An increasing number of visitors are opting for longer Oaxaca stays, and a number of recommendable small apartment complexes are ready to accommodate them.
In the southeast quarter, an easy five-block walking distance to the zócalo, you’ll find the attractive Villa María (Arteaga 410 A, tel. 951/516-5056, fax 951/514-2562, villamaria22 [at] hotmail [dot] com, $45–65 d per night, $400–600 per month). Villa María is the labor of love of trilingual (English, French, Spanish) owner-manager María Garcia and her sister Mari Carmen. Step inside their domain and you’ll see the other reason for Villa María’s popularity: about 15 apartments surrounding an inviting, plant-adorned inner patio, where stairways rise to rooftop sundecks furnished with comfortable chairs and shady umbrellas. The immaculate, thoughtfully decorated one- bedroom housekeeping apartments, with themes such as “Mixteco,” are completely furnished, including dishes, silverware, in-house Internet, optional phones, and maid service. The one- and two-bedroom apartments vary in cost depending on location, size, and amenities
About five blocks north of the zócalo, right in front of Iglesia de Santo Domingo  and its plaza, is Departmentos del Fraile (Macedonio Alcalá 501, tel./fax 951/516-4310, cell in town 044-951/5070, goodwood [at] prodigy [dot] net [dot] mx, $600/month). Family owner-managers offer four compact, modern, rustic-chic apartments, hidden behind a street-front wall, and tucked within a quiet leafy inner courtyard. The renovated units have one bedroom, bathroom, and kitchenette. Rentals are monthly only.
Behind (east of) the Iglesia de Santo Domingo  block, find La Casa de Rosita (formerly La Casa de los Abuelos, House of the Grandparents) (Reforma 410, tel. 951/516-1982, lacasadelosabuelos [at] hotmail [dot] com, www.lacasa-de-rosita.com , $50/day, $350/week). This charmingly quirky colonial-era complex is the life project of personable owner-builder Luis Arroyo Nuñez, who inherited it from his abuelos (grandparents). This former priests’ residence for Iglesia de Santo Domingo  was confiscated by the government after the cristero revolt of the late 1920s. Luis’s six completely renovated apartments, built around two quiet inner patios, are replete with unique details, such as exposed original brick walls, old family photos, bric-a-brac, and sturdy wooden staircases leading up to bedroom lofts. Rentals include invitingly furnished living-dining rooms, kitchenettes, queen-size beds, and shower-baths. Asking rates are negotiable by the month; with fans, TV, purified bottled water, and wireless Internet connection.
Nearby, a block east and a block north, just south of El Llano park, Hotel and Studios Las Mariposas (Pino Suárez 517, tel. 951/515-5854, ventas [at] lasmariposas [dot] com [dot] mx, www.lasmariposas.com.mx , $45 s, $50 d) is strongly recommended by previous customers for either short- or long-term stays. Welcoming and knowledgeable owner Teresa Dávila offers six comfortable studio kitchenette suites with private baths in her restored 19th-century family house. In addition, seven rooms (with baths but without kitchenettes) rent for about $40 s, $45 d. Ask for a discount for a long-term stay. Besides the happy customers, pluses include use of fax machine, Internet connection, wireless Internet access, coffee, TV, credit cards accepted, optional breakfast at extra cost, but no kids under 12.