Clubhotel Riu Tequila Review - Mexico

13:23:00

Holaaaaa

I've been so excited to write this post, purely and simply because of how much I love this hotel! For as long as I can remember I have stayed at RIU hotels. I first went to the Riu Bachata back in 2002 (I think - I was very young) and since then I have been back to that area to stay at the Riu Mambo another four times. The first time I went to Mexico, in 2010, I also stayed at the Riu Playacar hotel which last year we were hoping to go back to but it was getting refurbished. That's the worst decision the Riu hotels could've made. Since I stayed at the Riu Tequila for Christmas and New Year in 2013/2014, I decided that I would take Ed there when we were 18 and finally finished our college exams. What a place to go at that age!

For two 18 year-olds, it's unlikely that you go much further than Europe on your first holiday without parents. Whether it's the cost or the distance, most people tend to stay in Spain or Greece but we thought otherwise. I had been wanting to return to Mexico when I was 18 since the first time I went and I was so glad when I was finally able to make it happen. It's not as expensive as people may think. A little saving up and you're sorted. I will tell you now that for that holiday, we paid £1031 each. Seems a lot to pay out in one go but when you realise what that covers, you'll be amazed.

That £1031 included:
- Flights
- Transfers
- 2 Weeks in a 24hr 5* All Inclusive Hotel

So that's all your food, drink, travel costs etc. paid for in one go. Now work out how much you would pay overall for a week in Spain. Don't forget all that spending money for food and drink outside of the hotel! I'd recommend long haul holidays any day.

On to the hotel...

ClubHotel RIU Tequila


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Firstly, everything was booked through the Thomson website. It was quick and simple, as long as you don't get too excited like I did and spell your boyfriends last name wrong. Don't worry though because I rang them up straight away and they amended it free of charge. We didn't book seats because there weren't any that were two together because we booked quite late. It's always worth a look though. Security at Manchester Airport was fine. Nothing unusual there. We then moved on and had some breakfast at Burger King, after picking up a baguette for our lunch. I never like airplane food so I won't go into that but the flight was average. Not too hot or cold. Cleanliness was good. I thought they were lacking on the movies this time though. I had actually pretty much seen everything as most of the movies were on last years flight too. We flew on the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner so all drinks were complimentary which saves you a lot of money!

Arriving at Cancun airport is one of my favourite feelings. It's immediately hot. You can smell the humidity but you don't care because it's a holiday smell and you are there! There's always a mariachi band that greet you creating a Mexican atmosphere from the start. I love it! We got our bags quick enough and were straight to the coach transfer - air conditioned coach transfer. After a few drop offs (around the same area) we were welcomed by the ever lovely Riu Tequila staff. I think some are starting to recognise us now. You're given a refreshing fruity drink and your all-inclusive wrist bands that you don't even realise your wearing after a couple of days, and we were off to our room!

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Rooms

At first we were put in a room right at the very back and we did have complaints. The safe wasn't working and the shower wasn't very powerful. We spoke to our wonderful friend, Josh (he's been at the hotel every time I've been as part of the animation team but he now works in reception), and he sent someone to fix it right away. We weren't too happy being so far back in the hotel when last time we were near the front. Again, we asked at reception and a day later we were able to move into the block we wanted! First floor in block 27, facing the back. Even though the rooms are all pretty much exactly the same, this one felt much more comfortable for us. The shower was a lot faster too! It's beautifully decorated and you definitely feel like you are in the Caribbean. Paintings of cacti are on the walls and there's a 36 inch TV with all sorts of channels in every language possible!

Each room comes with everything you need. Two double beds, bedside tables, table and chairs by the balcony doors, and then two chairs and a small plastic table on the balcony. Heading into the changing/bathroom area, there's a mini bar and a fridge that gets filled up every other day. There's a large walk-in style wardrobe where you can find extra blankets, hangers, a safe, and an iron and ironing board. Of course then there's a shower and toilet. Next to the sink is a hairdryer and a plug socket for razors. You are given 2-in-one shampoo and shower gel in a dispenser and then bars of soap that look like lego with shower caps and flannels by the sink. Glasses and an ice bucket are provided, as well as all your towels.  If you decide to be nice and leave a tip for the maid, you'll be given a wonderful piece of towel art. (Or depending on which maid you get, you might be given towel art anyway, which I find is more of an incentive to tip.)

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Grounds


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How stunning they are. The hotel has two pools that are either side of the "Lupita" restaurant (snack bar for lunch and steak house at night) and bar. One pool is mostly used for entertainment with pool basket ball and water polo whilst the other has a lovely water feature at one end and a swim-up bar at the other. Both pools are surrounded by luscious greenery. Palm trees are everywhere so you're also surrounded by nature. Coatis, all sorts of birds, agoutis, cats, etc. You feel like you could very well be in the jungle that it once was. All the animals could sometimes be a problem and they'd love to steal peoples food and drink but since we last went, they've put up two feeding trays which get filled up throughout the day with bread and fruits. I thought it was a wonderful idea. All the buildings either have burnt orange tiled roofs or of course, the very traditional, thatched roofs. Every night we saw workers going round and re-thatching the parasols so they were constantly working to ensure safety.

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Food

I can honestly say that in my 19 years of travelling to many different all inclusive hotels where they offer buffet restaurants, I have never had a buffet as nice as here. For starters, it is so grand. The decoration is beautiful with traditional Mexican artwork painted across the ceiling and vast chandeliers. There is seating both inside and out and there really is enough for everyone. If you are with a bigger family and you want to sit together you can either book seating in the morning and they sort it for you ready before you get there or if you just ask one of the waiters, they will sort it straight away for you! At certain times, it can get quite busy, mainly because a lot of people like to go for their food around 8pm. If you go before or after that then you can walk around and choose whatever you want with complete ease. All the food is delicious, and there is something for everyone. Vegetables, carvery, pastas, salads, etc. Everyday there is something different and some nights are themed too where the staff dress up and you can find more foods from around the world. If you don't like anything too fancy and you're quite fussy with food, there is also pizza and chips! There are so many deserts to choose from, including your basic fruits and ice cream. Not only that though, every night there is melted chocolate or a chocolate fountain! On the occasion, it is white chocolate too!

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My advice with the food is to go earlier if you're going to the buffet restaurant and then when you're done you can go get a seat in by the stage ready for the nightly entertainment. Also, make sure you try the soups. The cream of broccoli, cream of veg, and the potato and leek soups are the nicest. I have never had soup so beautifully tasting in my life. You don't need to put any extra seasoning in them at all. The chefs cook them to perfection!

Not only is there the buffet restaurant, there's the steak house, Asian (also buffet style) and the Mexican which is just across at the Riu Yucatan on the beach. For some of these you need to make bookings for in the morning although this might have changed since I was there according to some people I've spoken to since.

Entertainment


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The entertainment at all RIU hotels is always my favourite, and has been since I was a kid. Whatever age you are, I'm sure you'll find something to do and to get involved in. During the day there is the kids club for the little ones, up to 12, where they do crafts, play games, watch TV etc. But for the adults, and some kids if they want to, there are activities like Boccia ball (basically french bowls but on sand, and you gently throw the balls instead of roll them), horse shoes, rifle shooting, darts, shuffle board, etc. There is also water polo and a basketball tournament in the pool and ping-pong and volleyball tournaments on the sand. Every day there is also a Crazy Game which could include a belly-flop competition or maybe even a paper aeroplane contest. It changes every day but it's always good fun! Every Wednesday is Caribbean party day too. Coconuts, BBQs, towel art, and usually a water balloon game!

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Every night there is a the mini disco for the kids at 8pm and then it's the pre-show, certificates (where everyone who won the activities during the day are given prizes and certificates) and then the main show. This time we saw Grease, Moulin Rouge, the Caribbean Show, the magic show, Michael Jackson, the Mayan show, and the Las Vegas show. Just to name few. The majority of them are all put on by the amazing animation team, most of who are dancers. All of them are so lovely and they work so hard everyday! The team run all the activities throughout the day and maybe get an hour break after lunch and in between rehearsals for the shows before they are back out to welcome guests into the restaurant or host a casino night or Mexican games night, and that's all before they dance full-out in the shows. Some nights they can sit back and relax with the audience as they get other touring dancers to come in and do a show. To be honest, I much prefer the shows the entertainment staff do!

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I can't use words to explain how lovely they all really are. One night they took us to a night club for Ed's birthday and what a fantastic night it was! Every lunch time we had one or two of them sat with us and we always had a good laugh. Most of them speak pretty good English but even with the ones that struggled, the language barrier didn't stop us from becoming really good friends! I got to try and practice some of my Spanish and we were fine to help them practice their English!

Staff


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This is actually one from last year but this is Fer, he was also there this year to it was great to meet him again! 

I think I've said enough about the entertainment staff so I'll move on to everyone else. You didn't get to speak to the chefs very much but whenever you saw them they would always say 'Hola' and be smiling as you walked past, and it was the same with the maids and gardeners. I spoke to one of the managers once and even he was incredibly lovely to just have a chat with. The waiters and waitresses were all wonderful too. They work so hard and I can imagine that they get some tough people to deal with from time to time so I always think it's nice when I see people standing up and shaking their hands letting them know how wonderful they are! In the buffet restaurant we sat in different places every night so we had different people waiting on us but there were two waiters that were particularly great. One of them was our waiter on Ed's birthday where we got a table for 2 with balloons and fancy napkin art, and later they brought out a delicious homemade cake and all the waiters sang to him! On our last night we choose to go to the Asian restaurant where both of our favourites were in there so we gave them both quite a good tip! They deserved it!

Overall

If you're looking for a place to stay that offers just about everything (there is a spa and gym nearby you can go to, and there's free wifi) then I would always suggest this hotel. I much prefer it to the others in the same area because it hasn't been done up, it's still very traditional and you feel like you really are in Mexico. After my 4th time, I still want to go back and I know of people who go back every year, if not twice a year! My parents keep trying other places in Mexico and each time they are disappointed, so next year guess where they are going back to?! I'd love to go back next year but I think it's time for us to do a bit of traveling around. Interailling is the next thing we think! I will always give this place 5 stars as long as it doesn't get refurbed!

Message to RIU Hotels and Thomson Holidays: DO NOT CHANGE THE RIU TEQUILA! It could maybe do with a little TLC here and there but NO PINK, PURPLE, SILVER AND BLUES, OR MIRRORED FLOORS AND WALLS!

I would really appreciate it if, when you have a spare 5 minutes, you could share this blog post with RIU hotels and Thomson Holidays and hope they get the message.

Thank you!
- KC xx

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49 comments

  1. My son went to an all in holiday in Mexico and had a great time. What a fantastic holiday venue this is and a chocolate fountain every night too - what a treat!

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    1. They are the best! Beautiful surrounding and all you can eat buffets and drinks too! Yes that chocolate fountain was so delicious!

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  2. This looks like an amazing spot and not bad for the money. I've never been to Mexico but would love too - enjoyed seeing the wildlife xo

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    1. For what you get, it's a great price! And beautiful too!

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  3. Mexico sounds amazing and it looks like a great place to visit. the accommodation looks good.

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    1. The hotel was great! Mexico itself was amazing too! So much wildlife and culture!

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  4. I love to visit Mexico one day and this look amazing!


    www.annanuttall.com

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    1. Definitely do if you get the chance, you wont regret it!

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  5. 4th time and you would still go back, now that's what a call great love for a place lol.
    I don't know many 18 yo who would choose to go that far, like you said most would choose spain or Greece.
    I am adding mexico to my list of places to visit.

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    1. I definitely would! It's what I always wanted to do and it was such an experience to go a such a young age! Much rather go for culture than to party!

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  6. I've actually already heard of this hotel (working in the travel industry) and it has peaked my interest many times before - I'm genuinely surprised at the price as well - looks like you got a real bargain!

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    1. Ouu yey! I love it when people have actually heard of the places! It's such a great hotel, if I ever get to work in the travel industry then it's definitely somewhere I'd promote!

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  7. Staying there sounded like a real treat. It's nice to know they always have something fun going on!

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    1. There's something on at all times! Barely had time to relax because we didn't want to miss anything, come back needing a holiday to get over it! :')

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  8. Mexico sounds amazing and for a two week holiday all inclusive I think the cost is really reasonable x

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    1. It's a great price, especially if you work out how much you would spend normally!

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  9. A great price for everything - who doesn't want to stay in a 5*! Love that all the staff were so friendly. It really makes a difference x

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    1. Exactly! A good 5* is always a lovely treat!

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  10. We have stayed in a few Riu hotels and they have always been great value for money.

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    1. I've noticed you always get the same great service too at any riu I've stayed in!

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  11. That is a really reasonable price for an all inclusive holiday. I'm tempted!

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    1. Do it! You won't regret it! Check the Thomson website! Last year my parents booked an all inclusive RIU at the other side of Mexico on boxing day and got it for around £900 each!

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  12. Lovely review - we've been to Mexico twice - I actually travelled to Cancun when I was just 19 with my now husband and that's where he proposed. We then travelled to Playacar in another 5* hotel when I was 25 and it was just lush. I would highly recommend 5* all inclusive in Mexico - it's such a bargain!

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    1. Thank you :D Always great to hear when youner ones go to Mexico, such a great place to visit at such an age! I didn't get a proposal though :') Not ready for that yet though so I don't mind, we can always go back! haha :D

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  13. £1000 for two weeks all inclusive is really good! I loved our honeymoon at a RIU in Cancun, LOVE being all inclusive!

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    1. Not been to the RIU cancun but I know we could've got a bus there and were allowed to use their facilities!

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  14. This sounds like a really great hotel - I've never been to Mexico but that price sounds great

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    1. Such a great price for such a great place!

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  15. I saw the words Steak House and was instantly googling, totally sold x

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    1. hahah you've just made my day because you are me :') I there if there's steak!

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  16. Mexico sounds so amazing and your photos look great. This place is definitely on my bucket list.

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  17. I would love to be able to go to Mexico one day!

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  18. The hotel looks great. I've never been to Mexico, but i'd love to go x

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    1. Definitely try to go if you can! It's such a beautiful country!

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  19. I think it is a good price considering that it is inclusive and in a 5* hotel. I have always wanted to go to Mexico.

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    1. If you workout how much you'd pay for food and drink on a self catered holiday it's really worth it!

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  20. Wow! This looks so nice! I loved the balloons on the bed - so cute!

    xoxo, Candice
    http://www.candicenikeia.com

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    1. Such a wonderful little surprise for his birthday!

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  21. Sounds amazing, I love the fact they put food out for the animals. Having great staff really makes a difference!

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    1. It was funny watching them eat it too! Such clever animals! It really does! It makes me want to go back just to meet my friends again!

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  22. Amazing pictures! If I get the chance to visit Mexico, I'd definitely book the same hotel :)

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    1. Yes definitely do it and let me know what you think!

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  23. This hotel looks absolute lush. It isn't somewhere I have been before but after seeing this - I would love to go!

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    1. It really is! It's completely surrounded by nature! :D

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  24. I think I've been there although it was years ago, isn't it lovely ;-)

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    1. Oh really?! I love it so much, really want to go back!

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  25. Mexico is definitely one place that I want to visit, looks great!

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