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chinagringo


Jul 4, 2009, 12:12 PM

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Hotels? - Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Leon

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Tried to do my homework using the search function and found most of the discussions/info to be quite dated. We are looking for current recommendations for hotels: 1) in Zacatecas Centro for a Saturday night ( reasonable rates, comfortable room and decent parking); 2) Plan on spending 3 or 4 days in the Guanajuato, Leon, Dolores Hidalgo and SMA area checking out arts and crafts. Any recommendations or ideas for a good central point would be appreciated. We have received a strong recommendation for a hotel in Dolores Hidalgo.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM




esperanza

Jul 4, 2009, 3:38 PM

Post #2 of 12 (5452 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Hotels? - Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Leon

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In Zacatecas, I have frequently stayed at the Hotel Posada Tolosa at Calle Juan de Tolosa #811, in the Centro Histórico. It's not particularly elegant, but it's very pleasant, very well located, and has secure parking. I've also stayed at the Hotel Reyna Soledad, at Tacuba #170, also in the Centro Histórico. It's a little more expensive than the Tolosa, just as well located, and offers free parking.

In San Miguel de Allende, you simply can't do better than either of the boutique hotels called Casa Luna http://www.casaluna.com. Both Casa Luna Pila Seca and Casa Luna Quebrada are right in town, and totally marvelous. In one word, it's fabulous. Don't stay anywhere else.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









(This post was edited by esperanza on Jul 5, 2009, 11:33 AM)


gpkgto

Jul 4, 2009, 4:21 PM

Post #3 of 12 (5444 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Hotels? - Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Leon

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I don't think you will find any interesting folk art in Leon--so you probably don't need to stay there. From Dolores it is about an hour or less to both Guanajuato and San Miguel.


Altahabana


Jul 4, 2009, 5:31 PM

Post #4 of 12 (5428 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Hotels? - Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Leon

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Zacatecas.

There are quite a few older but renovated small hotels in the Centro Historico. I don't know the ones mentioned by the previous poster, but they sound alot like the Casa Santa Lucia, Av. Hidalgo 717 and the Meson del Jobito, Jardin Juarez 143 respectively, both places where I have stayed. Casa Santo Domingo Callejon de Ozuna 113 is owned by the same group as Santa Lucia but is more moderately priced. On site parking in Centro is the exception, but there are some reasonably secure parking lots in the area of the Cathedral where you can park. You are making an excellent choice staying in the center.


chinagringo


Jul 5, 2009, 8:34 AM

Post #5 of 12 (5387 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Hotels? - Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Leon

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With respect to Zacatecas, I have taken the suggestions made so far and to a certain degree have held them up to the following TRIP ADVISOR list: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g152772-Zacatecas_Central_Mexico_and_Gulf_Coast-Hotels.html
At the present time, I am leaning towards the following location: http://www.terrassehotel.com.mx/Terrasse_eng.html
Would certainly appreciate any comments and/or experiences anyone might have with this hotel!

As far as the suggestions for SMA, they are appreciated but a bit rich for my blood. Somehow, I just have a difficult time paying approx. $20USD/hour to sleep! We will probably drive to SMA and spend a day exploring but not stay there.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



esperanza

Jul 5, 2009, 10:02 AM

Post #6 of 12 (5376 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Hotels? - Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Leon

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In Reply To
With respect to Zacatecas, I have taken the suggestions made so far and to a certain degree have held them up to the following TRIP ADVISOR list: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g152772-Zacatecas_Central_Mexico_and_Gulf_Coast-Hotels.html
At the present time, I am leaning towards the following location: http://www.terrassehotel.com.mx/Terrasse_eng.html
Would certainly appreciate any comments and/or experiences anyone might have with this hotel!

As far as the suggestions for SMA, they are appreciated but a bit rich for my blood. Somehow, I just have a difficult time paying approx. $20USD/hour to sleep! We will probably drive to SMA and spend a day exploring but not stay there.

I just read the review for the Hotel Terrasse. My only caveats would be that (a) there is only one review and (b) it was written by someone pretty young. Young people often have a different criteria for accommodations than older folks.

Re accommodations in San Miguel de Allende and environs: I still recommend that you splurge a little and stay at Casa Luna. It's not just about where you sleep, but about ALL the amenities at this B&B, including an incredible gourmet breakfast that's included in the price. You'll spend nearly $20 USD just for breakfast at most SMA restaurants.

You might consider calling Casa Luna and asking if there's a discounted rate for XX number of nights...tourism is really off all over Mexico, including in San Miguel de Allende, and hotel owners are often willing to lower the 'rack' rate just to get people in the rooms.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









chinagringo


Jul 5, 2009, 10:51 AM

Post #7 of 12 (5366 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Hotels? - Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Leon

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Esperanza:

Some good points on the hotel in Zacatecas! Will have to admit that my interest was from their web site and had less to do with the one review. Even though I am 62, I am often foolish enough to think that I am still young. One other thing that attracted me was their private parking lot. Last October, while lost in "centro" on a busy Friday night, we did drive past this place and are therefore, somewhat familiar with its location. No decisions have been made as yet.

Both of us would like to visit SMA but will admit to a certain prejudice against the town based upon four residents that we met in our travels last fall. One claimed to be a SMA resident artist but their actions made us ashamed to be from the United States! I fully realize that one cannot base their opinions on such a small sampling it certainly reinforced our views that SMA was a very "gringoized" enclave. We personally really appreciate the real culture and people of Mexico and prefer educating ourselves on those aspects.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



esperanza

Jul 5, 2009, 11:32 AM

Post #8 of 12 (5357 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Hotels? - Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Leon

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I think that many of us--myself included, and among the worst of offenders--are guilty of what I call 'contempt prior to investigation'. I always felt the same way you do about San Miguel de Allende, until March 2009.

This past March, my partner and I were invited to a culinary event in San Miguel. During the course of the event, we met a group of San Miguel residents who are multi-cultured, highly intelligent, vitally interested in all things Mexican, speak at least moderately decent Spanish, and are totally contrary to the assumptions both my partner and I had made of folks who choose to live in the insular, primarily American, foreign community in San Miguel. To say that we were flabbergasted is putting it mildly--flabbergasted and ashamed of ourselves for our assumptions. These lovely people have become our good friends, and these days, we both see San Miguel with slightly different eyes.

All that being said, of course there are still foreigners in San Miguel who fit the stereotype. But why associate with people you don't care to know?

San Miguel de Allende has a much larger Mexican population than foreign population. The truth is, whether you associate primarily with the Mexican population, you are still going to stick out as a readily recognizable foreigner. Unless you have extraordinary Mexican cultural literacy, you won't 'get' a lot of conversational references. You don't have the necessary frame of reference, and it's likely that you never will have. You can't escape that reality: you weren't born and raised here. The little songs that every Mexican child knows from the cradle are unknown to you. The films people your age saw as teenagers are unknown to you. The wordplay that is endemic in Mexico is unknown to you. Imagine, for example, trying to make Spanish conversational reference to Princess Summerfallwinterspring, from the Howdy Doody shows of your childhood. What Mexican of your age group in Mexico would know what in the world you were talking about? Imagine inserting "N-E-S-T-L-E-S, Nestles makes the very best..." into your conversation! And no matter how desirous you are of educating yourselves on 'the real culture and people of Mexico', Mexico is not a one-culture, one people country, nor is it your personal cross-cultural resource.

Of course you know that when I say 'you', I don't mean you personally. You are coming to Mexico with the best possible intent, the same intent that most foreigners strive for. It's just all but impossible to achieve.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









(This post was edited by esperanza on Jul 5, 2009, 11:36 AM)


chinagringo


Jul 5, 2009, 5:27 PM

Post #9 of 12 (5321 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Hotels? - Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Leon

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Esperanza:

You are absolutely correct in your statements about preconceived assumptions! Part of ours come from having owned a residence in the Lake Chapala area and observing the antics of those that reside in the "gringo ghettos" around Ajijic. It is our observation that many simply plant themselves amongst the other gringos and are either too scared or too lazy to experience any more of Mexico than their little comfort zone at the Lake. Even minor trips to Guadalajara, Tlaquepaque or Tonala are beyond their scope. While our house was not located in what I would term one of the ghettos, it did severely restrict our travel options since we felt obligated to use the house to justify the expense. Once that weight was lifted from our shoulders in 2006, we suddenly had the flexibility to travel more of Mexico. Last year, we were lucky enough to be able to schedule two trips that allowed us some time in Michoacan. It was a real eye opener what that State had to offer and this trip we have scheduled even more time for exploring.

As to beginning to understand Mexico and its people, I certainly would not dispute someone with your experience, etc! Since we live year around in New Mexico, the best we can hope for is a couple of road trips each year to further our education. Another limitation may just be each of our ability to learn Spanish. Kathy has never had a second language while in a previous life, I was able to speak, write and read Japanese without any formal schooling. On the other hand learning Spanish and French in school was a lost cause. We both do know that we really enjoy our explorations and contact with the people of Mexico!

Remain humble while remembering that our brain in nothing more than a sponge!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



(This post was edited by chinagringo on Jul 5, 2009, 5:47 PM)


chinagringo


Jul 11, 2009, 8:00 AM

Post #10 of 12 (5241 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Hotels? - Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Leon

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Just received a referral from a friend for: Hostal del Vasco: http://www.hostaldelvasco.com.mx/PaginaIng.html
He knew of the place through a friend and had not stayed there but had breakfast there one time. Anyone with any experience with this hotel?

Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



Grieger-Lods

Jul 31, 2009, 8:32 PM

Post #11 of 12 (5154 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Hotels? - Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Leon

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Hi Neil,

Sorry it took me so long to reply. We love Quinta Loreto in SMA. It is family run, has plenty of parking, close to El Centro (7 blocks) and their restaurant is great--homemade food and pies daily. Ask for one of the 100s rooms. They are a bit bigger. We stayed for a month once as we were studying Spanish and were given complimentary breakfast daily. The rates are very reasonable and you can email them for reservations. It is right next to the Artesianias with all of the local crafts you will see in the area and a 5 minute walk to the Biblioteca.

Gay Grieger-Lods


mexicomike


Aug 21, 2009, 11:47 AM

Post #12 of 12 (5006 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Hotels? - Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Leon

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I could not agree more. I was glad to see the post that started this, because I have had the same experiences. Over the years, I have, like you, learned to rise above them and not judge a community based on a few members.

I have had to fight judging towns by some idiots I have met from them all my life. While there are indeed expats who are indeed stereotypical, there are even more who are truly interested in Mexico and Mexicans. In my book on living in Mexico, one of the first chapters offers potential expats a way to determine if they are likely to be 'ugly Americans [or Canadians].' If they resemble that remark, I ask them please to stay home. While it is paradoxical for an author who makes a living helping people move to Mexico to discourage customers, I feel it is right. Of course, there is no way to know if anyone followed my advice.

I think that the traveler who visits small towns or cities not known for their expat community as well as the ones that are, can get a truer picture of what Mexico is really all about. So explore (preferably by car or RV) and make up your own mind. There are idiots in every town in the USA too, and I try not to judge a town by a few bad apples. But it is hard. I fail sometimes too.

"Mexico" Mike Nelson
www.mexicomike.com
Writing about Mexico for 40 years.
Maps, Road Logs for drivers
Author of "Live Better South of the Border."
"Spas & Hot Springs of Mexico."
Mexico is a state of mind.
 
 
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