At the end of a trip, I like to treat myself to a few days in a relatively deluxe place. Casa Felipe Flores seemed to fit the bill; I loved the idea of staying warm on the chilly evenings in front of a fireplace.
I chose the small room upstairs at the back; I was sold as soon as I saw the view from the rooftop patio.
The pluses: The place truly is a grand old Mexican-style house, tastefully decorated and very comfortable. Views from the rooftop are superb, and the breakfasts are cooked-to-order and delicious. It was nice to return to my room and see that they'd set up the fireplace, ready to light with a single match whenever I wanted it. There was a good selection of reading material, and I adopted one of the books for the duration of my stay; this was a nice touch as I'd gotten sick of my own reading material by this point.
The minuses: This is one of the most expensive places in town, it's priced in US$ (I assume US visitors are their target market; the manager speaks English), plus there's a 10% gratuity surcharge added to the rates - I only discovered this while browsing the hotel-info binder after checking in. 10% is quite high, and it shouldn't be a surprise.
Although I really appreciated the fireplaces in every room - and especially sitting down to breakfast in front of a crackling fire on a cool morning - the fireplaces do seem to cough smoke back into the rooms, making the air a bit hard to breathe. Even after I had the fire well established in my own room - and I know how to manage a fire - the air would gradually become gassy, so I had to open the door every half hour to let cold, fresh air pour in. It somewhat defeats the purpose of a fireplace, but still I enjoyed having it.
For my end-of-trip treat, I was also looking forward to catching up on my world with email and calling home with Skype; I'd been out of touch in the jungle for a while. I have a handheld computer that does Skype over Wi-Fi, and I knew from somewhere - perhaps a review - that this hotel has Wi-Fi available. However, I found the range to be very limited. It certainly didn't reach my room. Of the common areas, the living room is the only place with a reliable signal. This is because there's only a single access point, and it's located on a desk in the office, in the corner of the property.
So I called home via Skype from the living room - no big deal, right? They'd built a nice warm fire in the fireplace, but - oh no - it's puffing smoke into the room. I tried moving through the doors to the fresh-air patio next door, but the signal didn't reach even that short distance. So grudgingly I went back into the smoky living room, crouched down low (for better air), and kept the conversation short.
For a hotel in this price range, I'd have expected the Wi-Fi to be professionally installed and accessible throughout the property - as indeed it was in a Guatemala hotel I stayed at a week earlier, at 1/6 the price. To be fair, I realize now that the Wi-Fi isn't actually advertised, so perhaps I shouldn't have been counting on it.
Had there been Wi-Fi reception from the rooftop patio, with its superb views and fresh Mexico air, I'd have absolutely loved this place.
- Also Known As:
- Casa Felipe Flores San Cristobal De Las Casas, Mexico - Chiapas
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Casa Felipe Flores, a gracious and comfortable landmark, is located four blocks from San Cristobal`s main plaza. Furnished with Mexican and Guatemalan pieces, the colonial house also features Talavera tile and collectibles from nearby Mayan villages and Guatemalan craftsmen. Surrounding the classic courtyard with its beautiful plantings, the common area includes a handsome living room, dinning room and den, each with a fireplace. ... more less
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