Located on Mexico’s Gold Coast, Mazatlán has become a resort force to be reckoned with in recent years. With a colorful 16th-century colonial history that is evident in the picturesque Old Town, Mazatlán is also a haven for sun-seekers who want to laze around on its gorgeous sandy beaches and surfers who come for the waves at Playa Olas Altas. These hotels are ideal places to stay, whatever your reason for visiting.
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Tucked into the historic old town and three blocks from the beach, Raices de Mar benefits from pole position in Mazatlán. A restructured turn-of-the-century mansion with 15 rooms, the focal point is the eclectic art-filled interior courtyard; sip a mezcal next to the pond before working up an appetite by walking along the malecón (boardwalk) before dining at seafood restaurant Topolo.
This upscale all-inclusive retreat ticks all the luxury boxes to include a private beach, spa and tennis courts plus it doesn’t skimp on space; the smallest villa has three bedrooms and an ocean-facing hot tub. Weary bodies will appreciate a deep tissue massage at the spa while foodies will love the Mexican fare at Cilantro’s restaurant. If you’re staying at Pueblo Bonito Emerald Estates, you can also take advantage of facilities at its sister resort.
Slap bang on Gaviotas Beach, this resort scores top marks when it comes to location. There are various room categories and all offer ample space and verandas for a reasonable price. The interiors have a homely feel, with wall hangings and soft lighting. But you won’t want to be staying indoors too long with an Instagrammable infinity pool and a swim-up bar to play with. There are also two restaurants to dip into and lots of other dining possibilities nearby.
The 80-room Olas Altas is another entry in Mazatlán’s resort scene catering to families. It’s right next to the beachside Malecón Boardwalk – the longest in Mexico – whilst the well-equipped rooms range from standard-sized to master suites (go for sea view accommodation if you can). There’s even a ‘high-tech suite’ with a built-in office space if you need to get some work done. Restaurant Bellamar, adjacent to the boardwalk, dishes out tasty, traditional Mexican eats. However, the rooftop spa is the crowning jewel of this hotel with treatment rooms, jacuzzis, a steam room, a sauna and a private sun deck to help get you in the vacation swing of things.
Located in the Zona Dorada overlooking the beach, Emporio Hotel makes for a bright and breezy stay. Rooms are colorful, drawing on lime and strawberry hues, and all have balconies and an ocean view. Rise and shine to grab a submerged sun lounger in the pool. Feeling thirsty? Make the most of the in-hot tub drinks service and whet your appetite for reef shrimp at Condimento restaurant.
Bag access to a private beach club at this prime spot. El Cid’s sunny Marina Beach Hotel is located at the northern tip of Mazatlán’s Playa Sábalo, in the Zona Dorada and there’s a lovely stretch of sand reserved just for hotel guests. Sit back and relax while beverages and snacks come to you. Another plus of booking into an El Cid property is that you can take advantage of amenities at the hotel chain’s other properties. At the Marina Beach Hotel, the facilities include a pair of marina-side swimming pools, a mini-golf course and frequent shuttle services to El Cid Golf & Country Club. Rooms are spacious and airy with yellow and blue hues, tiled floors and private balconies.
Torrenza Boutique, just off Cerritos Beach, is a Santa Fe-style hotel offering wonderful ocean views – if you pick the right room. In total there are 30 suites spread over five three-story towers, surrounded by fountains and gardens. Junior and master suites come with kitchens for whipping up some grub. The outdoor infinity pool is adjacent to the beach, with sweeping views of the Isla de Pájaros and the Pacific. After having your fill of splashing around, head out to explore the fresh seafood options and nightlife in the nearby Zona Dorada.
The Varali Grand Hotel is a fresh and modern hotel, with shades of blue running throughout. There are 148 rooms and all have verandas looking out over the Pacific Ocean or Laguna del Camarón. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow for plenty of natural light. Other perks of this place include a heated pool, a couple of bars and a restaurant serving Mexican cuisine and fresh seafood. If you’re looking for a comfortable, clean, well-managed basecamp for exploring lively Mazatlán and the surrounding area, this hotel hits the spot.
If you’re traveling as a family or you’re someone who likes to keep active, The Inn at Mazatlán has a wealth of amenities to keep you busy. This upscale property has direct beach access where you can do everything from surfing to diving. On land, there are tennis and volleyball courts and for tinier tots, there’s a kids’ club. Everything here is focused around the magnificent sea views, from the swimming pools to the award-winning restaurant. On the accommodation side of things, there are 215 spacious and well-appointed suites and studios, all with outdoor spaces.
With so many hotels aiming for big resort status, Casa Lulú is a boutique destination in Mazatlán that stands out from the crowd. The ocean-facing property has an ultra-hip vibe, with a curated mix of French, Mexican and Oriental furniture peppered around the place. There are just nine rooms and each has a Mexican-inspired name, from Tequila to Desert. With a lovely pool near the beach, plus big white hammocks for an afternoon snooze, Casa Lulú is perfect for those who want to avoid the bustle of bigger hotels.
This spotless, eight-room boutique hotel in a refurbished historic building is the perfect base for visitors who prefer a more tranquil, intimate environment than most resorts in town. The decor throughout is modern, minimalist and elegant in an understated way. It’s a five-minute walk from the historic center and one block away from the beach. Its pool on the third floor faces the ocean and offers a panoramic view of the city. There is a restaurant on-site that serves gourmet meals throughout the day and a spa with moderately priced treatments.
Located in the historic center, this colonial-style hotel is within walking distance of the many bars and restaurants at iconic Plazuela Machado, as well as the beach. Each of the 20 spacious suites is named after a famous writer and has its own unique style. This boutique hotel’s most charming feature is the fountain in its central courtyard, providing a great place to read a book from its small library. While it’s not in the quietest part of town, it’s perfect for those wanting to experience a slice of Mexico away from the main tourist areas like the Golden Zone.
This 71-room beach resort is a world apart from the resorts at the touristy Golden Zone. It’s located within a residential compound that features a golf course, tennis courts and a fitness center. Also, besides golf, its main draw is the miles and miles of empty beach – free of vendors and anyone external to the compound. While the distance makes it hard to pop downtown for a stroll, its large pool and onsite activities, like horseback riding and yoga, can keep guests occupied for hours. As a bonus, there’s a turtle hatchling sanctuary nearby.
Tropical luxury is the best way to describe the Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay’s decor and impeccably well-maintained facilities. Guests can opt for all-inclusive plans to take full advantage of everything this large resort has to offer, at prices that are much cheaper than better-known destinations like Cancún and the Riviera Maya. The resort has two large swimming pools and sits in front of an attractive crescent-shaped beach. It has 345 suites of varying sizes and there are also villas available, which are perfect for larger groups or families.
Guests who really want to feel like they’re in Mexico and loathe nondescript furnishings should choose this Mexican hacienda hotel for their next vacation. You’ll see bright colors everywhere, from bedspreads and table runners to walls and patio umbrellas. The hotel operates as a B&B, offering cooked-to-order breakfast each morning whilst also accepting four-legged members of the family. Guests can relax by the pool in the courtyard or the cozy TV room that doubles as a library. Alternatively, the beach and downtown are only a short stroll away.
For more options, discover our guide on the best hotels to book in Durango, Mexico, and book now on Culture Trip.
Sorrel Moseley-Williams contributed additional reporting to this article.
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