Azul de Oaxaca Hotel + Galeria is among the numerous lodging options in the city's colonial Centro neighborhood, but the aesthetic of this hotel tends more toward the contemporary, even though it is housed within one of the city's typical 18th-century buildings. Respect for the centuries-old style is evident in the preservation of the building and courtyard. Rooms, though, are decorated with contemporary art and furnishings. Guests can enjoy a number of common areas, including a library, chapel, gallery and gift shop, patio lined with tall cacti, and rooftop terrace bar. On Sundays, guests are invited to enjoy local specialties, including quesadillas, at the on-site restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week.
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Oaxaca's Centro neighborhood is, as its name suggests, the center of action in the city, and many of its most beloved attractions are within easy walking distance, just a few blocks from the hotel. The Museum of Oaxacan Culture and the Zócalo, the central square, are both nearby, as are numerous restaurants, bars, and shops. Public transportation, taxis, and car services are all accessed easily from the hotel.
Need to Know
Rooms: 16 standard rooms; 5 suites. From $200. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The on-site restaurant is popular among visitors and locals alike, with the chef preparing favorite Oaxacan dishes such as memelas (fried masa cakes). Spa and gym details: The hotel has neither spa nor gym on-site; however, a masseuse can be booked for in-room massages upon request, and a nearby gym offers access at daily rates.
Who it's for: Culture seekers and design-savvy travelers whose tastes are more contemporary and less colonial. Our favorite rooms: Suite Leyva features the most interesting art and design amid this hotel's accommodations, with a wooden horse, a sculpture-like light, and lots of artwork. This room for two also features a king-size bed and bathtub. Surprise sanctuary: An unexpected spot in this very contemporary hotel is a chapel filled with classic Catholic imagery, with oil paintings of Jesus and the Virgin ensconced in intricately carved wooden or gilt frames. Guests are welcome to use the chapel for prayer and contemplation.