My husband and I went to the Riu for our Honeymoon, from Oct 3-10 2009. The resort was all most empty (maybe 15% capacity?) so it was like our own tropical oasis for most of the week!
Rooms: the rooms were wonderful, the actual room itself seeming on the small side until you see the massive washroom (complete with tub!) and equally large balcony. Don't be taken in by the 'oceanview upgrade' though... every room faces the ocean and gives you fabulous views. The liquor dispenser was entertaining, but we didn't use it much as we prefferred the mixed drinks by the pool. The mini bar was refilled every two days without fail.
Food: The food was about what I expected at an all inclusive, not fantastic but definitely tasty. The best meal of the day was breakfast, and we very much enjoyed all the fresh melon and pineapple available at any meal. We only went to the Asian al-a-carte and we'rent that impressed by it. If you enjoy tea in the morning, though, bring your own, because the kind they have there isn't very good.
The buffet lunches at the steak house had the expected hamburgers, etc. and a serve-it-yourself icecream machine that was great.
Make sure you wander down the beach to Mr. Lionoso's.. the lobster and shrimp are fantastic, the drinks large, strong and tasty, and your bill at the end will be small, even for mexico! We each had the Lobster( two lobsters each!) and Shrimp special, and about 8 drinks total (think fishbowl sized for the Margaritas) and our total bill was 597 peso.
Location: Since it's brand-new, it's at the very tip nuevo mazatlan, which is about 1/2 hour from the airport. It's a bit of a ride to get to the golden zone or the old market, but very interesting especially in a palapa- a golf-cart like taxi cab. One person we met liked them so much he was trying to ship one home!
Beach: The red flag was up the whole time we were there, which meant that we didn't venture very deep. We still had fun splashing in the waves and boogie boarding, and the sand is so soft it's like powder. There is a roped fence that the beach vendors have to stay behind, so if you want to lie on one of the loungers (which there were LOTS of) you can without being bothered.
We did go surfing with lessons from the Mazatlan surf center.
Shopping: If you want shopping, the best place is actually along the golden zone. There is a downtown market, and it has a lot of your touristy type things, but the mini-markets tucked away on the golden zone generally have more amicable staff and bargin better. DON'T expect the touristy areas of Playa del Carmen or Bucerias in Mazatlan, at first glance, you might thnink you were dropped off in the wrong place when you go to the golden zone! Also, watch for timeshare sharks, they're very persistant.
Pools: There are two large pools divided into three circles each, and two smaller pools- one being the swim up and one being the kiddie pool.The kid's pool was largely ignored as parents wanted to swim as well and keep thier kids close. While there were definitely children playing in all the pools, a request for them to not splash would usually have their parent's moving to another area. There is no pool side service for alcahol, but two of the resorts bars are well placed- and they never mid making up multiple drinks!
All in all, we had an absolute blast, went on some great excursions (Don't miss the zip lining at Huana Coa!) and met some wonderful people. There were no problems with staff or elevators during our stay and we would definitely reccomend this to anyone looking for a relaxing week.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- * Opening summer 2009 * 12 km / 7.45 Miles from Mazatlan, overlooking the Pacific Ocean * Located on Playa Las Brujas beach * Complimentary sun loungers on the beach * 20-story main building * Surrounded by 13.500 M2 / 16.15 Sq. Yards of lush gardens * 10 km / 6.2 Miles from various shops * 12 km / 7.45 Miles from Mazatlan * 32 km / 19.87 Miles from the airport * Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Amex, Visa ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Riu Emerald Bay Mazatlan