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“Would I go Back ......Well..... NO !!!”

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Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay
Ranked #2 of 79 Hotels in Mazatlan
Certificate of Excellence
Abbotsford, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
72 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Would I go Back ......Well..... NO !!!”
Reviewed 16 April 2013

We spent three days in Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort in mid-March, 2013. I was excited to go due to all the beautiful pictures and good reviews listed on TripAdvisor, but sadly, when we arrived we found a once-grand, sprawling and somewhat overgrown huge resort with a skeleton staff who were very disinterested, bored and non-attentive, with no sense of urgency. They were more interested in talking to each other than in serving the guests. I felt like I was interrupting a frat party of boys every time I wanted a drink. It made me feel very uncomfortable.

Most of the resort was empty but at the front desk we were given the choice of immediately obtaining a room far in the back or having to wait for a front central room. We waited, and although room 1515 was huge and clean, the bathroom had grey, foul-smelling water that made us feel dirty AFTER we had showered. We had to open the windows to air out the room because of the terrible odor. It was so bad that I ended up washing my face and hair with bottled water. My $48.00 Mac face wash was stolen out of our room on day two, which was very disappointing. 1515 was an oddly laid out room. The bedroom was much too far from the window that opened, which made it and the ensuite very stuffy and warm. There is such a thing as being too big; I found 1515 too big.

The whole resort was understaffed and cheaply run. They wanted to nickel and dime the guests to death. We were even charged for the cups holding our coffee and were told to not lose them. Really!!! There was a very tiny Internet Café with free service that was S-L-O-W and only worked within a six-step-sized section of the reception area. If we wanted better service, it came at the cost of an additional $30.00 per day. Most of the staff were not upbeat, smiling or service oriented, so it made the ones who were shine very brightly. Kudos to Ivan, the bartender in Kelly’s…he is a rock star! He is sooo good at his job, makes the best martinas in Pueblo Bonito and was the highlight of the staff, for sure. He should work somewhere else! The booze throughout the entire resort was ‘well quality’, except for the premi drinks at Kelly’s Bar, but we had to pay for those above and beyond what was covered by the AI bracelet. One evening, our after dinner drinks for two set us back $65.00. I was ready to leave after the first day but we had already paid for three days/two nights so we stayed.

This is one resort I would never go back to unless it was taken over by some fun, smiley, Carnival Cruise Line staff. It’s amazing how much a well run resort with friendly staff can influence what a patron is willing to tip. I would rather stay in a clean, smaller, less posh resort as long as I felt safe, welcome and pampered. Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay did not offer that!

PRO’S:
Huge property; with a bit of TLC it could regain some of its former splendor.
Lots of huge clean pools and great ones for families and kids
Huge rooftop decks that were great for pictures
Most of the food was good. Bistro had the best; it was kind of hidden but worth the walk.

CON’S:
Stinky showers
Thieving housekeepers
Very slow free internet in a tiny area only
Very expensive better Internet for $30.00 per day
Disinterested skeleton staff
Poor signage
Extremely quiet
Low end crappy booze
Poorly run main restaurant
Sporadic availability of towels
Copious amounts of blackbirds; if you are afraid of birds, stay away!
Reservations were not honored
If you are not a walker, don’t come here!

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Binkyljfm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (482)
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English first
Carlsbad, California
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2013

Went there with my wife and three teenage girls. Everyone had a great time. The activities staff was very helpful and engaging and we participated in activities every day: Beach Volleyball, pool volleyball, Water aerobics, trivia, etc. We also did the all-inclusive meal plan. I read some other comments that the drinks were watered down but we found the opposite to be true most of the time. I found the majority of my drinks on the strong side. The pool and restaurant service was excellent. In fact as the days went on the servers remembered us and automatically took care of certain request and details without us even having to request. We also very much enjoyed the different pools. When my wife and I wanted a lot of activities and music we went to the main pool, but when we wanted peace and quiet we went to the very nice adult pool, having the option was great. The hotel grounds are spectacular, lush and tropical. Finally, my wife and I used the gym on most days and found it very appealing, additionally, my wife used the spa and this is a quote 'that was the best deep tissue massage I have ever had". We also loved the shuttle to the other property and that you could use the all-inclusive at the sister property as well.

On the minus side, the front desk service is slower than it should be, but the people were very nice and helpful. If you are in the older buildings, the rooms are showing wear and tear. The room was clean, but the tile in the room was showing a lot of traffic. The girls were in a newer room which was fantastic, looked great. There is a difference depending on the building.

One final note, the property is outside of Mazatlan and completely safe! Even though we had three teenage girls with us we felt as if we were on vacation alone. I felt completely comfortable with them anywhere on the property without worrying about where they were or what they were doing. It made the vacation more enjoyable for all of us.

Room Tip: Higher is better and ask for newer building.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank BobI591
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mayra P, General Manager at Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay, responded to this review, 8 April 2013
Dear Bob,

We feel pleased after reading such a nice and friendly review, we are glad that you had the time to enjoy all of our facilities and that you had a wonderful stay with us.
Looking forward to welcome you and your family anytime soon!

Sincerely,

Roberto Tussi, General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2013

We've travelled a lot, so our expectations might be quite high, but I think that it's fair enough to expect excellent service from a 5 star hotel.
Greeting on arrival: very poor. There were 4 men working behind the counter, they were all busy and stressed out, which didn't make our arrival any relaxing. They were not able to answer our basic questions.

Services: The animation team was not very dynamic. The activities for an all-onclusive were quite poor (or not what we were looking for): blackjack, backgammon, darts, paper flowers and animals made of folded towels. How exciting! At least there was some volleyball and bingo. The announced kid's club was 'out of order' for the ten days we spent there! Very unfortunate dor our child, and ourselves. The service was not of a great quality. We had various answers from different staff to whom we asked questions to. They were not sure about the cost of the gym, if we had to pay to access the tennis courts or when the kid's club would re-open. After many attempts, we found out that the gym costs 17$ US per day (rip-off for an all-inclusive), free tennis lessons were not free, and it cost 5$ per tennis racquet, and no one really knew why the kid's club was closed and when it would re-open.

Hotel itself: wow effect lobby, bright, beautiful, clean, spacious rooms with balcony and kitchenette. Two double beds in the room. Cable tv. Variety of pools. Gardens, exotic birds, water fountains and fish ponds. Great and friendly room service. Many restaurants. Our daughter loved it! Knowing all of the above ahead of time, we would come back to this hotel, especially for the price we paid. But I would not truly rate this hotel a 5-star because of the service and the services offered.

Room Tip: Ask to be near the main pool if you like to be in the action. If not there's a quiter pool at th...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Cynthia R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alberta
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2013

Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa

The hotel is lovely as was the view from my room. The food was great as was the service.

I did have a problem at check in, however as they did not have my reservation from Expedia. Fortunately I had the confirmation with me. I then found in on my i-pad and took that to the desk. This all took a LONG time as they hotel was very busy. I was told that my reservation was under the wrong name. The nice young man at the check in desk did find me a room finally, but took my credit card to pay for it in case the problem did not go away. By the next day or two, he said he had straightened out the problem. He told me the problem was with Expedia, not the hotel.

That may have been the case; regardless, it was worrisome as it was at a very busy time.

The rest of my stay could not have been better. I will go back, but I will call ahead now to be sure that I do have a reservation.

Room Tip: The rooms all face the ocean, but some are closer than others. I would ask for a studio with an ocea...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MacKayAlberta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mayra P, General Manager at Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay, responded to this review, 3 April 2013
Dear MacKayAlberta,

Thank you very much for your kind remarks and for taking the time to review us. We apologize for any inconvenience that the check in process may have caused you, but we are glad that everything worked out well. Hope to welcome you to Emerald Bay anytime soon.

Sincerely,

Roberto Tussi, General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orange County CA
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2013

First time visitors to Mazatlan. Was a little skeptical reading some of the reviews here but found this location to be idyllic. Grounds are very well landscaped and right on the ocean. We stayed in building 19, ground floor, master suite and had more room than we really needed with an outside patio and beautiful sunset views. The room was clean, furniture well kept, clean linen, comfortable beds, everything in the room worked just fine.

There is a push to buy time shares on site and you have to go through the 'desk' at registration. We politely declined and they left us alone. I have done more than my fair share of 90 minute time share pitches and don't need to do any more.

We were 'all inclusive' and enjoyed the choices at the restaurants on site as well as at the sister hotel downtown. No problems getting the shuttle either way, we booked and always got the shuttle we wanted, never had to wait and shuttle's ran on time. I would certainly recommend the Bistro, good food, good service. I was a little less impressed with the main restaurant that had the theme evenings. Sometimes 'mass produced' buffet food just does not work but the good news is there are other choices. Would definitely recommend Kelly's bar, Ivan & Oskar and the guy's are good fun and a good end to the day.

As much as I like the all inclusive option which we choose for the convenience of not having to worry about how much we are eating or drinking I do notice that it sometimes brings out the worst in people. If there was any downside to this vacation it was some of the rude and intolerent (sad to say) fellow American tourists who really acted out and got louder and louder as the day went on. Full marks to the bar and restaurant staff for not reacting. Note to all.... hollering 'Hey Amigo" repeatedly in a loud voice time after time until you get attention is not a good way to win friends :)

We liked the activities that were available throughout the day every day (except Monday's). I would definitely recommend joining in which really helps to make the days fun although the day's really do fly by. Could not believe we were there a week. We seemed to blink and it was over. Please , if you do participate in some of the team games like Volleyball , please remember you are likely playing with or against folks who do not play this game other than on vac and are participating here so as to meet folks and have fun so 'spiking' the ball and getting 'in your face' is probably not a good idea so take your anti-competitive chill pills well in advance and have some fun without it being at the expense of others.

Definitely enjoyed this hotel and resort and definitely would recommend it to others. Not sure though if I feel as strongly about Mazatlan. A bit run down and a lot less to do here in comparison to Cancun or Puerta Vallarta.

Room Tip: We stayed in a master suite in building 19. Great views, quiet location, ideally located between two...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank SoCal_Sam_2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2013

This was our second year here. Our perspective is probably different from the people who have time shares and have visited for multiple years. We returned because we found it to be as nice or nicer than the higher end mass market all-inclusives at a significantly lower cost. I wrote a longer review last year, but the short version is that it has a great pool, really good food, good service and is a very good deal. There are two major downsides. One is the beach, which is not really useable. This is remedied somewhat by the availability of a beach at the sister resort, which is pretty nice. The second drawback is the that the fees for items that would normally be included at an all-inclusive, and the request for tips at every meal on top of the all-inclusive fee, is annoying and adds up. However, at the end of the day the number is not big enough to change the fact that Pueblo Bonito is a relative bargain.

We did not notice any significant drop-off in quality from last year to this year. We may try somewhere else next year just for a change of pace, but we would certainly consider returning.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Matt_A_35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Green Cove Springs, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2013

Beautiful grounds and a very friendly staff. The rooms are spacious and very well kept. Only complaint is not enough outlets but this not much of a problem. Lots of pools, we liked the one on the end near a restaurant. I think it's adults only. Restaurants on site are very good but we cooked many of our meals in the room. Their on-site gym and spa are first rate. Although this resort is a little far from town they have regular shuttles to their other resort which is closer to the tourist areas.

Room Tip: All rooms have a view towards the ocean. Higher rooms may have a slightly better view.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank gringobill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mayra P, General Manager at Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay, responded to this review, 26 March 2013
Dear Gringobill,

We really appreciate your nice comments about our resort, it is great to hear you had such an enjoyable time at Emerald Bay. Looking forward to welcome you anytime!

Sincerely,

Roberto Tussi, General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
Region: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Sinaloa > Mazatlan
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 (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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