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Reviewed 10 March 2013

We went to the Playa Mazatlan in February of 2013, to escape a very cold, and very gloomy winter in Niagara Ontario Canada.. Our goal was to visit a city on the ocean, a city with history and art and a beautiful beach. We wanted to stay at an authentic Mexican resort, not a Disney version. To that end, we met and exceeded all of our goals.

Hotel Playa is the oldest hotel on the beach in Mazatlan. The location is perfect, the beach is beautiful and the grounds of the hotel are lovingly kept up. It is probably one of the cleanest resorts I have ever been too. There was always someone cleaning the walkways and I never saw so much as a scrap of paper on the grounds. The staff went out of their way to make sure we were happy. From changing our room on arrival to give us a better (ocean) view at no extra cost, to trying their best to make sure an omelette is made the way you want it. We enjoyed the heated swimming pools in the morning and the ocean in the afternoon.

The resort has 2 a la carte restaurants that I thought were so good, Casa Roberto near the street and the Italian Restaurant with the romantic vista overlooking the ocean. You do not need a reservation to these and you can go as many times as you like. I loved not having to plan....the buffet was excellent for breakfast with lots of fruit and bacon cooked to order. The coffee was the best!!

The staff in Casa Roberto especially were excellent, the "2 Martins" and the lovely young woman at the desk. We enjoyed Coronas with lime and the best Quesadilla we ever had. Celia at the front desk was very helpful and really everyone went out of their way to make sure you had the best stay possible.

We booked 2 excursions thru "Billy" of Sunwing; a City Tour (which while it would have been possible and very safe for us to do this on our own, the tour gave us a historical overview we could not have gotten without a guidebook) and a catamaran tour of the city skyline and a picnic at the island across from our resort (Deer Island). The catamaran trip was wonderful, relaxing and the sights were lovely from the sailboat. I should have used more sunscreen though as the water made the sun that much more reflective and I burned a bit (oh well!)

Our room had a king size bed with lots of pillows, a nice big bathroom with a spotless shower and lots of hot water and a flat screen TV, the balcony overlooked a beautiful Mexican courtyard with a fountain and the ocean. We did not need to use the air conditioning in the room, instead sleeping with the balcony doors open to hear the ocean and feel the breezes. Heavenly.

My boyfriend likes to metal detect and was able to do this easily and safely on the beach, he also snorkels but the snorkeling was better at Deer Island. I enjoyed swimming and walking the beach, the weather while a little bit cooler than usual was perfect for enjoying the outdoors.

I would highly recommend this resort to anyone who is looking for a relaxing holiday in beautiful surroundings. I would to thank the staff for taking such good care of us! We will return.

Room Tip: If you don't like your room, let them know, they do their best to make you happy.
  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank SunLovers069
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Playa_Mazatlan, Gerente at Hotel Playa Mazatlan, responded to this reviewResponded 14 March 2013

Dear valued guest (SunLovers069)

I am writing in appreciation for your kind words about our facility, staff, beach, destination, amenities and the overall experience that you had at the hotel. I would like to personally thank you for taking the time to make such a great critique. It sounds like you as well had a chance to enjoy much of our city and varied amenities. We appreciate you making note of the safety and recommending people on what they can do here.
Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any service to you.

Best wishes and safe travels,
Lance T. Vient, BSM/MKT
General Operations Manager
Hotel Playa Mazatlan
ltvient@hotelplayamazatlan.com

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Reviewed 9 March 2013

My family has been coming here for over 40 years and Hotel Playa is where we will only stay! Clean rooms, friendly staff and ridiculously close to the beach! (Ck out pic) the food is great and the service on the beach is our favorite (Hola, Humberto!) We also love painting the ceramics and having the guy pop them in the kiln and ready the next morning! Definitely give this hotel a try...you might find yourself coming back and making your own memories!

Room Tip: Ask for an ocean facing room! We love rooms 126, 127 -up to 131
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Sandi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Playa_Mazatlan, Gerente at Hotel Playa Mazatlan, responded to this reviewResponded 14 March 2013

Dear valued guest (Sandi S)

I would like to personally thank you and your family on behalf of the hotel, our staff and my family have grown to enjoy seeing you and yours build memories year after year. We feel honored in having the opportunity to count on you as a loyal client. We appreciate you taking the time to always boast about the hotel, our location and primarily our staff. Please feel free to contact me direct if I can be of assistance in setting up your next trip. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Best wishes and safe travels,
Lance T. Vient, BSM/MKT
General Operations Manager
Hotel Playa Mazatlan
ltvient@hotelplayamazatlan.com

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Reviewed 7 March 2013

Just returned on March 2, 2013 from a fantastic vacation at Playa, Mazatlan all inclusive resort. The staff were so friendly and obliging and were always checking to see if the food and accomodations were in order. The evening shows were outstanding. The room was so clean and located with a beach view. I would highly recommend this resort for anyone who is seeking a quality vacation with friendkly staff and such clean rooms. I am definitely going back again next year. This is my second time there.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Sue Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Playa_Mazatlan, Gerente at Hotel Playa Mazatlan, responded to this reviewResponded 12 March 2013

Dear valued guest (Sue Y)

I would like to personally thank you for your valued critique and kind comments, we will look forward to serving you during your next stay.

Best wishes and safe travels,
Lance T. Vient, BSM/MKT
General Operations Manager
Hotel Playa Mazatlan
ltvient@hotelplayamazatlan.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2013

We went to Mazatlan for a small family reunion. It just so happened that I would also be looking for sunshine and rest following major surgery. I came home after a two week visit feeling much stronger.
I will try to keep this brief, so perhaps bullet points will help keep me on track and provide an honest summary of our visit. Please keep in mind I am a retired hotel professional with a very fair, but, sometimes critical eye.
- Front desk welcome and check in was pretty blah, no "Welcome to Mazatlan" and clerk seemed to be confused, yelling to someone in the back room several times for assistance I think.
- We had upgraded to a Boutique room #119 prior to our arrival, which the young bell boy told us that room did not exist, after I looked for a few minutes, I found the room myself. The bell boy was quite surprised where the door was! In his defense he was very pleasant and did a very good job at service recovery by turning the lights on and showing us where the restaurant was! And yes, he was tipped nicely and we had a good laugh about it.
- We absolutely loved the room, it was so clean, as was the rest of the resort. We nested quite well there for the 2 weeks of our visit February 16-March 2. Lot's of hot water, fresh clean towels, coffee supplies, water, beer and soft drinks in our clean little fridge.
- The housekeeping department is the star of this property. Our room was cleaned to perfection every day before noon. Nothing forgotten, fresh crisp sheets, although just a suggestion, but, fitted bottom sheets would probably be a blessing to the housekeepers. I cannot say enough about cleanliness...from public washrooms to the sand on the beach!
-The heated pool was so much fun and I met so many wonderful travelers there. Never a problem getting a lounge chair. Bingo was fun, although, sadly, I never won that elusive T shirt!
- Now, we did go A1, which we are very familiar with in other resort destinations. It was not terrible...but, it was not great. After the first week, we mostly ate out. However, we did love the breakfast buffet. I do believe the problem is not the product, but, the execution of said product. The staff seem confused of what is included and what is not...definitely a communication problem in the Food and Beverage department. Once we were turned away from the dinner buffet because of our yellow bracelet. That is when we discovered and really enjoyed the Italian restaurant, although found the wine undrinkable. I hope to see attention paid to the Italian concept, as they may have a diamond in the rough there.
- Mexican restaurant was not our favorite, but, was OK. Tried only once and did not return, service issue there...waiters seemed confused once again, about A1. We felt rushed for some reason.
- The grounds very well maintained and enjoyed the flowers, plants and tidy pathways.
- Snack bar by the pool was adequate, but, waiters seemed fairly lazy, we tipped substantially, and still found a lack of enthusiasm. Seemed rather overstaffed for the lack of food variety and service. Lots of conversation and joking around amongst the staff there. Perhaps more supervision is required. Beach side snack bar closed, a little disappointing, but understand maintenance or occupancy rules.
- Liquor service by the beachfront on those green chairs was excellent. Sure wish us A1 folks could have had bottle beer included. We got heartburn from the draft, so did not really spend too much time there after the first couple of days. We were lucky we had such a great room with a patio. We enjoyed so much time there.
- The Spanish entertainment nightly was first class and although our room was very close to the action, we slept like babies, as it never went on too late. After all we were in Mexico!
- The dining room service was fine, but, again, there seemed to be a lot of waiters, etc. not doing a lot. I wonder what the labor costs look like. Just sayin...
- Would like to be able to taste some alcohol in the specialty drinks. We were on vacation and like to get a bit of a buzz. No hangovers this time!
All in all...a very nice vacation. We will return to the Hotel Playa Mazatlan, perhaps for a month next time. We will do European plan, as there is just too much in Mazatlan to tickle our palates.
I would like to thank all of the Mazatlan citizens who made our visit so wonderful. We truly are grateful.
I just know I forgot something!
Gracias.

Room Tip: You must upgrade to a beachfront Boutique room. Made for a very comfortable stay.
  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank judyjudyjudy9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Playa_Mazatlan, Gerente at Hotel Playa Mazatlan, responded to this reviewResponded 10 March 2013

Dear valued guest (judyjudyjudy9)

I would like to thank you for taking the time to write such a descriptive critique about your stay here at your home in Mazatlan. It is not often the case that we get to hear from an experienced travel and service industry professional. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your bullet points, and will as well attempt to answer in a similar fashion. Note that I will personally take on each of the tasks expressed herein:
- We will review the training level of our front desk staff, as it is paramount that we take on “the first impression”, as one of the most important points in a guest experience.
- Boutique room # 119 is often called the “elusive room” as its entrance is offset on its own corridor, we do have a few new bellboys that are still under training and learning the location of our 400 rooms. I am glad to hear that his service and attention made up for his miss direction. Note that we will continue to strive for excellence with continued training.
- Thank you for your kind comments about our maintenance and cleaning staff. Our department executive for this area has been with us for many years through hard work and rigorous training she has been able to establish a top notch team. I will personally let her know that the efforts have been recognized.
- I hope you will try your luck again next trip, note that we give T-shirts away in most of our competitions and tournaments, perhaps spreading our your luck will work better.
- We began converting some of our “service options” to accommodate all inclusive around July of last year, within this period we incorporated a number of new restaurants, expanded our staff by 200% and developed multiple new controls in service. From your posting I can assimilate that there is a continued need for communication and a harder effort needs to be made to maintain our levels of excellence, as we have become known for them over the last 60 years. I apologize for only meeting and not exceeding expectations, I can only hope we will have another opportunity in the near future to better your experience.
o Georginis (Italian Restaurant): I am glad to hear that you had the opportunity to experience this restaurant, it is as well one of my favorites, and it offers our guests what I like to call an “Italy-Mex” dining experience. I will look into the wine that was served during your time of stay, as I am familiar with what is served as house whine, and it happens to be a “good California whine”. I am surprised to hear of your reaction, perhaps it was a bad batch.
o Casa Roberto (Mexican Restaurant): This is actually my favorite restaurant, it offers traditional regional dishes. Perhaps the palette of flavors is not agreeable with you, and I am sorry to hear you did not repeat. In regards to the service I apologize for the feeling of being rushed, that is never our intention, I will spend more time in this area to make sure that standards are being kept, and service is always top notch.
o The grounds are something we are very proud of, as well as the general design of the complex, my great grandfather, grandmother, grandfather and father, have spent a large portion of their lives designing and maintaining these areas. I feel it has finally blossomed to the best stage of design that we have had in over 50 years.
o The staffing and activity issues you mentioned are of big concern, as you very well might know maintaining cost is a big part of a successful service industry. Again, I will focus on this area and make sure that the correct leadership is put into place to guarantee agility, service and attitude.
o Service by the beach is maintained by a tenured staff, lead by Humberto (“Titino”) he is a diligent worker and superb representation of attitude, after his more than 25 years of service, he continues to push for excellence and increased sales. I will again let him know of his mention in your critique.
o We appreciate you lax approach on rest and relaxation, we often receive comments from people that are not quite as happy when others are celebrating their vacation. The decks and balconies you see throughout the hotel are meant to give you privacy, but still enough proximity to enjoy a neighborly feel amongst other guests. I would recommend to experiment with multiple rooms and room types in the hotel, since after 60 years we have changed and re-created our property to boast more than 12 room types, all equally maintained to standards and some even offering one of a kind “boutique like” amenities.
o I am concerned to hear that you did not feel there was quality in the drinks being served. I can assure you that we work with the standard measurement tools to maintain a consistent “mix to alcohol content” in all beverages. I will review with bar managers and bartenders to make sure nothing is being missed.
As a local and a business owner, I appreciate your support for our city, our citizens and particularly my family’s business. I am proud to know that we will have the chance to again offer you a one of a kind experience and unforgettable memories. Please do not hesitate to contact me direct if I can be of service in planning your visit.
Best wishes and safe travels,
Lance T. Vient, BSM/MKT
General Operations Manager
Hotel Playa Mazatlan
ltvient@hotelplayamazatlan.com

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Reviewed 5 March 2013

Although this is not a small hotel it has the feel of a small hotel where the staff and owners know you. The owners are very present and visible and I feel they are very aware of what is happening at the hotel. Our first room was okay but the security light shone in which bothered me and we asked to change and were accommodated. The rooms were clean, well maintained with comfortable beds. There was filtered water in every room. The food was fine. Breakfast was a buffet and there were lots of options as well as a grill where you could get eggs done to order. The other two meals offered the option of a la carte restaurants which we used several times. The service was generally good. There was one waiter in the Italian supper restaurant who was not very attentive but he was certainly the exception as I found all other staff very helpful. I would stay here again and recommend it to my friends.

Room Tip: If you can get an ocean view room it is worth it.
  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Gerri T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Playa_Mazatlan, Gerente at Hotel Playa Mazatlan, responded to this reviewResponded 10 March 2013

Dear valued guest (Gerri T)

We are pleased to hear that you had a good experience with us, and are proud of gaining your referral. I can only say that we strive for excellence and when our merits are felt and commented on, it makes it all the worth it. Thank you for taking the time to post such a wonderful critique, and thank you even more, for referring us to your friends, and promising to come back soon. We will look forward to serving you and yours. Please do not hesitate to contact me direct if I can be of service in planning your next stay.
Best wishes and safe travels,

Lance T. Vient, BSM/MKT
General Operations Manager
Hotel Playa Mazatlan
ltvient@hotelplayamazatlan.com

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