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“Fabulous Vacation”

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Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay
Ranked #2 of 79 Hotels in Mazatlan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 4, 2006

We just returned from a wonderful family vacation at Emerald Bay. We had booked a junior suite, but were upgraded to a master suite when we checked in. The master suite did not have a balcony, but had a separate bedroom and 3 floor to ceiling windows in an arc fashion in the dining room. All rooms have an ocean view, including some of the hotel grounds (ours also had view of the pool area).

We did not use the beach because the winds were a little too much off the water and the water was too cold to play in. I think if we had come at a different time of year we would have used the beach. The hotel staff work very hard to maintain the beach and there are chairs, cabanas and drink service on the beach.

We spent a lot of time at the pool and I thought everything about it was wonderful. There are several places where their is zero clearance for children. You can also use pool toys, noodles, etc in the pool. We thought the prices were fine for food and drinks by the pool (38 pesos for a margarita - about $3.80, 80 pesos for a burrito). The service everywhere at the hotel was outstanding. I am not sure what the reviewer was expecting when they said that the service was fine when you asked for it, but they don't search you out??? If you want a butler bring yours from home. I thought they were more than accomodating and did check frequently to see if everything was OK.

The resort is about a 10 minute shuttle from the sister hotel in the "golden zone" (a misnomer if I have ever heard one!). We liked the fact that the hotel was removed from the other hotels and did not find the shuttle service inconvenient. The shuttles from 6-8:30 need to be more frequent than every hour, however if one is full another one pulls up behind it out of nowhere so you never have to wait for the next one.

I could go on and on about the good things we saw and did in Mazatlan. We never had a bad meal and we thought the prices were very reasonable. Mazatlan appears to be a true working Mexican city not built completely on tourism. If you want glitz and glamour go somewhere else. Mazatlan has some grit, but if you are staying somewhere that has all the comforts you could ask for it is truely a splendid vacation.

We always try to see the good in a vacation (you are on vacation so what isn't good about that). In reading the other reviews it appears as though not everyone views a vacation like I do. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and experiences and has different expectations therefore every review has to be taken with that in mind. Would I stay at Emerald Bay again? Without hesitation. I would fly out tomorrow.....on my tours out and about in Mazatlan I did not see anything that even resembled the quality of Emerald Bay.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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27  Thank lojo3164
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,677 - 1,683 of 2,999 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Los Angeles
Reviewed February 1, 2006

It seems people write reviews out of anger or defensiveness. Those who were swindled by the time share salespersons give the place one star regardless of anything else, and those who want to defend the resort give it five stars, again, regardless of anything else. The purpose of this review is to give an evenhanded description of the hotel. I have never written a review before and I am, to say the least, quite picky.

To give a hotel five stars when it does not have fine restaurants or good food is nonsensical. The food in the deli is quite good and cheap. The food at the pool is very nice. The food in the main dining room, however, is overpriced and mediocre. The selection is poor and it tastes like seminar food. The hotel loses money this way because most people leave the hotel to eat.

The rooms are quite nice, although we were spoiled to have one of 6 master suites with a balcony on the top floor. The rooms are numbered 1 through 19. 1 is closest to the lobby and 19 is the furthest away. Behind 19, they are doing construction right now, so if you are in buildings 16-19 you will hear dull construction sounds from 8:30 am to 5 pm.

The service is helpful when you can get it. In other words, they are very nice and helpful when you ask, but they are not looking for ways to help you.

The beach is a thin, brown, rocky, unappealing sight which can be easily ignored by concentrating on the sunsets, which are lovely. Do not expect to have any fun in the sand.

Couples should expect to spend around $40 inclusive of tip for dinner in town. There is a new restaruant that starts with a Z right next to Casa Country that no one talks about but which is excellent. They stole the chefs from Casa Country.

Panchos is a lovely restaurant, probably the nicest in town.

Panama is talked about as a great place to eat. I was impressed with their operation more than their desserts, but that is simply because no matter how well they are made, Mexican desserts and breads are not all that good.

Take a taxi in from the airport. Don't ask for a taxi until you get outside. Anyone approaching you inside is a time share rep.

The other reason to take a taxi is to stop at a supermarket, Gigante, on your way into town to pick up food. You can't do that on a shuttle. Cost of the taxi is $35.

As for the time share sales folk, I read reviews where they say there is no pressure. Of course that's not true. Salespeople have to sell and that involves a little pressure. I read other reviews where they say there is horrible pressure. Those folks have no backbone. I just made it very clear to them at the beginning that I was not going to buy no matter what they said and that I was only there to get $200 toward food at the hotel, and that they would be better off investing their time in somone else. If you want to cut down the time of the 2 hour meeting by 1/2 hour, tell them you already toured all the rooms and grounds and don't feel like doing it again. By the way, use your $200 at the restaurants at the Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan in town, which you can do.

There is no trash can in the second bathroom for some reason.

The fact is that there is no food in Mexico that is better than the States, and of many of the places in Mexico, Mazatlan is pretty dull and not all that pretty.

Hope this helps.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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20  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2006

The rooms, the pool, the dining... everything about this property is great, EXCEPT the location. This would be an ideal place if you were looking to go on a vacation and rarely leave the resort. (If you were senior citizens, had small children or on your honeymoon maybe). If you want to explore the rest of Mazatlan, you're about a $8 to $15 pulmania ride from the golden zone (depending on how much you like the barder/get taken advantage of). There are no shops, no dining, nothing within walking distance of this property. The one good thing about this bad location is that they offer a free shuttle to their sister property, the Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan. From there, you could take another cab into the main spots in the Golden Zone.

The pool here is extremely large, lots of chairs avaiable when were there. It's absolutly beautiful. The staff also hold many activities at the pool... crafts, bingo, ping pong tournaments, music trivia, basketball games, water aerobics, etc. There are many shallow pools for young children too.

The Sunday champaign brunch is excellent! Everything you could imagine - omelets, smoothies, pancakes, waffles, fresh fruit, even sushi! Delicious!

11  Thank KellyG7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2006

Jan. 16th to th 23rd 2006 we enjoyed the Emeral Bay Resort. The hotel itself is probably the best I have been in. I am sorry to hear the Canadians had problems, I don't like to hear that. Yes, the rooms were a little damp, NOT a big deal. Wish the Jr. suites were a bedroom instead of a hotel room, but you adjust. Also wish they had a two bedroom unit, can't figure why they don't. I like the rooms at Sunset better, not that these are bad. The worst part I would say is the beach. It is not very clean, all the garbage seems to wash up there and it is impossible to keep up with. Jan. is a little windy, which keeps you on the cool side. Wore jeans at night, every night.
Loved the pool activities and check out the painting while you are there. It is so much fun. Even my boys that are 21 year old twins and very athletic did a joint turtle.
The resort is much more reasonable than Sunset Bonito in Cabo. The one resautant they have here is very expensive if you are with a family and trying to feed them. The deli is great but takes forever to get your food.
You are out in the boonies, but once you get used to everything it is fine. To bad it takes four days to get used to where everything is.
Ate at Los Arcos and did not like the food. Their were six of us. The people were very nice, just not the food. We ate at Cowboys which was very nice and also Country something across from the Holiday in. They were both very good, but dinners ran about 17 dollars or more. Isn't that US prices.
For some real Mexico go to old Mazatlan. Also there is a restaurant on the point, you can see from the hotel. We walked there and it was an adventure, I would advice you to take a cab. It is a short ways and just a fun place to spend an hour and watch the people. Also check out the Aquarium we didn't have time.
Loved it all and no more of this one week stuff. Wish I had the pictures to show you we sure took enough.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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4  Thank Hatetodrive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2006

We stayed at Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay from January 9th through the 16th of 2006. We went there on an RCI exchange. We have exchanged into some beautiful resorts over the years, but Emerald Bay is probably the most beautiful.

Yes, it is isolated, but that is what we loved about it. You feel as though you are in paradise. The grounds are exquisite. We had a studio with a balcony, and could listen to the sound of the ocean all night.

The staff couldn't be more friendly and helpful.

We took the timeshare tour, and they were not at all pushy. We were treated to an excellent buffet breakfast and $100 we could spend on food and drink at the resort. We told them that we weren't interested, and they were nice about it and left us alone.

There is no need to take cabs. Just catch their free shuttle to their sister resort in town (runs from 10 am until 11:30 pm), and catch a bus from there- only 8 pesos (about $.80 US) Be sure to go to the market in El Centro (downtown) and Old Mazatlan.

Pedro & Lola's in Old Mazatlan is great for an excellent dinner at good prices. We also enjoyed Casa Country (across from the Holiday Inn). Good Mexican food and entertainment.

Mazatlan is much cheaper than other resorts on the Mexican Pacific coast, and it is a "real" city, not just a tourist destination.

We can't wait to return.

Stayed: January 2006
17  Thank Endive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2006

This is a beautiful resort but absolutely not wheelchair friendly. The pool, beach, restraunt is all several flights of stairs down. They have ramps all of the way down but just try to push yourself all of the way up those ramps to get to the top. We toured this resort and were promised some gifts and then was told that they would not give them to us. We made a stink and even called the manager Daniel Contrera who told us to hit the road. They disqualify Canadians for the gifts by the way.

  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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7  Thank freewheeler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2006

Just returned from a stay at Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay. My family (spouse & 2 kids aged 11 & 13) stayed from 12/24/05 until 1/2/06. The hotel is very pretty and VERY isolated. The staff is very nice. Our big problem was our room-- (1)there was no balcony (just windows that looked onto the ocean which you were discouraged from opening) although we thought that we had booked one with a balcony-- ask for an exterior balcony and (2) the room was humid and damp despite the air conditioning and attenpts to correct it such that ALL of our clothes and bedding were constantly damp. It is no fun to sleep in damp sheets, wear damp clothing, even papers were damp!!! Plus the room smelled musty all of the time. It was simply horrible so we spent as much time as we could outside of the room. WE WILL NEVER GO BACK TO THIS HOTEL BECASE OF THE ROOM!!! We have never had a problem like this before anywhere and we have travelled extensively (Asia, Europe, US, Mexico, Caribbean).

As I said the hotel is very pretty and the staff is generally very pleasant and helpful but they could not resolve this issue. It is very isolated so you need to take cabs everywhere that cost anywhere from $5 to 20 USD. You can take the bus to the other Pueblo Bonito in town but it only runs once an hour staring at 10 am (and then you still may want to take cabs from there).
Warning: If you see a Pulmonia (open air cab like a golf cart) #11830-- DON"T TAKE IT!! This driver was the only one who changed the price of the cab ride after we arrived at the hotel to 3x the original agreed on price.

We recommend horse back riding at Ginger's Bilingual Horses ( near the hotel but still a $5USD cab ride)-- you ride along the beach for $25USD for about an hour (get a 10% off coupon from one of the tourist books available at the Pueblo Bonito in town.

  • Stayed: December 2005
    • Value
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16  Thank saratogasue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay

Address: Ave Ernesto Coppel Campana 201 | Camino Al Delfin, Mazatlan 82110, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Sinaloa > Mazatlan
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Mazatlan
#1 Luxury Hotel in Mazatlan
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Mazatlan
#2 Spa Hotel in Mazatlan
#3 Romantic Hotel in Mazatlan
#5 Business Hotel in Mazatlan
Price Range: $164 - $655 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay 4*
Number of rooms: 252
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Each suite comes with a panoramic ocean view from your private balcony and has amenities like outdoor Jacuzzis, a beauty salon with mini-spa and tennis courts nearby. Relax below 150-year-old mangroves that surround a free-form pool and stroll the shoreline by the bay. Located next world famous sport fishing waters, golf courses, and the Gold Zone, you can enjoy any number of nearby activities on both land and water. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Hotel Mazatlan
Mazatlan Emerald Bay
Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Mazatlan
Emerald Bay Mazatlan

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