We stayed at El Cid Castilla Beach from 3/27-4/3, which was right before Easter and a really busy time for the hotel and area. My family of 4 (husband, 14 yr old daughter and 12 year old son) were with a group of 17 in total, 5 families, 10 adults and 7 kids ranging from 9-17.
Hotel property overall - property was nice, well kept. Our flight arrived at 8:30 and we were at the hotel by around 9:45. We expected not to get rooms that early in the day, but after waiting about 20 minutes in line, we were pleasantly surprised that our whole group was able to get into our rooms right away and we were all on the same floor (15th floor). There were two good sized pools with swim up bars at both, a water slide and cliff jumping in one of the pools that the kids liked. The beach in front of the hotel was very small and crowded with vendors selling their wares. However, the overall beach was great for walking if you go left - mostly nice a flat. The ocean/waves were red all week and the hotel would not give out boogie boards, so we finally bought a few for our group ($20/each - not too bad) and that worked out great for the kids. We gave them away on our last day. One thing I will say up front, this property is located on a very busy street with lots of traffic, sirens, car door alarms etc. all night long - I felt like I was in Chicago or NY. I found I really didn't care for that and would prefer to be located in a quieter, more peaceful area. This will definitely factor into future resort decisions!
Room - Since we were on the 15th floor of the main tower, we had an awesome front on view of the ocean, which we loved! The room itself was clean, decent size - though it was showing some wear and tear given age of the facility (not too bad though). The bathroom sink was on the outside of the toilet/shower, which was nice. However, the toilet/shower area (with a door) was very small and cramped. Also no place to hang clothes (hooks in the wall) so you would have to set them on the floor or toilet - yuck. The could also use some hooks or towel bars on the wall by the sink to hang toiletry bags. Finally, the only hand towel bar by the sink is located in front of the sink and slightly to the left of the sink itself, I kept bumping my leg against it while putting on make-up and ended up with a lovely big huge bruise. Not a great location. The beds were actually quite comfortable - better than most I have used in Mexico. Flat screen TV and good sized balcony. Good closet and storage space. Elevators were extremely small (could only fit 6-8 people), but reasonably fast.
Food - With a group of 17, I thought we would have huge issues getting dinner reservations at the ala carte restaurants, which I was surprised when we didn't given the hotel was busy. We were even able to get one the day we arrived at the hotel (booked around 11:00). The restaurants were only about half full every single time we went. We ate at the Mexican restaurant (I liked it - but most of our group didn't care for it) - the guacamole, tortilla soup and shrimp tacos were great. We also ate at the Argentinean restaurant, again most of our group didn't care for it, but the reviews were more mixed here. The grilled shrimp was good. Our favorite ala carte was the Italian, which we ate at three times during the week! I don't think you can go wrong with any of their menu items and the desserts were really good as well! We ate at the buffets for breakfast and lunch most days. Breakfast was good with the usual selection of made to order omelets etc. Lunch was ok, but seemed repetitive. The Guacamole at the buffets was very runny and not so great, but the salsa was excellent. One of our group did get sick (food poisoning) from a hamburger one day - so be carefully and try to get them fresh off the grill. Also, my husband and son came home with salmonella poisoning - not sure what they ate the last day or so. I'm glad my son didn't become sick until he got home as he ended up hospitalized for a few days due to being so ill. We did go off the property our last day their for lunch - and my husband got sick that night. We truly are not sure if they got it at that restaurant (where several of us ate cheese quesadillas) or at the resort. One other person in our group likely had salmonella poisoning as well, but not quite as bad. Overall, the food was probably just ok - but probably not all the different than many other resorts.
Exercise Room - I used the exercise room a few days. It was about a 10 minute hike from our hotel to another of the El Cid properties, but I was ok with that, as more excerise in my opinion. Good equipment in the room, but I wish they kept the temps cooler - it was hot in there!
Chair Saving - OK - I admit we did this, especially with such a big group and busy time at the resort. My husband or I would get out there around 5:30am each day to get our chairs and were able to get a good location without any trouble. I would usually get there by 6-6:30 and sit in one of our chairs to read and the whole group was coming and going by 9:30-10:00 each day. The chair saving wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be though and some days there were still chairs open at 8:00.
Lobby Bar - the only place to hang out at night. We liked the area though, fair amount of tables and chairs. We would meet for pre-dinner drinks, hang out, play cards etc. They had bands a few of the nights - one band was decent, the other not so much.
Service - The staff are well trained and very service oriented. We had great service from wait staff, bartenders, cleaning staff etc. all week. The staff are definitely a selling point for this property.
Summary - I think the El Cid Castilla resort was nice overall, but as I mentioned above, I found I was not wild about the property location or Mazatlan in general (seemed like there were not a lot of great excursion opportunities, but maybe we didn't look hard enough either). Also, a lot of old hotels in the area were shut down and one property next door to our hotel was rumored to be a drug lord hangout (who knows!). If they could clean some of them up or tear them down (along with some house/condos on the beach), the area might start attracting more tourists. I would stay at an El Cid property again (and have once before in Riveria Maya), but don't think I would go back to Mazatlan.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled in the heart of Mazatlan's Golden Zone with splendid views of the ocean, refined comforts, and warm, friendly service, El Cid Castilla Beach offers a delightful combination of sun and fun for all ages. Relax on our beautiful sandy beach as the Pacific laps at your toes, sip a refreshing beverage at one of our two connecting pools or enjoy a gorgeous sunset from your balcony as it melts on the horizon. Serving as a tropical oasis for unforgettable getaways, Castilla's vibrant location makes it the perfect retreat for entertainment seekers as it is just a few sandy steps away from the energetic nightlife, enjoyable shopping, and restaurants including Senor Frogs restaurant and disco on site. • Ideal for Friends and Families • European, All Inclusive and Elite All Inclusive Plans • Three restaurants with international cuisine • Kids Club (From 10am -10pm) • Teens Club (From 11am-7pm) • Theme night dinner buffets with live entertainment • Two expansive, connecting free form pool with swim up bar • Beach front property with aquatic center • Pronatours Tours Desk • WIFI Internet Access • El Cid Golf & Country Club, offering golf, tennis, spa, and fitness center • Only 18 miles from Mazatlan Airport ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel El Cid Castilla Beach
- El Cid Mazatlan
- El Cid Castilla Mazatlan