Mexico: Hotel Posada del Tepozteco
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Hotel Posada del TepoztecoParaíso 3 62520 Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico 739/395/0010 posadadeltepozteco.com.mx
The comal station at the weekend brunch, with fresh tortillas and stuffed-corn treats made to order. Choose your filling for quesadillas and the like, made with prized local ingredients such as squash blossoms and huitlacoche.
Cocktails with a view: Drinks on the terrace are a perfect accompaniment to the sunset. The solid house margaritas stick to the basics: salted rim, fresh lime juice, Cointreau, tequila, and simple syrup.
Temazcal: This on-site pre-Hispanic sweat lodge is used in traditional healing to cleanse body, mind and spirit. The Posada's lodge is headed by a biologist trained in herbal medicine and traditional healing.
- Free Wi-Fi in lobby
- Room service
- Heated pool
Set amidst this dramatic landscape, the Posada, an updated version of a classic Mexican mansion, was constructed as a private home in 1938 for a poet/banker/diplomat extraordinaire. Host to intellectuals and artists in the forties, converted into a hotel in the fifties, expanded in the sixties, and transferred back into the hands of the original family in the nineties, the Posada was ultimately renovated to become the beautiful boutique hotel that it is today.
A handful of the hotel's 22 rooms open onto colorful garden courtyards, while others, like the one I was lucky enough to snag, offer dramatic views of the town nestled below. The top floor rooms are spacious, with tiled dome ceilings, while the lower floors feature rustic wooden beamed ceilings. Colorful Mexican tiles make the bathrooms particularly lovely and firm beds promise a good night's sleep. But what's most alluring about the Posada del Tepozteco is its sprawling grounds: Lush and open to the valley, inviting guests to wander and relax amidst the greenery, or head to the heated pool for an invigorating mid-afternoon dip. The location offers the best of both worlds: Its idyllic natural surroundings feel remote, but the hotel's only a short walk from the heart of town.
The Posada offers more than a feast for the eyes. Its lobby bar rightfully boasts the best margarita in town, and its restaurant, El Sibarita, serves Mexican staples, local specialties, and a few international dishes. The breakfast offerings are generous, especially the hearty egg specialties like huevos rancheros, or my favorite, chilaquiles, broken fried tortillas bathed in a tangy roja or verde sauce, then topped with cheese, crema, and a fried egg. Dinners at the Posada feature, among other specialties, the house mole, flavored with 40 spices and featured in a dish of enchiladas made with fresh corn tortillas and topped with crema, queso anejo, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds—a deep, velvety, substantial meal. The menu also features other local specialties such as cecina—thinly-sliced salted beef—along with perfected classics like a fresh guacamole. The restaurant's silky flan offers the perfect finish to the feast.
If you can pull yourself away from the Posada's breathtaking views, attentive service and tempting dishes, a world of dining options awaits a mere five minute walk down the hill in the main square of Tepoztlan. Don't worry about the calories in your cerveza or longaniza taco: The walk back up the cobblestoned hill to your Mexican castle will take care of them. —Dawn Mobley
IN THE AREA
- Central Market: Located between the main cathedral and town zócalo, the Central Market is a nosher's paradise: Try the enchilada tacos from Luna Tacos with a squeeze of lime and some sweet heat from the habañero-flecked fruit salsa; a longaniza torta; or a pambazo, a roll stuffed with a potato-chorizo mash and dunked in chile sauce. The large market expands further around the zócalo on weekends, when you can find artisans selling the vibrant painted carvings of fruit and figures that hang in establishments around town.
- Avenue Revolución: This bustling nearby avenue is lined with cafés serving delicious Mexican breads and pastries. Beware, early birds: They all open at 9 a.m. Cafe Los Buenos Tiempos, Av. Revolución 14; tel: 739/395/0519; Cacao Tepoztlán, Av. Revolución 9; tel: 739/395/3770; Tepoz Cafe, Av. Revolución 10A; tel: 777/151/0331
- Tepozteco Mountain: A trip to Tepoztlán isn't complete without a hike up this nearby peak. As you make your way to the trailhead on 5 de Mayo, grab a cup of pulque in homage to Tepoztecatl, god of pulque and the mountain's namesake. Pulque, a milky alcoholic beverage, is made from fermented maguey sap; tangy versions are flavored with lime zest, and creamy versions contain rice, almonds and cinnamon. Walk north along Av 5 de Mayo to reach the trailhead
- Tepoznieves: This well-known ice cream shop was founded in Tepoztlan. Its seemingly countless flavors of ice cream include classics such as cajeta (goat's milk caramel) and tres leches, and sorbets in flavors like spiked eggnog, horchata, and guava. Av. Revolución 22; no phone
- La Sombra del Sabino: This bookstore sells both Spanish and English titles, and its café serves hot and cold beverages, pastries and light meals. The large lawn is perfect for lounging and, if you go on the right day, listening to monthly readings by visiting authors—past guests have included Diana Kennedy and Paul Muldoon. Av. Revolución 45; tel: 739/395/0369; lasombradelsabino.com.mx