Tuesday, June 27, 2017

La Casa Navacoyan in the Mountains of Malinalco

Image from WikiCommons Part of fresco in ex-convent
Malinalco: a small and picturesque Pueblo Mágico in the southern pocket of Estado de México; embraced by cliffs; a town with blessed with spiritual qualities, its near neighbor, Chalma, a mecca for pilgrims.

Doña Cuevas and I chose Malinalco in which to stay and celebrate our 49th wedding anniversary. It would be very different from last year's anniversary, when we went to Guadalajara and stayed at the wonderful Hotel Morales. Casa Navacoyan is wonderful in its own, different ways.

I looked over various reviews of hospedaje in Malinalco. One small hotel is always at the top of the ratings lists. That is Casa Navacoyan, located on the outskirts of Malinalco, about 1.5 kilometers east. Taxis are available to carry guests from the Casa to Malinalco Centro for about $40. Guest reviews lauded the hotelito, noting especially the attentive owner-hostess, Sra. Margarita and her daughter, Lucrecia. The lavish breakfasts, served each morning on the terrace had gained fame among the guests. (see further on.*)

I decided to make reservations for three nights via Booking.com. I also had personal communication with Sra. Margarita in regard choice of room and a deposit via credit card to guarantee our stay.

We arrived after a ride through the beautiful hill country to the north of Malinalco. As we arrived, we were enthusiastically greeted by the energetic Margarita. We were given keys, both to the gate and to our room "Teresa". We rarely used our keys while there.

Puerta, Casa Navacoyan 
Main house, Casa Navacoyan 

View of the Cerro, Casa Navacoyan 
The room was modest in size but adequately served our needs. The king bed was very comfortable, the bedding soft and supple; the bathroom airy and well illuminated by a skylight. The hot water rapidly arrived to the shower head. There was a spacious, built-in closet, and a large wooden chest, but we didn't use it except as a bench to store loose items. The only negative thing, and a minor one, was the very small desk and its uncomfortable, thatch bottom chair. We adjusted the chair by getting a cushion which solved my seat complaint.

La Casa is set close to the massive red stone cliffs that embrace Malinalco.
The grounds are beautifully and meticulously maintained by the two gardeners, Cristian and Miguel. The modest sized swimming pool, set in a manicured lawn, is surrounded by lush semi-tropical growth.

Guests' comfort is ensured by the placement of comfortable lounging furniture. There is also a spacious recreation room with tv, honor bar and table games.

Lounging area overlooking the lawn and pool
*Now, to return to the breakfasts. In past years, we'd had less than laudable breakfasts at other B&Bs. The breakfasts at Casa Navacoyan swept those dreary granola and toast memories into the dust bin.

At Casa Navacoyan, every breakfast began with two different fresh juices, a plate of perfectly ripe cut fruit. We were especially impressed when a peeled, juicy mango was brought to us.

sweet, juicy mangos!
Of course, there was a bread basket, containing a selection of good bread from Malinalco's panaderías. The Malinalco bolillos are distinctive, with elaborate cuts, then baked in a wood fired oven. The butter was home churned and distinctive, as well as two different home made preserves.

That was only the beginning. We were then offered a choice of several main courses, for example, enmoladas, huevos al gusto, sopes, shredded beef in sauce and more. Hot tortillas were supplied freely, on request. Huevos al gusto, in a wide variety of styles. One morning, after I'd expressed my love for hoja santa, we were served huevos a la hoja santa, a very distinctive dish.

Enmoladas and frijoles
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Casa Navacoyan. The grounds and surroundings were idyllic. The hospitality went beyond the ordinary; we were pampered at every moment. We would  gladly return, if access by public and private transportation were not so complicated for us. It would be advantageous to have your own car.

RATINGS: From 1 to 10 

Room: 8

Cost: Approximately $2820 MXN per night for two guests, at least for the Teresa room. The cost may vary in regard to other rooms, and number of guests.

Cleanliness: 10

Service: 10 Extraordinary customer care. The owners are multilingual.

(About restaurants in Malinalco: Both Margarita and Lucrecia recommended two restaurants in town. I'll be describing them in following posts.)

Overall rating: 10.  A wonderful place for relaxation in a beautiful setting. The staff will pamper you.

Location: About 1.4 kilometers from Malinalco Centro. Beautiful setting near the foot of the cliffs. Fine views of a cone shaped cerro.

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