My wife and I recently spent 27 nights in a Junior Suite (room 211) at the Suites Carolina. And we loved it.
Let's talk about the location... It's approximately 1 kilometer south of Plaza del Sol near Expo Guadalajara. The location is convenient for business or for tourism with taxis to most parts of town costing well under $10.00. The hotel also has direct nearby bus service to Tlajomulco (business, golf and medical tourism), Plaza Del Sol and historical downtown Guadalajara. With secure, free parking, you can also take advantage of its easy access to Lopez Mateos, Mexico 15 and the main Periferico beltway around the metropolitan area.
The rooms are extremely comfortable with high ceilings and nice trim. As noted by another reviewer, the room has a Pergo (wood laminate) floor, marble and granite bathroom, extremely supportive (but firm) King bed, and flat screen TV. The TV had a "normal" remote control and a HDMI cable, letting you connect your notebook computer or iPad. The bathroom was the nicest I have seen since I stayed at the Four Seasons Hualalai in terms of size and appointments with excellent water pressure. (if you go to Guadalajara in the hot season you'll be taking A LOT of showers, so this really matters!). The kitchen had a sink, coffeemaker, large and powerful microwave, refrigerator/freezer, and two-burner cooktop with vent hood. The room also had a sofa which pulled out into a sofabed. I can't comment on the comfort of the sofabed, but both my wife and i fell asleep on the sofa comfortably.
While the hotel is located right on busy Lopez Mateos, it is extremely quiet and comfortable. This likely comes from its narrow and deep lot which keeps the rooms away from the road. In addition, the ownership has extensively landscaped the property, turning what could have been a run-of-the-mill motel into an urban oasis. I loved waking up and seeing the hibiscus and bougainvilla plants as I walked to breakfast.
Communications are easy with a phone that allows for free local calls. The hotel also offers free wireless Internet service. As with any hotel, it can bog down a bit when the hotel is extremely busy, but is usually more than good enough for work or play. I did notice that many of the internet connections that I used in Guadalajara, including the hotel's, suffered from higher latency than I was used to in the US. As such, Guadalajara's a great place to work, email or Facebook, but don't expect to reliably get connections which will work well for network gaming.
The hotel's free breakfast includes toast, fruit and coffee. That's it. As a light eater, this was fine for me (especially given the high quality of Mexican fruit!). If you need more, be prepared to pay 60 pesos to upgrade to a full breakfast, including an omelette cooked-to-order. If you see the beef slices with the peppers in the thick red sauce, don't miss it.
The Hotel Suites Carolina... It ISN'T an American hotel. If you want an American hotel, there are a number just a few thousand feet to the north. However, if you want a comfortable and spotlessly clean room, freezingly cold A/C, and a beautiful setting that has the best of what Mexico has to offer, stay at the Suites Carolina.
Don't be surprised if you're the only American there--we were for a number of our nights. While there was always an English-speaking staffer available, you'll find that it caters to locals. However, this is a good thing. The service feels different with a much more genuine sense of hospitality. I didn't feel like the staff was trained to take good care of me -- I felt like they did it 1) because they wanted to and 2) because it came naturally to them. It was a wonderful feeling, and I left having made friends with members of their staff. Carlos (afternoons), Oswaldo (nights) and Gerardo (management) especially stand out as absolute winners.
When we return to GDL, we'll be staying at the Suites Carolina. I strongly recommend that you do the same!
One last note... I'll attach some of my not-so-great pictures, but the pictures on their site really are accurate. It's a very nice place!
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