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“RIU Emerald Bay in Mazatlan” 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 76 Hotels in Mazatlan
Le Mars, Iowa
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“RIU Emerald Bay in Mazatlan”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

My wife and I just stayed at the RIU Emerald Bay in Mazatlan April 10-April 15. This was our second time staying there. We stayed there last year in April also. Both times we stayed there prior to our arrival I tried to get RIU to give me a complimentary upgrade (doesn’t hurt to try). Both times I was emailed back by their Public Relations person Erika Rangel she stated that this is what they consider their high season and quoted the price to upgrade. Both stays the resort wasn’t very full, I would guess depending on the day 30%-50% occupancy. Not good for them as a business if this is their high season it would be really empty on the off season, but we had really no waiting for anything. The resort is very clean and the workers are all very hard working and helpful.

Last year we stayed in a Deluxe Ocean View Room, this year we paid more to stay in the Honeymoon Room, which was on the 10th floor. In my opinion it is not worth the money to get the Honeymoon Room. The only difference was we had a bottle of wine and fruit basket in our room and the balcony was bigger than the Deluxe Room balcony otherwise no difference in the rooms not worth the extra money. The rooms have a mini bar which is restocked every other day, it would be nice if it was stocked daily or put more in it to start with. The resort provided you with a very little bottle of conditioner and body lotion which once gone was never replaced so be sure to bring your own. The room was cold at night no matter what we set the thermostat to, but we just put an extra blanket on the bed.

The food is fine, the Specialty Restaurants (Bamboo “Asian”, Tabasco “Mexican”, and Las Gaviotas “Italian”) you need reservations and can only make them for the next day only so if you want to eat at them you need to make a reservation everyday for the next day. The Specialty Restaurants are also all Buffet style. One night all of the restaurants were closed and they had a beach bash which was all sorts of foods made out on the beach and everyone ate on the beach was really nicely done. The 24 hour snacks are a let down, you get them in the Sports Bar but are really just hot dogs and hamburgers pre cooked you can microwave.

The beach is large and since not many people there never a problem getting a chair always empty ones everywhere. The sand on the beaches here gets very hot during the day unlike Cancun beaches. Different type of sand on the beach than Cancun sand.

We only watched one show and that was the Caribbean show, it was very good and not cheesy like some shows at resorts can be. There were 3 weddings there but didn’t bother anything.

I had read some previous reviews on Trip Advisor about a person on the beach named Emilio that takes people Deep Sea and Bottom Fishing. We ran into Emilio on the beach he is very friendly (he’s a salesman) he talked about people mentioning him on Trip Advisor, he gave us his flyer “King Fish Fleet Sport Fishing” (with what I now know and seen I’m not sure if that is really his business, the flyer didn’t look like anything we received). We had agreed to a 6 hour fishing trip for $200 dollars and $24 for our two licenses (never seen the license), It was to be a shared boat but no one else showed. We were to be returned to our resort when done at no cost to us, we ended up having to get and pay for a taxi our self. He was to provide sandwiches for the trip nothing was provided (not sure I would have wanted to eat anything as old and dirty as the boat was). The crew where suppose to be English speaking, they spoke very little broken English. The boat was supposed to be a 42 foot boat; it was more like 25-30 feet and looked nothing like the photos he showed us. When we got in the boat there where no seats they pulled up along side another boat and took the seats out of that boat. We were told the boat had a bathroom below which it did but there was no toilet seat on it and no toilet paper, very dirty and old. I wouldn’t use his services again or recommend his adventures to anyone I know.

Last year we ate at a great restaurant down the beach from the RIU called Mr. Lionso (Playa Bruja). The food was very good however the prices went up from last year we ordered the exact same thing as we got last year and it cost 100 pesos more this time. But it was still worth the price for what you get. Happy hour (2 for 1) there last year started at 3PM, now it starts at 5PM for those of you wanting happy hour.

If you know what buses to take that is the cheapest way to get around, you can save lots of money compared to using the taxis and pulmonias. We had read articles about how the taxis and pulmonias were going to be metered, none of them were you negotiate your price prior to getting in.

I don’t think Mazatlan has really recoved from when a lot of the cruise ships stopped coming there a couple of years ago and I don’t think the resorts are as busy due to the fears of violence in the State of Sinaloa which is were Mazatlan is located. We never left the resort at night but at no time during the day on or off the resort or at night on the resort did we feel threatened or in danger. The guest at the resort appeared to mostly be Canadian, and then Mexican; we met only one other American couple however everyone we did meet was friendly.

Room Tip: All rooms have an ocean view at this resort.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,111 reviews from our community

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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 (584)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Coral, Florida
Top Contributor
193 reviews 193 reviews
16 hotel reviews
111 helpful votes 111 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
2 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 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
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
35 helpful votes 35 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.
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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
#6 Spa Hotel in Mazatlan
#8 Romantic Hotel in Mazatlan
#9 On the Beach 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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