Recently I attended a meeting in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico for a new program, Mexico Today. In the agenda, it stated that accommodations would be provided by Camino Real Oaxaca, so I decided to research the hotel and check it out prior to the trip.
In my previous travels to this great city, I stayed in small hotels near the zocolo, and once with a family while learning Spanish at the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca.
We were not asked or expected to do a review of the hotel but I thought it would be helpful for anyone considering traveling to Oaxaca in the future.
From the airport, Camino Real Oaxaca is no more than a 20-minute taxi ride and is located in the Historic Center, just four blocks from the main square (zocalo). The colonial building is the ex-convent of Santa Catalina de Siena built by the Spanish as a nunnery.
Arriving to the hotel and receiving a warm, receptive welcome was a breath of fresh air. After all, traveling can be taxing with tight schedules, connecting flights, customs and luggage schlepping. But from the moment I stepped off the plane, every single person I encountered, was more than pleasant, in fact, willing to go out of their way to help.
After the short ride from the airport and memorable snapshot of the outside of town, our taxi pulled up to the entrance of Camino Real Oaxaca. Without hesitation, the luggage was whisked into the lobby as I stepped off the shuttle and was warmly greeted by hotel staff and led to a private check-in.
A few details about the hotel:
- Built in 1576
- 91 rooms on two floors
- Colonial property, meticulously restored
- Spanish Baroque architecture and authentic colonial touches
The atmosphere of the hotel was open and relaxed but extremely secure. My room was an interior room with a spectacular view of the courtyard and gardens. The room, in colonial Mexican décor, included a spacious king bed robe and slippers, flat screen TV, a friendly and welcome fruit basket and a picture perfect welcome display.
Since we spent days and evenings out for meetings and activities, I didn’t sample the lunch or dinner menus but the daily breakfast buffet was healthy and hearty, especially since it included my favorite dish, chilaquiles. Any buffet that includes chilaquiles is good in my book. But just to tempt you, the buffet also included mouth-watering Mexican pastries and breads, fruits, yogurts, freshly squeezed juices, Mexican hot chocolate (one with water and one with milk) and much more, all displayed in a festive, yet elegant fashion.
Hospitality: What I pay attention to most at hotels is how staff treats other guests. What I saw at Camino Real Oaxaca was attentiveness, sincerity and willingness to help with any request or need. They gave attention when you needed it and space when you didn’t.
Location: Because of its central location, it was ideal for exploring the town by foot. The zocolo (the main square), local markets, restaurants and main church (Templo de Santo Domingo) were all within a few blocks away.
Architectural beauty: From the moment I stepped on the grounds, my camera was out! Architecturally, this hotel was stunning. According to their website, in 1972, a team of experts undertook the job of restoring the frescoes that adorned the walls of what were previously rooms and halls. The floors were reconfigured according to the original architecture and they attempted to restore a part of the artistic treasures that this great building once harbored.
Camino Real Oaxaca is a 5-star, AAA 4 Diamond Award hotel and has been recognized by Travel & Leisure as one of the 25 best hotels in Mexico, Central and South America.
At every moment in the hotel and around Oaxaca I felt safe and secure. Locals were working hard, vendors were selling their goods and life was tranquil and relaxed in the city (especially outside the city). I wish everyone could see this Mexico instead of what you might see in the news.
Disclosure: This article is presented on behalf of my work for Mexico Today, an initiative of Marca País – Imagen de México. This program is designed to shine a light on the Mexico that its people experience every day. Although I’m being compensated for my work in creating content for the México Today program, all stories, opinions and passion for all things México shared here are completely my own.