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All reviewsminute walkcommon areasrooms are smallrooftop terracebeautiful courtyardreception arealate at nightcageslaundrykilobarriowashingoasis
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Reviewed January 19, 2008

We had high hopes for this hotel. After using our usual method (choosing the hotels that appear in both mainstream guides, such as Frommer's, and discount ones, such as Let's Go) and having amazing success in Mexico City, we tried the same thing in Oaxaca. Gee, were we wrong. Although the courtyard of this hotel IS beautiful. It is not on the main drag. It is a rather long walk through an unlit area to get to the main square of town--it feels rather unsafe to walk out there. The toilet overflowed several times, and the beds were extremely uncomfortable. Although we had sprung for a room with private toilet (though not shower), we ended up using the hall toilet anyway given the problems with the toilet, which the staff seemed unconcerned about. I would recommend staying in the actual town of Oaxaca rather than out there. They also claimed it was a close walk to the bus station, but we regretted the decision to walk with luggage, as it wasn't really that close to the station either.

  • Stayed: March 2006, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank ascoltate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2007

This is a small family run hotel. All rooms face the courtyard which seems tropical with water fountain, giant lime and pomelo trees, parrots and other birds chirping away.
2 of the people at the front desk spoke English which was very helpful. The staff were wonderfully polite.
The room ran us $45 USD per night which really fit our budget.
We loved the location in that it was a 5 minute walk from a park and about 15 minute to the central Zocolo. It was nice to feel like we were getting away from all the busyness of the days activities.
The downside: Well, one night while getting up to use the bathroom we encountered a couple of cockroaches. It appeared they were coming up thru the shower drain. From then on each night we covered the drain with plastic and a heavy vase!
Also, the bed was hard. I mean cement hard. But I have to tell you it wasn't just this hotel. Our bed in Mx City was also rock hard. Talked to other travellers at other hotels, same story.
It's not a luxury hotel but it's not bottom of the line either.

1  Thank Drake_Cameron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2006

I am in the apartment a half block away from casa arnel but I go there all the time. Everything they say about the caring family is true--they are great (the grandmother even sleeps in the room behind the kitchen with her parrot). Expect to be part of the family when you have questions or attend the family posadas (I go every year for them).

I love the walk to the centro--two blocks to the LLano park (where there is a big fiesta right now with bumper cars merry go rounds and lots of people in front of the church. There is usually a book fair in a week or so and a big christmas festival. ) Then two blocks to the tourist corridor--(I walk past the Santo Domingo church to the Major Domo restaurant and coffee house for breakfast) then 5 blocks past several museums to the centro. The troops are still there, but seem interested in new novias and calling on the cell phone much of the time. They have tents and portapotties for the state troops but everyone just walks by and says hello.

I love the life of the city--you definitely get the feel for the city in Casa Arnel. If you come here to be a gringo tourist hitting the bars forget it, but if you come to feel the life of a wonderful city then Casa Arnel is the place-and it is 75 every day and 50 degrees when we wake up with sun every morning.

Also Arnel was doing some remodelling and that was a bit loud, but it is all done he reassures me. Right now there are not many tourists so you get the pick of the rooms.

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled with family
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15  Thank chucksf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2006

From the Cruz family you recieve attention, interest, helpful hints and warm reception into their holiday fiestas. We spent a month renting a suite, (small apt) and could join hotel guests across the street for their inexpensive breakfast menu. The hotel is charming and the sight for Christmas Posadas, 9 nightly celebrations with song and snacks, ending in a Christmas Eve meal with their family. The guests in their hotel and suites were from Europe as well as Canada and the U.S. They helped us gather needed furnishings for a large New Years dinner we hosted in our suite, and provided extra dishes and candles for the occasion. We met many people who come every year for the holidays. They also arrange for tours to the wonderful adventures in and around Oaxaca. We plan to return for their warm hospitality!

  • Stayed: January 2006, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank fire-opal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2006

We stayed at Casa Arnel from January 2 to January 24, 2006 while studying Spanish in Oaxaca. We paid 200 pesos per night (around $18 USD) for a double room with a shared bath.

Casa Arnel is essentially an inexpensive family-run guesthouse (there really is an "Arnel"), and represents excellent value for the money. There is a wonderful casual atmosphere, the staff members are lovely and helpful, and the design and layout of the hotel make it easy to meet other guests.

The rooms are basic but clean, and they all face a central courtyard filled with tropical plants and caged parrots. There are numerous little nooks and crannies where you can find a quiet place to read, catch some sun, and talk to other travelers. The breakfasts are wonderful, and we looked forward to the interesting discussions we had with other guests around the shared breakfast tables.

What others have indicated as a "negative" in these reviews, we viewed as a "positive". Casa Arnel is located in the quiet neighbourhood of Jalatlaco, about two kilometers away (or a twenty minute walk) from the Zocalo. Oaxaca is a wonderfully walkable city, and we considered the walk into the center of town to be one of the highlights of our day -- you pass through various neighbourhoods, many of which don't see the crush of tourists that is omnipresent in the center. Another reviewer mentioned the constant activity at the church across the street. Personally, I loved the fact that there was always something going on there: We could sit in the rooftop garden overlooking the street, and watch everything from funerals, to weddings, to fiestas, to church executive meetings, all taking place on the church grounds. And any church that incorporates exploding firecrackers with their service is all right in my books.

To sum up: I almost can't imagine staying anywhere else in Oaxaca: We looked at numerous other hotels as we wandered through town and none of them had the combination of friendly atmosphere, quiet location and the happy, helpful staff of Casa Arnel. If you're at all oriented towards staying somewhere out of the touristy center of town, and are willing to accomodate a bit of walking and true neighbourhood street life, do yourself a favour and stay at Casa Arnel. The place is a gem.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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28  Thank Johnula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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