Sunday, August 11, 2013

Two Hotels of the North. Part 1

We recently traveled to the Frontera del Norte that divides México from the United States. It's a long drive from Pátzcuaro to Nuevo Laredo, and we planned to do it in two stages. A few friends of ours are able to do it in one, 12 hour grind, but we value our comfort and sanity too much.  We were also driving without air conditioning. We decided to pause for rest and refreshment at the Hotel Del Parque, in Matehuala, San Luis Potosí. It's at approximately the midpoint of the trip.

The better known hotels in Matehuala are out on what we might call the Business Bypass to Highway 57D. Of those, the best known is the stalwart Las Palmas Midway Inn. But we had read good things about the Del Parque, and we weren't disappointed. It's located close to the center of town. It's a first rate establishment, offering excellent accommodations, quality service and a surprisingly good restaurant.

We found the hotel with only a little difficulty. It's located at the corner of Calle Bocanegra #232 at Calle Rayón. That's at the southwest corner of the park.

There's a secure, underground parking garage. There's an attractive lobby and spacious lounging areas with comfortable furniture on each spacious floor landing. The stairs are broad and easy, but there's also an elevator.

Del Parque Lobby
First floor lounge
On our first night, while heading northward, we ended up in the Junior Suite, because no doubles were available. There was only either a solitary single available, one of several rooms with windows that face the interior lounge areas. The other was the Jr. Suite was a splurge, but a good value, at $835 pesos a night. It had a big screen tv (which we didn't watch), a mini refrigerator, which came in handy, a king bed, plenty of desk and shelf space and a reasonably sized closet. If they would include a microwave oven, it could be a very nice, spacious studio apartment.

The bathroom was spacious, with separate toilet, lavatory and shower sections. The hot water arrived quickly on demand, and water pressure was adequate. The only flaw was some sewer gas coming up the drains, both from the shower and the sink. We were able to isolate that by closing the bathroom doors.

On our return, a few nights later, we arrived earlier and had more choice as to rooms. This time we chose a double, $775 pesos, and it was more than satisfactory, although it lacked a mini fridge.

Double room with view of the park.
Both rooms in which we stayed were remarkably quiet.

Usually, we avoid hotel restaurants, but this time we gravitated to the adjoining Restaurante Los Nogales.

Informal but well run restaurant "Los Nogales"
It was extremely convenient, attractive, and the service and food were good. Both of our evening meals were light. On our first night, I had Enchiladas Potosinas, and Sra. Cuevas had an Ensalada César Con Pollo. On our return a few days later, she had Caldo Tlalpeño and I had a rich and soothing Crema de Elote and a couple of pretty good Empanadas Argentinas.

Enchiladas Potosinas
Caldo Tlalpeño

Crema de Elote...Soothing...Creamy
Where the Restaurante Los Nogales really shines is with its daily breakfast buffet. The Sunday morning offerings seemed a little more varied than those of the following Wednesday, but still a good value at $108 pesos per person. Cereals, yogurts, fresh juices, piping hot meat  and egg dishes of various types, and if you desired, the kitchen would prepare special requests. The Sunday selections even included menudo. I tried a small amount, and it was superior to any I'd had in Pátzcuaro  or Morelia.

Menudo "Los Nogales"

A few of the hot dishes on the breakfast buffet


Comfort: *****

Service: *****

Wifi: various routers, worked well most of the time. I had a little difficulty connecting at first.

Housekeeping: Immaculate

Price: $735 (sgl); $775 (dbl), $835 (Jr, Suite), in high season, which is when we were there.

Restaurant: See above description.

Food: ***1/2

Service: ****

Price: $-$$

Rest rooms (off hotel lobby) clean and modern.

The now obligatory bathroom shot

Location: Google Maps is a little bit off on this. Hotel is actually to the west of the place marker.)

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