Hotel Casa Vieja (Calle María Adelina Flores 27, tel. 967/678-6868, www.casavieja.com.mx, US$85 s, US$90 d, US$110 junior suite, US$140 master suite) has the look and stature of a large colonial hotel, but the homey ambience of a small bed-and-breakfast. Rooms have wood-beam ceilings, hand-carved furniture, and views of two enclosed gardens. Rooms are a bit small, especially the bathrooms—our main critique—but overall are quite cozy and attractive. The master suite is gorgeous, with a king bed, peaked ceiling, and terrific views over the terra-cotta rooftops. The restaurant here is well recommended, especially for Sunday brunch.
The childhood home of one of the owners, Hotel Posada El Paraíso (Calle 5 de Febrero 19 at Av. 16 de Septiembre, tel. 967/678-0085, www.hotelposadaparaiso.com, US$55 s, US$75 d) is a charming little hotel just steps from the central plaza. Rooms have textured ocher and blue walls, heavy wood-beam ceilings, skylights, and colorful bedspreads—some have cozy lofts reached by handmade ladders. Light sleepers may be less impressed, though—the walls are rather thin, and rooms near the entrance are particularly susceptible to the comings and goings at the front desk. Ask for a room facing the street, or at the back of the building.
A San Cristóbal institution, Na Bolom (Av. Vicente Guerrero 33, tel. 967/678-1418, www.nabolom.org, US$66 s, US$88 d, US$120 junior suite, including breakfast) is a hotel, museum, and research center in one, housed in the former colonial home of a distinguished photographer-archaeologist couple. Standard rooms are aging but cozy, with working fireplaces and indigenous artwork; bathrooms could use a face-lift, however. Junior suites are a step above, with king-size beds, whirlpool bathtubs, and great views of the gardens. Guests include visiting researchers and Lacandón villagers, who often come together for Na Bolom’s nightly five-course family-style dinner (US$15 pp). The only drawback is the isolated location, about a 20-minute walk from the center.
Hotel Casa Mexicana (28 de Agosto 1 at Av. Utrilla, tel. 967/678-0698, www.hotelcasamexicana.com, US$80 s, US$90 d, US$140–170 suite) is an upscale hotel in the heart of downtown. The main building is a renovated colonial-era mansion, with original artwork hanging on burnished terra-cotta walls and an atrium replete with tropical plants, even a stone-edged pond. But those in the know ask for a room in the annex across the street, which is newer and quieter, with a grassy courtyard in the middle. Rooms on both sides are smallish but nicely appointed, with hand-carved headboards and bright Chiapanecan bedspreads, plus modern touches like flat-screen TVs and wireless Internet. Service is prompt and professional.
© Liza Prado and Gary Chandler from Moon Chiapas, 1st Edition