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A TripAdvisor Member
Denver, Colorado
19
Reviewed 21 April 2006

They call this all-inclusive and it states that gratuity is included but everyone still wants a tip. I have went to Cancun, Cozumel, and Playa Del Carmen for all-inclusives trips. I was no expecting this at all. The hotel is really dirty and the food is really gross. I would not recommend staying at this place. It was a huge waste of money.

  • Stayed: March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Calgary, Alberta
111
Reviewed 16 April 2006

My husband and I booked our all inclusive one week package with Signature Vacations...it was inexpensive and our first time booking a holiday such as this. Our entire trip wasn't all negative, but in lieu of what did happen, we will never ever return to Mazatlan, nor reccommend it to anyone we know.
Well, the first mistake we made was to book our trip without having read any reviews, in hindsight, we wish we had! The precursor to our trip began when we showed up to the Calgary airport for our "SkyService" flight more than two hours early from takeoff , yet they still had us sitting in seperate seats 13 rows apart. Aparently we were the last to board and there was nothing they could do about it, upsetting, but thankfully it was only a short 4hr flight
Once we arrived to Mazatlan, we hopped on a shuttle bus to our hotel. When we booked this trip, we understood the hotel was "15 minutes" from the airport...uh try 45 minutes, and this was driving at 2am in the morning. Check-in for us went smoothly, because once stepping off the bus, I ran up to the front desk to beat the crowd who was milling around waitng for their lugguage,I was second in line, meanwhile my husband retrieved our stuff once it was unloaded. (Another couple we spoke to on the same flight said it took them 2 hours to get checked in, so we were lucky!).
It took us awhile to find our room, up and down the elevators a few times, but once we did, we were very happy with it. Both my husband and have worked at a resort before and consider ourselves to have some "insider" knowledge.
The room was very clean, had movie channels on T.v, had an in-room safety deposit box, the bed wasn't too hard, our towels were replenished always and on time, we have no complaints about the room itself, other than it would have been nice to have had a fridge.
One of us would get up early in the morning (8am-ish) to reserve our seat by the poolside, needless to say we only did this for an hour or so before we were actually sitting in our seats. A lot of people tied their towels to a chair and left the resort for the day, not returning until 4 in the afternoon to claim their "reserved" spot. This was irritating as good spots were taken up all day and nobody using them.
We both enjoyed the pool, it was clean, good temperature, not overly crowded. The first two days we were there, all we did was chill by the poolside which was nice.
On the 3rd day, the music from the poolside speakers became unbearable, they repeat the same songs over and over and it was loud and obnoxious and we could hear it from our pool view room all day long. We could not escape it, because the same loud, repetitive, annoying songs were blaring from the cabs on the streets, or playing in the restaurants, or on the boat tours. Unbeleivable. I came home to Calgary and heard the one relentless beat playing in a coffee shop here, and I literally CRINGED!
We drank our faces off the first day. The all inclusive bar offered beer and blended drinks which we sampled everything. The pina colada's and margarita's were made with little ice, so by the end of my styrafoam cup, I was drinking syrup. Not my idea of a beach resort thirst quencher. We stuck to beer the entire time.
The FOOD was disappointing, it was edible at best. We expected Mexican cuisine, but were wrong in that assumption. The buffet consisted of "americanized" food, which did not sit well in our tummys, for example, hamburgers, breaded chicken, various shredded meats.
Breakfast was okay, cuz you could get mostly fresh fruit, or an omelette, french toast, etc. the basics, so breakfast would proove to be our favorite meal of the day.
Lunch time, you could get hot dogs chopped up in potato salad for example, 7-11 style nacho's with lumpy melted cheese that makes 7-11 look gourmet, or left-overs from the previous nights "barf-et". We still ate it of course, we weren't complaining the first 2 days, but by the 3rd, we were eating the same nasty food and were pretty sick and tired of it.
The one good night of buffet food we had was on the Wed. night when the mexican food was served, we enjoyed that and wished they had served it more often.
We ate at the Cascada restaurant once, I ordered fish wich was left untouched and my husband choked down his meal of mystery ingredients. For dessert at Cascada,we would recommend the "mexican" coffee. One of the waiters made this drink for us. He put on a little show with fire and alcohol which was pretty entertaining, the drink was utterly boozy too.
Okay, so 3 days of buffet and stomachs not handling it well, we ate Domino's Pizza and Subway for the rest our trip. So much for all inclusive.
Up until now, our trip was good, we were enjoying eachother's company and relaxed, and drinking, basically ready to see some sights. We did the stone island tour, which was fun, again the music was haunting us, but what could we do? The beach vendors didn't irritate us,they'd ask if we were interested but once we said no they were on their way (the Time share head hunters were more agressive than anyone we met!)
The WORST part of our trip was the "Deep Sea Fishing" excursion we booked with 3 other couples who had come to mazatlan with signature. Our Signature representative convinced us to book a private boat, this way, because we were booking together and paying less for a nicer boat. HA! The boat was at least 40 years old, the crew couldn't even say hello in english and when it was all said and done we ended up paying around $50 US more per couple. The icing on the cake was that with 5 lines in the water we didn't even get a bite. Another thing we would not recommend would be renting an ATV to ride on the city streets. We witnessed a pretty bad accident in front our hotel where an ATV, with three people on it, rear-ended a car, sending one of the bikini clad idiot passengers to the hospital. Those are not made for pavement and no amount of insurance will cover you when you get into an accident. For those people with asthma, like my husband, the pollution will become unbarable. The amount of carbon dioxide from the ATV's, buses, golf-cart cabbies and regular cars reminds me of a hot summer day in LA. Do yourself a favour, spend an extra $500 and go somewhere on the Gulf-side of Mexico.

  • Stayed: April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2006

Food - we went all inclusive and we didn't know that you can book the a la carte meals as many times as you want during your stay. So, your first night book yourselve in there every night as both of the a la carte resturants were pleasant experiences. Don't even bother going to the buffet! The food had no taste or if there was a taste it wasn't a good one. Breakfast - yuck, lunch - hamburgers and hotdogs that will give you a tummy ache, Dinner - yuck. We ended up walking 5 blocks down the road to a place called Panama. Great place to eat, cheap and traditional Mexican food. All the locals eat there so you know it's a good spot.

Rooms - As a couple you would think they would give us a King size bed but instead we got 2 doubles. They gave us the options to switch if we wanted to move to the 17th floor so it would take 10 min just to get to the lobby. We kept the 2 doubles. Pool view room was nice as it was easy if you had to run up to the room for a min. It was loud by 9am but who wants to sleep in and miss the beautiful weather. Beds were good enough, We slept well everynight. There is no mini fridge so there is no where to keep drinks cold. And don't drink the bottles of water they leave in your room as they cost a $1.50 for 500ml. Just walk to the corner store and spend $1.00 on a litre. TV was good as there were good movie channels. When the resort got busy it took them a bit longer to get you towels. The rooms were always nice and clean.

Beach / Pool - people always rush to gets seats by the pool so you will see a bunch of seats with towels on them but you never see people sitting in them. The Animation crew always have the music by the pool really loud making it hard to fall alseep if you want to or concentrate on a good book. Once you walk onto the beach you will be attacked by venders. It's hard to relax on the Beach as well. Even if you look like you are sleeping they will still come and try to sell you something.

Mazatlan - The one thing about Mazatlan is that everywhere you turn, on every street corner someone is trying to sell you something. Young couples - just say your under 30 then you don't qualify for the timeshare thing they are trying to sell you. People will try to stop you at least 20 times a day to go on this tour or by this from them. Personally, if I want to shop I will go shopping at the market. You can book tours right through the vacation reps. April 7 - 14 approx is Spring Break in Mexico so our resort was full of 18 yr old kids just wanting to party. Don't go to Mexico this time of year if you want peace and quiet. We got a really good deal on this vacation so I can't complain too much as we paid half of what others on our same flight. If your looking for a 4* this isn't one.

  • Stayed: April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Samie_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2006

First, let me say that my experience at El Cid was wonderful. We had a great time and the people there were VERY nice and friendly.

The room wasn't anything fancy, but it was very clean and there were no problems. The beds were just fine and I slept great every night. The shower was huge and had excellent water pressure.

Some of the food on the buffet is good and some is not so great -- it all depends on what you like and what your tastes are. For all-inclusive, I thought the food was good and some of it was really good.

The pool was a little crowded, but there was plenty of room on the beach if there wasn't a spot at the pool.

It would have been nice if the poolside bar stayed open later in the evening so people weren't forced to go inside to the Lobby bar, but I just got my drinks and took them outside to accommodate. No big deal!

It seems to me that the complaints you read here are coming from spoiled Americans & Canadians who expect every hotel to be a 5-star Hilton like they might find in their homeland. The bottom line is, El Cid is in Mexico not America and if you can't accept the differences between cultures, then don't travel to Mexico! You might not have a coffee maker or a clock in your room, but please remember you're not in America anymore and try to open your mind.

The resort is clean, the value is great and the people are wonderful! Enjoy your vacation and don't ruin it over little things like coffee makers & clocks...it's definitely not worth it!

Finally, I would suggest checking out a couple of the local resaurants as the food is excellent. We really enjoyed Costa Marina for seafood, El Tunnel (downtown) for authentic Mexican food and Shiek for the atmosphere.

  • Stayed: March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
31  Thank jk4429
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Lake Tahoe
18
Reviewed 5 April 2006

I read all the reviews before we went. My wife booked the all inclusive BEFORE I could read them though. They meet you at the airport with a sign. Before you can get confortable on the bus, there is a timeshare person bugging you from the "el dorado"...offering tours, etc. I told her no about 6 times. Finally she went on to the family of 5 from the midwest next to us. Of course, they are paying YOU to go on the "tour", but first...she requested $20. Then the bus driver lets this woman off in the middle of Mazatlan...seeya. Thanks for the $20. suckas.

It took 2 hours to get our room. Meanwhile, the Mexican tourists were getting room keys. And...the girls behind the counter are basically laughing at us gringos the whole time. Two hours to clean the room? More on the maids later.

So..we get to the room after 20 mins dealing with elevators. NEVER GET ON ELEVATOR #2, per the bellboy! The room was nice, with a great view. The air conditioners were below our balcony and were very loud. There were no towels. Wow... 2 hours and no towels? hmmm

The wrist bands they give you for the all inclusive is a billboard which says "styrofoam, tacate, jackass".
Anyway...the staff is very polite and nice...and they will continue to give you service as long as the dollar bills are flowing. The buffet sucks. Might as well forget it. My wife and I had serious pain in our stomachs after that.

Everywhere you go, they are bugging you. Beach...venders every 4 minutes and they don't take NO for an answer. Pool..selfish guests "claiming" chairs with a sandel or book and leaving for the day. Then the "music" starts. Loud, and obnoxious. Spring break mentality 18 year olds going whooohooo! all day and at 3am...escape to the room? Yea right. Banners across the TV screen about restaraunts and tours, etc. Turn off the TV...Maids knocking and if you don't answer right away...they will WALK IN. This happened while my wife and I were celebrating our anniversary in bed. Nice huh? Why did the maid walk in, you ask? To bring us another 5 towels. Another maid came 20 mins earlier with towels..so now (since we called for towels because they never leave any and take the others) we had 14 towels. LOL It's either feast or famine.
A little advice...make a sign for your door in spanish which says Do not Disturb.

We went for a walk down the beach. If you get through the swarm of dirtbag drug dealing venders on the beach, you can get away to a nice strip of beach down a ways. We came to a piece of beach and a guy with a sailboat came up to us to give us a ride to the island. When we said NO...he offered us drugs. A MOMENT OF PEACE...PLEASE!

We went to a restaraunt called El Padador or something across the street. Long story short...the sea food platter was rice with chopped up chicken necks and cow spine...with a few shrimp thrown in. The doorman came to our table before we were served to try to sell us a timeshare!! Damnit!

The Italian restaraunt was excellent. The El Alcazar in the hotel was good. Breakfast...forget the buffet...go to the Cascada. You can get authentic food if you ask for it.

Don't bother with the exchange rate...it's a total rip off at the hotel. In fact..everything was a rip. Venders, shops, everything...Bring lots of $1's or they will give you change in pesos. Coins everywhere.

Some good things: The gym..nice., plenty to drink, sunsets, weather good..but cool at night, good beach at night and is the best time to walk, good coffee at the shop near subway in the hotel, otherwise your getting instant.

If you go to the pool and see every single chair "taken" with a towel or sandel, don't worry...those people are gone for the day. It's the ultimate display of humanity's selfish inconsideration for others. The chairs are there for people who are at the pool...not for "claiming" as owned by someone who leaves on a tour and may come back some day. I paid money to sit by the pool at this resort. I read somewhere on here...a woman was complaining that the hotel steals your pool towel and then charges you $25 for losing it. Ah...no. The employees aren't the ones stealing the towels, folks. It's the guests who see your un-used towel tied to a chair for 4 hours while you are nowhere to be seen. And they are stealing it because your butt isn't on it and you're not at the pool...and everyone knows it.

I've been all over the world. You get problems everywhere you go. I'd say though, that the idea of a relaxation trip here at the Castilla is an illusion.

  • Stayed: March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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