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“Great Vacation, 4.5****” 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 #16 of 76 Hotels in Mazatlan
Level Contributor
24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Great Vacation, 4.5****”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014 via mobile

My boyfriend and I vacationed here in January. It was his first out of country vacation so I wanted to pick a good hotel for a good first impression of Mexico. We LOVED it. All the rooms having ocean view was such a beautiful treat, spectacular view. Food was pretty good (although we did have to bring our own ketchup haha.) and drinks were great to. We loved the little mini bar in our room. It is a big resort and we found you do wait a few minutes for your drink orders at times, nothing excessive and was expected. My other stays in different resorts I found the employees much more personable but I'm assuming that this being as big of a resort as it was that the workers probably don't have near as much time to get to know you. However Pancho who was at the lobby bar during our stay was FANTASTIC, best bartender I've had worldwide. And the lady at the sportsbar was absolutely wonderful to. The elevators a little slow and the vendors on the beach were intolerable!! But those are our few complaints. We will be staying here again in the future. Thank you Riu for making my boyfriends first vacation and our first together as a couple so beautiful and enjoyable!

  • Stayed January 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
2 Thank _TheVacationers_1523
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

We booked this vacation as a last minute package and ended up with a great deal. We were a party of 7 so there were some restrictions as to the type pf room we could be put in. When we reserved our travel agent called the hotel directly to confirm the sleeping arrangements, however when we arrived the room we were given did not include beds for 2 of the kids, which is obviously a problem. The hotel however was quick to offer us a massive room upgrade (we did pay a small reasonable fee) and we ended up with a fantastic room. It was a 2 story, 2 bathroom room located off the main floor. That eliminated most of the elevator problems that people are talking about, however I do agree that when we were required to take them it was a long wait and could have been very frustrating had we been on any of the higher floors. The rooms themselves were clean and modern and the beds were super comfortable. The food was average. It caters to a very Mexican clientele (be prepared to be in the minority if you speak English) so it was fantastic for those of us who love authentic Mexican food. They have a few restaurants to choose from however we found the main one was probably the best. I did find that they didn't label the food particularly well, so there is a lot of trial and error involved.
The true gem about this hotel is the childrens section. It is separated from the rest of the pools and includes a small shallow wading pool, a much larger slighted deeper wading pool with small waterside and large mushroom sprinkler and a small park to the side of the pool in a grassy area. It was perfect for all ages of kids. My 2 year old up to my 11 year old enjoyed the area. And there was plenty of seating. We simply brought a few loungers down from around the main pool area and parked them on a patch of grass under a tree the one day that the chairs were taken under the pergola. There is a daily kids camp as well however my kids did not participate since it seemed to be primarily in Spanish, however I do believe they would have tried it had they found themselves bored. They also have a family friendly show that ran ever night after dinner that my older kids very much enjoyed.
I would definitely return to this resort in the future, however I would be booking the 2 story room off the bat to eliminate the shuffle when we arrived.

Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
Thank Colleen1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Livonia, Michigan
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

This is our 5th RIU. I would put it least favorite. Check in-very disorganized, had to find & take our own luggage up. Lobby-HOT-no air conditioning!!! Elevators are horribly inadequate, hot, slow, crowded!!!!!! Apparently the hotel specializes in putting together cheap packages and day passes for the locals, in the summer months. Which wouldn't be a problem except your treated like you don't exist. They are very rude!!! There's no such thing as a "line". They will cut in front of you, whether it be the elevator, food or bar. Watched adults eating food from the buffet with their hands. Absolutely no etiquettes! They come in large groups with tons of kids, which they just let run around unsupervised, while parents sit at the swim up bar. Security does remove the under 18 year olds from the pool bar. They disregard the no smoking signs in the pool. Security had to shut down the pool bar to remove the drunk and disorderly young adults several times. A young girl so drunk, the boys kept removing her swimsuit. Security not even paying attention. We were on the 4th floor and had to call security several times throughout the night because of all the chaos in the hall ways and beating on our door. Do not leave your belongings at your chair! They will just put their things on top of yours. We had our towels taken. A girl actually tried on my friends flip flops right in front of me an was going to steal them. After that we watched her walk around scoping out everyone's belongings. As we were reporting this, We witnessed non-guest coming from the beach into the hotel. People with no wrist bands.
Good price. Staff-great. Rooms-very clean. Food-good, a lot of variety. Alex our taxi driver took us for a great tour of the city!!! Really enjoyed the city & the shopping. Miguel & Jose at the swim up bar " Awesome" actually went out of their way to bring our drinks to us because of all the chaos in the pool one day koodos!!! Although the locals wouldnt move to let you get a drink. Note that we tipped all week. The locals definitely don't tip! The bartenders work their butts off & put up with a lot of crap!!!
We are very easy going people. And love to have a good time. It could be a great RIU other than the local issues. We absolutely love mexico! Its our favorite vacation destination. And this really put a bad taste in our mouth :( So I guess it just depends on what your looking for.

Room Tip: All rooms have an ocean view
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Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
4 Thank Cheryl G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, South Carolina
Level Contributor
63 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2014

We went back to the Riu in Mazatlan Mx. We have traveled to many of the Riu's but Mazatlan has to be our favorite. When we arrive we are greeted by Dave at the front door each time where we are personally greeted. From there to the front desk and dining room we are always recognized and greeted. It's as though we are royalty. The jacuzzi suite is super. Dining is always a treat. The food is delicious and always good. The pools are also very nice. However if you want something other than the resort food go to Mary's. That will follow in another review.

Room Tip: If you like coca cola bring your own. They have Pepsi.
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  • Stayed June 2014, 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
9 Thank David R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2014

I dont Know where to start, first the elevators were sooo slow, it could take you 20 min to get from the lobby to floor 8th, plus the line that you have to do, and it's so claustrophobic and hot in the damn elevator, the second thing I didn't like the all include that you paid for the restaurant get so crowded that you can't get in and the food is not that good, and the 3rd to check out all the persons in the room have to be present to bring back the bracelet that they give you to have the all include deal if the persons does not show up they won't give you you check out pass which you need to get a can out of the hotel

  • Stayed June 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
1 Thank Brendaes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omaha, Nebraska
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2014 via mobile

Just returned yesterday from our one week stay - exhausted bur remembering our great trip. This was our first time in 11 years of all-inclusive vacations, staying at an Riu and we will definitely try to find other Riu's in other areas. No complaints about the food, drinks, staff, cleanliness, air conditioning, rooms, bathrooms, beach. My family was very pleased! Elevators are slow but stairs are great exercise and we were on the 2nd floor (huge fear of heights). My husband celebrated his birthday during our stay and they surprised him with a bottle of champagne. I was disappointed to see so few people tipping the wait staff in the restaurants and bars. The staff work very hard for everyone to have a good time.

Tons of pros - beach, food, staff, rooms and bathrooms, timeliness of room straightening in the mornings, willingness of staff to answer questions, number of staff that spoke English, drinks, Asian reservation restaurant was my family's favorite, met great people (good talks at the pool with Bob, Paula, Cheryl and John!)

Few cons - adult pool very crowded and loud at times, pool water temperature, free wi-fi is limiting (but it was great that our teenage daughter wasn't on her phone all day and night), size of resort was overwhelming at first (hard to find everything and there wasn't an explanation at check-in), far from town and other activities....

Would go back in a heartbeat!!!!

Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
4 Thank Chris P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, BC
Level Contributor
42 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2014

– STAY HYDRATED!! Travelling companion ended up in Emergency because he did not. GREAT treatment by Mexican Emerg Medical staff once Medical Travel Insurance was authorized. But nt a great way to spend time in Mexico.
– Take cash [Mexican Pesos or $US]– your credit card company will charge an exorbitant exchange rate AND a fee for doing the exchange [Ask them.] Best exchange rate for pesos or US$ is in Canada at a legit foreign exchange businesses.
– Tipping – Not necessary but staff really respond to as little as 20 pesos [$2] tips. Why not?

RESORT – Riu Emerald Bay is a 5 star all-inclusive resort with great staff and service
– Near end of resort area, about 40 min by bus from Public Market in Mazatlan
– Beautiful pools, pool bar, spectacular beach [gradual, shallow entry, no obvious undertow], typical nightly shows, 4 great restaurants [you have to book 24 hrs ahead for 1st 3] – Asian, Mexican, Italian, Three Islands – all with quality food and lots of choices; lots of activities especially around the pool bar. We chose to “veg out” as much as possible throughout the resort and on the beach. ENJOY!
– Booze is available everywhere and part of “all-inclusive” – the lobby bar/lounge has the BEST mojitos! Take care ... see first line of advice. Booze is NOT hydration.
– Cinq de Mayo weekend is the end of high season and weather turns [gets much hotter]. Resort provides great deals for locals at this time and there were many families.
– We were there 14 days and there were 3 beach weddings in the last week [low season]. Loud music but all was shut down by 10:30 pm.

– Room choices do make a difference. ALL have an “ocean –view” [except 3rd floor rooms that have a facade wall blocking the beach/ocean view]
– Higher floors have great views BUT you’ll have to use elevators and the elevators are TERRIBLE! One [of 3] was often out-of-order and they were VERY VERY slow at peak times.
– Architectural design of ocean-front of Riu means that room beside vertical walls [jut out 10+ feet] have limited sideways views. If you are at eastern end of hotel your view of sunsets will be compromised. Best bet [for full 180 view] are the rooms behind the elevators. This section of the hotel juts out and is even with the vertical walls - thus no compromised view.

– We took the bus to the Mazatlan “Market Street” [10 pesos ($1)] and I would NOT recommend it. Hot, VERY little help from bus driver, Market Street is NOT worth the effort [quite dirty, few good deals,] so really think about doing this.
– We had to get off the bus [“don’t go there” (to front of resort)] 4 km from resort [we were told by hotel which bus to take back Market] AND, d-u-h-h, we JUST got off the bus when a cart showed up to give us a ride for the last 4 km for “only 50 pesos [$5]”. I was “sales-talked” all the way back by a very pleasant young man selling all sorts of excursion options. Next time we will split a taxi.
– BUT, while in “downtown” Mazatlan, got wonderful directions to cathedral [he walked with us for 3 blocks] from a gentleman who would not accept any $ for his help to
– Find the Old Cathedral, a block from Market Street [It is WELL worth visiting! Just like in Europe.]

- We thought it was the best tour for the money [we paid $40 each] – bus ride to harbour, tour boat ride to Stone Island, and a horse-drawn cart ride to ocean-side restaurant where we received a meal and choice of two “activities.” We chose beach horse ride and horse-drawn cart ride through the small residential village. On the latter we were serenaded with Mexican songs by the elderly driver - wife loved it! The horse ride out to and on the beach was wonderful too [and I am NOT a rider!]. Meal was great while we watched the banana boat “activity” unfold before us – [waves dumped riders into ocean at least twice : )).] Then boat tour back.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
3 Thank Rickity1-x
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
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Mazatlan
#10 Romantic 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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