My girlfriend and I spent four nights here during Memorial Day weekend...
- The hotel is kept in immaculate condition. The lobby, the pool area, and even the public restrooms are well maintained. Our room was spotless when we checked in.
- Elevators are cramped and there are only six of them on site. We requested a room on a lower floor and were fortunate enough to get a room on the 2nd floor. I'd advise anyone else to do the same.
- The hotel is largely occupied by locals. I didn't see this as a hindrance, however. I'll take the locals over ethnocentric, pretentious tourists any day of the week. There will be scores of kids running amok, but it's not as bad as some of the other reviewers make it out to be.
- Remember to tip. The hotel staff is affable and courteous. They don't expect remuneration but they will definitely respond more attentively if you tip. Leave a dollar or two for the maid - they even neatly folded my dirty boxers. Drinks will be watered down...what else would expect at an all-inclusive? Tip the bartender a few dollars and you'll notice a considerable difference. You won't have to wait long and the drinks will be stronger.
- My only issue with the hotel was the lack of wifi. The staff always claimed it was working but I couldn't catch a signal for the life of me. There were internet stations located in the Sport Bar (for a fee) but it was somewhat frustrating that a 4-star resort chain couldn't provide a simple wireless connection.
- The food was the major surprise. I expected it to be the bland, stale fare characteristic of most all-inclusive resorts but it was remarkably flavorful and the buffet selection was pretty diverse. We weren't able to try the Asian-themed restaurant but the steakhouse and the Mexican restaurant were good. Make sure you reserve early in the morning.
- The swimming pools are expansive enough where you can find a comfortable niche to relax and not be waylaid by marauding kids. The same can be said for the beach itself, which is clean incidentally.
- Water sports: Parasailing was a blast and cost $40 per person for a 10 min. ride. It was our first time and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The snorkeling tour was a waste of time and $$. It cost $30 per person and wasn't worth the ferry to Deer Island. A guide wasn't provided and the waters were murky.
- The Renova Spa is on the hotel premises and is worth visiting in my estimation. We each had a relaxing 50 min. swedish massage which cost $54. A deep tissue runs $71 for 50 mins.
- We visited the 'Golden Zone' on a Sunday afternoon to do some shopping but didn't find much open. The area spanned a couple streets and there wasn't anything noteworthy in the shops which were open. You can do without it.
For the $130/night we spent, we received 5-star service. You can't expect the Ritz-Carlton at that price, so this hotel is definitely worth 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