People if you don't like a hotel just say it and do a poor or terrible remark. I paid for this hotel based on your reviews. Now after my disappointment i read the reviews, OMG! You guys put a title of i love it and in your description you basically say that you hated the place. Here's my experience so far; i hate this place! The hotel is super crowded, all restaurants are full, if you try to get a table good luck!. The nicer restaurants have to be reserved at 7am. Come on! Are we drinking and trying to wake up late?
The pools are over crowded and with no room to be without getting hit by a kid.
I read other reviews and all talk about tips, well my experience is that in this place if you tip you get service, if you don't tip you will not get nothing and you'll get a lot of attitude!
This is a big and impressive beautiful hotel with very little customer care. I hated this place as i was looking for a place to relax and have a good time. This place is all stress! To get on the elevator usually takes about 30min. To get a table at the restaurant 30min. If you get a table at the buffet your table will be dirty and without silverware. Again you want a clean table, tip the waiter and then you'll get silverware. I already spend 300usd on tips and i have been here for only two days out of a seven day pre paid vacation, its really a hassle because to get smaller change for tips is hard. I cannot recomend this hotel as my experience here has been terrible and stressful!
Firstly I have to say how amazing our waiters and Jose the bar guy were. So glad we tipped well cause we were treated like royalty.
So the bad:
*As a lot of people had mentioned the elevators were horrible and since having the stroller it sometimes wasn't an option to use the stairs. We were on level 5 and one day the elevator missed our floor 12 times where I ended up having to press both buttons.
* The deserts were very disappointing and was also disappointed there wasn't authentic Mexican food. One of our waiter friends actually got fish tacos specially made for us which was amazing.
* I traveled with my 2 year old and my friend and her 6 year old and we had a family room but it was pretty small so when we all were in the room (due to half of our party falling ill) it was full on with 2 kids.
* Another thing was during the day they had games in the pool and when ever I was watching it seemed to always be in Spanish so I didn't feel comfortable trying to join in but I guess as 90% of the resort seemed to only speak Spanish.
*The kids show seemed to be the same game every night and I didn't get a chance to watch the adults shows cause it was past the little ones bed time
*The service we got from the waiters and barman was amazing and beyond expected. We were treated like royalty and it made the trip so much more enjoyable especially when you are travelling with kids.
* The kids pool was wonderful and my 2 year old toodler Loved it. By the end of the trip he has so much confidence because in this pool it was the perfect height for him. He loved the slides (so did mummy).
*The grounds were very clean as were all the pools. Loved that the adults pool never had kids in it even tho I never got the chance to go in there. The water was beautiful in the pools.
*The beach was beautiful and the vendors were pretty good when you said no thank you. Tip if you dream to drink a Cocktail out of a coconut you can buy one off the vendor who will also open it and then Jose at the bar will fill it with your chosen cocktail (my favorite been long Island ice tea)
All in all being my 1st time to a resort let alone and all inclusive resort it we definitely worth the money and I loom forward to when I can go to another one again.
Thank you Riu for making this trip memorable
Went to RIU Emerald Bay Feb 2016 and had great time, this was a chill out vacation and much needed. Hotel was great, with nice dÃ©cor and layout, not a sprawling resort with everything close.Buffets where good lots of variety, al a carte restaurants were OK would not fret if you don't get to them. Elevators that everyone whines about where not a big issue only a little slow when everyone wants to go to dinner at same time as you would expect (you are on vacation people slow down and relax lol). The beach is nice goes on forever vendors can be thick at times but are not on resort property just public section of beach and a simple no gracias usually get them to leave you alone. Only real flaw we saw was the pool with swim up bar by about 2 in the afternoon I would not go in looked like more spilled drinks and other than water quiet pool was great. If you go with kids make sure to keep an eye on them when in ocean can walk out fair ways but usually decent to heavy waves coming in, a blast if you are a 40yr old kid LOL. No such thing as a good red wine here, but they have clamato juice for us Canadians and of course there is the Tequila :-) No beach snorkeling so extra room in suitcase but you could go to one of the islands to snorkel and just use excursion equipment. One point in favour of hotel was the amount of locals, not just tourists and nice to interact with people that live here.
My family stayed at the Riu from May 31 to June 3, 2016. This was our first family vacation in years, so we decided to pamper ourselves and stay at this "five star" resort.
Breakfast was excellent. There was a wide variety of food, from cereal and donuts to chilaquiles and omelettes. Breakfast is buffet style, and I don't recommend waiting for the servers to fetch your drinks--there are just not enough of them to keep up with the vast crowd, especially at around 9 am. There was a fresh juice station, and the papaya and carrot juices were outstanding. I also recommend the freshly made chocolate milk (chocomilk). I wish they'd had fresh orange juice, but they just had the bottled stuff. The one major issue I had was the coffee, which was weak (it was clearly watered down). They also only had one small cream container, which was entirely out. There were no coffee makers in the room, so my whole family basically went without coffee for the duration of our stay. The tea offerings were minimal (just 4, and 3 of them were herbal).
It's hard to provide a useful review for food, since so much depends on your own personal tastes. I'd describe the offerings as the "lowest common denominator" type: pizza, burgers, hot dogs, pasta, salad bar. The offerings didn't change much from day to day, so the novelty wore out quickly. No fresh juices, just a soda machine.
This was the only meal of the deal that actually lived up to the hotel's reputation. You do have to make reservations, so we had to eat at the buffet the first night because everything was booked already. The dinner buffet was similar to the lunch buffet, which is to say bland and unexciting. We had dinner at the Mexican restaurant on our second night, and at the Asian place on our third night. The Mexican place: as soon as you walk in, a waiter hands you a margarita (which was room temperature, since they have them just sitting there, already made). They have a limited menu, maybe four or five entree choices, but the food was delicious. We made reservations for 9 pm, which is the last available time, so they were already out of a few menu items, which was hugely disappointing, but what they did have was great.The Asian place: outstanding! Hands down one of the best Asian dinners I have ever had.
My only issue with dinner is that you have to make the reservations in person, starting at 7 am. I was annoyed that I had to get up early, and go all the way to the lobby just to make reservations. I got there at 6:50 am, and there were already 13 people in front of me. We were able to get reservations for 2/3 nights of our stay.
Staff: The waiters, bartenders, and housekeeping staff were all friendly and attentive. However, the reception staff was apathetic and unapproachable. Check in took 20 minutes, even though there was no line. We got a very brief and unfriendly summary of the services available to us by the staff member that checked us in. When I asked whether I had any benefits because I was a member of the Riu Class rewards program, the staff member sarcastically pointed out that if I didn't give my member number during booking, I couldn't get any benefits. I was only asking a question, not making any demands, and I was taken aback by the rude response.
Check out was no different. These staff members obviously have to deal with a constant stream of people checking in and out, and they obviously don't care about making you feel welcome. I have gotten better service at Starbucks than I did at this resort. Also, if you wait to check out til 11 am, the lobby is a zoo. There is a line of people waiting to check out, and if you want to get a taxi you have wait for the lone security guard to notice you and call one for you.
3 small elevators to service the entire left side of the hotel, which is 20+ floors. Expect to wait upwards of 10 minutes if you want to travel by elevator during peak hours (check in/out, breakfast/lunch/dinner, before a live show).
The rooms have horrible insulation. Anytime someone walked outside our room talking, we could hear them. We were on the 15th floor, and we could heard the live music from the main floor. Also, construction, construction, construction! It went on from 8 am to 6 pm, and it sounded like it was right outside our room. I tried to take a nap during the day, and it was impossible. When I called reception to ask for two rooms farther away from all the noise, the woman said she only had one in the 3rd floor and one in the 8th floor, and the one in the 8th floor would be a downgrade (from 2 full beds to a single king). When I asked if she had ANY two rooms on the same floor, since we were traveling as a family and wanted to be close to each other, she just said, "no." Zero apologies, explanations, or empathy. Funny that a resort with 700+ rooms (according to their website) only had two available rooms during off season. We decided to stay in our rooms. If you want a quiet vacation, this is not the place.
The coup de grace for this hotel was when I called reception to ask that they refill our mini fridge. This is something that they are supposed to do every two days anyway, but on the night of the second day we ran out of soft drinks (no one in either one of our rooms drinks alcohol, so we had just 8 soft drinks to share between all of us). Because I called at around 9:30 pm, they informed me that it was too late to refill the fridge that day, but they would make a note to have it refilled the next day. By 6 pm the next day, neither of our mini fridges had been refilled. I called reception again, and the man that answered informed me that my mini fridge had already been refilled. Considering that I was in my room and he wasn't, that was an asinine thing to say. When I told him I had just checked it and it hadn't been refilled, he told me maybe someone else staying in my room had drunk everything. I laughed, thinking it was a joke, and asked him when someone would come up to refill it. He informed me that they can only refill it every two days, and since it had been refilled that morning, they wouldn't do it again. He again suggested that maybe someone else had already consumed everything. I had to explain to him that there were only two people in my room, myself included, and we'd been together all day, so I knew for a fact no one else had consumed anything from that fridge. Eventually he sent someone up, but what an unpleasant experience.
Overall, the combination of an unapproachable staff and noisy, disruptive music and construction made this stay memorable for all the wrong reasons.
We were in a group of 66 for a wedding, we left on April 5th and then the fun began. Everyone had a great flight and the check was fast and well organized, from the time you arrive at this resort you feel a part of a family. All the staff treat you with a smile and help you in any way needed. Special consideration to the wedding co-ordinator Margarita who handles every need you have she also helps you feel relaxed on this very busy day. All the wait staff are here to solve every need you want, the hotel is very clean and the beach goes on forever. When choosing a holiday please choose this resort and leave your worries behind. See you guys next April for our honeymoon gracais.