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“Overall, a good experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Emerald Bay

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Hotel Riu Emerald Bay
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Av. Sabalo-Cerritos #3404 zona costera cerritos | Nuevo Mazatlán - Sinaloa, Mazatlan 82110, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #15 of 75 hotels in Mazatlan
Calgary, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Overall, a good experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2011

I am surprised by the recent negative reviews. My husband and I stayed at the Riu Emerald Bay from November 10-17, 2011 and had an amazing time. There were some hiccups but we're pretty easy going and no one thing was bad enough that it ruined our trip.

SERVICE:
We traveled with SUNWING who had a representative meet us at the airport. Unfortunately two planes that were supposed to be staggered ended up arriving at the same time so going through Customs was a lengthy process. The airport halls where we had to line up were not air conditioned and there were no bathrooms until you cleared customs so it wasn't the most comfortable waiting period. Once we got through, SUNWING checked us off and boarded us on the bus. Our bus had some mechanical issues and ended up filling with smoke while en route to the hotel. We were asked to open the roof vents to air it out so problem solved.

Once we got to the hotel we were greeted with a welcome drink and didn't need to check in as they had the whole tour group organized by names and envelopes ready to go complete with room cards. Unfortunately after arriving on the 17th floor our room key didn't work. I stayed with the luggage while my husband went to the lobby to get new key cards. After waiting in the hallway for 45 minutes (I was afraid to leave in case I missed his return), my husband came back and stated the room wasn't ready and we were being moved to another room on the 11th floor.

SUNWING had a representative present in the lobby and were always easy to find. The hotel staff were good and pretty fluent in English.

VALUE:
Excellent. The trip was very affordable and worth every penny.

SLEEP QUALITY:
The beds were very hard and we found that our backs were sore in the morning. Apparently you can request a foam pillow top from the lobby but we never bothered. The pillows were also not comfortable and were very flat. They only give you three so we requested an extra one so that my husband and I could double the pillows up but despite leaving a note with our tips to the cleaning staff we never received one. We also asked the lobby and finally received the pillow on the third day.

CLEANLINESS:
We were amazed to see how many cleaning staff were present. They were constantly wiping, mopping, cleaning the public bathrooms etc. There were small things like hair in our bathtub but for the most part everything was very clean.

LOCATION:
This hotel is amazing. It's right on the ocean and not too far from the airport.

ROOMS:
The room was spacious enough for two people. It could have had better patio furniture, the basic plastic chairs weren't that comfortable. The view was gorgeous though. We actually saw a pod of dolphins from our balcony. The shower wasn't lit and a little dark at times and the hot water shuts off after a while. So whoever was the second person to shower usually got cold water part way through.

BEVERAGE SELECTION:
The rooms are equipped with a liquid dispenser which was awesome. Unfortunately the bottles of rum tasted horribly. Even mixing it with pop couldn't hide the bad taste. The mini bar selection was good, but ours hadn't stocked when we got there. They re-stock it every two days so we went without for that time frame.

FOOD:
The quality of food would probably be our biggest complaint.The main buffet offered very good breakfasts and somewhat okay dinners. The food was very repetitive and by day three you didn't want it anymore.

The a la cartes were not good at all. There was nothing special about the food or the service. They pumped people in and out in a hurry. You couldn't order any special drinks, only their house wine, which was the worst wine I've ever tasted. I couldn't bear to have more than a sip, it tasted like a weird chemical. We did all three a la cartes and none of them were good. At least it gave us a break from the buffet.

EXCURSIONS:
We did two excursions. The first was a guided city tour. It wasn't super exciting, but for $25 a person, it was a cheap and safe way to travel around Mazatlan and see the surrounding area.

We went on a dolphin quest and it was amazing. The tour was offered through the hotel but the name of the company is oncaexplorations. Our guide, Oscar is working on his Doctorate and uses the money from guided tours to fund his research. He was very passionate about his work and obviously very knowledgable. We ended up spending over an hour with a pod of about 50 Spotted Dolphins, a pod of about 30 Bottle Nosed Dolphins and saw a total of 5 whales. It was incredible. For $60 a person, I would have just been happy with the 4 hour boat ride but this excursion definitely made our whole trip. The only bad thing was the cost of the tour was supposed to include our taxi ride there and back, but Oscar told us the taxi to return to the hotel wasn't included and we would need to pay an equivalent of $10 American dollars. We reported this to SUNWING who said that Oscar was wrong and they would deal with it. SUNWING stated they would pay us the taxi money back but they never did.

WATER SPORTS:
We borrowed boogie boards from the resort, however, they only loan them to you for two 30 minute periods, not back to back, per day. You barely get out there and you had to turn around and take them back. There wasn't an abundance of people using them so I'm not sure why they wouldn't let us use them for longer. The ocean was very rough and was "red flagged" the whole time we were there.We still went swimming but the under tows are obviously very dangerous so we didn't go far.

The two pools were okay. They weren't super warm and there wasn't a lot of chairs.

I know previous reviews complain about the fact there's only two banks of three elevators but it's not that big of a deal. At most you might have to wait two minutes.

So yes, there were some bumps along the road but the location is so awesome it's hard to get stressed about anything. We had an amazing, relaxing time. And really for what we paid, we definitely got our money's worth and would love to return.

Room Tip: All rooms have an amazing ocean view so don't pay extra for this. All rooms are west facing but...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (431)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2011

stayed with my family from Dec 10 to 18. It was absolutely an awful place to stay. Do not pay attention to the pictures, etc. They provided 1 small room for 4 of us. We asked for a bigger room, nobody seemed to care. We were always short in supplies in the room and kept asking for more supplies whether it was soap or towels, it would not matter to them. Customer service in this place does not mean anything.
There was absolutely no one around the pool area to provided services and drinks to the guests outside around the pool areas.
The worst thing was food. for 6 days there was absolutely no change in their menu, the quality of food for the first 6 days was absolutely terrible.
On day 7, all of a sudden there was a major change. It seemed like they had added hundreds of people to their staff, there was a ton of people walking around the pool and asking the guest for drinks. The food quality all of a sudden changed significantly. There was a ton of different varieties of food available, then we were given a survey list that we were asked to rate the hotel. That survey list was the whole reason for the big change in their service, but that was too late.

The worst place, I have ever stayed in Mexico in the past 10 years. I would rate it as a 2-3 star place.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2011

I admit it, the low price and the 5 star rating fooled us. Mexicans actually pay $50/night all inclusive for a couple/night. The hotel itself is new and very clean. Over 700 rooms and only 6 (very small) elevators makes getting to your room or back to the pool an experience in itself. The food was only acceptable on the last night when they asked guests (many new arrivals) for a review. Coffee is instant, "orange juice" is sweet orange water, beer is watery, red wine is bitter. the meat is served one day as beef, next day the leftover as pork - I have never seen potatoes served in so many varieties. No food after 10 PM, only nachos with cheese in the so called sports bar, no room service as the rating as a 5 star (or even 4 star) would suggest. The entertainment staff has to work from 9.30 am until 10 PM, poorly understaffed. I wonder how long the people last doing that marathon job? The pools are plenty and heated, kiddy pool is not treated, water looks milky and dirty. Reception area is understaffed and small. There is entertainment at night, more or less the same what you see in other resorts. A Mexican band played twice at night (on those days where large groups of Mexicans stayed at the hotel). One bar had a Mexican live duo playing Mexican music once - that's it.
The hotel seems to be losing money, only a handful of US guests is probably the reason.
On our check out day we were presented a phone bill of 562 pesos, hmm, none of us had used or even touched the phone. On request the hotel manager suggested to either pay the bill or stay, they won't let us go. I told him that we never used the phone and therefore won't pay, he then shifted into an aggressive mode and left, advising his security to watch us. My suspicion is that the hotel manager is involved with his scam, his reaction speaks for itself. I hope that the RIU hotel chain will get rid of this individual in their own interest. I contacted the travel agency rep from sunwing vacations who did a mild effort to solve the matter on our behalf, they couldn't even provide us with the full phone numbers we supposedly called, the "calling times" showed that some of the calls were even made while we were already sleeping. Since we didn't want to spend the night in a Mexican jail, we paid. Another traveler advised me that this was the right thing to do, the amount western travelers get scammed is miraculously always around $50 I was told.
Times are getting tougher, so this type of scam will get more often, be warned.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort McMurray, Canada
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2011 via mobile

Just got back for this hotel.. Also am a rui traveler I have been to rui 4 out of 5 last times traveled, and I don't know how to say it but this place was horrible during the weekends. LOcals where horrible, breakfast no service from waiters cause was to busy helping out the locals cause I'm sure they tip so well. My wife went to get room card fixed and they waved locals passed her for some reason. They rush the elevator very hard to get in and out. Then we had the comity trying to fix the province of sinaloa no more cruise shiP cause of all the murders and that hotels is never full unless it's locals in my eye mazatlan hung it self rude locals the worse server I have ever seen. WORSE RUI EVER.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2011

This hotel was excellent value for what we paid but if we had paid full freight certain things may have irritated us more. My wife and I just got back December 14 2011 and overall we had great experience.

Check In: The fastest I have ever experienced. The plane was over an hour late so they checked everyone in while they were on the bus so we would get to the restaurant before it closed. Awesome.

Rooms: Great views of the ocean and the room was big, kingsize bed with the mini bar and 4 different types of liqour available. We were in room 1011 and we asked to be changed as we could hear the disco and feel the virbrations. No problem with the change. I would recommend the rooms on the left of the reception area as room 1136 was perfect.
Staff: Bar staff, entertainment staff etc. were polite and helpful.Excellent.

The Food: Great selection, but like most all inclusives the buffet can get monotonous. However there was always something for everyone and the breakfasts were awesome with the fresh juice shakes. The Theme restaurants Mexican and Asian were good but the Steak restaurant had no ambiance as it was part of the main restaurant. We felt we were under the gun for eating here and were not comfortable.

The beach: Awesome for walks about 45 minutes to reach the end. It was clean and plenty of chairs.There were no water sports however.

Pools. Were clean and great for swimming.

The Bad:
While we were their the had about 5 buses of locals arrive and they were very noisy anda bit disruptive. We found out later they were from a rehab organisation. Hello, bringing recovering addicts to an all inclusive!!!
There were a number of other locals at the hotel that were great but the rehab group took away from our overall enjoyment.
We asked maybe due to the inconvenience they would allow us a late check out but they refused and offered it to us a $40 if we wanted it.

Room Tip: In December It got cold at night so bring pants and sweaters
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2011

This hotel was amazing. The food was great, amenitites were plentiful, and the people were amazing. We paid such a great price. Bang for your buck, this was one of the best trips I have been on. I highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2011

They never change the food, some people got sick eating at the Asian Restraurant. The hotel was kinda out in the middle of nowhere, wouldn`t go back, definitely not a 5 star.

Room Tip: Don`t get a lower floor room,especially over the Disco.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Emerald Bay

Address: Av. Sabalo-Cerritos #3404 zona costera cerritos | Nuevo Mazatlán - Sinaloa, Mazatlan 82110, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Sinaloa > Mazatlan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Romantic Hotel in Mazatlan
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Mazatlan
#12 Family Hotel in Mazatlan
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Mazatlan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Emerald Bay 3.5*
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

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