way into it
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Iowa City, IA area
NH Riviera 11/7-11/12
Be warned-I tried to put this in some kind of order, but tend to ramble
We just got back from a 5 night stay with 5 others at the NH. Overall-we had a great time-I mean thereís food, alcohol, sun and good company-there was no way it was really going to be a bad trip. We have mixed feelings about the resort though. We did not upgrade to the Paradise Club side and everyone we talked to who did, did not think it was worth it.
We got in on Saturday to the rain of Ida. There were 2 people checking our group in and the difference was night and day. We got someone who appeared to be new and basically got our name and gave us our key-and that was it. The other woman checking people in was explaining everything-where their building was, where the restaurants were, what time things opened, etc.
Our room was wonderful. We did pay the $60 (for the entire 5 nights) or so upgrade to an oceanview prior to arriving. We stayed in 1402-#1 building, 4th floor. It had a fabulous view of the pool and ocean. I do have to mention that one of the couples in our group didnít upgrade and ended up with a pretty fabulous room as well-1125. It was 1st floor, but still had a great pool and ocean view. Nothing new to report on the rooms-still nice and new furnishings-basically what you see in the pictures are exactly what you get. Our room was cleaned well on a daily basis-a bath was even run for us when we returned on 2 of the days. Some nights we had turndown service, other nights we didn't.
After being taken to our rooms (in little golf carts that run underneath the buildings), we went down to the pool bar for some drinks-Benjamin is great and so were all the drinks we had down there. The guys were a little annoyed at first that there was only Sol and Dos XX for beer-but they quickly learned to like them! Following that-we were STARVING after a long day of traveling and went in search of food. We were told we were out of luck for reservations since we arrived around 3pm and that we could either eat at the pool grill prior to 6pm, eat at the buffet or order room service. We went in search of the buffet-only to find out it was closed. We then trekked over to the pool grill-had just turned 6pm and was closed. We then went up to the lobby again to ask about the buffet and found out it was being held in the events room b/c it was a Mexican buffet and show and it didnít open until 7pm. None of this is a huge deal looking back, but at that time, we were starving and worn out after traveling all day and were majorly annoyed we hadnít been told about the buffet change when we checked in. FYI-the buffet is held every night-you just have to figure out if itíll be in the buffet restaurant, at the events center or outside.
Food-We actually really enjoyed the food. I donít think we had a bad meal. We had the buffet, pool grill (awesome salsa and guacamole buffet set up), Asian and Mexican. We heard the Italian place was fabulous, but never got a chance to get there. I do agree that most AI food is a bit bland-they seem to be catering to many different cultures, but we found it to have more flavor than the last resort we stayed at-RPDC. They also set up a little late night buffet outside the sports bar with good late night food. The room service menu was small, but things on that were good as well. The dinner reservation system wasn't as bad as we'd heard. We were able to stop down the day after we arrived and make our reservations for the week. There were always at least 2-3 options.
Nightlife is pretty tame. The resort was pretty full when we there, but things still died out fairly early. The sports bar is where most of the later night action happened, though the lobby bar and beach bar are open late as well. They had a fun newlywed game and did karaoke. There was also the mexican show in the theater the 1st night we were there and mechanical bullriding.
The beach was quite nice, though you could tell the several days of bad weather had affected it. One staff member told us it was normally around 30 feet wider. We still found plenty of places to walk and if you went just south of the pool area-to around the area of the beach activities hut, there were hardly any rocks and we had a lot of fun body surfing in the big waves IDA brought in.
We did a couple of off the resort activities. Some in the group went on a Tulum trip and we took a snorkel and catamaran trip to Maroma beach-worth it just to see the beach! We also walked into Puerto Morelos one afternoon. It was a great walk until we were almost there-didn't realize there was a big walled off shipyard or something. We ended up having to cut in and were eaten alive by mosquitoes. Just cab it in if you go-it's only 50 pesos! We shopped around a little bit and then had mojitos at Los Pelicanos-great drinks and view.
I think our big issue and the reason we'd probably go back to the RPDC or try a new resort next time is the consistency of, well, everything! Yes-most staff were nice, but it was hit or miss if they were helpful. You'd ask the same question to 5 staff and you'd get 5 different answers. You'd be told the something would open at a certain time and it was an hour later before they were. Just little things like that. Seem kind of silly now, but start to add up after a while. We also were dissapointed there wasn't any kind of outdoor hot tub-also not a big deal, but would have been nice on the chillier days and we'd had that amenity at other resorts. We didn't care for having to make dinner reservations-I mean who knows what they are going to be feeling like or what time they'll want to eat in 3 days?! If we didn't make them all at once though-they were quickly snatched up. We ended up with a couple pretty undesirable times to eat-despite the fact that when we were dining-there were many more tables empty than full. FYI to others-we did hear that if you wanted in some place else or at another time, to just walk up to the place and ask if they could get you in. They usually said yes. Also, another word of warning, the mosquitoes are also bad on the resort in the late afternoon and evening. Not sure if it's b/c of the the resort's wet location or if it was b/c of all the recent rains, but beware!
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