For economy, consider the nine-room Hotel Salvador (20 de Noviembre 204, tel. 951/516-4008, $25 s, $30 d, $40 t), a block west of the zócalo, next door to the north of the Hotel Francia. Here, you can get a plain but decent upstairs room with bath, with the bonus of a good restaurant downstairs, but with no parking or credit cards accepted.
Another good, close-in budget option is the modest, gay-friendly Posada Nito (Armenta y López 416, tel. 951/514-6668, hotelnito [at] yahoo [dot] com, $25 s, $33 d, $43 t), a block east and two blocks south of the zócalo’s southeast corner. Guests at this simple, 10-room hotel enjoy clean, light rooms, thoughtfully decorated with hand-hewn bedspreads, rustically attractive tile floors, reading lamps, and shiny hot-water bathrooms. There’s no parking, telephones, or credit cards accepted. Downstairs, guests enjoy a tranquil, intimate inner patio, with chairs, table, and a shade umbrella for relaxing and socializing. Reserve one of the upstairs rooms for maximum privacy and light.
Head northeast a few blocks east of the zócalo’s northeast corner to the busy, traveler-favorite, 39-room Posada del Virrey (1001 Morelos, tel. 951/516-5555 or 951/516-5141, fax 951/516-2193, www.hotelesdeoaxaca.com/hotelPosadadelVirrey.html , $35 s or d in one bed, $45 d in two beds, $50 t). Only four blocks (five minutes) east of the zócalo, the authentically colonial Posada del Virrey offers two floors of rooms surrounding a spacious inner restaurant patio, which in the mornings and evenings is often half-filled with mostly foreign travelers, reading, conversing, and relaxing. The rooms are clean and comfortably furnished, including one, two, or three double beds, with attractive brown and bright-orange bedspreads and handsome rustic handmade wooden furniture. Rooms come with cable TV, phone, fan, parking (9 p.m.–9 a.m.), and MasterCard accepted. Get your reservations in early, especially during holidays.
Even closer in, just half a block west of the zócalo’s southwest corner, is the petite and popular Hotel Las Rosas (Trujano 112, tel./fax 951/514-2217, $34 s, $38 d, $55 t). Climb a flight of stairs to the small lobby, relatively tranquil by virtue of its second-floor location. Beyond that, a double tier of rooms surrounds a homey inner patio. Adjacent to the lobby is a cheery sitting room with a big, beautiful tropical aquarium and a TV, usually kept at subdued volume. In the rear, guests enjoy an airy terrace for reading and relaxing. The rooms themselves, although plainly furnished, are clean and tiled (except some bathrooms, which could use an extra scrubbing). Prices are very reasonable for such a well-located hotel. Discounts are negotiable for a one-week stay. No credit cards, parking, or wheelchair access, however.
Walk a block north to the northwest side of the zócalo to the leafy Alameda de León square in front of the cathedral and the Hotel Monte Albán (Alameda de León 1, tel. 951/516-2777 or 951/516-2330, fax 951/516-3265, hotelmontealban [at] prodigy [dot] net [dot] mx, $30 s, $45 d, $55 t). This popular old standby hostelry encloses a big patio/restaurant that hosts folk-dance shows 8:30–10 p.m. nightly. During your first evening this could be understandably exciting, but after a few days you might feel as if you were living in a three-ring circus. The 20 rooms, which surround the patio in two floors, are genuinely colonial, with high-beamed ceilings and big bedsteads. Rates are modest for such a well-located hotel; no parking, but credit cards are accepted.
Ideally situated just east of the zócalo’s northeast corner, the best-buy colonial-era Hotel Real de Antequera (Hidalgo 807, tel. 951/516-4635, fax 951/516-4020, www.oaxaca-mio.com/real.htm , hra5109 [at] prodigy [dot] net [dot] mx, $40 s, $45 d, $58 t) offers plenty for reasonable rates. The 29 comfortable rooms, in two stories around an inviting old world–style restaurant-patio include breakfast, bath, fans, cable TV, phones, parking, and credit cards accepted.
Just a block south of the zócalo’s southwest corner, the Hotel Trebol (at Flores Magón 201, tel./fax 951/516-1256, reservacioneshotrebol [at] prodigy [dot] net [dot] mx, www.oaxaca-mio.com/trebol.htm , $47 s or d in one bed, $58 d in two beds, $80 t) remains an enduring jewel among Oaxaca’s close-in moderately priced hotels. Guests can choose from about 40 rooms, artfully sprinkled in three stories around an airy, plant-decorated inner patio. The recently renovated rooms are comfortably furnished with rustic tile, hand-hewn wooden furniture, table lamps, color-coordinated bedspreads, and shiny, modern-standard shower-baths. Rooms include fans, telephone, cable TV, parking, travel agent, and good restaurant.
A block west of the zócalo’s southwest corner, find the Hóstal Santa Rosa (Trujano 201, tel. 951/514-6714, 951/514-6715, fax 951/514-6715, $40 s, $48 d). The streetside lobby leads past an airy restaurant to the rooms, recessed along a meandering inner passageway and courtyard. Inside, the rooms are very clean, comfortably furnished, and decorated in pastels. Rates continue to be reasonable except during festivals and holidays, when they might rise as much as 40 percent. It offers TV, phones, parking, limited wheelchair access, and an in-house travel-tour agency, but no credit cards are accepted.