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“Depends what you are looking for”
Review of Las Golondrinas

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Las Golondrinas
Ranked #31 of 110 Hotels in Oaxaca
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 17, 2009

If you are looking for the usual comforts of a modern hotel, you may want to choose a different place. If you are looking for a simple, quiet and friendly place, Las Golombrinas is your place.
The hotel is a few blocks away from the town centre, not in the best area of the town but it feels relatively safe although we were recommended not to leave the car outside at night (no parking is available but you get a small discount at a nearby car park).
The room was relatively small but it had a large bathroom with shower. No AC, no TV, etc. But it was clean and it had character.
The staff are incredibly friendly, very helpful and they speak fluent English (uncommon trait).
Outside the room, in the small inner courts there are various seats amongst plants and trees. There are some nice decorations that make the place feel unusual and relaxing.
Breakfast (not included in the price) can be chosen from a good and varied menu. It was tasty but I do not share the enthusiasm for the coffee that I read in some other reviews. Maybe I am too used to my Italian coffee.
If we were to go back to Oaxaca, we would look around but at the end we would probably return to Las Golombrinas.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LarryWastoday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 13, 2008

My husband and I stayed at Las Golondrinas during a 2-night stay in Oaxaca City. It was honestly the perfect hotel for us and when we return to Oaxaca, we will be staying there again! The location was fantastic--only a few blocks from the cathedral and town square (centro). It is towards the north end of town, so it was a bit of a hike to get to some of the attractions on the southern end, like the markets. The room itself was rather basic, but had such character-- some of the walls were brick, and our bathroom was elevated a couple of steps, which made it feel very unique. We didn't have a problem with noise or anything like that, and the staff were very nice and helpful. One issue is that if you aren't comfortable with walking around town after dark, you may be nervous with the location of this hotel because the streets get quite deserted in the evenings. We never felt unsafe at all, but recognize that some folks might. To sum it up, the price, location, and character of Las Golondrinas make this a super choice in Oaxaca City!!

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SendMeSomewhere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2008

We all loved our stay at this hotel. The courtyards are beautiful, the staff was friendly, the breakfast area is beautiful and relaxing (though the service is slow), the rooms are large and the location is great. The main downside was that the hot water in the shower was inconsistent. I would definitely stay here if I came to Oaxaca again.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Over60Countries
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2008

This is my fourth trip to Oaxaca and I finally got into Las Golondrinas, because in the past it had always been booked when I tried to get in there. It has a 95 percent occupancy rate which attests to its popularity. We had three rooms with a party of six of us for Dia de Los Muertos, One triple, one double and one suite.
Here are the pros and cons:
The pros: The gardens are very pretty and filled with works by locally famous potters. The greenery is very welcome because there isn't that much green stuff in the historic district and it's nice to come home to a pretty green oasis.
The staff is very friendly and accomodating both Maria and Paty who are the day and night front desk managers. They both speak good English which is very useful, a lot of hotels in Oaxaca no one speaks English. When they're not there, though, you will be challenged to communicate if you don't speak Spanish. I never asked the desk for a single item that wasn't delivered instantly, whether it was an extra blanket, a roll of toilet paper,whatever. That is better service than I've had in five-star hotels. Sometimes in Mexico the service is shall we say, relaxed and you have to ask repeatedly, but not here. They also arranged a car for us with an English speaking guide at local rates, no markup, though there was a mixup between Maria and Paty and I had to ask repeatedly to get it ordered. It did get ordered in time, though and we were quite happy with it. One day I left my key accidentally in the room, the maid had noticed that, and she came running over unbidden to open the door for me when she saw me walking toward my room. They have free safes in the office for your valuables and they give you plenty of free bottles of drinking water every day. There's a small TV lounge with computer room that's nice, when I needed a break from my kids, I banished them to the TV room to watch the Simpsons or wrestling in Spanish. They only charge 5 pesos, about 40 cents, to use the computer for half an hour. The rooms were simplly decorated but nice with locally made woven bedspreads and furnitureand photos of Oaxaca on the walls.. The bathroom had a big shower with plenty of hot water The location isn't right on the zocalo, but only about a 10 minute walk and a five minute walk to the Alameda and Santo Domingo, all in all a pretty good location. It is slightly uphill on the way home so we were breathing a bit hard toward the top.
There's a breakfast cafe which was convenient for us so our whole group could gather in the morning and have coffee before we started our day. On nights and weekends they keep the front door to the complex locked which I liked for security reasons, you don't have strangers wandering around the hotel stealing your stuff, you can't get into the hotel without passing throught the foyer by the front desk. They buzz you instantly, we never waited more than 10 seconds to get in or out even late at night. They also had laundry service which I didn't use. The prices were good, for day of the dead which is high season we paid 520 pesos to 600 pesos for our rooms, about $48-55 dollars approximately. In the middle price range for Oaxaca. My friend had a gorgeous suite with a king bed for only 600 pesos.
The cons: The gardens are lovely but there's really only one courtyard where you can stretch out and relax in the sun. Though you could use the tables at the cafe when it was closed. Otherwise you are squeezed along the walkways.
Traffic: The hotel is located on a narrow but very busy one-way street that all the buses and many cars entering the historic district are funnelled down. This means there's a LOT of traffic noise. We started immediately walking up and down to the zocalo using adjacent streets, to get away from the noisy buses. We were in room GG, a triple, somewhat close to the street and it was noisy at night from traffic after all the other city sounds quieted down. Having said that, usually I detest traffic noise and it will be a dealbreaker for me at any hotel, but I didn't really mind it that much, and I imagine if you were toward the back of the hotel there would be no noise at all.
Rooms: The rooms have no phones or TVs which didn't bother me. The beds are hard like all beds in Mexico at less than three star hotels. Basically they put a mattress on top of a wooden platform and that's your bed. Most hotels are like that. They were pretty comfortable and the bedding was too. You got a heavy warm blanket which was welcome during the rare cold snap. There was no a/c but a fan in the room which was fine. Our bathroom had no ventilation at all which was a problem at times. The biggest problem for me was the breakfast cafe, the food was fine even good but the service was abominable. They really needed another waitress. I could wait an hour to get my coffee in the morning. It became a joke among us. Would we get our breakfast? How long would it take this morning? I started ordering three cups of coffee at once so at least I didnt ahve to wait forever for my second cup. We would not have eaten there at all except it was so convenient for our group to collect there. I do wish they had another server, they certainly need one and the brekfast service was in stark contrast to the excellent service in the rest of the hotel.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
4  Thank marlajfish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2008

Just back from a pleasant week at Las Golandrinas. We didn't book in advance, but were able to get a room that was very clean, light, and pretty, albeit right outside the cafeteria, so a bit noisy in the mornings (But we got up early anyway, so it didn't matter to us.) The gardens were very pretty, though they are indeed small and the chairs are intermingled with the pathways, so you can't exactly just relax and read without guests and housecleaners walking past you a lot. But for $50 a night (breakfast NOT included) we thought it was a nice spot to stay while taking classes at one of the language schools. I also checked out Las Mariposas, which is in a prettier part of town, but I didn't find the rooms or grounds as nice and the price was the same. The hostess there was very friendly, though, and it's also a perfectly good spot.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2  Thank Roadbella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2008

For our first five nights, my friend and I stayed in a room on the second floor with 2 single beds, which cost about $52 US. It had natural light from both sides of the huge and airy room, which made it a pleasant and bright place throughout the day. The maid service here is great (they fold every stray article of clothing!), the bottled water is free and copious, and the shower water reliably warm and high-pressure. The beds in our room (FF) where hard, but it didn't bother me. I never found noise on the second floor to be an issue, either from traffic or from conversations. Then again, after D.F, everything seems quiet.
For our last night (there was some confusion over reservations, so we had to leave a day earlier than we intended), we stayed in a room off the second courtyard with queen size bed. I'm glad we only stayed there one night, because it was small for two twenty-somethings laden with luggage and gifts. It was also a gloomier place due to the small, shaded windows, but the ceilings were high and the room nicely decorated. Even here, with two teenage boys next door, I didn't find noise to be an issue.
The real plus of this place are the gardens. I'm normally super-active on my vacations, but the lure of reading in the sunlight surrounded by a floral explosion is hard to resist.
As for negatives mentioned by other reviewers: The walk to the Zocalo is laughably short. And for traffic, well, surprise, Mexico is still a developing nation, and its nice to know that people besides tourists actually live in the city. Sure, I agree that the restaurant leaves something to be desired, but Oaxaca is one of the great eating cities of the world. If you can't be bothered to grab a coffee on the Zocalo or near Santo Domingo, maybe you should look into inclusive resorts. The staff was helpful (again, my friend and I speak passable Spanish), and we never found anyone to be overtly rude. The only time I saw someone at the front desk get miffed was when another guest spoke in LOUD English, punctuated with belittling phrases like 'comprende?' Ugh. Also, the owner is a saint. He almost makes getting sick worth it for his care and attention.

Stayed: March 2008
5  Thank Ferrah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2008

After reading all the rave reviews, I really thought this was the place to stay in Oaxaca. Firstly, I would like to underscore the positives... It is owned by a retired engineer who could not be more gracious and welcoming. The rooms could not be cleaner, the small garden is pleasant and some of the staff very helpful. The security is good but it is at the expense of being trapped in, or out, of the hotel until you can get "la duena" to buzz the door for you, which means they know your every movement.... Including bowel!... The maid walked right in my room while I was using the toilet. There is no privacy here. People have conversations on your doorstep and you have to step over people sitting in chairs on the walkway to get in or out of your room. The hotel is VERY confining. Pictures of the garden are deceptive. It's lovely but tiny. The traffic on the street is non-stop and it's also a dusty carbon monoxide-filled walk to the zocalo. The breakfast is good but you will wait. And wait. And wait. You will get your coffee in maybe 10 minutes and your breakfast companion will get their coffee 10 minutes after that and you might get your food a half hour later. Forget about dining together. They should just keep the menu simple and manageable. Even if one can live with all of the above, the real negative is one member of the otherwise helpful front desk staff. There is a snooty young woman with glasses who is on duty most of the time. She is quite proficient in sarcasm, in both English and Spanish. If her boyfriend is visiting, forget about getting any service at all. She's got to be a relative because she's awful at her job. Would I stay here again? Definitely not. Next time I will gladly pay a bit more to stay near the zocalo, in order to avoid the street noise, the dusty walk and the cranky girl.

Stayed: January 2008
6  Thank MsXina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Las Golondrinas

Address: Calle Tinoco y Palacios 411, Oaxaca 68000, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Southern Mexico > Oaxaca > Oaxaca
Hotel Style:
#3 Best Value Hotel in Oaxaca
#14 Romantic Hotel in Oaxaca
Price Range: $30 - $45 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 29
Also Known As:
Las Golondrinas Hotel Oaxaca
Las Golondrinas Oaxaca

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