Hacienda Los Laureles – Spa
What We Love
- The spa is tiny, but offers a host of treatments and experiences, including temazcal, a traditional Mexican sweat lodge ritual
- The beautiful terrace restaurant looks onto the gardens and the mountains beyond
- The pool and jacuzzi are solar and gas heated, a bonus in the colder months
What To Know
- Free WiFi
- True to the original hacienda layout, there are no elevators
- The hotel is situated around a 10-minute drive from downtown Oaxaca
- Eco friendly
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
This 23-room stay has all the romance you’d hope for in an 18th-century Spanish Colonial hacienda, complete with soaring beamed ceilings, mahogany furniture, and a manicured garden full of laurel trees and exotic birds. The inviting pool and jacuzzi are heated year-round, and the spa offers treatments from aromatherapy to temazcal, an indigenous Mexican sweat lodge ceremony presided over by a shaman. (Advance reservations are required for this experience.) Other highlights include Oaxacan cooking classes and a restaurant overlooking the Sierra Juarez mountains.
In the Area
With the colonial jewel of UNESCO-listed city Oaxaca so close, it’s worth leaving the hacienda to explore some of the city’s gems. Check out the Teatro Macedonio de Alcala on Independencia, a French Baroque-style theater, then wander around the markets to get a taste of Oaxaca’s unique and rave-worthy cuisine, including its world-famous mole sauce. Local, traditional textiles are well showcased at the Textile Museum. If modern art is more your speed, check out the excellent Oaxaca Contemporary Art Museum, also known as MACO, housed in a lovely colonial-era mansion.
How to Get There
Hacienda Los Laureles is a beautiful property. No, it isn't right in the core of the historic centro. and No, you can't walk out its gates and walk to the Zocalo in five minutes. But, it is an absolutely beautiful property, which is a 10 minute cab ride north of the zocalo, in the area called San Felipe. The very friendly and helpful staff could always arrange a taxi to pick us up in a about ten minutes, for the ten minute drive to the Centro. We never had any problem getting a taxi to return to the hotel, from one of the "taxi stands" in town. All of the rooms look out onto a wonderful central garden. The breakfast/lunch/dining area also looks into the garden.
I enjoyed five nights in this hotel. Except for an afternoon tour, I slept and dined in the hotel, and I enjoyed the calm oasis provided by this majestic renovated hacienda and its heritage buildings. I had a large room with a giant spa bath, spacious bedroom and great view to the mountains. Arriving in the room to a delightful "Bienvenido" spelled out with leaves from the garden set the stage for a welcoming stay. The bed and bed coverings were excellent and the TV was large and convenient. I liked working sometimes at the table in my room and sometimes in the rocking chair or just outside my room on the balcony. The garden below is a natural spectacle to behold. The staff at the hotel are all polite and caring and pleasant, and I appreciated each evening that the hotel staff would leave a plant in my room with a card telling me the next day's weather forecast.
In the first night, I experienced four problems that diminish my score for the hacienda: (i) poor internet (but this was fixed the next day by a technical team although the internet remained poor and intermittent during my five-night stay; (ii) very noisy night due to church bells (which didn't happen any other nights), fireworks (which happened again just one other night) and barking dogs (which happened most nights); (iii) insufficient hot water leading to showers that quickly became cold and an unpleasant tepid-water bath experience leading me not to use the spa bath again and (iv) the hypersensitive temperature control for the shower so I would alternate between scalding and freezing temperatures, even without touching the tap. Frankly, the hotel staff should try out the rooms themselves so they can make sure such experiences don't happen in a five-star hotel. I also mention that the step up from the washroom to the room with the bath and toilet was a problem at night. I stubbed my toe once going up and had a surprising drop coming down another time, both on the first night. The step is a feature of the old building, I guess, but i think a small light would be good - hard to see the step at night but I sure remembered in following nights following this experience.
The food was superb. The waiting staff were great, and my special dietary needs were met. The hotel is hygienic and no-one from our week-long workshop was sick in any way, which does not always hold in Mexico. I think the cleanliness of this hotel is laudable and trustable.
The quiet location of the hotel is a mixed blessing. Nice to have the peace and quiet and I enjoyed walking around the area. On the other hand access to the downtown is not convenient. Getting money changed is a problem - the hotel staff need a day's notice to change money and an automatic teller machine is far away. There is a bar across from the hotel that looked welcoming but I didn't try it out. Didn't see any restaurants nearby.
Although I have complained a lot above, I reiterate that the hotel was an excellent calm place and I really felt at home. The staff are so friendly that I miss them already. I would look forward to staying here again and hope my public comments incentivize positive change.
My mother, 3 brothers, wife, and 15 month old all traveled to Oaxaca in mid June for what was our favorite family vacation in memory. Aside from all the delights that make Oaxaca an amazing place to visit, our stay at La Hacienda Los Laureles really *made* our trip. Starting with the cocktails that greeted us upon our late arrival and ending with a very early morning shuttle to the airport, we were treated as well as one could imagine.
My 80-year old mother probably won't create a TripAdvisor account to leave a review, so allow me to speak for her--she thought the waitstaff were the sweetest bunch of guys and asked us (ad nauseam), "isn't everyone here so nice?" Yes, we'd say.
Peter Kaiser, the proprietor, was very present over our 1-week stay. Every time we bumped into him walking the well-groomed grounds, he would check in on how things were going, where we'd visited, what we were eating--and would provide recommendations and pro-tips. He outfitted us all with sombreros for our visit and one day when we were leaving the hotel at the same time, he drove us into the downtown area with his own vehicle.
Mr. Kaiser seemed to be a big fan of our young son Matteo. When Matteo fell ill with an ear infection during our stay, Peter made sure that he was looked after by his staff and continued to ask how he was doing throughout the week. Victor, the concierge, deserves a medal of honor for calling ~20 doctors for us on a Sunday when it was hard to find medical assistance.
My family and I provide the Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles a hardy 5 stars (or what appear to be round dots on TripAdvisor) and and hope you enjoy your visit to Oaxaca!
This hotel is a 15-20 min. taxi ride to Oaxaca city center (zocalo). The owners of Los Laureles are superb hoteliers, who offered appropriate suggestions for eating and enjoying the local scene. Location in San Felipe del Agua is quiet except for the fiesta patronal at the end of April & beginning of May. Hacienda made into a spa is like staying in a botanical paradise. Cuisine is very good. Beds comfy, place is clean. I'd do it again.
1. The grounds, gardens and pool are very well maintained and very nice.
2. The doorman / nightwatchman was exceptionally helpful with taxis.
3. Rooms are large, bed is comfortable and the cleaning service very good.
1. The Hotel is getting dated and in need of Capital Expenditure. Showers are pretty old style - over a tub that is pretty deep.
2. Bathroom had a bit of leakage (uncertain as to wherefrom).
3. There is a bit of noise from plumbing and neighbouring rooms.
4. The restaurant. Not sure if anybody eats there, but we rarely saw guests there. Food was average at best.
5. Location - not in the city of Oaxaca and one is reliant on car/taxi to get into the center of town. This makes the lack in quality of the restaurant harder to bear.