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“a great place for the $$$ but watch the time of year you visit...” 5 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
Kitchener, Canada
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
142 helpful votes 142 helpful votes
“a great place for the $$$ but watch the time of year you visit...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

For the $800 all taxes ect in price we paid from toronto, this rates as one of the best vacation bargains I have had the pleasure of finding. it is a 5 star, but barely, esp for mexico. the place is new and beautiful, staff was perfect, food and drink were great. the beach is a little rough, but the sand is decent for the pacific side of central america.
where you can go wrong here is if you go at a time when lots of locals flood this place. food quality, service go down hill, and there are crowds everywhere for everything. the tons of misbehaved kids will make you think of doing terrible things... this seems to happen from april to october. I would avoid at these months. it is just too over crowded, and too pushy and loud. it maybe a cultural thing but def not what we are used to at a resort, let alone a 5 star.

beds were ok, but not 5 star. however you can ask for a mattress pad and this makes it bearable

Room Tip: its a tall hotel, so the higher up you go the better the view. but you will also find yourself depen...
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  • Stayed April 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 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,716 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 (440)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

So we arrived in mexico at 930 am, headed to hotel. they checked us in on the BUS!! which was great. We were worried that our rooms were not gonna be ready...But everything was ready for us!!! amaaazing :)

we grabbed our envelope and headed to our room....all rooms here have ocean view(awesome)

the pools are beautiful clean (except for the bar) too many drinkers not enough people going to bathrooms :/

food was GREAT!! they did not have a lot of variety You must check out Mr liosos just a short walk down the beach, Food sooo good!!

Service is great here, you ask for something and they are very quick at servicing you. Rooms are kept very clean, def no complaints on that.

night life was not that great, hotel is def for an older crowd, on the wknds the locals come in for a short vacay didn't bother me, but saw frustration on others.

in all I def think it is worth going to this resort!!!

til next time Mazatlan

  • Stayed February 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
    • 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.
Orange County, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

My wife and I booked the Riu Emerald Bay all-inclusive for our wedding anniversary trip July 2013. The resort was not quite what we hoped for. First I will cover the positives.

Some of the resort areas were generally very clean. The staff cleans the place constantly, including a full time person to mop just the lobby floor. So, upon our arrival the place looked very nice. The resort itself is attractive, and our room was a decent size and quite clean. The views from every room are amazing as all rooms are on the ocean side. The service staff in the restaurants were very good and very attentive.

Now the negatives.

The check in/check out process is absolutely abysmal. I must say that it is absolutely the most disorganized mess at a hotel I have ever experienced. We waited in line for an hour just to check in to the room. There were not enough staff people to handle the volume of check-ins, and they all had to go to the back to get each guest's registration package. Quite an incompetent system I must say. The check-out process was also quite disorganized with literally one person handling the check-outs.

The food was not great. The breakfast buffet was decent, but with the number of people, it could definitely be quite a zoo. Dinner was not good at all. Every piece of meat or protein we ate was severely overcooked and lacking in seasoning. DO NOT EAT AT THE ASIAN RESTAURANT!!! The food was utterly disgusting...and this is no exaggeration.

There are not nearly enough elevators to handle the volume of people that this hotel packs in. Our average wait time for an elevator was 14 minutes. This became a running joke, and I began to actually time the wait times to document it. Luckily we were on the 4th floor, so we could walk down the stairs when the waits became unbearable.

The pools were murky and filthy. Also, we noticed numerous naked young children swimming in the pools, which kind of grossed us out. As well as some babies with normal (not swim type) diapers in the pool as well. The staff really needs to police the use of the pools better, and they should be kept sparkling and clear. The pools are, after all where most people spend their time.

The pool swim up bar was typically packed and had horrible bartender service. One incident that occurred which REALLY shocked us was the first day. We witnessed one of the pool bartenders lean over the bar and literally stick his tongue down the throat of one of the guests. It made us feel SO uncomfortable that we decided to leave the pool bar area. Seriously, this is completely unacceptable behavior for hotel staff.

We went to the resort show on a couple of nights. The traditional Mexican dancing show was good. However one of the other nights the show included some quite unfunny vulgar humor involving men beating women. We didn't find this very entertaining.

One day after a going into central Mazatlan we returned to the hotel and after waiting about 15 minutes for an elevator, we decided to hike up the four stories to our room. Upon arriving at the room, there was a sign on the door stating that all of the room keys had been reset, and we needed to go to the front desk to get a new room key. I was quite irate at this point! We walked all the way downstairs again to get our room key. Why the hotel couldn't have posted signs in the lobbies or by the elevators notifying the guests of this inconvenience is just another testament to the sheer incompetence of the hotel management.

The biggest detractor of the hotel, however, was the sheer volume of guests. It was quite obvious that the hotel was understaffed to handle the number of people. And it made for a hectic, not very relaxing trip.

I personally would never stay here again. And...to be honest, if this hotel is exemplary of Riu resorts, I probably will never stay at another Riu anywhere. That being said, if you are a large family or with a large group of people and relaxation isn't really what you are looking for, this resort may be a good value for you.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

Fantastic stay at Riu Emerald Bay. The people were a lot of fun and the only very bad thing I have to say about the resort is the long lines at the elevators. There are 20 some floors and people even on the first three will take the elevator which wastes a lot of the vacation. Food was great, staff was energetic, beach was great, surfing close by, great restaurants close by, nice city.

Room Tip: Get rooms on lower floors to avoid elevator traffic.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013 via mobile

We were at the Riu from April 5th to 19th and it was great. There were six of us traveling together and everything turned out great. check in was handy - got our bracelets on the bus, and picked up our room packages seamlessly. The staff were amazing! George (papa) in the lobby bar was absolutely the best bartender ever! David at the front lobby was super friendly and very helpful! The beds are quite uncomfortable but again, it's not 'home'. The beach was beautiful and loved the fact that the rope was there to keep the venders from approaching you while you were on the lounge chairs. Plenty of beach chairs available. Go to the restaurant at the end of the beach on the right - amazing food and drinks and decent prices. The ride into mazatlan is like 15 min, we hired Franco for the day and were totally impressed with him - too bad we didn't know about him until the last couple of days, otherwise we would have used his services for the whole trip! Mazatlan is beautiful and NEVER felt unsafe at ANY moment, so for those of you who say to stay away from Mazatlan, how about you actually venture out and off the beaten path and get to know the locals, who by the way are the most kindest people out there! Make sure you call Franco if you want to go downtown shopping! Overall we would definitely go back to Mazatlan. Message us if you have any questions! Pacos Friend and Pacos Friends Wife!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Sherwood Park, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

The hotel looks lovely from the outside. Inside it is a busy mess that needs more attentive and polite staff with an upgrade in the elevator system. The food is average. The drinks are average.
The staff is average. The rooms are okay but not cleaned well. The staff must be overworked and have to rush to make their quota of cleaned rooms because the quality of cleanliness is just not there. The restaurants are okay but the nothing stands out other than the incredibly long waits for the food lineups on the beach, and the wait for the elevators. I get a terribly eerie feeling at the elevators knowing about that lady from Canada who was almost beaten to death in the hotel a few years ago. I think the RIU needs to improve their staff to guest ratio. Set out wasp traps as the wasps were horrible. Too many to tolerate sitting outside by the pool with a drink. The RIU seems to cater to the locals with an incredible deal of $70 per ROOM for locals. So the weekend shows busloads upon busloads of local families enjoying the hotel with 6-10 per room and 1000 screaming misbehaved kids infiltrating the pool area. You can see the multitudes of buses in the parking lot. It only adds to the unorganized food lines and elevator waits.
I don't love it and I know there are better places to stay in Mazatlan. The place is on sale alot because they do need to fill the hundreds of rooms. I wouldn't recommend it.

Room Tip: Choose a different hotel.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Savannah GA
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2013

Hotel was clean and staff very friendly and helpful. Many did not speak English though. Very crowded though. Brought locals in by the bus loads. A lot of children present. Good for family not so much for relaxing adult time. Food was typical buffet with Mexican cuisine prevailing at breakfast lunch and dinner. Drinks were not very good. Coffee is not their thing. More of a 3 star family w/kids vacation. Trip was not expensive though.

Room Tip: Don't know. Three women slept in 2 double beds pushed together. Not what we booked. All are nois...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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 4
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:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Mazatlan
#7 Romantic Hotel in Mazatlan
#11 On the Beach 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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