Bela’s B&B (Calle Dr. Navarro 2, tel. 967/678-9292, www.belasbandb.com , US$30–60 s, US$45–75 d) has just five rooms: two smallish garden units with shared bath—good for singles, a bit cozy for two—and three spacious suites, including a top-floor unit with a balcony overlooking the verdant garden and red-roofed city beyond. All rooms have flannel sheets, electric blankets, space heaters, and luxurious pillow-top mattresses—in a word, Ahhhh!
The American owner lives on-site and is an attentive and forthright host. Her three kinetic dogs (small, smaller, and smallest) have free reign in the B&B—great if you like dogs, but not everyone’s thing. There’s no kitchen access, but a full breakfast and all-day coffee, tea, water, and Wi-Fi access are included.
Sol y Luna Guest Inn (Calle Tonalá 27 at Calle Pichicalco, tel. 967/678-5727, www.mexonline.com/solyluna.htm , US$50/70 s/d) brims with books, photos, and artwork from around Mexico and the world, for an eclectic—some might say cluttered—decor befitting the varied pursuits of its American host. The look extends to the two large guest rooms, which have fireplaces and electric blankets, though you have to go around the corner to use the bathroom (at least for now). Common areas include a large courtyard, lush garden, and cozy sitting area complete with fireplace, armchairs, and dozing housecats.
The owner is a California transplant with 15-plus years of information and advice about the city and region, and offers private tours and photo workshops. He also runs a modern-art gallery and orchid collection out of the B&B, and makes a mean breakfast to boot. It’s a quiet location; Internet and kitchen access are available.
One of San Cristóbal ’s loveliest places, Casa Felipe Flores (Calle Dr. Felipe Flores 36, tel. 967/678-3996, www.felipeflores.com , US$95–125 s/d) shines in every way, from its architectural nuances and superb artwork to the lush garden and shady patios. Four ground-floor guest rooms have high wood-beamed ceilings, talavera-tiled bathrooms, and working fireplaces; a fifth room is reached by way of a spiral staircase and, while much smaller, has terrific views from its rooftop perch.
The common living room is no less appealing, with comfy couches, an honor bar tucked into an antique chest, and—on cold nights—a raging fire in the fireplace. American owners Nancy and David Orr live on-site and often join guests for drinks or meals. A hearty breakfast is included in the rate. Cash or travelers checks are accepted.
La Bamba Guesthouse (Calle Ejercito Nacional 46, tel. 967/678-7455, U.S. tel. 864/278-0508, www.labambaguesthouse.com , US$150 s/d) has just one unit, but it’s certainly among San Cristóbal’s finest lodgings, and a terrific deal to boot. This cozy one-bedroom home has a full-size kitchen, comfy living room with fireplace, and tasteful colonial-style decor, with a private entrance and wireless Internet. The coup de grace is the garden—a long, gorgeous plot of trees and lush flowering plants that connects the guesthouse to the home of La Bamba’s friendly and discreet American owner.
Two covered garden patios—one with an outdoor fireplace, and both exclusive to the guesthouse—are perfect for morning coffee and an evening glass of wine, while a large rooftop terrace has panoramic views of the city and surrounding mountains. A full breakfast is included; low season and weekly rates are also available.