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Reviewed 21 November 2010

We were there Nov 5th - Nov 12th, the weather was perfect, all days were sunny, no humidity, nice breeze at evening. Extremely clean hotel, stuff clean everywhere every minute, including beach area. Every morning fresh squeezed juices - 6-7 different flavours, perfect!
Stuff is very friendly!
Yes, elevators are not enough for so many people in the 20 storeys building, but we stayed at 3-4 floors, and always used stairs (some exercises).
And on the weekend there are more visitors - locals people, a lot of kids, and noisy in the restaurant and in the pools. But Sunday afternoon is quiet again.
We have a great time.

Date of stay: November 2010
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
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4  Thank elzaAmerica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2010

After reviewing numerous reviews here I find it hard to believe some of the low ratings this all inclusive Riu hotel receives as they contributed to my hesitation about even booking our trip to Mazatlan. Most negative impressions appear related to misinterpretations and lofty expectations of what it means to be '5' star. First of all, if you expected an intimate and luxurious spa-like resort, no kids or families, and no locals, then booking into a 700+ room hotel is your own mistake. Try the Peublo Bonita down the road where each meal will cost $20 US and each drink $5 and up, and the room rate is perhaps three times what we paid for the entire vacation. I would say reviews of three stars or less are extremely unfair and border on vindictive. Imagine reviewing this Riu to someone who has experienced any kind of hardship in their life, or has never enjoyed the good fortune of travelling to another country to a luxury resort when you claim the food or amenities are terrible.

Due to the huge buffets featuring a lot of choice and variety everyone in our family was consistently well fed if not stuffed. Breakfast in particular was exceptional, many choices plus all the fresh fruit juice you could ask for. If this buffet was available in Calgary (and it would not have nearly the same quality of fresh fruit) it surely would cost $25/pp and would be fair value at that price. Based on the modest cost of booking a family of four at the Riu and what it offers, I would fully recommend it to other families, young couples, groups of friends that are not overly picky and those with limited international travel experience. Keep in mind that last minute specials as low as $435 CDN + tax are available to adults. This includes a decent charter plane ride direct from Calgary and airport transfers so when considering the Riu as your choice for a vacation, no resort in Canada could begin to compare to this on value, food freshness and availability, weather, beaches, drinks, daycare and kids pool, room quality, etc. My thoughts on the locals, they appeared friendly and courteous to me, I don't see how someone would be so biased against their presence at the hotel, without them and the resources they provide to the hotel the buffets would surely be much smaller.

some qualifications
elevator capacity is inadequate so avoid elevators at peak times

kids club childcare is not necessarily going to provide the sort of supervision you may feel is appropriate

mixed drinks on the bar menu are usually too sweet and syrupy, beer was dos equis and seemed fine to me, fresh and cold from taps you can pour yourself

food - many salty and unhealthy options at the buffets, easily avoided with some planning. Overall food was good always and great sometimes, far superior to what I could cook myself

it is mexico so people smoke everywhere they can (fortunately not inside the bars and restaurants however).

beds a bit hard, bring your own pillow if you have a preference

not a lot of currency or additional cost is necessary if you choose not to leave the resort so this is truly an all-in experience. tours were ridiculously expensive so we did not go on any

did not watch much of the entertainment at night as it started past the kids bed time.

Date of stay: November 2010
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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8  Thank shenyyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2010

The biggest knock is on the lack of elevator capacity. For a 21 floor hotel, there were always people waiting for an elevator. Especially at checkout time when travelers are anxious about getting places on time. We waited on the 14th floor for 20 minutes to get an elevator down with our luggage. Car after car opened with travelers packed in and no room for another person. We went to another bank of elevators and experienced the same thing. We waited for 4 cars to open and then had to hoof it down 14 flights with all our luggage. Should have called for bell service.

Other than that, the room was great with a great view.

We were there 3 nights, so didn't have a chance to grow tired of the food. I was surprised that the Asian restaurant was buffet. Not a problem, just unexpected. I found the wine in the main restaurant to be of poor quality, but with an all-inclusive, there are so many options to choose from that it did not bother me.

The pools were a bit refreshing - the pool bar had exceptional service and good drinks. Never had a problem finding a good lounge chair anywhere we went around the pool or at the beach and any time of the day.

Date of stay: November 2010
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
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3  Thank gruberlc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 November 2010

We went in November and the weather was great, with this Hotel being only a year old it's hard to beat it . Beds and room very clean and lots of room. Full bar in the room and the overall service was great. I had my knap sack stolen from the lobby when we arrived and the Hotel staff didn't seem to care, I should of gone to the Manager. The food is more of a 3 star, The sports bar is open late but if you want a midnight snack your choices are to re heat hambergurs and hot dogs or chips with cheese. Yuck. The Al acarte not worth the limited space they allowed in, some nights they would have only two of the three open which you wouldn't find out till you lined up at the customer service desk to make your reservations. Overall not worth the effort so don't go for the food. great for kids, great beach, pool and pools bars, even had people going around the pool with carts to serve you drinks. out side of the food all is a 5 star. The locals go home on Sunday so not to worry too much about them, after all they need a place to relax to.

Date of stay: November 2010
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Ray T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 November 2010

My wife and I just returned after a week at the RIU Emerald Bay. Our stay was the pleasant and relaxing break that we had planned – hey, it’s hard to have an unpleasant stay at an all inclusive – but it certainly did not approach the five star level that was advertised. On the positive side, the hotel is beautiful and our junior suite was great, with a large room and double balcony – easily five star quality. The pools and beach were also good (no problem getting a lounger in the sun or shade after a late breakfast), and the bar service was excellent, especially at the lobby bar and the carts that circulated around the pool area. The open tap near one of the pools was also a nice touch. Unfortunately, there were also a lot of negatives. The food was probably the worst that we have experienced at any all inclusive – all easily edible, but nothing to look forward to. The buffet was tedious - generally a choice of flank steak, pork cutlet or overcooked chicken every night. The special restaurants were especially bad – the Bamboo was simply another buffet, and the steak in the steakhouse was thin and tough; further, the dress code was not enforced (lots of beach shorts and t-shirts) and the drink selection was limited to wine by the carafe (very poor quality compared to the bottled wine available at the bars) and beer – no mixed drinks, or special coffees after the meal. The reservation system was also poor – there was generally a line-up, you could only reserve for that day and the next, and if you didn’t get there at 7:30 am the only time available was 9 pm. There were also large numbers of Mexican tourists from Friday through Monday – not a negative in itself, but the number of children that swarmed all of the pools (except the children’s pool, it seemed) was sometimes unbearable and often made relaxation difficult. In summary, book this hotel if you can get a good deal (it has been as low as $665/week), if you want a short break (I don’t think we could have stood the food for a second week), and if you have a high tolerance for exuberant children.

Date of stay: November 2010
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ndser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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