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“Great resort but disappointed in a couple of areas”

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Hotel Riu Emerald Bay
Ranked #12 of 80 Hotels in Mazatlan
Reviewed March 26, 2014

Check in at the Riu was so quick. Other all inclusives could take a leaf out of the Riu's book and follow the same procedure as they do. The Riu was really beautiful and so clean, people cleaning it all the time. We had a lovely room on the 17th floor with great ocean view. The buffet food was very good but was disappointed that of the three a la carte's, there was only one restaurant, the Mexican, that served you.

We really enjoyed the Lobby bar with Poncho, a real character, putting on a show for us everyday, as well as David. Every room has its own liquor supply (no wine though) but as a white wine drinker, the wine available everywhere in the resort is undrinkable. Many people complained about how bad the wine was. We ended up going into town and buying our own.

I must say that my husband and I found the bed fine at the resort, and am always puzzled by the complaints about the beds at Mexican resorts. We have never had any problem with them. All the staff at the hotel were very pleasant and eager to help in any way they could.

The hotel was much busier at the weekends with the influx of locals and the elevators were a bit slower but no big deal. There were still lots of chairs everywhere. No need to get down at 7 am to reserve them.

Would discourage visitors from riding the poor horses tied up all day in the blazing sun with no shade or water. I did bring up my concerns win the horses' owner but he said they were used to the heat, although he was under the shade of an umbrella the whole time.

Great beach - one way is a one hour forty five minute walk there and back and the other way is a ten minute walk to Mr. Lioni's restaurant. We ate there a couple of times. Very good food. Try the imperial shrimp, excellent. There are also some shops and restaurants close by where we had breakfast and lunch, just for a change. They were also very good.

Overall, a very enjoyable holiday. I would certainly go back to the Riu Emerald Bay in a heartbeat. I also was impressed by Mazatlan, much nicer than Puerto Vallarta and didn't see any starving stray dogs running around the streets like you do in P-V.

Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
6  Thank scotiahazel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 26, 2014

Stayed here with a group of 9 in December 2013. Mazatlan itself was awesome! The actual building itself is very nice, and the cleaning staff were great. Other than that, this was an awful resort.. most certainly not a 5 star. To sum it up short and sweet this resort has the rudest staff! If you are of spanish decent, and speak it as your main language perhaps they will treat you better. Beware of the weekends when the place bursts with "locals"..... Set your alarms to get to the buffets early if you don't want to fight for food like a wild animal. I booked with Signature Vacations which had descriptions of what is included and offered at the resort. Guess what..... Many MANY things that were offered were not available. When I contacted Signature afterwards they said "the resort has constantly in accordance with their brochure description. There were a lot of bees/wasps outside especially at the bars. It is outside so you will get some, but this was insane. One person in our party got stung twice one morning and one other did once. Not to mention the bartenders too. I washed away (with a bottle of water) where someone had spilt some sort of sugary drink and the bees were covering it.. One of the workers come over to me and called me a bully and to leave the bees alone as they weren't bothering me LOL. I'm sure I'm not the only person allergic either LOL. If you enjoy any sort of background music while dining at any of the restaurants there, or bars, or hallways or lobby..... forget it. If you ask them if they could put some on you might get "My manager doesn't like it". Overall, if you like even mediocre service when you are on holidays, cross your fingers with this one. If other RIU's are like this..... I'm guessing not..... how do they get such great reviews. Could go on to write a novel on this resort, but why bother. If you would like to try Mazatlan I'd suggest any other hotel than this one.. simple.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Aiden M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2014 via mobile

Every room is oceanview, we were on the second floor so we never had to wait for the elevators. The food was the best I have had in mexico. Eduardo at the pool bar was amazing, he goes above and beyond what he is expected to do and it shows he loves his job. The beach was very nice, me and my wife enjoyed many walks on it. If I had any complaints it would be that the music by the pool bar was too quite but that is it.

Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
6  Thank DStark127
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2014

The hotel is clean, well designed and in a beautiful location, but I was expecting more. Our 19th floor room had a fantastic view, was clean, had a huge bathroom, stocked mini fridge, but didn't have a lot of character. I think the beds and pillows are comfortable considering it's Mexico. I've had much worse and I always slept well.

The food had highs and lows and the uncontrolled kids running amuck diminished our enjoyment. The fruits were fresh and there were several acceptable dishes, but I had a sausage that had a noxious, chemical taste and some of the dishes appeared to have sat out too long. The Italian restaurant had the salad bar I had been longing for. It's too bad that quality isn't available in the standard buffet.

The beach is one of the best I've seen in Mexico. It's wide and level and great for walking, but there's not much to walk to in this remote location. The pools seemed cold. Very few people were swimming. I heard the evening entertainment was poor, so we didn't bother.

We were traveling with a group of 20 expats that live in Mexico. Upon arrival our bus was told to wait outside. After 90 minutes a customer service rep came on board the bus and filled out some simple paper work. After getting up early and traveling over six hours we were not happy. No explanations. No apologies. We couldn't have waited in the lobby? We had more difficulties checking out. We were told to stand in one line, then another, then move back, oh wait, over there. Does this place always have these difficulties? This is a major hotel chain. How can these things happen?

I think the consensus was that it's a beautiful hotel and beach, but needs better food and entertainment. I'll stay elsewhere in the future.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Dean H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2014

I travelled to Riu Emerald Bay with my Mom & my younger sister over March break and had an absolutely amazing time.

I will start of by saying the resort itself is absolutely beautiful, well kept and the beach is amazing. We felt welcome the second we arrived and everyone was so kind and friendly throughout our whole stay. I really don't have any complaints about this hotel other than what I have read from other people's about the shaky slow elevators that seem to always be full and a long wait and the beds were really uncomfortable. I will say these minor things did not give me a negative experience though, the amazing service and beautiful time we had makes those small little things insignificant.

There were three staff members that went above and beyond to make our stay amazing. One being Pedro who worked as a waiter was absolutely amazing and always made our time in the restaurants pleasant, he was always checking in on and us and making sure we were okay. Jorge who worked at the front of the hotel was soo welcoming when we got there, he seemed a little bit shy but he brought our bags up to the room for us and always said hello when we passed through the lobby. Last but certainly not least Francisco; he is part of the entertainment team and was absolutely amazing. He was so friendly and always invited us to take part in activities going on around the hotel, he talked my sister & I into joining the water aerobics class on my last day and we had such a great time we had wished we had gone throughout our whole stay. Overall, all of the staff we met were amazing but these three men are who really stuck out.

Thanks Riu Emerald Bay for an amazing well needed vacation !

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank Shannon O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2014

Really good time at the riu.
Have just returned after a week with my girlfriend.
Had a great stay was a great hotel, clean beyond expectations. Had a great room, the ocean view was spectacular. Had a lot of fun. Drinks certainly not watered down, though cheapen out on the ingredients, I think is a fair summary on them. Never had a bad meal.
Bamboo restaurant was fun. A great thanks to Gerado for making it exceptional.
The comments on here regarding the beds are accurate, they are terrible. Like sleeping on a rock. Honestly the only downside to this hotel is the beds, no idea what they were thinking?! I didn't sleep well for the week I was there, having back injury really made it bad.
I must say that a special mention must go to Pedro the server. Wow! This guy works so hard and made every meal so pleasant and leaving with a smile. A joy to wake up to. I would say that not seeing many people tip these workers is wrong, it may be all inclusive but they work hard for you and appreciation is key. I would see them there working dinner shift till 10 or later then the next morning back in at 5:30. So tip what you can!
I got to say that if you can book with other people than sunwing or signature do it. They were not good to deal with, their entire motto is sell as much crap to you as possible, being seen as an atm is wrong. Especially a younger woman named Rosario or rosaria at the desk for CNT a division of sunwing I guess, she was not only unhelpful but nasty and rude! Few tips would be do not buy into the crap tours sunwing push on you! They are jacked up prices and awful we did the deer island tour and it was a shocker! Although we met and had fun with a great couple of girls from ontario and a guy from edmonton that saved the tour! Food was so bland and the snorkelling was such a joke along with the banana boat ride behind a beat out old fishing boat haha the highlight is the trip there and back was fun.
I would certainly recommend this hotel, I would return in a heartbeat, If..I didn't have to go through sunwing and had assurance that I would have a decent bed/they updated the beds.
Also the town and area of Mazatlan Is incredible!

Room Tip: Maybe inquire if room with softer bed available?
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank travl4workwork2travl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2014

Just got back from our trip to Mazatlan.
Sunwing - not much to say about that - the flight was decent from Vancouver - the plan is out dated and you are cramped in the seats - the staff was very nice and helped if needed.

Arriving in Mazatlan was fairly easy - passport and immigration went fast --- Watch out when you pass immigration there are "reps" standing there trying to get you to take hotel/condo tours -- avoid them your reps will be a bit past that area they will have signs

The bus ride to the Riu was about 35 min or so - no beers on the bus like other rides we have done but no problems.

Check in - mostly done on the bus - done very fast maybe 30 minutes.

The hotel is very impressive and one of the cleanest places ever seen.

The Rooms
--All the rooms are ocean view! and gorgeous - liquor in the room and a stocked fridge good beer and mid quality booze - but other then a beer on the deck at the end of the day or getting ready to go eat spent no time in the room. Good clean bathroom and good water pressure. The bed is okay and the pillows are alright - to each their own -I didn't mind but my wife did not like either too much - We tipped a few $ and had towel animal 5 of the 7 days or friends also tipped but didn't get a single creature.

Elevators -
lots of complaints on TA about the elevators - we didn't have any major issues we were on the 5th floor so often would walk but when we did use them they were no different then any other major large hotel I've been too, and honestly on vacation there was no rush

The pools
didn't spend too much time by the pools - swim up bar was full but quick for us to get our drinks (Jesus and Edwardo) were great made us all sorts of drinks
The beach was great - good size waves - red flags up each day but that didn't stop anyone - i would suggest being a okay swimmer if you venture into the wave breaks
down side for me was there was never any body boards available at the sports desk - people would sign them out and keep them all day --we asked a few kids if we could use them and they let us and just gave them back after - there should be more or IF YOU SIGN IT OUT BRING IT BACK - there is no way you spent hours boy boarding!

Weather-
FANTASTIC I think we may have seen 1 cloud

We had a splash room - so got a few free passes to the water park across the street - 5 min walk - it was good for the 3 slides that were open -I would not pay to go there unless you get it as part of the room deal --- that said the kid area looked fun for younger children there is lots of shade in the park

The staff were great - i wouldn't be working as hard as they do for 57 pesos a day. (a few $ helps them out greatly that said never felt like we had to tip - we did for the good service and laughs)

The Cons
When the hotel is full - took while to get to some items in the buffet and was a bit loud - minor annoyance on a few occasions
The a la cartes - same as the buffets- nothing there that wasn't at the buffet - it was quieter though :) the best was the Mexican one (Tobasco)

That is about it
The entertainment -- I think they try hard - it was not great.

Lastly -- -- Go to the restaurant at the end of the beach -"Lionso" GREAT food great prices! the ice is not Mexican water and can have in your drink - - read the reviews for there but it was the best meal we had.

We got this resort at a good price online and in the past have paid quite a bit more for a lot less. I would go back here!

Room Tip: All rooms have an ocean view -- and great ocean views. EVERY ROOM
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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6  Thank 82Sunseeker82
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
#7 Spa Hotel in Mazatlan
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Mazatlan
#10 Romantic Hotel in Mazatlan
Price Range: $152 - $287 (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):
The 24h All Inclusive Hotel Riu Emerald Bay opens all year round and is located on the beautiful Playa Las Brujas beach close to the Mexican town of Mazatlán. The RIU Classic Hotels offer comfortable rooms and excellent facilities with great leisure and relaxation facilities, as well as international gastronomy. Enjoy a relaxing holiday - whether alone, with family, partner or friends! The location is ideal because of its proximity to General Rafael Buelna International Airport Mazatlan MZT (32 km) and Marina El Cid (10 km) and invites you to explore the area. The hotel has 716 comfortably furnished rooms and offers many amenities. Relax in our Renova Spa or get in shape at the gym. 3 outdoor pools, 1 children's pool. RiuLand Kids Club (age 4-7 & 8-12 years) for the youngest guests and for adults, day and evening entertainment. For lovers of gastronomy, we offer a live cooking station at our main restaurant, Asian, Mexican, Italian specialty restaurants, 5 bars. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Emerald Bay Mazatlan

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