I returned last week from a week's vacation to Mazatlan, Mexico. This was my first trip to Mazatlan, but about my 20th to Mexico. I'm not sure exactly what I expected, but a small, quaint Mexican village... it's not! My daughter and I stayed at theCosto De Oro,Mazatlan. We picked up a last minuted deal for $95.00 for the week - which was a GREAT bargain and flew on down (the airfare cost us more than the hotel and all our other expenses for the week).
Some interesting notes about Mazatlan...
The time share "sharks" are absolultely unbelievable... they are everywhere and are relentless about asking you to partake in a timeshare meeting. I think because I'm a blonde, I was singled out more as I looked like a tourist.
Never having been to a timeshare presentation, I opted to go to one to the new Pueblo Bonito, Emerald Bay (newest one in the newly developed northern area of Mazatlan). The resort was very pretty, and the rooms quite spectacular... but all in all not my cup of tea. My daughter and I were given, as a "gift" for participating, free breakfast (which was quite tasty!), two free massages (worth $65.00 each at the resort), plus $200.00 worth of dinner certificates at 2 outstanding restaurants! So for 2 hours of my time, we were handsomely rewarded... particuarly since I wanted to see this property and check out their beach.
Costo De Oro hotel... like most, and if not all, of the hotels in Mazatlan, it is part hotel and part timeshare. It is a Mexican property, through and through, and despite it's somewhat worn appearance, it was perfectly suitable... especially since we got such a bargain. We had a one bedroom suite with two beds (rock hard and the pillows were even worse!), a small, but working kitchen, and a living room with a large balcony that overlooked the ocean (we were ocean front). There was daily maid service, but no real touches like turn down service, etc... but at least the place was cleaned and fresh towels were provided.
Because it was part timeshare/part hotel, the pool area was FILLED with families and kids!!!! So getting a cabana... and even a chaise, required getting up early. Unlike many of the truly lovely resorts/hotels we have stayed at in Mexico, this one was noisy and crowded... but again.. $95.00 for the week... I wasn't about to complain. In wandering around and checking out the other properties in Mazatlan, I found this to be pretty much the same at every location... with the exception of one or two very discreet timeshares.
The town of Mazatlan is big, big, big... with the WalMarts and Senior Frogs all over the place (yuck!). However, there is a wonderful old section that branches off of Plazuela Machado, which is undergoing renovations, and there were some really lovely buildings to check out. The plaza, itself, is surrounded by gorgeous old buildings that all have indoor/outdoor restaurants. So dinner at night down there was quite enjoyable.
The food in Mazatlan was exceptionally good... best meal was at Cilantros at the Pueblo Bonito, Mazatlan. Outstanding ambience, and really, really great food - I ate mostly fish/shrimp the entire time and really didn't have a bad meal.
Cabs are expensive in Mazatlan... about $10.00 to go just around town... so my daughter and I opted to take the8 peso bus around which was very convenient and easy to use. Most of the items to purchase seemed to be more expensive that I'm used to elsewhere ie: my dishes were about twice as expensive in Mazatlan than they are in Zihuatanejo... but still a heck of a lot cheaper than here (when I can find them)
Because it was insanely hot, we opted not to go out into the country (the idea of 3 hours on a rough road at 97 degrees didn't really sit well with us). So we swam the entire time. The water was so warm it was not refreshing... over 90 degrees for 5 days... finally cooled off to about 85 the last two days because of a storm that passed through. The water was quite calm and no jelly fish (thank goodness!)
All in all, we had a good time, but I don't think I'll rush back to Mazatlan unless I find another $95.00 per week bargain!
CMDAVILACLI, was a great deal for $95. Only thing, I hate those timeshare solicitors and avoid them at all costs.Thanks for all of the tips and observations on Mazatlan. Sounds like the type of place I will try and avoid.
Everyone has been curious as to where I got the $95.00 rate for the week to Mazatlan. I picked up this deal through SkyAuction under one of the RCI deals. This was the first time I used SkyAuction, and after watching this site for close to a year, I decided to give it a try. The tricky thing about SkyAuction is that most of the hotel deals have these bizzare stipulations and added charges, so one has to really look closely at the numbers to make sure that by the time the added charges are assessed that the "deal" is really still a deal. In the case of my Mazatlan buy, this particular one didn't have any added charges so it was a clean offer. Keep in mind, that the offer was for one week at any RCI property, so I did have to check to see whatproperties wereavailable during the time frame of the deal. The rather cool thing about the RCI deal is that the auction website allows you to look, in advance, at the RCI offerings to see if there is anything interesting that is avialable during the time you want to go. Without wanting to offend anyone, I do have to say that most of the RCI properties that were available were not the most elegant properties, and definitely not in the same class at all as mosts of the resorts/hotels offered by LL. But, taking my 22 year old daughter for a week at the beach didn't seem to warrant the higher costs of a luxury property (heck, she'd stay in a hostel for all she cares... so this was a good compromise!)
CMDAVILACLI...smart move on your part and who cancomplain about a week on the beach in Mazatlan for $95?
We actually bid onthe dining certificates offered on SkyAuction from time to time (only when we actually know the restaurants being offered).When there is limited bidding activing, you can sometimes pick up a $50 certificate for $1 or $2 plus their $20 fee. We're happy to dine for less than 50% atrestaurants we know and enjoy.
I also stayed at RCI properties and I have to agree with you that they are not nearly the same caliber as the Luxury Link properties. A friend of mine is an RCI timeshare owner. For a small fee, non-owners are allowed to purchase weeks at RCI properties. We stayed in two bedroom units on Lanzarote and Tenerife in the Canary Islands for a ridiculously low price. I think that they cost around $200 or $250 per week, which is ridiculously cheap. Both of the properties looked like inexpensive hotels, but as CMD mentioned, you don't need to stay at The Ritz when you're traveling with kids. They units were very big and included full kitchens. One came with a washing machine and dryer. I highly recommend RCI if you're traveling with your kids, especially if you know someone who owns a timeshare through RCI and you can get a week through their membership. The only problem that I encountered was that one day the property would be available and the next day it wouldn't. You have to reserve and buy what you want as soon as you see it because it can disappear quickly.
CMDAVILACI, after reading your detailed posting regarding SkyAuction, I visited their site. I had been there months and months ago but didn't see anything of interest. One thing I did spot was the same hotel I just purchased a package from here at LL. When I added up the per day cost, plus their fee, I actually did better here on LL, when I compared everything included. I'm sold on doing business with my friends here at LL!
SkyAuctions also has a "luxury" category. Again, after reviewing the properties, LL just has as good deals PLUS LL seems to spell out what is included, other services included versus SkyAuctions has "incidental costs". I also get confused as to what type of room, location, etc that you would be entitlted to. The whole deal with any auction is to know what you are bidding for and you will be happy!