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Reviewed 27 January 2012

We stayed at the Riu Emerald Bay in Mazatlan Mexico from Jan. 17th to Jan. 24th and had a wonderful time. An absolutely stunning 5 star hotel on a beautiful beach, with some of the nicest employees it's been my pleasure to meet (kudos to Mike and Jesus in the Lobby Bar!) and the best selection and best tasting food by far! We went to Cuba in February of 2011 and the food at the Riu is 10 times better!
We took the Canopy (zipline) Tour that included ATV riding and a tour of the tequila factory and loved every minute of it. We enjoyed the sunset cruise, even though it was a little cloudy that evening, we were provided with snacks and all we could drink. We even set out on an excursion of our own, by renting the mopeds on the hotel property and drove ourselves from one end of the peninsula to the other, enjoying the momuments and scenery along the way to our destination of the light house on the point. We enjoyed a lovely lunch in the Golden Zone and can't wait to get back someday and enjoy the food at the seafood restaurant at the end of the beach by the hotel again.
We were at the Riu during the time of the attack on a young woman, which was incredibly upsetting for everyone, our prayers go out to her and her family for a speedy recovery. I have to say that the staff at the hotel seemed to be just as upset and affected by the attack as the rest of us. At no time did I or anyone else I spoke with feel in anyway that we were in a dangerous area, situation or that our safey was at risk. While we cannot ignore the past or recent violent happenings that have occurred throughout Mexico, I hope that this beautiful hotel and its kind staff will be able offer safe and enjoyable vacations in the future.
If I have any complaints it's that I found the pillows to be extremely flat and uncomfortable and that my husband complained daily of the coffee and chose instead to have the cappaccino offered saying that he found that to be much better.

Room Tip: All rooms are ocean view and have a terrace. There are 6 elevators in the hotel, 3 on either side.
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank SBM121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 January 2012

I am a seasoned traveler to Mexico. My family and I have had many great vacations all over the country.
My first time (and last time) visiting Mazatlan my husband and I stayed at the Riu Emerald Bay November 2011.

Like most hotels in Mexico some aspects are great and some not quite hitting the mark.
Reading some of the other comments about check in I think the Riu has figured that part out. Our whole plane seemed to be staying at the Riu ... all 400 of us (not on a tour) 5 bus loads landed at the riu at the same time. They had a reception room with drinks ready and all the packages ready to go. We did however feel uncomfortable about leaving our luggage in the middle of the lobby for the bell staff to take to the room so we did it our self.

Yes the elevators are a nightmare. There are only 6 for the whole hotel. They are small (typical for Mexico) and not great for people with luggage... or people for that matter.
The food is ok .... again typical of an all inclusive resort in Mexico... however I have had way better at 3 star hotels.
But again, guess that all depends on who is cooking.

My advise is don't miss dinner... all restaurants shut down at 10pm the only food available is cold burgers left over from lunch and cold pizza in the sports bar. Think late night snacks at 7-11 but not late at night and 7-11 being way better... yuck!!
No room service at the hotel ... how could they manage that with only 6 elevators.

The beach was nice the drinks were cold. The pools had lots of chairs sun and shade.

My biggest problem with this hotel and Mazatlan in general is that I felt unsafe. There were people in the hotel bars in the evening that I don't believe belonged there... one guy had multiple hotel wrist bands on. I know from spending many vacations at many different AI resorts that they cut them off your wrist when you leave...
This dude was no guest in the hotel. Bartender didn't seem to notice or care... maybe in on it... who knows.

Before going to Mazatlan I was aware of the travel advisory for the area... I still went.. hard not to when sunwing has a package at a 5 star resort for 1800 bucks. I always just assumed that you are safe in your hotel. Stick to the "tourist bubble" and your OK. After staying at this resort I have changed my mind. You are not safe because you are in your 5 star hotel.
Can't asume that for all 5 star hotels in the country/ world but THIS hotel the Riu Emerald Bay in Mazatlan has some very shady people there.
If you go don't let your gaurd down for a second. And don't asume that the people you are chatting with at the hotel bars are who they say they are.... not just another tourist.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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29  Thank Jennifer K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2012

Trip advisor required i edit my post to meet their policy. Therefore this posting will strictly be limited to safety and security of this resort giving people the right to know relevant risks to their family's health and safety relating to travel advisory in mexico. Our outdoor balcony allows for neighboring residents on the resort to trespass onto our balconies as the walls between neighboring balconies were accessible and unsecured which could allow for strangers to enter our property. I know this because I was able to cross over to my friends property. When I went to leave the front hotel doors, no one was there to monitor my safety when going to another building on site to work out. When going to tan on the beach many locals would be heckling from the property line yelling at my family until they got our attention so they could meet us/talk to us so they could get our money in exchange for fleamarket goods. Food safety - unlike other 5 star resorts greeters did not require people to clean hands with sanitizers when entering dinner areas. If I walked the hallways at night it was very quiet and I would not recommend walking alone as there was no information to advertise what security precautions are in place if emergency occurred and what surveillance systems were in place. The orientation on the resort did not address safety and security that could limit the risk of safety such as violence or murder while on the resort. There were no signs to indicate the place was under any type of surveillance.

  • Stayed: January 2012
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39  Thank Biggerplace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2012

I have absolutely nothing to complain about with this resort. The weather was gorgeous all week no rain, not too cloudy and beautiful summer warmth. Wednesday was a little bit windy at night but the rest of the time was fantastic. We read reviews before we left about the check in being terrible and the food blah blah blah. Those people should just stay home. We found our check in to be the best of any hotel we've ever stayed at worldwide. The staff greated us on the bus with our wrist bands, told us not to worry about lining up because our rooms were already for us. The bellboy brought our bags to the room while we ate in the buffet which they kept open late for us who were starving from the travel. They gave us a special drink on our way into the lobby and had smiles from ear to ear. We finished eating, went to the front desk and got our room key. Origionally we were on the 7th floor, with a bit of a blocked view but the front desk crew were so accomodating with us and gave us a new room the next day. 14th Floor with the most amazing view! The entertainment was great, we loved the grease performance and the las vegas show was stunning with the costumes and dancing. We could have skipped the Mrs/Mr Riu pagent because we've done those at our last resort. The bar staff was phenominal! I can't praise them enough. They were so quick, fun to be around and especially Mike in the lobby bar. If you go to this resort make sure you get mikey's secret drink. Jesus and Johnathan were great as well, and made our night life so wonderful. They had 24 hour bar service including 4 different types of alcohol in our room plus water and pops stocked every other day. The Food was great, especially the seafood night which I believe was Sunday, they made cheese sculptures, had mountains of shrimp and wonderful service. They have weekly reviews to make sure service is 5 star and I am so pleased to say they are deffinitly 5 star. We ate at all the a la carts and had an amazing beach party dinner with a bon fire and mexican folk dancing. The chicken at the steakhouse was my favorite meal because it was made perfect. Also the shrimp at the tabasco a la cart was great, plenty of jumbo shrimp filled me up for the night! The second day we rented mopeds (from the resort) and drove down the golden zone all the way to the lighthouse which took maybe 35 minutes, with stops. We didn't want to leave them unattended so we couldnt walk up to the top but we had an enjoyable day driving through seeing beautiful statues and took tons of pictures near the ocean. We stopped on our way back at a fabulous little mexican resturant and had burritos/tacos. Our next day we decided to get massages on the beach. We had 2 options...1- to use the staff from the Renova spa which is on the beach itself or 2- go down to lulu's past mr.lionsos resturant and pay $40USD for a 50 minute massage but it was not on the beach so we passed, plus our massuse told us she steals the tips. The couple we were with all week went there and said it was the best they've had. So both are highly recomended it's just preference. We walked up and down the beach and walked to the little shops on the right side of the hotel they were very poverty stricken and we felt a little nervous so we didn't stay long, but we had the most amazing chicken chimichangas ever from Mr. Lionso's and the marguritas were massive! Just be aware of your surroundings and make sure you are with a few people. As we've heard of a man from Ontario was beaten in the washroom of one of the shops/resturants there.

Unfortunatly there was an incident on the 21st which has made almost all reservations to that resort cancel. A young girl in her 30's from Alberta was beaten and left for dead in our hotel elevator, it is assumed she was drinking and was possibly raped but there were tons of rumors flying around this week so we aren't sure until she can give a statement. We were slightly afraid so we talked to the staff and were told it was true and she has been taken to the hosital and was in an induced coma. The security is high in that hotel, we saw officers everyday so its not a lack of security. It happened in an elevator and from my knowledge alot of top of the line hotels even here in Canada dont have cameras in them. The man was a Canadian and was arrested shortly after footage was reviewed. After the incident we could tell the Riu Emerald Bay may never be the same and every staff member was greatly sadened. We felt so safe sdespite the incident. No one can enter the hotel without a wristband and upon check out they are cut off by a security guard so no one can use them. We saw security near the pools, at the front door, everywhere so this incident as horrific as it is could have happened ANYWHERE in the world and often does with very little media attention. These things happen in our own backyard so don't travel or leave your house if you are scared. Just use common sense, don't go out alone and be aware of your surroundings. Also if you are into drugs you should stay away from mexico because in most cases thats the reason for the attacks. Other than that my ONE AND ONLY complaint is that the pillows could be fluffier but for being a very picky and hard to please person, that's pretty insignificant. I wanted to stay, and I will go back to the Riu Emerald Bay. To anyone who has been hurt in mexico I hope you don't take offense to my review I just go by what I see. Sometimes it is completely random so in your case I appologize for painting you with the same brush. Mexico might not be the best place in the world but everytime we go, we feel secure and will always go back.
Thanks for reading my review, sorry it was long. If you have questions let me know :)
Enjoy your stay it truely is beautiful and in my opinion 5 star despite the sad news.
XO

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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15  Thank Danielle S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2012

We just returned from our vacation a week ago. We had a fabulous time and thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Riu Emerald Bay, Mazatlan. It is a tremendous hotel, very clean, fun and helpful staff and the amenities were terrific. We are saddened by the recent events, however, wish to reserve judgement until all the facts are known. The Mexican people we met were warm and friendly and we never once felt threatened at all. Mazatlan is a beautiful city and we really had fun on the tours we went on.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank BobinNiagara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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