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“I will never stay there again”

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Hotel Riu Emerald Bay
Ranked #11 of 79 Hotels in Mazatlan
Reviewed 25 June 2014

I dont Know where to start, first the elevators were sooo slow, it could take you 20 min to get from the lobby to floor 8th, plus the line that you have to do, and it's so claustrophobic and hot in the damn elevator, the second thing I didn't like the all include that you paid for the restaurant get so crowded that you can't get in and the food is not that good, and the 3rd to check out all the persons in the room have to be present to bring back the bracelet that they give you to have the all include deal if the persons does not show up they won't give you you check out pass which you need to get a can out of the hotel

  • Stayed: June 2014
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1  Thank Brendaes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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949 - 955 of 3,200 reviews

Reviewed 22 June 2014

Just returned yesterday from our one week stay - exhausted bur remembering our great trip. This was our first time in 11 years of all-inclusive vacations, staying at an Riu and we will definitely try to find other Riu's in other areas. No complaints about the food, drinks, staff, cleanliness, air conditioning, rooms, bathrooms, beach. My family was very pleased! Elevators are slow but stairs are great exercise and we were on the 2nd floor (huge fear of heights). My husband celebrated his birthday during our stay and they surprised him with a bottle of champagne. I was disappointed to see so few people tipping the wait staff in the restaurants and bars. The staff work very hard for everyone to have a good time.

Tons of pros - beach, food, staff, rooms and bathrooms, timeliness of room straightening in the mornings, willingness of staff to answer questions, number of staff that spoke English, drinks, Asian reservation restaurant was my family's favorite, met great people (good talks at the pool with Bob, Paula, Cheryl and John!)

Few cons - adult pool very crowded and loud at times, pool water temperature, free wi-fi is limiting (but it was great that our teenage daughter wasn't on her phone all day and night), size of resort was overwhelming at first (hard to find everything and there wasn't an explanation at check-in), far from town and other activities....

Would go back in a heartbeat!!!!

Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
4  Thank Chris P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2014

GENERAL
– STAY HYDRATED!! Travelling companion ended up in Emergency because he did not. GREAT treatment by Mexican Emerg Medical staff once Medical Travel Insurance was authorized. But nt a great way to spend time in Mexico.
– Take cash [Mexican Pesos or $US]– your credit card company will charge an exorbitant exchange rate AND a fee for doing the exchange [Ask them.] Best exchange rate for pesos or US$ is in Canada at a legit foreign exchange businesses.
– Tipping – Not necessary but staff really respond to as little as 20 pesos [$2] tips. Why not?

RESORT – Riu Emerald Bay is a 5 star all-inclusive resort with great staff and service
– Near end of resort area, about 40 min by bus from Public Market in Mazatlan
– Beautiful pools, pool bar, spectacular beach [gradual, shallow entry, no obvious undertow], typical nightly shows, 4 great restaurants [you have to book 24 hrs ahead for 1st 3] – Asian, Mexican, Italian, Three Islands – all with quality food and lots of choices; lots of activities especially around the pool bar. We chose to “veg out” as much as possible throughout the resort and on the beach. ENJOY!
– Booze is available everywhere and part of “all-inclusive” – the lobby bar/lounge has the BEST mojitos! Take care ... see first line of advice. Booze is NOT hydration.
– Cinq de Mayo weekend is the end of high season and weather turns [gets much hotter]. Resort provides great deals for locals at this time and there were many families.
– We were there 14 days and there were 3 beach weddings in the last week [low season]. Loud music but all was shut down by 10:30 pm.

ROOMS & ELEVATORS
– Room choices do make a difference. ALL have an “ocean –view” [except 3rd floor rooms that have a facade wall blocking the beach/ocean view]
– Higher floors have great views BUT you’ll have to use elevators and the elevators are TERRIBLE! One [of 3] was often out-of-order and they were VERY VERY slow at peak times.
– Architectural design of ocean-front of Riu means that room beside vertical walls [jut out 10+ feet] have limited sideways views. If you are at eastern end of hotel your view of sunsets will be compromised. Best bet [for full 180 view] are the rooms behind the elevators. This section of the hotel juts out and is even with the vertical walls - thus no compromised view.

BUSES & MARKET STREET
– We took the bus to the Mazatlan “Market Street” [10 pesos ($1)] and I would NOT recommend it. Hot, VERY little help from bus driver, Market Street is NOT worth the effort [quite dirty, few good deals,] so really think about doing this.
– We had to get off the bus [“don’t go there” (to front of resort)] 4 km from resort [we were told by hotel which bus to take back Market] AND, d-u-h-h, we JUST got off the bus when a cart showed up to give us a ride for the last 4 km for “only 50 pesos [$5]”. I was “sales-talked” all the way back by a very pleasant young man selling all sorts of excursion options. Next time we will split a taxi.
– BUT, while in “downtown” Mazatlan, got wonderful directions to cathedral [he walked with us for 3 blocks] from a gentleman who would not accept any $ for his help to
– Find the Old Cathedral, a block from Market Street [It is WELL worth visiting! Just like in Europe.]

STONE ISLAND TOUR
- We thought it was the best tour for the money [we paid $40 each] – bus ride to harbour, tour boat ride to Stone Island, and a horse-drawn cart ride to ocean-side restaurant where we received a meal and choice of two “activities.” We chose beach horse ride and horse-drawn cart ride through the small residential village. On the latter we were serenaded with Mexican songs by the elderly driver - wife loved it! The horse ride out to and on the beach was wonderful too [and I am NOT a rider!]. Meal was great while we watched the banana boat “activity” unfold before us – [waves dumped riders into ocean at least twice : )).] Then boat tour back.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Rickity1-x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2014

The best feature about this hotel is that every room is an Ocean View room. If you are staying with three people you likely want to upgrade the room as the beds in the standard are barely bigger than a typical American/Canadian single.... not ideal for sharing. We ended up seeing dolphins from our balcony which was awesome.

The hotel was very clean and the staff worked hard to keep all areas tidy. Even the stairwells were spotless. Common areas were clean and quiet and it was nice to surf the net for an hour in the evenings.

The food was delicious. The Japanese restaurant was so-so and had poor service in my opinion, but my dad enjoyed all the fresh fish. I don't eat red meat and never found that there was a lack of selection at any of the restaurants. The buffet was very large and they were always replacing everything quickly. The best thing was the pico de gallo and fresh chips so yummy. The coffee was plenty but gross unfortunately.

The ocean is cold which clearly is not the hotels fault. It is the pacific after all. I still managed to swim in it. It was nice that it was a real beach meaning that I could run down the beach quite a ways. I spent most of my time hanging out on the beach, as I don't really believe in sitting by the pool. You can walk down to the cafe at the end and just sit and have a coffee overlooking the water. It's nice. There is also a little mini boardwalk type of area down that way with souvenir shops and some fresh fish restaurants. It's worth the walk down there.

In terms of tours I went surfing just down the beach with Jah Surfing company. http://jahsurfschool.com/ Just send him an email to set something up. The waves are gentle enough and long enough that they are perfect for a beginner.

We also did the typical tour of Mazatlan. It was nice to go into town to see the history and the markets.

Overall it was a fantastic all inclusive. Not close enough to the town to party and this side of Mexico doesn't have all the ruins to see, but it is the perfect location for that relaxing quiet vacation. One of the better AI's I've stayed at.

Room Tip: Upgrade if you don't want to share a twin sized bed with another adult. Doubles are not really d...
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Julia078
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2014

I’ve stayed in the Riu Mazatlan with my family because of the wedding I was attending there, so even though the reviews I’ve read were not so hot I had no choice. But let me tell you, the experience I had was much much worse than I expected. I am not even sure were to start, I was thinking hard to come up with at least one positive aspect of our stay but I am really struggling. Well, having said that the cleanliness was ok, they always had people wiping the floors in the lobby, I guess the owners capitalized on the cheap manual labour. But other than that so many unpleasant experiences that I won’t be even able to cover them all here but I will highlight few.

The first day we arrived early afternoon we went to the beach to try to catch some sun and relax. Sun we found but far away from relaxing. There was two-three bands present on the beach and they were playing very loudly some really bed quality Mexican music. I love Mexican music but this was horrible. I tried to read, put my headphones on but nothings helped. They were playing none stop one after another for about five hours. After couple of hours on the beach we had enough and went up the room on the 11th floor but even that didn’t help, the music was so loud that we could even hear it through the closed doors.

The hotel was swarming with people, it seems like they specialize in putting a very cheap packages for locals. After every meal it was a huge line to get into elevators, you had to wait for 10-15 minutes just to get into an elevator and people were often be inpatient and didn’t care if you had arrived there before them. The elevators weren’t air-conditioned and when it was hot, which was most of the days we were there, a ride to the 11th floor would make you sweat .

The owners of the hotel are trying to cut corners and save money whenever it is possible and it is not notable at the first instance but… The matrasses and pillows were very uncomfortable ( I had a back pain after the second night), they were also coffered with a strange protector, I suspect for a longer durability, they are noisy every time you turn in the bed. The food was diverse and at the first instance seemed to be of a good quality, however, for example, the sea food stew was made of frozen shrimps, octopus and artificial crab steaks. The juices had fresh ingredients in them however, the base for all of them was orange juice made of concentrates.

The staff seemed to be friendly as far as they don’t have to go an extra mile, as soon as you ask them for something extra or out of their comfort zone then most of the time it was a negative response or even if they didn’t it they made you feel that it’s a big favour.
You were not allowed to change pool towels during the day. Once you got them in the morning you had to stick with them and if you misplace or lose them they make you pay for it.
When we were checking out we threw away the arm bands and they tried to charge us for it and when I made enough noise they said that they will make an exception. Basically you need to bring them to the checkout with you, otherwise it’s a charge.

I can go on but I think you got the picture. If you want to have a good holiday, stay away form Riu!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Alexibm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2014

Very clean hotel, just sometimes a little stinky especially near the end of the hallway towards the employee elevator, however it's not much of a problem. Rooms all face the ocean and are cleaned and restocked everyday. The bartenders and lobby personnel are very friendly, Pancho was my favorite in the lobby bar. Food was also good, however it's repetitive sometimes especially the lunch buffet. In my opinion, the breakfast and dinner buffet were the best. The beach is beautiful and pools are clean, the waves get pretty big. The music at the beach wasn't very appealing, the songs sucked and were unrecognizable and replayed throughout the days of our stay. In the evening, there are shows for people in the entertainment area, but right after the show everybody goes to sleep. This was one of the biggest problems of our experience, the whole hotel goes pretty quiet around 10-11pm and the hotel club was pretty empty for 4 days of the week. The club in the hotel also didn't play many noticeable hit songs either however it was good enough to get moving. For most of the nights we stayed we walked around hotel for hours looking for people to talk to. If you are single, this will not be a good experience. The overall stay was amazing, minus the entertainment and nightlife. The resort is beautiful and is very well maintained, just the entertainment and nightlife will be a problem if you are traveling with single friends.

Traveled April 29th to May 6th (7 days).

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Leon D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2014

I know what you think- you read one bad review and you think "that won't happen to me." well it just may at this resort. I had my $400.00 prescription glasses stolen FROM MY BAG in my room. This meant the maid went through my bag and took them- not like they were out in the open. When I complained they shrugged their shoulders.

The day I got home- like many writers are saying, I got TERRIBLE food poisoning.

The place is JAMMED with Mexican Locals, so if you want a relaxing vacation- I'd advise you to stay away.

The beach isn't even really nice. Cancun has much better sand and BLUE water. Go there.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank toronto o
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:
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: £107 - £214 (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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