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“The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Sea Garden Mazatlan

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Sea Garden Mazatlan
Calz. Sabalo Cerritos S/N | Zona Hotelera Norte, Mazatlan 82110, Mexico (Formerly Mayan Sea Garden Mazatlan)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #36 of 75 hotels in Mazatlan
Cheyenne
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

The best part about the Sea Garden is that, since it's a small resort, you're going to be treated like family. The staff is amazing - the waiters are your friends after 2 days, and Felix, a restaurant manager, will try to do whatever he can to make your experience a good one. The restaurant, which was less than wonderful in 2012, has improved greatly, and even dishes that are not particularly Mexican (for example, clam chowder or spaghetti bolognaise) are really good. The rooms are comfortable, the facility has beautiful grounds, and the beach is great. The renovations are a bit annoying, but they're mostly done and will make the place look a lot better. The iguanas are enormous and are a lot of fun to watch.
The bad part is the activities staff, who seem to think that their love of very loud music is shared by everyone. When several people asked to have it turned down, the activity manager actually turned it up! Because of that, several people couldn't sit around the pool and had to go to the beach to talk. There were some good events, like movies at the pool in the evenings, a live band, and a dance performance, but since the guests weren't told about them, you only got to participate if you stumbled into something. The loud music has been a problem for many years, but this year's staff seemed less receptive to guests' comments and pretty much did what pleased them. Also, wifi was a problem - you could buy an hour, but it had to be used all at one time. Once the deli is done, though, you should be able to buy an hour to use over several days. The pool could be cleaner, and don't expect the Sea Garden elevators to work all the time - riding them is always an adventure.
The worst part is an annual event that occurs during the second week in November, when most of the northern resorts in Mazatlan host university students for 4 days for a conference. Think Spring Break with cases of Tecate - loud parties all night, beer cans in the pool, doors slamming and hundreds of people screaming at all hours. The security level was pretty low the first few days, but once everyone complained the hotel posted more guards and the noise lessened. But avoid that week if you can!!

Room Tip: The rooms above the 7th floor have the best view, but if the elevators aren't working there coul...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Danville, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

As the title suggests, there are good and less good sides of our experience at Mayan Palace/Sea Garden in August 2013. The good sides include very friendly staff, reasonable prices in the in-resort convenience store, and low-key waitstaff and good not-too-expensive drinks. The walk out to the ocean was easy, it's just past the main pool. We like the pool's waterfall feature and abundant seating, as well as the ocean front palapas and chairs. We were in the new tower closest to the road in a suite on the road-side, not ocean view. It was a good size with on okay kitchenette. Maid service was very nicely done, with them adapting to our varying schedules.

As others have noted, this hotel is well out in the Sebbalo area of Mazatlan, but it's just a 7 or 10 peso bus ride into the busier areas or the center of town. Oh, and I'll thank whoever posted the mention of "Tacos by Henry" across the street from the property - it's only open 5 days a week, but we ate there most nights we could and enjoy every inexpensive bite. Between Henry and using our little kitchen, our trip costs were pretty reasonable.

The real problem with our stay was maintenance on the site itself. First, they are apparently in the midst of a major renovation project. And the property NEEDS the renovation. So the main lobby was closed and under construction, making moving from our tower at the front of the property to the rest of the grounds a little inconvenient. The game room and some other property features were closed, not that we really needed those. While we were there the main bar would be worked on during the day, then re-opened each evening (which I question for sanitary/safety reasons).

The worst part was the pools. They were open and warm enough, but either the filter systems weren't working, or the water levels were too low for them to function. So despite the staff's efforts, the water usually had debris on the surface, and at times the water itself seemed to be unsanitary (to put it nicely). The tiling and deck surface were cracked in places and had had a number of sloppy repairs over the years. I understand the challenge of doing pool renovations in a year round property, but I shouldn't have to experience something like that for the money paid.

As for the timeshare sales, I found it more amusing than anything else. Maybe I hit them on a good day and IslandHopper on a bad one. Sure they tried to sell me on the Mayan chain's "6-star experience", but I kept reflecting on the 2 star or so property we were in (in its current condition). So saying no was easy - and once it was no, they didn't push too many more times. They even sent us off at just under an hour elapsed time (including breakfast). Oh, and the restaurant we got the gift certificate for was wonderful - I recommend Roca Mar along the Malecon near the Acquario.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

I stayed Apr 6th - 13th with my adult niece and 6y/o nephew. The hotel is older, but it was nice enough. I look at hotels as a place to sleep. I was shocked it didn't have shampoo to offer. (The one time I decide not to bring my own). There wasn't much to do for my nephew however he enjoyed swimming in the pool. While the beach was nice, the surf was too rough to swim in it. Hotel staff would tell you to get out of the water even when wading to get feet wet. There is nothing around the resort. Had to take bus to town to do any shopping. The bus system is very easy to figure out. The hotel staff were nice. Didn't care for the time share presentation as they were way too pushy for me. Staying at El Cid Granada for my 2nd week and already know this will have a great review!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eugene, Oregon
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

This hotel is older but appears to have undergone some remodeling. A few people at the desk are bilingual which was helpful. Concierge was also very efficient. We loved our room on a higher floor (5th+ gives you a nice view of pool/ocean without a lot of noise). The rooms are actually suites. Our bedroom was very small but had a king bed so that was a good trade. We didn't want to spend a lot of time in the room anyway. The kitchen was very equipped with a small refrigerator, cooktop, coffee maker, blender, dishes and silverware, and a dining table. Our housekeeper came in the afternoon, not morning as we we expected, but she did a fantastic job. The pool was cold and they should definitely heat it in cooler months. The smaller, less popular pool was a bit warmer but none of the extras happen there - bar, activities, etc. The pool area was very pretty and there were activities provided every hour or so. They could do a little better with turnout for that by announcing the activities a few minutes ahead of time. You can't see the beach from most of the rooms except at a distance, (pool area instead) but the property has beach frontage and you can just walk through the pool area and down a sidewalk to the beach. There are plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas there. Get a drink at the pool bar on your way to the beach; they don't come to beach much at all.
We were pressured into a time share experience "only 90 minutes, including breakfast" at our check-in and they don't want to take no for an answer. So we went (thinking 90 minutes, ok) and over two hours later we were still trapped there - they were SO high pressure and kept bringing in higher and higher level pitch persons no matter how many times we said no, who were actually bullies. When we said no, that we were ready to go and besides it had been over two hours, they said they would let us go when THEY were ready. At that point we left anyway but the insane presenter said "If you want your gifts you just TRY to come to me." meaning that if we didn't buy into the timeshare, they wouldn't make good on the free breakfast, free spending money promised, tour, etc. We would NEVER, NEVER buy there because of this experience. We asked around to different people we met in our travels, and not one person said they'd ever buy a timeshare anywhere again.

Room Tip: Pay for your room after you see it.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Socialmediamanager1, Manager at Sea Garden Mazatlan, responded to this review, August 29, 2013
Dear IslandHopper011 :

Thank you so much for commenting about your stay at Sea Garden. We really thank you for your kind comments about most of our staff as we consider them one of our biggest assets.

All the same, we are disappointed that we were unable to meet your expectations to the fullest. As one of the most successful companies in the Mexican tourism field, we clearly communicate the terms and conditions associated with accepting an invitation to our sales presentation and everyone - at free will, attends and receives the gifts been offered as we appreciate their visit whether they decide to acquire our products or not.

We do appreciate any feedback being provided to us and it will be shared with the appropriate management areas.

We will be delighted to welcome you back.

Warm regards,
Sea Garden Mazatlán Management.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olympia, WA
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

We're still there as I write this. We like the Sea Garden a lot. It was the only place we could get in this week "Semana Santa" with our RCI trade, but we've been very happy. The grounds are very nicely gardened and well kept. Reports of icy pools must refer to one (smaller, on the north side) that's not heated, but the main one is fine. The room is older but has been nicely updated. Sure, it's smaller than some, but if you're not dancing, it's fine. The kitchen is clean and efficient. We have a beautiful ocean view, small deck. The staff is very friendly. It is too surfy and rocky to swim in the ocean here, but a mile or so walk in either direction will fix that, or you can go to the gold zone, where the beaches are more protected by the barrier islands.

Room Tip: Upper floors will shield you from the loud pool scene. We got our ocean view room with a subtle gift...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elk Grove, CA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

My wife and I visited this resort during the last week of March and I was very impressed. As with other resorts I did some research before visiting and was a little worried based on some of the reviews. From the moment we stepped into the lobby I felt a lot better.

Pros:
-Check-in was easy and smooth. Our bellboy, Miguel, was extremely helpful throughout our stay with recommendations on where to eat and where to visit.
-The grounds of the property were immaculate. Very well maintained and clean.
-Staff was excellent and helpful.
-Beach was clean and very enjoyable. Not many vendors.
-Pool was well maintained.
-Location of the resort is perfect. Away from the busy Golden Zone and a short ride on the pulmonia.
Cons:
-The waiters by the pool could use some help on their customer service. It seems like they only tended to those that sat at the tables and not the people sitting by the pool. It would be smart to go around to everyone to see if they would like drinks. This way the hotel could make some money. I sat and waited for an hour to see if they would come by until I was tired of waiting and had to call them over. But once they helped us out they were very attentive.
-I did not like that we were pressured into a timeshare presentation. We didn't attend but I go to these resorts to relax, not to attend a sales pitch.
-The rooms were pretty small. When we booked we were told that we would have a 2 bedroom unit that sleeps 5. The first bedroom is fine but the second one has a small daybed type of bed which is basically a mat. The king size bed is also very stiff.

Overall we enjoyed our stay at this resort.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

Looking forward to retuning to Sea Garden, Mazatlan this year. I know the rooms are small and dated but I'm not there to stay in my room. It's a comfortable space to return to at the end of the day and have the option of cooking in my room or going out. The rooms are like small apartments with seperate bedroom/s off the living room/kitchen area, so much nicer than just a hotel room. All the staff are courteous, helpful and friendly and many have been there for many years (20+) and remember you when you return. I like the smallness of the resort, easy to get around. The pools are always clean and so is the beach area. Sometimes the ocean is too rough to swim in but it depends on the time of year. Easy access to Mazatlan with a bus stop right out front of the hotel or many cabs waiting to take you. I've stayed at the Grand Mayan Resorts as well and they are beautiful and big and I liked them too, but I love coming back to Sea Garden for the quiet, relaxing, friendly atmosphere.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Sea Garden Mazatlan

Address: Calz. Sabalo Cerritos S/N | Zona Hotelera Norte, Mazatlan 82110, Mexico (Formerly Mayan Sea Garden Mazatlan)
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Sinaloa > Mazatlan
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#23 On the Beach Hotel in Mazatlan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Mayan Sea Garden Mazatlan Hotel Mazatlan
Mayan Mazatlan
Mazatlan Mayan Sea Garden
Mayan Sea Garden Hotel Mazatlan
Mayan Palace Mazatlan

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