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Reviewed 20 November 2017

We were so impressed by this resort, starting from as soon as we arrived via the Airport Shuttle. A couple staff members came on the shuttle to put on our bracelets! They then directed us to another area where our check in packages were waiting for us. The checking in process took no time at all!
Our room was very nice, the view was spectacular! The food and drinks were delishous and plentiful. We loved that there is an Adult Only pool, it would be nice if it was bigger. The swim up bar was great.
The one thing I really wished they had was an outdoor lunch bbq area that could cook fresh hamburgers, hot dogs etc. The sports bar had hamburgers and hot dogs that were precooked and kept in a fridge that you needed to microwave....not good at all.
The beach was kept very clean, it’s quite beautiful and you can walk for miles. The ocean, unfortunately , is quite rough, not good for swimming or playing in.
All and all it was a great vacation with easy access into town and shopping!

Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Cindy E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2017

We spent 4 nights at RIU Emerald Bay. We got a great deal (nearly 50% off the regular rate) so for the price we paid it was an excellent value. Rooms are comfortable. Service is very friendly. Food is nothing to write home about. The best meal we had was at the Mexican restaurant. The buffets have a lot of variety, but nothing we tried stood out as being great. The cooks seem to love to use a lot of salt.

Good selection of drinks and talented bar tenders. There are enough bars around the pool are although on one day two were closed and that did create a bit of traffic jam at the only one that was open.

What you read about the elevators being slow is true at times. You need to especially be aware at peak times (check in, check out, breakfast, etc.) that you may wait a while for an elevator or for one that is not already full. Taking the stairs is sometimes a better option if you are on a lower floor.

Speaking of which, the lower floors pick up wifi from the pool area. We were on the 4th floor and had strong wifi in our room.

One thing I would recommend RIU could do to improve this resort would be to add a coffee bar or cafe somewhere (preferably on a patio overlooking the ocean). The only place that serves good coffee (espresso, latte, etc.) is the sports bar. The sports bar is not a place to enjoy your morning cup of coffee or your after dinner espresso. The lighting is way too bright, and it's way too loud. Especially with the air hockey game that makes a horrible racket when people are playing.

All arrangements, transfers, etc. went perfectly smooth. RIU seems to be extremely organised and well run.

Room Tip: All rooms have ocean view. Lower floors can get wifi from the pool area.
  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
3  Thank Brent T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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 Kayla B
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
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