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Reviewed 19 February 2006

We returned from 1 week at the Tesoro on Feb 5th. On the first day we asked the first couple we ran into, handsome, middle age from Quebec, what they thought of the hotel. The answer must be Canadian as it was what we heard from several later, "I have seen better." That was the high point of comments that ranged downward to "it sucks". Imagine our surprise when the couple was the third wedding that week!

What they first offered as rooms was so disappointing that we asked the help of the manager to contact our tour agent about transferring to a different hotel. Then they offered a better choice, a 3rd floor, with two beds and a full kitchen counter which really crowded the room, but it did have a balcony with full ocean view. Our request for a move was still in with our travel agent when by the next day we realized that there were a big differences in rooms. We were changed in mid week to a 4th floor room, king bed, and full ocean view which was much better. I then realized how shabby the first room had been. It took both of us to open the balcony patio door, and there was a leak over one's head by the bathroom sink that my husband tried to convince me was condensation. I felt much better about the hotel after the change, and realized that those that were happy with the hotel seemed to be ones that got good rooms.

The buffet food was pretty good, but we did get tired of it. The other buffet on the R floor was where the dinner shows were each night. It was set up banquet style with tables of about 10, and a huge movie screen on which DVD's were being played. It had more of everything, but essentially the same food as the buffet near the ocean which was open air. The dinner theater area was open air but covered with a canvas that didn't seem very open air, and the smokers drove us out of every place but the open air restaurants. The ala carte ones were good, Marie's and the Italian one that was in the thatched roof snack bar by day, but the other reviews failed to mention that it was up to an hour wait for reservations everyday and for that day only. The line formed about 9:15 when the woman did not get there until 10:00, and people were turned away everyday. Also each restaurant including the buffet by the ocean was closed two nights a week which futher cut down the choices.

Surprising also that no one mentioned how many people were ill. My husband got really sick and like everyone else we talked to,spent one whole day in bed. He did get over it in one day,but did not feel like eating after that. There must have been about 30 people, Canadian and Americans, who were ill. The waiter at the Italian restaurant where I went alone the night my husband was ill, said that the night before, Tues., there were many no shows and cancellations. You know that after standing in line for an hour, people just did not change their minds. No one could pin point the cause but it did seem food related when that many were sick. I got very careful and concerned about the unrefrigerated meats and fish that we sitting out waiting to be cooked for tacos etc.We were very careful about drinking only bottled water, did not even rinse a glass or tooth brush in tap water, but at first we had trouble getting enough. Two each day in the micro fridge, then we were refilling from the large bottles in the restaurants, but after he got sick, we pitched all the refilled bottles and managed to grab some extras from the carts.

Our waiter with pride told us that the wines were California, Carlo Rosse by the gallon jug! On the other hand, you could have top brands like Beef Eater, J&B, Jim Bean for the asking. The wines were better from bottles in the ala carte restaurants. We went to check out Italian restaurant after having dinner at Marie's, and the host invited us to look around and have a drink. My husband spotted a bottle of red wine on the bar and asked for that. When the bartender pulled out what was the last drink from the gallon jug, my husband said he wanted it from the bottle. No, the bottles were only for the tables!

The lobby bar was stange. Indoor and not AC, dark and smokey. The waiters would disappear behind a door and come out with the drinks and a little dish of very spicey snacks. No music!! Like a funeral. The only live music we heard all week was the piano in Marie's, other wise it was elavator music on tape and the thump of disco by the pool. We did not go to any of the shows so there may have been some there. People we asked about the shows said the dancers were good, but they walked out after 10 minutes.

What was good? The weather was warm, the views and sunsets were lovely,there were 4 first class tennis courts (carpet), and the staff to a person was great. The stud muffins who ran all the pool activities who were also the dancers, were full of mischief, lots of fun, and nice to everyone. The water arobics at noon everyday was a big event.

Manzanillio was a disappointment after being used to the white sand and bright blue waters of the beaches in Cancun so we would not return, and definately not to this hotel.

Stayed: January 2006
6  Thank ghalldahlbeck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2006

My husband and I stayed at the Tesoro from Jan 14 - 28. This is a wonderful hotel. Yes it needs a little upgrading and from what we saw while there they are working on fixing things up and changing things.

Our room...we stayed on the first floor and loved it. No we didn't have a view of the ocean but we were close to coffee the pool the buffet, and the beach. Had a nice little grassy area to sit and enjoy the people watching. Also we could see the sunsets and the ocean from our grassy area. A tad noisy as the building is made of concrete with open hallways so things echoed a bit and you could hear the doors closing and stuff but didn't bother us. The beds are hard but not unbearable, the mini fridge was stocked daily, great shower, lots of hot water and great pressure. The central air conditioning is awesome. Good pillows. We saw the jr suites and they are beautiful

The food..... Typical buffet food always found lots I liked to eat and it is all very fresh. Different theme nights so lots of different things to try. Marias is the a la carte....yummmmm Great shrimp soup, tropical salad and awesome filet mignon. The spanish coffee is something to see. The Italian a la carte is not as good but passable. I loved the hut because it was cool and breezy, they also serve great salsa, burgers and pizza there at lunch. At night it is the disco, had fun there a few nights.

The hotel and staff.... great wait staff. Hi Julio. good bartenders, excellent cleaning and serving staff. The front desk people are a little more reserved but helpful. The entertainment staff is exceptional. They work really hard and are great people.

The beach and pools... The beach is good, fun snorkling, fun to play in the waves. Hard to get a chair in the shade. Need more shadey areas at this resort. We had to go to the public part of the beach twice and rent a umbrella for 8 usd a day because we could not get a shady spot. The pool is nice but does get full of kids on the weekends, no adult pool rules enforced here. Swim up bar is nice to sit at in the afternoon when you have had enough sun. Also got stung by stuff in the water....told it was very tiny jelly fish I seemed to get it the worst. Must of liked me for some reason. I had a very itchy reaction to the bites that took me 2 weeks to get over. I hear it is typical on the pacific side

Activities around the hotel....tennis, shuffleboard, a games room, mallet pool, and lots going on at the pool. All great. Hotel shops expensive but good in a pinch.

What we did. We did the sunset cruise booked at the hotel. It was alot of fun and nice to see everything from the ocean. Book with Rosey...in the lobby area. We went on a manzanillo tour, shopping was a little rushed but we saw alot of areas and it made us more comfortable to tour on our own by bus and taxi. Snorkling for 3 hours. A cove a coral reef and a shipwreck. 35.00 they supply the drinks. The guide was awesome. Loved this tour. Booked on the beach with Pacifico. We shopped in Santiago as well as downtown Manzanillo. Fun but the same thing all over mexico I find.

Tips....bring a thermal mug to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold and less running to the bar. Bring sunscreen it is expensive there. Do go to Marias excellent, do explore, it is really safe and easy to take the buses and cheap. Don't expect the same of a 4 star in mexico as you would here. Tip your staff as they make very little and work so hard. Relax and enjoy all Mexico has to give as it is a wonderful country with great people. ENJOY,your on holidays let the little stuff go you will have more fun.


  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
20  Thank Kim_in_Penny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2006

My wife and I holidayed at the Tesoro Hotel,Jan.28-Feb11,2006. Stayed in Room 1529 central hotel building. Room was spacious and comfortable with balcony , ocean front-facing, mini-fridge working and restocked daily with cervasa, soft-drinks and bottled water. Full bath with shower all working well! Beautiful but smaller bay setting(Audencia Bay,Santiago Bay). Pool area and beach area a little crowded and finding a beach lounge chair a recurring problem, just not enough of these for number of guests at hotel. On the other hand regular plastic balcony chairs in plentiful supply that one can park pretty well anywhere you wished on beach. Problem, though there just aren't enough shady areas or palapas or palm trees on beach so you are exposed to hot sun.
Service, generally excellent. Food generally very good, lots of variety and choices if you are not that picky.
Entertainment, nightly dinner show free. Seems to be repetitive after each week so if you attended the first week you seen it all! Not spectacular but quite worthwhile to see.
We went on the City tour and Cayutlan Eco-Paradise Lagoon and turtle camp and highly recommend both as extremely informative and enjoyable!
Went golfing at the Las Hadas golf club and thanks to Manzanillo05 was fortunate to hook-up with the Tesoro Hotel Manager and Tesoro Entertainment Manager both excellent hosts. Price of golf $120.00 Canadian with coupon from our tour agent host. Fortunately,my cost was less as I was guest of the entertainment manager who is a memeber at Las Hadas golf club.
All in all, our stay at the Tesoro was enjoyable and relaxing. We really don't understand some of the lower ratings and negative comments as we simply did not experience these!
We have been to Cancun,Mazatlan, and Puerta Vallarta. We found Manzanillo much more laid back , safer, and enjoyable although Puerta Vallarta was also great. Oh, and finally, I believe your holiday enjoyment is directly related to one's own initiative in seeing and doing and accomodating one-self to the country your visiting. The local people of Manzanillo,Colima are friendly, helpful and most accomodating. Would we recommend the Tesoro, you betcha!!

20  Thank jujo16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2006

The Tesoro is located on a bay in Manzanillo with the mountains on either side. The view is quite beautiful and the sunsets are gorgeous. The beach isn't a large one if you want to go for long walks - it only takes about 5 mins to walk from end to end but you can go snorkelling right there as there are quite a bit of fish.

The hotel is very clean and quite spacious and I believe almost all rooms have a balcony which is great to have room service/breakfast in the mornings. The rooms are of typical Mexican style - and yes it can get noisy as with most Mexican hotels, being opened air hallways and marble/tiled floors so it will echo.

Food - The buffet had a large selection everyday and if you can't find something to eat, you have to be pretty fussy. Breakfast consisted of typical things, plus fruit, yogurt, made to order omelets, waffles, pancakes, champagne and orange juice. You won't get bacon here though - you have to order in room service to get bacon. Supper always had a couple each of fish dishes, chicken, pork and beef and there always was pasta.

The a-la-cartes were quite good especially Maria's - try their Bahia soup - yum had it every time we went! Their beef filet also was very good. If you don't like sauces though, stay away from the a-la-cartes as they use them alot. The specialty coffees are wonderful and they will give you tequila poppers if you ask. The Italian a-la-carte had a wonderful fish in wine sauce and the italian ice cream is a must.

If you want to go out from the hotel, go to Le Recif -it is a restaurant about 20 mins. away (JC from Air Transat holidays will make your reservation). Take a cab there and the driver will wait for you and take you back for about $30 US. The restaurant is on top of a cliff and it is heaven on earth like advertised -go earlier to see the sunset. The prices range from $9 for pasta, $11 US for fish/chicken dishes and $20 for jumbo shrimp. The view itself is worth the price of the cab ride.

Shopping - Downtown Manzanillo (15 mins. cab drive)about $6-7 US has nice views and you can get some good deals. They tend not to want to barter alot as in Puerta Vallarta but the prices are cheaper to begin with. If you have teens wanting Hurley, Diesel or Billabong - you can pick up tshirts for $6-7 US each. The great thing is no one bothering you for time shares which is a nice change. Santiago is 5 mins away $3-5 US cab ride with a flea market on Saturdays. There also is a fantatic pottery place in the middle of Santiago about 1-2 blks from the main street by the main farmers market.

Snorkelling cost $35US for about 3 hrs.-my husband loved it. ATV'ing is a must for $70 US - 3 hours of fun packed adventure - go thru the jungle, up a mountain, to a secluded beach, a small farm - well worth the cost but go in the morning when it's not as hot.

Barra de Navidad is a fishing village 1 hr. away - we took the cab to Santiago Bus station, and for $4US took an air conditioned bus. Small little shops, huge waves for surfing and fishing boats for rent. Nice views from here.

We loved Manzanillo and will be going back - it's not overly touristy yet so if you want that don't bother going. There is a turtle eco tour, Colima City tour, etc. as well which had good reviews from others.

Entertainment - probably some of the best we have seen at an all-inclusive - The activities staff are unreal - they do a great job and are very friendly.

  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
17  Thank Holidaycouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2006

I stayed Jan 28 to Feb 3 with my husband and 12 year old son at Gran Costa Real (now Tesoro). The hotel was undergoing many improvements. We had requested an ocean view room or junior suite, but as none were available we were given a mountain view room on 16th floor. We were able to move to an ocean view room on 12th floor later in the week. Both rooms were similar and had balconies, refrigerator, bath and shower. The first room was much more quiet and had a pretty view of some white buildings and the mountains (it felt like we were in Italy) The ocean view room was above the entertainment theater so was quite noisy until after 11 pm; but we loved seeing the bay and watching the sunset from our window and hearing the waves at night.
The sunsets here are amazing as it sets behind some mountains over the bay. There are interesting rock formations out in the water. We went on a double decker boat tour right from our resort ($20 USD adult, $10 USD child). It lasted 2.5 hours and included drinks. We got to see huge clown fish jumping out of the water, do some snorkeling, see the shipwreck, the coastline along Santiago Bay and view some amazing rock formations and fountains.
There isn't much shopping near the resort. There are a few beach vendors on the resort's small private beach. I got my hair braided like Bo Derek for $20 USD; ask for Sunny, she's excellent! I've had it in now for 10 days and it still looks great!
You can take a taxi for $4 to Santiago to shop where the locals shop but we didn't like it. It was hot and smelled like rotten meat as this is where they buy their meats and produce. Not many souvenir shops here. If you are there on a Saturday they have a big flea market in Santiago but our flight was from Sat-Sat so we didn't get to this. The airport sells t-shirts, vanilla, coffee, tequila, etc. I bought shirts here for only 45 pesos ($4.50 USD). We did not exchange our money because the hotel gift shops and beach vendors take USD but they may give you back pesos in change. We always take lots of small bills for this reason when we travel to Mexico. Once you exchange money it can be hard to get USD back when you leave if you have too many pesos.
The beach is small but lovely. The sand gets very hot when there is full sun in the afternoon (cooler in the morning because the sun doesn't come over the tall buildings to warm the sand until after 10 a.m.)
It is tan with pretty gold flecks in it and immaculately clean. I never saw a single piece of seaweed and the hotel staff rakes up any garbage like cigarette butts every morning. The bay is quite good for snorkeling as the water is pretty calm. When the tides come in there are some bigger waves and sometimes an undertow to watch out for if you are swimming. We saw several fish and even some black and white spotted rays out in the middle of the swimming area. If you snorkel over by the rocks there is some coral and you'll see more fish. But go in the middle to see the rays!
The food at the resort was pretty good but got repetitive after a few days. Lots of fresh fruit, veggies and pork, beef, chicken and fish to choose from. Breakfast was my favorite with homemade yogurt, made-to-order omelettes, pancakes or french toast. They even had champagne so you could make yourself a mimosa. (Definitely do the AI plan; it is worth it).
The activity staff put on some very good shows. They have different theme nights like karaoke, comedy, etc.
During they day they offer aerobics in the pool and games like horseshoe, volleyball, etc. (Bottle of tequila is the prize given).
The drinks were very good and they use top shelf brands like Smirnoff and Bacardi. We liked the Miami Vice, Bahama Mama, Bloody Marys, Pina colada and margarita. They have Sol beer poured out of a bottle which was good too. The room's mini-bar is stocked with pop, water and beer also. We were told the hotel water is filtered so it's OK to drink it and brush your teeth with it, and I filled up a big plastic bottle with the hotel ice for water to take to the beach with me and did not get sick. I drank bottled water just to be safe though.
They have waitresses on the beach and by the pool (go reserve your chairs early in the morning if you want a prime spot or a palapa to sit under) to take your drink order. There is only one pool bar (no beach bar) so the line tends to get long. There is also an outdoor snack bar at the other end of the pool that serves drinks, hamburgers, fries and tacos. It converts to an a la carte restaurant in the evening and a disco 3 nights a week after 11 pm.
We ate at Maria's once. The bahia (cheese tortilla) soup was excellent. The main dishes weren't that spectacular. You could get lobster for $21 USD but we didn't try it. After dinner get the Spanish coffee; seeing the presentation with the flames is cool and it's quite tasty although a lot of liquor.
Manzanillo is a fabulous January destination as the weather is hot, sunny, and perfect at this time of year. The beach and the bay are gorgeous. I would rate this resort a 3 star as it's not as sumptuous as others we've stayed at, but it was a good value for the money.

20  Thank Starz331
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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