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“Semana Santa in the middle of the Malecon” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Howard Johnson Don Pelayo Mazatlan

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Howard Johnson Don Pelayo Mazatlan
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Avenue del Mar 1111, Mazatlan 1088, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #43 of 75 hotels in Mazatlan
San Diego
2 reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Semana Santa in the middle of the Malecon”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2009

My husband, four month old infant and I went to Mazatlan during Semana Santa (April 6 to April 12 2009) this year so that his family could meet our new baby. We were ecstatic to go to Mazatlan but knew that since we had chosen Holy Week we weren't going to be able to afford to stay in our regular hotel of choice (Las Flores).

In searching for a hotel it was absolutely critical that we have a refrigerator so that my son's milk could be stored. When reserving at the Howard Johnson, we were told we'd get a room with a refrigerator if it was available. I, however, didn't know this little detail until we got there and (surprise!) there was no room with a refrigerator available.

In fact, not only was there no fridge, but the room itself was incredibly sub-par. The sheets were holey and tattered, the window curtain didn't extend all the way across and the bathroom was utterly disgusting. Once I insisted that we find a refrigerator, my husband called down to the desk and they did the best they could to accomodate us. However, the refrigerator they came up with was very old and didn't even close properly which made it pretty much useless to me. When night came, the Malecon came alive with the revelers for Semana Santa and we, on the third floor, literally felt like we were in the street with them. The windows were so thin that the bandas playing outside might as well have been standing on our bed!

Although our stay at the Howard Johnson started off horribly, this is where our vacation was saved. The next morning we asked to speak to the manager and he made himself immediately available to us. After explaining that we had a four month old infant and a refrigerator for milk as well as a room that had some level of quiet was critical, he came to our aid right away. After searching the database, he found a room on the other side of the hotel that would be much more suitable for us.

It turns out that the hotel is in the midst of renovation, with one side of the hotel already completed and the other side waiting for the work. We started out on the side that had not been renovated, but he immediately moved us to a renovated Junior Suite at no extra charge.

This room was worlds apart from the first one. The windows were double paned, the refrigerator was brand new, and the bathroom was not only clean but very tastefully decorated with new tile and fixtures. In fact, the whole room was very nice with plenty of room for all of our bags and our son's monster stroller as well as a sofa and a dining area by the balcony.

Every member of the hotel staff we met was incredibly friendly and courteous, and the camarista assigned to our room chatted with me each day about her own baby and what it was like to be a mother.

Overall, we were very impressed with the manager and the quick action that he took to save our vacation as well as the rest of the staff and the friendliness they displayed.

The Howard Johnson might not be the most glamorous of Mazatlan hotels, but it is very affordable and what it is lacking in luxury the staff more than makes up for. The key to an enjoyable stay is to ask for a Junior Suite. It is worth it!

Another plus - it has the most gorgeous hotel pool I have laid eyes on! It is like a small paradise in the middle of the hotel grounds. And yes, it is definitely much nicer than the pool at Las Flores in the Golden Zone. :)

The only reason why Location got a "3" rating is because for us it was not the ideal environment for our baby in the middle of Semana Santa. We were located in a part of the Malecon that seemed to be incredibly popular for cars to stop and boom their music and for bands to set up and play a few tunes. Otherwise, it overlooks the ocean and the islands, though you have to cross the Malecon to get to the sand.

Cleanliness got a "4" because our experience with the first room was awful but the second room was wonderful and we had no issues.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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41 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Thunder Bay
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2009

This hotel is great as it's away from the Golden Zone, but it's only a five minute walk to the area for nightlife. It's ocean view, and it was only a two minute walk to the beach, which nobody was on. There were also no hawkers on the beach, as they tend to go over to the resorts in the Golden Zone. The staff was efficient and the rooms were clean. We had a kitchenette which was sufficient enough to make all types of meals.
Friday night was quite noisy as the hotel is down from a club that seemed popular and people park and party in the street. That is not the hotel's fault, but don't be surprised if you are kept away by bass on a weekend night.

No problems with theft or break-ins and we were on the second floor.

The pool area was nice; again, no one used this area.

Overall, great stay!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
seattle
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2008

We had a great stay at the Howard Johnson Don Pelayo Mazatlan. The staff were fantastic, the Reception, the Bar, Bell Hops, Maid service as well as the restaurant. Nice pool and Gym, the beach views are great. The beach in front of the hotel was vendor free when we were there in November. The Baseball stadium is really close and a lot of fun. The bartenders were a lot of fun. We went to El Bambu for Breakfast and El Guamuchulito for seafood. Thanks to all the employees of the Howard Johnson for making our stay an unforgetable one.
We cant wait to vist again soon. Hasta Pronto.

  • Liked — The fantastic employees
  • Disliked — No tennis courts
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Grand Forks, North Dakota
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2006

I stayed at the Howard Johnson (most commonly referred to as the 'HoJo') for spring break 2006. It was my first Spring Break trip and as a college freshman, I was kind of nervous. I read through the reviews on TripAdvisor and got even more nervous because I read of thefts and vandalism- but in actuallity- experienced no such turmoil at the hotel.
I traveled through a popular college spring break company and only payed $800 for my trip (7 days 6 nights). The 'party pass' was an extra $150, but was well worth it. The party pass covered all cover charges for the travel company hosted parties every night. The parties were always packed, but lots of fun, my favorite was the Foam Party, and that was at a club right next to the hotel. I also went on a night time Booze Cruise, and that was my favorite 'event'. We got to see a different part of Mazatlan and got a private beach for the night along with dinner, 40's, and tequilla shots all around.
But most importantly, the HoJo. We checked in on Saturday and at first it was chaos with a bus full of people checking in at the same time. But we got our room keys fairly quickly. Our room looked out of the front of hotel and out to the ocean and was just beautiful! The staff were all very nice, my absolute favorite was Miguel (at the front deks), he always had a smile on his face and was willing to help.
The hotel was always clean and the maids were constantly working. The ice machine was broken while we were there, so that was kind of a downer but not a big deal. There is a hot tub but it was always full of people and the water was cloudy so my friends and I avoided it. The pool is great, there's a waterslide (Beware, it goes really fast. A lot of my friends got scraped up and bruised from the quick, sharp turns), but the staff brought out big speakers for us everyday and someone always had an IPOD to hook up to them. The fitness area/ gym was never in use that I saw. The equipment was old and there were only a few machines- but who really goes on Spring Break to work out??
Every night my friends and I would head down to the bar to pre-game for that nights party. The bartenders were all really nice and even let us convert the ping pong tables into beer pong tables. The bartenders obviously appreciate tips and they 'remember you' if you tip them well, so it's nice to have them pay special attention to you.
The actual hotel room was pretty nice, despite no air conditioning. We had two beds, a tv, a bathroom with shower (decent pressure), and a balcony. The beds were hard (but usually are in Mexico), and almost all of the TV channels were in Spanish (but again, you are in Mexico). There is bottled water in the room, but they charge you if you drink it. They didn't always replace towels or give you enough for how many people were in your room.
The HoJo has a safety deposit box serviced that my friends and I utilized to keep our cell phones, extra cash, and other valuables safe. I think the deposit is $20 cash, but they refund it to you at the end of your stay.
I ate in the resteraunt once or twice, and it was good service and good food. There's also a gift shop and convenience store that are nice to have on hand.
The hotel is across the street from the beach, and the beach that is directly across isn't really intended for lounging and swimming. However, ideal beaches are only a 2-3 minute walk away. Considering how little I paid, I was able to handle walking to the beach. One of the clubs was right next to the hotel, another was a 2-3 minute walk, and the others were definitely cab rides. Make sure to tell the cab driver where you're going ahead of time, and settle a price BEFORE you go. Also, the best 'cabs' are the modified golf carts with speakers. Usually the younger drivers have the best speakers and drive the fastest, so they were my favorites. They also play good music (Sean Paul, Black Eyed Peas, etc).
Overall- I had a FABULOUS time at the HoJo. It's a pretty cheap Spring Break trip.The staff was great, the hotel was nice, and definitely a college atmosphere.

  • Liked — The friendly staff, the hotel bar, and the great pool area
  • Disliked — You couldn't use a US purchased phone card in the hotel, you had to find a pay phone outside
  • Tips/Secrets — Bring a minimal amount of valuables, wear sunscreen, and DO NOT forget a beach towel!
  • Stayed March 2006, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bridgeton
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2006

I wasn't expecting much when we went to this hotel, knowing that it is one of our cheaper options for the area, but the view was great, we were on road away from the beach and could see the ocean from our balcony. I went with 2 friends and we just took the VW golf-cart cars to the discotec or shopping. With any hotel I suggest that you tip the help and are friendly with the staff. Everything was good and they had a nice little shop down below with sunscreen film and shot glasses. Just in case anyone forgot these items. This was a good trip and I would recommend the hotel to anyone wanting a comfortable stay at a cheap price!

Stayed October 2002
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, NC
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2006

This is a the low end of the 'tourist' class hotel range. Our first room was decorated in skid-row motif. It was old and worn out. Had little ants in the bathroom. Smelled as only I could imagine an old crack house. But, after some debate and two room changes, we got a much improved, newer room, but not one I would pay to stay in again. There is something wrong with the sewer ventilation system, as it always reeked.
The pool is not bad, but it is on the back side of the hotel, and is in the shade most of the day. Makes for an icy-cold swim, but I like that.
The exercise room is a joke. Most of the equipment is broken, and there is old room junk - including a badly soiled mattress - in the corner of the room.
The bar is old mexico and the locals are very nice. There is always happy hour, probably to make the room more palatable.
The staff is very nice, especially the doormen.
The location is great if you want to have easy access to old town and the golden zone, too. We really liked the old-mexico feel of old town, and plan on staying down there at the La Siesta or the Freeman when we return.
The price is great for this property, but for a few bucks more you can do much better.

  • Stayed December 2005
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2005

This hotel is a nice hotel. Sure I wouldn't recommend it if you planned on spending a lot of time in your hotel but for sleeping and getting ready and your on a budget it works. I went to the pool a couple of times but it doesn't smell great beacause of the swamp behind it. Rather go to the other hotels anyway. It isn't directly on the ocean, it is right across the street, great view and a close walk to all the other hotels. We never had a problem in the hotel, they don't speak the best english but enough that we needed. Overall our time in Mazatlan was great and by staying here it was cheap too.

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Howard Johnson Don Pelayo Mazatlan

Address: Avenue del Mar 1111, Mazatlan 1088, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Sinaloa > Mazatlan
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #43 of 75 hotels in Mazatlan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Howard Johnson Don Pelayo Mazatlan 2.5*
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Also Known As:
Howard Johnson Don Pelayo Mazatlan Hotel Mazatlan
Howard Johnson Mazatlan
Mazatlan Howard Johnson

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