Saturday, January 17, 2015

Oaxaca Sojourn—Part 4 Hotel El Rincón de Doña Bety

When we were in Oaxaca last year, I spotted this hotel on Google Maps. I saw that it's very close to el Mercado de La Merced, the Anahata Spa and the Anacondas swimming pool. It is not near the Zócalo, which was fine with us. I looked at one of the simple but clean and well maintained rooms last year. This year I brought Doña Cuevas to look it over, and we decided to stay there. There are 15 units on two levels, in American old-time motel style, with a parking lot/patio inside. The rooms, though cheerful and colorful, will never win any prizes for elegance, yet they have most of what an adventurous and frugal traveler needs. The door locks are very basic, but we feel secure inside the compound, and the staff is trustworthy. The exterior is planted with potted flowers and plants. There is a cute cat, Úrsula, who roams the property.
Habitacíon doble (Two beds)
Admittedly, the beds are not the most comfortable ever. The mattress on my bed has palpable springs. The pillowcases are made of a roughly textured cloth. But we quickly accustomed ourselves to all that and slept without difficulty.
 (When we had our first Doña Bety bedding change, we were upgraded to smoothly textured pillow cases.)

It's amazing, that although Avenida Morelos outside is noisy in the daytime, our room was usually very quiet during the night; having spent two previous nights in the more centric and somewhat plusher Hotel Posada El Nito, which we liked, but were bothered by late night noise from the two flanking cantinas.) Still, bring earplugs, for you may have noisy, partying neighbors as we did one night.

There is adequate illumination in our room, though a bedside reading lamp would be desirable. We could probably get one if we asked.

There is plentiful hot water, although the pressure, at least in our bathroom, is weak. In fact, the water is so hot that it's a little tricky to temper it from the cold water knob. Sometimes there are creaking and banging water noises, but they don't last long.

The staff is very kind and helpful. They invited us to use the small shared kitchen to use as we wished. We just have to request a key each time.

There's a terraza with a table and chairs on the upper level. This is very useful for eating, reading or using a laptop. I have to mention that the free wifi is fast, strong and reliable. It's a pleasure to use.

Rates are normally $500 MXP for a room for two to four persons, with two double beds. However, we were given a promotional rate of $400 MXP.

Downside: There is no closet, just a wall bracket for hangers.

The Mercado de la Merced, almost directly across the street, is an outstanding attraction. There are numerous fondas or economic eating places inside, serving inexpensive, authentic Oaxacan meals. There are four or five attractive stands selling freshly prepared juices. Of course, meats, vegetables, fruits, cheeses, baked goods, etc. are all available.

The working class, commercial neighborhood also has small grocery stores, fruits and vegetable stores and two seafood restaurants, La Red, a few doors east of the Hotel, and El Muelle, around the corner, on Calle Nicolás del Puerto.
(Non-review of El Muelle: It's o.k., not as expensive as La Red—which isn't very expensive—, and the food is decent but nothing remarkable.)

We would stay at Hotel El Rincón de Doña Bety when we are again in Oaxaca.

Here's the contact information:
(They are not very responsive to emails nor via the contact form on the website)
Address: Av. Morelos No. 1500
Colonia Centro,
C.P. 68000, Oaxaca, México
Telephone: 01 (951) 518 66 29. Try calling—you may get lucky, or simply just show up in person. I doubt that you would have to reserve far in advance.

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