A sprinkling of hotels in the sleepy Melaque north-end neighborhood offer comfortable accommodations at budget-to-moderate rates.
Under $50: One of the tidiest is the Hotel Bahía (Calle Legazpi 5, tel./fax 315/355-6894) of kindly owner/managers Evelia and Rafael Galvez Moreno, just half a block off the beach. The hotel’s 21 rooms and two kitchenette bungalows line a pair of two-floor tiers that enclose a lovely inner patio and a pool in a second patio off to one side and an airy upstairs veranda, fine for relaxing and socializing. The rooms, although smallish, are spic-and-span and attractively decorated with flowery curtains and matching bedspreads. A common kitchen is available downstairs for guest use. Room rates run from about $32 (for 1–4), about $40 high; bungalows about $50, with TV, fans, hot-water showers, and filtered drinking water.
The neighboring homey, downscale-modern white-stucco Hotel de Legazpi (Av. de las Palmas 3, tel./fax 315/355-5397, hoteldelegazpi [at] prodigy [dot] net [dot] mx) offers relaxing vacation options right on the beachfront. A number of the hotel’s spacious, clean, and comfortable front-side rooms have balconies with palmy ocean and sunset views. Downstairs, guests enjoy a small restaurant and a rear-court pool and patio. The hotel’s beachside entrance leads through a jungly front garden straight to the idyllic Melaque west-end sand crescent. Here, good times bloom among an informal club of longtime winter returnees beneath the palapas of the popular La Sirenita, Cabo Blanco, and Viva María restaurants. The hotel’s 16 fan-only rooms (two with kitchenette) rent for $30 s or d, $35 t low season, $39, $44, $49 high, with a TV room, and hot-water shower baths.
$50–100: If you prefer hotel high-rise ambience with privacy, a seaview balcony, and a disco (weekends and holidays) next door, you can have it right on the beach at the Hotel Club Náutico (Av. Gómez Farías 1A, tel. 315/355-5770 or 315/355-5766, fax 315/355-5239). The 40 simply but attractively decorated rooms, in blue, pastels, and white, angle toward the ocean in sunset-view tiers above a smallish pool and patio. The upper-floor rooms nearest the beach are likely to be quieter with the best views. The hotel also has a good beachside restaurant whose huge palapa both captures the cool afternoon sea breeze and frames the blue waters of the Bay of Navidad. The hotel’s main drawback is lack of exterior space, being sandwiched into a long, narrow beachfront lot. Rentals run about $34 s, $60 d, $74 t, add about 30 percent during Christmas and Easter holidays. Ask for a discount during times of low occupancy. With air-conditioning, TV, phones, and good view restaurant/bar; credit cards are accepted.
The five-star Hotel Portico del Mar (Formerly the Hotel Real Costa Sur, P.O. Box 12, San Patricio Melaque, Jalisco 48980, toll-free Mex. tel. 01-800/710-5690, tel./fax 315/355-5085), on Playa Coastecomate a few miles north of Melaque, offers a moderately priced resort alternative. Built as a five-star hotel, the hotel fell into disrepair and was closed for a spell in 2002. Nevertheless, new owners have reopened for business. The hotel’s low-rise view guest cabañas spread like a giant mushroom garden in the jungly palm-forest hillside above the beach. Patrons—mostly Canadians and Americans in winter, Mexicans in summer and holidays—enjoy air-conditioned view rooms with cable TV, tennis courts, sailing, sailboarding, pedalboats, snorkeling, volleyball, and a broad pool and sundeck right on the beach. Rates run about $70 d low season, $90 for 1–4 high season. During low-occupancy seasons, hotel cleanliness in the past has been less than desirable and the rooms have been musty due to lack of ventilation. Check before moving in.