The historic Hotel Frances, established 1610, was recommended by friends. We arrived, by car, early on a weekday eve. We had no reservation, but were offered a king-bed "suite" with jacuzzi tub room 105, on the 2nd floor. Price $819 pesos, or about $68 USD at the current exchange rate. Charming and quaint, with 12-ft ceilings, antique furnishings, and Romeo/Juliet balconies off both the bedroom and the bathroom, facing the back side of the Guadalajara Presidencia Municipal across the street. It was cool to watch the changing of the guards, as well as the "for-hire" horse-drawn carriages along our cobblestone street.
The main floor of the hotel houses the small reception area, the restaurant, and a large center atrium area with seating groupings around a center fountain. The upper floors of the hotel house the rooms, built in a mezzanine style, overlooking the center bar area. There is wifi in the center lounge/bar area, and sporadically in the room.
We enjoyed before-dinner cocktails in the center lounge/bar area, served by an efficient and friendly bartender. Although the hotel liquor selection didn't offer our brands of choice, we substituted and settled for other.
Sipping our drinks, immersed in the beautiful wood, marble, and stained glass workmanship in an over 400-year old hotel, we were appalled to watch a man disrespectfully dump his drink into the fountain!
As our hotel restaurant closed at 8pm, we wandered the nearby quadrant in search of a nice restaurant; unfortunately there's not much variety in the area, so, again, we settled for something less.
Now...here are some of the unpleasant issues we encountered:
Parking is valet parking, with a loading area in front of the hotel. The bellman merely watched us unload our car and load our belongings onto the bell cart ourselves, with no assistance from him, but then he offered to pull the cart to our room for a tip.
The jacuzzi tub is situated so that shower water soaked the bathroom floor.
Small skinny towels, no washcloths or hand towels.
Minimal electrical outlets needed to revive our electronics, although there is wifi.
No hair dryer.
There is no a/c, but there is a ceiling fan.
The bedroom was quite stuffy, so we left the unscreened balcony doors open to the street.
The horse-drawn carriages operate until late at night, periodically clopping along the cobblestone street.
The corner restaurant played loud music until 10:30.
Mosquitoes and "no-see-ums" feasted on us thru-out the night.
Theft at valet parking.
With no time to explore the area during daylight hours, we left early the next morning, having waited 15-20 minutes for our car. We tipped the valet, again loaded our car ourselves, and took off in the midst of Guadalajara rush-hour. Shortly after leaving the hotel, we were very disappointed to note that our car had been emptied of everything we had left in it the night before ....a roll of paper towels, a package of white terry cloth work towels, and a few small pesos!
We would stay here again, under different circumstances.
This hotel would be interesting and intriguing to travelers planning a few days/nights in the heart...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.