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“Another decent stay at a Riu” 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 #13 of 72 hotels in Mazatlan
Toronto
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
“Another decent stay at a Riu”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

Went to Riu EB from March 19-26. Overall a decent stay. Some issues, but not a bad experience. Check in was the best I've seen. All inclusive bracelets put on you on the bus before going into the hotel. Packages with room key, towel card etc. available right when you walk in the door. You are directed to separate room and beer and tequila shots are available as you walk in to pick up your key. Got a king bed for a couple of guys at first, but they corrrected it within an hour. The room was very nice with a spectacular view of the ocean. All rooms are ocean front, a great design for a hotel. Front desk service during the whole vacation was excellent. Sunwing rep meeting the next day is the typical sales job: buy your excursions from us the other guys don't have insurance or are unreliable. Food was overall good. They buffet had a good selection and carved something every night except the first night. Don't know what happened there. Breakfast was good. Fresh juices, egg/omelet station, lot's of bacon. Lunch was ok, except for the days they had a bbq and then lunches were delicious. The ala carts were not good. Asian was a third rate oriental buffet. The one true ala cart was very average. Food was bordering on not ok. We didn't bother with the Italian buffet style speciality restaurant. the buffet has everything you need. The bar quality was surprisingly lacking. They try to hide the good liquor brands and give you no name rot gut unless you ask for a brand by name. Then they go into the cupboard under the bar or in the back room and find you something resembling what you asked for. That's not the bar quality you expect in a Riu. The gym advertised as "state of the art" has a number of new cardio machine and five weight machines one of which didn't work. Its a big space with little equipment. The hotel is quite a distance from town. Went to the golden zone once. Not very golden. Quite shabby. Apparently when the cruise ships stopped coming a lot of stores, bars, and restaurants went under. Didn;t go the the malecon, heard it was better. Socializing was not that easy. Lots of Mexican locals who don't speak English. Got to the point that the hotel was full of mexicans who kind of take over the place. Mexican vacationers travel with all infants, children, and grandma's in tow. Its a good hotel if you like lots of kids. However, even if you are taking your own kids they still might be lonely as the mexican kids speak spanish. Not the place for a solo traveller. Wouldn' recommend it if you are out to party as there is nothing to do after the big show. This place would mostly appeal to couples and families. It is very beautiful. The view from the rooms is spectacular. The beach is long. The water was quite rough, fun for fit people who can swim, a litle scary for others. The life guard closed the beach one day because the currents were just too strong to swim. I think there are a total of five pools. Very lush. A little tough to find good shade on the beach. Palm trees provide it and you have to keep moving to stay in the shade. Overall, a good experience for the money paid. I don't know that I would go back, but if you have booked don't be nervous.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (408)
Date | Rating
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  • German first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
peterbrough ontario can.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

This was our 3rd time back to the Riu Emerald Bay. The food was even better than the last time. Lots of choices on the buffett . The fish was to die for. The hotel is spotless. The maids clean constantly. The staff was wonderful. Best service that I have ever had at a hotel. The lobby bar was a great place to go for happy hour before dinner. Georgie Porgie is the best bar tender ever. We did not have to ask for a drink. He had my wine poured before i sat down. Was very quiet during the week. The mexican families came for the weekend and it got very busy. Having said that..I truly enjoyed mingeling with the mexican people. They were celebrating Holy week and had a mexican band on the beach.
Make sure you go out to the Golden Zone. Its very safe in Mazatlan... We have been there 5 times and have never had any problems.
Went to the Fat Fish for supper.. 2 rib dinners for 180.00 pesos.. Best Ribs in Mazatlan.
Dont forget to go to Oyster Joes for a drink in the afternoon.. Lots of fun and good music.
Went to Gus Gus for a drink at night. They had a live rock band playing old rock music. Lots of Canadians there dancing and having a blast.
Cant wait to go back to Mazatlan..

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

The RIU Emerald Bay is a very big hotel. If you like 3-4 buildings spread around acres, this is not it. It is a massive building. Even from the plane your see the RIU. I have been to quite a few RIUs and what I really liked about this RIU is that every single room in this hotel has an ocean view! Which is awesome! The views differ based on the class of room your booked, but never hurts to ask for a bigger room, or an upgrade to get a nicer view. Large, clean rooms all with balconies. But seriously why would you want to spend time in your room anyways. The beach at this resort goes on forever. Beautiful sunset everynight. The food is your average resort food. Not authentic Mexican, catered to tourists, but that’s the way it supposed to be. It was a bit chilly at night, so take a sweater. There are 2 bars in the lobby, when facing the beach, the one on your left is way classier. The other one is the sports bar, which is open 24 hours. Also the pool on your left when you exit the hotel is cold, cold cold, all the others are heated. The staff is friendly, the atmosphere is relaxed. If you really need WIFI it is free in the lobby, but only for 90 minutes per day per device. You can pay for it (pricey) in other parts of the hotel. But other than that it is typical RIU 24 all inclusive hotel, with a fully stocked fridge in your room. Do not drink from the bottles in your room, cheap booze. Make the effort, go to the bar, the bartender in the nicer lobby bar is excellent.
I really enjoyed Mazatlan. It is a more authentic experience of Mexico. No huge resorts, no massive condo projects, serene, friendly and safe. We had our kids with us, purchased a tour package from one of the guys on the beach, and spent a nice morning and afternoon on Stone Island. It included 3 activities; my kids went boogie boarding and horseback riding through the village roads and on the beach. Lunch was provide, alcohol was provided and a live band. All for $80. Yes for all of us and included a 2 hour boat tour of the harbour, history lesson, tractor to the restaurant, transportation from the RIU and back to the harbour, and boat to the island. Umm the boat was a well a …..okay it was a boat, but all of us threw on life jackets anyways……hahahaha………good experience.
Overall Mazatlan needs us the tourists to come back. I found it very safe and beautiful.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

Sorry I'm a little late with this, but been busy. We spent Valentine's Day at the Riu. It's an impressive place although the rooms themselves were just nice. Service at the buffets was excellent. Every time we stopped by someone would offer to make us a cappuccino, and on day two we accepted. Boy was it good, from then on it became the drink to order. The food at the buffets wasn't great... not like Mom's cooking but certainly plentiful and there were some delicious dishes, just not everything. Don't worry, not Golden Corral, or if you like GC, you'll LOVE this place. Ohhhh the Green Juice, have it, it is DELICIOUS, even if it doesn't look that good. My friend ordered it and I made faces at it but as it turned out, it was quite good. ALBERTO, our waiter was excellent and even when we weren't at his table he recognized us and came by to say hello and to make sure we were well taken care of. They need to promote that young man or have him train others on what customer service is all about. The beach was beautiful and the view magnificent. I definitely like this side of Mazatlan. I had only seen the other and wasn't impressed. They also feature some nice shows which are really fun or they have bands playing and they are excellent as well. It's all inclusive so drinks are free. Don't expect the same taste that your favorite bartender fixes for you but it is free after all. I was a little disappointed though when I asked one bartender for a drink and he told me that bar was closed but I should go to another one in the disco that was open. I had been there and the drink wasn't as good plus there were still six patrons at this bar that he was serving. I didn't sit so I wasn't a threat to keeping him there longer. That was one of my complaints, but nahh no big deal. The disco, there's my complaint. It is nice having a disco on site. It's not big and fancy but it has a floor and music and a bar. Unfortunately the DJ plays all techno stuff. You could not tell the difference between English speaking Techno and Spanish speaking Techno because it all sounded the same. No one was dancing except for two very cute Canadian girls. That same constant beat got kinda old so I walked over to the DJ to see if we could change it a bit. He didn't see me for a while and when I got closer I realized he was playing solitaire on his computer. I asked him for Suavemente, a very popular song, even here in the States, but he didn't have it. I gave him 50 pesos and asked for some cumbias. After the Techno song ended he immediately played them. The Canadian cuties left pretty quickly but several other couples, Mexican and Brazilian started having fun dancing. We danced the five cumbias, and then he went right back to Techno, and the couples left the floor. He obviously wasn't paying attention and didn't care. Ok so you might say, there's so many places, why go there. About a year earlier we were driving through Mazatlan on our way back from Guadalajara. We were on the road that goes to the airport at about 2pm. We came upon a car that had been riddled with bullets. I mean there were bullet holes all over that car. Cops and soldiers were all around along with people looking. I'm sure most of it is safe, but it's safer to stay in the hotel. So I was going to complain but in looking at the free food, free mini bar, free drinks, free entertainment, free parking, it's actually quite a deal. We had a great time, there were so many beautiful Mexican women and some beautiful Canadian women. We did hear one lady arguing with one of the Canadians and accusing him of spitting on someone and being rude, but I just saw them drinking and having fun so don't know what that was all about. We plan a return trip soon.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hugo, Minnesota
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

I will first say that Mazatlan is fabulous. It is safe and the nationals (Mexicans) are so friendly. The Riu, on the other hand....the food in the restaurant was awful and the hotel scares you by telling you not to go far because it's not safe. IT IS SAFE!!! They said that the golden zone (shopping, restaurants, etc) is 45 minutes away when actually it is only 10 minutes away by pulmanea (golf cart) ride (about $5 or $6). Don't stay on the resort. Well, stay somewhere else because there are so many other places in this beautiful area to rent. Walk down to the Bruja, go to the golden zone and hit up Chili's Pepper, Poncho's, Gus-Gus and enjoy the food!!! Mazatlan is safe! Shame on you Riu.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

We just got back on March 22 after a week at the resort. This was our first time at the resort and Mazatlan and overall enjoyed both. The rooms were excellent, clean, well maintained, and well appointed.The only thing that was a surprise was the lack of bathroom amenities such as shampoo and lotion for a resort with this rating.
The food was very good for a buffet concept however, the "specialty" restaurants fell a bit short
in both service and quality and were not a memorable experience. Two of the three were simply a limited selection theme buffet with poor service. In the future we would pass on this experience and stick with general buffet and also avoid the reservation process.
The quality of the wine throughout the resort was terrible, it tasted like something one of the waiters blended in the kitchen.
As the numbers of guests varied considerably over the week, so did the number of bars that were open, so at times it was a challenge to find a bar that was open.
Evening entertainment was passable, some nights better than others, but entertaining overall.
We were fortunate in that we have friends that have a place in Mazatlan and a vehicle so we did a lot of things off the resort.
If you get tired of the resort food, there is a strip shopping center up the street, within walking distance that has two bars/restaurants that serve great seafood, eg 2- two lobster and large shrimp meals and a bottle of wine . $60 CDN. With entertainment.
The beach is great,all the staff very friendly, excellent service and very good value.
Overall, except for a couple of minor issues we were quite satisfied with this Mazatlan adventure and would come back again.

Room Tip: All rooms face the ocean and start on the third floor.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Alberta, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013 via mobile

Just spent one week at the Riu Emerald Bay. I'll start by saying the check in was great, very fast and efficient.
Went to our room and unpacked, loved the room and the view. Went for lunch and a walk on the beach, good start to our vacation. Then it went downhill, went back to our room and I had not put everything in the safe and my money that I put in the drawer under my clothes was gone.
I have read other reports of the same type of things happening to them and the treatment received after reporting it. It sounds like their PR person Erica has the same paragraph she says to everyone, it is not our responsibility!
We were shown a print out of the key activity of our room, very convenient for them, it should no one went into our room, well I guess my money grew wings and flew out the window. I was given a story that this never happens at the Riu, well Erica you need to read tripadvisor because it happens a lot and you guys try and cover it up! Shame on the Riu for allowing this to happen and not caring about their customers! My holiday was ruined because of the staff member who took my money and then by the way I was treated after!! I will never recommend the Riu Emerald Bay to anyone and I will be sure to let anyone who will listen know to stay away!
The Internet service is also stupid, you get 90 min. free in the lobby but can only sign on once and then your out of luck for the next 24hrs. Beds were hard as a rock.
There was lots of food choices. Many of the staff were awesome! Many of the pool area bartenders were not awesome, they were rude!
So if you go to the Riu, big mistake but if you do lock up everything you have that matters! And read all the negative reviews because there are many who talk about theft and not being treated fairly!
Again shame on the management staff at the Riu!

Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
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

Also Known As:
Riu Emerald Bay Mazatlan
Riu Emerald Bay Hotel
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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Mazatlan
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Mazatlan
#12 Romantic Hotel in Mazatlan
#14 Family 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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