Mail Bag! Errol Flynn and Olas Atlas!

01 Feb

Author Sue Carnes writes to us:

I am right about now writing the part of my new book about the Belmar Hotel that includes stories about Errol Flynn. He was one of the many exciting individuals who spent time on the Bay of High Waves (Olas Altas) in Mazatlan. His special interest was the Belmar where he kept a room, but also a certain establishment called the Stratosphere on Ice Box Hill. That is the hill in the old photograph, and the Belmar is right in the middle of the Bay of High Waves pictured there a little to the right between the trees. Errol’s yacht the Sirocco was often anchored right out front as he made his way to Mazatlan or further South to Acapulco. Errol’s room was No. 35 which could never be rented later. No one could stay there. The room was remodeled and renumbered. Any insight to any of this would be greatly appreciated.


Sue Carnes


Thanks, Sue!

Author Sue Carnes

— David DeWitt


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  1. Gentleman Tim

    February 2, 2018 at 6:28 am

    Muy, muy cool, Sue! Can’t wait to read your work, and am especially intriqued by the Stratosphere up on Ice Box Hill! If only those cave walls could talk!

    Speaking of intrique, I understand high-level intelligence agents used to frequent the Belmar, too. Hoover people, OSS people, and others from elsewhere.

    As you surely know, way back in 1914, Mazatlan was the first place on this side of the world to be bombed from the air. (And people have been getting bombed their ever since.)

    “The action took place over a spot named Neveria Hill Overlooking the city, the hill is honeycombed with limestone caves at one time used to store ice imported from San Francisco on sailing ships (thus giving it the alternate name of “IceBox Hill”).”

    “Neveria Hill today is bristling with microwave towers and luxury homes, frames one side of a six-block beachfront strip called Olas Altas (the other side edges a park named after General Carranza). The strip itself claims a number of firsts for the country, one sparked 2,000 miles away up in the States in 1920 when politicians raised their hands to enact a law outlawing booze in the U.S.

    “Soon, speakeasies (illegal bars) had popped up all over the U.S., but Prohibition was a great excuse for merry-making Hollywood stars, studio execs, oil barons and other miscellaneous moguls to hop on their yachts and sail down here to get a drink,” reporters were told by Gilberto Limon, Mazatlan’s legendary public relations man.

    “And where did the celebs bunk down? Local historians believe the first beach resort in Mexico to cater to the foreign silky set was along Olas Altas. And their favorite watering hole was the still-standing Hotel Belmar.”

    “After checking in to their then-opulent rooms at the Belmar, and perhaps taking a stroll around the hotel’s plush, gilt-lined hallways and exotic gardens, the gentlemen put on tuxedos while their ladies slipped into crushed velvet gowns for a gala night of dinner and dancing in the Belmar’s elegant ballroom.”