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Guapo Gabacho


Sep 18, 2003, 4:41 AM

Post #1 of 14 (2746 views)

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Motels in Mexico

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I have again been labeled a “Smarty pants” when I explained the difference between a motel and a hotel in Mexico. Many travelers have told me how they discovered the difference and some stories are quite humorous. Most wish that they had been told before their first encounter.How did you learn that there is a big difference in the two?


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We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.



Esteban

Sep 18, 2003, 1:21 PM

Post #2 of 14 (2716 views)

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Re: [Guapo Gabacho] Motels in Mexico

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I think you have it mixed up with the "notels" and their canvas covered cocheras :-)


wendy devlin

Sep 18, 2003, 2:40 PM

Post #3 of 14 (2705 views)

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Re: [Guapo Gabacho] Positives about Motels in Mexico

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Well, Señor Gabacho,

I wish I could tell a spicy or funny story for you about the 'notels' (aren't they also known also as motel de paseo?)

But this being the family channel...

I'll stick to suggesting that your comment that motels for sex and hotels for families in Mexico, could mislead some travelers to Mexico.

Having stayed with husband and daughter in several motels between Nogales and Mazatlan, there are a few reasons for staying in them outside of the more notorious one.

1)Location...usually on the outskirts of a town, saving the hassle of finding the centro or streets where the hotels are generally located. Sometimes located immediately off a freeway exit.

2)Cost...affordable, for example we paid $250 pesos for a large, clean bedroom with two double beds and shower in Los Mochis. The overall set up, grounds, buildings was attractively landscaped including that high wall.

3)Security...seems to always be someone in the booth at the front gate and you sleep behind a high wall and the doors lock well.

4)Pets...wasn't a problem in the ones we've used...outside grounds for walking the dog.

5)Floor level...easy to negiotate for people with sore legs, bad hips, etc.

6)Quiet...in general...since like Gabacho mentioned they are not generally utilized by families especially ones with boisterous children.

Feel free to add on to this list. wendy


Rolly


Sep 18, 2003, 3:01 PM

Post #4 of 14 (2700 views)

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A Motel de Paso vs a regular motel

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Some previous posts on this subject have either stated or implied at all motels in Mexico are of the type called Motel de Paso or no-tels or, my term, adultery motels. This is simply not true. There are many regular motels just like in the USA and Canada. (It may be true that the no-tels out number the regulars.) The purpose of these special motels is to provide a place for couples to get together when they have no other place to do so. They are not brothels.

A motel de paso is distinguished by having a covered garage attached to each unit. The cover may be a regular garage door or it may be a heavy canvas curtain. The facility is complete walled off from the outside except for a single entrance/exit which is staffed 24/7. This combination provides very good security for your car. Units are typically not rented in 24 hour blocks like regular motels, but rather in shorter blocks -- anywhere from 4 to 8 hours. Some of them are rather plain and not very expensive, some are truly elegant and priced accordingly.

Would a tourist want to stay in one of these places rather than a hotel or a regular motel? Perhaps. While these places usually rent for a shorter time block than a tourist or traveler might want, some of them are willing to negotiate a discount for a longer stay for a tourist. They provide excellent security for a cost that is often less than a downtown hotel with comparable secure parking, and they may be more convenient to the highway.

A couple of examples: When I first arrived in Lerdo, my house was not quite ready for occupancy, and my friend's unair conditioned house was too hot for me, so I checked several regular motels in the area. The least expensive I could find was US$65 per night -- nice but a budget buster. My friend took me to the neighborhood motel de paso which normally rents an 8 hour block for US$15. After a bit of talk, they agreed that I could stay there for 10 days at the rate of US$15 per day payable daily in cash. The place was a clean, no-star dump with a good air conditioner, a comfortable bed, a convenient location, and they accepted my dog.

I have a friend who travels a lot (sales) in northern Mexico. He usually stays at a motel de paso because his truck is secure for less money than a hotel with secure parking. He has complied a list of places that will give him a good price for longer stays -- sometimes several days.

Bottom line: Not all motels are motels de pasos, and a motel de paso just might be a good deal for you.

Rolly Pirate


esperanza

Sep 18, 2003, 3:05 PM

Post #5 of 14 (2698 views)

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Re: [wendy devlin] Positives about Motels in Mexico

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Motel de paso is the term. Basically it means 'just passing through'...one is charged an hourly rate. *Ahem*...so I hear. You CAN ask for a nightly rate, and it's usually quite inexpensive.

I've stayed in them. I like them because of the garage door. You bring the car inside and close the garage door; no one can see what's in the vehicle, so it's especially helpful when you're traveling with a pile of household goods in the back seat and trunk.

Friends of mine were traveling several years ago with one set of their elderly parents and decided to stay in "such a nice motel, and right on the edge of town, and they even had a GARAGE!". The price was excellent and the rooms were clean; even the CHAMBERMAIDS were working changing linens, "and so late at night!". *Ahem* On closer inspection my friends noticed that the mirrors in their room extended even over the bed, and the dressers had false fronts and couldn't be opened. Only at that point did light dawn. They decided they didn't give a patoot and spent a very comfortable night. The elderly parental units got a huge chuckle out of the whole incident, and they all still talk about it.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









wendy devlin

Sep 18, 2003, 3:08 PM

Post #6 of 14 (2696 views)

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Re: [Rolly] A Motel de Paso vs a regular motel

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Hmmm, sounds like Arbon and I might have stayed in just regular ol' motels afterall. No wonder I don't got no story to tell;^) wendy


Guapo Gabacho


Sep 18, 2003, 4:12 PM

Post #7 of 14 (2686 views)

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Re: [wendy devlin] A Motel de Paso vs a regular motel

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I didn't say not to use them, I use them even when traveling solo. My intent was to save some folks red faces. As Rolly said, they are not brothels (you must bring your own friend) and are quiet and secure. Many have tubs for two, but the TV channel selection rarely includes shows where the people are dressed.

As I said to the gentleman that sent me an email, I have never seen a place that I would call a legit family lodging house that had a sign that said "Motel". I have seen many a roadside establishment where you park at your door that had signs that read "Hotel".


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We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.


Rolly


Sep 18, 2003, 5:05 PM

Post #8 of 14 (2676 views)

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Re: [Guapo Gabacho] A Motel de Paso vs a regular motel

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Come on down to Lerdo/Gomex Palacio/Torreon and I'll show you several nice motels that say motel on their signs.

Rolly Pirate


sfmacaws


Sep 18, 2003, 5:40 PM

Post #9 of 14 (2669 views)

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Re: [Rolly] A Motel de Paso vs a regular motel

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A motel de paso can be a great place to stay for all the reasons mentioned above. We have friends who live in Akumal and use them exclusively when they have to drive to the US. They have dogs and they are in a hurry and they are usually carrying some new electronic toys on their return. The privacy, security and closeness to the highway can't be beat.

We've actually stayed at one in our RV. It was between Tampico and Poza Rica and had RV hookups on a large lawn with picnic tables and benches and very nice landscaping behind the motel rooms, accessed from a separate driveway. Very secure and very inexpensive, I think it was 90p a night with electricity. There was a shrine in back where we were and I watched the girls who worked there come out and light candles at it in the morning. They also came out to the laundry attached to the restroom/showers in back and washed all the sheets from the night. They had done the washing, prayed and were out front waiting for the bus by 7am. I did get the impression that, unlike what has been said previously, these 2 girls were available if a short term guest was without a date. The older woman who took our money appeared to live there in a trailer/office. We were there on a weekend and it wasn't very busy, no garages with the drapes drawn when we arrived at dusk and only 3 sets of sheets on the line in the morning ;)

I thought it was a great place, and it was certainly interesting. I took some photos of the shrine.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




Guapo Gabacho


Sep 19, 2003, 7:28 PM

Post #10 of 14 (2624 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] A Motel de Paso vs a regular motel

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It is my experience that you don't need to work in a cantina, motel, or walk the streets to be available for some quick company in Mexico.

The particular motel that you speak about, just south of Cerro Azul, has the biggest "Trailer Park" sign I have ever seen in Mexico. The girls, I believe, are only the hot sheet changers getting off in the morning. This motel doesn't have a garage per room to hide your car from your wife because it caters to gay men.

There is absolutely no interaction between the motel and the campground except for the woman that takes your $100 NP. The shower house is much cleaner than the dump in Cd. Victoria and has hot water and a washing machine. I recommend any family to stop there on your way to Veracruz or beyond and forget Altamira and its perpetual choking petrochemical tainted air.


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We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.


sfmacaws


Sep 19, 2003, 8:02 PM

Post #11 of 14 (2617 views)

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Re: [Guapo Gabacho] A Motel de Paso vs a regular motel

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That could be the same place. The place we stopped is called the Condado Western (I went and looked in my log book) and it is south of Cerro Azul. I don't remember a huge RV Park sign but it might have been there. I do remember that all the rooms had a garage with a curtain and that the main entrance had a yellow revolving light, like you see on top of a tow truck.

I found some pictures I took there last year.










Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




Guapo Gabacho


Sep 19, 2003, 9:05 PM

Post #12 of 14 (2607 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] A Motel de Paso vs a regular motel

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It has to be the same place. I didn’t venture to far from the wife and kids to see the garages but couldn’t help but see the trailer in the front of the place. I believe the “Trailer Park” sign was on the other side of the welcome sign and faces north, with no sign in the other direction. It was a Canadian couple that told me about the place. I am always northbound when I pass there and didn’t ever see the sign. It was a camping directory reporter that told me about their clientele (Not Church’s).

It was Rolly that changed the thread title to A Motel de Paso vs a regular motel. The problem is perception and cultural bias. Regular by US standards and customs. If you do a search on Yahoo for Mexican motels in a certain city you will get many results, but when you go to the motel, they all, except in American only places close to the border are named hotel (like Holiday Inn Hotel). My wife, a Mexican until last year, says that in fact there are legit motels in Mexico, she says muy raro, and it would be a very inexpensive place that didn’t really care who you were, who you brought, and the rooms are rented por rato.



Diccionario General de la Lengua Española Vox defines motel as:

motel (acrónimo del ing. motorist hotel)

1 m. Establecimiento de hostelería de similar categoría que el hotel, situado en las proximidades de una carretera, que facilita alojamiento en apartamentos con garaje y entrada independiente para estancias de corta duración.

This type of facility is in Mexico for more than one reason and prostitution is not one of them. Mexican men cannot seem to interact with a woman anywhere without hitting on them. Many seem to get lucky and they sure can’t go home. Then there is the matter of mistresses. They must have the esposa and a few señoras in their stable. Need a place for that too. When in Mexico City, you don’t think those young gals with much older men are their daughters do you? How about three generations living in a three-room house. Got to have a place. Most prostitutes have their own room to take their friends to and usually they (the john) are too drunk to drive a car to the outskirts of town. The ladies don’t have to slink around because everybody knows who they are and it is legal in Mexico.



I maintain that John and Marsha Smith, on their first Mexican adventure, would probably be best advised to skip any motel looking facility that didn’t have a sign that said hotel.



Some day try to find a motel on the south side of Guadalajara that you would take your family to. Think of the terror in the mind of a tourist stuck in that area as the sunsets and what it can do to their powers of observation. Heck, all the other buildings are painted funky colors, why not a motel too, and one with what looks to have some very good security for my car.


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We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.


sfmacaws


Sep 19, 2003, 9:47 PM

Post #13 of 14 (2604 views)

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Re: [Guapo Gabacho] A Motel de Paso vs a regular motel

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Well, my recollection is that most of the ones I've seen are called "Auto Hotel" or perhaps "Auto Motel". The one above is an Auto Hotel. If I had to guess, I'd guess that the Auto part of the name is the big clue. Seems to imply that there is parking for the auto, which usually means curtained garage.

I also think it doesn't much matter what they are called since their look is so distinctive that no one who had ever seen one would be in doubt. Perhaps my lovely photos (heh!) will let some folks who haven't seen one get the drift, then they will be quick to recognize a classic 'no-tell motel' mexican style.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




Papirex


Sep 23, 2003, 8:31 AM

Post #14 of 14 (2552 views)

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Re: [Guapo Gabacho] Motels in Mexico

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Yesterday, we were driving from Cuernavaca over to Cuatla. My wife was driving, so I had the opportunity to look around, and do a little rubbernecking. I saw a motel on the way. It even had a canvas strip curtain at the entrance to the center courtyard, to make it a little harder to see the garages, which also had canvas curtains on them.

The name of the place? "Motel Secreto" It looked a little seedy, but I give them 5 stars for honesty :)
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo

(This post was edited by RexC on Sep 23, 2003, 8:34 AM)
 
 
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