By Erica Sosa
If you are looking for an adventuresome yet cozy and comfortable stay in Guadalajara, hotels in the historic downturn offer rich culture, a colonial atmosphere and a wealth of nearby museums and restaurants.
The most historic, built in 1610, is “El Frances” (Maestranza #35) in the heart of the downtown area, close to attractions such as the “Degollado Theater” and the Cathedral “La Asunción de Maria.” The hotel’s lobby, with its beautiful stone arches, has been restored and is home on Friday nights to a Mariachi band. (See the hotel Web site for a virtual tour.) Single and double rooms cost 643 pesos, or $47.75 U.S.
Another downtown hotel, “De Mendoza” Hotel (Venustiano Carranza #16) used to be the “Convent of the nuns of Santo Domingo” and is located right beside the “Degollado Theater”. Built in the 16th century, the hotel offers a mix of beautiful antique furnishings and modern conveniences ranging from valet parking to WiFI, a jacuzzi and gym, and rooms for business meetings. Every room has a balcony with a view of the city, and the panoramic view from the terrace is also delightful. Standard and double rooms are 1,500 pesos ($111 US) with junior suites 1,700 pesos ($126 US).
Another recommended colonial hotel is “La Rotonda” (Liceo #130 downtown area), which was also once a convent and is now a comfortable and affordable hotel. Located very close to the major downtown attractions, rates for one person are 550 pesos ($40 US) 700 pesos ($52 US) for two and 780 pesos ($57 USD) for three.
Two other hotels which share many of these same qualities but are not quite as close to downtown are “Posada San Miguel” (Hidalgo avenue #1082 Americana district), a small, eight-room hotel built on the site of a former farm, and “Posada Hidalgo Inn” (Av. Hidalgo #1135 Americana district).
If your schedule permits, I really suggest staying in the downtown area. While it is a bit further taxi drive to some of the commercial and business areas, it gives you a great feeling for the “real” Guadalajara, as well as wonderful opportunities for strolling, shopping, dining and people watching.