Under $50: A handful of recommendable budget hotels accommodate guests. Just a block from the north end of main street Calle María Asunción, find downscale Hotel Posada del Cazador (María Asunción 183, tel. 315/351-5000, fax 315/351-5212), where visitors enjoy friendly husband-wife management, a lobby for sitting and socializing, a shelf of used paperback novels, and a long-distance telephone. There are seven plain but clean rooms for $18 s or d, $30 d in two beds low season, $30 and $45 high. Kitchenette suites sleeping four rent for $40 low season, $50 high. Find it on the main street on the left, as you enter town.
On the opposite, sleepy south-end beachfront edge of town, the Hotel Puesta del Sol (Calle Playa Blanca 94, tel./fax 315/351-5033) offers 17 basic rooms around a cool, leafy central patio. Low-season rates run about $20 s or d, $30 t and $30 s or d, $45 t high; with discounts for longer-term rentals.
One of the class-act La Manzanilla accommodations is the beautiful Posada Tonalá (María Asunción 75, tel./fax 315/351-5474, posadatonala [at] hotmail [dot] com), life project of kindly owner/builder Alfonso Torres López. Señor López retired from his auto-parts business in Guadalajara and returned to realize his lifelong dream, to contribute to his hometown. You must at least come and look at his handiwork: the graceful teak (granadillo) stairway, the vines cascading on one side of the airy lobby, all topped by a uniquely lovely palapa roof. His rooms are immaculate and spacious, with modern shower baths and plenty of attractive tile, as well as handsome dark hand-carved furniture and colorful handmade bedspreads. All this for only $33 s or d, $43 t, with air-conditioning, fans, hot water shower baths. Add about $15 during Christmas and Easter holidays. Find it on the town’s main street, right in the center of town.
$50–100: Enjoy that vacation feeling with a stay at secluded seaview Villa Montaña (46 Calle Los Angeles Locos) on the hillside above and behind the town. Accommodations start at $65 d low season, $89 d high; discounts are available for long-term stays. For more information and reservations, contact Dan Clarke (P.O. Box 16343, Seattle, WA 98116, tel. 206/937-3882, www.lamanzanilla.biz ).
For an equally enjoyable, but completely different, experience, stay right on the beach at Tranquilidad Bungalows (Calle María Asunciín 150, tel. 315/351-5063, www.rkimsey.com ), pride of local residents Roberta and Tonia Kimsey. They offer four one-bedroom apartments (two upper-floor, two lower) tastefully decorated in modern spartan-chic style, for $95 d high season, $75 d low, with queen-size bed, fans, full kitchen, gleaming tile bath, living-dining room, and private oceanview patios.
Get to La Manzanilla by following the signed paved road at Km 13 for one mile. The Hotel Cazador is on the left, one block after you turn left onto the main beachfront street. The Posada Tonalá and Tranquilidad Bungalows are a block farther, across the street from each other, while Hotel Puesta del Sol is a quarter-mile farther along; bear right past the town plaza for a few blocks along the beachfront street, Calle Playa Blanca. Villa Montaña is prominent on the hill, a quarter mile north of the town center.
A number of agents manage vacation rentals for the many attractive homes that sprinkle La Manzanilla’s shady lanes and golden beachfront. Dan Clarke, owner of Villa Montaña, is probably the most experienced; check out his website www.lamanzanilla.biz , or telephone him in Seattle at 206/937-3882. Alternatively, visit personable Daniel Hallas’s Costa Alegre Properties office on main street, María Asunción, beach side, or call him in La Manzanilla at 315/351-5059, or visit his website, www.lamanzanilla.info .