Posts Tagged ‘Mexico’

Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort and Spa, Mazatlan, Mexico

Friday February 8, 2013 at 5:05 AM | 2 Comments

"Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay flamingos"

Look for the flamingos at Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay, Mazatlan, Mexico

Overlooking Olas Altas Bay, in the foothills of the Sierra Madres mountains, Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort and Spa is situated on 20-acres in Mazatlan, Mexico.  The four-star, all-suite resort opened its doors in 1987,  offering views of  the Pacific Ocean and its own beach. Located in Nuevo Mazatlán, the resort is designed as a hacienda of villas that meander through a grove of 150-year-old mangrove trees.

Each of the 337 suites comes with a private balcony or terrace and beach or ocean views. While I didn’t use the kitchenette, families might make use of this option. If this is a multi-generation vacation, grandma and grandpa or anyone with walking issues will appreciate the golf cart shuttle service.  This was my first international trip after my hip replacement, so I was happy to access the shuttle to the restaurant for breakfast each morning.



Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort accommodations

  • "Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay"

    Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay is a hacienda of villas in Nuevo Mazatlán, Mexico.

    All inclusive meal plan option

  • 24-hour in-suite services* *Additional charges apply
  • secluded Pacific Ocean beach access
  • restaurants and swim-up bar
  • Access to two outdoor swimming pools and hot tub
  • Complimentary shuttle service to and from Pueblo Bonito Mazatlán (cheaper than a taxi!)
  • Daily on site activities including Spanish classes, aqua-aerobics, nature preserve tours, bingo, bartending and cooking classes
  • Fitness Center: Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa (open from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.), Pueblo Bonito Mazatlán (open from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.)


"Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Suite"

Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay ocean view suite

Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Junior Suite

My room, #1736, in the Claussen Building, was a junior suite that could accommodate 2-4 people with two queen beds. The rate during my January stay was $282 per night. Check the website for package deals, including airfare.

I flew direct from Oakland International Airport in Northern California via Cal Jet Air to Mazatlán.

Armonia Spa at Emerald Bay

After a day of sighting seeing or if the weather is a bit cold, book a visit to Armonia Spa at Emerald Bay. At 16,500 square feet, Armonia is the largest spa in Mazatlán . Whether you prefer to soak a natural (swim suits are optional in the same sex locker room spa facilities) or with your bathing suit, save time for the hot tub before or after your spa treatment. There is a multi-step circuit to enjoy with steam rooms, Jacuzzi, sauna, cold water plunges, showers and a relaxation lounge.

Check in: 4:00 p.m.

Check out: 10:00 a.m.

PB Emerald Bay patio dining

Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay ocean view dining

Insider tip

If you need internet access during your stay, request a room close to the main building.  While all rooms are wifi accessible, my internet access was spotty during the trip.  There was good wifi in the deli on the first floor of my villa. Of course, most visitors are traveling to Mazatlán for the beaches and activities; a strong wifi signal is typically not high on the amenity wish list.


For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and follow Pueblo Bonito on Twitter.

If You Go:

Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa 1-800-990-8250

201 Av. Ernesto Coppel Campana

Mazatlán, Sinaloa 82110, Mexico

Article written by and photos courtesy of  Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Mazatlán Hotel Association.

Related Post:

Things to See and Do in Mazatlan, Mexico

Things to See and Do in Mazatlan, Mexico

Friday January 25, 2013 at 5:05 AM | 5 Comments

"Spanish Dancer"

A Mexican dancer performs at El Meson de Los Laureanos in El Quelite, Mexico.

I’ll bet you didn’t know that John Wayne used to keep a boat at the Playa Olas Atlas in Old Mazatlan and Ernest Hemingway used to travel there. Are you planning to visit Mazatlan? Below is a list of “Insider Tips” for things to see and do in “the Pearl of the Pacific.”

When I have a visitor from out of town the first place they want to see are the beaches, but I also take them to Plaza Machado – for a more local, authentic experience where he or she can see the famous Angela Peralta Theater or pick up local handicrafts.

Romance in Mazatlan, Mexico

When I want to escape the tourists, my favorite place to visit is Mexico’s Stone Island for some serious R&R.

If this is a romantic trip, I recommend Hotel Jonathon’s rooftop for kissing with a view. For more information on Mazatlan’s newest boutique hotel, visit

The best place to go snorkeling is Deer Island — check with El Cid Resorts for excursions to this island.

Museums are wonderful, but if you are traveling with kids, you’ll want to visit the Mazatlan Aquarium where you can see more than 200 species of fish spread across more than 50 tanks.


Mexican food in Mazatlan

El Meson de los Laureanos

Meat platter El Meson de los Laureanos

If you are looking for typical seafood cuisine, I recommend El Shrimp Bucket.  The restaurant, started by the creators of Senor Frog’s, is located on Mazatlan’s scenic Malecon at the Olas Altas Beach. Another fun place to dine with friends is La Puntilla.

The best place to go for coffee & a breakfast treat is Molika Bakery in old Mazatlan. Run by a French-trained Mazatleco, the bakery offers a variety of pastries and treats.

Looking for cheap food in Mazatlan? Go to Los Arcos in the Zona Dorada (Mazatlan’s Golden Zone) for seafood and Mexican food. Get the stuffed shrimp and wash it down with sangria or head to La Costa Marinera over looking the water. Delicious!


The Centro Historico is the spot for late night dining Pedro y Lola, which has been featured in a number of international publications, offers a variety of Mexican dishes — and is open until 1am. Order the banana cream pie, it is the best I have tasted!



Mazatlan is home to the world’s largest shrimp fleet

For an expensive, yet quality meal, go to Topolo Restaurant and Wine Bar, a five-star restaurant in Mazatlan’s Centro Historico.  Be sure to make a reservation!

Seeing a lot of shrimp? Mazatlan is home to the world’s largest shrimp fleet and offers shrimp dishes in most, if not all, restaurants. On my trip I ate baked shrimp, stuffed shrimp, sauteed shrimp, fried shrimp and ceviche shrimp.

When you come to Mazatlan, get your picture taken with the destination’s famous cliff-divers past the Malecon and in front of Cathedral in Centro Historico.

The best vantage points are taken by walking to the top of Lookout Hill, which offers a panoramic view of the city.

Olas Altas offers great views, and the Malecon is the best place to watch or experience Mazatlan’s cultural events, from Carnival to the Festival of Lights.

"Cliff Diver"

Mazatlan, Mexico’s famous cliff-divers

In Mazatlan, outdoor enthusiasts will be in heaven!  Mazatlan is a great destination for adventure, from surfing and snorkeling to some of the best ziplining in Mexico.  There are several great hikes around town.  The destination also recently debuted whale-watching excursions — great for kids!

Looking for a little exercise? Walk along the 7-mile Malecon for an ocean-side view and a stroll through Mazatlan’s cultural district.

If you are a museum lover, Mazatlan’s best museum is the Archaeological Museum nearby the Plaza Machado which features pre-Hispanic Sinaloa exhibits.

Looking for night life in Mazatlan? Go dancing at Fiesta Land, home to many bars and nightclubs in Zona Dorada, and find live Latin music at Mundo Banana’s at the intersection of Ave. Camaron Sabalo and Ave Rodolfo T. Loaiza.
Mazatlan My City ( will keep you posted on the latest happenings.

"Carnaval mask"

Mazatlan has the third largest Carnaval celebration in the world

You can tell a lot about Mazatlan from visiting and taking part in celebrations around Carnaval!  The destination has the third-largest Carnaval in the world, following only Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans.  A family-friendly celebration, Carnaval offers a wonderful showcase of Mazatlan’s rich cultural offering — don’t miss the dancing, music, parades and fireworks during the festivities in February.

In the spring you should attend Mazatlan’s Temporada Primavera, the springtime cultural festival.  Last year’s spring season offered over 70 cultural activities, including ballet, contemporary dance and operatic performances, as well as musical, theatrical and film events.  The festivities include activities for children, from musical performances to arts and crafts.

In the summer you should head down to the beach!  Summer in Mazatlan is hot and sunny, and there’s no better time to enjoy a locally-brewed Pacifico while keeping cool in the Pacific.

Did you know that Mazatlan is known as a leading cultural destination in Mexico? Plan a visit to the renowned Angela Peralta Theater in the fall.  From October until Christmas each year, the calendar of events at the Angela Peralta is booked solid, and all through the year visitors can enjoy various events at this beautiful theater, which dates back to 1881.


Agave is used to make Mexican Tequila

Come to Mazatlan for world-class fishing in the winter.  Mazatlan is a great destination for fishing year-round, with some of the world’s largest marlin and sailfish, and winter is the best time for catching large numbers of fish.

Insider Tip: Check out La Vinata Tequila Distillery in the Zona Dorada where you can try and purchase locally made tequila.

Just outside of Mazatlan you can visit the charming colonial village of El Quelite.  Make sure to stop for lunch at El Meson de Los Laureanos for a taste of the local flavors.

If You Go:

Visit Go Mazatlan for more information

Article, photos and YouTube video by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown.  I was a guest of Mazatlán Hotel Association.

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Things to See and Do in Cancun, Mexico

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Things to See and Do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


Now Amber Puerto Vallarta for Families

Wednesday January 2, 2013 at 5:05 AM | 4 Comments

"Now Amber"

A welcome cocktail and views of Mexico’s Banderas Bay await at Now Amber Puerto Vallarta.

Who doesn’t love a welcome cocktail and cool towel upon arrival in Puerto Vallarta? This, along with a gorgeous view of Mexico’s Banderas Bay awaits guests of Now Amber Puerto Vallarta. The family-friendly resort, located minutes from the airport, opened April 2012.

Banderas Bay views

All 327 rooms and suites feature Mexican decor and views of Banderas Bay. From king to double beds, the rooms offer air conditioning, nightly turn down service, bathrooms with jacuzzi tubs and showers. The all-inclusive resort means mini-bars are refreshed daily with beer, bottled water and soft drinks – and yes, it is safe to drink the water at the resort.



"Now Amber Garden View Suite"

Now Amber Puerto Vallarta Preferred Club Garden View Jr. Suite 1220

Preferred Club Garden View Room

For families traveling with multi-generations, Now Amber Puerto Vallarta offers connecting rooms.  Preferred Club is for guests seeking a little more exclusivity with a private lounge and suites offering ocean front views of Banderas Bay. This level of service also includes complimentary in-suite internet access, computers and printer in Preferred Club Lounge, upgraded bath amenities, daily continental breakfast, afternoon snacks and name brand liquors in the lounge.


"Now Amber Pool"

Hang out at Now Amber’s swimming pool overlooking Banderas Bay.

Now Amber land and water

Situated on Banderas Bay, there are plenty of beach and water activities to keep all family members entertained. I watched a young lady lift off from the beach and para-sail over Banderas Bay. She looked like she was having fun, but I prefer to go horseback riding in the rain forest in nearby Las Palmas, Mexico. Don’t get excited about snorkeling off the beach at Now Amber, but do enjoy daily activities at the swimming pool, a dip in the infinity pool or relaxing in the whirlpool.


"Explorer's Club"

Now Amber Explorer’s Club will keep kids happy.

Now Amber Explorer’s Club

With beepers for parents and camp nights for kids, Now Amber’s Explorer’s Club will keep everyone happy.  When I visited, one little boy was running up and down the length of the grounds, smiling all the while.  When kids are happy in children’s programs, it creates happy parents on vacation.

The Explorer’s Club is open until 10 p.m. for those wishing to dine without children. Babysitting services are also available separate from the Explorer’s Club and there is also a CoreZone for teens with engaging electronics, a ping pong table and food!

Now Amber Resort dining

Speaking of food, there are five gourmet, reservation-free dining options on property, as well as a cafe, grill, bars and lounges.  Himitsu is an adults-only Pan-Asian restaurant. If you want to dine at the Tepanyaki tables, I was told they were available for reservation, but the brochure states “first come, first serve.”  This restaurant is open for dinner only with a Casual Elegance dress code.

Check in: 3 p.m.

Check out: 12 p.m.

Insider tip

They say variety is the spice of life.  If you want to dine at restaurants on the adults-only  Secrets Resort side, adult guests are welcome at any of the Secrets restaurants.

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and follow Now Amber on Twitter.

If You Go:

Now Amber +52 (322) 226-2900

Col. Zona Hotelera Las Glorias

Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco

Mexico 483333

Article written by and photos courtesy of  Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California.

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Secrets Resorts Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Things to See and Do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico