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Hotel Riu Emerald Bay
Ranked #11 of 80 Hotels in Mazatlan
Reviewed January 29, 2014

We stayed at the Riu from Jan.21 to the 28th. Check in was very organised. We all had welcome drinks. Our room was ready when we arrived. We asked for extra pillows.They were delivered in 5 minutes. Another time we had a problem with our safe ( my screw up ). They were there right away.

The staff was very friendly. They seemed to be cleaning all the time.

Pool temperature was comparable to the day temperature.

Weather was great(80 degrees)

Beach was great for walking on.Beautiful view

Every room is ocean view.

We made it to two specialty a la cartes. Mexican was good but the Italian was anything but good. It was buffet style ; not as advertised. We (all four of us) walked to the buffet. There did not seem to be much Italian there.

One day we walked down the beach and ate at Mr. Lionsas.It was great food at a great price. ( I sure hope I got the name right )

All and all ; It was a great place to stay. It was very enjoyable. We met some really nice people there.

As a footnote ; My wife and I went down to save chairs at 9am on Saturday morning and we were the first ones there.
We would definitely recommend this resort to anybody.There is some minor things ; but none the less; a great holiday

Room Tip: The higher the floor; the better the view. We were on the fifth floor and the view was great. Not fa...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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6  Thank 4putter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 29, 2014

We arrived home last night after experiencing a fantastic week. The food at the buffet was varied, plentiful and beautifully presented. Staff were always friendly, very polite and helpful. Our room was on the 9th floor with a great view of the pools and ocean. We never had elevator problems! I have NEVER been in a hotel that was as clean as this one. We have travelled all over the world, and for the cost, this was the nicest of many. And... The vendors on the beach did have a loud "battle of the bands" each evening. It only lasted a short time... No distraction to the incredible sunsets! We plan on returning next year!!!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Sueann H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2014

Right after I spontaneously booked this hotel, I started to panic and have second thoughts, I wasn’t sure if I should be going to Mexico, as I was more familiar with Dominican and Las Vegas, plus it didn’t help when my husband started reading tons of not so great reviews before I even got home from work. Well let me tell you how AMAZING our trip was!

SUNWING & CHECK IN
We booked with Sunwing, and I know there is some Sunwing drama going on, I didn’t even notice. When we landed in Mazatlan they directed us to our bus, where we met one of our 3 reps named, Juan! He gave us all of the information we needed and when to meet in the hotel for the excursion meeting. We went to the Riu first because most of us were heading to that hotel, which was nice. When we pulled up they put on our wristbands, we got our luggage and went in to the lobby where we were welcomed with a drink, then into get our room keys in the lobby bar where they offered us shots of Tequila, beer and fruit. Our room was already ready and it was only 11am. We went up, changed and down to the POOL ahhhh... They had a welcome BBQ for us on the beach that afternoon as well, what a wonderful welcome and amazingly easy process. The Sunwing reps have a desk at the RIU and are there every day, so you always have someone there for you, with not a worry to be had.

The hotel is amazing and so beautiful! The view from our 8th floor room was incredible. Every room in this hotel has an amazing ocean view, so you don’t need to pay extra for that.

BAD REVIEWS
Before we left we read a lot of reviews that we found to be wrong when we got there. For example, there IS ketchup, it’s not Heinz, but it tastes just the same and you will find it in a dish near the salad dressings. They DO take AND exchange US money, but I would say, if you are exchanging money, go with the PESO but don’t worry if you already have US, just like us before we left we were panicking but it was fine, just go to the front desk, no worries at all! Another complaint was the alcohol. It is NOT watered down, and it IS brand name alcohol, they do not skimp on booze, and my favourite swim up bartender was Jesus, he is the man! Also another one I just remembered was the elevators. We never waited any longer than 30 seconds for an elevator, and they were not packed. Locals being on the resort on the weekend wasn’t an issue at all and if you didn’t know any better from all of these complaining reviewers, you would have just thought they were regular tourists, just like us, which they are there on a weekend away as well and should be looked at like so. I go to Niagara Falls on the weekend, only an hour away and you don’t see other tourists complaining of us being there and local??

RESTAURANTS
The buffet restaurants are huge, and lots of food to choose from! Different kinds of foods on different days, but still with the same main dishes. The servers are always there for you, and eager to help, they make great drinks and they always remember you!! We went to 2 of the a la carte, but they aren’t really a la carte, it’s buffet style but I think it’s much better that way, you get to eat what you want! The Asian restaurant serves you a peach cooler at the door and it’s so great I had them make it for me in the lobby bar afterwards ;) the Italian restaurant was very good as well, it’s in the same restaurant as the lunch buffet. Food was amazing at all places,


POOLS & BEACH
The pools are huge! There are 3 actual pools but 2 of them are divided by an infinity ledge, and then of course the swim up bar pool (heated) where I spent my entire week and met some truly wonderful people. They clean the pools every day, as I watched from my balcony in the early morning, the water is so nice! You will always find a chair around the pool or the beach, definitely not an issue there! There are vendors on the beach, but they are behind a roped off area and they only come up to you if you walk towards them, if you are just chillin on the beach they will leave you alone. We got a great deal on sunglasses on our first day, and really cute bracelets for the kids before we left. They are nice people and if you don’t want anything, just say no thank you and they will walk away.

LOBBY BAR
Poncho is the best bartender I have ever met! He is such great entertainment, has a great attitude and very personable! I loved being there watching him making drinks and joking around with us! He gets the award for #1 staff member at the hotel! He makes every drink perfect and he even makes sure it is right before he will give it to you, and if you say to surprise you, he will make something really cool that you will love!! We had great times in the lobby bar that is for sure!

SPORTS BAR
We weren’t there much, there are computers in there for paying usage. They only take pesos, 100 pesos for an hour but you can put in less, just to give you an idea of cost. Drinks were good, there is food in there during the off times, nachos, pizza, burgers, etc. but we never had any of that. My husband watched some of the NFL games, but only one game that they had on, didn’t get all of them like at home, but I was thankful for that LOL!

ROOMS
The rooms were nice, not that we were in there much but to sleep. I honestly didn’t even use the liquor dispenser and I was so excited for that lol. Double sinks in the bathroom, and the bathroom was pretty big! Best part of the room was the view! It was nice having a balcony too!

EXCURSIONS
We went on 2, one was their big Sunday Night Out! We took a bus and went to see some cliff divers, toured around in the bus, went to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in the Plaza Republica and them to Lola & Pedro for dinner, for their famous jumbo shrimp! It was amazing! Then we walked around a bit and headed home, it was about 4 hours, and I was glad we went. The other excursion we did was speed boats, if you like being in a speed boat (you drive and follow a guide), across the pacific to some great views of the islands, then you will surely like this tour. If you are scared of being in open waters in a small boat going really fast, then maybe avoid this one and go on the Deer Island or Stone Island tours lol, my husband loved the speed boats but I would have preferred to turn around as soon as we sped up! I am incredibly terrified of accidentally tipping and floating in the ocean lol!!!

MR. LIONSO
There is a restaurant down the beach called Mr. Lionso - it’s fantastic! We walked down there for dinner with some of our new resort buddies and it was so amazing we went again on our last night. It’s not part of the hotel, so it’s not included but it’s very affordable and you’re going to want to check it out. I have already posted a review on here for them.

GOLDEN ZONE & PANCHOS
We also took a city bus into the Golden Zone to go shop and have drinks during the day, as much as I never thought I would leave the resort it was a great time! We found a hidden place Panchos, what a view! Service was amazing as well, I also have written a review for them!

The only thing I wish we did but didn’t was to go to Senior Frogs on the Wednesday night, it was only our second day there and we didn’t really think about it, it’s all you can drink from 9pm-2am, don’t get me wrong we are not heavy partiers by any means, we are both in our 30s - but when in Mexico lol :o)

I can’t say enough good things about this place, just amazing, and I can’t even begin to explain how much fun we had! I am very much looking forward to my travel agent booking us again for next January!!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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26  Thank Heather M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2014

All inclusive stay for two weeks at about $100 a night for a single. Room was very clean as was the entire hotel and grounds. Main buffet was more than adequate...I never did use the a la cartes, two of which are apparently buffet style anyhow. I did not like the coffee in the buffet! All rooms overlook the ocean so do not pay for an ocean view room. I did notice bees around he pool bar area(the bar was awash in spilled drinks, and fruit etc),so tended to gravitate to the 24/7 sports bar for afternoon libations. I did mention this in a feedback sheet I got one night and I noted the situation did improve. Lovely sandy beach with super sunsets. I did have to ask twice to have more soda and water delivered to the room..it arrived quickly. And I never did get another hand cream after the initial issue despite leaving the empty tube on my used towels on about Day 3 so I bought some downstairs which was better quality anyways. I did note the clean sheets put on the bed one day did have a peculiar odor to them as some others have as well. And the shower water was obviously heavily chlorinated which I suppose is a good time; it did smell like pool water some days! People that complain about this establishment really need to seek out a Four Seasons or similar resort and pay $500 plus a night if they want the white glove treatment. I consider I got very good value for what I paid here. Yes it was crowded on weekends with some local people having fun but that is what a resort is all about in my book; the only real annoyance was another Canadian drunkenly singing on the balcony next door one Saturday night at about 300 am. I flew Sunwing and the $100 for Elite plus was worth the money...besides more leg room and luggage allowance I was among the first off the plane and thus through customs and onto the first bus arriving at the hotel by 1300 hrs and into my room..those on the later busses had to wait for rooms to be cleaned before they could occupy theirs.

Room Tip: Rooms on the lower floors are easier to get to given the whole place is only serviced by six elevato...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled solo
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2  Thank a78jumper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2014

Nice place. Great View. Great beach. A good variety of food. Only at night was there something new introduced. We loved the Mexican bands. Wish there was better entertainment New Years eve. The spa needed more leg weights. The elevators were really slow. The swim up pool bar pool area started to stink about 5 - 6 days in. The kegs needed to be swapped out in the little soda/beer kiosks. Once the keg for the week was gone. They did not refill. Overall, we absolutely loved it. These things are little. Go and have fun!!

Room Tip: No higher than floor 5. Easy walk on stairs. Elevators are really slow!
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank MaryBernloehrVadnais
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2014

Our 3rd stay in 3 years and the price and quality has gone down. Very crowded noisy pool areas with people blaring there own music. Load trumpet bands playing against each other on the beach at sunset, so load, I couldn't enjoy the sunset. Bees, birds and dirty dishes all over the pool area. should be more restaurants. the hotel is getting thrashed by overuse. I hope they can resolve these issues otherwise we cant go back to what used to be one of our favorite hotels.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank brian h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2014

We stayed at the resort ealy January, for a week. It is the largest hotel I have stayed at in Mexico. The location is really ideal. You can walk to a market and restaurants within 15 minutes along the beach. We didn't eat there, but everyone raved about the restaurant. The staff encourage you to take taxi's if you want to go into town (costs about $16), but the bus stops right infront of the hotel and costs less than a dollar. I have never had an issue taking a bus in Mexico and people are so very helpful with directions.

You can walk along the beach for miles, and swim in the water. We found the water to be fabulous and swam most every day. The sand is smooth and you rarely have to worry about stepping on anything. This is the main reason I like the Pacific side better than the Carribbean side.

I can't imagine why anyone would complain about the food here. We met a couple who did, and they were the type who complained about everything and anything. There are so many choices in the buffets that if you don't like one salad, there are ten more to choose from. There were barbeques on the beach, which were really good. They had beef, chicken, pork and fish. How can you not like that?? There were tons of vegetable dishes, fruit and desserts. I heard that the ala carte restaurants were so so. We went to the Asian one once, and were unable to get into any of the others. They are reservation only, and you have to make it early in the morning or you don't get in. It really didn't matter because the buffets were really good. We even had roast leg of lamb and roast beef (yes, medium rare). It was really good, no question about it.

All of the rooms are ocean view, so you shouldn't pay 'extra' for an ocean view room. We were on the second floor which didn't give you much of a view, but we could take the stairs to our room instead of always having to wait for an elevator.

The staff were very nice, gracious and helpful when needed. One bartender in particular "Poncho" is a riot to watch. The rooms are okay, not very luxurious, but the bed is comfortable. We didn't go there to stay in the room, so I don't really care what the decor looks like, as long as we had enough towels, a comfortable bed and good shower (which it has), I am happy.

The only negative was that it was really crowded on the Friday and Saturday early January and I prefer a quieter resort. This is a big resort, and with this you get a number of pools, tons of chairs, many bars and an extensive variety of food, so it's a good trade off. I wouldn't have any issues staying there again.

Room Tip: All rooms have ocean views. The second floor is nice because you can easily take the stairs instead...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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4  Thank NMacKay
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
Phone Number:
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:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Mazatlan
#6 Spa Hotel in Mazatlan
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Mazatlan
#10 Romantic Hotel in Mazatlan
Price Range: $142 - $276 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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, Visa ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Emerald Bay Mazatlan

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