Hotel Casino Plaza – Guadalajara


I was tired when I arrived in Guadalajara after a surprisingly long bus ride from Puerto Vallarta (they look so close on the map) so I guess my negotiating skills weren’t at their peak. All the internet reviews I saw for Hotel Casino Plaza were excellent, and I figured I could persuade them to come down on their rate, which was a bit higher than my budget called for. I used all my most persuasive techniques, but they just wouldn’t drop the rate. Rather than go to the trouble of finding another hotel, I gave in, and registered.

What I got was a lovely, modern room in a first class hotel for a little under $50.00… Great value!

The hotel is within easy walking distance of the famous cathedrals and parks in the downtown historic district, and the staff couldn’t have been more pleasant and helpful.

There’s no question that I’ll be staying here on my next visit to Guadalajara.

Hotel Executivo – Culiacán



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I was tired when I arrived in Culiacán. It had been a 12 hour bus ride from Hermosillo, and I wanted to stay in a nice hotel. I looked at various websites, and saw that Hotel Executivo was exactly where I wanted to be, within an easy walk to the Cathedral, and had very good ratings from previous guests. It was a little more expensive than my budget allowed, but I thought it would be worth it.

From the moment I set foot in the lobby, I felt at home. The front desk manager was pleasant and helpful, and even gave me a rate that was close to the internet prices I had seen. My room was attractive, the air conditioning set in a comfortable place, and I even had a nice view. The bed was comfortable, I had lots of cable TV choices, and there weren’t even any strange echoes in the hallway.

I had a wonderful breakfast the next morning. There was a wide range of choices, and the hostess even went out of her way to be sure I was putting the right things on my chilaquiles.

There’s no question that I will stay here again the next time I’m in Culiacán.

Here’s the website:

Hotel Encino – Puerto Vallarta

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Puerto Vallarta has been a popular resort for many years, and the downtown area surrounding the Malecón is where it all started. It became famous world-wide when they shot the 1964 movie Night of the Iguana, starring Richard Burton and Ava Gardner. I’ll always associate Puerto Vallarta with Francisco Haghenbeck’s wonderful novel Trago Amargo, in which his hard-boiled detective hero Sunny Pascal is hired to watch over Sue Lyon during the production of the film.

The Hotel Encino dates back to well before 1964, and has that delicious old-world tropical feel, including a roof-top pool and bar. With original tile in the bathrooms and balconies for every room, it’s built to let the air flow freely, and clearly, the air conditioning was installed as a gesture toward modernity. The location is great – just 2 blocks from the southern end of the Malecón

Casa Azul Hotel – Mérida


I was in the Yucatán city of Mérida last year. I stayed at a perfectly nice hotel downtown, but now I really wish I had known about Casa Azul.

Mérida was a fabulously rich colonial city in an area where a great deal of wealth was generated by growing sisal, the material that for many years was used in the manufacture of rope. There is a particular boulevard of stunning mansions, many now converted to museums and public buildings, that would rival any city in the world, and it appears that Casa Azul is located in this neighborhood.

Yucatán is the site of a large concentration of remarkable Mayan ruins. I wasn’t on that kind of a trip, but I did take a day to see Uxmal. The ruins were stunning, the drive was easy and pleasant, and I finally was able to understand how entire cities can be swallowed by the jungle.

I’m certain my experience would have been much enhanced if I had stayed at a luxurious historical place like Casa Azul.

Here’s the website:

Casa de la Condesa – Roma, Mexico City


A wonderfully unique hotel, right in my favorite neighborhood of Mexico City. Set on a street with buildings that go back perhaps to the 1920s, every room in this hotel is different, with a nod to historic styles. The rooms are comfortable, and staff is pleasant. The neighborhood is peaceful, with large trees, walking paths and fountains. People walk their dogs here after 11:00 PM. There are plenty of nice restaurants nearby, and it’s just a short walk to the famous Zona Rosa. Rates are surprisingly low.

Here’s the website: