Uvence Arte + Hotel
Located in the oldest part of town, Uvence Arte + Hotel is a converted hacienda that offers guests an authentic yet luxurious experience.
Surrounded by large manicured gardens, Uvence Arte + Hotel occupies an ideal position overlooking the city of San Cristobal.
The 12 bedrooms are set around a large courtyard, all of which are spacious and have been individually decorated with antique furniture, wooden floors and fireplaces. The art on the walls - much of which is for sale - brings a contemporary touch to this 17th century converted house. Each room has a plasma screen television, while the suites also have a hydro-massage bath.
There is a small restaurant serving inventive Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine, and much of the food is grown in the hotel's own vegetable garden. There is also a museum showcasing work from local artists, from the 17th century to the present day. A small spa is on site, offering a selection of massages and treatments.
Why We Love It
The hotel is fifteen minute's walk from the centre of town, but the peace and quiet and stunning views make that extra walk well worth it.
Quinta Chanabal is a modern Mayan palace, and is just a ten minute drive from the ancient Mayan ruins of Palenque.
There are just seven suites in this lovingly restored quinta, all adhering to the owner's re-visioning of a modern Mayan residence. Terracotta stone floors, oxblood wood furniture, baroque beds and marble sinks add a certain Italian opulence to the already regal look.
The restaurant is housed in a large palapa-roofed dining room, serving traditional food from both the Tabasco and Chiapas regions. Also worth checking out is El Panchan, a hippy hangout with a good collection of cafes and cabanas on the way to Palenque. We recommend Don Mucho - their wood fired pizzas are divine.
There is also a large swimming pool with cascading waterfalls flowing into it, as well as spa and a traditional Temazcal steam bath.
Why We Love It
The 7th century Mayan ruins are just a ten minute drive from the hotel. If you're lucky, Raphael the owner of the hotel is also a historian and gives a fascinating insight into the history of the ruins.
Housed in an 18th Century colonial house, Casa Oaxaca has been painstakingly restored and modernised to create a designer boutique hotel.
There are just seven bedrooms, all cleverly designed to make the best use of space and light. They are all large and spacious, and most are set around a broad, white washed terrace. The understated and elegant decor is offset by works of art created by local artists.
Innovatively, the restaurant is based in two locations, one in the courtyard at the hotel, and the other a ten minute walk away next to the cathedral in the historical city centre. Both serve delicious, contemporary Mexican fare such as seabass ceviche, which will have been brought up from the coast the same morning.
Other facilities include a swimming pool and a Temazcal - a traditional Mayan steam bath. Tours of the local markets are also available, followed by classes teaching guests how to cook their purchases in true Mexican style.
Why We Love It
Forget a boring old massage at the hotel, why not try a temazcal - a traditional Mayan purifying steam bath instead.
Built in 1576, Quinta Real Oaxaca was formerly a convent, before being taken over and turned into municipal offices at the height of political turmoil in 1862. Restoration began in 1972, under the watchful eye of The National Institute of Anthropology and History, with the beautiful frescoes restored by experts, and artistic treasures repaired.
Quinta Real Oaxaca is located in the heart of the town, just a short walk from the historical centre. The hotel sits within beautiful gardens, with terraces, arches and fountains creating a romantic setting in which to relax.
Restoration efforts have been sympathetic to the original design of the convent, and as such, no two rooms are the same. Each of the 91 guestrooms are air-conditioned, and decorated in a classic colonial style, with views of the gardens, or historical Oaxaca. Some of the suites also have private balconies, overlooking the courtyards.
El Refectorio restaurant serves both local specialities and international dishes, within a colonial style dining setting. Guests can also enjoy meals al fresco in the pretty courtyard, whilst the breakfast room is situated in the original convent kitchen. Quinta Real also boasts an outdoor swimming pool in one of the courtyards, a hot tub, and a bar.
Why We Love It
Quinta Real has got to be one of the most characterful properties in Oaxaca, if not the whole of Mexico!