March 4, 2003
The hotel looks like absolutely nothing from the outside; walk in and you're nearly past the front desk. Five feet further and you're standing in the restaurant, and hop down a short flight of stairs and you're standing in a large, beautiful reproduction courtyard, colourfully but tastefully painted, with nice embellishments and several birdcages along one sheltered wall that provide the ambient sounds you'll awake to each day. The desk staff all speak a little English and tolerate questionable Spanish amiably, and are extremely accommodating (I viewed some rooms at 9pm and checked in at 9:30 the next morning). There are only a few rooms, all done very nicely in "classic Mexican" style, with tasteful lighting fixtures, a practical floor plan, three floors each, and several fully working windows and shades opening to the courtayrd below (no screens). The rooms have showers, sinks outside the bathroom, and all the soaps/shoe mitts/lotions one expects at this price, plus a minibar with snacks, water, liquor, beer, and wine.
My room (room 1) had a sort of drawing room/lounge with bar and fireplace (doubt it works), two large windows and French doors on the ground floor, an open-wood stair to the second floor (which overlooked the floor below and had a large couch and massive armoire), and then the third floor, which took up the whole plan area, with a bed that looked larger than king, a small TV with several channels, an air-conditioner, four large windows to better see the rustic courtyard and hear the birds, a large round table, a grooming area, a couch and chairs, and a safe (you provide the lock). The room was quite clean, very quiet, pretty brightly lit, and designed to be very comfortable.
The restaurant had incredibly good food, with prices just a speck above reasonable and one courteous, attentive waiter (doubling sometimes as the bellhop, too) to serve all six or so tables. It was a fairly short walk to the Alameda and market stalls, or to the trendy shops around the parks, or to other restaurants in the area. And it was always a welcome return to enter the lobby and courtyard and then your comfy room at the end of a long day.
From journal Colonial Amblings 5 - Queretaro