I put this list together on boutique hotels in Mexico while booking another trip to Mexico and remembering how annoying it is to look through hotel reviews. Especially if you are like me and want the finer things in life— on a writer budget. Sure, Trip Advisor is awesome until you end up at a hotel in “the most charming seaside village” Amy has ever visited only to realize it’s a cheesey, dilapidated port town and that YOU DON’T KNOW WHO THE F AMY IS OR WHAT KIND OF SEASIDE VILLAGES SHE’S EVER BEEN TO.
But, if you are reading this blog you probably know me, or at least know my taste in food. So I figured I can be helpful with hotels too.
I like places that are walking distance from food and away from tourist strips, that are safe and clean, have charm, owned by nice people, and provide good value. I should note that I often stay with people in Mexico, so when I’m not doing that I’ll pay a little more if I can avoid annoying young backpackers, will feel safe, and like my room enough to spend several hours writing in it.
Here’s a list of a few places I’ve stayed, updates are made as I travel.
There are a few things that make a hotel memorable and one of those is an epic rooftop— and Casa Xola’s is paradise. This four-bedroom boutique hotel is a few blocks from the plaza central and each room is thoughtfully decorated with artesania. On the rooftop enjoy the outdoor kitchen and lounge, a fireplace, and views of the cathedral peaking above the layers of tropical plants (mango and papaya trees included). Breakfast, enjoyed at a large dining table in the kitchen, is included: a variety of fruit, cereals, and yogurts were available and the owner, Arleigh will make eggs upon request. All rooms have bathrooms and wi-fi, and the beds are super comfortable.
Oaxacan Coast: If you want to stay in the San Agustinillo area, Bambu is the place.
There are 6 cabins, all different and all facing the ocean. I’ve stayed in a lot of cabins on the beach, and these are beautifully constructed with high ceilings and plenty of privacy. In the center of the property is a communal kitchen with a big wood table and it’s nice to chat with other folks as you’re making a meal. The beach is clean, nearly empty at sunrise and not too crowded otherwise. Memo, the owner, is originally from Mexico City but has been here for a while and he and the whole staff are great people.
San Andres Huayapam: Just 20 minutes from Oaxaca, this little town is a quick getaway and also a great place to sample tejate— the cacao drink seen around Oaxacan markets served in jicara cups. The rosita de cacao, an important ingredient in the drink, grows here. Hotel Huayapam Yuu Spa is a former private residence on top of a hill overlooking Oaxaca. There’s a beautiful restaurant serving classic food from the region, a lovely pool, and tropical plants everywhere. I didn’t try the temezcal, but a curandera from nearby comes to run it every day.
Tijuana: TJ is an odd place to look for accommodations, many of the options are away from Avenida Revolucion and are generic chain hotels. La Villa Zaragosa is right near the center of things. There is nothing fancy about it but it’s cheap, clean and safe. $45 for double room/night.
Mexico City: The well know Red Tree House was booked, so I explored many options for B&Bs in the Roma and Condesa area. I was staying by myself and knew I would be walking all day so I wanted something a little luxurious, in a neighborhood I knew. Stella B&B was perfect. It’s a 1930s house set behind a gate and tropical courtyards with seven rooms. I stayed in room number 5 and opened my door to bouganvia covered steps every morning. $89/night.
Hotels in Yucatan
HolBox: We stayed at Hotel Amaite for five nights after booking a deal on Expedia and we were super pleased with the value. For our price range it was absolutely the best bet on the beach. Nice rooms with balconies and good breakfast with fruit, homemade bread and jam and coffee. Julie does yoga on the balcony during sunset, it’s dreamy (and sweaty). With the deal our stay averaged $60 for a double room/night.
Valladolid: Casa Tia Micha is a restored colonial home in the center of Valladolid that is well cared for and charming down to every last hand-painted tile. I paid $100 for a night, which was a little steep for Valladolid but for the palace-like room I got it should have been a small fortune.
Isla Mujeres: Hotel Cabañas Maria del Mar is one of the best deals on the beach, and in a quieter area on Playa Norte. The wi-fi is pretty lame, you have to go next door to an outdoor bar to use it and even then it is slow. But I looked around and this was the most affordable but non backpacker-y place on the beach and I was really comfortable. I got a deal for $60/night.
Cancun: I stayed in the most awesome airbnb in a real neighborhood in Cancun. Owned by a very attentive family. I found several tasty cheap places to eat around here. $42/night when most people are paying a million dollars to stay on the nasty strip?? Yes please.
Puerto Morelos: This is a sweet town to stay if you are flying out of Cancun in the morning but don’t want to actually be in Cancun (which was how I felt one night). Only 30 minutes away by bus. Be aware that there is not much swimming here, it’s all reef. Casa Caribe has pleasant, airy rooms across from the beach and offers cooking classes too. $75/night.
More coming soon!