While there are probably a hundred hotels, B&Bs, and rental apartments around the UNESCO World Heritage center of Guanajuato, Mexico, there’s always been one problem for upscale travelers: the best two luxury hotels in town were a long hike away. This means visitors who were looking for the best often ended up taking taxis back and forth instead of stepping out their door and strolling.
While Quinta las Acacias and Villa Maria Cristina are perfectly fine places to stay, those who want to walk out their door and be in the middle of the action have far more choices now, with surprisingly plush rooms. These five hotels are all just steps from Guanajuato’s main attractions and all the outdoor cafes you can enjoy each month of the year.
Hotel 1850 Boutique
Like a movie that’s destined to be #1 at the box office on its opening weekend, this hotel situated right next to the park in the center of Guanajuato was a sure bet to get lots of attention. It made the most of the historic building (from 1850 of course), but this is no homage to Spanish colonialism. It’s more Mexico City than the heartland, with whimsical modern furniture, surprises around every corner, and rotating art installations. Each room is decorated differently and each is a real work of art, with serious though put into each element.
The roof deck bar here is a real highlight, with tables lit from within and a view of Teatro Juarez and two local churches lit up at night. When it comes to English proficiency, Hotel 1850 is miles ahead of anyone else in town, so for those who aren’t functional in Spanish, it’s a real refuge in the heart of the historic center. See a more detailed review here, great pics on the official website, or deals online at Hotels.com.
Hotel Alonso 10
Situated on the curvy Alonso street right running roughly parallel to the main pedestrian-only street, this small hotel has an unbeatable location close to everything. It’s elegant, the rooms are stuffed with amenities, and there’s a fine restaurant on the main floor.
These are some of the best rooms in town, with duvets on comfy beds, beamed high ceilings, hardwood floors, sofas, high-end bath fixtures, leather-covered wardrobes and—unlike in most converted colonial buildings—lots of natural light. Baths are shower-only, but the large showers are all marble and amenities include phone docks for music, minibars, electronic safes, and robes. All eight rooms are spacious and two Capelo and Gorky suites on the top floor have walk-in closets and terraces. (One even has a view of the Pipila monument on the mountain above.)
Alonso10 started out being priced so high—and typically had so many empty rooms—that I wondered at first if it was someone’s personal tax shelter. Rates are down to a more reasonable $130 to $200 level now at Hotels.com.
Edelmira Hotel Boutique
Hotel Edelmira is just around the corner from Hotel 1850 and is a nice alternative if that one’s full. It also opened in the last few years and is historic on the outside, sleek on the inside. The small indoor pool is really a plunge, but the restaurant is good and the rooms are well-equipped. The 27 rooms range from single-person ones with a double bed to spacious suites with a full living room and a sofa bed for a child. The top ones face the outside of the building and have a balcony, but the interior ones are quieter.
The owners of Edelmira have several other properties in town, so the staff is experienced. As with most hotels in this city, however, English proficiency is not a given. Rates run from under $150 to a shade over $200 double most of the year. With the right package, that includes breakfast for two. See our detailed review of Edelmira and check Edelmira rates here.
Casa del Rector Hotel Boutique
Located on Calle Positos between the university and the Alhondiga colonial-era granary, Casa del Rector Hotel is the latest upscale addition to the Guanajuato Centro scene, opened in late 2016. Just a few steps from the home where Diego Rivera lived as a child, it’s walking distance to nearly anywhere you would want to go.
The owners did a terrific job in restoring the old rectory building to glory while also expanding upward in the back to add modern guest rooms, a swimming pool, and a roof bar. A glass elevator takes you to the top. When the 13 rooms are close to full or there’s something going on in town, there are two restaurants and an additional courtyard bar open as well. This being an eternal spring climate in the highlands, you can sit outside all year.
White painted rooms are well-equipped with all the luxe touches and have a good mix of period elements for a sense of place mixed with some complimenting contemporary pieces to keep the sleeping quarters from getting too dark and dowdy. Rates generally run $160 to $490 before taxes, the latter being for the Presidential Suite. This includes valet parking. See a more detailed review of Casa del Rector here and check rates online.
La Casona de Don Lucas
Situated right on the main street winding through the city and on the plaza in front of the landmark Basilica church, this hotel is a bit more modest, but is a nice step up from the numerous budget inns nearby.
In a building that’s a century and a half old, rooms here are quirky, large, and full of character. Most are suites with a separate kitchenette and dining area, while the best is a 2nd-floor suite with a loft bedroom and the view you see at the top of this post. Rooms on the upper floors are also preferable for their high beamed ceilings and bigger windows.
The furniture is eclectic and the shower spaces are kind of tight, but there’s plenty of room and sitting areas. As with all Mexican hotels in this region, there’s no charge for Wi-Fi.
Almost all the suites are $140 or so a night with breakfast (before taxes), but plan ahead if you’ll be here during a Mexican holiday or during the Cervantino Festival. If you can read Spanish, see more at the La Casona de Don Lucas website. Otherwise, check rates on Priceline.
Want to get a good feel for the city and eat some authentic local items? Check out the best Guanajuato Tours, eating street food while walking around or hitting the bars and taco stands at night.
Story by editor Tim Leffel, who lives in Guanajuato and runs a company offering street food tours and historic Guanajuato walking tours there. Photos by Leffel except Edelmira shot, courtesy of the hotel.