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“Tasteful and Charming” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Na Bolom

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Casa Na Bolom
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Avenida Vicente Guerrero 33 | Barrio del Cerrillo, San Cristobal de las Casas 29220, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
“Tasteful and Charming”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2011

We enjoyed Na Bolom greatly and found it charming and tasteful. While walking around the museum hotel, you can enjoy all the great B&W portraits of the Lancandon people hanging all over the complex. We also love the wood fireplace and it helped in the evening when it got cold. My partner loves the library and spent a lot of time there. Staff were very helpful and took great care of us. Would recommend this place to anyone who knows how to appreciate a gem like this.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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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58 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2010

I haven't been very good about reviewing places, though I use TripAdvisor religiously. So feeling guilty, I wanted to check the reviews for Na Bolom since I remembered the place so fondly from a trip two years ago. I was shocked to see the negative reviews.
Now, granted, if you are looking for a four-star hotel experience, this is not the place. It is a research center, museum, nonprofit, bed and breakfast, and garden, all wrapped in to one - and is a truly amazing experience. The history of the place is fascinating, as is the story of the two owners, and it's a great spot for learning about and even experiencing Mayan culture. This is how it was originally intended.
A few caveats - you may want to ask for a room in the original house. A few rooms are located in the garden and these are a little musty especially when it's cold and rainy (I wasa there in late May). However, I got a fireplace in my room, and staff helped start it for me. This was great fun.
As for the dinner, I was traveling alone and eager to meet people. As luck would have it, only one other woman was at Na Bolom when I was there, but we immediately became friends. I loved the communal table format, but it really isn't for everyone. The food is healthy and tasty. Nothing to write home about but more than adequate.
Lastly, it is somewhat out of town, so it's a bit of hike to get to the center.
These are all minor inconveniences, however, when you consider the beauty of the setting and the uniqueness of Na Bolom. I absolutely loved it.

Stayed May 2008, traveled solo
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2010

You may fall into the trap, as we did, to assume that service in general and quality of the rooms are equivalent to the cuteness and uniqueness of the Museum. Wrong! It is true that the place is unique and well maintained ... but it isn't a hotel. Dinning or even having breakfast is an absolute nightmare, since quality of food and especially service are beyond poor. Rooms are extreme basic (esp. bathrooms) and cleanliness is not a virtue of the place.
Think about it. You do want to arrive to a cozy, clean and welcoming place when you've been walking around for 12 hours ...

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
17 reviews 17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2010

The hotel is very authentic and beautifully decorated. I'm not sure how the weather is like there during other months, but I was there in February and it was very cold at night. But it's true not only for this hotel, but for all the buildings in San Cristobal de las Casas, there's no central heating. So keep that in mind, and bring warm clothes. The feather blankets were very plentiful and kept me warm at night, but once you get out of the bed in the morning rooms are ice cold. The dinner experience was very interesting, as all guests were set at the communal table, and served food all together, like a family, and you had a chance to to get to know other travelers. While in San Cristobal, make sure you take tours to the nearby indigenous villages -San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan- for an unforgettable experience. San Cristobal de las Casas is one of the most beautiful towns I ever seen, and it's a must to visit if you're in Chiapas. Yo won't regret! Shopping is great too, lots of good quality authentic Mexican artifacts for a fraction of a cost that you'd find in other touristy places.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2010

Ok so the fact that ths place does good comunity work is only going to carry it so far. Yes the museam, the culture is all great.

But your staying here because it is a hotel right? Expect extremley slow service, you will have to go and find a waiter if you want to eat here, he can be found chatting the the security guard and will give you a nasty look since you were so rude to disturb them.

In fact that guy was perpetually rude to me throughout the 3 nights i stayed there. To begin with i liked the place but the rude staff (excpet the cleaners who are lovely) just ruined the eperience for me.

The food is a joke and the portion's are just not funny. You are about 1Km from the town centre so you would think that eating here would save you some time? wrong, despite explaining to the vacious waiters that i would like a larger portion of chips with my vegi- burger (12 chips / fires are provided) and would be happy to pay extra for them and lot's of si si si senor i was given this mediocre food again.

You can sit there all day long and noody will bring you a bill. I was litterally fed up with trying to track down waiters to take my money so i ave up and went back to my room - Palenque - which as it happens has an extreme damp problem, my cloths are all wet and damp and smell bad thanks to being in that room.

Anyway, about 3 hours later as i was begining to get ready for bed, a loud knocking at the door and an utterly perplexed looking waiter waving a peice of paper in my face, i told him to add the cost of dinner to my room, he claimed not to understand this concept and i handed him some money to which he said he would bring me the change. Over one hour later and this guy has stil not bought my change. The principle was anoying me now. I had to go and find him and demand my money back.

The final straw - i asked for some hot water ( in spanish, there is nobody there who will speak english to you) to make some herbal tea. After about 15 - 25 miniutes of him running around like a headless chicken i asked him again and he went over to a tap and filled a jug from it. I stupidly asumed that this was boiled, filtered water. No it was not.

In the early hours of the morning i was awoken by a fit of vomiting and diarea which continued throughout the day. Thank's to that 'king waiter.

Do not stay here, fine to visit for half and hour (which is all it will take) and go and stay in one of the dozens and dozens of other nice places for far less money.

The checkout was as bad as i had expected, they attempted to overcharge me for the room, charge me for food i did not order or eat etc...

Incredibly badly run hotel with no facilities so you are stuck with them.

p.s i forgot this gem to add to the story, i was told that i had to move room's after the first night, ok i thought, no big deal. They moved me to a room that had not been cleaned, the bed was dirty and unmade, the bin's were overflowing, ashtrays full. They did not seem to think that this was a problem and encouraged me to take it. I told them in no uncertain terms to clean the room. I was told it would takle one hour. 3 hours later they had still not done it. Waste of my time.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NaBolom, Gerente at Casa Na Bolom, responded to this review, February 25, 2010
We are very sorry to read this review since we put a lot of effort in having our guests feel confortably in Na Bolom. As stated we ar much more than a hotel, we run several programs to help the Lacandon Jungle and the Lacandon Indians that were in the verge of dissappearing en the last decade. The slowlinness of our waiters is relative, a lot of people just sit and rest at our patios and they tend to let them stay until they are asked for something. They dont' speak english but the managment and the reception does and can help. As for the water we NEVER serve tap water because we know is not safe. Our kitchen knows that and our founders, a Danish and a Swiss couple knew it 60 years ago and this is still one of our greatest concerns, the health of our guests. We ar radical on that one. As for the change of room it was requested by the guest because of his budget. I hope the management knew of all this since we could have helped without any doubt. If you come, please dont' let things go wrong and leave without telling us. Management staff is always around to help.
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Anchorage Alaska
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2009

The previous reviews provide good descriptions of the Na Bolom. We spent four nights there. The current downturn in tourism is affecting San Christobal, and the Na Bolom is feeling it. Still it is owned and run by a foundation that is actively involved in the greater indigenous community. It maintains its staff and projects regardless. If you want a hotel with a pool and standard amenities, you might want to go elsewhere. We loved staying there and felt privileged to be allowed to be guests. As guests you are given a tour that includes galleries, the library and gardens. While we were there a Lacadon Maya family was staying including a grandmother, mother and two small children. They were included with the other guests at meals, and it was obvious that the Na Bolom continues play an important role in the community. It greatly enhanced our experience in San Christobal.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2009

After agonising over Trip Advisor reviews I chose to make Na Bolom my first stop at San Cristobal de Las Casas and booked in advance from Palenque. Knowing - and how right I was! - it would be a 5 hour bus trip it was delightful to grab a taxi from the bus station and arrive to the sound of virtuoso piano being played on the historic grand and sit in the sunny pretty courtyard ( see photo) having dinner and wine. Na Bolom is a cultural experience. Each room is individually named and full of old framed photos , books, and individual covers on the beds. Our room, as they all are, was full of character, smelt of cedar, and had a roaring fire within seconds of lighting it. The restaurant has a full a la carte menu as well as the choice of a set menu served at the table at 7pm with other guests who choose to do the same. ( you book it earlier in the day) Staying there includes free entry to the museum which is well presented and very interesting and is a series of rooms off the central courtyard. There is also a beautiful and practical garden out the back growing medicinal plants where there are also several more seperate rooms. There is ongoing cultural work going on at the institute and part of this is they sponsor students from conservatory's ( sp?) hence the piano music which was played each night. We stayed for two nights and had a lovely time then moved to another place in SCC closer to the centre and with a tv as I was travelling with a 10 year old this seemed a good way to mix it up. If you are going to SCC with any interest whatsoever in the culture of the area. . I would absolutely recommend you spend at the very least one night at this hotel.( Its also nice to think your tourist $'s are going to help good works). Breakfast was included -nice choice of food.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Casa Na Bolom

Address: Avenida Vicente Guerrero 33 | Barrio del Cerrillo, San Cristobal de las Casas 29220, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Southern Mexico > Chiapas > San Cristobal de las Casas
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in San Cristobal de las Casas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Casa Na Bolom 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Following the tradition initiated by Gertrude Duby, Na Bolom also offers rooms for our guests. Each one of the 16 rooms is an extension of the museum, decorated individually with old furniture, artwork, textiles and photographs from the indigenous villages of Chiapas . ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Na Bolom Hotel San Cristobal De Las Casas
Casa Na Bolom San Cristobal De Las Casas, Mexico - Chiapas

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