My husband, son and I stayed in the Plaza Santa Helena in June 2004. I discovered the hotel on the internet but the reservations portion of their website doesn’t work ---. I finally called the hotel using my rusty Spanish to get prices (very little English spoken by the staff). Our triple room was 600 pesos incl. tax. Be sure to bring plenty of cash because credit cards are not accepted.
The hotel is in a very Mexican part of town as opposed to the northern tourist part of town. It’s an easy 3 blocks walk west of the zocalo – however the sidewalks are extremely congested. The property sits back off the street with a small parking lot in front. You walk through a nice lobby which opens to the pool patio/restaurant in the middle, with rooms around 3 sides on 2 floors. Our room was on the ground floor and was very nice and new, with beautiful carved wooden furniture, TV in English and fan. A nice bathroom with marble shower, but could have used a rug on the floor. A second door opened to a small patio with an iron table and chairs overlooking the pool. Really enjoyed the little patio, especially with 3 in the room. Also the pool area was marvelously quiet for being in such a congested part of town where pools in budget hotels are hard to find. We relaxed and cooled off there every afternoon.
The best thing was the quiet. When the hotel is full it may be noisier, but we really enjoyed the quiet (only 3 or 4 other rooms were occupied during our stay). Previous stays in 3 downtown hotels had been much noisier!
The restaurant onsite was convenient but we only ate there once. Next door is an internet café for only 25 pesos per hour! A doctor is located less than a block away, which came in handy when my son got sick. This location was very convenient for walking to the Juarez market, the artisans market, and the bus station for Ocotlan. Later in our trip we did move to a hotel in the northern part of town so we could explore that area more fully, and staying in two such different areas gave us a real feel for the beautiful city of Oaxaca.
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