As I wander around Mexico on a backpacker’s budget for the next few months, I will be reviewing economical hotels and hostels I discover along the way. My first review featured Hotel Lerma, a locally owned hotel in the old town section of Mazatlan, Mexico, which offered the most basic of accommodations for $12.50 USD per night. Realizing that not everyone wants to stay in accommodations quite that basic, I went in search of a more upscale property that was still affordable and discovered the Hotel La Siesta.
Hoel La Siesta, on the Malecon in Mazatlan, Mexico
I found the hotel by chance, the result of a conversation I struck up with a lovely Canadian couple who was strolling along the Malecon. The woman told me her grandfather began staying at the Hotel La Siesta in the 1940′s and her family made annual visits through two subsequent generations, until she and her husband finally bought a condo in Mazatlan.
The manager kindly arranged for a brief tour of the property on a moment’s notice. The hotel is a giant rectangle,built around a central open air courtyard that serves as the lobby. Though initially this lobby seemed dark and oppressive, once my eyes adjusted to the dim lighting I realized that it was designed to resemble a jungle, with giant trees soaring skyward and hanging vines straining toward the floor. Read More »
I’ve always had the wanderlust. I used to think there was something wrong with me because I couldn’t stay in any one place for very long, until I realized my urge to travel was just trying to point me to my destiny. I finally stopped fighting it, quit my “regular” job, slapped on a backpack, and headed out into the wide world, determined to make myself into a travel writer and photographer. There was only one problem. It would take some time before I would begin to earn money as a writer, so traveling on a budget became a necessity. That’s how I came to be a budget travel guru, and as I backpack around Mexico, Central and South America for the next four months, I will be sharing some of the budget (lowest priced) and economical (modest priced) accommodations I discover along the way.
Hotel Lerma, Mazatlan, Mexico
My first budget discovery was the Hotel Lerma in Mazatlan. Originally constructed as an elementary school in Mazatlan’s Old Town, in 1952 the Lerma family purchased the building and converted it to a hotel. Built in a large rectangle around an open-air courtyard, the old school is ideal for use as a hotel. By day the large wooden gates at the main entrance are swung wide for cars to Read More »
Kids in a hotel pool
Pasadena, California is a family-friendly city with plenty to see and do for adults and kids alike, and the city’s proximity to Los Angeles and Anaheim make it a great home base for exploring the region. If you’re planning on staying over in Pasadena with the kids, you’ll probably want a family-friendly hotel – one that’s close to area attractions and which has amenities like free breakfast and swimming pools. After all, there’s nothing like coming back to the hotel after a long day at museums and parks and hearing “we’re bored!” from the kids. The following hotels are good places to start – they all have something to keep both the kids and the adults happy.
For a more high end family-friendly hotel, check out the Westin Pasadena. It’s very close to local attractions such as Old Town as well as a number of museums and good restaurants. The kids will love the rooftop outdoor heated pool! There’s even a Kids Club, which offers programs for children so that the adults can have some time to themselves. Cribs are offered for families with very small children and large suites are available so you and the family can really spread out. Rates start at around $250 per night.
For a slightly more budget-friendly family hotel in Pasadena, consider the Sheraton Pasadena.
Old Town Pasadena
There’s an outdoor heated pool, perfect for hot southern California summers, and the hotel is within walking distance of Old Pasadena. Or, hop on the free shuttle – it takes you anywhere you want to go within a three mile radius. Your family will enjoy being able to dine right on the hotel property at Restaurant Soleil, too – how’s that for easy dinner plans? If you plan it right, you can book this hotel for around $180 per night.
On a really tight budget? (And who isn’t these days!) The Best Western Pasadena is a great family hotel option. It provides most everything you would look for in a family-friendly hotel without the big price tag. There’s an outdoor pool, complimentary breakfast (yay!) and the hotel is close by to area attractions. No bells or whistles here – just a clean, comfortable family hotel. Rates here start at about $100 per night.
Hopefully these family hotels will help you enjoy your next Pasadena vacation!
Photo credits: jakesmome’s and Giodude