Ave Mexico 2727 Col. Vallarta Norte, Guadalajara, Jalisco
When the Quinta Real Guadalajara joined the Real Tourismo group, many great upgrades were made, but the hotel's essential hospitality and strong traditional ties remained trademarks of this luxury Guadalajara hotel.
The Quinta Real is not what you would expect in the sprawling urban setting of Mexico's third largest city Guadalajara. Walking through the hotel's lobby and out into its gardens you will be struck by the countryside hacienda ambiance that permeates this 30-year home, once property of the affluent Martinez family. Lawns carpeted in green grass, stone pathways, and intimate corners for conversation or a drink give guests at once a feeling of both spaciousness and privacy.
Divided up into three separate buildings, the style of hotel's 75 rooms is particular to the Quinta Real brand and to the tradition of this hotel in the city. Museum-quality artwork, the majority a part of the Martinez' original collection, graces the walls and local ceramic pieces peek out from niches in the hotel's stairwells.
Glass-enclosed display cases are filled with local crafts like hand-stitched rebozos and everything is for sale if you are interested. The rooms themselves tend to be on the dark side, with heavy wooden furniture and muted tones of colonial art not doing much to lighten the mood. But for travelers who like traditional colonialism or those for whom the Quinta Real is itself a local tradition, the hotel will strike a chord.
When Real Tourismo took over they changed out mattresses and carpeting and they upgraded the small, but pretty, blue-tiled pool with a cascading center fountain plus a hanging wall garden as a backdrop. The hotel's restaurant and bar got a makeover as walls came down and paint was freshened up. The restaurant's added ceiling mural is a depiction of the agricultural history of Jalisco and took more than six months for local artists to finish.
Rooms are divided into two main categories, Suite de la Suite (or Grand Clase) and Master Suites. A Grand Clase suite will give you an additional 20 square meters of space but, even more powerful a selling point, a decadent jacuzzi tub. The Presidential Suite is its own separate building with three bedrooms, a living room, dining room, kitchen, and even a piano! This suite, along with the much of the hotel, is geared towards families traveling together or in town for a wedding or event. The event may even be hosted in the hotel itself, as they have long been the setting for generations of tying the knot in Guadalajara.
Quinta Real has a strong historic connection to the neighborhood and their restaurant is more often than not full of locals having weekend brunch or an afternoon cocktail. It's known for its upscale versions of regional classics as well as having a menu of other robust Mexican classics, who's spiciness isn't watered down for out-of-towners.
Some of the amenities you find included at other luxury hotels in Mexico will be added to your bill here: airport transfers, anything from the minibar, internet, and breakfast if you chose the European price plan. On the plus side, the hotel offers hospitality in the tradition of the Martinez family, with many employees that have spent their life working at the hotel, giving your stay here a little extra something.
One of our favorite spots in the hotel was the glassed-in gym that is reportedly open 24 hours a day. Complimentary homemade granola and yogurt are stocked in the mini-fridge and the gym has some of the best views of the hotel grounds. They also have a great business center—a plus for a hotel that has received generations of out-of-town businessmen through its doors. It offers morning and afternoon refreshments and two private side rooms free for guests with all the necessary equipment to make a presentation, sign a contract, or have a roundtable work session.
Quinta Real also has the added plus of being near some of Guadalajara's best and brightest in gastronomy, with the Alcalde, Anita Li and I Latina restaurants just a few minutes walking distance from its location in the Vallarta Norte neighborhood.
If you are looking for sleek and modern, Quinta Real isn't your place (try the Westin near the convention center), but if you are a traditionalist that wants to experience a bit of history along with your full-service stay, the Quinta will be right up your alley. With an great local connection and family-style hospitality, the hotel has become a Guadalajara mainstay for generations of national and international travelers.
Web Address: www.quintareal.com
Total Number of Rooms: 76
Published rates: $190-$1,500 plus taxes and internet
Review and photos by Lydia Carey