My husband, our two friends, and I just returned from a 2 week stay at the Marina El Cid. Having been warned about the food at the restaurent and thus chosing to eat at the many wonderful places throughout Mazatlan, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The hotel was nice, the rooms big, and the pools wonderful. The highlight of the stay was the staff of the hotel,- everyone was extremely friendly and always helpful. We often got tips about restaurants from the bellhops and the shuttle driver, and they all paid off. The waiters at the pool were always present, yet not pushy. The timeshare people were just about the same as at all the other places in Mazatlan (it is true, EVERYONE there seems to work for one resort or the other, sometimes, more than one).
We found Mazatlan to be a safe and friendly city. It was easy to get around by either the taxis or bus. The hotel shuttle gets you into proximity of the Golden Zone, and we often chose to just walk the distance from the El Cid Catillia or Moro to whereever we wanted to go to get a chance to walk off the wonderful, tasty food and drinks we consumed!
It was a bit strange to see that the Hotel bar (both at the Marina and at other hotels) closed at 11pm in a resort town, but for night owls there are clubs in Mazatlan to enjoy.
I would definitly recommend the El Cid Marina- it is a perfect place especially for kids. I would not hesitate to return one day with my children (as they fell in love with the pictures of the Iguanas around the pool). The side trips we took were all interesting- we got them all for free by attending timeshare presentations on our "rest-days." We also went deep sea fishing with the El Cid based Aries Fleet, which was quite a treat. Overall, a beautiful, relaxing vacation!