I waited on the boulevard in Mazatlan while LJ ran into a hotel. It sat three stories high across from the beach, with a terrace on each level. Its exterior was clay, crumbling in places, and covered in fading red paint. Unlike your typical American hotel with locking double doors and CCTV, its lobby had no front walls, only pillars supporting the structure above. To the right of the lobby was the low and narrow entrance to a concrete parkade. Playa Victoria Hotel.
When LJ returned, he warned me not to freak out. Of course, this had me freaked out. It was a good strategy, since the hotel wasn’t as bad as I now expected. It wasn’t pet-friendly, but the receptionist had agreed to look the other way. It was no A-class resort, but it was the closest we’d get to the beach with a dog.
Our room had two beds, separated by a partition wall. One overlooked the parkade entrance (with partial ocean views), while the other peered into the laundry room. The bathroom was small, but it had hot, running water and adorable tiles. In the larger “bedroom” there was a bar table with two stools, and a small, decades-old television hanging from the ceiling. When we turned it on, a brutal horror film was playing; an old man pleaded in Spanish before being stabbed in the eye with a needle, then the chair was kicked out from under a woman with a noose around her neck. Alas, I digress.
Our room was weird, but somehow it felt safe. Maybe it was the friendly staff, who spoke no English, or the half-dozen children playing joyously in the hallway. The gem of this hotel, however, was the rooftop patio. It featured two table sets, some potted plants, and an absolutely gorgeous ocean view. Plus, a man had slyly informed LJ that we could do anything up there.
After checking into our room, we brought the Jeep into the parkade. It was snug, to say the least, with a total of three parking spots. However, by the next morning, there were seven vehicles parked there. Two people had to move their cars for us to leave, but they were happy enough to do it.
The experience was certainly strange, but not bad necessarily. It allowed us a place to lay our heads after a great evening in Mazatlan, and it cost a total of 400 pesos.