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