A century of experiences, love affairs, lawsuits, and even murder, keeps the hotel in its corners, corridors and walls, this being, for historians, the spearhead of beach tourism in Mazatlán.
MAZATLAN. – Have you ever wondered, what do the corners and walls of the Hotel Belmar hide? 100 years of history, because on January 1, 1922, it opened its doors for tourism, thus making it the only hotel on the beach in all of Mexico, a century of experiences that support it, which are easy to say but few have. managed to survive.
The historian Arturo Santamaría indicated that the beginning of this hotel is, for him, the beginning of the tourist industry, not only of Mazatlán, but of the country, because before Veracruz and Acapulco, it was the Hotel Belmar that arrived to innovate attract tourism that little had been experienced.
“I place the birth of this activity with the inauguration of the Hotel Belmar, on January 1, 1922, that is, it will be 100 years of the Belmar and with it, in my opinion, the beginning of tourism and particularly the tourism of beach because tourism of a historical and cultural nature, in Mexico preceded beach tourism ”, he declared.
The story begins with Lewis Bradbury, an American who bet on him and decided to invest in this hotel, and although tourism was already being noticed in Mazatlán, there were none facing the sea, nor with the rooms that, at the time, were modern, luxury and that everyone would like to fight to sleep there.
Although it was built for tourism that was already arriving by boats, Bradbury was a mining entrepreneur, hence it started as a hotel for the unloading of metals such as gold and silver, from mines in Rosario and Concordia, that’s why the ramp which still stands firm at its main entrance to the rooms, in addition to the huge cellars at the back.
In 1950, a family originally from Durango and led by Roberto Martínez Tapia, bought the hotel, from there they expanded the area to the common areas and increased the rooms, including an esplanade, a pool, mosaic lounge chairs, more bars and restaurants. , continued to be the “top of tops” of the hotels in the country.
Víctor Martínez, current owner of the hotel, said that the first part of the hotel had between 70 and 80 rooms, of which around 45 are still active, many converted into apartments, in addition to 100 rooms in the second area, in its in full swing, if they had 200 rooms available.
The hotel of the stars
And the thing is that the Belmar, being the first hotel on the beach, was obviously going to be so sought after and it was going to host, in addition to the political class of the moment, international stars that not even in your most remote dreams you could imagine.
Victor mentioned that the parade of Hollywood stars was impressive, according to the hotel’s historical archives, giving the hotel even more fame and prestige, even one of the rooms where John Wayne stayed was bought by an American, a 100 percent fan of the actor and cowgirl movies.
“Here they came to host the most famous characters, Walt Disney, John Wayne, Lázaro Cárdenas,” he said.
These same historical archives also relate the presence of the actors Robert Mitchum, Robert Taylor, Tyrone Power and Rita Hayward; in addition to the singer, Bing Crosby. Among the names of Mexican artists is José Alfredo Jiménez.
Something that undoubtedly surrounds a hotel with 100 years of history is the presence of energy and the paranormal. Between its corridors, you can even smell the years it brings, the doors of so many years that creak, unused rooms that among the dust you can see old beds and furniture that have not been touched in years, but also, deaths that have marked.
One of the most remembered and that marked part of the history not only of the port but of Sinaloa, was the assassination of the former governor and colonel, Rodolfo T. Loaiza. The story that is told is that, in 1944, in the middle of the carnival party, while the governor lived with the queens of this party, a hitman, better known as “El Gitano”, entered as if nothing and killed him, in the full esplanade of the hotel.
The 1922 newspaper “El Demócrata” related the suicide of Mrs. Eathyl Vera Meier, who was the wife of General Abelardo L. Rodríguez, former president of Mexico. Coincidence?
It is also said that, among the same locals, the spirits of two girls and tourists who drowned appear, and just a year ago, the owner, Jesús Héctor Martínez Rocha, died, in a room, of cardiac arrest, according to the media. Communication.
“I live here and I have not touched anything, many say there are, they have even done reports, it is more because of the old and the remodeling that is done, he lends himself and they come to take photos, I have walked at night and a cat comes out jumping, but nothing has come of it, “said Victor.
Going through its corridors you realize the weight of the story it carries, you go up some stairs, you walk down a corridor, but you come out at the other end, it is a labyrinth; It has 100-year-old mirrors, a black ebony reception that is intact since it opened, and according to the workers, the wood was brought from Africa by boat.
Mosaics that reflect its most glorious years, a restaurant on the top floor that still has furniture but that is already covered with dust, doors that have not been opened for years, mining material in the cellars, already rusty but that reminds them of the beginning. Everything, posters brought from Seville, Spain, if you enter, it seems that you go back a century.
The Belmar sauces, the most famous
Víctor, the owner, explained that from the Mazatlán-Durango superhighway, the hotel rose again, to be famous and to be seen by the locals, many do not even know it inside, they do not know what it has, but if they know its history and of the legends that leave more than one with the creeps.
What, if you know and that to date are considered the best, are their sauces, a frosted glass with a mixture of sauces and a very cold beer that is enjoyed sitting at one of their tables or in front, sitting on the boardwalk of the old Mazatlán.
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