Starting in the north, near the Plaza Principal, Hotel Cibrián (Amado Nervo 163 Pte., tel. 311/212-8698, fax 311/216-1461, $19 s, $23 d, $28 t; credit cards not accepted), a block and a half behind the Presidencia Municipal, offers 46 clean, no-frills rooms with bath, ceiling fans, telephones, parking, and local restaurant. The Cibrián’s small drawback is the noise that might filter into your room through louvered windows facing the tile (and therefore sound-reflective) hallways. Nevertheless, for the price, it’s a Tepic best buy.
On Avenida México, half a block south of the cathedral, the Hotel Sierra de Álica (AH-lee-kah, Av. México 180 Nte., tel. 311/212-0325, h_sierradealica [at] hotmail [dot] com, $27 s, $40 d) remains a longtime favorite of Tepic business travelers. Polished wood paneling and a very good restaurant downstairs and plain but comfortable rooms upstairs reflect the Sierra de Álica’s solid unpretentiousness. The 60 rooms all have air-conditioning, satellite TV, phones, and parking; credit cards are accepted.
Several blocks north, on Mina, west of Plaza Constituyentes, half a block from the Avenida México plaza corner, Hotel Altamirano (Mina 19 Pte., tel. 311/212-7131, $18 s or d in one bed, $28 d in two beds) offers 31 clean but basic bare-bulb rooms with bath at budget rates.
If you prefer to stay out of the busy downtown, you have at least two good options. On the north end, three miles from the city center, try the graceful 50-room Hotel Bugam Villas (Insurgentes and Libramiento Pte., tel. 311/218-0225 or 311/215-4600, fax 311/215-4601, bugamvillashotel [at] hotmail [dot] com or bugamvillas [at] prodigy [dot] net [dot] mx, $76 s or d). From the lobby, the grounds extend past lovely spreading higuera (native wild fig) trees to the two-story stucco and red-tile-roofed units. Inside, the rooms are clean with high ceilings, huge beds, marble shower baths, air-conditioning, TV, and phone. The elegant, cool, and serene restaurant leads outside to an airy dining veranda that overlooks a manicured shady garden. The food is appealing, professionally presented (but slowly served), and moderately priced. The only blot on this near-perfect picture is the noise—which choice of room can moderate considerably—from the trucks on the expressway nearby. Hotel parking available; credit cards are accepted.
On the opposite, east, side of town, another good choice is the motel-style Hotel Las Palomas (Av. Insurgentes 2100 Ote., tel. 311/214-0948, toll-free Mex. tel. 01-800/713-8500, tel./fax 311/214-0239, www.laspalomashotel.com.mx, $83 s or d) about two miles southeast of the city center. The two stories of double rooms and suites surround a colonial- chic pool and parking patio. The reception opens into an airy solarium restaurant, especially inviting for breakfast. The 67 clean and comfortable Spanish-style tile-floored rooms have air-conditioning, satellite TV, and phones; credit cards are accepted.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition