We spent two weeks at El Cid Marina, via an RCI exchange. This was our first trip to Mazatlan. We have traveled to other parts of Mexico. First the "resort". El Cid Marina is a quiet hotel; the resort part of El Cid is at El Moro, which is a shuttle ride away.El Cid Marina, though dated, is very clean; the room in which we stayed faced the ocean, was a one bedroom that had a full kitchen but no balcony. The cleaning staff came twice each day and the plumbing problems we had were attended to quickly. We did not take the all inclusive, which would have entitled us to a room with a balcony. The all inclusive cost $67 US per day per person. This allowed for all meals, drinks and snacks. The food at the restaurant was very good; we ate there a number of times. The food at the snack bars was also very good, and they did not skimp on the drinks! I think if you had children or had no desire to leave the grounds, that the all inclusive would be a good deal. The web site was accurate in some descriptions, not so much in others. My first complaint is that the web site has photos that had to have been taken decades ago. The descriptions of the grounds are not accurate. For example, the web site states that there is a state of the art, air conditioned fitness center accessible at the country club. What it doesn't mention is that there is a $10 per day charge to use it. It may have been state of the art in 1985, but is not so now. I had called El Cid Marina before we booked, to be sure that there was indeed a gym. No one mentioned a charge; had that been on their web site, or had I been told there was an outrageous charge, we would have not booked there. $10 per day to use a dated gym with no air conditioning is unacceptable to me, since I explained when I called that I needed to have a gym available. I found one that charge $30 per month, which was not that far away, and used that one. One pool is nice, the other is slimy and I wonder about the filtration system. The market on the grounds is sparse and closes at 6pm. If you want to relax before heading out to dinner (or if you eat early, before the sun sets) grab a few drinks or a bottle of wine, and head over to the market area, where you can sit in rocking chairs and watch a spectacular sunset over the harbor. There is a laundry where you can do your own laundry for 60 pesos, but you need to supply your own soap. If you need food, you can take a cab to Walmart or Mega store to do any large shopping, or visit any market and make do with what they have. Check with the cab before you get in to secure the charge, because they vary depending on the driver.
We did attend the time share presentation. In exchange for 2 hours of our time we received: a very nice breakfast buffet before the presentation; a certificate for 2 for 1 dinner at Senior Frogs; a certificate for a cab ride back to the airport; 24 hours of All-Inclusive; $100 in certificates to be used for food at any El Cid location; a 4 hour city tour, which included a tour of the tequila factory, a visit to a leather store, a drive along the malecon, a stop at the Old Town and ended with dinner on your own at a fantastic sea food restaurant.
There are a few nice places to eat within walking distance of the hotel. Leave the grounds and turn right. Across the street is a bowling ally (14 lanes) that looks closed but it is open. You can walk along this street and you will see Ernie's Restaurant and Club. The food is good and it opens at noon and closes sometime in the a.m. There are other restaurants and markets along this street. You can also take the shuttle to El Cid Moro and walk around there for other restaurants and shopping. Across from the Costa de Oro Hotel is a book shop, Mazatlan Books and Coffee, that sells english language books. The problem with walking on any of these streets is, if you make contact with the shop owners or the tour sellers, they continue to badger you even if you say no thank you. I understand and respect that this is how they make a living; they haven't yet mastered the idea that a tourist is allowed to say no thank you, and continue on their way. The vendors at the beaches were no problem, but the vendors on the street were obnoxious and rude.
We visited the Old Town and went to the market, into the shops, saw the Basilica ( very beautiful), the museum; this area is very easy to walk around. We also went to the Aquarium and Botanical Gardens, saw some nice performances by the sea lions and birds.
Mazatlan is trying to build up tourism, but the entire area is in need of some serious renovation. The property next to the El Cid Marina is an abandoned hotel; the parking lot is used as a trailer park. When it rains ( and it did every night we were there) the street in front of the hotel floods so much you cannot walk on the side walks. The problem? The street slants toward the ocean, but the drains are on the higher side of the street! It is, indeed, inexpensive compared to other parts of Mexico, and may be fun if you are 20 years old or it may have been fun in the late 70's early 80's, but I cannot see anything that would entice me to return. Two weeks is much too long here, unless you are going to spend it drinking and sleeping on a beach.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dear meg H
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Thank you for taking the time to share you experiences during your recent vacation in Mazatlan. We're grateful to you for your high marks regarding our ocean view room, the food served at our hotel restaurants, and our hotel staff. Thanks also for letting us know that you enjoyed visiting some of the many beautiful sites Mazatlan offers: The Old Town, The Malecon Promenade, The Basilica, The Museum, The Aquarium and the Botanical Gardens. Additionally, we're glad to know of your positive experience with the time share presentation and your enjoyment of the complimentary perks received for attending the presentation. We also appreciate your pointing out those areas that we must improve, such as: more clearly communicate our fitness center charges, and improve the a/c output in the fitness center. Please know that we're proceeding to make those changes in order to avoid this kind of situations in a future. We are sorry we felt short of your expectations, and for that please accept our most sincere apologize.
We hope to have a second opportunity to welcome you to Mazatlan at your first choice of resort, El Cid Marina Beach Hotel.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.