I live in Oaxaca and operate a small B & B which is probably too far for you. However, a Oaxacan friend has a really nice quaint place with two spacious and clean rental units, about a 7 minute walk from the Zócalo. Email Oscar at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell him Alvin referred you. www.oaxacadream.com Good luck and enjoy your visit.
If 5 blocks sounds workable for you, Casa del Sotano is a small, 22 room hotel. It appears very plain and small from the outside. Once inside, you'll find multiple levels surrounding a garden. We just returned 2 weeks ago and found it to be a nice location with a 360 degree view of the city from their rooftop patio. Our cost was $65/night which included a small continental breakfast and free internet in the lobby. Some Spanish will be helpful, but one of the desk clerks did speak English.
I stayed at Hotel Las Rosas for several days in December. About 45 dollars a night. Cute rooms, 24-hour staff available, great courtyard, breakfast in the morning and only about 1 block off the Zocalo.
Hotel Las Rosas
My wife and I stayed at the Hotel Gala de Oaxaca and would recommend it highly. We ended up there as a last minute change and the staff was very acommadating. The rooms were clean and bright, but most of all quiet. It's literally almost straddling the Zocala so you really can't get closer that it unless you want to start paying a lot of money. The only cautionary note I would add is that the hotel has no elevators so if you have concerns about climbing steps at that altitude, make sure to reserve something on the second or first floor. On the other hand you can think of it as training for Monte Alban!
We stayed at Casa de Sierrra Azul in May, it was wonderful! Lovely patio and great rooms. It was RIGHT withing walking distance of anything that you might want to do! I really do reccomed that. Just google it. It is a lovely building and you get get up on the roof and se the valley.
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