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Reviewed 19 November 2017 via mobile

I researched this resort prior to booking and what you most commonly read is also what I found. Here are some points to note based on my stay last week:

Pros:

Beautifully kept resort with lush foliage and healthy palms, no cracked concrete or peeling paint etc..

Plenty of seating around 3 clean pools with poolside drink service as well as beachfront service after 10am
(Kids are not welcome in the swim up bar pool and bartenders make sure to keep them out)

Plenty of daily activities in/around the pool such as tequila Jenga, water volleyball and poolside Zumba!

Clean, soft sand beach whose flags were red but we were still able to swim in daily(although most of our friends did get stung by small jelly fish throughout our stay)

Friendly, bilingual staff in every department from the gardeners to wait staff to house keepers. The front desk even arranged to have a birthday cake delivered to me and my friends at dinner one night!

Tips were not mentioned or pushed like in another all inclusive resorts but were so graciously appreciated. Stick to 20 pesos on the pillow/ at restaurants and 50-100 to keep your bartenders on your side

The drinks were consistent from bar to bar and the staff were knowledgeable and able to find drinks for even the pickiest of travellers(they even use Clamato for their Caesars, not Kermato!)

They cater to Canadians as their predominant customers and even participated in our Remembrance Day moment of silence by the pool(as well as joining in on our anthem singing afterwards)

Cons:

I stayed in room 439 and the bed was terribly hard. They only provide you with 2 flimsy pillows to request more. Linens are typical of other Mexican locations and are low thread count and scratchy.

The 4 elevators that service this 22 story hotel are a nightmare to say the least. Request a lower level room and get your leg day exercises in by walking the stairs instead!(although I must say they tend to book locals in the higher rooms as they tend not to be as impatient as us Canadians so you may not have to worry about this. Inquire anyways)

Speaking of locals, the weekends become crazy busy with bus loads of inlanders. Most are friendly and somewhat bilingual. Things quiet down again during the week.

Like most all-inclusive resorts, the food became repetitive. Plenty to choose from but mostly buffet and tend to taste the same after day 4. There is an amazing lobster restaurant to the right of the resort, on the beach. Super affordable and amazing people. Highly recommend at least once on your trip as well as many food vendors in town. Short and cheap cab ride for endless food choices!

Also like most ocean front resorts, there are beach vendors that tend to get annoying after a while. They are restricted to pass the rope marking resort property but still yell until they can sell you something.

Many no smoking signs on the entire property but I'm fairly certain they are just for legal purposes as our group were always given something to ash in if we were in a reasonable area. Only no smoking in lobby, restaurants and hallways. Everywhere else was open air and pretty much fair game.

The front desk will not exchange American dollars(as of November 2017 anyways), and encourage you to bring pesos or Canadian dollars surprisingly. They will accept USD as tips/payment but will not exchange. FYI.

Feel free to comment any questions as I'm sure I left many things out but made note of so much during my stay!

Stayed: November 2017, travelled with friends
15  Thank 637kaylab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2017

We love the big flat beach with lots of palm trees. Lovely beach to walk on. Massive waves, stunning view from 12th floor. Very clean. Very friendly staff. Food was really good but we did become a little tired of over-indulging by the end of the week. Service was great except at the outdoor dining area, where we liked to have breakfast. We returned here because the price was right and we were happy last time. Paid $1235 with Sunwing Vacations. Smooth process getting here, very organized with the transfer and the check-in. The Nexus staff (Sunwing representatives) were really very good and took care of us, even making sure we all got through the airport on our return. It was not a non-stop flight going home though, and we did not realize until after booking that we will have a stopover in P.V. Kind of deceptive as our search was for direct flights only. Direct is not necessarily non-stop so be careful of this! We had amazing massages at the Hotel Cerritos a few doors down. Sonia works there and is really good. $20 US for an hour. We requested a couples massage so she brought in Lily for us, who was also very good. A blissful hour. Call her cell to book: 669-115-3767. Massage hut on beach looked too hokey to me, and they speak no English so no idea if they are trained.
A few cons: 1. The dishes are really dirty so be sure to check them. They need a big improvement on their dish washing system. 2. There are lots of children in all of the pools which you may not enjoy if you are an adult group. We spent most of the time at the quiet end of the beach. 3. All restaurants are buffet style. 4. The wine is drinkable but really not good at all.

Room Tip: All rooms face ocean, but "oceanview" room means you will be on a higher floor.
  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank winterwarmer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2017

We were very happy that we had booked this hotel, as we were unsure of its size of 700 rooms, but after staying and enjoying all that it has to offer, as well as it's wonderful staff that make it even more enjoyable. We met many staff that worked there, and want to thank them for all they did to make our stay a great one. Olga, who kept our room 411# clean and well stocked, as well as her wonderful towel and blanket creations, which we looked forward too each day. Marcos and Abel on the beach that kept us in cool drinks and great conversations, the waiting staff like Martin with amazing Latte's in the morning in the Sports Bar, Daniel and Edgar greeting us each afternoon for lunch, and the list goes on. The rooms all face the ocean, so you have a spectacular view of the sunset each evening. The food is plentiful, tasty, and a wonderful variety that would please anyone's taste buds, making sure that all guests have a choice of something they would like. The pools are kept clean and everything in working condition, and all chairs on the beach are neat and in great working condition. I must add that this is our first visit to a Riu Resort, and having traveled quite extensively, we are going to look to at a Riu Resort for our next trip. If you like clean rooms, great food, wonderful staff, and a well manicured resort in Mazatlan, then the Riu Emerald should be on the top of your list.

Room Tip: Elevators are slow sometimes, but not that bad, staying on lower floors allows you to use the stairs.
  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
6  Thank Snowcruiser54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2017

Had a great time here! Super value, beautiful weather with an amazing sunset every night! I would recommend it and would return in a minute. There were a couple of little things that need to be addressed one is that they do not have real butter and the margarine they have is horrible. The other thing is there is no air conditioning in the best bar (the lobby bar) or the elevators most of the time! Still I loved the place and had a great experience!

Room Tip: All rooms are ocean view so all good!
Stayed: November 2017, travelled with friends
4  Thank Pat J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2017

Why we keep going back is because of Erika, she is amazing and so helpful. This place is the perfect the size, I have been there about 10 times and have never had an issue- food great- price is awesome- pool, beach and drink totally great. so all in all a perfect cheap place to bring your family with a five star feel. Rooms all have views.

  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank colmartin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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