700 Paseo de Jurica Fraccionamiento Jurica, Santiago de Queretaro, Mexico
This former hacienda turned hotel has a large heated pool, spacious rooms, room to roam, and a convention center to make up for its location removed from the city itself.
Hacienda Jurica was once a vast estate in the countryside in the 1700s, with vegetable fields, corn fields, and cattle ranch areas. The Jurica area is now basically a suburb of Queretaro though, the neighborhood filled with high-end homes and this hotel that is, in most respects, the best in the area.
It is part of the Mexican Brisas Group chain of hotels, which also runs a property we've featured in Acapulco, Las Hadas in Manzanillo, and Nizuc in Cancun. This means there's always a seasoned management crew in place to keep things running smoothly and a systemized training program to ensure good service. Even though most of the clientele here is domestic, there's a fairly good grasp of English at the top ranks and with key customer-facing personnel.
The ride out to Hacienda Jurica from key points in Queretaro will usually take between 20 and 40 minutes depending on time of day and traffic. Uber and taxi rides are quite reasonable in this city though, so the cost of relying on those options is minimal.
The lobby is a grand and spacious affair with high ceilings, large black iron light fixtures hanging from the ceiling, and a horse carriage serving as a reminder of the hacienda past. Several of the centuries-old oil paintings you find around the property are here too. The furniture is heavy and colonial, but the area gets plenty of natural light too keep it from feeling stifling. It's easy to relax after arrival, with extensive grounds and sitting areas, several gorgeous courtyards, and a large swimming pool.
You might see steam rising off the pool in the mornings because it's heated to be used all year, not just when the temps rise enough in this mile-high altitude. There is a waterfall at one end to drown out any noise, though kids are clearly a priority in this family-friendly hotel. An extensive playground area is just past the flagstone pool deck. There are lounge chairs circling the pool as well as tables with umbrellas.
The adjoining white tablecloth main restaurant, Los Hules, has both indoor and outdoor seating. During most meals it caters to hotel guests and a few locals, but on Sundays the area residents come out in droves to enjoy the festive brunch. The menu contains plenty of nods to the international business crowd, but also has a nice range of local specialties. The state is known for its dried beef, variety of cheese, and local vineyards, so those all come into play in the menu.
The Calandrias (carriages) Bar once hosted animals when this was a working hacienda, but now it's a rustic space with stone walls and leather equipales chairs. The chairs and tables spill out into the main courtyard, which is a magical space at night, a fountain in the center and star-shaped punched metal lights hanging over the space that's open to the sky. Order a cocktail, a glass of local wine, or a craft beer from the region to enjoy.
There's a full convention center on site, so Hacienda Jurica by Brisas ends up hosting a fair number of conferences for manufacturing companies based in the area. The center has its own extensive kitchen for catering business luncheons or weddings.
Local couples getting married here have plenty of nice photo backdrops to choose from. There's an aqueduct still running through the grounds, one courtyard has orange trees, another has patterned stone inlays, and there are some gnarled trees as old as the buildings. They could pose with a horse too: there's a stable on site so guests can pay for a horseback ride around the property.
You'll also find a good full gym on site if you want to get a workout. The hotel also hosts two well-maintained tennis courts and a spa with a good treatments menu. There's a game room with foosball and billiards, though oddly enough it's decorated with religious paintings and a bust of Pope John Paul II. Near the lobby is a library with antique furniture and books that once served as the hacienda's store for workers.
The 239 rooms and suites here range from a typical hotel layout to ones that are spacious and full of character. During my visit, many of the oldest ones were getting some upgrades and renovations, including a big increase in the number of electrical outlets—regular and USB. The smallest rooms, in the newest building at the Executive King level, are 300 square feet, with a king bed, desk with leather chair, wood dresser, and manufactured stone end tables. The ones listed as “Standard” are in the original building and are actually a third larger, with a king or two double beds.
There's also a Terrace or Balcony level, which has its own outdoor space, or a thoroughly modern BBC Room option that has an ergonomic chair and more work space. The executive rooms in their own wing offer access to a sunny lounge that hosts a daily happy hour and separate breakfast. Otherwise, all rooms have similar amenities like robes and slippers; black-out curtains, 42-inch TVs, coffee makers, safes, and nice baths with Neutrogena toiletries.
With rates as reasonable as they are here though, you might as well upgrade to one of the suite options. The Junior Suites are in the original building and have exposed columns and carved beams. These roomy quarters have a sitting area, desk area, fridge, Bluetooth alarm clock speaker, capsule espresso machine, and large bath with Jacuzzi tub. The Master Suites are a bit larger, at more than 600 square feet, with additional furniture. Both of these have a wider array of toiletries, including razor and toothbrush.
Although this hotel is outside of Queretaro proper, it works well for business travelers who will need to travel to meetings anyway and there's no property in town with nearly this much room to work with. The professional staff and wide range of facilities combine to make this a good base for vacationers on the move as well.
Hacienda Jurica by Brisas is part of the Preferred Hotels collection, the only one in this region.
Web Address: LasBrisasHotels.com.mx/queretaro
Total Number of Rooms: 239
Published rates: $75 - $199 plus taxes
Review and photos by Timothy Scott