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“BEWARE!” 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 #14 of 76 Hotels in Mazatlan
Vancouver
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“BEWARE!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2009

This hotel has great food, staff and is ultra clean but beware of towel theft!

The hotel is well aware that there is a towel theft problem and guests are expected to pay 220 pesos if one goes missing. Hang on to your towels.

We heard stories of theft in the rooms as well. Keep your most valuable belongings locked up. It is a shame to think that if your things aren't locked up that someone with access to your room is stealing. Quite disappointing. It makes you suspicious of the staff in general.

Roberto, who works on the outside terrace at night is the best! He is fast, courteous, and good at what he does. He works very, very hard to make your trip a memorable one. A tip goes a long way, not only with him but with all the staff.

We tipped our first day in the room and had a pillow, sheet, and facecloth go missing. And shampoo was not replaced. We never did get our mini-fridge/bar replenished without asking. The room floors are dirty. Walking in bare feet produced black bottomed feet.

Better shops in-house would be nice as you are about 10-12 kms from town.

A nice lounge for a quiet and respectable drink would be nice too. There was the lobby bar but it was never open.

Many locals stay here (I think they get discounted day passes). While it is nice to mix with some of the national people they are pushy and hungry. They will walk right over you to get at the food and they take plates and plates and plates of it. They also pick all the prawns out of any dish that contains them. If you want some (they are delicous) you better get to the buffet before they do. I think they may have been feeding their friends and families that were not paying for a discounted day pass.

The Riu Cabo San Lucas kicks the butt of the Riu Emerald Bay.

Adios.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • 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
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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 (551)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Calgary, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2009

This is a wonderful hotel! Smooth airport to hotel transport, smooth check-in, somewhat small room until you see the ultra private large balcony and double sink bathroom! The strange part is the bathtub, small and about 3 feet high! Other than that, the food was great at the 3 reservation restaurants, but somewhat boring at the buffet. Be advised to note the weekends there have a lot of locals with a lot of kids and avoid convention times as my last night there was sleepless with a local student union who's loud partying ended at 2:30 AM, and the festivities began again at 5:00AM the next morning with yelling in the hallways! The beach and pools were great! Thanks to Charlie at the pool bar, and Ismail at the Sports bar... great people! I was loyal to Bahaia Principe chain, and I think it will stay that way for real 5 star hotels!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Vancouver
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2009

Having stayed at Riu Resorts in the past, and had a great time, we figured the Emerald Bay would be their flagship resort and is advertised as a 5 star. The location and hotel are beautiful but that's where my accolades end. Our 7 day vacation was Monday to Monday. The first few days were OK, the hotel was probably at 25% capacity. The two pool areas are large with lots of chaise lounges with plenty of sun and shaded areas. We tended to hanf around the south pool because it was alot quieter and seemed to be more adult oriented. The pool bar, which included a swim up bar was located in the north pool area, which was a bit of a hike from the south pool. There were no staff to order drinks pool side so if you wanted a drink you had a long walk ahead of you to the bar. The bartenders were the type that expected you to tip if you wanted any kind of service or you were largely ignored (my wife wants me to add "especially if you're female").
The hotel had a large breakfast/dinner buffet, a lunch buffet and three "specialty" restaurants. The buffets are what you'd expect them to be with something for everyone (beer and wine on tap). They needed more variety in their salad bars, which is generally what I had for lunch. They also tended to really oversalt everything, I think they even added salt to their bacon! The "specialty restaurants" Asian, Mexican, and Steak, needed reservations. You could make reservations, in person only, no phone calls, at the Customer Service Desk in the lobby. The desk opened at 7:00 AM and I encountered lineups even that early in the morning. (everyone was thinking the same thing as I was). You could only make reservations for, "today and tomorrow only, Senor!", which made planning ahead difficult. Here's where the math gets tricky. Even though they advertised 3 "Specialty Restaurants" there were really only 2 open on any given evening. The Mexican and Steak restaurants shared the same location but alternated evenings. (Hey, weren't we here last night?) There was no dress code for any so I packed those fancy dress pants for nothing. The food in all 3 was mediocre. The Asian was a combo Chinese/Japanese buffet affair, none of it very authentic and too salty. I may be prejudiced, people from Vancouver are spoiled, we tend to be a little snotty about our Asian cuisine. The Steak Restaurant served the usual fare. I had a sirloin and my wife had ribs. My steak was fine, a little overdone, for medium rare, but it was OK. My wife's ribs were good. We dined with two other couples who were not as lucky as us. They all ordered steak anfd they all sent them back. They were tough and I didn't know well done meant it was still bleeding. It was mentioned to the staff that it was my wife's birthday, (not by me, I was sworn to secrecy). The staff brought out a nice cake and candle and we all sang Happy Birthday; the highlight of the evening. If you go stick to the ribs. The Mexican Restaurant, what can I say? I didn't know Mexicans didn't know how to cook Mexican food. My suggestion for a nice meal would be to take a romantic stroll up the beach to a beachside Mexican Restaurant about a block nortof the Riu. By all accounts great food and great drinks (two for one happy hour from 5 to 10) and reasonably priced.
I've already mentioned the pool bar now it's the other bars' and entertainment's turn. There was an outdoor bar, (the best of the bunch for good drinks) a bar by the theatre, a Sports Bar, a bar off the lobby that was only open once during our stay, a disco, and of course every room had a bar. The outdoor bar overlooked the theatre and had speakers mounted closeby piped into the theatre. It was usually very busy and hard to get drinks from in the evening. The bar in the theatre was also busy and hard to get drinks from. All bars were strictly self service. These two bars, other than the Sports Bar, witch was off the main lobby, were the only ones open in the evening. Once the shows in the theatre about 8:30 it got very, very loud. The acoustics were terrible, and the entertainment was just as bad. We've been to quite a few resorts; often the entertainment leaves something to be desired but it's tolerable. Here it was very amateurish, (you may want to skip karaoke night) and very loud. Even if the entertainment had been good it would not have been enjoyable because of the volume. You could not get get away from the noise by retreating to the outdoor bar because of the speakers they'd mounted there. We usually headed back to our room when we couldn't stand it anymore. The sports bar, open 7/24, was smoky and they tried to serve me stale beer but I asked for fresh ones to be poured. The bartender gave me a dirty look for my impertinence. Speaking of smoking, it's allowed everywhere. There's nothing I like better than to sit down to a meal and have a table full of smokers sitting next to me light up. I didn't make it to the Disco, which opened after the show was over, was, by all accounts, loud and smoky too. The other bar I mentioned, next to the lobby, would be your best bet for a quiet conversation, but was only open on Saturday evening, so had not been discovered by others.
Our 9th floor room was fine, not too big, but big enough for two. It had a hard king size bed, large dresser, a couple of chairs and an LCD TV. The bathroom was a good size with two sinks. There was also a bar with four types of alcohol, all of questionable origin. Definitley alcohol to be consumed only in an emergency. there was also a bar fridge stocked beer, pop, and water. The fridge was so noisy I had to unplug it at night in order to get some rest. Each room had a balcony with a small table and two chairs. All the rooms had panoramic ocean views which are beautiful. the sunsets were spectacular. Maid service was OK. Our room was kept clean but fresh water, face cloths and shampoo were not replenished daily. Others we spoke to were not as lucky as we were. I highly reccommend you use the room safe for all valuables. People told us of having money pilfered, they had it hidden but not in their safe. One couple we spoke to said they were asleep at 11 PM but were awoken by three Mexicans who entered their room unannounced. The Mexivans fled when they realized the room was occupied. They reported the incident to the front desk who told them there had been five key cards issued for their room even though they only had three. When they asked how this could happen the desk clerk only shrugged her shoulders. Hotel Service overall was OK and the staff, for the most part , was friendly though inexperienced.
We were having a pretty good time there until about Thursday. The Hotel started to fill up mostly with Mexican nationals who basically took the place over. I would say foreign nationals, mostly adults, were the majority of the guests up until this point, were reduced to about 10%. The Mexicans were there to celebrate a National holiday. We were told the hotel was booked at 120% capacity for the long weekend. Lineups for the bars and buffets got longer as the weekend progressed. A Mexican lineup usually means one person goes and stands in line and is then joined by ten others who butt in. Unless you got there early lineups of an hour or more could be encountered with people butting in constantly. They also started to run out of food. They could have easily opened the lunch buffet for breakfast and dinner service but chose not to. The pool areas became a disaster. The south "Adult Pool" was taken over by children of all description. We spent our time there and left the noisy north pool to the kids and partiers. The south pool had no bar, no DJ playing loud music or bellowing over the PA system, and only quiet, well behaved kids until Thursday. Then the holiday started and they came, usually in family groups of ten or more. Because the pool had no music they brought their own boom boxes. I think therewas a competition to see who could be the loudest. At other resorts we've been to, when people get too loud the staff encourage them to vacate the quiet areas in favour the party zones. This did not happen here. The staff did nothing to stop it. The hotel also sold day passes' which encouraged a lot of them to consume as much food and alcohol as they possibly could. Every other person we spoke to that was on our plane coming home held the same opinion. This was not a five star resort as advertised. It would probably rate three stars even though we thought we'd paid for a five star resort. All we spoke to were very disappointed and would never go back to the Riu. As I said earlier, beautiful hotel, beautiful location, and beautiful beach, that's as far as it goes. Don't go there. Enough said.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Grande Prairie, Canada
Top Contributor
130 reviews 130 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2009

Well, our honeymoon destination. We were so excited. We were upgraded to a Junior suite as the reg rooms were just small plain rooms. We got there and it was beautiful. Slow time so lots of room and excellent service! We got there on Monday. On Wednesday everything went really, really sour. Because this was the slow time, the hotel invited the Mexican families to stay there while there was a school holiday. It was a deal they couldn't refuse. SEVEN busloads of families showed up. Then 2 more flights of other travellers. There were people everywhere. The food was reduced from crab pizza to almost no toppings. There was no selection at all, (when you could get through the crowds). Lots of babies and kids under 5 in the swim up bar. NO diapers. Elevators were dirty and not nearly big enough. Took us 30 minutes to finally get to our room one afternoon as the kids were running loose in the elevators. Met 3 people who had money stolen from their change bags. Floors wet and messy ( i fell down the stairs)No discipline. The music (if you could call it that) was too noisy. Our honeymoon was not as it should be as we stayed away from Wed to Sun as we couldn't stand the noise or the people. Didn't even go for supper the last night. Asian rest just another buffet. No Rules whatsoever. This is a beautiful resort but far away from town, very noisy, not at all able to accomodate the 700+ rooms it holds. Double standards. Rent out day passes to strangers totally taking away your security. Beware all those who save their precious pennies for a nice holiday.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2009

I will tell you the complete truth!!!!!!!! Pro's and Con's
Pro's.......
Flying into MZE from Houston was smooth.. when we landed we had already purchased a pick up (which I recommend due to lots of people asking to take you places I wasn't to sure of) with Mazatlan Tour(http://www.mazatlantours.org)...

Its a bit of a drive toward the hotel, you will see pretty things as well as vandalism..when I arrived at the hotel all i could think was WOW!, Just beautiful..
Once the driver dropped us off when we went inside even more beautiful marble floor ..extremely high ceilings.. you felt as if you were in a palace...The service as soon as we arrived was great..greeted us very friendly... with a refreshing virgin drink.

They had our room ready(then again we got there on time 3p), when we got inside the room it was very clean..very spacious, mini bar, a safe with a combination only you know,lots of towel, TV,phone,two chairs..king bed and a wonderful balcony with a table and two chairs.. two poles to hang wet bathing suits and towels.. the view from the room was just beautiful.. we could see the pool as well as the ocean...

In the resort they have lots of restaurant that you can choose from(Mexican<Chinese<Etc)... they have Free Wifi in the Lobby area and in the Sports bar that is open 24hrs a day...and if you don't have a Laptop they also have Computers in the sports bar...

As for pools they have about 4.. A swim up bar pool with music near the beach..another for just children with slides and sprinklers, etc... very cute safe and entertaining for kids away from the Bar pool...two huge pools one for people that does not like music or allot of activities, near the other side of the beach..(calming pool to relax).. and another one where the "animacion" group would hang out for water aerobics,volleyball,etc....

As for Bars countless....Ask for a drink called "Paradise"..sooo good!!

They have Entertainment every night... One of the night I wasn't to pleased only because the called it "Vegas Night" and it was nothing like Vegas but they did try ...

Now if you get tired of eating at the resort (which we didn't but felt we should try it all) if you go on the beach make a right, keep walking you will find a local restaurant called "Mr. Lionso Restaurant".. The have great Happy hour Two for one Margaritas(strong or mild depending how you like them all kinds and flavors) food is delicious and for cheap.... For Dinner with18USD 2 plates of Lobsters with Shrimp (any way you wish to eat them,Garlic ,Coconut, whatever) with rice & veggies... and don't forget chips and salsa come with it to... they will come around with guitars and sing to you... I had great experience and staff was very friendly...

The Hotel also has a few shops..clothing and pharmacy stuff etc...

My only Con was that they did not have an ATM in the resort...we had to go into town with a taxi which only charged us 10USD but it was worth it.. we got to sight see.. we saw a few different shops, Mr.Frogs,Burger King, etc..name it....

if you like Local Spanish Clubs that play Salsa, Merengue, etc ... try "Mambo Cafe" its inside a Mall like setting....

Overall hotel stay and my entire trip was excellent!!! I recommend to ALL!!! Have fun its worth it... I thought it was under priced but I am not complaining

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
bc
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2009

Hotel is definetely five star with incredible room view and excellent accomodations
main problem is the food is not 5 star, service to pool side vacationer lacking and too many wasps flying around the bar, entertainment and activities is less than 4 star as well. Horse back riders allowed right on the beach without anyone cleaning up what the horses leaves behind on the beach.
We got a great deal so we were happy with the 3.5 to 4 star price paid (basically we got what we paid for)

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arvada, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2009

My husband and I traveled from November 1-8 with friends, and married kids with their spouses for a combined group of twelve. Our trip started out with a bang with one of our friends falling and breaking her ankle. She was in the hospital for the first two days, then the rest of the trip in a wheelchair.

We personally have absolutely no complaints with the resort. It was at 33% capacity, so no problems with elevators, etc. Very nice pools, food was fine. If you can't find anything to eat, then there is a problem.

The shows were OK, but the actual entertainers were great. All of them came up and visited after the shows, and were extremely friendly.

Bartenders were awesome, and kept bringing drinks anytime we wanted. Juan and Ismail were awesome and could remember all our names very well. Elmer, Sharro and Alma from the entertainment staff were always coming by to visit us whenever we ran into them, whether we were eating lunch, or at the theatre. Jovan, Edgar and Julio were very very attentive when we were at the buffet. We always tip for good service, and when you do that you will be rewarded.

We made a trip one night to Mr. Lionsos, and it was very good. Had the staff turn off the overhead lights because of bugs, but after that everything was great. The meal was very reasonable and we all had plenty to drink and eat, and for a party of 10 the bill was $225.

The room was always very clean, and they kept our refrigerator stocked at all times, but we made sure everybody received a tip for good service there also. Heard complaints from people that didn't get the great service that we did, and found out they did not do any tipping at all. These people work for a very small salary, so tips are very well appreciated.

So, all in all we had a great trip.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
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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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Mazatlan
#6 Spa Hotel in Mazatlan
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Mazatlan
#9 Romantic Hotel in Mazatlan
#14 Family 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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