Exploring Colonial Mexico


If you are looking for an alternative to Europe with its high prices and long flights, Colonial Mexico vacation fits the bill. After a 3 1/2 nonstop flight from LA on Mexicana Airlines you are in Guadalajara, the second largest city in Mexico. Other cities I visited were Lagos de Moreno, San Miguel de Allende and Patzcuaro. My focus was select private hacienda's now converted to boutique hotels. All provided personalized services, deluxe accommodations and gourmet food. And all had BEGINNING PRICES OF UNDER $300.00 P/NIGHT. Because these properties are represented by one of our key associates, guests receive value-added amenities when reservations are made with TravelStore.

I found the Mexican people to be gracious and polite; they could not do enough for us. I highly recommend traveling this area of Mexico. Here one can experience another culture, enjoy gourmet food, and shop where the dollar still has value. Any of these cities can also be paired with a few days at the beach in Puerto Vallarta, Cabo or Cancun.

Hotel Villa Ganz, GUADALAJARA
This is a sophisticated city with a culture part European, part historical Mexican and enhanced by contemporary influences. There are excellent restaurants, fabulous shopping, traditional and contemporary art and a historical city center. We also took a day trip to the city of Tequila where you learn all you want to know about Tequila and enjoy a tasting.

The Hotel Villa Ganz is located in an upscale neighborhood where it is safe to walk to dinner at night. Or to the Fitness center a block away to take advantage of the complimentary fitness program. The hotel is a delight with a sea of antiques in every room. The rooms are large with deluxe amenities and the beds comfortable. Private dinner is available on request. The food is delicious and beautifully presented. I especially enjoyed breakfast. The hotel cooks breakfast to order to go along with their beautiful fruits and pastries. The owner is a vivacious woman with a fashion background. She can put together a spa or shopping experience, or a combination of both. This can be a romantic getaway for two, or a great girl’s getaway trip.

Hacienda Sepulveda, LAGOS de MORENO
This is a working hacienda in the countryside. The hotel has a lovely pool, a spa and offers horseback riding. Fishing and soft adventures are nearby. The food was good and beautifully presented. Breakfast was lovely, served in the garden. The rooms are exceptionally large.

This is a nice alternative to staying in the city. Here animals and animal sounds replace the noises of the city. You hear the rooster and donkey. Peacocks are found wandering the property. I had good massage in the spa, but the spa facilities, while adequate, are not on a par with deluxe American Spas.

A wonderful small town which lives up to it's reputation. It is the classic small Mexican town with the town square centered by the Cathedral. The square is pulsing with activity day and night. The surrounding cobblestone streets are full of shopping, restaurants and galleries. You could stroll for hours enjoying the sights and the people. The ambience of the town attracts all the arts; dance, music, fine art, film and of course you have the fiestas.

Dos Casa is three short blocks from the central square. Their restaurant is one of the best in town. We were treated to a cooking demonstration and the food was delicious. Rooms #5 and #6 have their own private rooftops with Jacuzzis. Very romantic to sit in the tub and enjoy the evening looking at the cityscape with the lighted cathedral and the night sky. All the rooms were a good size and comfortable. I would highly recommend a daytrip to Guanajuato, a couple of hours away. It is a colorful, vibrant town full of history, music and architecture.

La Siranda Casa-Hotel, PATZCUARO
Patzcuaro goes back to pre-Hispanic times and is known for it's indigenous people. The town square is surrounded by merchants and food vendors. After absorbing the town flavor, all the colors and aromas, you can visit the surrounding Mission villages. Each village has it's own unique craft industry that has been ongoing for many, many years. You can find ceramic, copper, weavings and more in these areas. The town has been described as an ""undiscovered Oaxaca"" or Santa Fe in the 1940's.

After entering an unmarked wooden door, no address to identify the hotel, you find yourself at the Siranda Casa-Hotel. Surrounding a lovely landscaped courtyard are six very elegant rooms, filled with antiques and a sumptuous bed outfitted with Frette linens. You put on one of the CD's provided, relax and you will not want to leave. Again a sophisticated meal was provided. It is almost a little surreal to be surrounded by such luxury in a town that dates back to pre-Columbian times.

Morelia is 1.5 hours away. We did not have time to visit this city but I understand it does have history and sights worth seeing. The nonstop flight from Morelia to Los Angeles is a short 3 hours.