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“Great resort, bad timing.”

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Hotel Riu Emerald Bay
Ranked #11 of 78 Hotels in Mazatlan
Grande Prairie, Canada
Level Contributor
44 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“Great resort, bad timing.”
Reviewed 28 April 2014

Ill try to keep this simple:
We visited April 18-25th through Sunwing via Vancouver. Nothing but praises for Sunwing, the flight and staff.

The Pros:
- CLEAN resort. CLEAN rooms (all with ocean views). We booked a 'standard' room and got the 18th floor. What a view!
- Great food, great drinks.
- Fantastic, hard working staff. From the swim-up bar, to the restaurants, maids etc. They work so hard for SO little and are so pleasant. PLEASE TIP THESE PEOPLE! We didn't see enough of that.
- Beautiful walking beach. If vendors annoy you, there is a large roped off area that they cannot cross to try to sell you stuff.

The Cons:
- We visited Easter week, which the local people have off as a holiday as well. I would say the hotel was at full capacity and probably 75% locals. I can appreciate that this is just a cultural difference, but in general they were pushy and would butt in line as if you were invisible. Also did not care who was caught in the cross-fire of their water guns and super-soakers in the pools. It was also discouraging to see many of them littering and leaving big messes of cups, straws, plates from the buffet, cigarette butts etc around the pools and beach area without batting an eye. This didn't ruin our trip at all, but worth mentioning.
- No coffee maker in the room. We brought our own, but if you like enjoying a morning coffee without having to go downstairs, bring your own.

Otherwise a nice trip to Mazatlan. Do try the restaurant "Mr Lionos" 10 mins down the beach if you like seafood. It is safe and they take major credit cards.

Room Tip: Don't pay for the upgraded "ocean view". They all have a view. We went with the cheape...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank hurricaneblues
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • English first
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English first
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 April 2014 via mobile

Stayed at Riu Emerald over Easter for a week. Quite a busy hotel during the holiday weekend as many Mexicans vacation here and they are predominantly families with kids. Found the locals to pretty much keep to themselves and were friendly but seemed indifferent to us Canadian "invaders". We also had young children with us and spent a lot of time in the kids pool which could get busy at times.

Yes the elevators aren't the fastest but we found them to be more hot and small than slow. Not sure why the elevators had no ventilation on. The Wifi in the lobby worked good. The staff kept the hotel spotless...but the constant robotic like cleaning around you was kind of overkill. The rooms were basic and clean. Pretty quiet, you could hear the odd door close. The AC worked good and was quiet. The beds were not the best in class but were adequate. Lots of water stocked in the fridge which was cold.

The pools were great, sometimes busy. Did not enter the swim up bar pool- when you get there you'll either want to hop right in it or avoid it like the plague...you'll find out what I mean when you get there! There is smoking allowed on the grounds but it wasn't too annoying to us non-smokers.

Beach is awesome. Swimming in the ocean or boogie boarding is perfectly fine. Can buy some cheap junk from vendors on the beach. We took the open air taxis into Mazatlan....like riding in the cars at Disneyland's Autopia! Wandered around town and along the water lots of cheap junk. Perfectly safe. Finding bathrooms for little kids was the biggest challenge.

Hotel food was pretty good as buffets go. And I know buffets. Wide selection was the key. Always something different to shake it up. Be creative and build your own dish with what's there. We booked only one restaurant, Japanese. It was lacking. If you are from Vancouver and are a sushi snob like me...do not even look at the sushi. The other dishes like the duck and pork were overcooked...(the meat being overcooked was occasionally a problem in the buffet too). Drinks are drinks - find what you like that is mixed well with the "good stuff" and ask for doubles...saves trips to the bars and diabetes from the premixes.

Overall a very nice hotel to stay at. Staff are awesome. The entertainment/activities were ok nothing to rave about but nice to have. Safe to leave your stuff on your chairs/loungers and poolside but beware of leaving things behind in a restaurant, bar or bathroom...you will not get it back. The Sunwing package was well run and executed perfectly. Would definitely recommend this trip to Mazatlan. Great trip for the young kids...but you may need another vacation to recuperate!

Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Ravenair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
39 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2014

Congratulations to the designers of this resort- you so got it right. Every room has an ocean view and staring out in the grumbling Pacific over a nightcap of tequila was the perfect way to end the evening. We went with Sunwing and they really have the process down. We got our wristbands on the bus, walked through the door to be greeted with a Mariachi band and welcome drinks. We picked up a great deal on this resort and it really was spectacular. We had our own checkin so it was quick and easy. Our room was spacious and always kept clean. We were celebrating my husband's birthday and we were greeted by a bottle of champagne and birthday card-very nice touch. Our first night was Valentine's and all the women were given carnations at supper! So sweet. The food was good- the mashed potatoes were off the hook- no idea why they were so good. There was also an apple salad that we decided was made by angels...it was that good.
We spent a great afternoon and evening in Mazatlan. The old town is fantastic and we actually met tonnes of Cdn snowbirds. We ate at Pedro Y Lola http://restaurantpedroylola.com and the shrimp was spectacular!! WOW! We danced the night away in the town square. The city is very safe and the hotel was really helpful in getting us a taxi there and back it is about a 25 min drive. Well worth taking a day to discover the city. I love the wide open ocean and we had a lot of fun body surfing. The beach is clean and stretches out for quite a distance..I ran it every morning instead of hitting the gym. Our highlight was hanging out with bartender Pancho. You can find him at the bar in the lobby around 4pm and he loves to entertain! Go at 4 because the bar gets very busy quickly and then he doesn't have as much time to do his bar tricks! Ask him to pour out rainbow shots...it's a great show!
There was never any problem getting a beach chair on the beach or at the pool. The pools were clean and never overcrowded. This property seemed to attract a really chill group of people and we actually met a lot of people (mostly all Cdn) at the bars/buffets/pool areas. The staff was excellent- very helpful and attentive.
I would highly recommend this property and think Mazatlan is a lovely area.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Shelley P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nanaimo, Canada
Level Contributor
66 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2014

We just got back from spending a week at Emerald Bay. The Activity Team are amazing and despite long working hours they retain their smiles and enthusiasm. The resort is quite a long way from old Mazatlan but if you want to zone out and spend time by the pool and in the sun then this is the place to do it. Food and service was pretty good.

Room Tip: Don't pay the extra for beach view rooms because nearly all of the rooms have a beach view.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MarlMac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Westland, Michigan
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2014

Oh my, Elevators seem to be a topic of conversation at the Riu at Mazatlán Mexico.
So here’s what I can share. The resort has 2 sets of 3 elevators. During my stay there were 3 or 4 times where we had a lengthy wait. Not bad right. Well there’s more. If you’re claustrophobic you may not like being cooped up in an elevator that’s supposed to hold 10 people. Space is limited, so the capacity to hold 10 people is a stretch, unless you’re a graduate of weight watchers.

Food: reviews were good and bad about the food, but the buffets here offer so many choices, there’s no reason why you can’t find something to satisfy your taste. If there was one area that could be better I would say desserts. Those of you, who like sweet desserts, won’t find it at the Riu, with one exception. In the group I traveled with, we celebrated a birthday and anniversary with a chocolate cake, with chocolate frosting, lined inside with chocolate icing. Mmmm-mmmm-good.
Best dessert I had all vacation.

Captain America and Wonder Woman: Forgot to mention I was part of a group of 11 couples that visited the Riu during the week of April 5th thru April 12th. So when Captain America and Wonder Woman stopped pool side to visit, it made for a great photo opportunity. We took advantage of it.

Beach: Yes the beach is beautiful, and the beach is scenic, but the water is too rough to swim in. Plus you had to worry about Jellyfish too. On another note, there is a small flea market and restaurant you can visit, not more than a ½ mile walk from Hotel. Walk north along the beach to find them. Also it’s very scenic at that end of the beach, and you can get some great photo shots if you’re into that kind of thing. I got some great pictures of our group.

Beach Vendors: Vendors set up along the beach and sale hats, sunglasses, jewelry, and trinkets.
With a little negotiation you can find yourself a nice deal.

Beach Party: On Wednesday night the Hotel served dinner on the beach with entertainment and dancing. This was a great time and food was excellent.

Massages: confession, my wife and I never had a massage before, but was offered one when our suite wasn’t available our 1st day there, so a 25 minute Swedish massage was offered to appease us.
Must say massages could get addicting.

Customer Service: The guys at the swim-up bars were amazing. They were fast, friendly and efficient. Always with a smile on their face and really made you feel special. At the restaurants I can say it was some of the best service I’ve received at an all-inclusive. Hats-off and kudos to all staff employees who worked in the restaurants, they really did a great job.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank gtwbam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new york
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2014

Just got back from spending a week in riu emerald bay, we've stayed at the riu Palace riviera maya (which we loved). We were definitely not disappointed, the grounds were clean and well manicured, the staff work extra hard in keeping the place clean. There was always a cleaning lady cleaning the pool side bathrooms so the bathroom floors are rarely wet. These people work for very little money so if you tip them a dollar you make their day (just saying)
Dining room staff is very nice too, always asking if we needed anything. Daniel at the dinner buffet was really nice, the chefs go above and beyond, I was wondering if there was sushi because I thought it was Asian night and one of the chefs asked me what kind of sushi I wanted and magically brought out a plate for me :)
The Beach is beautiful! Obviously not turquoise blue like the Caribbean Sea, but very clean no sea weed and rarely any pebbles. Super soft sand and beautiful waves. The resort has boogie boards you can just sign out for free (so no need to rent them on the beach from vendors).
Now the cons:

The bed are hard, could not sleep, woke up with aches.
Elevators are small and very very slow and with the pushy locals you end up waiting 15 minutes just to get back to your room, oh now speaking of locals :

they travel in large groups, they are rude, pushy, and have no etiquettes!!
there is no such thing as"line" they will come stand in front of you as if you don't exist, whether waiting for elevators or drinks at the bar or food buffet.
You just have to beat them at their own game. If you leave your belongings on your beach chair to grab a quick bite, dont be surprised if you find them sitting on your belongings, sleeping on your towel, and eating on your cover up! I know sounds exaggerated but trust me, they are very rude ! One of them bumped into my 8yr old daughter and hit her in the head with her plate (glass plate) and didn't even bother to stop and make sure the 8yr old that's saying "ouch" and holding her head is OK, they jump into the pools with their clothes on, and they are extremely loud!

Pros:
The entertainment crew is the heart of riu!!!!! Make sure to take or just watch Fernando do Zuma!!!The guy is AMAIZING! !,, Poncho, Leslie, Mario are all so good at what they do! They make a stay at riu fun and exciting and the rude locals bearable! Luckily the loud locals don't hang out by the pool where the activities take place lol
we didn't do any excursions, went to the golden zone but it's nothing great not like playa del Carmon (not even close)
Parasailing right on the beach was fun for $35 totally worth it!
OVERALL we had an amazing time, we are from NY so with no direct flight it took us 9hrs to get to our destination. We had an amazing deal from cheap Caribbean so it was totally worth it. I would Def go back for the same deal only if I can get a direct flight to mazatlan. We miss being by the pool in the sun listening to music watching of entertainers (being back in the cold I wouldn't even mind the locals lol)
Oh and definitely watch the Michael Jackson show is awesome!!,,

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank reddog786
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Burnaby, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2014

Spent 7 days with my partner for an all-inclusive stay at the Riu in Mazatlan. This was my first time in Mexico and this was his second (in Cancun). For a 5-star hotel we found the service excellent. There are so many reasons why we hard time leaving and wish we could have stayed longer. Here they are:
LOCATION: The hotel is about 4 years old so everything is still fairly new. The location of the hotel is a bit far away from the nearest main shopping city but that's okay because we took either about a 30 minute ride via a public bus or a pulmonia (open cab). Make sure to ask the price first from the cab driver before getting in the cab. The beach is as far as your eye can see. We ran out of energy walking one way. Make sure to bring water or take a leak before going for a walk along the shore because it'll take at least 2 hours on-way! If you go the other way (to your right side) you will find a nice local restaurant and some shopping stalls. I regret not staying longer because it took us a week to discover by foot the beautiful beach.

FOOD: We got an all-inclusive deal so we didn't have to worry about where to eat. The buffet is amazing! I have to eat 6 times or more a day (bodybuilder) and I'm happy that the buffet opens from 7 a.m. to 10:30 (main dining), then 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 (at Las Gaviotas facing the ocean), 7 p.m. to 10:30 (main dining). There are long tables of a variety of local fruits, Mexican dishes, cheeses, cold cuts, salads, carbs, protein, Western dishes, kid-friendly dishes, pastries, ice cream, etc. Some chefs are there to cook more behind the counters or serve you a slice of this or that. I'm a picky eater so there is always something for everyone because of the excellent variety of food. You will see some of the same dishes every meal time but rest assured there will always be some new dishes they will introduce too. Like I said I'm a picky eater. Also since some of the dishes are delicious I did not mind eating them again and again. If you're on a diet forget about it!

There is a Japanese restaurant and another restaurant but we didn't get to try them because we had to make reservations. But that's okay because we're just as happy eating at the buffet in the main dining area.

STAFF, BARTENDER AND WAITERS: All of these people are warm and friendly. The hotel staff are friendly and ready to help. I wish we could say the same about Canadians and neighbours. Anyways, the friendliest and best waiter was Pedro (main dining room). He's funny and gives you lots of travel tips about shopping. Another best is Pancho the bartender in the main bar in the lobby. He's quiet but makes the best Mojito or any mix you want. Make sure to tip lots for these hardworking men because they deserve it!
Fast check-out!

BAR & DRINKS: I'm a teetotaler so sorry I can't say much. I did sip a bit here and there but mostly drank a bit of white wine. Each room has a bar meaning aside from a fridge full of water and pop there is this locked case hanging on the wall where there are 4 big bottles of vodka, tequila etc. Just place your glass under the tap and there you go! These bottles get refilled every 2 days and it's free. The bar and sports bar in the hotel are open all day and night. And the bar by one of the pools is open from late morning up to 6 p.m.

GYM and SPA: The gym was ok. There is a machine for chest press, lat pulldown, seated tricep pressdown and shoulder press. There is no machine for leg press and no free weights. For cardio there are bikes, ellipticals and treadmills which has wonderful views of the blooming garden. There are no free weights maybe because of safety reasons. The gym is huge and is well-ventilated. You even get water or serve yourself a glass of Chloropyll. The gym is open from 8 to 6 pm.
We didn't get to try the service of the Renova spa but we did try the indoor jacuzzi. The water was not hot just warm (hey it's already hot in Mexico!) and lots of bubbles to relax you. For the jacuzzi you have to set an appointment the day before. The spa opens from 8 to 5 pm and you also need to set appointments.

WATER: The hotel provides you with free bottled water in the mini fridge. There was enough for the both of us for traveling around and for brushing our teeth. You can request for more bottles of water.

ROOM:The hotel's view of the beach is amazing! All rooms face the ocean. Our neighbours weren't noisy...well maybe we heard a baby cry and the slamming of those heavy doors but that's it. We were satisfied with the cleaning lady. She even made cute animals out of towels and did something impressive with the curtain. Tip her well too! And best of all the sounds of the big crashing waves at night lulls you to sleep.

ENTERTAINMENT: You won't get bored or run out of something to do because there are lot of games in the pool (aqua aerobics) or by the pool (bingo, name that tune etc) during the day, games on the sand by the beach. At night there are bands, karaoke etc. There is also a disco room if you're into dancing. We didn't get much into these because we were into exploring around. It's very helpful and grateful that Sunwing introduced us to all the Managers of each of the Hotel's departments during our Introduction day. Never a boring day!
You can also book day trips to an island for snorkelling, or go fishing, scuba diving, ATVing, zip lining, tequila making tour (this is the tequila capital), mountain tour, shopping, night out in the city, kayaking etc. The prices aren't bad.

POOL: 3 pools for adults and kids and a kid pool. Amazing! No night swimming after 6 p.m. tho maybe because of safety reasons.

BEACH: Like I said the beach is so beautiful. We didn't get into the ocean for a dip because the waves are very strong. Make sure to check the warning flags near the lifeguard station (there are 2 lifeguards during the day). It was always red and white flag day meaning red for dangerous waves and white for jellyfish warning. If you're into surfing try the bogey board. You can borrow bogey boards near the bar pool area. Also there's horseback riding, whole body massage under a tent, sky parachuting, shopping.

SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT
-Please extend the hours of when you can make a reservation for seats for other restaurants. The time was only limited to 7 to 11 a.m. We were still in bed!
-The free wi-fi in the lobby is okay but slow. The paid wi-fi in the room is worse and had to get our money back the day before we left because the only place you can get a signal was in the bathroom!
-The ladies behind the Renova spa counter weren't that friendly...with tips or no tips!
If you need to use the sauna room you have to let them know in advance to turn the sauna on.
-Some meats and fish were not tender when cooked. Please add more shrimp dishes since this is the shrimp capital.

We will let everyone know about this great place and will definitely come back. Kudos to all the Managers, staff, tour guides, waiters for the hard work and making everyone feel warm and good!
We miss Mazatlan!

Room Tip: All rooms are ocean-view. We didn't mind that we're on the 11th floor because we were in no...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mazatlanforever2014
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

Property: Hotel Riu Emerald Bay
Address: Av. Sabalo-Cerritos #3404 zona costera cerritos | Nuevo Mazatlán - Sinaloa, Mazatlan 82110, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Sinaloa > Mazatlan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre 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
#8 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, Visa ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Emerald Bay Mazatlan

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