Olas Altas No. 16, Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico
With a prime spot facing the malecon and sea, a few blocks from the heart of historic Old Mazatlan, Casa Lucila offers a very different and more intimate experience than the high-rise resorts seen in the distance.
With just eight elegant rooms in a reconstructed historic building that was abandoned after its heyday, Casa Lucila is grander than anything that existed back when Mazatlan first gained fame as a sport fishing destination in the 1950s. With much of the finishing materials imported from Italy, this small boutique hotel looks like nothing else around and is a great alternative for those who prefer strolling the heart of Old Mazatlan rather than the newer parts that look like any other beach resort in North America.
Situated right on the main street facing the Sea of Cortez, it's just a few steps across to the city's malecon, which stretches 21 kilometers to the newest hotels seen across the water. Sitting on your room's balcony or at one of the tables out on the main terrace, it's easy to let the hours go by as you watch people walking their dogs, jogging, on inline skates, or posing next to the statue of a famous local actor on a motorcycle. The terraces on each floor are also some of the best places in this part of town to see the colorful sunset each evening.
Meals are served in the Fernando Jazz Bar and restaurant, which opens at breakfast time, serving up pastries warm from the oven and a good mix of well-prepared Mexican and international morning dishes. In the evenings it takes a trip to another continent, with Capresse salad, tapas, bruschetas, pastas, and seafood with a Mediterranean twist. With its wood trim, elegant place settings, and lazy ceiling fans overhead, it's a great place for unhurried social meals. For drinks and tapas there is also seating at a long bar or out on the terrace, with a good mix of fine tequilas and other spirits available. There is plenty of room for lounging in the lobby area, where sofas and a long table for gathering are complemented by a library of books.
The third-floor infinity pool is not large enough for more than a dip, but it is has a panoramic view of the city and sea, with comfy wooden lounge chairs, fluffy towels, and delivery from the ground floor restaurant and bar. There is no beach directly in front of the hotel, where the shore is rocky, but those who want to walk on the sand can get to a beach popular with boogie boarders by walking just a block and a half. There are a dozen bars and restauarants in that area facing the water as well.
The small spa on the first floor has very reasonable prices for massages, with nine treatments available.
The grandest suite, Conchita, is named after the owner: Conchita Valades de Boccard. The other seven carry the first name of one of her sisters. They vary in size and layout, but all feature the same Italian tile, fixtures, and windows, with quality bedding, linens, and bath robes adding to the sumptuous feel. Most have a view of the water, as well as some kind of terrace area with furniture. The second floor terrace is shared, but plants separate the parts belonging to each room. The Lucy room faces the courtyard rather than the water, but can sleep three and has a whirlpool tub in the bath.
Most the expected amenities are in place, from satellite flat-screen plasma TVs to electronic safes, with Bvlgari toiletries in the spacious baths. Complimentary high-speed wireless internet access is available throughout.
Casa Lucila will never lure away the party hearty crowds from the big resorts like Pueblo Bonito or the golfers away from Estrella del Mar, but for guests who like small inns where they can go for a stroll in the evenings, Casa Lucila will make for a memorable stay in Mazatlan.
Web Address: http://casalucila.com/
Total Number of Rooms: 8
Published rates: $115 to $295
Review and photos by Timothy Scott
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