When the Riu Emerald Bay stakes its claim as the only 24-hour all-inclusive resort in Mazatlan, Mexico, it’s not kidding.
Sure, there are restaurants and bars aplenty, including a sports bar that’s open every hour of the day (and night), and snacks/light meals and alcoholic drinks.
But what really hit home for me when it came to the Riu’s 24-hour all-inclusiveness was the fact that my hotel room (and every other hotel room in the building) had its own liquor case with jiggers of full bottles of rum, vodka and gin.
And, of course, my mini-fridge had all the fixings for mixed drinks of my own choosing (pop, water and club soda—along with a couple of cervesas).
Truth be told, I didn’t even use the in-room alcohol during my stay at the Riu. But like a security blanket, it was just nice knowing it was there.
But the Riu Emerald Bay, set on a vast stretch of beach in Nuevo Mazatlan (New Mazatlan), is much more than a constant flow of booze.
Inside the Rooms
Say a silent thank-you to the Riu’s architects. Here, each of the 716 guest rooms boasts a view of the dazzling Pacific Ocean (guests on the first few floors get a view of the pool area, but still—it’s technically a water view, right?).
The rooms have the full gamut of amenities you’d expect:
• Central air
• Satellite TV
• Hair dryer and other bathroom sundries
• Balcony or terrace
• Easily programmed in-room safe
Those looking to splurge can opt for a suite, which include upgraded bathrooms (hydro-massage tub, separate shower, bidet), a separate, sunken living area, walk-in closet and a massive terrace with a spacious Jacuzzi.
Activities ‘Round the Clock
There is zero chance of boredom at the Riu Emerald Bay.
With a slew of (free!) activities that change up daily, there always seems to be something new to try. Think Spanish lessons, poolside bingo and beach futbol (soccer), among many other options.
Of course, beach bums like me will have no issues filling up their days.
Strolling along Playa Las Brujas is a joy, as is frolicking in the Pacific’s crashing waves. Or stake your spot on one of the Riu’s plentiful beach loungers and curl up with a juicy read.
And if you simply can’t unplug completely, fear not—there is fast and free wi-fi throughout the Riu lobby.
The Bottom Line
The Riu is about 12 kms from Mazatlan’s centre (including the Golden Zone and the Historic District).
But taxis and pulmonias—the souped-up golf carts that whiz around the city—are just a call away if you feel like exploring the Pearl of the Pacific.
But at a place like the Riu Emerald Bay, you could easily remain on the property for your entire holiday. Really, really easily.
Room rates at the Riu start at $51 per night, per person (based on double occupancy), and includes all meals, all snacks, all drinks, activities and sports, as well as airport transfers.