Tucked on a quiet back street half a block from the sleepy El Pozo Estuary, Casa Roxanna Bungalows (Callejon El Rey 1, tel. 323/285-0573) is a hidden gem among San Blas lodgings. Its refined amenities—manicured green lawn, blue double-laned lap pool, regal fan palms—are apparent immediately upon entering its tranquil garden compound. The four comfortable, spacious bungalows ($65 d, add $5 each additional adult), with two double beds, furnished kitchenettes, and cool air-conditioning, confirm the initial impression. Additionally, one large deluxe room and a studio bungalow with kitchenette rent for about $55; all with air- conditioning, satellite TV, and parking.
Back in the middle of town, three blocks west along Juárez from the plaza, newly renovated Hotel Hacienda Flamingos (Juárez 105, tel. 323/285-0930, fax 323/285-0485, Mazatlán tel./fax 669/985-2727 or 669/985-5252, www.sanblas.com.mx) lives on as a splendid reminder of old San Blas. Owners have spared little in restoring this 1863 German consulate and trading house to its original graceful condition. Now, the fountain flows once more in the tranquil, tropical inner patio, furnished with period chairs and tables and a gallery of old San Blas photos on the walls. A side door leads outside to a luxuriously elegant swimming pool and spacious garden, sprinkled with recliners, a grass-carpeted badminton court, and a croquet set ready for service. Inside, the rooms are no less than you’d expect: luxuriously airy and high-ceilinged, with elegantly simple decor, replete with Porfirian-era touches and wall art; and with baths that gleam with polished traditional-style fixtures. Year-round (except possibly Christmas and Easter holidays) rates for the 10 rooms run about $90 d.
Another San Blas jewel is the refined resort- style Hotel Garza Canela (Paredes 106 Sur, tel. 323/285-0112, 323/285-0307, or 323/285-0480, toll-free Mex. tel. 800/713-2313, fax 323/285-0308, www.garzacanela.com), tucked away at the south end of town, two blocks off H. Batallón. The careful management of its Vásquez family owners (Señorita Josefina Vásquez in charge) glows everywhere: manicured garden grounds, crystal-blue pool, immaculate sundeck, and centerpiece restaurant. The 60 cool, air-conditioned rooms are tiled, tastefully furnished, and squeaky clean. Rates run about $90 s, $115 d high season, $70 s and $90 s low, all with a hearty breakfast, cable TV, and much more. Credit cards are accepted. The family also runs a travel agency and an outstanding crafts and gift shop on the premises.
San Blas folks offer several other worthy hotel, bungalow, and apartment lodging choices. For more information, visit the excellent website www.sanblasdirectory.com.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition