North-Side Luxury Hotels
Just above north-side Avenida Niños Héroes (Highway 190), the Hotel Fortín Plaza (Av. Venus 118, Colonia Estrella, tel. 951/515-7777, fax 951/515-1328, www.hotelfortinplaza.com.mx, reservaciones [at] hotelfortinplaza [dot] com [dot] mx, $80 s, $95 d) is hard to miss, especially at night. Its yellow-lit six-story profile tops everything else in town. The hotel offers the usual resort facilities—restaurant/bar, pool, live music Tuesday–Saturday, disco, and parking—in a compact, attractively designed layout. Upstairs, guests enjoy deluxe, clean, and comfortable rooms with private city-view balconies (whose tranquility is reduced, however, on the highway side, by considerable traffic noise—best reserve for a more tranquilo mountain-view room on the opposite side). Rooms come with phones, TV, wireless Internet, wheelchair access, and parking; credit cards accepted. Ask for a discount or a paquete (package), especially during weekdays and the low-occupancy months of January, May, June, and September.
Hotel Misión de Los Angeles (Calz. Porfirio Díaz 102, tel. 951/502-0100, fax 951/502-0111, info [at] misiondelosangeles [dot] com, www.misiondelosangeles.com, rooms $110 d, junior suites $134 d) rambles like a hacienda through a spreading oak- and acacia-decorated garden-park two blocks uphill from Avenida Niños Héroes (Highway 190), about a mile uphill, north, of the city center. After a rough few days on the sightseeing circuit, this is an ideal place to kick back beside the big pool or enjoy a set or two of tennis. The 162 rooms and suites are spacious and comfortable, decorated in earth tones and pastels and have big garden-view windows or balconies. Upper rooms are quieter and more private. (Some rooms, however, may not be as favorably located; look at more than one before deciding.) Amenities include phones, parking, and restaurant; credit cards accepted.
Several blocks west, a couple of blocks past the Hotel Fortín Plaza, the Hotel Victoria (Km 545, Blvd. Adolfo Ruiz Cortínez 1306, Carretera Panamericana, tel. 951/515-2633, fax 951/515-2411, reservaciones [at] hotelvictoriaoax [dot] com [dot] mx, www.hotelvictoriaoax.com.mx, rooms $100, villas $115, junior suites $130) spreads over a lush hillside garden of panoramic vistas and luxurious resort ambience. The 1960s-modern lobby extends from an upstairs bar, downhill past a terrace restaurant to a flame tree and jacaranda-decorated pool patio. Rooms come in three grades, all comfortably deluxe, that vary by size and location. The smallest are the rooms in the original hotel building; somewhat larger are the villas downstairs around the pool, and most spacious are the junior suites, in the newer wing detached from the lobby building, with double-size bathrooms and private-view balconies. The 150 rooms come with cable TV, phones, air-conditioning, tennis court, live music Friday and Saturday evenings, handicrafts shop, parking, and wheelchair access; credit cards accepted.
Cooler, breezier San Felipe village, in the foothills north of Oaxaca town, has recently become home to a number of restful luxury lodgings. Choicest among them, Hacienda Los Laureles (Hidalgo 21, San Felipe del Agua, tel. 951/501-5300, 951/520-0890, Mex. toll-free tel. 800/508-7923, fax 951/501-5301, bookings [at] hotelhaciendaloslaureles [dot] com, www.hotelhaciendaloslaureles.com, or reserve through booking agent Mexico Boutique Hotels toll-free U.S./Can. tel. 800/728-9098, www.mexicoboutiquehotels.com, deluxe rooms $195 s or d, superior deluxe $250 s or d) is the labor of love of personable German expatriate owner-managers Ligia and Peter Kaiser. After a career of managing hotels in Europe, Africa, and the United States, Peter and Ligia decided to create their version of heaven in Oaxaca. During the late 1990s they rebuilt a venerable hacienda, tenaciously preserving its rustic old-world essence while installing the best of the new. Now, Hacienda Los Laureles’s centerpiece is its lush interior garden of grand tropical trees and climbing vines that, at night, is transformed by shadowed lighting and the serenades of crickets and tree frogs into an enchanted forest. The Hacienda’s 25 rooms, which all open onto this precious scene, are decorated in elegant simplicity, with high ceilings, handsome tile floors, and hand-hewn mahogany furniture. Bathrooms are likewise luxurious and comfortable. Suites for 3–6 or more are also available. All come with air-conditioning, cable TV, pool with whirlpool tub, and an excellent terrace restaurant. Temazcal and a menu of spa services are also available at an extra cost.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Oaxaca, 5th edition