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“Mother of the Bride” 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
Thunder Bay, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Mother of the Bride”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

My daughter decided to plan a wedding without much notice. There were 9 people attending the wedding (including the bride and groom). The wedding planner did a great job!! She catered to my daughter's every need and then some. The perks for the bride and groom were more than we thought we would get (champagne). The bride and grooms room at the end of the night was decorated beautifully.
The sit down supper for the wedding was a fun time. The waiter at the Mexican Restaurant attended to our needs in a very efficient manner (I am so sorry I cannot remember his name). He was very respectful of the bride and groom and he was also quite funny -- interacting with everyone at our table. He is a huge asset to the resort. The waitress that brought our drinks was also very good. Of all the dinners during our stay this was one of the best and was very memorable due to the waiter and waitress.
Overall the food at the resort was not great. Everything seemed to be overcooked.
Breakfast were okay. We were in Riu in Los Cabos and food was much better there.
Waiters at the bars were not very personable even when we tipped.
We did have one waiter one day that served us drinks at the pool-- he was friendly and making some great tips.
The hotel is Very Clean.
The weather was great. Normally I would not rate this hotel as a 4-- but due to the pampering and the attention that was given to my daughter by the wedding planner I have. The wedding planner does derserve a 10!! Thank you for a memorable day and stay.

Room Tip: We were on the 18th floor-- no complaints-- Great View-- we lucked out!! Elevators were slow at tim...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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1,765 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 (454)
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

We traveled as a couple to RIU Mazatlan from April 9 - April 16.

CHECK IN: The BEST and fastest check in we have ever had. got nice refreshing drinks and an envelope with the room keys and towel cards.

THE HOTEL: RIU is a beautiful hotel. it is a one huge building with everything you need inside. It has 3 elevator on both sides of the hotel. We haven't waited more than 3 min to go up to our room, so i'm not sure what people were complaining about.

THE ROOM: The rooms are clean and the view is breath-taking (we were on 14th floor and all the rooms have ocean view). you can upgrade you room to a jacuzzi room for additional $40 per night, but we decided not to do that. I found beds to be ok (they are not the same as at home, but not the worst either). We had a safe and a fridge full of beers, water and pepsi. Also we got 4 bottles of liquor. Our maid cleaned our room and changed towels everyday (PLEASE don't forget to leave a TIP in the room for your maid).

POOL, BEACH AND OCEAN: Amazing beach with sugary sand! it's always windy there (which i don't mind). The waves of the Pacific are a lot of fun!!! You can't swim far, but boogie boarding is a lot of fun! Pools are warm have swim up bars. It's not hard to find a nice place to sit, lay down or put your bags, there is plenty of seats.

DRINKS: There is a 24 hour sports bar with drinks, burgers, hot dogs and nachos. A nice bar in the lobby, where Jorge and Jesus will make you amazing drinks! Try their cappuccino with Baileys!!! Pools have generic bars too. The guys working there are very hardworking and pleasant.

FOOD: Buffets were very nice. I really enjoyed the sea food. Pork and chicken were ok too, but i didn't like the beef at all, i tried it every day, but it didn't taste good (for me ). We booked only one a la carte: the Japanese Bamboo, very disappointing!! The a la cartes are buffet style and nothing special.
Once for dinner we went to the restaurant close by ( 7 min walk on the beach). the food was delicious and the prices were amazing ( we payed $50 for 3 people!). I highly recommend it!

ENTERTAINMENT: in the afternoon we relaxed, played water volleyball and did boogie boarding. But you have to be proactive, because the entertainment team is not the best in the afternoon. They have aerobics, volleyball and bingo.
At night they have live bands singing and at 9PM the show starts. We enjoyed the Michael Jackson show (the impersonator is very talented). At 11PM the disco opens. Music is mostly top40 and techno.....fun for a night or two, not every night though. You can also go to Senior Frogs in the Golden zone.

ALL IN ALL i enjoyed our vacation. If you go to RIU you won't regret it. BUT i couldn't rate it as excellent, because it is not excellent, it's very good! :)

Room Tip: Higher floors have nicer views, but all the rooms have ocean view.
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  • Stayed April 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

We travelled as a group of 11 to this resort, from April 9th to the 16th. Our group consisted of 4 adults, 2 seniors (1 handicapped) & 5 Children - two 7yrs, one 6 yrs, one 4 yrs and a 5 month old. Though this was our first visit to Mazatlan, we have stayed at resorts in other areas of Mexico on multiple occasions, and have also stayed at another Riu (in Ochos Rios, Jamaica.)

Before booking our trip (directly through Sunwing), we had read numerous reviews about this resort and so we had a rather good idea as to what to expect. Our experience was pretty much consistent with what has been posted by a majority of the reviewers and so I will try to limit my comments to the highlights of the trip.

I do, however, want to first acknowledge the fantastic service offered by Johnny, the Sunwing rep, who lend us his own stroller for the week - a wheel in our stroller was broken by the airline at the Matzatlan airport.

1) This is not a 5 star resort and so you should only book a stay over here if the price that you are offered is reasonable for a 3.5 star resort.

2) The resort is clean and the staff is friendly. However, it is rather obvious that the resort is understaffed and so your experience will vary based on whether or not the resort is booked at full capacity. In our case, during the week days, the resort was at 50% capacity and so things worked well. However, during the weeked, the resort was full, because a lot of Mexican families stay for the weekend and so things were a bit more chaotic. I have read some negative comments in other reviews about the Mexican folks, which is rather unfortunate. All I can say is, like the rest of the population on earth, you are dealing with individuals and not with a homogenous entity i.e. some individuals are pleasant and curteous while others are not.

3) The rooms are spacious, have an ocean view and are cleaned regularly. We stayed on the 14th floor and had a terrific view of the pools and the ocean. The ocean breeze is fantastic and so we slept with our balcony door open.

4) The food at the buffet is of a decent standard but the ala carte restaurants are lacking. The Mexican ala carte is the only true ala carte restaurant i.e. where you sit down and actually get served. The other two are a bit of a joke, especially the Asian one. Interestingly enough, the Asian restaurant in the Riu at Ochos Rios, Jamaica was also terrible. Perhaps Management at Riu might want to consider hiring folks who actually know how to prepare Asian food.

5) There were two ladies in charge of a very bareboned kids club and the kids pool is only suitable for very small kids. We were initially a bit hesistant to leave our kids in their care, as we felt that they were understaffed. However, they must have been doing something correctly because our kids wanted to go back each day.

6) The Ocean is rough and the pools are cold. It is probably due to the time of the year, but the water in the pools was very cold in the morning. Apparently, the pools are heated, but I can say from personal experience that the water was quite cold until approximately noon. During the last two days of our trip, things warmed up noticeably, and so I don't think that any one travelling over the next while will have this issue. However, if you are one who wants to spend a lot of time in the ocean, be aware of a strong undertow: we witnessed a lady being rescued by the life guard.

7) The coffee at this resort is terrible; management at Riu please do something about this. If you need a decent cup of coffee, you will have to take a 10 minute trek to the plaza outside the resort where there is a collection of restaurants and stalls.

8) Make sure you visit Mr Lionsos, the seafood restaurant at the aforementioned plaza. It was a great experience and the food was fantastic.

9) If you have younger kids, the Jungle Adventure is decent trip option. We left our 5 month old behind and took the other kids on this trip. Captain Polo, who runs the trip is quite a character and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the area.The food at the Mexican village is great. However, if you do decide on swimming at the secluded beach, beware of the fact that the toilets and shower facilities over there are rather primitive (there were cockroaches roaming about.) Another tip is that the price for the trip is negotiable, as my wife was able to negotiate a lower price for the trip from the lady ( she wasn't with Sunwing) selling tickets at the lobby ( I believe we paid $40 USD per adult and $20 USD per child.)

In summary, it was a decent experience but we will not go back. For a few more dollars, I would rather go to a venue which offers amenities such as: room service, true ala carte restaurants, decent coffee and a kids pool which is suitable for older kids.

Cheers

Room Tip: All rooms are oceanview, but the lower floors might have obstructed views.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Le Mars, Iowa
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

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
136 reviews 136 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
89 helpful votes 89 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.
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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:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Mazatlan
#6 Spa Hotel in Mazatlan
#8 Romantic Hotel in Mazatlan
#10 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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