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“Never going back to a Riu” 2 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 #17 of 76 Hotels in Mazatlan
Metz, France
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Never going back to a Riu”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

I had one of the worst all inclusive vacations last week in this hotel.

For a 4.4 stars hotel (as described by their own website) and price per night, I would expect the highest of quality service.

The service is awful!! Reception, restaurant waiters, security, most bartenders, i could just keep on going... They are rude, careless and will only take care of you and talk to you respectfully if you offer them a tip before. For me this is not acceptable from any hotel, nevertheless an all inclusive!!

The pool was really disgusting!! It was always full of bugs, lots of them! The filters were not working, we could see almost all of them were missing the control door. There was no one cleaning the pool by hand. The whole hotel had a bad mop smell constantly, restrooms where a nightmare...

No one around the pool picking up dirty dinnerware, we literally saw dirty plates standing next to the pool for almost a full day.

The elevators are a biggggg problem, seriously!! We waited for 15min a lift and ended up taking the stairs. This is unacceptable for a +12 floors building!!! Imagine the drama to take the luggage back down at check out time...

Food is horrible. It never changes, it's greasy, salty, some of the dishes are just gross. They have almost no labeling on the buffet, so you just kind of guess what the dish it's supposed to be. Remember the mop smell around the hotel? Well, you get it in your fountain drinks too!!

The reservation restaurants are just the same buffet with less options. None of them interesting or tasteful at all.

At the bar, the alcohol is a generic brand. I asked for a vodka shot to mix myself, saw the bartender pour it from a Smirnoff bottle and for some strange reason... it was a cheap tequila! So my big guess is they refill their bottles with whatever cheap brand of alcohol they buy.

Ohhh but the big surprise was the last day we where checking out... The hotel had an inspection that day and magically the pool was clean, the service was keeping everything in order (still rude btw) and they prepared some decent food.

The sound isolation in hotel rooms is usually not good as a general rule, but here they sent workers to fix stuff with major power tools at 9am, keep that in mind...

I could just keep on saying all of the unacceptable stuff that we saw and experienced, but I have to admit we did read some reviews in this web page about people experiencing the same. So I guess the lesson is... "believe what people say, because it's true..."

We just had a trip to Playa del Carmen a month ago and stayed at a 3.5 star all-inclusive hotel (same price). Believe me when I say by just comparing the service, I would give the Riu 1 star.

Never planing to choose any Riu hotel again!!!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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2,209 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 (593)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, Kentucky
Level Contributor
34 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013 via mobile

The RIU is a great no pressure hotel that does NOT pressure sell or promote timeshare which is nice. From the time you arrive you will be bombarded by shyksters trying to sell time share. They are quick and lure people even before leaving the airport. It's too bad because this part of Mexico is trying to clean up the problem with crime and from what I saw the police and federal military is very evident.
Food at the hotel is great. The tobasco restaurant is by far the best but extremely hard to get reservations so go directly to the matre de during the day and ask. The buffet is great. Service food cleanliness its great. The chef will ask you personally at almost every visit. We had a great server and its a shame I can't remember his name. He was young and extremely attentive to detail. Great English and could give advice on anything in hotel and surrounding area. The bars are great.
The only complaint about the hotel is that there is no adult only area and it gets crazy busy with kids running screaming splashing and just being kids. There is a kids area at the hotel and there should be an adults only area
One word of caution is beware the jewelry shops. Don't go to the stores called The Real Mc Coy and silver Ring. They are scammers to the greatest degree and will lie about every part of the items they sell and will not stand behind there product or promises. Most of the stores are co owned and all play the same game to get your money. The only honest store I found was Rubio jewelery He is the only true gemologist and although he seems a little expensive at first you will soon se
e that the product he says you are getting is actually the quality size and colours that the jewelry actually is. So be ware be very ware. Even the tour reps that work for sunwing get kickbacks to send you to the jewelry shop they work at in the off season.
We had beautiful pictures taken on the beach at sunset and although I know they turned out great the photo desk was too busy to help or closed. Too bad as I would have purchased some for sure.
The beach venders are eager to sell the average souvenirs to you and have beautiful blankets for 40 for a king size if you are savvy enough. There is a man named Candy who speaks some English and is honest if you ask for him everyone knows him.there is a guy who sells fishing charters for deep sea fishing for about 350 for 8 hours including beer lunch tackle transportation, and fishing license. Make sure It's included.He wears a white captains hat and acts a little like Gilligan off Gilligan's island. Quite entertaining to say the least.
I would recommend this hotel to anyone family, singles and couples. Just keep in mind the people are fighting each other for your dollar as tourism is down 50% , and if you can use that to your advantage you will have the time of your life

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

This is a relatively new hotel. Spotlessly clean, in beautiful, safe surroundings. I would definitely return here for another holiday. Very reasonably priced, and good value for $. I stayed on the 5th floor with a spectacular ocean view. I like the fact that they have 2 main pool areas. One is lively and upbeat; the other quiet and more relaxing. The beach area is very nice, though I found there were too many vendors on the beach. Yes, they stay behind a barrier, but there are so many, they block the view of the ocean, which is why I was there. My daughter and I are both vegetarians and we found the food choices to be quite good, though I thought the Riu Caribe in Cancun did seem to have a larger selection to choose from. All the staff were very nice, although we did have one negative experience at the Mexican a la carte restaurant, where the maitre d was unnecessarily rude because we were 5-10 minutes late for our sitting. He could have rescheduled us politely if it was such an inconvenience; instead, he allowed us to enter begrudgingly. We basically thought about it for a minute or two, then left for the buffet. I did inform management, in writing, but received no response. As I said, I would definitely return, but after that I would not if I encountered any more rude staff at this hotel.

Room Tip: We enjoyed relaxing on our balcony on the 5th floor.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lompoc, California
Level Contributor
113 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013 via mobile

Beautifully appointed building, but with the all-inclusive, you get what you pay for. Positives include a very nice building, which is kept quite clean. Negatives, however, are a longer list! There were too many people everywhere - waiting for elevators, food, drinks, check in, etc. The elevator situation was quite ridiculous. But it was relatively cheap!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Kitchener, Canada
Level Contributor
103 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
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.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 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
Level Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 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.
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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
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
#7 Spa Hotel in Mazatlan
#10 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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