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.
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- Also Known As:
- Howard Johnson Don Pelayo Mazatlan Hotel Mazatlan
- Howard Johnson Mazatlan
- Mazatlan Howard Johnson