buffet geared to Americans and Canadians that can occasionally get picked over. 5. If you're lucky, you'll also come at a time when actual Mexican families are on vacation too. Great meals and resorts aren't an everyday luxury for these folks, and you will catch them doing what you should be doing - having the time of their lives. Amazes me how many people leave bad reviews because there were locals having a ball in the pool or something. The Riu Jalisco is on a beautiful stretch of beach in the Nuervo Vallarta area, and is sandwiched between a couple of other sister properties - the Riu Vallarta and the Riu Palace. Jalisco was the best deal we found between the three, but seems to have a little bigger crowd and be a little more kids. If that's not your thing, pay more for the Palace. We breezed through each and all 3 were fine - just seemed to cater to a little calmer/higher-end experience at the Palace. The reservation process for the restaurants that require them just isn't my bag. Don't like to get up early and be fixed to a time that may not work for me depending on how activities or beach lounging or cerveza intake has transpired. For people like me, there's a couple of buffets that are open three meals a day, which were sufficient. It's a buffet with tons of people going through - some of the food was excellent, some a little sketchy, and sometimes the surge of folks overwhelms a little. If you go with the flow, you'll be fine - but again, there's lots of great restaurants all over the area. This was the first all-inclusive I did in Puerto - we generally pay as we go or wander around. Was nice to have it all taken care of and have the unlimited access to their many bars - but also gets a little repetitive (for people like me that don't like reservations). Still plenty of variety, though. Only thing that would have been slightly better is beach service on drinks - non-existent at Jalisco, but the bars are a short walk. The other two resorts seemed to have it. Also, there's a beachside burger/dog/occasionally tacos stand and a 24 hour sports bar with reheated sandwiches for a late night snack - and it is the only place coffee can be found in the mornings, no room coffee. Short walk, and great fresh coffee and pastries though, and it gets you where you should be anyway - up and out of the room. Room has bottles of spirits and beer/soda/water that's restocked every couple of days during your stay. Bars by both pools and at all restaurants, and in lobby. In-pool bar that's a great place to hang out and cool off. Beach Vendors. They're everywhere in Mexico, and fun to haggle with if you need a hat/t-shirt/dress/wrap/hair braid, it's part of the experience. Know going in, that things like cigars/sunglasses/silver aren't real. (But they've got the labels/seals/stamps!). Still fakes, avoid or pay accordingly. My daughter actually had an allergic reaction 7-10 days later to a "henna" tattoo, which I wasn't aware was a thing - apparently black henna doesn't exist and various chemicals/hair dyes are used, and it can cause a delayed allergy and is bad for your skin. Avoid. If you need cigars/liquor, you'll find better deals and legitimate items in the duty free at the airport on your way out. Tips. Not required or expected, but appreciated. These are nice hard-working folks that don't get paid much, I'm sure. I never felt pressured the couple of times I was out of change - but made it a practice to hand out a buck or a 20 peso note with drinks, and leave the maid some as well - great job cleaning and surprising us with towel animal skills daily. Free wi-fi in the lobby, paid wi-fi elsewhere. Turn it off and enjoy the vacation. Go to Mexico. Enjoy the people and scenery and savings against the US/Canadian dollar. Adjust your expectations and don't expect perfection, but be surprised at the great service and good vibe of the people and the country. Take a cheap cab and get out and explore - lots to see and do, and great people to meet.
My wife and I just got back from our trip. We went from 12-4 to 12-8 and stayed in room 3192. We used the transfer from airport to the resort and it was very easy process. Check-In to the resort was very easy. Since we arrived early to the resort I thought we would have to wait to get into the room, but I was wrong. We were able to get into the room right after check-in. The room was great and it had a nice balcony. After reading some of the reviews I was concerned about the food but we had no problems with the food. We where also able to eat at all four of the specialty restaurants. They were all great. Overall...we loved the five days that we were there. Pro's- the staff, food, drink, pools and beach, the resort grounds where great, adding x-mas stuff while we stayed there and made it look even better. Con's- sometimes the lights in the hallway did not get turned on which made the trip a little dark when going back to the room, It says that everyone should dress up for dinner but they did not enforce it. Very nice place to go to...
This was our first time to the Pacific side of Mexico and our first time with the Riu brand. Overall the experience was excellent, the Riu resort is beautiful and the staff were amazing from start to finish. The only complaints (and they are very minor) is the beds have a plastic like liner under the sheets which makes sleeping a little uncomfortable because the bed doesn't "breath" well and the buffet food was a little too boring. That being said we are not picky eaters so there was always plenty for us to choose from that we really enjoyed and the beach grill for lunch had plenty of options. Like I said we are not picky eaters so we did not make any resevations at the other restaurants. This resort overall was better than any other brand we have stayed at in other parts of Mexico and the Caribbean due to the layout and the staff. The beach is extensive and you can walk for as long as you want in either direction. The vendors are plentiful but a quick "no thank you" and they are on their way without any hassles. If you have never taken the bus or a taxi into downtown Puerto Vallarta you really need to. The front desk will have a taxi at the resort in literally a minute and the set rate was $24 USD to downtown (we selected the flea market as a central location). The town is beautiful and the people are friendly. Tip: The alcohol in the stores here was cheaper than the duty free at the Airport, well at least the few I looked at. If you want a treat catch the bus to Boca de Tomatlan at the corner of Basilio Badillo street and Highway 200 (only a few blocks from the flea market). It is a 30 minute fun bus ride to the small fishing village where you can sit and have a meal and a drink or do like we did and make reservations at the Ocean Grill (Google Ocean Grill Vallarta) prior to your trip. They have a free water taxi that picks you up at Boca and in 5 minutes you are at the amazing ocean grill restaurant. Okay, so I am reverting from the actual resort review but this side trip was excellent. Back to the resort, the Cheap Caribbean Representative was great, no sales pitches and, surprisingly, this resort never once mentioned any time share junk!!!! Overall the trip was amazing, the staff are excellent and the beach (albeit not a pristine Caribbean beach) was great!! If you do not want a lot of kids around this resort might not be as relaxing as you would like but we didn't mind the families at all. I would return to this resort in a heartbeat but we like to visit different parts of the Caribbean each year but, our next trip regardless of where it is, will be at a Riu resort.
The resort was very nice. Clean, well kept, etc. The service was very good. Staff was friendly and helpful. We especially liked Carlos at the front check in desk and Barbara in the dining room. My negatives would be the cab drivers. When the front desk calls a cab for you the price they quote you at the front desk and what the cab drivers charge are NOT the same, even though the desk uses a price sheet provided by the cab company. When we spoke to the front desk about this, they did not care and stated that they are not affiliated with the cab company and have no control over that. Even though its the company stationed on site. Lesson: always ask the cab driver how much they are charging and always pay the cab ride in pesos. They charge their own exchange rate with is 10-12 when the actual exchange rate is over 18. We also stopped tipping the cab drivers since they are already padding the fare. The resort was great. I didn't like that they claimed to have an adult pool because they do not. They allow children and families in what is marked as the adult pool. If it's not going to be an adult pool, don't advertise an adult pool. The food was pretty good, better than other all inclusive resorts we have stayed. Didn't have a great experience at the Steak House but the Mexican restaurant was good. We didn't go to the Asian or Italian restaurants. It would be great for families or people on a budget. We probably would not stay there again only because it was a little further away from the things we like to do. I would recommend it to a friend, especially if you just plan on staying at the resort. The beach could have been kept a little better groomed but that's ok.
We had a wonderful time. The food was excellent. The staff was wonderful, helpful and very friendly. The evening entertainment was outstanding. The entertainment staff did a wonderful job with all the children's activities and including as many children that wanted to be included. I would highly recommend this resort to anyone.
Absolutely beautiful resort! My husband and I just returned from a 4 day/3 night stay there and we are already wanting to go back! I don't even know where to begin with the positives! The location is perfect. Close to the airport and the views are breathtaking! The beach is cleaned every morning. We found that there were more than enough chairs if you were there by 10:30 (which wasn't a problem for us). The water is not as clear as the Gulf side but that would not keep us away. The resort itself is very clean. You ALWAYS see staff sweeping, mopping, picking up trash and they are very professional. The front desk staff was very helpful during check in and check out. The buffet food was better the earlier you were there. I felt that it was what was to be expected for buffet food. The drinks were good but did taste different depending on where they were made. We could not get into the reservation restaurants, which was a disappointment and I do feel that the staff working the reservation desk was not very helpful but we didn't stress over it. Maybe if we would have pushed more, we would have had better luck but we didn't want to waste time. We did not pay for an ocean view but we did get one (room 5196). It was musty smelling but we were not in there much. This would probably be my #1 complaint. Other than the room smell and the restaurants, there is NOTHING we could think of that we would change and we are hoping to go back and have already recommended this resort!
This was the first time that we stayed on the pacific side. The RIU Jalisco was clean, modern, and the staff was outstanding!! The room was big and well stocked with alcohol. We would definitely stay there again.
The Riu Jalicso is a beautiful resort on an amazing beach. The food was delicious and the service was great. My only complaint is that there was no adult only area. I have never seen so many children. It is a great family resort but not the place for people without kids. There were 2 pools, one for kids. More kids were in the other pool. They are running crazy through the dining rooms. If you have kids this is the place to go.
I genuinely enjoyed my entire experience at this resort. The facilities are upkept and cleaned continually to ensure that the guests will be safe (ex:water constantly squeegeed in high traffic wet areas) The staff is EXCELLENT and accomodating and friendly and are always ready to assist with anything, slight language barrier or not. Never had a problem getting requests met. The room was great. The bed was comfortable. The room was cleaned when it should have been. The only "gripe" was that the TV primarily has Spanish speaking channels and I didn't see a way to make it otherwise..but, I was hardly in the room for it to be a legitimate concern. I can watch TV to my hearts desire back home ;-) Me and my friend had dinner at all of the restaurants in the hotel. We both enjoyed of them. Even the buffet food was good! They are continually replenishing the food offered in the buffets. There are ample chairs both beachside and poolside. Regardless of the time we went to either we didn't have to search for more than literally 3 minutes to find chairs. As per entertainmet, that would be the only thing that wasn't awesome. It seemed to be more "kid focused", I was only traveling with another adult, so, it didn't pique our interest. Long story short. Love the entire vacation experience. I will definitely recommend to others. And I will definitely visit again. Out of all of the RIU resorts I have been to, this is definitely in the top 2. (RIU in general is a great resort brand. Period. Always conaistent, never has let me down)
My coworker and I were so excited about our vacation to Riu Jalisco Nuevo Vallarta. First off, we arrived and our room had no AC and it was extremely HOT! we called for an Engineer to come and repair the AC and it worked only for a day so we called the following day, The AC wasn't blowing out consistent air. Day two our safe in the room was broke, the hotel staff came several times on that day to fix the safe but no luck. We called down to the front desk and asked to be moved. We were moved to another location and it was worst no AC again, NO WATER! my roommate went to go shower and the water went out while in the middle of her shower! I call the front desk and the Rep. said" The pipes are broke we are fixing it"! it took hours before the water was back on! by this time I was FED UP! and call the CheapCaribbean to move our location they moved us however, WE had to Pay and extra FEE! of $132 dollars, that was very upsetting. I feel CheapCaribbean should have paid for the move and not charged us any extra money for all of our INCONVENIENCES! I spent most of my vacation on the phone with CheapCaribbean explaining how unhappy we were and with our hotel arrangements made by them at this hotel. I would not reccommand you to stay at this hotel! The food isn't worth talking about it was terrible! We went to Walmart and brought snacks, water, and lunch meat the few days we were here. The beach was really nice and the pool was nice also. I would not choose this hotel, do your homework before you choose this location.