Our 2 families (4 adults, 4 kids ages 10-18) just returned from a magical, memorable week-long Christmas time stay at El Cid Castilla Beach on the All-Inclusive plan (booked through USAirways Vacations). El Cid's stellar staff, the quality and variety of guest dining and activities, and the relaxing beauty of the surroundings elevate this vacation experience to exceptional levels all around. Ideal for families and active types, yet plenty of peaceful, private, even romantic spaces and dining for couples and those just wanting to lounge around.
I cannot say enough here! Efficient, courteous professionalism is what you expect at a resort, and El Cid uniformly delivers. But in many instances the service went way beyond this, without ever being overbearing. A genuinely friendly atmosphere pervades the entire property, consolidating in every personal interaction with the staff. Please understand the caliber of service and hospitality you are receiving, and appropriately recognize it just as you would in your own country, with gratuity. I want to name the individuals whose combination of skill and warmth we will remember most. Because of them, this vacation truly stands out as one of our best ever. Charming MARIO in the Pergola and Alhambra brightened our breakfasts and lunches with detailed attention, humor, patience, and valuable information. The Lobby Bar kept us coming back, thanks to bartender CARLOS and cocktail waitress LUTICIA. At Alcazar, the brilliant PEDRO transported our entire group to dining nirvana with his impeccable, world-class service and endearing congeniality. MARTIN at the Pool Bar made us all feel at home. And we will never forget the warm courtesy of JORGE at El Patio, whose astonishing skill at Mexican coffee preparation is the Cirque de Soleil of tableside presentation. In the Spa’s lovely Ladies locker room and fantastic steam room, CRUCITA tends to every need and comfort while keeping the whole area spotlessly clean. KARLA in guest services also gave us special attention, thank you KARLA. Even the security people—ISMAEL, CARLOS—were hospitable and kind.
Before you arrive, familiarize yourself with the overall property and reservation-only restaurants (do NOT miss these!!!). Beachfront El Cid Castilla Beach is adjacent to beachfront El Moro, with shared pool areas. Alcazar (Italian) and Cascada (Mexican) are here, as well as Pergola (dinner buffet and show). A skywalk connects these to Granada (home of El Patio (Argentinian), the spa, nice little gym with cardio and weights, golfing, tennis and a lap pool. All of this is short walking distances. The nicely landscaped and maintained grounds are relentlessly yet discreetly cleaned, as are the pools, breezeways, rooms, restaurants, bars, and ... well, everything. Strolling around the grounds is a pleasure. Buffet dining breakfast and dinner (with show) are indoors at Pergola, in the tower’s lower level. Buffet lunch is oceanfront at Alhambra, a covered patio one level above the beach itself.
Our rooms were kindly upgraded from pool view to 2 neighboring 8th Floor Castilla Tower rooms. Very spacious rooms with huge balconies. Nicely appointed, functional shelving and closet and storage, blackout curtains. Very clean—thank you GENOVEVA! Views of the pool, beach, ocean two islands, sunsets. A/C works great or open the window and door to balcony. Beds are firm, quality mattresses, nice sheets and thick covers. Toppers available in limited supplies.
FOOD & DRINK
Pleasant buffet breakfast has a wide variety of hot and cold items: fresh local fruits (ah, the papaya) and freshly-made juices from these, yogurts, fresh pastries, tortillas, pancakes, meats, local specialties, and made-to-order omelet stations. Buffet lunch also offers a wide selection, with daily fish, meat or shrimp specials, delicious salads, and lovely shaded oceanfront ambiance looking out at the islands and beach. Pool bar serves killer margaritas on the rocks, frozen pina coladas (virgin if you wish)--whatever you care to imbibe. Guacamole, burgers, fries etc. at the snack bar by swim-up bar. Pergola dinner buffet is ok (you can just come for the show only). Definitely do the reservation-only restaurant experience! We tried Cascada, where we enjoyed surf and turf (lobster and steak), a quesadilla bar, and a serve-yourself tequila bar. Alcazar, with its beautiful decor and amazing PEDRO (honorable mention to ANDRES), was a hit three times over. The food at Alcazar, and at El Patio where JORGE works his magic, is for the most part delicious and beautifully presented. The few disappointments were mild and easily overlooked thanks to PEDRO and JORGE. Our favorites: the Argentinian wines at both restaurants, El Patio’s beef empanadas, shrimp brochetta, desserts, Jorge’s exquisite Mexican coffee (just as lovely to taste as behold), and Alcazar’s carpacchio, filet mignon, shrimp balsamic, and desserts. And the chinchon! And the ravioli! And PEDRO! And JORGE!
ENTERTAINMENT & SIGHT-SEEING
We saw three of the nightly shows, all were very well done. Superb professional dancers and themed choreography, as well as costumes, lighting and sound. Senor Frogs (street level in Castilla) is a super-touristy fun music video-type disco (sometimes live music). Colorful Valentino’s at the head of the Malecon has several discos/bars, some closed early in the week so plan ahead. Night time rides in pulmonias (or little red trucks to seat more than 4) are a blast! Old Town (plazas, Cathedral, Angela Peralta Theatre, shops, restaurants) should not be missed, especially at night. The lighthouse delivers spectacular 360 degree views of all of Mazatlan. We missed the art museum… maybe next time!
POOL, BEACH, SPORTS
Castilla pool is a huge heated pool with swim-up bar and lots of lounge chairs. Sometimes quiet, sometimes party atmosphere, depending on Activities schedule and time of day. El Moro pool (not heated) features a fast twisty slide and waterfalls off high rocks you can also jump from—great fun. Beach (yes, vendors galore, some good deals though! Or just say “No, gracias”) is nice, with chairs, palapas, numerous water sport options, and surf was good for boogie boarding (included) at this time of year, very gentle incline, mellow waves. Summer might be a different story (bigger surf, quemadores)! Kayaking (included on the AI plan) was great! We also did the driving range, $7 (balls and clubs). Look for those giant iguanas near the bushes! The Lobby bar offers two pool tables you can sign up to use for free, and comfortable seating for any size group to gather for conversation and games.
This great vacation will resonate in us forever! I hope my review conveys the Mexican amity and spirit that so greatly enhanced my family’s experience in Mazatlan. May that same good will return to you all, MARIO, PEDRO, JORGE, CARLOS, LUTICIA, MARTIN, CRUCITA, GENOVEVA, KARLA, and the entire El Cid staff.
- 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