In 2002, the old Freeman was reborn as the historic district experienced a renanissance. The round windows allow it to claim a sort of art-deco image, and the rooftop pool bar is an icon of the lifestyle of Olas Altas cove...which WAS Mazatlan back when Lee Marvin, John Wayne, and Jane Fonda romped there.
The painstaking resoration gave the new version the look and feel of modern hotel convenience with a touch of the old days: the old design and colors have been retained: the cheerful blue/white/yellow tile, the lobby dome, even the pattern of the carpet. Glass cases in the lobby display artifacts from the old days: a bronze DC3 clock, blue logo plates, invitations for Carnival and rooftop concerts...subtle accents from a period art that recalls the Cunard Line, PanAmerican Clipper, and Ford Trimotors.
What stands now is solid comfort and service: efficient, clean living just steps away from the museums, clubs, opera house, and narrow old streets of the Historic Downtown. And, of course, the view: a commanding, 360 view of the territory, the downtown, and the wide sweep of ocean. Porches on the West side of the building hang dramatically over the beach, and the continual play of backlit water against rock.
Rates run from around $75 USD for a small but comfy singles with king bed, cable TV, coffee maker, strongbox, air-conditioner, private balcony and enough drawers and closet space for a change, to $130 for a suite with kitchenette, sitting room, and seaview deck. It's not the typical Mexican resort hotel and caters more to Mexican business and tourism than foreigners (though English is spoken). The beach is not just out the door, it's across the a real boardwalk where real residents congregate on the seawall to fish, party, and neck. The beach is there, but secondary to the Mexican city that edges up to it. This isn't exotic third world adventure, but neither is it exactly the Holiday Inn.
Unique Quality: There is a "business center" offering free computer/internet use, and room rates include a free buffet breakfast in the lobby caf? where tables overlook the street and sur (and the bacon&eggs and beans&chiles are served from spherical stainless chafing dishes--more of that Titanic-class decor). But the real payoff is up on the 9th floor, where a spacious bar and rooftop pool with lounging deck offer a killer wraparound view. The pool is small, but just leaning up on the edge of it gives you the picture of the downtown layout, the surrounding hills and lighthouse, and a big bright chunk of horizon. Looking down at flying pelicans gives a feeling that is hard to describe, but all roof visitors mention it. During the summer electrical storms the roof pool is one of the world's most exciting places to have a drink.
Directions: Across from the Olas Altas Boardwalk
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Address: Olas Altas 79 Sur, Mazatlan, Pacific Coast, 82000, Mexico