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“Amazing Resort, Staff and Vacation - wheelchair review” 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
North Battleford, SK
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Amazing Resort, Staff and Vacation - wheelchair review”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

I have traveled to Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta and now Mazatlan … all of them have been all-inclusive resorts and the Riu Emerald Bay is one of the best hotels I have ever had the pleasure of staying at.

Checking
Was organized, fast and efficient. Definitely give them 5 stars for this. Staff boarded the bus and came down the aisle to hand out our wrist bands. We then followed them to the Martini Lounge were staff were at tables with envelopes containing rooms cards, towels cards and hotel info. Our rooms was ready – if we had received the right one. We did pay extra for an ocean view ( 5th floor and up), but all rooms are ocean view – just unobstructed. Due to the change we had to wait 2 hours – but we went for lunch and it was no big deal.

Staff
WERE AMAZING!!! When I arrived to Mexico a spacer/bearing for my wheelchair was missing from the airport. Without this part I could not use my wheelchair. After I explained my dilemma to management, they brought in Rafael (Maintenance Head) who manufactured a replacement part out of plumbers tubing and my chair was perfect!!! RAFAEL SAVED MY VACATION!!!

From David at the front door, Mario in the Lobby, Allen at front desk – amazing people.
Servers at breakfast – Alberto


ALL OF YOU MADE MY VACATION !!! Thanks for your friendly service, conversation and smiles. You work so hard!!! I will miss seeing you.


Room
** I did not stay in a wheelchair room. All rooms have the same door dimensions. Wheelchair rooms are located on 2nd floor with wheel in showers. I am not completely wheelchair bound so I rather would have a great view. Rooms was easy to get around in and to the balcony as well.

Very clean. The room set up was nice. Main hallway turns into a small hallway with room doors on each side. This allows for a nice room layout but sometimes your neighbour can be noisy. You enter into lobby type area where the in suite bar and large closet. Safe was wonderful! NO ISSUES with anything missing from our rooms. Beds more on the firm side – but were comfy. Rooms with 2 double beds are right side by side only 1 inch in between.( see photo) My friend and I felt we were sleeping in an extra-large king bed together, but if you don’t know the person you go with that well it may be an issue. No individual shampoo, conditioner or lotion in the bathroom - the dispenser in the shower is soap & shampoo. Still no lotion – bring your own.

Food
** All restaurants are wheel chair accessible – no issues. Wheelchair accessible washroom near all dining and always clean.
Food was excellent. You could eat at the buffet every day and still not try everything. The options are endless – there is a menu of the features for the buffet listed outside buffet doors every day. The Italian & Asian restaurants were amazing; but not a-la-carte. They were buffet style dining. Only the Mexican restaurant is a-la-carte. Though the Asian & Italians are buffet, it is more upscale with a different menu. The Mexican restaurant will bring all starts on a platter to your table so you can try them all. Then the tortilla soup (best soup I have ever had!!) then you choose your entree. You have to order the lime and tequila pastry desert!!!

** Food after 9 pm is located in the sports bar – this was the ONLY complaint about this hotel. For a 5 Star resort – precooked hot dog and burgers to re-heat in a microwave is not my idea of food. They also had sandwiches and nachos with cold runny cheese. Very disappointing!!

Disco
Fun and is air conditioned so dance the night away. Had a blast. DJ plays good selections of music but does not take requests.


Pools/Beach
** All pools areas are accessible. Beach is only accessible if you are somewhat mobile.
We traveled during mother’s day which is a stay holiday in Mexico. Was very busy – 100% person capacity during the weekend we were there. We did not have a problem finding a lounge chair by the pool or beach. I liked all the options for seating – poolside, garden or beach views, near music or more quiet. The resort has beach property that is sectioned off – no vendors can come up to you while you are on the beach. Beach and pool decks cleaned/swept daily.

Bar Service
There are so many bars in this resort; we never saw them all. All the bartenders are very friendly and speak English. We never waited more than a couple of minutes to be served at the adult pool bar – again it was very full. Drinks were delicious and served fast and promptly. Memo, Daniel, Javier, Victor, Edgar and Raul are ALL amazing!! Ask for brand named alcohol if you want it. A little disappointed that Mazatlan is where Pacifico is brewed and it is not served at this resort. Beer is Tecate and Dos Equis.

Noise
We were on the 8th floor - only when we had our balcony door open did we hear the bands playing on the beach or the shows from open air theater. But once you closed the door – nothing. Hallways are tile – except an echo and were noisey. We were also near the ice machine and apparently at 3 am people need ice.

Entertainment
I found the entertainment staff were not friendly or engaging like other resorts we have been too – stuck-up even. The Michael Jackson impersonator was AMAZING – every one, young and old had a blast. We never took in any of the other shows – to tired or busy. Staff will take you into downtown to go to the bars at night for a fee. But since they are not overly friendly, I never felt like I wanted to do this; although I do this frequently (3 out of 6 nights) at other resorts.

Elevators
There are TWO sets of elevators on either side of the resort with 3 elevators on EACH side. That's a total of SIX elevators. We stayed during the one of the BUSIEST time of the year and majority of the time they were speedy; just avoid using the elevators around check out / check in time and you will be fine. A couple of times I had to wait up to 10 minutes – as I am in a wheelchair I cannot use the stairs. Finally I would just say I need to get on and others would get off or squish together.

Security
There was always a security guard at the entrance of the hotel and at the security gatehouse to the entry to the resort. We were downtown until early morning hours by ourselves (2 females). We had a phenomenal time and never felt unsafe. Obviously we were aware of our surroundings and make good choices. Inside the room, there is a safe, we NEVER had an issue with theft and never ran into anyone who did.

Mentions – Pros and Cons
- Free 90 min of Wi-Fi daily in the lobby ( usually longer as well). Sometimes the free Wi-Fi can be slow and poor
- I paid 70.00 for 7 days of Wi-Fi and I had to call daily to get it back up – the ITO person had to come to my room twice to reset it. I was never refunded but it was ok. Sometimes the free Wi-Fi was better. Worked well after it was re-set. But at least I could have Wi-Fi anywhere except in the restaurants – no service in there but I think he they did that purposely.
- Loungers – they were not cleaned often and many beds had a lot of bird droppings on them that you would not want to sit on them. They had so many staff on at this time cleaning windows in doorways that were never used – their effort and time could have been used cleaning chairs used every day.
- Resort is far from the airport and city, so $$ to travel by taxi there often
- Malecon and views from the city are nice – but I was not overly impressed. I rather go to the little market place and shop and eat at Roy’s and Mr. Liono’s then go into town.

Advice:
- Visit Roy’s – amazing restaurant down the road from the hotel. Great food, service and free Wi-Fi and calls home. Sundays are all you can eat ribs for 10$ the best ribs I have ever had. He has a charcoal BBQ pit out front he cooks on. Very clean. Or try the daily lobster and shrimp for 19$.
- Joe’s Oyster Bar & Lounge – Best place for drinks and dancing!! I loved this place. They played both top 40 and Spanish music which I love. When I go to Mexico I want to hear Spanish music

Room Tip: All rooms are ocean front. 5th floor and up are considered ocean view. Try to choose rooms in 20 or...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
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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 (430)
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Edmonton, Alberta
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

This was the first time in Mazatlan, check in was great it was well organized by the Sunwing crew and the Riu welcome drinks and straight to our room, changed and right to the beach. We did lots of things while we there, we headed downtown to the disco's this was arranged by the Hotel transportation was awesome we all went in open air truc taxis's a must try. We also went in the other open air cab looks like a golf cart. These are exclusive to Mazatland only. We did the trip to Stone Island had a great yime on the Catamaran, on the island we had our experience on a Bannan boat ride that was a blast, we also went horseback rising, there are five activities to choose from you get to experience 2 of them, we had a great lunch, drinks. Then headed back on our tractor trailer. This was a great vacation, will certainly go back, one of the Seafood resturants on beach at the end was awesome, it is called Roy's did not get a chance to try the other, will do next time. Bartender's were awesome especially Ernesto he is great at making shots. Till next year this was a great experience.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 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.
Orillia, Canada
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

On April 30, 2013 we checked in for 14 nights. Your bracelets are attached to your wrist on the bus before you even step off. We've been on at least 22 all-inclusive trips and this place; we decided ranks 3rd. Only 35 minutes from the airport, we arrived and both simultaneously gawked at the sparkling, clean, modern freshness of the lobby, with all of its artwork and statues and pristine floors and total lack of dust and dirt of any kind. Bank machine and currency exchange. U.S. dollars aren't welcome due to drug cartels and money laundering. For every 1000 pesos I withdrew from the bank machine, including service charges showed up as $88.00 on my ING bank statement when I got home We arrived at 1130 am and were told check in was at 4 pm, however when we went to the front desk to ask a question we were told our room was ready anyways, so up we went. Unit # 1212. Up the elevator (under surveilance) to the 12th. floor and the view stepping out of the elevator was spectacular; an entire panoramic view of the mountains and city to the right, water park straight to the front and Mazatlan bay to the left. Again, the hallway was sparkling. Into the room and our first impression was the cleanliness and modern look to the room. Spacious bathroom with double sinks, over sized shower. Large closet with safe, iron, tons of hangers, with a top shelf. The bed was a king size with proved to be quite comfortable, 2 bedside tables with drawers and wall lamps. Dresser with 6 drawers. Best of the best air conditioning. GREAT shower, with no hot waters issues. The both of us unpacked 100% and found a spot for everything (and you should see the crap she brings!) There is also a fridge STOCKED to the brim including 2 ice trays. Above that is a marble counter top equipped with ice bucket, glasses, and 4 different liquor bottles attached to the wall ready for pouring. Flat screen t.v. (approx. 32") about 40 channels, 20% English. Hope you like Friends, Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half men. Then there is the balcony.......WOW!!!!!!! What a view. Breathtaking ocean view (no such thing as non ocean view so DON'T request it cuz you'll pay extra for it.....so we've heard lol.) The sprawling Pacific in front, mountains to the left, rock formations to the right. The whole pool area right below you. The balcony was in tip top condition with tiled floor, stucco walls, white railing, towel racks to hang your wet things, table with 2 chairs, and quite spacious. So, fully unpacked, we venture down the elevator and out to the pool area. 3 pools with a ridiculous amount of lounge chairs (with the hotel at full capacity you can still get a chair by noon without a problem) The smallest pool has a swim up bar also with tables and sitting areas built right into the pool. The other 2 pools welcome children and are quite large. The beach is 30 seconds away where you can walk to and burn the crap out of your feet or engage in a lengthy conversation with one of many vendors who always have a "special price for you amigo, today only". DON'T BUY THE SILVER. I'm experienced enough not too, but I know of a few friends who did.........sad........ Told ya! If you enjoy the tarnished look and lots of attractive bumps on you neck which itch with delight, then go ahead and buy the silver! There are ropes in the sand dividing you from the vendors which they will not cross. The ocean is sandy, no need for water shoes, and the undertow is a little on the strong side. So be cautious please. There were about 3 seperate rescues that i heard about. One jellyfish attack which was sad. A girl (14 ish) looked like someone took a leather strap to her back and upper left leg. They took her to the hospital. After that, at any given time there were 30 people in the ocean and no more attacks. If you turn right at the beach, you can walk for 10 minutes to a rocky hill and you'll see lots of beautiful shells sweep up the shore with every wave, complete with craps and the occasional lobster. There, you will find a restaurant who serves lobster. We read on TRIP that it had the best lobster, but speaking to a few people, it couldn't hold a candle to "ROY'S". When you walk to the end of the driveway from the hotel, turn left, walk 10 minutes to a strip mall which has more stores......you know.....the kinds that ALL sell the same things lol. You'll find a few restaurants as well. ROY'S gave us a meal never to be forgotton. What you'll get is 2.....................yes----TWO lobsters cut in half and 4 shrimp, veg, fries, garlic butter. garlic bread 199 pesos!!! ($18 Can) There are 5 varieties of shrimp....we chose coconut shrimp. When butterflied and breaded, each was the size of the palm of your hand HUGE! Served with a wooden bowl of sweet mango sauce. When a 250 lb. man says he's full, then you know it's a lot of food. Also at Roy's, you can phone Canada or USA on the house!! Next door was a sports bar called "The Last Drop". Free wifi and a number of flat screens. Alex, the server is very attentive and friendly and practically runs the whole show. Say hi to him and tell him Sean and Colleen (Toronto Maple Leaf fans) sent you. Yes, we were at the bar for all 7 games of the Leafs/Bruins series and were present for the jaw dropping game 7 third period collapse of the Leafs. Sure he'll remember THAT! The bar was so full, he ran out of beer and we took turns going over to ROY'S to buy 6 beers and bring em back to THE LAST DROP. He also sells lobster, 2 lobsters NO shrimp included 179 pesos. Mammoth burgers which I couldn't finish, Very good chicken wings. If you order mild, they're hot. If you order hot, they're hotter! So ladies, ask for barbeque wings lmao! beers are $2 but if you get there before 5 pm they're $1.50. We would get there for happy hour and order 6 or 8 beers in an ice bucket. On the way back to the hotel, it's dark and the evening breeze is welcoming. On the way home, we feed the stray dogs along the boulevard the rest of the burger i cannot eat. Tails wagging, cuz the burger had cheese and bacon on it I suppose. If you don't feel like walking, taxis are always ready and waiting to serve you for $2-5. The next morning you may want to venture out to the "Golden Zone". At the end of the driveway, you can wait for a bus named "Cerritos" which you should confirm with the driver "Golden Zone?" 8 pesos (70 cents) or you can take a taxi 120 pesos ($11) In the golden zone you will find everything. Suvenirs, clothes, food, bars, authentic and as well as McD, B King, D.Q., etc. The Mega store, which sells groceries and dept. store items as well. You can walk down the street or ride in any vehicle with a beer no problem. Coming home, look for Cerritos again and ask the driver..."Riu"? You can buy an excursion for $25-30 from the hotel which will be a guided tour of the golden zone as well as "Old town". There are many excursions you can buy as well for well under $100 (surprisingly) We did Stone Island for $52 which included 6 seperate excursions on the island that you get to choose any 2, lunch and alcohol inc. I heard of people going on an atv trip for $75. If you run out of smokes or simply want a Kit Kat, sunscreen or some chips, you can turn right at the end of the driveway, walk 10 minutes and you'll find a brand new gas station/variety store. All half price compared to hotel prices. You'll see lots of gecko's and a few lizards on the way to the gas station, or the strip mall. Now I know you want to know about the food. BUFFET: huge huge variety. Keep in mind it gets repetitive, it's the patrons who change....NOT the food. breakfast had it all.....pancakes, maple syrup, honey, eggs all styles, bacon, donuts, many fresh healthy juices, smoked salmon, cream cheese, peanut butter jam, all of the authentic items too, enchiladas, beans, fruits, hash browns (almost as good as McD'S), bagels, breads, 2 cuppicino/ espresso machines. Lunch.....pan fried fish, pastas, wings, burgers, nachos, burritos, ice cream, pizza (yuk), spicy salsa's, Dinner.....ribs, roasted chicken, turkey, roasted pork, fish pan fried also crispy breaded (yum), calamari, pastas. All meals had massive cold tables which infinite salad items....all in all i'm sure I'm missing 1000 items. Specialty restaurants......Italian buffet 5/10. Asian buffet 6/10. Mexican ala carte 5/10. main buffet 8/10. snack bar (served between lunch and dinner) 6/10. Outside restaurants at the strip mall and golden zone 9/10. Mazatlan is safe, enjoyable, exciting, breathtaking, hot and cheap. The resort is full of friendly staff who are always dressed in clean pressed uniforms and smiles. Free wifi in the lobby which I suggest you take your smart phone to the front desk first time signing in as you'll need to be walked through the procedure. Signal is choppy but sufficient. What else????? Oh ya. From May to August alot of locals stay there as a family getaway. I love this because of the entertainment value. When you see 3 amigo's arm in arm, and the guy in the middle has each of his eyes focused on two seperate clouds and his legs drag while the friend on either side of him are smiling and assisting him to his room....if he has no friends presently on either side of him, then amusing is the fashion in which he walks and his balance is quite unlike yours or mine.These are what we call Mexicans on vacation. This entertainment is included in the price. All in all, great spot, worth the money and would return there if the world wasn't so big!

  • Stayed May 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 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

Pros:

-friendly staff, great with kids
-clean!!! Restaurants, facilities, pools, gardens, rooms, bathrooms
-Rooms were quiet
-wide assortment of food available
-free Wifi in lobby
-kids pool area with slides for 1-9 year olds mostly
-quiet rooms, everyone with an ocean view (don't need to pay for an upgrade)
-balcony area handy for drying wet clothes
-pool side drink service at pools without the bar
-other than your room, everything else you need at the hotel is within close proximity on ground levels


Cons:

-not on a purified water system like some of the other Mexican resort towns- BIG negative vs. e.g.: Riu Santa Fe in Los Cabos (hello traveller's diarrhea!)
-two beds= two double pushed together, so someone is sleeping in the center joint. Makes it a bit awkward. Nice if it were two queen beds, separated. We might as well have gotten one King bed for our family of four, so no one would have woken up wedged in the crack! LOL!
-Beady-eyed black birds squawking all day long poolside & swooping at you and your food near pool areas and open air restaurant areas. They have nets to try to keep them out of the table areas, but they get in anyhow.
-hand soap provided smelled SO bad- bring a bar
-elevators. Ugh. Two sets of three, serving 22 floors. Line ups, long waits, angry lines of people, crowded & full at peak times, doors slam shut on people (don't have a safety recoil feature if you try to put your arm in to stop the door from closing). Can't take the stairs when you're on the 17th floor and have a stroller! Advice: ask for a floor you can walk up to and use the stairs instead of the elevator!!
-wifi is only for 90 mins a day per device, beginning from the time you log on, regardless of whether you spend 90 mins on it, or 5. Bit of a pain if you are used to checking your email several times a day. Now you can't.
-Resort is far from the airport and city, so $$ to travel by taxi there often.



Got a great deal on this all-inclusive trip with Sunwing, but I wouldn't go back because of the lack of purified water at the resort. I've never gotten sick in Puerta Vallarta or Los Cabos, but BOY did we get sick here, even when being careful to use bottled water for everything. We still got a tan, but would rather tan somewhere I won't spend so much time in the bathroom next time. Also a local guest told me that Sinaloa is the second most dangerous province in all of Mexico.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on a floor that you can easily walk up to using the stairs to avoid the elevator nigh...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bowmanville, Ontario
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2013

Don't believe the negative reviews are wrong!

Travelled, two 50 year old moms and one 21 year old daughter.

I've never gone on a vacation and felt so safe, comfortable and relaxed. I've read Mazatlan is dangerous, there are drugs etc, but its the total opposite. Everyone is so friendly and its extremely safe to leave the resort. We left multiple times and went into town by the local bus. Lots of locals speak fluent English. They aren't pushy for you to purchase, you say no and they will leave you alone!

Now to categorize the trip...

LOBBY/CHECK IN:
- Easy as ever, the Sunwing rep already has you checked in, you get off the bus, they have drinks ready and wrist bands are already put on you while on the bus and then you go grab your keys which are all set out for the guests and straight to the room! No waiting, no hassle. VERY ORGANIZED.

ROOMS:
- Very clean, and every room has an ocean view, we were on the 3rd floor so never took the elevator but still had a beautiful view of the ocean. Staff were friendly and the one day we asked for extra face cloths, the front desk called 10 minutes after to make sure we received them. They are on top of things! Rooms cleaned daily, like any other resort.
- AC works well!
- we slept with the door wide open some nights, no bugs and loved to hear the ocean roaring!

MAIN BUFFET:
- Always something to eat. They have a general menu of what will be served every night posted out front. The food was amazing. My daughter is extremely gluten intolerant and she didn't have a single issue. She loved the food. I can understand if you go for two weeks, you would get sick of eating in the same place every night but the food is great. We enjoyed every meal.
- Favourite waiter Daniel was always greeting us/other guests with a smile. He remembered our names and the drinks we always ordered at dinner and lunch. He was very positive and alway making sure our needs were met!
- Another awesome waiter which we never could say his first name but his last name was Santos, he was the best in the breakfast buffet! He was quick an efficient to find us a table and have our coffees poured!
The staff in the main buffet were great!

A la carte (Asian):
- awesome food, good variety, it is a buffet setting
- staff was slow, although the food was great, the main buffet staff make dinner more enjoyable

A la carte (Italian):
- awesome food as well, and a buffet setting (probably the best a la carte there)

Never went to the Mexican one as we loved the normal buffet so much we skipped our reservation!

BARS:
- Pool bar always had good service and good drinks!
- We went to the Lobby bar every night at 5pm for our afternoon martini's made by Jorge or Felipe. Always friendly, would customize drinks to how ever you wanted them. Awesome bartenders! Jorge even made a special martini for mothers day!

SPORTS BARS: The lady working in the mornings was great, she remembered our order from the second day (we went everyday after breakfast for our specialty coffees) They have sandwiches, muffins, pizza and nachos in there 24 hours.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

GO TO TOWN!
- bus cost 8 pesos (80 cents) each way. Takes you to the Gold Zone, which is main shopping (just ask your rep) and he'll give you a map.

- We ate at Los Ponchos, right on the beach and it was beautiful! Amazing fresh shrimp and great drinks. Beautiful view. Highly recommended if your interested in eating off the resort. Not expensive either.

- SILVER, every says go to The Real McCoy, we went and purchased some nice jewellery, rings earrings. Very nice there. DONT GO TO THE BIG SOUVENIR SHOP BESIDE (right side), they are jerks.

- Souvenirs, go to Michael Gallery, they have price tags and don't make up prices on the spot, and they have beautiful dishes. The lady even gave us 30% off, and we didn't even try to barter with her.

EXCURSIONS:
- Deer Island was beautiful! 1 hour ride on the catamaran and then banana boat rides, kayaking, snorkelling and lunch! then a 30 mins catamaran ride back to the Marina. 52$, but it was worth it. Free drinks serves instantly on the boat (always water bottles available too!) Everything was very well organized!

BEACH:
- The RIU is the only big resort on the beach, you can walk for ever!
- the beach was never packed, we always found chairs
- BEACH BAR SERVICE!! awesome
- life guards on duty
- HOLY BEAUTIFUL. Nicest beach ever, huge, hot sand around noon though. Super clean. Fun waves for jumping in, First couple days, the under tow was strong but later in the week it was fun and we were enjoying the ocean! Spent more time on the beach then the pool.
- horseback riding on the beach 10$ a person, if you barter you could probably get it cheaper!

POOLS:
-Big and clean! (other then the swim up bar pool....but we stuck to the other pools)

MARKETS:
- Looney Bean coffee shop
- Must try the Coconuts from the huts across the street. Fresh! 20-30 pesos

LOCALS:
- the hotel was busy, and there was locals, but why complain about that? That is like being in Florida and saying there is too many Americans at your hotel. Makes no sense. Everyone is friendly.
If you don't want to be around Mexicans, don't go to Mexico.

OVERALL:
- HIGHLY recommended. We have been to many resorts before, but this one we will be going back within this next year. It was the perfect vacation. To sum it up. It was a clean, positive atmosphere, welcoming, safe, and relaxing vacation.

Room Tip: no such things as a bad room.
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  • Stayed May 2013, 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
    • 5 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.
Edmonton, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

First off lets begin with the good. The resort itself is beautiful, lots of beach chairs, lots of pool chairs. The place is spotless, and the staff are amazing and friendly and very hard working. Hats off to Pedro, Jorge, Tomas, and Felipe, they made my day each and every day. My bar fridge was always stocked, and that was a good thing because I relied on bottled pop and water!

Now for the bad....if you rate your establishment as a 5 star, then you should provide 5 star food and beverages. While there is plenty of food, the food is sub par. Breakfast was good, lunch and dinner, the same everyday. The a la cartes are not, they are just another buffet. The liquor is the cheapest that they could buy and it tasted that way, the wine absolutely disgusting, coffee, if you can call it that, was just colored water. The beds are so very hard and not very comfortable. I have nothing against children, but they were every where. Why could they not have an adult area, and enforce the no children rule for the adult area.

If you can get this resort on the cheap then I would suggest going there, but be prepared to go to mega or walmart and buy your favorite alcohol and keep it in your room. 10 minute walk at the end of the beach are some fabulous restaurants and I would suggest eating there or at some of the establishments in the golden zone. We had our best meal at Roys!! But if the price difference is within $100 go to a better hotel and really enjoy the all inclusive experience. Would I go back only if it was dirt cheap, because I would have to eat all my dinners elsewhere.

We stayed at Riu Vallarta a while back, and their food and drink were much better than Emerald Bay. So I hope that the Riu realize that they will lose business by cheaping out!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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
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23 reviews 23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
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3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

I went to the Riu Emerald Bay with my wife and two daughters 21&15. My review may have been different had we not gone for Easter. Are you aware that it is the biggest holiday in Mexico followed immediately by a school break and the following weekend is the largest motorcycle rally in Mexico? I wasn't. That was my mistake.
This was our first time spending two weeks at an all inclusive. The first week flew by. We laughed at the people leaving saying that could be us after the first week. A couple of days later we wished it was over. I don't recommend 2 weeks
Ok, the hotel.....all the rooms face the ocean. Apparently paying the premium for ocean view only gets you a higher floor. The view is fantastic. In my opinion all the higher floor does is make you wait longer for an elevator. Elevators which seem to be few and far between, not to mention tiny. If you are at all claustrophobic get a low floor and take the stairs.
The rooms? Nice. Seemed a little dated for a five star but no complaints. I was looking forward to the in room bar but the liquor was nothing short of horrible. Tecate beer is not bad but it was not good.
Whilst on the topic of drinks.....what can I say......worst ever. The best drinks were at the lobby bar after 4pm. Seriously, how much money are they saving on this no name booze. 5 star? I had to go to the gas station to get decent beer.
The food? Hit and miss. The al a carte restaurants....don't bother.
There are some great restaurants just down the beach or several more down the road.
The pools, beach, grounds? Very nice. Chairs on the beach, around the pool, under shades, there is something for everyone.
We went because we got a great deal. It was Mexico. It was nice. But for full price I wouldn't recommend it.
It was about a 15 minute by cab to town and you are somewhat isolated otherwise.
I couldn't help but feel they were getting by on a wing and a prayer. I initially thought service was lacking because of the busy time of year but after that died down so did the staff. I would estimate the staff to guest ratio to be close to half of other 5 star hotels.
Even if you get a deal you should consider the cost of going out to eat and drink (which can be very reasonable) and transportation. Try the bus into town and splurge for the cab back. It adds up.
That being said, it wasn't bad but it isn't what it's made out to be. I recently read that Riu hotels start out all flash and slowly the quality dwindles as they ride the wave of good reviews. I think we missed the peak.
Good luck

Room Tip: All rooms face the ocean. Paying a premium only gets you a higher floor. There are no adjoining room...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 3 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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Romantic Hotel in Mazatlan
#12 Family Hotel in Mazatlan
#12 On the Beach 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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