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“The Best Service Ever”

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Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay
Ranked #2 of 80 Hotels in Mazatlan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 May 2014

We went for a weekend last December, and he hotel exceeded our expectations in everything, the rooms were so beautiful, the landscape, the pools and the overall decor.

As always the food was delicious, in these chain of hotels, but the Sunday brunch was spectacularly good.

We even witnesses a wedding when we arrived, it was so beautiful, the fireworks show was amazing.

We plan to return in two more weeks, this is the best hotel I have ever been. I highly recommend it.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Beatriz N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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905 - 911 of 3,017 reviews

Reviewed 22 May 2014

My husband and I just returned from a 3-week stay at Emerald Bay as long-term timeshare owners with Pueblo Bonito. As always the grounds, pools, views, and staff were exceptional.

I was disappointed to find that the resort is being utilized more as a hotel with guests than a timeshare resort with ownersl. I was amazed at the deals people were getting as non-owners to stay at the resort including the all-inclusive package. All-inclusive package also included free use of the spa facilities. So, what is the incentive for buying into the resort as a timeshare owner with annual maintenance dues--NONE when you can stay as a non-owner at reasonable rates and not incur annual maintenance costs.

As owner's we received a 15% off coupon to be applied to our total food and drink bill at the end of our stay, but we still found the ala carte prices to be high--approximately a 30% increase on some items over last year. Resort is probably increasing prices to make the all-inclusive program attractive to guests. Food offering and choice of restaurants is very limited. Resort should consider expanding the variety.

Pool lounge chairs and small tables weren't always clean. Table cloth at the activity table was also very dirty.

We enjoyed doing ceramics and found the ceramic staff to be excellent.

Unit was very nice although the bed was a little uncomfortable.

We enjoyed dining at many restaurants in the local area including Playa Bruha, Roy's, La Mona, Gus Gus (at the new Marina), Cilantro's, Pancho's, and Vittore's.

We really enjoyed our stay at PBEB and look forward to returning next year. I believe the resort is operating as a hotel because of financial constraints, but I no longer realize an advantage to being an owner as opposed to a hotel guest.

Room Tip: Upper level floors offer the best views.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank Cheryl E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2014

We just got back from a week at the Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay. This property is beautiful with gardens, water features, statues and birds of all sorts. It reminded me of Italy. While the grounds and the pools are wonderful, the rooms are somewhat dated and need upgrading. However, our room was large and comfortable with a balcony and a view.

The hotel offers a free shuttle to its other property that is closer to town. You can then take a taxi to other parts of Mazatlan or eat at the restaurants at that property. We enjoyed eating at Cilantros at that hotel.

The food was good for an all-inclusive, but not wonderful. Since there is really only one al larte restaurant at Emerald Bay, you don't get any variety if you eat there all week. The menu is also very similar at Cilantros at the other hotel. The pool food (for lunch and snacks) was very good, but all the same at the three pool areas.

We loved Kelly's Bar and our bartender, Ivan. It was lots of fun and had music three nights during our stay. However, they do not pour any top-shelf liquor with the all-inclusive plan (more like 'well' liquor). You pay extra for anything else. The house wine was much better than some of the other all-inclusive hotels that we have stayed at.

This hotel is away from almost everything in Mazatlan, but is very beautiful and peaceful. As we really did not want to spend much time in other parts of the city, it was perfect for us.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Pblack47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2014

We attended a wedding in May so decided to stay for the whole week as we were coming from the UK. We decided to do the all inclusive package and it was completely the right decision; you could eat any meal at the bistro (so if you wanted to avoid buffet style meals you could). We loved the Kelly bar (very sophisticated) and also enjoyed getting lunch served on the beach. The food was delicious and we enjoyed a variety of quality drinks.
The all inclusive also included entry to the spa (9 different areas such as steam room and Jacuzzi etc). It's a very high standard of decor and customer service.
The room was very spacious and air conditioned with a balcony with loungers. The setting was very well thought out with the most amazing birds and plants.
Basically, the only items you would want to change would be the rocks in the sea. In short, we wish we were back there now and had a really amazing holiday!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Orthelia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2014

We stayed at this superb resort during May 2014.

It was an unforgettable experience for me and my wife. The personnel are very professional and in true Mexican style, friendly and helpful at all times. The gardens and swimming pools are kept in immaculate condition.

No free wife in rooms but not to expensive to purchase. We had to pay for the shuttle service to and from the airport.

Value for money, this must rate as one of the best. Thank you for making our Mexico visit so fantastic.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank HenkvanZyl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2014

We stayed at Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay (PBEB) for one week in early March, 2014.

I made the reservation in mid-Nov. 2013 and they still had many dates available for March 2014 including for arrival and departure on a Tuesday. The reservation was made by phone directly with Pueblo Bonito and followed up by emails. The personal attention received by the gentleman who attended to our reservation on the phone and subsequent communication were superbly cordial, professional and timely.

We traveled from LAX to Mazatlán via Aero Mexico ($403.47 per person r/t) which turns out was actually Alaska Airline's plane and flight. The flight lasted a bit longer than 2 hours. Mazatlán time zone was an hour ahead of Pacific Time at that time.

Pueblo Bonito offered round-trip ground transportation from the General Rafael Buelna International Airport, also known as Mazatlán International Airport, for $50 US for both of us, which we took advantage of. This was competitive with private taxis and included a full-sized modern air-conditioned bus with a professional driver. We normally rent a car during our vacation but decided not to do that after reading about insurance issues and not being familiar with the area.

Upon arrival, the property presented itself very favorably, with the "faux ruins" architecture of the entry, and a beautiful lobby. There were many areas around the lobby to relax and beautiful decor. Restrooms were just around the corner from the front desk. Check-in was accomplished without a hitch, and we purchased an upgrade to a suite for a couple of hundred dollars extra which turned out to be redundant as the regular rooms are extremely large and offer all the same amenities with the exception of the second bathroom. We were handed off to the timeshare women who flanked the front entrance and, although very pleasant (of course), practically begged us to partake of the timeshare presentation and "bribes" (resort credit useable for the spa which we didn't use). She finally relented and gave us our room keys.

We were whisked to our suite via electric golf cart and taken to the southern end of the resort to the first of three buildings just south of the tennis court. The second floor (of 4) suite was fine, offering a partial view of the ocean, sounds of the surf and a nice breeze. The bedroom faced the landside of the property and a main service driveway but was pretty quiet in terms of vehicular traffic. The only complaint was that housekeeping was somewhat noisy which awakened us on several occasions fairly early in the morning. The suite was very clean, beautifully decorated and well equipped. And HUGE - something like 900 square feet, including two bathrooms, a long hallway between the living room - kitchen/dining are and beautiful bedroom with two queen beds, ceiling fan and gorgeous bathroom with bathtub/shower. There were beautiful tiles throughout the suite, as well as a fully equipped kitchen. There was a free safe in a bedroom closet. A large balcony off the rear of the suite faced the sea (Gulf of California) and although we were on the second of four stories and the rear building from the shore, still had a nice view of the sea, sounds of the surf and gulf breeze.

Overall, the property is gorgeous in terms of the grounds, foliage, buildings and pools. They are all very well maintained, no easy task for this size property and climate. Sadly, the southernmost inland building had unfinished construction, with jagged concrete and extruded rebar, perhaps left that way for future construction, which marred the otherwise beautiful architecture and upkeep of the buildings. There was some litter around the patio areas of the pools - mostly cigarette butts, but other than that the grounds were meticulously maintained and groomed. Ugly raised black sprinkler heads were in abundance throughout the property which marred otherwise lovely lawns and gardens. I wonder if these could be sunken. There were some nice koi ponds on the property, a few odd statues that seemed a bit out of place, a flamingo area and a few resident iguanas that kept pretty much to themselves.

The beach is okay but the southern end is often covered with seaweed which was hauled and buried in the sand daily by a smelly diesel-powered "Bobcat", which, coupled with the smell of the decaying seaweed, often carried an unpleasant odor up to the pool next to The Bistro restaurant at the southern end of the property. The water in the gulf was murky everyday. The point at the southern end of the beach was all rock. There was little of interest in terms of tide pools, birds, shells, etc. And occasional sandpiper, turkey vulture or pelican could be seen, but not much else. There is no coral in the area and the water in the gulf was too murky to invite snorkeling. We brought our gear, but never even bothered to give it a go in spite of being avid snorkelers. The waves were much too small to afford a ride on a surf or boogie board. The beach is nice for walking though. After one walks a bit north from the southern point, the powdery sand becomes coarser and nicer in my opinion. One can walk for a few miles north if desired. Not much to see, but a nice walk if you're into that.

MAIN GRIPE: Since the property is somewhat isolated and there's not much to do on the beach (we saw one vendor and one parasailing operator) most people hang out by pools if they stay on the premises. There are three swimming pools on the property. The main pool is roughly in the middle of the property and is quite a large, "infinity" - design with two levels. There are many activities scheduled for around this pool daily such as pool volleyball tournaments, poker games, bingo, crafts, and more. The activities were popular and well organized. The main problem with this pool and the two smaller pools was that, if one didn't go down early in the morning, grab some towels and stake out the chaise lounges you wanted, you would have a hard time finding an unoccupied one later. Although there was a written policy stated at the pool, in the information packet provided at check-in, and on the TV property channel informing guests "We respectfully remind you that lounge chairs cannot be reserved. Lounge chairs not in use will be made available for the use of other guests", this went unheeded and everyday we went to the pool, every single chaise lounge had a PBEM pool towel on it, often with a book or magazine left behind. We discovered people would come down from their rooms as soon as the towel stands opened, stake out their desired lounges, then return to their rooms to shower, dress, go to breakfast, or whatever, and not return to the pool for quite some time. Occasionally, pool attendants would remove and bag these towels and personal belongings if they noticed they were vacated for a length of time, but the "perpetrators" would often get upset with this "policing". One man got so upset his towel and belongings had been removed after his lengthy absence that he gathered up all the other unattended towels on chaise lounges around The Bistro pool, and threw them in the pool. Obviously this is a problem for the property during peak times (they were fully occupied during our stay). The solution is to simply provide more chaise lounges in areas around the outskirts of the pools. I saw this could be done in all three pool areas, to accommodate perhaps 100 more chaises without overcrowding the surrounding patios and lawn areas. We'd typically hit the pool around 10AM and had to scrounge for chaise lounges. We managed to eventually find a spare one here or there and haul them to an area where we could put them next to each other. Somewhat annoying.

Since we were not going to rent a car (for ease of obtaining groceries) and since the property was not located within walking distance of other restaurants besides their own, we opted for the "all inclusive meal plan" for US $820 for the week. We were glad we did. We usually ate a later breakfast at La Cordeliere, lunch poolside, and dinner at The Bistro or La Cordeliere. We don't drink very much but still feel this was a much better value than being charged for each meal separately. The food at The Bistro was very good and that was our favorite place to eat on the premises. The longest wait for a table was perhaps 15 minutes. We also went to two of the themed dinners at La Cordeliere, one for Mexican night, the other for Carnival night. The food was okay, nothing special but okay, the dancers charming. We were told the all-inclusive plan included tips but additional tips would be welcomed. How much? This seemed to be a mystery. The waiters said the tips were divvied up once a week. Another said the built-in gratuity was ~10%. I should have compared the check amount to the menu price but didn't think of this until later. One waiter said that to leave a tip written on the "extra" check that was presented at the end of the meal was better, because it showed they made more income to the government, something that increased the value of their one-time housing allowance when it became available. (Yes, really!) Another said they preferred cash. One liked U.S. currency, another, Mexican Pesos. The concierge was clueless. The lack of transparency regarding tipping almost made me feel like Scrooge and not leave ANY tips, but I ultimately tipped servers an additional 10-20% of the check, cart and but drivers 20 pesos and our housekeeping maid 500 pesos (~US $37.50) at the end of our stay. Was this appropriate? Damned if I know! A little more tipping ediquette education on the part of Pueblo Bonito would be appreciated.

Since I decided I wanted to tip in pesos, another small problem was the lack of cash at the front desk. On every occasion I attempted to get change or exchange currency, in the morning before we left to go off property, I was informed they were out of cash to would have some later. This left me at the mercy of the lobby ATM or banks/ATMs in Mazatlán.

A very nice, modern bus made routine trips to their other resort in the "Golden Zone" of Mazatlán. A mandatory reservation must be made with concierge as the bus will fill to capacity for this wonderful service. The concierges were aloof each time we made this reservation, or asked for other information. Not unfriendly nor rude, just aloof - disinterested. Perhaps this was an exception to their usual attitude and they were distracted or something. The rest of the staff from the front desk, restaurant personnel, pool staff, housekeeping - everyone was extraordinarily cordial, friendly and helpful without exception. If one opts not to take this shuttle bus, taxis hang out near the front gates of the property and will drive up to pick you up. The small, open air taxis ("pulmonías") may charge around 100 pesos (~ US $7.50) to go to the closest Wal-Mart or their sister property Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan ("PBM") and ~160 pesos to go "downtown" (e.g. Cathedral area).

The shuttle trip to PBM took about 15 minutes. One could hang out there and use their facilities and restaurants with full privileges. There was a US$10 per person surcharge for those dining at Angelo's. We did eat there one night and enjoyed excellent food and service.

PBM serves as an excellent jump-off point from which to explore Mazatlán. There is a lot of local shopping within easy walking distance of this property, along or just off the main drag (Av Camarón Sábalo). If you want to venture further there are taxis out front and a bus stop located a few feet north of the main entrance, and buses come every few minutes. The bus fare is 6.50 pesos (~ US .50¢) for the standard buses (by far the most common) or 10 pesos (~ US .77¢) for the air-conditioned buses such as the Sábalo Centro bus that goes straight down the shore to within a block from the Cathedral (Basílica de la Inmaculada Concepción). The other buses are very noisy, often with uncomfortable metal seats, and are not air-conditioned, but a splendid bargain depending on your threshold for discomfort, embracing local customs and where you want to go. They likely will not stop unless you signal them to do so. Try not to give the driver anything larger than a 20 peso bill. He (or she?) will make change but don't expect the 50 centavo bit of it in your change; they may round up the fare to 7 pesos if making change. Be sure you know where you're going if you get on these buses! The driver is very busy and probably speaks only Spanish. And is hot. And harried. But will probably help, if not reluctantly. And beware of your surroundings and safety. Speaking of which . . .

Two blocks from the Cathedral, a would-be bandit attempted to snatch my wife's chain and pendant off of her neck. What he got instead was a wicked slap to the face (go Honey!!) and chased off by a 60 year old man (me). With no chain -ha! He jumped into a waiting pickup truck and disappeared. Moral: don't wear jewelry or carry expensive accoutrements such as cameras, cell phones, sunglasses, iPads, etc. in areas you're not familiar with (or even areas you ARE familiar with). Scan for suspicious individuals and be wary of people who get too close or seem to paying too much attention to you. I should have seen this thug before he even got close, much less laid hands on my wife, and in spite of considering myself a street-smart New Yorker, should have always had her next to or in front of me and she should not have been wearing that necklace in the first place. I don't want to scare you away from Mazatlán - but just be wary - no matter where you go.

All in all, PBEB was a pretty nice property, many repeat guests LOVE it, we had a good time, but will probably not return due to the poor beaches, water quality and dislike for Mazatlán itself.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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14  Thank Greg F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PuebloBonitoResorts, General Manager at Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 2 May 2014

Dear Greg F,

We would like to thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed review, we truly value your comments and feedback and we feel sorry to hear you didn't like the city and its beaches. We appreciate the lovely pictures and in case you change your mind our doors will always be open for you.

Best Regards,
David Tussi, General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2014

Its perfect, for staying in the hotel, everything is there, the employees are really nice, and in overall, its really nice. The people is really respectful, the activities really productive too, the weather is awesome and we passed a great time in family

  • Stayed: April 2014
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2  Thank Enriquesalcidoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PuebloBonitoResorts, General Manager at Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 28 April 2014

Dear Reviewer,

We would like to thank you for your kind remarks and for taking the time to review us, we hope to welcome you and your family anytime in the near future.

Sincerely,
David 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

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: £130 - £506 (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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