Much closer in, just two blocks behind Iglesia de Santo Domingo, you’ll find Casa de las Bugambilias (Reforma 402, tel./fax 951/516-1165, bugambilias [at] lasbugambilias [dot] com, www.lasbugambilias.com, $42–85 s, $60–100 d), with eight seven rooms and one suite, artfully tucked behind its good streetfront restaurant. (Note: Casa de las Bugambilias has an unusually convenient U.S-direct telephone connection that allows you to contact an English-speaking person at Casa de las Bugambilias from your U.S. telephone simply by dialing 321/249-9422.) The rooms, immaculate and thoughtfully appointed with art and handicrafts, are all different. Some open onto a lovely rear garden. Take a look at as many as possible before choosing. Rules include minimum three-night stay, children over 12 only, no pets, and no smoking. Amenities include private bath, breakfast, Internet access, a temazcal (at extra cost); credit cards accepted, but no parking included.
On the far northwest edge of downtown, about ten blocks from the zócalo (but only four blocks west of Santo Domingo), consider the petite, gay-friendly Casa Crespo bed-and-breakfast (Crespo 415, tel. 951/514-1102, casacrespo [at] go-oaxaca [dot] com, www.casacrespo.com, $90 s or d) Personable owner-artist-publisher Oscar Carrizosa offers two large, elegantly appointed rooms that open to a tranquil inner fountain patio and are traditionally decorated with polished hand-hewn furniture, antiques, paintings, and reading lamps. Amenities include full breakfast, wireless Internet connection, shiny, tile-decorated bathrooms, big beds, fans, and cooking classes at a 20 percent discount for guests.
Another promising bed-and-breakfast in the same north-side neighborhood (but a few blocks west of El Llano park) is Bed-and-Breakfast Oaxaca Ollin (oh-YEEN) (Quintana Roo 213, tel. 951/514-9126, U.S./Can. tel. 619/787-5141, reservations [at] oaxacaollin [dot] com, www.oaxacaollin.com, $65–75 d, honeymoon suite $100), life project of guide Judith Reyes López and her husband Jon McKinley. Judith and Jon offer 11 comfortable double rooms in their large house, located on a quiet side street a block north and a block east of the Centro Cultural de Santo Domingo. Rooms are immaculate and comfortably appointed with natural wood furniture, reading lamps, and lovely Talavera-tile bathrooms. Extras abound, such as a lovely blue swimming pool and patio, living room, library, reading room, gratis Internet access and local phone calls, and much more. Prices include a hearty breakfast.
Back on the northeast side, from Casa de las Bugambilias (above), go east two blocks and turn north a block to the bed-and-breakfast gem Casa de Mis Recuerdos (House of My Memories, Pino Suárez 508, tel. 951/515-8483, tel./fax 951/515-5645, misrecue [at] prodigy [dot] net [dot] mx, www.misrecuerdos.net, $40–45 per person). Enter the front gate and continue through a blooming, bougainvillea-festooned garden to the private home of the Valenciana family, which has been accommodating students and foreign visitors for years. The rented rooms occupy rear and front sections. The four front rooms, immaculate, spacious, and lovingly decorated with folk art and furnished with handmade wooden furniture, have two bathrooms between them. They are closer to the busy streetfront than the five similarly furnished rear rooms, which, although they have private baths, are smaller. Guests also have the use of an airy, shaded rooftop gazebo for reading and relaxing. Breakfast, included with rentals, is served in the inviting downstairs family dining room. Rates approximately double during festivals and holidays; all linens and cleaning service included.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Oaxaca, 5th edition