Moving downhill, from the highway, first find the immaculate, best-buy Hotel San Juan (Felipe Merklin 503, tel. 954/582-0518, fax 954/582-0612, sanjuanhotel [at] prodigy [dot] net [dot] mx, www.sanjuanhotel.com.mx, $25 s or d, $32 t). For those who like saving money and don’t mind (or would enjoy) a ten-minute downhill walk to the beach, this is the place. Rooms, in four levels, enclose an intimate inner pool patio. They are squeaky clean and invitingly furnished with wall paintings, reading lamps, and color-coordinated drapes and bedspreads. Amenities include private hot-water shower-baths, fans, in-house wireless Internet access, morning coffee, restaurant, and parking. For a splurge, add $13 for a/c with a luxuriously private ocean-view balcony.
Right on the beach amid the tourist-mall hullabaloo is the enduring Hotel Las Palmas (Av. Pérez Gasga s/n, tel. 954/582-0230, fax 954/582-0303, $15 s, $30 d, 45 t). Its main plus is the palmy, vine-strewn patio where you can sit for breakfast every morning, enjoy the breeze, and watch the boats, the birds, and families frolicking in the billows. The big drawback, besides sleepy management and no pool, is lack of privacy. Exterior walkways pass the room windows, which anyone can see through unless you close the curtains, which unfortunately makes the (fan-only) rooms dark and hot. This doesn’t seem to bother the legions of return customers, however, since they spend little time in their rooms anyway. There are 40 smallish rooms and a restaurant; credit cards not accepted.
The popular Hotel Loren (Av. Pérez Gasga 507, tel. 954/582-0057, fax 954/582-0591, $30 s or d, $41 t), downhill just two blocks from the beach, offers approximately 30 rooms spread through two three-story buildings. Guests in the front-building rooms enjoy private, ocean-view balconies. (However, all rooms, especially the bathrooms, could use a good scrubbing). The good news is the hotel’s inviting blue pool patio and the short five-minute walk to the beach. Reserve a cuarto con vista in the front-building view room. Reservations are often necessary, especially in the winter. The rooms are basic but comfortable. Add $10 for a/c; with parking and credit cards accepted.
The Hotel Rincón del Pacífico (Av. Pérez Gasga 900, tel. 954/582-0056 or 954/582-0193, fax 954/582-1812, reservaciones [at] rincondelpacifico [dot] com [dot] mx, $32 s, $40 d, $48 t with fan only, $56, $70, and $84 with a/c, $100 larger suites), next door to the Hotel Las Palmas, offers about the same. The two tiers of clean, comfortable rooms enfold a shady patio that looks out onto the lively beachfront. As at the Hotel Las Palmas, you must draw drapes for privacy in the hotel’s glass-front rooms. This is nevertheless a very popular hotel. Reserve early. Ask for a discount during low-occupancy season (May–June and Sept.–Oct.). Amernities include TV, a/c, and restaurant; credit cards accepted (but not American Express), but no parking nor pool.
Although it’s not right on the beach like its neighbor hotels Las Palmas and Rincón del Pacifico across the adoquín walkway, the rooms of the Hotel Casa Blanca (Av. Pérez Gasga 905, tel. 954/582-0168, fax 954/582-3120, imariabc [at] hotmail [dot] com, www.ptohcasablanca.com, $28 s and $40 d) are larger, cooler, and much more private. Some rooms even have private balconies, fine for people-watching on the street below. Guests report that noise is not a problem since cars and trucks are banned on Gasga noon–7 a.m. Other amenities include a shelf of used paperback books, and, beyond the graceful arches that border the lobby, a petite, inviting pool and patio. The 21 clean, comfortable rooms have fans, private hot-water shower-baths, and credit cards accepted, but no parking.
Also perched on the same view hillside as the Hotel Loren, three blocks above the beach, the 1960s-genre Hotel Nayar (Pérez Gasga 407, tel. 954/582-0113, fax 954/582-0319, hotel_nayar [at] hotmail [dot] com, $41 s, $48 d, $51 t) spreads from its inviting pool patio past the reception to a viewpoint restaurant. Its spacious, simply but comfortably furnished air-conditioned rooms include reading lamps, hot-water shower-baths, fans and a/c, and in-house wireless Internet connection.
Tucked in its own corner, away from the tourist mall bustle, the compact Le P’tit Hotel (at the west-end intersection of Soledad and the adoquín, tel. 954/582-3178, michelkobryn [at] tutopia [dot] com, www.oaxaca-mio.com/leptit.htm, $50 s or d, $65 with a/c, $10 per extra person) offers an attractive lodging option. Personable French-born owner-builder Michel Kobryn offers 16 rooms and thatched south-seas-style bungalows, all lovingly adorned with colorful tile, original wall art, decorator reading lamps, and sparkling bathrooms. Amenities include cable TV, restaurant, wireless Internet, inviting small pool patio, and credit cards accepted.
Back uphill, two blocks below the highway on a short side street off Pérez Gasga, is the Hotel Paraíso Escondido (Calle Union 1, tel./fax 954/582-0444, $65 s or d). A tranquil colonial-chic refuge, the hotel abounds in unique artistic touches—Mixtec stone glyphs, tiny corner chapels, stained glass, and old-world antiques—blended into the lobby, corridors, and patios. The two levels of rooms nestle around a lovely view pool and restaurant patio. The rooms themselves are large, with view balconies and designer tile bathrooms, wrought-iron fixtures, and handcrafted wooden furniture. Very popular with North American and German winter vacationers; get reservations in early. The 24 rooms include a/c, pool, kiddie pool, and parking, but credit cards not accepted.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Oaxaca, 5th edition