Sometimes, as travellers we like to treat ourselves. Valentine’s Day was approaching so we decided to splash out and stay in a lovely hotel that would perhaps match the anticipated romance of Oaxaca City. We decided to stay at the beautiful Hacienda Los Laureles. Perched high in the “Beverly Hills” of Oaxaca, San Filipe Del Agua, this elegant turn of the century hacienda was absolutely breathtaking.
We were greeted at the check-in counter by Guillermo and Victor, the hotel manager and reservations manager. They handed us a delicious margarita, checked us in and then led us down a lovely brick walkway, covered in a Bougainvillea awning which was held up by broad columns with arched openings that framed gorgeous views of the lush central garden.
There are a total of 23 rooms and suites of five different classes at Los Laureles which were divided between the original hacienda and the newer two-story building. Our room was a Superior King Room, a well equipped and large suite with a beautiful stone tile shower, handmade mahogany furniture, a large king-sized bed and some traditional Mexican art that accented the otherwise uncomplicated whitewashed room. We were surprised to see the older, tube style television set on the dresser across from the bed and would have expected to see a flat screen TV at this price range, but the older electronics may have been meant to keep the traditional character of the room.
Outside the single entrance to the suite, was a small circular table and two chairs, quaintly set under the overhanging canopy. This seating also enjoyed the fantastic garden views, obstructed only by a few tangled, blooming flower vines that gracefully fell from the arches above.
Set inside a bright and charming glass enclosed patio and looking out towards the garden is the popular Los Cypresses Restaurant where the elite Oaxacan business members, couples and families come to enjoy lunches and dinners. Surprisingly, the menu was very affordable, but unfortunately in our experience the flavours and service didn’t live up to the reputation. We were served uninspired moles with plain rice and we didn’t receive our vegetable side dish until the rest of our meals were completely finished. And when the accompaniments did come, they were cold, rubbery, frozen vegetables from a bag. The staff tried to rectify the issue by giving us a complimentary piece of cake, which was nice.
We were definitely disappointed with this presentation given the level of service that the rest of the hotel offers, but we found some great restaurants and weekend food markets surrounding the hotel.
Right across the street is a fantastic Italian style restaurant which serves up delicious home-made pastas, hot chocolates and breads at excellent prices. If you’re staying at Los Laureles, we recommend giving their Cypresses Restaurant a try because we’re sure that our experience was just unlucky, but also walk around and sample some of the other restaurants in the area.
This is what really set Los Laureles apart from other places that we’ve stayed. Each room, the restaurant and the quiet pool area all point inwards towards the fairytale Eden of well manicured lawns, palm trees and tropical blossoms. Dedicated gardeners tirelessly care for each living and growing part of the central yard and their hard work definitely shows in the impeccable condition of the area. The backdrop of craggy mountain cliffs and the sound of chirping birds only add to the peace and calm of this magnificent natural utopia.
The Staff & Service
Los Laureles offered impeccable service to all of its guests. While we were there, a young Mexican couple was enjoying a romantic engagement dinner with rose pedals and candles, all set up by the hotel staff. On our first days at the hotel, our room was lacking hot water, but the maintenance staff was constantly on the job and did their best to accommodate us, finally changing the show head to ensure that we were satisfied with the temperature of the water. When we set off to town, we were offered great directions for both taxi and bus transport and the receptionist was eager to call us a taxi or help us in any way possible. We found the staff at Los Laureles to be friendly, thorough and dedicated to their guests 100% of the time.
Set in a wealthy suburb of Oaxaca City, about 20 minutes by bus or 10 minutes (50 pesos) by taxi outside of town, Los Laureles is definitely not in “the thick of the action”. But the residential area surrounding the hotel is delightful and it is set at the foot of picturesque Oaxaca mountains, giving it a very wild and natural feel. There are a couple of nearby restaurants, some local shops and a church all within walking distance so you won’t feel disconnected from the town by staying out here, in fact, the quiet neighbourhood offers just as much peace and romance as the city itself and once you see Los Laureles’ garden, you may not want to leave anyway.
If you’re in the mood for some intense relaxation, head to the Los Laureles Spa, where you will be greeted by a traditional healer who uses aromatic steam, medicinal plants, chants and dances to sooth and relax your body and soul. There is a temezcal on site, which is an authentic pre-Hispanic sweat lodge. Typically, travellers will only find temezcals as touristy saunas, but Los Laureles has a healer who preserves many of the traditional routines and customs of this age-old ritual. If you’re in for just a normal spa treatment, you can enjoy the usual facials, massages, hydrotherapy sessions and exfoliations that you would expect from a spa of this class.
The below rates are based on a booking inquiry for one night in April. Prices may vary depending on holidays and season.
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Aside from dining at the restaurant, we had an excellent experience at Los Laureles and we would definitely recommend it for couples looking for a romantic and peaceful base from which to explore the Unesco World Heritage city of Oaxaca. The staff is great, the rooms are beautiful and the views to the central garden and surrounding mountains simply can’t be beat. If you don’t mind being a few minutes out-of-town, then Hacienda Los Laureles is the perfect choice for your visit to this incredible city.
Thank you to Hacienda Los Laureles for hosting us during our stay in Oaxaca City. As always, all thoughts, opinions and reviews remain our own, despite any complimentary services received.