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“View of the past - and the Sea of Cortez.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Frances

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Hotel Frances
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210 Don Gaspar Ave, Santa Fe | Santa Rosalia, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #162 of 346 Hotels in Baja California
San Diego
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“View of the past - and the Sea of Cortez.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2012

I had heard many things, both good and bad about the Hotel Frances. I had never stayed in Santa Rosalia, always heading south. But this weekend we were on a break from our Amigos de Los Californios trip before heading up to Santa Martha. We were booked into the Hotel Frances. Easy to find on the north rim of the canyon where most of Santa Rosalia lies. Right down the street from the mining museum. Our rooms were in the back section on the second floor. Remember, this is not standard Baja or Mexican construction - it was heavily influenced by the French mining company who ran this town for so long. And it was a magical change of pace in Baja - going back in time and changing locales to a place where houses and buildings had verandas, all wood construction including the creaky floors, the thick/padded wallpaper (I guess?) with vintage colors. The people were extremely nice and helpful - my room was very clean and functional, and I felt like I was somewhere on a plantation in the South, or maybe at an old hotel in Versaille - until I walked out on my veranda and looked out over the Sea of Cortez! Now for the new - their pool in the courtyard was very clean and the WiFi was fantastic for keeping in touch. All in all a great stay and a new place to add to my future travels.

Room Tip: The rear building on the 2nd floor is a great location - nice views and great veranda with rocking c...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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20 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
London
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2012

We didn't stay here so what I have to say doesn't apply to the accommodation. We went to the hotel for breakfast, hoping to get something vaguely French and delicious. The Hotel is beautiful, kept in real French style and surrounded by old trains and copper smelting equipment from the old mine. the interior decoration is beautiful and very French in style still. The breakfast was rubbish I'm afraid, with white pappy bread and nothing interesting, which is a bit unforgivable as there is a wonderful bakery in town. The waitress was playing loud piped music which was very distracting and not in keeping, the mushrooms in my omelette were tinned, the coffee was weak. Shame as so much could be done in such a wonderful place!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakville, Canada
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
169 helpful votes 169 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2011

We stayed here on our second night driving down from San Diego. The town was the perfect distance from El Rosario to get us off the highway before dark and that is about the best thing I can say about anything we found there.

We were driving a Mercedes convertible and the road from the highway up to the hotel was about the worst we drove the entire trip. It was part dirt part very - extremely - large cobblestones. The parking was out in the open off to the side of the hotel.

The hotel itself could be quite charming if it was in better repair. The place has an air of neglect and the staff member on the desk was somewhat surly which didn't improve our impression. We would have gone to another hotel but it was getting late and any port in a storm so to speak. The bannister up the stairs to our room was loose and some of the bannister around the open gallery in front of the rooms on the second floor was also loose. The lock on the door to the room was more of a bathroom lock than a hotel room lock. I honestly would not have stayed there if I had been traveling alone.

The room could have had a nice view had their been a window looking out on the gallery but there wasn't. Instead there was a teeny tiny window facing the back that I'd have needed a chair to look out of. The bed was OK, not really uncomfortable but not comfy either. The a/c unit was old and extremely noisy and didn't have enough power to cool down the bathroom but with the bathroom door shut it rumbled and rattled the room bearably cool. The night was hideously humid - one of the worst I've ever experienced in 14 summers in Pacific Mexico - so we couldn't really sit outside. The shower head was aimed a the floor and didn't have a spray good enough to rinse the shampoo out of my hair.and there was a slight sewage smell from the drain but the bathroom and the room in general were clean.

The hotel did allow pets - we were traveling with one of our dogs - but the price for this pokey little practically windowless room with a small bottle of water in a carafe and no coffee maker was priced high at $700 pesos per night.

The entire town could be very charming with the quaint French colonial architecture but it is all so run down and in such a state of disrepair it is instead just rather depressing.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mexicano viajero
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2011

this is a very nice hotel , you have the oportunity of live in the first years of XX century but with air conditioned and swiming pool , near to the museum and the downtown , is a very good place for stay in Santa Rosalia.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, TX
Top Contributor
215 reviews 215 reviews
204 hotel reviews
Reviews in 160 cities Reviews in 160 cities
409 helpful votes 409 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2006

Stayed at Hotel Frances in Santa Rosalia in June '06 & was favorably impressed overall. Hotel is located on top of the hill overlooking the town, about $3 by taxi from the combined bus/ferry terminal. Easy walk down lots of steps to center of town. Hotel is an interesting old frame building that was a showpiece in its day, & is now owned by & being run with lots of tender loving care by 2 sisters. Lobby, restaurant (only open breakfast) & rooms are spotlessly clean, in spite of the horrendous dust & dirt that covers the entire old mining town. The wood floors throughout the entire property, the furniture & decor, shows the interest & work these 2 ladies go to in keeping the property well maintained, However, nothing in this location & this old is going to be perfect please understand. The rooms all have fairly new beds & old style furniture & lace curtains. The AC is ice cold, but is so loud it might be a problem for light sleepers. A balcony runs the full length of both buildings, so take the time to wipe off the heavy dust from the rockers & take in the view of the Sea of Cortez, over the remnants of the mine smokestacks. It's like stepping back in time. There is a small pool, but it didn't appear to have been cleaned recently enough to be attractive. There was a young night watchman on duty when we returned about 730PM sitting on the front porch, whose only job was apparently to sit & read magazines. It would be nice if the owners would give this guy something to do to earn his money, such as wipe off guest rockers &/or clean the pool, but it was obvious that he was not going to do anything. There is one note of caution about trying to contact this hotel. There is a web page for Hotel Frances, but please realize that the current owners "claim" that the information on this page --- specifically the pricing --- is 10 years old & was listed before they bought the hotel. They claim that they have been unable for 10 years to get the incorrect information removed. So the rate for a double is not $32 as listed on the website. Nor was it the $45 we had been quoted by a person who answered the phone when we called. The rate posted on the wall at the front desk is $75, & in all fairness most Mexican Hotels do list their factual rates at the front desk, so we agreed on the $60 requested. Would we stay there again for $60? Definitely. So if you're in the area do yourself a favor & try Hotel Frances.

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2006

Finding the Hotel was a bit tricky due to it not being on the main road. The hotel is meticulously maintained to its original French accent. Lots of old mining equipment on display, surrounding the hotel. The lobby is breathtaking with antique furniture and every detail preserved from the past. The rooms are moderatley price but well worth the investment and also kept to the old French style, with wood floors and antique fruniture. The pool is in the middle of the square and is quite refreshing during the summer.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Frances

Address: 210 Don Gaspar Ave, Santa Fe | Santa Rosalia, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Baja California
Hotel Style:
Ranked #162 of 346 Hotels in Baja California
Number of rooms: 17

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