Fantastic wonderful resort. Staff is gracious and friendly ready to serve. Spa staff was exceptional it was a better massage than in Canada. 6 restaurants to choose from lots of snacks. Beach front property. Family owned . I recommend.
Another Excellent Visit !!!
Nov 30, 2023
Excellent as always !!! Thank you Braulio, Kaluchi, Double Double, Hugo as you guys are simply the best !!! It’s so fun to see you guys each and every year (18 years now) as you make us feel so welcome and the jokes are flowing constantly. Also big thanks to Juan head chef in the buffet and the awesome tall guy in the orange shirt (I’m sorry I forgot your name but you are just so friendly and kind. The food was excellent as always and thank you Juan for the delicious tortilla soup and chicken cordon blue it was exquisite!!! You just can’t get a better place then the friendly. The view, infinity pools, service, food, drinks and laughs are simply incredible. Thank you Pacheli for making the resort mobility aid friendly as I was so free and could get anywhere in my scooter ?? See you all next year
Be prepared. Only an average hotel.
Nov 29, 2023
This place is average. You get what you pay. On arrival so many things wrong with our room. We requested king size bed, they gave us queens. We requested higher floors, they gave us lower. We requested a change of room and they did, eventually. Our new room did not have a/c working, so a trip to front desk to get maintenance fellow. Also patio door not working so he had to fix same. Our safe was locked on arrival, so again maintenance was called. Tv not working, call maintenance. Now we can enjoy the hotel. It is very difficult to get a longer by the pool or on the beach Be prepared to get up early to reserve same. Also the music is loud !!! The food at the 2 buffet restaurants are not labeled. Problems galore with this. Food allergic people will have a problem with this. Fairly repetitive 2 ala carte restaurants , that are open on alternative nights for some reason. Food is just okay. The drinks are good not great. Do not expect top shelf alcohol. Lots of generic drinks. They don’t have Mexican kahluha, even though you’re in Mexico!! The tacos at the Mexican restaurant , fiesta, were sub par. The staff are very attentive but speak predominantly Spanish. Be prepared. There is no night time entertainment. There is little day time organized entertainment. There are a lot of local Mexican tourists at this hotel with large families. Be prepared. They cater to the locals. Will we come back to this very average hotel. Maybe. But only if the price is right.
Very good value at Friendly Fun Vallarta
Nov 28, 2023
We booked our trip through West-jet vacations - on arrival there were no West jet signs directing us outside the terminal doors (naturally some inside - because time share sharks are smart!) We did see staff wearing Sunwing orange shirts - and Nexus tours name tags (though since our docs were prior to the Westjet change in provider, we didn’t recognize the name) . We only found them as they were in the same area as our last trip (buses lined up across the road from the exit doors) and I saw our Westjet flight number written on the bus front window. The bus stopped at 3 places before dropping us off at Friendly - and had one more stop after us.
We arrived just a few mins after 3 pm - and our room was ready. Check in was easy - the bellman had our bags on a trolley to take us up to the room.
The Superior ocean view room we had was in the center tower - and we lucked out and were given a room on the top floor. The view was incredible. The room was fairly big but relatively sparse with one chair and table near the patio doors - a king size bed, chair and table to use as a desk, 2 night tables with open shelves, TV stand with TV and spot for mini-fridge, and an open closet near the entrance, opposite the bathroom. The patio furniture was decent - 2 brown plastic wicker style chairs with a small table in between. There was no closed storage space - (no drawers) in the room, but it all worked OK for us. There were a decent number of hangers, and a lot of electrical outlets so that was great. It wasn’t fancy - but the cost of our trip was significantly less than other options in PV so we were pleasantly surprised.
Room A/C worked well, the bed was comfortable (we like firm) and the pillows were good (not flat).
There is no mirror in the room - only the bathroom - so I’d recommend bringing a small travel mirror so that you don’t have to wait to use the bathroom to do your hair or makeup.
Toiletries were limited to the shampoo and shower gel dispensers in the shower - and shower gel wasn’t refilled all the time though they did leave extra bars of soap on the counter (we assumed to offset that). Bring conditioner, lotion, and a shower cap if these are important to you. I always bring a night light for the bathroom (and my nightly trip.) We didn’t have face cloths for the first few days - did for the last 4. Since this isn’t uncommon in my experience, I had makeup removing face-wipes with me.
The building had cement walls so any noise was primarily from hallway or through connecting door - the gap under the entrance door was at least 1.5 inches, and there was also a small gap under the thin connecting door to the next room. The A/C helped with that as it was louder - and constant noise was easier to fall asleep to than without. We made sure we talked at a low level in the room to be considerate of neighbours and our connecting door, otherwise conversations could be clearly heard, especially if they were louder people.
Mini-bar - stocked daily except for our 2nd day. The mini-fridge is serviced by a different person than the one who cleans the room. We tipped on the pillow for the person who cleaned our room and left pesos in the fridge for that person.
On arrival there was 2 cans of Corona Light in the fridge, one can of Sprite and one Coke, plus 2 bottles of water - and on top of the fridge a small bag of plain chips. There were also 2 bottles of water in the bathroom - and a note saying the bottles wouldn’t be replaced but we could refill then with the water dispenser on the floor (by the elevator).
I’d suggest bringing a reusable straw or paper straw if you like using them. No coffee makers in room, so you may want to bring an insulated coffee cup to bring coffee back up from the lobby, and an insulted beverage mug if you like beer or to drink your drink slowly. Walt staff were happy to take peoples’ drink containers to the bar for drinks. If you do bring your own beverage containers, bring some dish soap to wash them each night or during the day. The hotel did provide plastic “sippy” cups on check in - we didn’t use ours though some people used them (for water and other drinks)
Food options - many more than I would have thought for a small resort:
Coffee Bar - coffee and pastries (including Spanish coffee, lattes, cappuccino and pastries. They had coffee early in the am out front before it opened, with cookies in a covered basket.
Villalinda buffet- open for breakfast lunch and dinner
El Palmer buffet - open for breakfast lunch and dinner. We usually ate here - it was a slightly larger buffet than Villalinda and closer to the adult pool. We could always find something good. In the morning sometimes the coffee wasn’t very hot, and sometimes we waited for refills - but generally everything was very good.
As noted in other reviews they don’t label the buffet food but have a sign out front listed what’s being offered. I suggest making note of anything you don’t eat - or something you really want and keeping an eye out for it. This wasn’t a problem for us.
La Fiesta - tacos - small buffet - open for breakfast and dinner. It opened for breakfast at 8 am - and was on the second floor overlooking the family pool. We ate there twice for breakfast - liked the hot coffee!
Azul - international a la carte- dinner only, reservations required. 3 course meal - with choice of 4 starters, 4 mains and 3 desserts. My garlic shrimp was excellent and my husband said his Ricotta Stuffed chicken was one of the best meals of the year.
Frida - Mexican a la carte - dinner only, reservations required - we went twice - and the food was good. They serve 3 courses - under the appetizer there is a salad or soup option, then choice of 6 mains including a beef, chicken, pork and vegetarian option, and 2 dessert options. Both the salad and bean soup we had were excellent. The chicken and beef mains were great and the desserts were good too.
Pizzeria - serves wood fired pizza in the afternoon - then turns into Trattoria - (Italian) some nights - with a small menu (4 different pizzas and 4 pasta dishes). Chairs set up near family pool area, no reservation required. We didn’t try this option.
Club de Playa - snack food to the right of the bar in Adult only area - 4 different snacks to order from 1-6 pm - they changed the menu 1/2 way through the week we were there. We didn’t order very much but what we had was very good. When we arrived, they were serving: Tuna Tataki, Glazed pork ribs, Nayarit Style Shrimp broth, and Squash blossom with cheese empanada tofu. When we left, they were serving Guacamole, Cacahuazintle corn tlacoyo, Fish and potato slices a la tikinxic, and a Cuitlacoche and squash blossom fritter. Don’t worry - there are pictures beside each item and a further description!
Snack bar - popcorn and salty snacks, plus fruit and ice-cream - (may also have burgers and hot dogs - we only had popcorn and ice-cream.)
During the week there were a couple afternoons where they had other food served on the beach (around the dance floor area) but we didn’t check it out.
You book Azul and Frida (a la carte) by calling from your room at 9 am. Dial 0 for lobby - they will ask if you want to make a reservation - and transfer you - to someone who speaks good English. Note only 1 of the 2 was open each night and they rotated. You can check to see which is open by looking at the activities info (at front desk, or by scanning the QR symbol on your room card with your phone.) Sometimes the person didn’t seem to know which was open - so just make a reservation with the times they give you and figure out which one is open after. We had no trouble making reservations - we ate at Azul once and Frida twice.
Bar service - excellent pina coladas but the best drink we had was the mango daiquiri with spice around the edge.
Adult only pool area opened at 8 am - all Bali beds were full by 8:03 at top of adult pool. One day, people were going under the ropes to enter and reserve a bed before the area was open. Yes - most of the chairs - other than the bali beds - are very uncomfortable. If not on a bali bed - you need to fold your towel and use it to make the seat more comfortable. The lounge chairs by the family pool with plastic strands had too much of a slant on the back for us (we like to read) so we only tried them once and left after 20 minutes. If we weren’t able to get a bali bed, we would sit on the chairs behind them as we needed shade. We saw staff doing their best to bring people umbrellas or white plastic chairs if needed.
We liked that the wrist bands weren’t plastic but soft cloth. We never had an issue with getting towels. The towel counter was open from 8 am to 9 pm and they use the towel card/exchange for towel system.
West jet rep meeting - gave 9 am- 12 pm range on 2nd floor (mezzanine) floor in lobby area the morning after arrival. Once there - we gave our name - they had me type in email and said we’d get an email with pick up time 24 hours prior - it came in about 4 hours later than that - we had been trying to get hold of them - with no luck. No other sales push or info -took about 5 mins. They said pick up was usually about 3 hours before flight. Our flight was at 2:25 - pick up was at 11. A rep was there before 11 - and ended up putting us in a cab by ourselves at 11:15 - we were at the airport just after 11:30.
Each day they had live music- usually starting in the morning around 9 am -the guitar player (singer), and the trumpet player were very talented as was the violinist. In the afternoons, they changed to a DJ most days and there was the louder “techno” music that some reviewers complain about. Mostly we enjoyed it - and we certainly saw other people enjoying it.
Front desk - excellent for giving change 20s, 50s and 100s, for breaking larger Mexican peso bills (like 500’s and 200’s)
In general we found the staff hard working and pleasant - especially the wait staff around the adult pool and in the a la carte restaurants.
Yes - as noted in other reviews there are a lot of nationals and families there - We found the nationals (especially the older guests) were very polite -ie they always said greetings in the elevator- good morning and good night, for example - which was a good lesson for us.
Overall we were happy with our stay - very good value for what we paid.
Fun at Friendly Vallarta
Nov 27, 2023
The place had lots do to and everyone was friendly. Got to meet lots pf staff like Francisco who looked after all the guests. Rooms were nice size and the amenities were great. It was an enjoyable time.