Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hotel Review: Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay, Mazatlan, Mexico

From the very first sip of my complimentary welcome drink, I knew our stay at the Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay in Mazatlan, Mexico was going to be amazing.  The super-potent top shelf margaritas had our heads spinning after a long flight and no food!  After a very friendly check-in, my husband and I meandered happily around the grounds of the resort sipping our drinks while waiting for our room to become available.

We were soon whisked away to our room via golf cart. The resort is spread over 20 beautiful acres with guest suites located in eight separate buildings. Despite its large scale, we received very personalized service and never felt that the resort was crowded. 

View of the resort from the beach

Our room was a "junior suite," which at 425 sq. feet was plenty of space for the two of us.  With a kitchen, a beautifully tiled bathroom, a sitting area, a sleeping area, and a balcony overlooking the ocean (all rooms here face the ocean), we could really spread out and enjoy the room.  Honestly, though, we spent most of our time outside basking in the sun at the pool or the beach, as well as exploring the town.

View from our balcony

The resort is in an area of town called New Mazatlan, around 10 miles from Old Mazatlan where most of the town's hotels, restaurants, and shopping are located.  I was concerned that we'd feel a little too isolated being that far away from the main part of town, but it ended up being a HUGE plus since there were absolutely no beach vendors or annoying timeshare hawkers to deal with.  The resort provided a free shuttle into town throughout the day, and it was the perfect way to experience some hustle and bustle when we desired and then retreat back to our resort for some R & R.

Sunset from our balcony

Speaking of R & R, there are so many ways to do it at the PB Emerald Bay.  You can lounge by the "activity pool" and sip a drink or smoothie from the swim up bar, soak in the more remote"quiet pool,"  stretch out under an oceanside canopy and enjoy the amazing view, luxuriate in the spa with a massage, or enjoy drinks or a meal at one of several onsite restaurants.  We did all of these and more, and by the end of the week we were sun-soaked and completely blissed out.  

Early morning view of the pool and swim up bar

Some of my favorites at the resort:
  • Location, location, location!  It was perfect
  • The Pillow Menu:  Gimmicky?  Maybe, but I loved it
  • Our balcony overlooking the pool and ocean:  morning coffee has never been so enjoyable
  • The customer service:  friendly but not intrusive
  • Free airport shuttle and transportation to town
  • The drinks.  Wow, we're definitely not in Utah anymore! :-)
  • Lobster enchiladas at the onsite Le Cordelaire restaurant
  • The other guests:  A good mix of families and couples of all ages.  This was NOT a party resort
  • All water at the resort is filtered so we never had to worry about it

Sunset over the infinity pool

A few tips:
  • The only things I was not impressed with at this resort were the beds.  Our "junior suite" had two double beds that were slightly lumpy and uncomfortable.  At a luxury resort?  I expect at least comfortable queen-size beds.  The "master suites" come with one king-size bed, so if you are picky that way then definitely choose the master suite...I wish we would have.
  • Pick up groceries to stock your room's kitchen.  They provide a full size refrigerator, stove, sink, dishes, and coffeemaker.  You will definitely want to bring your own coffee along since it is not provided.
  • Rooms are completely tiled, and sometimes we could hear noise from other guests echoing in our room.  It really wasn't bad, but you may want to bring a set of earplugs if you are light sleeper.  We rolled up a few towels and placed them under the doors, which helped greatly.
  • As at many other Mexican resorts, you will probably be asked if you'd like to take a timeshare tour here.  We opted to do it and received free breakfast, drinks, and a $200 resort credit each.  Well worth it for a two hour presentation, in our opinion. (Timeshare attendance perks may be different now than when we attended, so please ask for details if you are interested)
  • The resort has recently added an all-inclusive option, which wasn't available during our visit.

Enjoying a late lunch at Le Cordelaire

 Have you visited Mazatlan?  Where is your favorite place to stay?

Please visit Budget Traveler's Sandbox and R We There Yet Mom for some wonderful travel photos and stories!

Disclosure:  This trip was taken at my own expense and I was not compensated in any way for this post.