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“Don't go here!”

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Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay
Ranked #2 of 79 Hotels in Mazatlan
Certificate of Excellence
Bozeman MT
Level Contributor
97 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Don't go here!”
Reviewed March 18, 2006

Imagine our surprise when we arrived at the Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort with a pre-paid written confirmation in hand only to be told there was no room available. Not only that, but no room for three days! We were bumped to a nice enough, but very LOUD place for two nights, then to PB Mazatlan before finally arriving at PB Emerald Bay. The only offered compensation was the $200 food packet w/o going through the time share thing. Problem is, the prior reviews are right- the food is terrible! We thought is mediocre at best at the PB Mazatlan as well. We wrote a letter to the manager, requesting compensation for the first two lost nights (no sleep, and far from the quality we had paid for) but did not even get a call. Come to find out, this seems to happen fairly often, as this is a time share place. Almost certainly we were bumped, as an owner arrived for a Mon-Mon stay-thus the reason we were able to get a room on Monday. Needless to say, we would NEVER risk staying here again. Buyer Beware!

17 Thank janeyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
St Paul, Mn
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2006

Our family of four (2 sons ages 7 and 13) stayed at the Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay for one week in Feb. We have had the opportunity to travel extensively, and I can say that we have never stayed at a more beautiful or luxurious hotel! You will NOT be disappointed.
The pools (clean and bath water warm!), the grounds the amazing service, all top knotch! Edwardo and Martin the front desk managers accomodated our every request. Chris and Carlos gave us the "movie star" treatment poolside. Charo was outstanding as activities director.
The people of Mazatlan are warm and welcoming. You will have a delightful vacation there.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
24 Thank vchek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2006

We went to Mazatlan March 3-10 and the weather was perfect - no rain and about 85 every day with light breezes. We stayed at the beautiful Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay and had a junior suite overlooking the gigantic pool and Pacific Ocean. The suite had fridge, microwave, stove, etc. There are 2 deli's on the premises to get food to make in your suite. There's also a nice restaurant overlooking the ocean with different themed buffet dinners - Italian, Mexican, Grill night, etc. The food was good.
There's a free shuttle to their sister hotel, Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan (PBM) about 15 minutes south and we had dinner there one night at the restaurant on the ocean - it was very good. There's also another Italian restaurant at that hotel which we didn't go to but a couple we met said it was very good. We did have dinner at a restaurant a couple blocks north of PBM called Senor Pepper - it was a little pricey but excellent. The petite filet was $27, regular filet $36 and surf & turf (2 lobster tails & filet)for $78. It all came with house appetizer, soup or salad and bread. I definitely recommend it for that one special night of your vacation. Another good restaurant on the beach off the beaten path is Playa Bruja - nothing fancy, but the special that night was 2 lobsters with 6 giant shrimp all for $16 - great deal and tasted great. Most menus we found thruout the city had spanish and english which was nice if you don't speak Spanish. Most places had happy hour with 2 for 1 drinks also.
We rented a car for 2 days which I do not recommend. Maybe it would have been good if we spoke Spanish, but we do not except for a few words. We got stopped by an authority (not sure if police, but had brown uniform with some agency on it). I guess we pulled a U-turn where we weren't supposed to even though we didn't see any signs not to. We couldn't communicate with him, but luckily he let us go. There are alot of streets missing the sign with names and we tried to get on one highway and wound up on another raod further east because the signs were not clear or non-existent. I recommend to stick with taxi or similar.
Bring lots of change in small dollars for tips and buying items off the street vendors like jewelry, etc.
I would definitely go back to Mazatlan - beautiful beachside scenery and very nice people.

Thank MA-FLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mokpo, South Korea
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed March 9, 2006

The Bad:

Almost no King beds, this is the norm in Mazatlan. I booked Emerald Bay because they have King rooms. Upon arrival 2 double beds were all that was available. We were moved to a King room the next day, but hotel made no effort to accomodate our inconvenience through cost reduction or any other means. The only reason they don't get a 5 is because of this.

The Good:

Everything else. The quietest hotel we have ever experienced. There is no street, hall or other room noise. The pools (huge) and landscaping were awesome.
They had zero edge entries and infinity edges and plenty of lounge chairs. All employees were extremely accomodating and nice. We were pleasantly surprised at the very reasonable on-site deli/convenience store prices. Sodas were .80 and beer was $1.20 and most sandwiches were under $5.00. They had everything including frozen dinners, milk, cereal, soup, packaged dinners, snacks, etc. There was no reason to have to shop in town at the grocery store.

The rooms are part of the timeshare properties. They have kitchenettes and it was great to make breakfast, nuke some popcorn, and keep a bunch of beer and sodas in the BIG frig.

The resort's large shuttle bus goes into town every hour, is free and and easy to use. It took about 12-15 minutes to get to the drop off point, the Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan. From there you can walk or take a cab or pulmonia for about $5.00 to anywhere. We preferred the local public buses for only .80. 40 cents if you like no AC.

If you want the standard American tourist experience, go the the area with Joe's Oyster Bar and the Guadalaraja Grill. There you can drink cervezas, listen to AC/DC and dance on tabletops while reminding yourself that you are not really in a foreign country. Shopping for silver and other nice stuff is only available here, so don't discount the "American" area too much.

If you want to see Mazatlan, go the the cathedral area in Old Town and check out the square with the Angela Peralta Theatre, the restaurants, and the local shopping markets. 3 or 4 restaurants on the square that are really good.

The food market area might be attractive to those wanting to distance themselves from the tourist areas. It is not American. It is an open market with little or no American influence.

The timeshare tour is the staple of the Mazatlan vacation. We took ours, got $200 towards our bill and were happy about it. We were not hounded at all.

Street vendors were offering up to $350 to tour this and other properties. We were honest and told our sales associate that we signed up for the incentive and once breakfast was over, we were gone. 45 minutes tops.

One last thing - the workers in Mazatlan work for tips. They bust their tails to please the guests. We did our best to accommodate their efforts. Our housekeeper just about fell over herself thanking us for a $10 per day tip.

Lots of retirees and couples with kids. Not a party palace at all.

Would go back to the resort, but Mazatlan was not that great. Still trying to develop itself as a vacation area.

18 Thank SamTravelsTheWorld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2006

It had been 3 years since I had been back to Mazatlan and as soon as we got there I felt like I was home again. We have traveled to other Mexico destinations which have been very beautiful but I missed the warmth and genuiness of the people from MZT. We stayed at Emerald Bay(our friends have a timeshare there)and it was really beatiful, the grounds are amazing and the service was exceptional. The only downside is that the first bus into town does not leave unitl 10am. I like to get up early for breakfast and start some shopping so I can get back to the pool by about 11:00am. They sort of keep you captive there until then. I rather missed the vendors on the beach also. I think it is great hotel for Mexico beginner travelers. I really would consider having a rental car to drive from EB to at least the Golden Zone so I can come and go as I please.It is hard to be so scheduled while on vacation. FYI, try Los Zarapes rest.( old Casa Country Location) Say hi to Luis who is one of the new owners. You may remember him doing magic tricks when he was a waiter at Casa Country. The food is really good, and they make salsa at your table to your liking(heat wise).It is quite an entertaining place. Enjoy!

14 Thank Wubu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed February 25, 2006

Overall this is a fantastic resort. The grounds are beautiful and kept that way by a small army of people who seem to be endlessly tending the grounds. We were a family of four -- two girls ages 10 and 6, my husband, and I. At least while we were there, the people who were staying there seemed to be either couples older than us, perhaps retirees, or couples like us with kids. There was not a significant population of college age or younger couples. I would certainly recommend the resort to anyone with children. At least as far as our experience went, the resort was low key and quite child friendly. If you have small kids and are worried that they will not be able or willing to eat different food, the resort has plenty of familiar comfort food for them while at the same time offering some good, slightly more adventurous fare for adults.

The pools are fantastic and huge, actually bigger than they look in the promotional pictures you will find in expedia and elsewhere on the web. In case you are worried about being able to swim when the temperatures are iffy, be aware that the pools are heated almost to the point of bath water when the air is a bit cooler. One thing I found irritating about the pool, however, was that guests engage in the ritual of reserving chairs by the poolside and then not occupying those chairs except for whenever they feel like it as the day progresses. In theory this is against the rules, but that rule is apparently not enforced. Therefore, your choice is to play by the rules and never have access to a poolside chair, or get up early and reserve a chair with a pool towel like everyone else. I suppose that is up to you. There are activities for the kids during the day and you can leave your kids in the care of the hotel for the whole day or for individual pieces of the day if they want to participate in one activity but not all of them. For example, our kids wanted to do a t-shirt painting activity for an hour, so we just paid for that one slice of the care. Tshirts and care included for two kids for one hour came to 28 dollars.

The Emerald Bay is located a fair distance from Mazatlan proper. For us, with two small kids this was not a major problem since we were not looking to be running around town much. The hotel also attempts to compensate for this by offering a free shuttle bus that runs to its other property closer to town every hour on the hour. This works nicely, but at peak times you may have to stand on the shuttle or not even catch it, so don't count on running on to it at the last minute at 6 pm. Also, don't expect that taking the shuttle will take you into TOWN. The shuttle takes you to the other Pueblo Bonito hotel, which is at the far end of the hotel strip, some considerable distance from Old Mazatlan. If your goal is to venture into Old Mazatlan, you will need to take a cab further on. But don't despair. There are a host of cabs waiting for you at the drop off spot by the hotel. In fact, if you dare to try to walk around, figure on a cab pulling up to ask you if you want a lift about every ten seconds or so until you give up and agree to be driven. You will have two choices of cab service. One will be in things that look like souped up golf carts. I found these to be terrifying in traffic. Coming from a world of side impact air bags, seat belts, and roll bars, it's hard to pretend that the laws of physics cease to exist in Mazatlan. After one or two trips in these golf carts in traffic, we chose the regular car cabs. The cab ride from the hotel drop off into old mazatlan costs in the neighborhood of 10 dollars, or less perhaps if you want to become involved in some kind of negotiation process.

The restaurants in Mazatlan we found to be very good, and we managed to find kid friendly places wherever we went - and believe me our kids are not terribly adventurous in the food department.

We booked a half day tour through the hotel on a 45 foot catamaran on BULE. For some reason, we were the only people who booked it on the day we went, but they agreed to take us out nonetheless. The day before they had 35 people, but when we went it was just the four of us and the three person crew. That was fantastic, although we felt a little guilty being ferried around by ourselves. The cruise took us out around the bay. The kids were delighted by the seals we saw sunning themselves on the rocks, and the sailing was fantastic. It was a beautiful tour and I recommend it to anyone.

Our room was great, even though it was the junior suite. It had a little kitchen area to reheat food brought back from the restaurants.

You will be asked to participate in a presentation about time shares at the hotel. In fact, you will be asked to participate is something of an understatement. If you do endure this process, you will receive 200 dollars in food credit at the hotel plus perhaps some other incentives. I dragged my husband to this against his will and we listened. It is amazing the doublespeak they use to try to make it seem like a good idea to make a 30,000 dollar or more decision in five minutes or less. How much time did it take you buy a car or a computer or a refrigerator. Our salesman was telling us how a certain number of people are just incapable of making a decision. Realize that people who say No are, in the language of salesmen, incapable of making a decision. No is not an acceptable decision to them and therefore the person who says no is the person who is incapable of making a decision. The person who says no has a character flaw. Perhaps a time share is the most economically sensible decision that anyone could ever make. My husband and I, however, prefer to believe that the sensibility of that decision will continue to exist tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. So therefore, the pressing need to decide this in the five minutes following a presentation while on vacation did not make any sense to us. I am wondering whether or not it just doesnt make sense to take the 30,000 dollars and invest it rather than to give it to one particular organization for the right to an uncertain vacation in the future. Also, the salesman said that these time shares can be sold. If so, then why shouldn't I seek out and buy one from someone who wants to sell his. Couldn't I get a better deal that way. Also, wouldn't the value of the time share decrease over time. Ten years from today, this resort may not be as nice as it is today. Anyway, these and a host of other questions are not readily answerable in my bathing suit by the beach when my kids are wondering why I seem to be doing things that resemble work when we promised them that there would be no work on this vacation. Perhaps in the end, it does make sense, and we may look into it, just not that day on vacation. The sun was shining. The pool was calling. Certainly the salesman was not a trustworthy source of information. Not that he was necessarily keeping us in the dark about anything, but it would hardly make sense to rely on his word alone.

Not that this takes anything away from the resort itself. It is beautiful. The service was wonderful. I highly recommend it, especially for those seeking a quiet beautiful place to relax with their kids to escape winter's icy grasp.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
24 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2006

I don't want to write the same thing everyone else has so here is what we found. Give the guys around pool a good tip and ask for extra spicy and you will get an even better drink than you normally would. Bring an ipod or something to listen to if you don't want to chat poolside or listen to the games being played. There are bees but we never got stung. The on site deli is great and the guys who work the espresso machine make a very good latte/cappachino, just don't be in a hurry cause they pay attention to the very last detail. It's like a little grocery store with wireless internet access. Not many people have written about the spa but it is very good as well. Steam room, sauna, showers and resonable prices for massages. We received a $70 spa credit when booking through the web site.

If the food in the main restraunt were better this hotel could be a 5 star anywhere else. Even with a 4 rating it's still the best in Mazatlan! Take a pulmonia taxi for ten bucks from the sister property to the Freemont Hotel (Best Western) and go to the roof for the most awesome view of a sunset and the city of Mazatlan. We went twice and met others who had also been told about it by the locals. We found Casa Loma to be an excellent restraunt and it's near the other BP hotel. Take the shuttle that everyone has mentioned and then a $5 pulomia ride to the restraunt. We asked our driver to return in 2 hours and he was waiting to drive us back. The grounds are amazing and my wife loved the piece and quite the distance offered. Take the timeshare tour and enjoy the $200 bucks poolside in the way of drinks and food or use it at the spa. I took a canoe trip to a fishing village and saw lobsters and shrimp come fresh off the boat. We would go back even though everyone was clearly 20 years older than we were. It's the best property in Mazatlan.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
23 Thank corsw
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

Property: 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 Spa Hotel in Mazatlan
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Mazatlan
#3 Romantic Hotel in Mazatlan
#5 Business Hotel in Mazatlan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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