Riu Emerald Bay Reviews

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Riu Emerald Bay  

Ave. Sabalo-Cerritos#3404 zona costa cerritos Nuevo Mazatlan - Sinaloa Mazatlan 82110 Mexico

"Fantastic Mazatlan Vacation, Mazatlan Mexico"
Posted by: Dina on Nov 22, 2011
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Riu Emerald Bay Reviews
Riu Emerald Bay Pictures and Information
Riu Emerald Bay Mazatlan Mexico

of 4 Hotels in Mazatlan

User rating 4.2

Based on 5 reviews

Riu Emerald Bay Information

The Hotel Riu Emerald Bay is an elegant resort located in Mazatlán, a lively coastal area bathed by the waters of the Pacific, where our guests will be able to enjoy their holiday in a delightful atmosphere. Riu is extending its already very complete range of hotels in Mexico with this new establishment, which will operate on an "All Inclusive" system.

* from resort website

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Riu Emerald Bay Reviews

Riu Emerald Bay Review: 4.2 of 5 5 reviews
Very good
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"Fantastic Mazatlan Vacation, Mazatlan Mexico"

Riu Emerald Bay
User Rating:  Riu Emerald Bay Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Dina  on Nov 22, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Nov, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
609 people found this review helpful

Over all a great vacation, here are what I thought some pros and cons of the resort.
The weekday was very quiet about 30% full and mainly Canadian. As the weekend approaches, it gets fuller and by the weekend it is at full capacity with about 45% Canadians and 45% Mexicans, very few Americans. There are only six elevators and are quite small. The sign says capacity is 10 people, I think it is referring to 10 Mexicans; in reality it would fit only 5 North Americans. This is not a real problem if you are not caught trying to get one at peak hours (checkin/checkout times). AC was not a problem in the room, we actually had to turn off the AC and fan for the entire stay even when it was 36C outside. The lobby does not have AC but it did not bother me. Ocean warning flag is always red (rough) but during the afternoons (3-5pm) is claims down enough for me to bring my 3 year old to the ocean.
-Checkin/Checkout: very quick and problem free. Check out is at 11am, nice to have a place to store luggage until the 4pm shuttle to the airport, meanwhile we could use the resort like always. There is a public shower that we could use before the departure.
-Rooms: large, very quiet and clean.
-Safe in Room: Large Safe, good for 14” computer.
-Staff: very helpful, most speak English if not they will look for another staff member who could help you. Housekeepers do not speak English very well but they try to understand you.
-Food: great selection in the buffet. The three specialty restaurants are very good too but the steak house is the best.
-Pools: clean large. No one is in the pool at 8am so lap swimming is great.
-Child care program: Great staff and great activities for them.
-Evening Shows: great but the dancers had to lip-sync to English song since they don’t speak English.
-MC: Most MC-ing are presented in Spanish and English second.
-For some reason, we did not get a ‘do not disturb’ sign, so the cleaning staff would knock on the door when we were taking an afternoon naps.
-Bathtub: the bathtub is very high of the floor. The first step out of it is a big one and dangerous.
-Internet: none in the room. It is only available in the lobby and kind of slow, not what we are use to in Canada.
-Handicap Access: if you are older or handicapped, good luck, not much there for you to move around easily.
-Bees: there is a bee problem there in the afternoons, they get into the lunch buffet desserts and follow you if you have a sweet drink in your hand. Not too many people seem to mind but I try not to touch the deserts at lunch time. All this means is that the left over dessert at lunch time becomes dessert at dinner time with bee foot prints.
-Most annoying: kids playing on the stage between before the evening shows. It always starts with the Mexican kids running around, jumping off the stage and even going behind the currents. Then the Canadian kids

Room Number:
6th floor

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"Beautiful 2 yr old resort, gorgeous grounds, small rooms and average restaurants. Great beach."

Riu Emerald Bay
User Rating:  Riu Emerald Bay Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Tod  on Aug 31, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Aug, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
644 people found this review helpful

Room Number:

Arrival via Sunwing from Toronto was no problem. Flights were on time. 737 aircraft had no movie screens on the back of the seats like mos other planes so we had to watch kid-frindly movies both ways. No worries, we all had books. Travelled with my wife, 9 and 14 yr old daughters. Transfers to and from the airport were simple so long as you walk past and make no eye contact with the numerous people trying to sell you timeshare.

Arrival at the hotel was wonderful....we were greeted the moment we got off the bus (full of Canadians all going to this Riu) with orange juice and champaigne and countless plates of Hors derves (sorry for the spelling).

Lots of staff there to smile and greet. A truly warm welcome. Very hot and humid (August 2011) however we knew that going there. No air conditioning in the lobby but I have yet to be to a Caribbean resort with an air conditioned lobby.....so, so what.....

Our room wasn't ready yet so went to lunch leaving our bags with the front desk. When we returned the room was ready and at no charge our bags had been delivered.

Disappointing room though because of the small beds that were two doubles squished together. Gorgeous view of the pools and ocean from our 19th floor balcony. All rooms in this Riu face the ocean. We ordered a cot which arrived the second evening. That was OKAY but my 9 yr old said it was hard. Oh well....she should be happy I brought here.....!!

In fairness, we only spent time to sleep in the room anyway so the size was not a big issue. Bathrooms are huge with large granite double sinks. Air conditioning was great with a ceiling fan.

Note, if you leave the sliding glass door open to the balcony, the air conditioning shuts off. So, we left it closed.

Restaurants and Bars:
All the outside bars were great with quick and friendly service. We never went into the sports bar (which was the only one air conditioned).

The buffet was terrific. So much to choose from that unless you are a glutten, you can't sample everything in a few sittings. Breakfast and lunch were great too.

Here's the not so good. None of the a la cartes were that good. Perhaps 3 star at best. Asian and Mexican were okay but the Steak House ought to be avoided. All three are in an enlarged part of the main buffet area. Staff try hard by using linen table cloths and dressing in suits etc. but that is just window dressing. We were rushed in all three restaurants. The staff buzz around you and the moment you put a fork down, your plate is whisked away with the next course coming in front of you. My steak (Steak house) was very overcooked but tasted great. Service was very attentive, just too rushed. Best advice to the hotel would be too adopt a WAY more relaxed atmosphere for a la carte service.

While you need reservations for the three a la cartes, we were told many were full yet when we ate at them, we observed they were 3/4 empty. Not sure if that was a staffing, food or time of the year we visited issue. To go again, I would not bother with the three specialty a la cartes. Oh, and while they advertise a dress code, we saw lots of people nicely dressed up but lots in shorts and 't' shirts. That kinda takes away from the 5 star feeling.

The beach is in front of the three main pools which are in front of the hotel. The beach is absolutely gorgeous but take sandals since the sand gets quite hot midday. The ocean was awesome with HUGE waves to jump or dive under. My two girls loved it. Boogie boards to sorta surf on (on your belly) are free. The undertow is incredibly strong so don't venture out too far. The two lifeguards will blow their whistles pretty quickly if they feel you are getting out too far. There are NO rocks etc. and a HUGE sandbar so it is gorgeous to go into the ocean about 3 to 5 waves.

The not so good part is the beach vendors. They are on you like flys on you know what. When I read previous reviews, I saw that they were kept away from tourists by a rope. I mistakenly thought that rope extended from the hotel to the water preventing them from getting at you. WRONG. The rope exists but is horizontal to the water and you have to pass by or through it (and all of the vendors) to get to the beach. In fairness, a simple "no thank you" was all that was required. But every time you went by them you had to say no thank you. Kinda' tiring. One positive though, if you want to buy from them, you can easily bargain down to about 25% of their starting price. For example, we all bought these really cool straw cowboy hats (as did many people) and the first asking price was $25. We bought them for $6 each.....!!

My two girls got bracelets with their names on them for $3 (starting price was $10).

The water this time of year was warm.

The pools were great too. Very very clean. A little crowded on the weekend but otherwise great.

Swim up bar was in the adult pool and was steady. I saw a lot of people drinking but seldom getting out to pee in that pool so draw your own conclusions.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We wanted to go "zip-lining" but it came with a tequilla factory tour for $75 which the kids woulda' hated. We could not bargain a better price so did not go. We all went parasailing on the beach in front of the hotel and bargained the starting price of $45 each to $10 each.....WE took 25 of our new closest friends too.....!!

The "animation staff" were ever present but did not bother you whatsoever. If you wanted to play volleyball etc. they were great.....Although we all had the laugh when the same staff person kept asking different Canadian girls to marry him and take him back home.....There's a new concept eh? lol!!

For the most part, we met so many people with and without kids similar ages to ours, that we ended up hanging around together and formed a dinner group of about 12 to 15. We hope to stay in touch.

Other Comments:
Mexicans on weekends....

Well, this would be a large negative. Apparently, the local population can stay in the resort on weekends for $50/room/night and they come with every family member they have and then some. We had no issues other than the sheer number and that everything got busy and loud. Most of the locals were very friendly and even though my 9 yr old doesn't speak their language, she cummed around most of a day playing in the pool with another little girl who didn't speak English. Again, just to be fair, no issues here except the sheer number of Mexicans taking up space we payed a lot more money for.

I have travelled before and have not seen that.

One final comment, at least a quarter of the Canadians we met got some kind of bug that gave them a lot of "toilet time" for a couple of days. Myself included. Although my wife and girls were fine........so there is the 1/4.

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"riu emerald bay"

Riu Emerald Bay
User Rating:  Riu Emerald Bay Review: 5.00 of 5

Posted by:  bernie  on Dec 10, 2010  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
691 people found this review helpful

We stayed here from dec 3-10. It's absolutely beautiful and exceptionally clean. the staff are outstanding and the food is good with lots of variety.
The only things that can improve are the nightly shows which are monotonous and the acoustics in the theatre are terrible. Also the elevators are very small. They are posted to hold 16 people,yet would be crammed with 6.
Flying with Sunwing we found their on site representative gave insufficient information about the property but concentrated more on offering tours.
Check out the mall at the end of the road. There are better deals there than at the market downtown and Mr. Lionso's restaurant at the end of the beach was a real treat.

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"John and Renata's Honeymoon"

Riu Emerald Bay
User Rating:  Riu Emerald Bay Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  John and Renata  on Dec 7, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2010 | Wedding | With Spouse/Partner
702 people found this review helpful

Overall we loved this newly built Riu hotel. Especially for a couple that was on budget after a huge wedding in Vancouver 24 hours before landing. We loved the large size rooms and the mini bar and large bathrooms full of granite floors and walls. The huge front lobby with its 30 foot ceilings and 18ft Roman soldier makes you feel like royalty when you first walk in. The huge cafeteria down stairs covered in marble and granite feels clean, cool and inviting. I loved the fresh squeezed mango and other fruit juices with a variety Mexican, American, Italian and Oriental foods. My wife loves seafood and found it very edible and plenty of it. Our favorite spot to hang out was the swim up bar in the 36C (97F) weather we had with its four hot tubs in each corner. Tipping with US single bills gets you quicker, quality drinks at all the bars. This hotel is situated in a spot for half decent surfing too. The only complaints we had was the theatre lacked talent and some shows were cancelled without notice. But we had the place to ourselves for the first four days with only 40% of the rooms sold and then they gave the locals a super deal just to fill the place with screaming kids in the pool for the weekend making the slow elevators feel cramped. So we took a tour bus of Mazatlan in the 40C heat which we enjoyed except the locals always hounding us to buy a time share and the annoying shop owners yelling across the street to venture into their stores.

Room Number:
Upon arrival we as newly weds felt like royalty only because our super travel agent got us our own mini shuttle bus for $38Can, so we didn't have to wait for our luggage to be sorted. The complimentary drink and huge front lobby was a excellant surprise only because we got in front of the other huge bus. We rate it a 5

Room Block:
We were surprised at the size of the junior suite with its king sized bed and its large bathroom with its granite floors and walls. All rooms in the hotel come with a oceanview because all the rooms are built on the west side the building. The mini bar in the room with stocked fridges of beer and water, and soda came into good use. We rate it a 4

The swim up bar is the best I had ever seen with its four hot tubs. The bartender at the sports bar had trouble finding hockey games so I settled for the NFL until my wife caught me on my honeymoon. For a couple of picky eaters we actually loved the food in the cafeteria and the 2 restaurants we tryed weren't to bad but don't try the sushi. The seafood in cafeteria is better then the Sushi Restaurant. We rate these as a 4

Because of the quality of the surfing 200 yards north of the hotel and and the exercise classes in the pool my wife enjoyed, the awesome gym room and spa with indoor hot tub (But take sneakers that have white bottoms and don't mark the floor or you won't be allowed in the gym) we give this a solid 5

Restaurants and Bars:
We took an open air taxi south to the mall and to the gold zone but we got bombardied by locals trying to sell us time shares and shop owners trying to drum up business. There are tour buses available of old town Mazatlan we enjoyed and others tours available. The gold zone night club scene is more for someone braver and younger (like 25yrs old and under) Overall we give a 3

We would definitely go again if the price we paid was the same and the theatre got better as did the elevators and limiting the amount locals on weekends

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"Great Stay with some issues."

Riu Emerald Bay
User Rating:  Riu Emerald Bay Review: 4.00 of 5

Posted by:  Glen  on Mar 1, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
735 people found this review helpful

My husband and I have recently returned from a one week stay, (Jan. 24th – 31st) at the Riu Emerald Bay, Mazatlan . It was our first trip to this part of Mexico and overall we had a most enjoyable holiday . We don’t normally large properties, preferring smaller resorts but the price was right so we decided to be adventurous and booked the deal.

Overall the resort is quite impressive. The lobby is huge and very tastefully decorated and the lounges/bars are nicely appointed. The restaurants don’t have a lot of ambience but are generally okay. The rooms are a good size and quite comfortable, with a large entryway and a good sized bathroom with a double vanity. There is a load of closet and drawer space, a digital safe that is included, and a liquor dispenser offering no name vodka, gin, rum and tequila. All rooms have an ocean view. Our room 907 was in a great location. It was nice to be able to leave the patio doors open at night listening to the waves hitting the shore. The balcony was a good size with a patio table, two chairs and a towel bar that was useful for drying wet bathing suits and damp towels.We found all the staff to be very courteous, friendly, helpful and attentive. Housekeeping did a great job each day of cleaning our room and stocking the mini fridge. We always had a plentiful supply of water, soft drinks and beer.

Restaurants and Bars:
All the service staff in the bars and restaurants were polite and accommodating.
One downfall with what could otherwise be a splendid property is the food or should I say lack of variety in the food options. For the entire length of our stay there was only one venue open for lunch. We certainly never had a beach barbecue in the evening like has been posted in previous reviews. . We are not buffet people but for the most part even the speciality restaurants with the exception of the steakhouse are buffet style. We actually commented on how people post about how poor the food is in Cuba when in reality we have found the food especially in the a la cartes to be far superior on all of our Cuban holidays.
While the steakhouse grill is table service, it is far from an intimate experience with your significant other. The appetizers and soup are a set menu and it seems as if you have barely sat down and read the entree choices before the appetizers are before you, as soon as they notice you’re done the soup is served. Having barely finished that course your table is cleared and out comes the entree. I am a bit of a slow eater but even my husband who can finish a meal quickly found this just a bit rushed. We ate here twice and in addition to feeling like we needed to eat and run, we were also disappointed to find that the menu which was limited to begin with had not been changed so basically with the exception of the main course we were served exactly the same food.
Breakfast in the buffet was probably the best meal of the day. Eggs could be made to order, plentiful bacon, delicious juices and fresh fruits, good selection of cereals, pancakes, doughnuts, waffles breads etc. The lunch buffet, by the end of the week did seem a bit repetitive. You could get burgers, hot dogs and fries but more often than not they had been pre-cooked and were sitting under heat lamps, definitely not like having them made to order at a beach grill as we’ve had done at other resorts. The salad selection was always good and the soups as well as the guacamole were delicious.
Finally a comment on the beverages. The house wines are of a very poor quality. It was not uncommon to see people coming into the lobby with bottles of wine that had been purchased off resort that they then brought down to be enjoyed with their meals. Although their website states that they do have select international liquors, this, during our stay was not the case. We enjoy a martini when we are out to dinner and the Absolute vodka was some inferior grade that had been poured into the bottle. Same was true of the JB scotch. My husband mentioned this to the bartender who simply smiled in response. The hotel was only at 30% occupancy so maybe management felt it could cut corners. Unfortunately others we spoke to had also noticed this and as some were repeat Riu clients, felt it was a poor start to launching a new resort and not indicative of others they had visited.

The grounds are well maintained and the pool areas are lovely. Never a problem getting a lounger in either the sun or shade. The design of the pools easily allows you to be in the thick of the action close to the swim up bar or in a quieter area away from the hustle and the bustle. The pool bars were a convenient walk for refreshment or if beer/soda pop was your choice, there was also a handy self- serve set up by the lunchtime buffet restaurant.
This resort sits on a beautiful stretch of beach, great for taking long walks and unlike other destinations we have visited we were never bothered by either timeshare reps or local vendors. The wave action can get a bit rough and as I am not a strong swimmer, I never ventured too far into the water, preferring the relative safety of the shallower pools. There were many however who seemed to be having great fun body surfing or going out on the bogey boards.

Other Comments:
To sum up, we enjoyed our time together as we always do however we feel that even though the Riu Emerald Bay certainly has the potential to become an exceptional resort it has some issues to resolve before it can bill itself as a 5* property.

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