Ave Mexico 2727 Col. Vallarta Norte, Guadalajara, Jalisco
In a city filled with uninspiring business hotels, Quinta Real keep it real. Despite a humdrum location and no views, it is the most luxurious sophisticated full–service hotel in Guadalajara. It also offers a much stronger sense of place than its competitors.
Arrivals are seated at check–in and served a glass of bubbly, immediately getting the feeling that this is no bland international hotel. With only 78 rooms, the intimate feeling runs throughout the grounds, with the place feeling like a cozy hideaway. Vine–covered limestone and brick walls are surrounded by pocket gardens. Bright bouquets, varnished woods, and museum–quality colonial–era pieces enhance the formal ambiance of the public areas.
The one restaurant is elegant at all hours and the menu is refreshingly Mexican, down to the hot chocolate and the spicy dishes that are not watered down for the sake of tourists. Even the breakfast buffet presents surprise after surprise. Tuxedoed waiters provide attentive service and live music performers play at each meal. The adjoining bar is small, but it makes up for its size with a wide range of sipping whiskies and tequilas.
The pretty blue tile pool and whirlpool are not large, but they look out at small gardens, surrounded by a deck with quality cushioned lounge chairs and umbrellas. A surprisingly well–equipped fitness center overlooks the grounds. A 24–hour business center offers complimentary Internet access, though both here and in the rooms it's wired only.
The studios and suites both feature plenty of Mexican appointments, wooden pillars, stucco walls, and distressed–wood furniture. Some also have rustic stone fireplaces. Large mirrors and glass–topped coffee tables join well–stocked minibars. Single king or paired double beds with tapestry spreads perch on platforms and a pillow menu is standard. The suites, with plenty of rich fabrics, are on split levels. The marble combination baths have brass handrails, double vanities, ruffled bath curtains that look better than they actually are, Hermes toiletries, and robes. The 35 Gran Clase suites add whirlpool tubs big enough for two. Wired Internet access is free, while spotty wireless service is found in public areas. Housekeeping provides turndown service each evening, but it takes some doing to get toiletries replenished. Room service stops at midnight.
There are plenty of big–name chains in Guadalajara, but in terms of service and character, boutique hotel Villa Ganz is the only real competition for Quinta Real and most guests are pleased with the mixture of regional art, good service, and breadth of amenities.
Web Address: www.quintareal.com
Total Number of Rooms: 78
Published rates: $190 to $490
Review and photos by Tim Leffel