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Mazatlan's Best 5 Star Luxury Resorts

View of Mazatlan from the lighthouse (el Faro)

Mazatlán, with a population of 352,471 (city) and 403,888 (municipality) as of the 2005 census, is the second-largest city in the Jalisco state (after Culiacán) and Mexico's largest commercial port. It is also a popular tourist destination, its beaches lined with resort hotels. A car ferry plies its trade across the Gulf of California from Mazatlán to La Paz, Baja California Sur.

Mazatlan's Best Luxury Resort:

Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay

Terraced beachfront hillsides and meandering palm-laced pathways define the landscaped grounds of Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort located in MazatlanHotel features. Antiqued ivy-shrouded walls and tiered fountains lend historic character to this neoclassical/colonial-style resort. Mazatlan's bustling pace is distanced by the serenity of broad mountain, sea, beach and sky panoramas.

La Cordeliere restaurant serves à la carte lunches and dinners, nightly themed buffets and Sunday brunches. The Emerald Grill offers open-air seating whereas Kelly's bar exudes African hunt-club ambience and serves light fare. Deli II offers sandwiches, groceries and liquor, and houses six computer Internet stations.

A 15-person spa tub flanks the main infinity-edge pool. A second outdoor pool affords ocean views while a hillside outdoor pool adjoins an 18-person spa tub and a swim-up bar. Recreational amenities include two complimentary lighted tennis courts and non-motorized water sports. A complimentary health spa and fitness center offers beauty and massage services, a universal gym, cardiovascular machines and free weights.

The resort hosts supervised children's activities and complimentary pool aerobics, and Spanish dance and cooking lessons.

This two- and four-story resort offers 196 suites grouped within sand-hued villas. Beds feature pillow-top mattresses and featherbed mattress covers. Fully equipped kitchenettes provide cooking facilities. Accommodations display contemporary art, Mexican decorative tiles and historic-style floor tiles. Dial-up internet access and satellite television are available in all accommodations.

Expert tip. Emerald bay is an ecologically protected area where endangered sea turtles lay their eggs. Guests assist resort staff as they help hatchlings find their way back to the ocean. Motorized water sports are prohibited.

El Cid Marina Beach

El Cid Marina Beach Hotel is located on the north end of Mazatlan's hotel zone, one kilometer (0.6 mile) via complimentary shuttle from El Cid's Golf and Tennis Club.

Six restaurants and bars serve guests of the hotel, including La Marina restaurant that hosts live music on selected evenings. The hotel features two heated pools, one with a beach-entry children's section and swim-up bar, and the other with a water slide and waterfalls. A complimentary shuttle boat transports guests across the marina to the beach. The marina is home to a sports-fishing fleet and sailboats that can be rented for snorkeling, swimming and lunch excursions to an offshore island.

The resort provides 210 suites in Mediterranean-style buildings. Marina-view balconies and ground- floor terraces are furnished with chairs and cocktail tables. Fully equipped kitchenettes include two-burner cooktops, microwave ovens, toasters, coffeemakers and blenders. Built-in sofas convert to single beds. Contemporary décor features tan- marble vanities, crisp blue fabrics, and white floors, walls and ceilings. Guestroom amenities include dial-up internet access, safe-deposit boxes and satellite television.

Expert tip. Guests receive complimentary use of the pools and many amenities at two other El Cid hotels and the El Cid Golf & Country Club. A complimentary shuttle service transports guests to all locations.

El Cid Moro Beach Hotel

The El Cid el Moro Beach Hotel is a superior, first- class hotel located 12 miles from Mazatlan International Airport. Mexico's largest and most luxurious independent resort is an exclusive 720-acre paradise by the sea.

El Cid presents a selection of sports and recreation activities throughout the year. If guests want to learn as well as play, the hotel's professional instructors will gladly provide lessons in golf, tennis, sailing, fishing or kayaking.

The guest rooms are nicely decorated studio "junior" suites equipped with a kitchenette, dining area, and a living area. All the accommodations overlook the Pacifc Ocean and the Sea of Cortez. This spectacular ocean-front 25- story luxury tower, features dazzling pools with waterfalls, waterslides and a swim-up bar.

El Cid's dining and drinking establishments offer something for every mood palate. From casual poolside fare to deluxe international cuisine to festive nightlife, they provide countless opportunities to eat, drink and be merry. With eight restaurants and five bars to choose from, it is impossible to get bored.

Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan

The beachfront Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan faces Bird Island on the northern end of the Golden Zone in Mazatlan

The resort's beach stretches 228 meters along the Pacific coastline.

This hacienda-style property offers fine dining at Angelo's that prepares Italian specialties and offers an extensive wine list. Las Alas de las Palomas oceanfront restaurant serves buffet-style breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

A swim-up pool flanks a freeform outdoor pool enhanced with a rock-garden waterfall and a plunge pool. A separate courtyard houses a "quiet" outdoor pool with a children's section. An eight-person spa tub is cupped within a rock garden. Personal watercraft, kayaks, boogie boards and Hobie Cat sailboats are available for rent. Scuba-diving lessons and other water sports are available for a fee. Complimentary yoga classes are conducted in an air-conditioned studio.

The Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan offers 247 suites housed within hacienda-style buildings. Suites feature ocean-view furnished balconies and fully equipped kitchenettes. Mexican-style décor includes elaborately carved headboards, tiled floors and dark-wood furniture. Rooms contain cable television and dial-up internet access.

Expert tip. One night a week Las Alas de las Palomas serves evening poolside barbecue buffets spiced with after-dark fireworks.



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