Privada 2 Oriente, 1007 Centro Comercial, Paseo de San Franciso, Puebla City, Mexico
In one of Mexico's culinary capitals where luxury lodging is scarce, Casareyna stands out for its well–equipped rooms, fine dining, and plenty of public spaces with gravitas.
Located in a revitalized area about a 15–minute walk from the main plaza of Puebla's historic center, this carefully repurposed collection of buildings takes the best of traditional construction and marries it with the modern room amenities international travelers expect. Wandering through the indoor and outdoor spaces here is a visual delight, but when you return to your quarters you get thick robes, a large marble and stone bath, and a flat–screen satellite TV.
Some sections of this property date back to the 16th century, when three houses here were filled with high society Spaniards separated by a river from the commoners. Now the separation is a street, with a mall and movie theater on the other side. Still, it's nice having some other dining and drinking options nearby and your fellow patrons will be rather well–off Mexicans socializing through the afternoon and evening. To the right of the entrance walking out you'll see remains of a textile factory that once stood here, providing a kind of steampunk glow to the surroundings at night.
The public rooms make good use of the thick walls, exposed stone, and open courtyards to set scenes that change as the sun moves across the sky. With fountains, stone sculptures, and umbrellas to shade the tables, it's easy to spend hours socializing here without moving.
Casareyna's restaurant has won awards as one of the best in the city and gets consistent praise from guests. It offers a variety of spaces in which to enjoy the rich Poblano cuisine. The menu is accompanied by a good wine list featuring Baja Norte labels.
You can move to the bar area afterward, to another indoor/outdoor attractive space meant for lounging and enjoying the atmosphere with your beverage of choice. The bar here features a variety of craft beers from Mexico, which are not very easy to find elsewhere in town.
Hallways face the exterior and have large windows, letting plenty of natural light bathe the passages to the sleeping quarters with large wood doors. They're all hard surfaces though with nothing to absorb sound, so you'll definitely know it when a group is coming down the hall at night.
The ten rooms here are all spacious, but are divided between junior suites and larger master suites. All have minibars, complimentary Wi–Fi, good storage space for belongings, and a safe. Woven area rugs are on tile floors and carefully chosen talavera tile accents here and there enliven the stone and white linens palate. The furniture and light fixtures are custom designed and intriguing, while the lighting is artistic but bright enough to read by.
Luxurious marble–floor baths feature unique custom sinks mounted on top of polished stone vanities. Makeup mirrors and fresh flowers complement Pineda Coval?n amenities, robes, and thick towels. Most rooms don't have much of a view, but the windows open onto internal garden courtyards.
Master suites have a bit more furniture and DVD players, plus a dedicated living room area for lounging. One of them has a furnished terrace.
Although there are only ten suites here, Casareyna feels like a much larger hotel thanks to its extensive public areas, wide hallways, and popular restaurant. You get some big hotel elements like room service and valet parking, mixed with some of the small Mexican hotel downsides like inconsistent service from waiters and hit–or–miss English proficiency. In general though, service is good more often than not.
This small boutique hotel offers a good alternative to the quirky Mesones Sacrista Hotel in the center and the 26–room La Purificadora design–oriented hotel. All are within walking distance of the center, but Casareyna is the most predictable of the three — in a good way. Come here for a sense of place mixed with large rooms that combine form and function in a pleasing combination. With reasonable rates and friendly service, Casareyna is a solid choice in a great city for shopping, dining, and exploring.
Web Address: www.CasaReyna.com
Total Number of Rooms: 10
Published rates: $120 - $200
Review and photos by Timothy Scott.