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“Gotta Love the HoJo” 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 #50 of 76 Hotels in Mazatlan
Grand Forks, North Dakota
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Gotta Love the HoJo”
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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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42 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
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
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.
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2004

We had a bad experience here that ruined our vacation. Theives entered our room and stole all our cash. We had just arrived and didn't have a chance to convert our money into pesos. The front desk people seemed to not be able to communicate in English very well either. Heads up travelers. avoid this Howard Johnson hotel.

Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2002

My friend and I both had reservations to stay at the Don Playo and they were lost when we got their. Also DO NOT EXCHANGE YOUR MONEY HERE!! They work on a 9 to 1 ratio. Small shacks across the golden zone have a much better ratio. The best we found was a 9.90 ratio. Also do not stay on the 10th or the 3rd floors wich are the sweets in the regular rooms. Both floors have small walk out ledges that make it easier to climb from room to room out side just look at a picture. With the 3rd floor not only does it have ledges but a building next door is right at the same level for easy acces. I recomend staying anywhere between the 10th and 3rd floor. The rest of the trip was very pleasant. The staff was very nice to us. They were all very helpful they also gave us a better rate and a better room then what we originaly had.

Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2002

Man, the Howard Johnson Don Pelayo Mazatlan is the best hotel ever. I think that anyone considering staying there should just shut up and sign. Don't be nervous, everyone knows that thieves in Mazatlan are afraid of roaches and possums. They also have great accomodations for lovers of the new "Handsy-Handsy" craze.

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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
Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #50 of 76 Hotels in Mazatlan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Howard Johnson Don Pelayo Mazatlan 2.5*
Number of rooms: 165
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Also Known As:
Howard Johnson Don Pelayo Mazatlan Hotel Mazatlan
Howard Johnson Mazatlan
Mazatlan Howard Johnson

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