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El Cid Castilla Beach Hotel
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Reviews (4,290)
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Reviewed February 21, 2014

Have been back a few days from our stay at El CID. Overall the staff was exceptional, food good and wonderful location. It was enjoyable to be able to walk the beach and not have high rise after high rise. I agree with most of the reviews regarding the need for restaurant reservations. One restaurant allowed us earlier, another not, although there were tables available. Part of me understands the other does not. Couldn't you just set up outside tables/ bar for drinks until a table was available? Ironically, the worst service was at the ocean view restaurant that was not a part of the all inclusive. We left one night because the waiter decided we did not need a heater, although three were clearly available. Lunch on departure was the slowest and worst service.
My real reason for writing this review however is to warn anyone if they do not want to fight the battle of saving chairs, do not go. The no saving policy is not enforced. The first day we challenged the policy, we simply moved the towels that were saving the chairs to another chair. Although we were then in a middle of a large group, there was no challenge to our taking the pool chairs. The second time we moved to beach and had a nice discussion with the woman who was saving the chairs. She agreed it was against the policy, but when in Rome. We then decided we were on vacation and did not want the confrontation, because that was why we were on vacation. Left the resort for a few days and walked the beach, had a great time and better food and drinks than the resort. The next time, on the beach, we had an El CID employee tell us the chairs were being saved after we moved the saving towels. I asked reserved, he replied no saved. I then explained you cannot save chairs. I asked if we could get an umbrella and two chairs, yes, but we would need to rent the umbrella. Said no to that, we would take the chairs he was saving, no doubt for a price in tip. We were able to keep the chairs, but no one came the remainder of the day for the other two. Our final day, we saw open chairs and asked the people next to them if they were available. They stated no one had been there for over an hour and one half, we took them. This time, the savers subjected us, three members of security staff, our waiter, our beach El CID entrepreneur, and everyone else in proximity to their displeasure of the no saving policy. The El CID security absolutely enforced the policy and did in a highly professional manner and we retained the chairs. However do not think for a moment that El CID does as a rule and you will need to enforce on your own. It is also apparent that there is a enterprise on the part of El CID employees to save chairs. There are hotels that do enforce the policy and if this is important to you do not stay there. Fortunately, everything else about the stay; staff, room, pools, food was good. Drinks were watered but they never stopped coming. Up to you to decide what is most important.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank cathykmn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMELCID, General Manager at El Cid Castilla Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded February 23, 2014

Dear Carhykmm,

I thank you for taking the time to write this review. I´d like start off reserving chairs is not allowed under any circumstances. I am glad you brought it upon my attention, I will assure you that the proper precautions have been token into this matter, I will also be having a full on discussion with my security team to be more strict when It comes to allowing people safe there sports we have also started with a new procedure in way we can prevent this from happening. I do apologize for the few inconveniences you had with this but I am also content to read that besides that you had a good stay and you found our rooms, pools, and food fit your standers. I hope in a near future you are able to come again and see the changes we have made.
Sincerely,

Salvatore Sanchez
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2014

Stayed with relatives who have a time share with the resort. Delayed getting checked in as our room had been "trashed" by the previous guests. Once we got in the room, found it to be quite nice with an excellent ocean view (18th floor). Not recommended for small children as the balcony offers little to no fall protection.
First meal there was great. Breakfast buffet is good. Bad part is, there is a set menu and it's the same choice night after night unless you go to the buffet. Main restaurant has a dress code of no T-shirts for men for any meal service. Apparently it does not apply to teenagers or locals who speak spanish.
Third day we were there our whole party got food poisoning. Kitchen staff all left early for new years eve and didn't clean up properly.
Staff is more than eager to get you into a time share seminar than help you plan a fishing trip.
Been there, wouldn't go back for free.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank KTEdmonton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMELCID, General Manager at El Cid Castilla Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded February 23, 2014

Dear KTEEdmonton,

Thank you for taking the time in writing your review. I am very concerned to hear that you experienced an unpleasant stay. I´d like to just point out that we have until 3:00 pm to give out and assign rooms and in any conformation you can see it is so, however we try our best to have as much rooms as possible ready for our guests comfort beforehand. It is unfortunate your were not a fan of our restaurants I do wish you would have been able to try some of ala cart restaurants for we have a few variety we count on a Mexican, Argentinean, Italian, and sushi bar to chose from. I am shocked to hear about your food posing due to the fact that this is a rare case and hardly ever happens for we always take the proper precautions needed to make sure everything is sanitary our guests health is our number one priority. It’s a shame we left you with an unsatisfying feeling but we would really like you to give us the opportunity to host you in a near future so you can take a note of our improvements we work day and night to achieve.

Sincerely,

Salvatore Sanchez
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2014

We booked this trip for a wedding and had a blast. The Hotel was very clean and the staff was very nice. We only had a couple small issues, nothing major. We went for the Elite package and I would tell you all to just get that, it's so easy and worth the extra $.

Getting dinner reservations was something I read was an issue in other reviews and we did have that issue as well. We booked a table for 10 and sent a couple in the group to make sure they got there in time as we had heard that they won't honor a reservation if you're 15 minutes late. We go there and some others from our group had taken the table (not a big deal really) but the table was full. We saw about 10 other open tables and told them our group had grown and if we could just get another table we'd love to eat. We were told, quite rudely, that they would not serve us for another hour, even with the empty tables.

Other than that, everything was great, honestly, we all had a wonderful time. The food was good, better in some places more than others, didn't hear the greatest things about the buffet under the lobby. We went to the one located at the base of second tower.

Didn't have any issues getting a timeshare shoved down my throat. I had traveled all day and when they approached me I told them I was just too tired to care and had no interest. He took down my room number and told me no problem, never heard another word about it.

Elite was great, free room service and easy check in and check out, not a single issue with the bill.

The "towel game" as someone called it on here is very real, if you want shade by the beach in the morning you have to get up around 7am. The quite adult pool was wonderful, although it could be enforced better, we had people next to us blaring music from some bluetooth speaker- didn't help that they had a love for jazz flutes. Would have been nice to have someone come and tell them to stop, we tried a couple times to no avail, they also had a couple screaming kids.

All and all it was a great trip, no real issues. Clean, friendly and safe. Went all around Mazatlan and had a wonderful safe time.

We rented fishing boats from El Cid and had a blast, we made the mistake of renting another for about $200 cheaper with beer and such but it was a poor choice, the hotel's boats and staff were much much better and worth the extra $, would be nice to see them stock the boat with beer for $595- as it is with other outfits I've fished with.

I'd recommend El Cid to anyone looking for a great trip to Mexico.

Room Tip: Go Elite, get an ocean facing room in the tower, also the 3 room suites were very very nice.
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank SeaTacFunTown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMELCID, General Manager at El Cid Castilla Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded February 22, 2014

Dear seatacFunTown,

Just by looking at your title I was already that excited to read your review. It sounds like you had an unforgettable time which is always what we try to achieve. We always feel so honored to host such special events in once life such as weddings. Its great you really enjoyed your elite package and you took full advantage of what you had included it’s a great way to really explore our hotels and it’s awesome to know you were so fond of our Food and beverages. I apologize for minor inconveniences you had along the way like reserving for your night dinners , but I thank you for not allowing that to change your perspective of our hotel for we work really hard each and every day to try and give our best service to our guest and we hope to continue along that path. We hope you visit us again soon.


Sincerely,

Salvatore Sanchez
General Manager

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Reviewed February 19, 2014

This was our first trip to Mazatlan. I booked the room directly through the El Cid website and paid for a king size bed with an ocean view. Prior to leaving I contacted the hotel to see about adding an extra night due to leaving early because of snow and they were gracious enough to say that I could add an extra night at the same rate. Then it turned out that the airline could not get me to Mazatlan early so I had to call them back and go back to the original reservation. The reservation girl was very kind and said no problem.
We get to Mazatlan and part of our hotel package included free transportation to the hotel. This amounted to putting us in a taxi with a timeshare representative who hounded us about going on a timeshare tour for the entire 30-40 minute ride. Kept telling him I was not interested, that I already owned timeshares, did not want to waste my time by being on a schedule and was not interested in his incentives. He still was insisting that we come on a tour to help him out so he can make a little commission. Needless to say that we did not attend.
We check in to our hotel and our room is ready and they are walking around offering punch. You need to sign for a safe lock and key, a remote control and then you get a card for pool towels all of which you must return at checkout or be charged. Our bellman Guseppe takes our bags to Room 6102. My husband walked in and said I thought we were supposed to have a king bed? I told the bellman to turn around and lets go back downstairs. He talked with someone at the front desk but I was called up by another person. Told him that I was supposed to have a king bed. He informed me that they were all fulled up and that there were no king beds. I told him that was unacceptable. I pulled out my reservation and showed him that I had reserved an oceanview king room back in July and I wanted what I reserved. He again said they were full. I asked for a manager. He then got on the phone with a couple different people and said he could give us the king room right next door at 6101 but it was not ready yet. No problem we waited and went to get something to eat. It was at this time that we found out that the beachfront lunch restaurant was closed for repairs so we never had the pleasure of enjoying a meal looking out on the beach.
Guseppe takes us to our new room and we have a king bed. great. Then we go out on the balcony and we are looking out on the roof of the pool view rooms as well as a work area below our room. We can see the water and ultimately the sunset but it was not a good view. My husband did not want to complain because he said that the king bed was more important and was afraid that there would not be another king room since they were full. You would think that the hotel would cater more to the people that book directly with them since they do not have to pay a commission, not so.
We tried to make a reservation at one of the specialty restaurants for our first night since a seafood buffet was advertised and neither of us eat seafood but everything was booked but the sushi restaurant. See previous statement. So we went to the buffet and were happy to see that every night regardless of the named buffet, the selection always included hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, chicken,and beef . In other words there were plenty of other choices. The food was pretty good at every meal.The shows were very good with the same dancers performing each show but Sunday which was guest participation night. We ate at the Argentine and Italian specialty restaurants which were good but limited in choices.
Here are a few other observations:
Waiters at the buffet, whether it be breakfast lunch or dinner made it very obvious that they expected a tip. One night we went to the show and did not eat or drink because we had reservations later at one of the other restaurants and when we got up to leave the waiter was expecting a tip.
Exchange rate at hotel was good for changing money at 12.55 to one better than the rate I received at home with no fee. Be aware however that although prices are quoted in US dollars for the hotel rates they convert the rates to pesos at 13.50 to one to charge your credit card.
Activities by the pool were pretty much the same everyday.
Beach vendors are the most intrusive people I have ever seen. They actually woke me up to ask me to buy something! Same person asked me at least five times to buy something on the same day. The ropes that the hotel had up were no barrier to them and they all stood in front blocking the view of the ocean,
The pool at the Castilla was heated but the pool at El Moro was not. Pool chairs go early in the morning and one day we actually saw someone come to the pool for 15 minutes but had there towels on the chair all day from 7:30 am to 5 pm. Even though they claim that the employees remove belongings from the chairs if no one comes for a long period it is not so.
Remote that they gave us at check in did not work because it needed to be programmed but they do not state that anywhere so when I went to the desk to ask they gave me the real remote for the TV.
Finally, the maid usually came to our room once per day but on the last day for some reason she came twice. We were not expecting this and had left some peso coins on the dresser. When we got back to our room a 10 peso coin was missing but the one peso coins remained. I guess she thought we would not notice but her tip was reduced due to the missing coin.
All in all we had a good time.

Room Tip: The rooms in the tower start on the 5th floor. 5th and 6th Floors are not high enough.You also want rooms ending between 5 and 8 so that you do not see the roofs of the pool side rooms.
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank Eva P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMELCID, General Manager at El Cid Castilla Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded February 22, 2014

Dear EMCP,

We appreciate the time given to write this review in regards to your recent stay. As far as your trip from the airport to the hotel I do apologize on behalf of my staff, rest assure that I will talk to them and further educate them on how they are suppose to approach a guest and respect their wishes to not be disturbed . What a shame it is to know that your first time in Mazatlan was not its best due to minor setbacks along the way. I apologize for your room not being exactly what you requested but its good that in the end you were able to receive your king size bed. Its great you enjoyed our Food and beverages as well as our shows, my staff works really hard in providing the best service possible and we expect nothing more. I once again thank you for filling us in on how your stay was and I hope if you ever come across Mazatlan again you give us another chance to make up for this not so great visit I can guarantee you will not be disappointed.
Sincerely,

Salvatore Sanchez
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2014

We stayed here for a conference (arranged by the Mexican organisers). We won't stay again.

Our room was pool view on level 2. It smelt like stale cigarette smoke, despite the rooms being non-smoking (they have 4 ashtrays in them though). The smell may have been the mould. We got shifted to another room, same problem, then they shifted us up a floor which was slightly better. Still mouldy, but had been freshly cleaned so smelt like disinfectant instead.

Two double beds. Uncomfortable and small.

Bathroom needed maintenance, holes in tiles behind bath spout, mould in corners and on ceiling, bath under shower filled with water as you showered. My girlfriend swears she saw a reptile of some sort in the drain, I didn't see it but it wouldn't surprise me.

Reception staff have limited English, and seem to get annoyed that we couldn't speak Spanish. I know a little, but this is a resort aimed at tourists, right? In Spain and Chile when I said Gracias I would always get De Nada as a a response (you're welcome). Usually no response here, but one woman responded "alright" in an annoyed voice. Not friendly.

So, all inclusive food and drinks... the food is ordinary to poor (actually, the Sushi bar was pretty good, but I can't eat Sushi every night). The beer is usually flat, the wine cheap and undrinkable after a glass or two. The cocktails varied apparently but I don't drink them. Our group booked 2 tables of ten at one restaurant, they booked us a table for 10 and one for 2, so we were left short. They would not budge despite the restaurant being half empty, and several of our group had to eat at "the buffet" which is scraping the barrel (you don't have to book there).

The pool area is ok, until the DJ starts up, yelling loudly into the overpowered speaker system. It is definitely not a relaxing place. They were renovating the pool area while we were there so add power tools to that atmosphere. It's very noisy, but not in a party kind of way, just loud and annoying.

OK, move to the beach. Beautiful beach, beautiful view, nice weather (February). Then the hawkers move in and try to sell you all sorts of.... stuff. Eventually they give up, but then they stand around on the beach in front of you. They will try to sell you time-share if you let them.

I was here on business so WIFI was important to me. US$35 a week for each device was ok, but it drops in and out all the time, very slow when you can connect. Highly unreliable internet access. Definitely can't use Skype even for voice. We also had no phone service on our phones, so we were basically cut off from home most of the time.

Never again.

Room Tip: Try to get as high as you can, away from the pool. Preferably in Cancun.
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Thank tim2407
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMELCID, General Manager at El Cid Castilla Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded February 21, 2014

Dear Tim2407,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed description on how your stay turned out. I am very concerned to hear such things you encountered with our rooms. I would like to inform that we are working each and every day to renovate our rooms there are just such much rooms we can do at a time but rest assure that we have already taken into consideration your observation and we thank you for bringing it to our attention. I apologize for the disruption the activity staff made I have already informed them on how to keep the music at a certain volume so this does not happen again. Mazatlan does have such amazing scenery and it’s so great you were able to see some of what Mazatlan has to offer we are just so lucky to be able to see this day to day. In regards to the wifi I wish you would have been able to address this problem personally so that we could of found a way to fix this problem quick and efficiently for we count on a team of experts in that area that are always here to help when needed. I do hope you change your mind and re visit us so you yourself can see all the wonderful changes we work so hard on making year round.

Sincerely,

Salvatore Sanchez
General Manager

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