We've been frustrated with the consistently poor service at Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay in the past, so we stayed in town this year. The service in town is always excellent.
Sadly, the property is going to be remodeled in 4 years, and they aren't maintaining it. My parents were in the penthouse, my husband and I were in a luxury suite. The air conditioning flooded the penthouse 3 times in 2 days, and they were told there was no fix for it. The refrigerators in both rooms were non-functional. Maintenance staff actually told my parents that 67 degrees was good. Both refrigerators were replaced ... they grabbed functioning equipment from other rooms. The TVs squeal. Insufferably. So if you like to keep up on the news, you have to tolerate it, or just go without. The beds are not comfortable, and the pillows are very tall and lumpy. I did not sleep well.
While equipment is aging and going downhill fast, it is a very clean location. Employees take pride in doing what they can to keep the resort as comfortable as possible.
But the employees... are worth returning for. Poolside service is friendly, professional, and prompt. Cilantros is a restaurant we've always enjoyed, but the price increases played a part in our choice to dine elsewhere. This wouldn't be a problem for the all-inclusive patrons.
Last year, a rowdy group of pre-teens "invaded" the location. My folks were there for that. This year, before we made our reservations, we specifically asked PB if the same group would be there at the end of May. We were told emphatically "no, they will not be here."
The rowdy pre-teens came.
There were over 100 11-13 year olds, accompanied by "adults" that didn't pay any attention to their monstrous behavior (in fact, they barricaded off the center of the pool area so that others couldn't walk through. When I asked them to move an empty chair, they found additional chairs and lined them up to barricade the area off. The conditions became unsafe for my family.
Jumped off the waterfalls into the pool
Jumped off the bridge into the pool
threw food into the pool
brought 50-100 balloons into the pool, and popped them, leaving thousands of balloon bits in the water
broke styrofoam cups in the pool
ran and screamed everywhere (no one seemed to be capable of walking)
crammed 20+ kids into a hot tub designed for 6 people. (loudly, and right outside our room -- 106).
**we didn't stick around for more**
And that was when there were still kids checking in. What we experienced was but a sample of what was to come. We didn't stick around for the night. Last year, my parents didn't get to sleep at night due to the children's behavior. There was a crew of kids trying to break down their door, and they had to tell them to stop. Balls were being bounced off walls ... it was a real nightmare. Once we saw the opening act this year, we were out of there.
We were mostly upset that we were lied to about the kids being there. The manager said "we didn't know they were coming." Either that's a lie, or they need to learn how to say "NO." Pueblo Bonito has been a relaxing place in the past. The atmosphere has always been lovely ... even when it's crowded, or when there are more locals than internationals in attendance.
Here's a video from the first few minutes of when the kids started trickling in... multiply this by 20 in your head to get the "full effect":
At any rate, we requested to be transferred to Emerald Bay, which they did. They were kind enough to set us up in one of the villas, which was spectacular. It would have been nice to not have to pack up to leave twice... but the villas were a nice way of doing what they could to make it up to us.
Moral of the story, if you're traveling to PB Mazatlan at the end of May, be aware that you may encounter this crowd. It's a "cultural thing" to allow locals to behave like this.