My wife and I just stayed at the RIU Emerald Bay in Mazatlan April 10-April 15. This was our second time staying there. We stayed there last year in April also. Both times we stayed there prior to our arrival I tried to get RIU to give me a complimentary upgrade (doesn’t hurt to try). Both times I was emailed back by their Public Relations person Erika Rangel she stated that this is what they consider their high season and quoted the price to upgrade. Both stays the resort wasn’t very full, I would guess depending on the day 30%-50% occupancy. Not good for them as a business if this is their high season it would be really empty on the off season, but we had really no waiting for anything. The resort is very clean and the workers are all very hard working and helpful.
Last year we stayed in a Deluxe Ocean View Room, this year we paid more to stay in the Honeymoon Room, which was on the 10th floor. In my opinion it is not worth the money to get the Honeymoon Room. The only difference was we had a bottle of wine and fruit basket in our room and the balcony was bigger than the Deluxe Room balcony otherwise no difference in the rooms not worth the extra money. The rooms have a mini bar which is restocked every other day, it would be nice if it was stocked daily or put more in it to start with. The resort provided you with a very little bottle of conditioner and body lotion which once gone was never replaced so be sure to bring your own. The room was cold at night no matter what we set the thermostat to, but we just put an extra blanket on the bed.
The food is fine, the Specialty Restaurants (Bamboo “Asian”, Tabasco “Mexican”, and Las Gaviotas “Italian”) you need reservations and can only make them for the next day only so if you want to eat at them you need to make a reservation everyday for the next day. The Specialty Restaurants are also all Buffet style. One night all of the restaurants were closed and they had a beach bash which was all sorts of foods made out on the beach and everyone ate on the beach was really nicely done. The 24 hour snacks are a let down, you get them in the Sports Bar but are really just hot dogs and hamburgers pre cooked you can microwave.
The beach is large and since not many people there never a problem getting a chair always empty ones everywhere. The sand on the beaches here gets very hot during the day unlike Cancun beaches. Different type of sand on the beach than Cancun sand.
We only watched one show and that was the Caribbean show, it was very good and not cheesy like some shows at resorts can be. There were 3 weddings there but didn’t bother anything.
I had read some previous reviews on Trip Advisor about a person on the beach named Emilio that takes people Deep Sea and Bottom Fishing. We ran into Emilio on the beach he is very friendly (he’s a salesman) he talked about people mentioning him on Trip Advisor, he gave us his flyer “King Fish Fleet Sport Fishing” (with what I now know and seen I’m not sure if that is really his business, the flyer didn’t look like anything we received). We had agreed to a 6 hour fishing trip for $200 dollars and $24 for our two licenses (never seen the license), It was to be a shared boat but no one else showed. We were to be returned to our resort when done at no cost to us, we ended up having to get and pay for a taxi our self. He was to provide sandwiches for the trip nothing was provided (not sure I would have wanted to eat anything as old and dirty as the boat was). The crew where suppose to be English speaking, they spoke very little broken English. The boat was supposed to be a 42 foot boat; it was more like 25-30 feet and looked nothing like the photos he showed us. When we got in the boat there where no seats they pulled up along side another boat and took the seats out of that boat. We were told the boat had a bathroom below which it did but there was no toilet seat on it and no toilet paper, very dirty and old. I wouldn’t use his services again or recommend his adventures to anyone I know.
Last year we ate at a great restaurant down the beach from the RIU called Mr. Lionso (Playa Bruja). The food was very good however the prices went up from last year we ordered the exact same thing as we got last year and it cost 100 pesos more this time. But it was still worth the price for what you get. Happy hour (2 for 1) there last year started at 3PM, now it starts at 5PM for those of you wanting happy hour.
If you know what buses to take that is the cheapest way to get around, you can save lots of money compared to using the taxis and pulmonias. We had read articles about how the taxis and pulmonias were going to be metered, none of them were you negotiate your price prior to getting in.
I don’t think Mazatlan has really recoved from when a lot of the cruise ships stopped coming there a couple of years ago and I don’t think the resorts are as busy due to the fears of violence in the State of Sinaloa which is were Mazatlan is located. We never left the resort at night but at no time during the day on or off the resort or at night on the resort did we feel threatened or in danger. The guest at the resort appeared to mostly be Canadian, and then Mexican; we met only one other American couple however everyone we did meet was friendly.
- 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