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“Hmmmmm.......” 3 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 #14 of 76 Hotels in Mazatlan
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Hmmmmm.......”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013 via mobile

I've read all the reviews and some were dead on and a lot were dead wrong. Of course that's just my opinion. Pros: the staff are all the most hard working ppl I've seen at any of the other resorts we've been to. The hotel was impeccably clean. They were so friendly. The location, although at the very far end, was incredibly beautiful. Our view from our room on the 8th floor was spectacular. Now cons: no where near shopping, although a short Mexican limo ride to the golden zone. The fact that you do not get bar service on the beach was not a huge deal for me but I did hear A LOT of complaints from others. They close the main bars down at such an early time. But the sports bar is 24 hrs. The coffee is the worst I've had. But there is a wonderful little coffee shop down the end of the beach that is wonderful! Now for the beds. OMG!!! THE WORST I'VE EVER SLEPT ON!!!!! EVER!!!!! That may not be a huge deal for some but you will find out if you stay. So be forewarned. Overall will we go back? No. But it is more geared towards family's to 60 ish. So I hope you all have a great time if you go to this resort. :)

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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 (541)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Cape Coral, Florida
Top Contributor
169 reviews 169 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
103 helpful votes 103 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

Apparently, not all Riu hotels are created equal! Although listed as a five star resort, I think it should be designated as a 3 star resort.

The Good: Every room is nicely appointed and has an ocean view. The beach is spectacular.

The Bad: The food was not as good as the other Riu resorts we have been to, the liquor was off brands and every dining room was extremely loud. s

The Ugly: The drive from the airport was depressing! The taxi took us through the barrio which was dirty, dusty and every place was covered in graffiti.

Room Tip: Every room has an ocean view, so it doesn't matter!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kitchener
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

Just got back from a fabulous week at Riu Emerald Bay, our stay was April 8th to April16th. After reading some of the reviews on this site we were shocked upon our arrival by all the babylike complaints. We were a party of 2, that stayed on the 15th floor, in a beautiful suite. It had marble double sinks, extra large shower/tub in the washroom, a large size king bed and a double balcony with a view to die for. The staff were all amazing, cleaning day and night everything you could see, some spoke a little English, but it was easy to figure out what we wanted, they all try really hard, the ones that could speak good English(almost all of them)were happy to help out when needed. We found none even close to being rude, some of the whinny guests need to remember that a smile is a universal language and goes along way in a strange country & at home! The food was unbelievable! there were at least 30 different dishes at the buffet, if you don't like fish don't put it on your plate, there is 29 other things to eat, we couldn't believe the people that said they couldn't find anything good to eat! We wondered maybe the complainers had a personal chef at home. The 3 pools were nicely kept and clean thoroughly every morning, around 5:00am, we seen them from our room EVERYDAY, including the hosing down thoughly the cement decks.
The ocean is rough there and not to good for swimming, only because of the strong undertow, I would not recommend letting small kids or a weak swimmer go in, don't be a hater, just use one of the 3 pools, its not the hotel fault that the undertow is strong. The sellers are held back from the hotel by a rope, which they won't cross, but once you cross it your fair game, we just repeated no thanks like a broken record, there's no need to be rude. We walked down the beach 10 mins and had dinner at Lorenzo's, it was fantastic, everything we read on this site about the place was 100% true, from the singing trio to large platters of sea food, check it out
you won't be disappointed. About a 5min walk from Lionso is a little shopping area and a few great bars, we spent and afternoon at a place called, The last drop, wonderful food, great Margarities, 2 pool tables and TV's playing sports, outdoor but indoors shady and clean.
All in all we had a fabulous time and totally would go back again, if you don't have the expectations of royalty you'll love this place like we did!

Room Tip: Bring a sweater or a long sleeved T shirt for nighttime, goes down to around 20c.
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  • Stayed April 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northrn Ontario
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

We travelled during the March break to this beautiful hotel! Everything was exceptional, service, bar tenders, cleaners, food!
Our only disappointment, the Pacific Ocean was extremely cold.! There was no way of going into that water. It was very dark, rough, and freezing.
While I would go back to this hotel I would not travel back there unless it was summer hen the water is much warmer!
We stayer in the honeymoon suite on the 15th floor, and contrary to previous reviews that I had read, we never needed to wait for the elevator. March break! Busiest time to go, and it was great!

  • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

Six of us went to Riu Emerald Bay and had a wonderful time. The staff was wonderful from the staff at the pool bar especially Nemo to the staff in the resturants and the front desk. Are room had a a cute towel figure on the bed everyday. The beach is wonderful for walking and the life guard is good at warning all of jelly fish which were coming onto the beach on our last day. Everywhere you went you would find staff cleaning so the hotel was exceptionally clean from the room to the pool and the beach.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
GP
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

We stayed here with our friends the first two weeks of Dec 2012. We came when it was not overly busy and really enjoyed our stay. We had amazing food, great service, there were plenty of beach and lounge chairs and shade. Pools were very nice. Beach was great for walking. You could walk for hours and hours on nice hard packed flat sand. The water was warm. We had great weather the entire time which of course made the holiday even better. The evening entertainment was o.k. But we did not come for that. The one thing we were disappointed in was the lack of water activities. It was hard to get the boogie boards as they were often closed or you could only get them between a certain limited couple of hours. There were no sea kayaks, not catamarans or hobbie cats to either use or hire. The resort was clean, quiet and one we most certainly will consider coming back to. We have recently returned from the Riu Santa Fe in Los Cabos and although the grounds were more beautiful we enjoyed our stay here at the Riu Emerald Bay more because of the beach and water. The staff at the Emerald Bay were always friendly and helpful. If you want a relaxing holiday with good food and good atmosphere then you will enjoy this resort. Oh and we paid for an ocean view room which was not necessary as all rooms above the 3rd floor are actually ocean view. We were on the 20th floor and our friends were on the 6th floor. We both had lovely views of the ocean. We paid extra for ours and they did not. So save your money and just ask for rooms 3rd floor or above. Definitely worth a visit.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms above 3rd floor and you will have an ocean view without having to pay the extra for oc...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Nanaimo, Canada
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

We just returned from a 1 week vacation at the Riu, April 5 through 12. We were a group of 5 adults and 1 toddler (19months old). Here is a recount of our experience.

HOTEL
The Riu is a large hotel, 700+ rooms, but the grounds are compact so it is easy to get around. We stayed on the first floor, while family was in the upper levels. The elevators looked tiny, but apparently were quick and relatively efficient. The hotel is impeccably clean. I even saw a few of the staff literally cleaning the tops of the light posts and pergolas (i.e. bird poop). The staff are really great, very friendly, service was great. Note that most if not all of the staff that are directly involved with the guests (bartenders, waiters, etc.) speak very good english. The one exception is of course the front desk, which I suspect is a bit of a strategy on the hotels behalf. A note for those who book with a package charter like sunwing, the check-in will be incredibly efficient, and you will wonder next time you go on a all-inclusive vacation why all the hotels don't do it this way. As for guest volume and demographic, I would say 60-70% full on the weekend, maybe 30-50% during the week, and a mix of families (50%), the senior sunbathers (you know the ones, 25%), and the under 30 drink in the pool bar crowd (25%). Canadians and Mexicans are the dominant nationality frequenting this hotel. The hotel never really felt "crowded", as there were plenty of sunchairs around the pools, as well as on the beach. There is always a solid buzz of activity going on though, so if you are looking for serenity I would suggest a different hotel.

BEACH
Amazing. Soft golden sand, huge surf, lots of palm trees for shade, and a close walk to the bars or self serve beer tap. What more could you ask for. The souvenir sellers are required to be licensed and remain behind a roped area away from the loungers, so you do not need to say "no gracias" like a broken record. Because of the wave strength there is a very strong undertow, particularly around the 2-3 set of waves from the beach. I recommend that poor swimmers or weak bodied tourists remain in the shallow 1st wave set, while the stronger swimmers would be comfortable further out. The tides also play a role in the tow strength and water depth, which can be deceiving. Boogie boarding is great here. The beach goes on forever to the south, and about 15min walk to the north. One of my favorite things - there was none of this "get up a 6am to put a towel out on the chair" crap, with the exception of surrounding the pool bar........

ROOMS
Clean, well appointed, spacious, overall pretty classic mexican hotel. The beds are quite hard, so if you are used to your pillow top memory foam firmness selector sealy posterpedic then these beds are not for you. The bathtubs are deep, narrow, and the step out is sketchy, so use the hand rails. We were on the first floor in a duplex room, which was great for the space, BUT, was so loud it was actually quite ridiculous. My suggestion if you prefer a duplex room - ask for the left hand side of the resort, rooms 135 through 140, this is the quiet side. Our first few nights we were directly over the disco with machine gun fire thumping until 2am, and immediately adjacent to the sports bar, so every time someone shanked a billiard ball you knew about it. The hotel hallways in general are deafeningly loud, so if someone is speaking in just over an audible whisper near your room, you're going to hear about it. Do yourself a favour and get a room on the upper floors, left hand side of the hotel when facing the beach.

FOOD
Overall I thought the food was great. Lots of choice, good quality, and obviously sufficient enough to binge on for 7 days. There seemed to be quite a few complains online about the food, which I don't quite understand. A tofu based flax seed vegan tree hugger buffet this is not, but there are plenty of options to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. I enjoyed breakfast the most. We did all 3 a la carte restaurants, which weren't a la carte exactly, but good nonetheless. As for the comments regarding recycling of food - anyone familiar with the food business will know that this is standard practice due to food costs and product turn-over. So for the food snobs out there, even your 3 star michelin will turn that 4 day old tuna steak into tartare for the wednesday special.

OVERALL
The hotel, food, pool, weather, and beach were all great. Personally, we struggled a bit at an all-inclusive, particularly with a toddler, because we had no control over the scheduling of meals. Example, when normally at home we eat dinner at 5:30pm, but the dinner restaurant didn't open until 7pm, which makes things a bit dicey when we're talking about bath and bedtime already by that time. Also, just due to the nature of an AI hotel, there is a lot of activity and stimulation going on, so by mid-afternoon most of the kids are in melt-down mode. For families, this hotel would be a good choice, but I recommend for the kids that are just a little bit older (i.e. 4-9 years). If you can score a good deal, this is a great value hotel.

Room Tip: take a tip from Beyonce and stay to the left to the left
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Mazatlan
#7 Spa Hotel in Mazatlan
#8 Romantic Hotel in Mazatlan
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Mazatlan
#12 Family Hotel in Mazatlan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Riu Emerald Bay 3.5*
Number of rooms: 716
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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