During our stay in Oaxaca, we stayed at Casa Colonial – a hotel/B&B that was recommended to ‘C’ by one of his colleagues. Casa Colonial is owned and run by an American woman who has been living in Oaxaca for almost 20 years. She and her husband bought the casa from another American couple and have obviously poured their heart and soul into the place – tragically, her husband was killed in a car accident a couple of years ago on his way back from the States to Oaxaca – and she decided to continue running the hotel on her own.
It’s a beautiful little hotel, with an absolutely lovely garden and amazingly friendly staff. Our initial impression of Casa Colonial was that it was a true oasis when you stepped through those main purple doors from the hustle and bustle of Oaxaca. However as it turned out, that wasn’t the case at all as there were certain aspects of this hotel which made me feel very uncomfortable. Although it did not suit me personally and I probably would not choose to stay there again, I would however recommend it due to its charm and location – but with some reservations.
These are my concerns:
- The owner. Casa Colonial is so obviously her home which she has dedicated such a large portion of her life to – and this is paradoxically one of the reasons I felt uncomfortable staying there. Rather than feeling like paying customer, I felt as though I was a guest in the home of an old relative whom I had to tip toe around. The owner had a terrible habit of talking at you rather than with you, and instead of blending into the background she was very much in the foreground. Plus, I have an immense distrust of anyone who has lived in a country for 20 years and still can’t speak the local language and dresses up in the countries traditional costumes…something about it just smacks of trying too hard.
- There are no room keys. The main entrance is always locked and you are given keys to that door to come and go as you please – but there is no way of locking the door to your room. Now I like the idea of that in theory – we are all staying in a home and we should all trust one another – but in reality its a terrible idea. You don’t know anything about the other guests and there is absolutely nothing from stopping someone walking straight into your room at night. It may sound a bit paranoid, but I want to feel secure while I’m asleep, and despite having ‘C’ with me I did wake up continuously throughout the night worrying about it.
- Its noisy. The walls of all the rooms are very thin so noise travels. Outside each room there were tables where you could sit and relax, however every morning we were woken up well before 8am by the other guests sitting outside our room and chatting very loudly and whats worse – so did the owner! One morning there was some kind of ‘market’ set up outside our room of artisans selling their products, but they might as well have been inside our room! They started setting up around 6.30am talking as though it was the middle of the day and then left around 10am! It was very frustrating.
All in all our experience at Casa Colonia was very odd – I really wanted to love the place as it was so pretty and the rooms were so quaint (look at the pictures) but there was so many disturbances and annoyances for me that C and I actually went out and looked for other hotels to stay at the next time we were in town. However having said that – this is all my personal opinions and someone else might have a completely different experience when they stay there. When I got back, I immediately looked up Casa Colonial on Trip Advisor to see what people’s opinion were, and I truly expected to read something along the lines of what I felt – but there was only really positive feedback! So it goes to prove each to their own I guess!
Here is the link to Casa Colonial, if any of you guys are going to Oaxaca and interested to see what accommodation is available www.casa-colonial.com
If you do stay there I would be really interested to hear what your thought are!