Hotel Baluarte is a great option for travelers on a budget who want to stay in central Veracruz. Its location is terrific, across the street from the Baluarte de Santiago and walking distance to the Malecon and the Gran Café de la Parroquia. The hotel itself is quite comfortable and very clean, and reasonably priced for what you get. It offers cable TV (including many channels in English, CNN and that kind of thing) and there is a well-maintained rooftop pool area where towels are provided (the pool is small and shallow, nothing to get excited about, but the overall atmosphere is pleasant).
We visited in August and the hotel was full of Mexican families on vacation and Mexican businessmen. I am not sure of the level of English spoken by the staff (or if it's spoken at all) so that may be an issue for some people. I never actually heard anyone speaking English while I was there.
The maids and bellmen were very helpful and kind. The front desk staff came off as a bit severe and formal but they are actually quite accommodating. We actually stayed here twice during the same trip. We first stayed in Veracruz for several days before taking an overnight bus to Oaxaca; we had to check out of the room at 1 pm but had time to kill before our bus left at night, so the hotel stored our luggage at no charge for the afternoon until we were ready to pick it up. Upon our return to Veracruz from Oaxaca (also an overnight bus) we showed up at the Hotel Baluarte at 5:30 am, and the front desk staff kindly let us check into our room for that night (even though check in time is technically 3pm) so that we could just crash and relax in the room for the day, before checking out & flying home the following day.
There is no wireless internet in the rooms which was somewhat of a pain, and surprising considering that it appears to be a hotel that caters to mid-level businesspeople. There is wired internet for laptops but you have to ask for a cable at the front desk; if you want internet for your smartphone or tablet, you're out of luck. We did not eat at the restaurant while we were there, as there were plenty of eating places within walking distance (it looked nice enough, we just generally don't eat in hotels when we travel but prefer to eat out with the general public).
Overall it was a very nice place to stay in Veracruz. I would definitely stay there again & recommend it to anyone wanting to stay in central Veracruz.
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