Old Reviews – Blue Bay Club Los Angeles Locos

September 2006

We had never been to Mexico in September and our excitement of what to expect was well rewarded. We left Vancouver on a rainy Sunday morning flight, boarding a near empty West Jet plane (we were two of 26 passengers onboard) to make the 5 hour flight to Manzanillo. The compact size of the Manzanillo airport and efficiency of the staff made our luggage retrieval and customs processing a very quick procedure. Our Air Transat rep, Jean-Clement, greeted us at the terminal and within minutes we were in our air conditioned van for the 1 hour drive to our resort in the North, entertained along the way by "Tito" our driver. In no time at all we were off the main road, winding down the 3 km long driveway to Tenacatita Bay where our all inclusive resort, the Blue Bay Los Angeles Locos, was located, tucked away against a jungle backdrop in this secluded waterfront location. We had researched the internet for other traveler’s feedback/comments before choosing this resort and even though it was rated at only a 3.5 stars by Air Transat, we felt that the "Mexican" flavour of this chain was more to our liking and we were not disappointed in the following 2 weeks of our stay…!

Our second floor room had a private deck that boasted an awesome view over the grounds and ocean and the a/c functioned flawlessly. We had read some reports that stated hotwater was not always available for showers but knowing that a solar heated system was used, we simply timed our hotwater showers for anytime after 11:00 a.m. when we knew the sun had "done its job" and we were always assured seemingly unlimited hotwater well into the late night hours. Food at the buffet was excellent and for breakfast we were spoiled with an omelet bar, fresh fruit juices, yogurts, fruit, loads of hot dishes and steaming hot Mexican coffee. Yummy. Lunch and dinner buffets always offered beef, chicken, pork and fish dishes as well as loads of salads, vegetables and of course desserts – (the pecan pies, cheese cakes and liquor-enhanced cakes demanded multiple visits!) There was a formal restaurant as well (we ate there 5 times) plus a "pizzaria" and a beachfront grill offering hamburgers and whatnot. No shortage of meal choices here! To work off our ill-gotten calories we could partake in all types of pastimes, including dance lessons, beach volley ball, swimming pool aerobics, tennis, (unlimited) horseback riding and more, all included in our package. Of course I often chose instead my personal favourite; reading novels under a palapa on the beach and that was where my wife seemed to always find me (between meals). The bay that the resort totally occupies is perfect for strolling along the water’s edge and only about a 15 minute walk along this sandy beach takes you to an authentic beach bar called "La Vena" where we could enjoy a cold beer and of course, eat (they have very inexpensive fresh shrimp dishes). It is also worth mentioning that this is the same location where the movie "McHale’s Navy" was filmed and a great spot to ride the resort’s horses along the surf with your spouse for a romantic afternoon outing (husbands take note).

We always prefer the ocean to a swimming pool and the waters in the bay, while quite warm, were still a great way to cool down from the humid 25-30C temps as we frollicked in the surf. Unfortunately the earlier rains had renderred the underwater visiblity in the bay unsuitable for snorkelling although there were excursions offered to better/clearer waters for $30/person. Another benefit of visiting in September is that we were fortunate enough to witness the hatching of baby turtles and along with other guests we watched them struggle their way across the warm sandy beach into the nearby ocean in fron of the resort.

We also hired a cab through the frontdesk of the resort to take us to the nearby village "Barra De Navidad" ($50. roundtrip), located 35 km to the South, where we wandered nearly deserted streets to partake in a little souvenir shopping. Later, we hired a boat and skipper to tour the inner habour for our own private narrated tour, viewing waterfront homes, restaurants, clam farms, visiting mega yachts and Pelican-laden trees from the water for a total cost of $20 for the hour long trip. A brief stop for cold Caronas at a sidewalk cafe where we gave the local children packages of Canadian sugarless gum, finished off our visit to this charming locale an we returned to our resort just in time for dinner (again).

At this time of year, few people travel here and we observed about 10-15% capacity in the resort ‘though it swelled to about 50% during the weekend of September 15th when many Mexican families arrived to celebrate the national holiday, "Independence Day". The evening shows were most enjoyable and one has to really admire the stamina of the resort staff who, after a full day of arranging activities for the guests, still have the energy to put on these stunning dance-filled programs. The show on the evening of the holiday started off with great fanfare, complete with all the usual musical and special lighting effects but when the power went out (did I mention we had a little tropical storm?), they barely missed a beat and continued to party on by candle light…! We eventually made our way back to our room but not before taking a stroll through the grounds with a flickering candle in hand and the moonlight from above.

We were two of only four Canadian guests for the first week (the next week there were six of us) and even with our very limited Spanish vocabulary, we never felt left out as most of the staff and many of the native guests always took the time to chat with us in English and teach us different Spanish words.

It is always a difficult choice as to where we will stay when poring over the glossy travel brochures that often feature huge "Americanized" resorts in various tropical destinations but we’ve never regretted choosing the smaller more intimate establishments that provide our holiday with a better sampling of the local culture.

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Blue Bay Club Los Angeles Locos Don ~ Ottawa On

April 2006

We stayed at this resort 5 years ago for two weeks and enjoyed it so much that we went back. We decided to book a stay for one week starting March-24-2006. The resort still as beautiful and the rooms are great. You will not see too many resorts with such a large room. The room and grounds were keep clean at all times. Some of the services have gone to the way side such as the lack of waiters at the buffet and the pool area. The rooms are not very sound proof you can hear people walking above you and talking through the walls. The food was to some degree was a disappointment compared to our last visit. We were to have free 24 hr room service but was discontinued 3 days prior our arrival. They now wanted $8.00 usd for room service every time you requested it. Barcelo took over ownership of this establishment just prior to our arrival. During our stay there was a young girl than had an accident on the water slide and brook her leg. The hotel managers were not accommodating to the needs of the family. I would still recommend this establishment to people but not to expect the excellent service that was once given..

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Blue Bay Club Los Angeles Locos Robyn

February 2006

Hi Debbie and readers:
We just returned from this resort from a 1 week trip with our family of 4. We are 46 (mom), 51(Dad), 16(son) & 20(daughter). I had read all the reviews and went informed of the different opinions. I found the hotel to be very clean and food quite acceptable. Seafood, chicken, mexican dishes, potatoes, rice, fantastic breads (choc. croissants on one occasion). Lots of great fruit, yogurt, cheese, pasta, soups, salads and cooked veggies. Three evening dinner meals were presented as part of the show and much effort went into the prep. for this.

Since this resort is also a vacation spot for Mexicans, you can expect to meet lots of locals and families. The language barrier keeps us apart but most of the time the feeling is very warm and happy. Any excess noise from the childrens pool was at times only competing with other nationalities with loud voices so, what I am saying is, tolerance is always a gift for all people.

My 20 year old daughter met a few kids her age and had a good time. There were not many.

My 16 year old son, did not see anyone in his age group, but then this was during the "reading" week of university and high school is still in session, so not likely many at this time.

THe resort is remote and has a great beach, altho there is a surf to keep an eye on. I waded in the ocean, my kids and husband swam in the waves. There are 4 floors in the motel rooms so if you have issues with climbing you might want to request lower levels. We found on the 4th floor good exercise in climbing and the rise of the stairs very gentle.

We found it handy to have a deck of cards and some nights after dinner we played. The show was traditional in content but there were at least 3 out of the 6 we saw that were great. Dancing is excellent and one should keep in mind that these folks are also handing out towels the next day and paid poorly. We were told hotel staff received 5.00 per day (chamber maids), so if it is in your budget, small gifts like make up and toiletries, clothes etc are well recieved. Just leave them under your pillow. Or just a dollar or two will get you the ‘extra’s’ without even asking.

We felt safe at all times and enjoyed the place thorougly, but exercised caution in any place.

Most of the reviews I read were older so I have to believe the place has improved. It also helps to be realistic in your expectations and not to expect things to be the same as here. We are a wealthy country, but our weather is not quite as beautiful in Feb.

We took one cab into Barra de Navidad and did some shopping but found it hot and noticed that the items we bought were available at the hotel for close to the same price. Alcohol was cheaper in town then at the airport.

One curiousity was that our bags were opened when exiting and randomly (every so many people) on entering. It slowed things down and was annoying but something they must believe is necessary (?). Not sure why since the the top was only loosely checked the search looked futile at best. Just be cool about it and it will be less painful. One couple had a small football that was looked at rather closely but seemed to pass through eventually. Hope this is helpful.

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Blue Bay Club Los Angeles Locos Jose

March 2005

Just got back from Blue Bay, and I am afraid I have to give it the old thumbs down. Just too many little things wrong that should be corrected. It makes the holiday annoying. Too many little things broken in our room, like burnt out bulbs, broken faucets, leaky ceiling, extra hard mattress, jammed doors, etc

Little things, like not fixing the holes in the netting around the main eating area. The netting is supposed to keep the birds out. The first time it’s fun to eat breakfast with the birds, soon you notice the chairs covered in bird poop and the bird poop on the floors and it just becomes disgusting. Where else did that bird poop? Now it’s a little thing, just fix the holes!

Little things like cleaning the same 4 sets of tiles around the pool, over and over again. That dear sweet lady, mopping the same 4 sets of tiles around the pool, day after day after day. Looks like their all busy, looks like their keeping things ship shape, but actually their doing nothing, just cleaning the same tiles that were cleaned 15 minutes ago. I managed to communicate with her a little in my broken Spanish and she really is a nice person. So how about sending her upstairs to do a little work on the rooms? The rooms sure could use it. The resorts policy of continuous mopping guarantees that the tiles will always be slippery. If you do decide to travel here, pay close attention to those tiles.

Too much repetition in the food service. The food is just passable, and you will, if your hungry enough, find something to eat, even if it is just a hamburger. I thought the pizza was terrible.

Other little annoyances: No swim up bar after 17:00 No place to get a drink after 23:00 except the very loud, very dark disco. Disco can be heard all night until it closes at 02:00. It has glass walls! I’d like to meet the genius that designed it. Breakfast starts at 07:00 but don’t expect anyone to actually serve you at that hour. Lunch only starts at 13:00 so if you’re hungry at noon you’re S.O.L. Not many boogie boards and most are old and falling to pieces. (You can tell by their weight- light means new, heavy means old.) Very uncomfortable, very hard plastic, beach chairs. No pads for the beach chairs. Loud and obnoxious entertainment near the bar after the nightly show. If you want a quite drink or your rooms are nearby be prepared. Wildly over-priced boutique. Jungle tour is boat ride through a mangrove swamp. Boat is very noisy so 99.999% of the wildlife just disappears as it goes through. Lucky people have reported sighting a few deaf crabs.

Horseback riding is a slow ride on a dusty road, with very tired, very hot horses. Pretend you’re an animal rights activist for a week and skip the horsy ride.

Front Desk staff does not really speak any English. I understand I am in Mexico. I understand that the entire staff does not need to speak English, but maybe one or two of the front desk people could, a few would be nice. After all this resort is being sold to North America. You would think that the management would do the smallest thing to accommodate us. (P.S. two of the food service staff spoke English quite well, time to find out who they are and put them on that front desk!)

Very far from the nearest town. $50.00 cab fare return. The DAILY Mexican minimum wage is about $4.00 (dollars) so your average worker on the resort would have to work 12 days to take a cab to town and back. Now is it really that far? I have been to other resorts and I found this to be very expensive in comparison.

I did tip but it seemed to make no difference in the level of service.

In summary, if you’re a detail person, this place will annoy the heck out of you. I will not return.

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Blue Bay Club Los Angeles Locos Bill ~ Canada

February 2005

Family of four, 2 rooms, stayed December 2004 – Jan 2005 Let me start by answering the question that everyone asks, did I have a good time? Yes I did. My family and I had a great time, but please don’t confuse our state of happiness with the state of this resort. The two have nothing to do with each other.

I believe that the resort is mis-represented when rated as a 3 1/2 star resort, as per Transat Holidays, Winter Sun 2004-2005 book. This resort should really be rated as only a 2 star.

Yes the beach and location are splendid, 5 stars for the beach, now let me say that again, 5 stars for the beach. This beach is so beautiful that the Tatoosh weighed anchor in the bay and its passengers had lunch on the perfect beach. Not the resort, don’t get confused here, this is your hard earned vacation dollar you’re about to spend.

Now to the mis-represented resort. Ask yourself what’s at the heart of a resort? Basically accommodations and food and this resort falls short on both counts. The rooms are really bad. Musty, mildewy and spider filled. If your allergic to mold stay away! The rooms need a good scrub down and a fresh painting. The textured table tops are not two tone, the lovely brownish color is not paint ! Light bulbs hang out of peeling fixtures held on only by their wires, one of two lamps does not work. There are no remotes for the television. One of the two patio doors does not function. The children’s patio door handle disintegrates upon first opening. I travel with a small tool kit and I managed to put it back together and lock it down for the duration. They used our balcony. The handles fall off the drawers continuously. The Blankets are coarse and stained. On arrival one of four beds has no blanket. The beds are 3/4 size, way too small for a couple of grown adults to share. There are no fitted sheets, Every morning I wake up in a ball of fabric. The room safe is awkwardly mounted, difficult to get to and rusty, all for an extra $14.00 U.S. a week. My wife puts a towel down to sit on the built in sofa, I ask what she is doing. Her reply is "cooties". I tease her and tell her she is being silly, the dingy room has her spooked, and she is a tough as nails traveler with more trips under her belt then I. This is our room and it’s really going to be a long week.

The bathrooms are worse. The risk of scalding from the shower is real. Very young children will require continuous supervision with plumbing of this nature. Both of our showers continuously fluctuated between warm and scalding. Remember we have 2 rooms here, both need the shower mixing valves to be changed in the worst way. The shower heads are ancient WaterPik style, massage heads, that are no longer adjustable. They spew forth water at an enormous rate, what a giant waste in a country where water is a precious commodity. The sink taps are groady, the mirror is groady, the tiling and grout is worn, cracked and falling off the walls in places. Sharp edges from disintegrating tiles pose a real danger in these bathrooms. The toilet is the tank-less institutional variety that uses a jet of water to flush. Both of ours required a good deal of practice to make it work. Ours required the handle be pulled up and forward, while the children’s would only work in the downward position and required several bursts of the jet to flush, what fun! The built in Kleenex holder would rock back and forth in its poorly anchored hole and fell out regularly with quite the clang and clatter. It is made out of heavy steel and lucky for us we all came home with our toes. Don’t forget to bring your safety boots. The walls display a variety of stains and splashed on detritus. I will let your imagination run wild. Outside the rooms there are stagnant pools of water on the floor tinted green by the growth of algae. This is the condensation run off from the air conditioners. It poses two hazards first – stagnant water breeds bacteria and malaria, second- algae covered tiles are enormously slippery, the landing is very hard and the hospital is far, far away..

No mater what room you are in the disco will keep you awake until 2:00 am now that’s a feat of sound engineering.

The phones ring during the late night and again in the early morning for the first few days. I dutifully answer them, no one is on the other end. Day 3 I just unplug the phones and leave them that way.

Housekeeping is a joke, evidently this resort does not believe in providing its guest with fresh towels daily. Sometimes they hang back up your dirty towels, some times they take them away with no replacement. We regularly had to ask for fresh bath towels. Day 5 I start to leave a large note written in Spanish in each of the bathrooms "Toallas por favor". Success ! Finally I don’t have to run around begging for towels. Only once in our seven night stay did we actually get the much coveted face cloth and at that, only in one of the bathrooms.

Now on to the food….lots of it at the buffet, but boring, plain, same old, same old thing day after day. Lots of good ingredients, fairly decent equipment (I snuck a peak) and absolutely no talent in the kitchen, none, zero.

No creativity, no spark, nada, zip….the food rates about as good as a hospital cafeteria. What a shame. The Nopales Grill in the same room never actually serves nopales, (cactus) just seven days of the exact same grilled boney fish and tough gristly shoulder steak, never any chicken, seafood or vegetables. By day 4 you realize that this is not going to change and you really feel let down. I have eaten some excellent Mexican food in my travels however I will not be eating any here. The pizza restaurant does not fair much better, prefab institutional crust, little sauce, skimpy toppings and dry cheese. The locals cover their slices in ketchup and hot sauce, little wonder. The full service restaurant offers a beautiful view of the beach and ocean, you have to climb a few flights of stairs to get to it but the view is worth it. In the winter make sure to book a 7:00 pm reservation or you will miss the view once the sun sets. The restaurant itself is nice and the service is proficient if not a little hurried. The food is hit and miss, mostly miss. The Ceasar salad turns out to be two romaine lettuce leaves covered in a weak mayo dressing, served with a piece of dry toast, the crouton no doubt. The seasonal salad is nice on top but the mound of iceberg lettuce beneath is old, wilted and rusting, leftovers from lunch it seems. The Minestrone soup is actually a corn, chicken noodle chowder, I guess, that’s the only way I can think of to describe it. It has a corn and dishwater taste to it, definitely not a hit.

The shrimp cocktail is quite good though. 3 medium size shrimp, nice cocktail sauce, half an avocado.

Well done. The mains are back to the same old, same old. Chewy, inedible beef medallions and New York strips. Stick to the chicken and pasta. Desert is nice, apple strudle and cheese cake, best part of the meal. I am not hungry when I leave but as my kids say " It really sucked" Had we not seen the beautiful view and the setting sun it really was not worth the climb up the stairs. I just wish they would go out and buy a cookbook. The final item of food is the hotdog and hamburger grill on the beach from about 12:30 to about 5:00 pm.

Good dogs according to the kids. I had a few burgers which are very, very high in cereal content. Tasty yes but I prefer my cereal in the breakfast bowl. Lots of fresh toppings, no refrigeration on the topping table, stay away from the open container of mayo. Mayo has a standing life of 1 hour over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Most days it was in the low 90’s by 1:30 pm unsuspecting tourist were exposing them selves to an unnecessary risk. By 4:00 pm that mayo was a biological weapon.

The only good thing about the resort were the Mexican people. Friendly, warm, family oriented, always quick to smile and have a good time. They were polite, caring, and their children were well behaved. I was befriended by several of them. They obviously share a lot of the same family values as we do here in the frozen north. The only reason why they show up here is they must get an incredible price break. I do not know this for a fact but I can’t imagine any other reason. Lets face it the joint is falling apart at the seams and the food is really ho-hum, for what other reason would you show up in droves, other then it’s cheap? I wish I could say the same coming from Canada, all in, the trip for 4, including miscellaneous travel expenses cost us just under $8000.00 Canadian. Way too much for what this resort had to offer. We will never return. I personally suggest you spend your money else where. Now go find out what the Tatoosh is.

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