On our previous Mexican vacations we have stayed at 4-5 star all inclusive type hotels. This trip we wanted something more adventurous and cultural.
The owners are husband and wife. Alfredo was raised in Mazatlan and his wife Verneen is Canadian. The fact that they are both so knowledgable of the area and speak both spanish and english was such an asset to making our trip amazing. We told them we wanted a more cultural vacation so they recommended a few excursions which we did and really enjoyed. One of our favorites was a trip to a small town called Veranos. It was about 1 hour from Mazatlan but we went through 7 or 8 small towns to get there, which really gave us the flavour of the Mexican culture. We went ziplining and river kayaking down an amazing scenic winding river. The day ended with a Mexican meal which included a boiling cheese and mushroom lava pot dish. On our drive back we saw a ring tailed Lemur and an Armidillo! That had to be one of our most memorable days.
Our room was clean and had a kitchenette (fridge, stove, oven) which we really liked because we were able to cook our own breakfasts and then get on with our day. They also have toasters and microwaves available (no charge) if you ask. We had clean sheets, towels and washed floors daily. They have these wonderful balconies on each level with tables and chairs so we would sit out and have our morning coffee and breakfast. Alot of times we were joined by other guests staying in the hotel which some have now become our friends.
The location of the hotel is very convenient in the "Golden Zone" so there are lots of restaurants, shops, taxi's etc. It is on the beach side of the road however it's not right on the beach but about a 4 minute walk from the beach. We felt very safe in the hotel as they have a gate they lock every night. The guests all get a key to the gate if they come in late. The area itself we felt very safe as well. It is in a tourist area and there is local and federal police presence everywhere.
It's hard to think of things we like least because the experience we had really overshadowed any little problems. If you are looking for a five star all inclusive this hotel with all the comforts of home, this is not for you. The hotel is about 45 years old and though you often get hot showers sometimes you don't (not cold but warm). Our room did not have a bathtub and I'm not sure if any of the rooms did. There is no pool however there is a hotel next door, Costa D Ore that has a pool that you can use. There is also a bar across the street called Gus Gus which at times has very loud music. When we were there they didn't have the music loud every night and I think they had it shut down by around 11pm to midnight depending on the crowd there. I usually bring earplugs when I go to places but there is an overhead fan in each bedroom which not only kept us cool, it droned out the music so I never had to use my earplugs once. Being in the Golden Zone you are acosted by alot of "timeshare" people. They are more annoying then anything but we would just tell them we weren't interested and kept walking.
My husband and I both felt like this was one of our top memorable vacations and I believe it had a lot to do with us staying at the Mariana. Thank you Verneen and Alfredo, we will be back!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.