Guadalajara, here we come........

Old Jan 4th, 2003, 05:45 AM
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Guadalajara, here we come........

in the end of March or early April. We have been reading online about Guadalajara and San Miguel de Allende. I am wondering if anyone has stayed recently in this area and could give some advice.
There is just SO much information! What hotels, sights,etc..Just some pointers or favorites of yours to help us make some decisions Thank you very much.
Old Jan 4th, 2003, 07:51 AM
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Although it's been several years since we went to Guadalajara I must admit that I loved the city....the parks and fountains all over the place. One of the places we went to was an artisans village called Tlajquepaque(sp)..the main gallery of Sergio Bustamonte (one of the famous artists of Mexico), there is/was a restaurant/cooking school behind black doors with no name that we had lunch. Everybody knows about it.. Behind the doors of the haciendas are lovely little shops. Even years later I use a lovely decorated dish I bought in one of the shops.. A famous dress designer has her studio there, Puelo...and I still have two of her caftans.. In Guadalajara there is a great flea market.. also in one of the convents is the artwork of the husband of Frieda Kahlo (I think that's right). As for restaurants we fell into a local place whose name I have since forgotten. If you needmore info on the "no name restaurant" or Bustamonte...I have addresses.. please write.. Oh yes.. we never got to Tonala for pottery
Old Jan 4th, 2003, 10:52 AM
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Thanks ParrotMom !! I will be writing soon.
That would be Diego Rivera and I knew that there was a museum of his work (& Frieda Kahlo) in Guadlajara, I have heard that there are quite a few good museums and galleries.
I need to get recommendations on Hotels..we are just clueless, the more info we get the more confused we are!
We want to use Guadalajara as a base and drive around the other towns. Good idea?
Old Jan 4th, 2003, 04:13 PM
Jim Hyrve
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You will enjoy Guadalajara! We stayed there last year at this time and are returning in about two weeks. An excellent hotel to stay at is Hotel San Francisco Plaza. It is located about five blocks from the big cathedral and is a safe walk. Nearby are other beautiful churches, department stores with restruants. About two blocks from this hotel is the Hotel Fenix which looks like a fine hotel, but not cheap. Directly across the street from the Fenix is a very cheap hotel in an ancient building, the rooms have cielings about 20 feet high! I can't remember the name but could find out for you if you e-mail. The place is very secure, you can only get in the remote locked doors if the little old ladies that run the place like the way you look. On the same street is a restruant called La Chata and we can't wait to get back there. Everything we had there was delicious. Last year we took a side trip to Guanajuato and loved it. It is a very beautiful old mining and university town. Well worth the trip. We also went to the city of Morelia which is also quite nice and has a beautiful old town center. A great hotel there is Villa Capri. Their understanding of english is minimal though. A good side trip from Morelia is Patzcuaro. This is a very old and quaint town. I can't advise you on driving because we bussed everywhere, no hassles. I think driving would be no problem, but not at night
Old Jan 4th, 2003, 07:46 PM
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Thank you , Jim!
I looked into the hotels, the Fenix had no photos but I got good rates, only $82-a night USD. for a deluxe King.
I have also found a B&B called Casa de Floras in the Tlequapaque (Oh Geez, I butchered that spelling!!) and there we can get a garden suite with King size bed for $75 !!
We hoped for something more charming than the usual huge American style hotels.
Thank you for the restaurant also, I will keep it in my lists
Enjoy your trip and please post a report!
Old Jan 4th, 2003, 10:15 PM
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From Guadalajara you can also visit the town of Tequila, famous for you-know-what, and another nearby town that is known for its opals. Suggest you buy the gems before you taste the liquor, rather than the other way round.

All the towns mentioned by the other posters are quite wonderful. You can't go wrong.
Old Jan 5th, 2003, 05:49 AM
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We have been to Guadalajara many times and always enjoy our visits.Guadalajara is a wonderful city. Lots to do and see. The Centro Historico, called Plaza Tapatillo, is a pedestrian area. You can wander through government buildings and museums with lovely plazas without worrying about the traffic. Be sure to spend some time in the huge Mercado Libertad.
The cathedral is beautiful, and surrounded on four sides by plazas. Many of the government buildings have amazing murals by Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco. Visit the Instituto Cultural de Cabanas, at the far end of the mall, and see some of Orozco’s finest work.
There are some fun restaurants and cafes facing Plaza de los Mariachis. We arrived at dinnertime and left before it got too late. The music was great. For more entertainment attend a performance of the Ballet Folklorico at Teatro Degollado.
When we want to stay downtown, we like the Hotel de Mendoza, an old convent that has been converted into a hotel. The staff is friendly, service is great and the restaurant is also very good. We also stay out near Plaza del Sol at the Camino Real Guadalajara. It is a fantastic place with excellent staff and service.
We have rented cars and driven out to some of the nearby villages. Not too difficult to get around once you get out of the heart of the city. Be sure to get out to Lago de Chapala and Ajijic. This is a nice day trip but you can also stay over at a small hotel called La Nueva Posada. It only has 15-20 rooms, but they are very nice. The staff and service are great and the restaurant is very good. The artisan villages of Tonala and Tlaquepaque are also worth a day trip and can be reached by bus with out too much difficulty. The eatery in Tlaquepaque is "Restaurant Sin Nombre". Ask almost anybody for directions. Sorry this post is so long. I really love this city. Eme for mor info if you wish.
Old Jan 5th, 2003, 12:20 PM
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OK, we are just back from the bookstore where we did plenty of research in addition to online research.
We think that for a more "doable " holiday, we will change locations to Guanajuato and SMA.
We find it very appealling that there are so many museums and art galleries, Guanajuato sounds amazing and Guadalajara might be just a little too-big & overwhelming city ..Living in NYC, we don't need that on a holiday So- Thank you for all the info, and we still might use it another time, but for now-I want to know everything you know about San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato!
Shamelessly begging for advice gets easier the more I do it
Old Jan 5th, 2003, 05:15 PM
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Kate-Know what you are going through. We have been planning our trip to Guadalajara(GDL) now for 4 months. After much research we have decided on the following plan. We are going to GDL for 3 nights then take a bus 4 hours to Guanajuato (BJX) and stay 3 nights at the hotel, Parador San Javier. The hotel is going to set up a day trip for us to go to Dolores Hidalgo and San Miguel de Allende for $17 USD pp. WE will fly home from Leon.
We are doing a large hotel in GDL-the Crowne Plaza ($160 nite)and then the typical spanish hotel in Guanajuato ($100 per night) It was a compromise with my wife. Sounds like all the advice is just what we have planned. Tlapaquepaque, Tonala, etc. Wife also wants to buy some talavera pottery. If money were no object I understand the Quinta Real hotels are very nice.
Old Mar 7th, 2003, 12:18 PM
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To Kate & Steve
I've been reading your posts. I am going to GDL & Guanajuato at the end of March/beginning of April (Spring break for my son). Steve-if you have alreasy stayed at Parado San Javiar, can you post a review. We're going to arrange day trips to SMA & Dolores Hidalgo also. We are taking the bus between GDL & GTO. We have been to GDL before but never the other colonial cities. We're doing 4 nts in a B & B in Tlaquapaque (sp?) and then 5 nts in GTO. After 17 degrees and SNOW in NJ I am really looking forward to Mexico.
P.S. Definatly go to Restaurant No Name. It is really good Also, in GDL El Sacramente is supposed to be great.
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Old Mar 8th, 2003, 04:26 AM
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Pat: I will post a trip report. San Javier looks like a great place. they are setting us up a tour of DH and SMA. In spanish it is $17 pp. If we take a private tour in english it is $160pp so I guess we will take it in spanish.

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Old Mar 9th, 2003, 09:38 PM
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I Could Suggest you to stay in the center of Tlaquepaque. It's not far away from the center of guadalajara (15-20 mins in urban bus) and the international airport (15 -20 mins in taxi). Tlaquepaque is more quiet than Guadalajara and also as the biggest 'cantina' in mexico with typical dance performers and mariachis at night. there's also Galleries, fine restaurants, museums, etc. and Tonala (another town of artisans) is very near (also 15 to 20 mins in urban bus).
If you like the B&B I want to suggest you la casa del retono ( because it has lovely and very quiet rooms with rates of 45 usd (1 person) or 60 usd (2 peoples).

Have a good trip!
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