Well we went here for our FIRST ever Vacation and it was to say the least NOT a great time, but also NOT the worst time either. Lets begin with check in....be prepared to be practically tackled by the time share people in the lobby....they LOOK like staff so be warned. Be prepared to be expected to tip EVERYONE all the time, and if you do not the staff will kinda get demanding about it crying out about how their family NEEEEEDS it....Ernesto was the worst...he lied when we went to go from the pool to swim in the ocean stating he was off in 5 min and we should "take care of him" now so his family would be able to eat that night....and when we gave 50 peso he said no not enough, so my husband whom had a few beverages gave him an additional 200 peso and when we came back 45 min later, he was still working!!! and saying the same thing to another couple!! That PISSED me off!! The crowds were CRAZY, and if you were not fighting to get a chair at the pool (full of screaming kids splashing you) you were fighting at the beach, it was fuller and the peddlers came every 2 min (seriously NOT exaggerating here) and bugged and bugged!! They did not like taking NO for an answer...and if you think you are safe in the "roped off area" think again, and you have to practically climb over them to get out of the area to hit the waves!! The ocean was warm though and nice soft sand on the beach and clean surf with nice practically rock free ocean floor! However the sad thing was after the crowds leave there will be garbage all over and when we asked if they clean up they said the ocean will do it for them.
Oh and the tours...yeah look around for a better deal cause there are ones to be had. They WILL barter. Yet the shops do not, even in the downtown market....they will not barter much and get offended when you try to. They will also grab your arm and not let go even if you say no several times. Its also very very very crowded at the markets.
Be careful as a pedestrian as you do not have right of way and the drivers don't stop! People RUN across...even old people.
The people will correct your English in Spanish when you talk to people, some with a smile many with a scowl.
As for our all inclusive hotel....well they messed up our room and we did not get what we ordered, and the room is very basic. They do charge for water and coffee in the room...but you can get free downstairs. We did have a private balcony and after a few incidents for chairs down at the pool or beach we opted to sun ourselves there. It was clean though and the maids did a decent job everyday keeping it clean...but do not even bother trying to talk to them....they don't understand even basic English.
It was VERY loud there, everywhere! The national music is with tuba's, trumpets and drums....I never did find a rhythm in what they played and after a day of them going full blast from 10 am to 5 or 6 am the next day we had heard our fill! This went on daily for the first days we were there. They were every 15-30 ft apart and trying to out play each other, but not ever the same song! Then came the huge baker rally...yeah not a quiet peaceful place to be at all!!! We then got two days of semi quiet (meaning less of them), only to find out that Wen started a huge international biker rally! Yeah ALLLLLLLL kinds of two or three wheeled things driving up and down the road while drinking a beer.....very loud again. The police are everywhere but as every Mexican told us, when it came to the roads anything goes. If it can drive its on there, people even cooking in the back of their trucks while driving, kids standing up in sunroofs, every vehicle blasting the music...even pedal bikers rigged up giant speaker set ups to blast...was crazy to see but we only saw one accident so I guess it works for them.
Food.....well if you think you will find good Mexican food at the resorts...think again. The favorite "theme" seem to be Italian. Watered down sauces, so much so that they did not even have a flavor to them, even the guacamole was like soup. The food was the same practically daily, a chicken (who knew what kind), same for a beef and or pork, over cooked pasta, potato and veggie....the fruit was nice, yogurt watered down to soup consistency, the fresh baked goods were nice...desserts so/so. As for the Ala cart restaurants, they changed daily to buffet (same as the cafeteria like restaurant that most went to) so do not count on them being what they claim they were. We found the best hotel & restaurant was the Marina but did not discover that till our last day as you do not get all the ala cart rest menu info unless you go there and they were really reluctant to show the menu to you before you sat down for some reason (we never figured that one out)....we heard the best way to eat is to NOT eat at the resort....nullifying the all inclusive benefits in my opinion.
We went golfing as our pkg included the green fee's...but because you MUST have a caddie (whom is kind of useless, and will just walk with you, does not talk much and gets annoyed when you say things in the English like the sand trap vs the Spanish word Playa) a cart, and all that... it still cost much more than some of the nicer places we golfed for less than half the price in Alberta. The course was ok, mainly sand traps an water not much challenges otherwise...pretty open and plain.
Para sailing was a blast! Zip lines were not great, they have holes in the gloves and because you have to glove break if you don't do it EXACTLY right you can count on getting cable burn!! Also I would recommend asking how large a tour they have at the time you go cause we had a very large group and waited in the tree's under full sun for long periods of time with only one section having water at it. Me and a few of our friends ended up going home dehydrated, wounded and with a heat rash. Also did the ATV tour, which was very fun but in the dry season bring a bandana as they do not offer one and its VERY dusty. The tequila tour was neat, and you CAN drink as many as you want for free....which brings me to the cost of liquor....if you are expecting cheap...you will be disappointed. It costs just as much...maybe a few dollars less than in Canada. The Excursion to the islands....they are very pricy for the little time you get, and the things you get to do will be very short....like 5 min for a ride up and back on the beach on the horses because you have to wait for everyone to get a turn and they really over book the excursions....NOT worth the huge cost! Oh and if you plan to walk the main strip, be prepared to be bombarded with time share folks that do not like NO either, they will walk beside you going on and on till your almost at the next timeshare booth which has one on every block. If you want a city tour....go with a polumina driver instead....finding an English speaking one that's NOT blasting music is hard but if you find Freddy, you will have a great experience!! He will show you things you will not see on the one you pay for in the hotel and for allot less too!
- 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