Before choosing the Riu Mazatlan, you need to decide what type of vacation you want. Depending upon your expectations, the Riu can be an inexpensive vacation, or it can be a vacation full of letdowns and disappointments.
We chose the Riu because we wanted a vacation with no work and that’s what we got. In order to fully enjoy ourselves though, we had to make certain choices and discover some hidden secrets to visiting a Riu. This is what we found:
1. People at an all-inclusive resort drink lots of tequila and stay up late in the disco. You’ll hear them returning in the early hours of the morning to their rooms. Bring earplugs.
2. People get drunk in the swim up bar and they may or may not relieve themselves there. They also get so drunk that they may get sick in it.
3. The rooms are basic but nice hotel rooms with double sinks and balconies facing the ocean. The mini bar was restocked every 2 days except the day before our last. We contacted the front desk twice to get more water and beer and were ignored both times. Water bottles are available at the front desk.
4. The alcohol provided in the rooms is crap except for the Jose Cuervo tequila.
5. If you like wine, bring your own. The free wine sucks. The bartenders are happy to cork your bottle for you and you can take it into the restaurant with you.
6. ASK FOR THE PREMIUM ALCOHOLS WHEN ORDERING YOUR DRINKS. No extra charge, no hassle.
7. If you like soft pillows, pack a couple and bring them with you.
8. The ocean was dangerous while we were there, so we didn’t go in. There is a great surf break right up the beach that the locals take advantage of.
9. Food is served all the time. The buffets are plentiful and there are lots of choices. Do not expect 5 star food or service; you will not go hungry, but the food is not great.
10. Make your restaurant reservations in the morning for the specialty restaurants. We found that sometimes certain restaurants would be sold out due to large groups, and other times one of the restaurants would not be open.
11. Don’t order steaks in Mexico and expect thick cut steaks. Order the ribs instead in the Steakhouse. They are fantastic.
12. The coffee sucks but you can order Café Americanos, Espressos and Cappucinos that are machine made in the sports bar.
13. The staff is very friendly and always willing to assist you.
14. There is a bee problem at the outdoor bars. Swarms of them. Dead bees in the pools, bees in your drink when you reach for it, bees on your towel when you lay down.
15. The soups in all the restaurants are absolutely fantastic. Don’t skip them.
16. Make an appointment to use the spa “hot”tubs. They are located in the building right in front of the hotel and offer a nice relaxing way to get away from the crowds. They are not “hot” tubs, but rather mildly warm roman baths.
17. Get a Riu Class membership for free and get a couple of massages. You can get a 50 minute massage for about $42.50 including tip.
18. The rooms and common areas of the hotel are very clean. This is a rather amazing considering how much people party and just leave their glasses, bottles and cigarette butts around.
19. People smoke and this is allowed throughout the hotel.
Basically, you get a little MORE than what you pay for at the Riu. We paid $128 per night for 2 people. This included everything except our flights. It’s tough to find a clean room for that amount.
Would we stay here again? NO WAY. The problem is, most of the time when it’s time for us to go home from vacation, we don’t want to go. This time, at the end of our week, WE WERE OVER IT.
- 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