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“Fantastic, memorable week in Tepoz!”

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La Villa Bonita Culinary Vacation
Reviewed March 30, 2012

We've traveled quite a bit to the typical Mexican resorts and were looking for something unique;something where you could see a town up close and not just hang out with other tourists in a gated resort.
La Villa Bonita was the perfect answer! Ana & Rob were excellent hosts! Ana made you feel right at home the minute we arrived.Working and learning with her in the kitchen was an experience we'll never forget. The accommodations were perfect as well. You felt like you were staying at a relative's home. It was simple, but beautiful, and very relaxing.
Tepoztlan is a charming little town with cobblestone streets. We enjoyed walking to town with other guests (new friends!) dailiy and checking out the local food at the market and shopping the charming stores. SO nice to NOT see a Starbucks or McDonald's on every corner. You really felt as though you were in another time. As for safety, we felt completely safe. It's such a shame that all of Mexico gets such a bad rep because of the drug cartel.
All in all, a memorable, incredible trip. Can't recommend the trip enough!

Room Tip: Only 6 rooms at the villa. While ours was fine, I might recommend #6, the last room as you had a nic...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CyndyJoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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71 - 77 of 98 reviews

Reviewed March 15, 2012

I had a lovely time at La Villa Bonita. If you're looking for a relaxing, simple, delicious vacation this is the place to go. I found Tepoztlan to be charming and safe. Robb and Ana were fantastic hosts. I wish them well and encourage anyone considering La Villa Bonita to go for it. I'm glad we did.

Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank Kristy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2012

I just returned last night from a fantastic experience with Chef Ana Garcia at her cooking school and hotel -- La Villa Bonita. One of the magic cities of Mexico, the setting for her culinary arts is restful, beautiful and with perfect weather and a nice pool -- it couldn't be more heavenly. I'm a serious cook and personal chef. I have always wanted to learn how to make those traditional Mexican dishes such as Mole, Poblanos, Tres Leches, Tamales, Soups, Beans, Tortillas -- the gamut of the cuisines of Mexico. Ana is a talented teacher. She explains -- the classes are hands on -- the recipes are clear and the invaluable tricks and secrets are shared with her students. The accommodations are excellent and it's wonderful to be a part of her family from baby Augustine and her two other boys to husband Robb (the business side of the operation). My only advice would be to get into the very specifics of the agenda, so you are clear to understand what the actual agenda/schedule is and the various package options. Robb is the contact for this. Some details of the week needed to be explained in more detail in order to enable guests to plan arrival, departure and separate parts of the getaway more completely. The sample agenda was never modified for me personally. The actual cooking classes for the week I attended were Monday-Thursday (I preferred this in fact). However I didn't find this out until after I arrived. These details would have changed my choice of package and departure date. Details, details, details. Overall a wonderful -- highly recommendable experience for either the home chef or those with more intense interest. I loved the other guests! It was a great way to spend a vacation. I wish many more clients will arrive at LVB and learn from such a warm, intelligent and gifted chef/teachers. Thank you so much Ana and Robb!

Room Tip: In Tepoztlan is a village in the mountains. A real community with cobblestone streets and LOTS of r...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled solo
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4  Thank TheCulturedPalate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fredabogado, Owner at La Villa Bonita Culinary Vacation, responded to this reviewResponded March 1, 2012

Thank you for the kind review. We had an great time with you as well. Just a quick note about the sample schedule as noted on our site. While the layout of events is almost always as noted in the sample schedule, there are times when Chef Ana will modify the order of events to take advantage of local festivals, culinary events, seasonality of special local dishes, as well as to tailor your experience according to your interests. One of the great advantages of a stay at La Villa Bonita is that it is flexible and almost never the same twice with the types of dishes you will experience and with the numerous local celebrations and festivals. As a result, the sample schedule may be modified. If you have special time restrictions or something in your schedule outside of your experience at La Villa Bonita that you need to do, please let us know beforehand either when you make your reservation or prior to your visit with us and we would be happy to accommodate.

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Reviewed February 24, 2012

My partner and I were looking for a fun weekend away to celebrate Valentine's Day and came across the two-day culinary vacation on Bloomspot.com. At first we were hesitant to undertake a trip to Mexico for only a few days, but we quickly realized that the travel time was less than we would spend driving to a domestic location. The activities during our weekend were planned perfectly to maximize the time as well. Although we were only with Ana and Robb for two days we took in the town of Tepoztlan, enjoyed the local carnival festivities, spent time relaxing on the gorgeous grounds, had a massage AND enjoyed a fantastic cooking class.

I simply can't say enough about Ana's class. My boyfriend cooks often but I am a complete novice to anything beyond microwaving. Ana effortlessly tailored her teaching to match our different levels and ensured we were both engaged and having fun at every step. I also loved that many of the ingredients were directly from the lush gardens on the property.

This is absolutely the IDEAL weekend trip and we can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank airesdra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2011

There are no words to fully describe how terrific my 4 days here were -- Ana and Robb go out of their way to craft a delicious and relaxing vacation, custom suited to their guests' needs. The location is calm and gorgeous with a spectacular view, each room is rustic yet elegant, and the kitchen -- breathtaking! Open-air, with a view of the valleys as one blends a mole sauce, it makes the lengthy and involved steps to Mexican cooking delightful. Taking advantage of the local community and produce, during the daily visits to markets (town, wholesale and famer's), we picked up lush and fresh vegetables and cheeses for use that day. Happily, I found that Ana effortlessly and seamlessly altered the menus and plans to suit my vegetarian needs.

I took the attached travel/security warning with a grain of ancho chile, washed down by a hibiscus aguafresca -- as a single woman, wandering around the charming cobblestone streets of Tepoztlan and its markets in the evenings, I felt comfortable and secure. Further, having constant access to, guidance from and even outings with Ana and Robb, I knew I was in good hands!

Room Tip: All the rooms are gorgeous -- for an adventure though, do try to spend a night at the nearby Tube Ho...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank pleasantchaos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2011

From the moment you arrive, Robb and Ana welcome you as family and you are immediately immersed in true Mexico culture- a welcome change from some of the more "touristy" vacations in Mexico. The cooking classes were very hands on, and Ana is a fantastic teacher. Your level of culinary expertise doesn't matter- novice or expert- you will learn something new! I have been able to recreate the meals at home, much to the delight of my family and friends! The guest rooms are very nice, as are the common areas, and the views are amazing. There is a great balance of classes, excursions, and downtime, all of which adds up to a vacation which is relaxing, rejuvenating, and engaging. One of my favorite parts was visiting the markets-- my local grocery store will forever pale in comparison!

My husband and I had a fantastic time and can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kiersten H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2011

My sister and I visited in November and we also went on the Living Social package deal, which was misrepresented. Living Social wanted to offer a resolution after we purchased, but by then we had also purchased airfare and taken the time off work. So we decided to go ahead - we love Mexico. The pros were that the accomodations are very lovely and Tepoztlan is a really wonderful town. Our ONE cooking class included in "the deal" was really fun, informative, and delicious. Ana is very personable. Our guide, Arturo, was great. The cons were that it was quite expensive. Breakfast at $15/day is way too much money. Our extra nights were $150 per night and didn't include anything other than the room, not even a cup of coffee in the morning. The guide, arranged by La Villa Bonita, was more than we have every spent on a guide in Mexico, about 4X more. We didn't have the magical experience that others have had, and yet we had a great time because we love Mexico and are comfortable doing things on our own. Robb was not there on the week we stayed and perhaps Ana was stretched a bit thin in managing everything with her kids, workers, life. FYI; We each spent about $2K for the week. Not quite the deal we thought we were buying.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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6  Thank locahermanas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fredabogado, Owner at La Villa Bonita Culinary Vacation, responded to this reviewResponded December 2, 2011

At La Villa Bonita, we pride ourselves on the quality of the experience offered. We would rather offer a quality service with great people who are experts in their field than risk your experience with something cheap, unproven or unreliable.

Chef Ana is now in her 10th year of introducing guests to the joys of traditional Mexican cuisine and is considered to be one of the best teachers in the field. The LVB cooking experience runs from 8:30 am until about 4:00 pm. The day starts with a big breakfast spread from scratch with a different main dish every day, a trip to the farmer's market to select ingredients with Chef Ana, a hand's-on cooking session with Chef Ana of 3-4 hours of a variety of traditional dishes, and finishes with a wonderful lunch of the multiple dishes prepared with drink service served on the elevated terrace or open-air kitchen with view of the valley. Many of our guests are surprised at what the cooking experience entails, the picturesque setting and the variety of fabulous dishes that they prepare.

Arturo, our tour guide, is a former history professor who speaks multiple languages and is incredibly well-versed on many topics. Anyone who has ever taken his tour knows that he is no ordinary tour guide, but an encyclopedia of history, anthropology, architecture and general Mexican culture all wrapped up in a great sense of humor. His tour is an optional addition and while is it not the cheapest tour on the market, I can tell you from experience that it is the best.

Our Living Social package is a flexible introductory package intended to give guests an opportunity to sample one of the best hand's-on cooking classes at a fraction of the normal price. As with any purchase, it is very important to read carefully your package details prior to purchase and ask as many questions as possible to fully understand what you are getting. We are very happy to answer any and all questions by phone or by email. We offer a variety of packages of different budget and interest levels. We are very happy to have potential guests contact us and respond to as many questions as they have. We would be happy to find the package that fits your needs.

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Additional Information about La Villa Bonita Culinary Vacation

Address: Prolongacion Aniceto Villamar # 150 | Col. Tierra Blanca, Tepoztlan 62520, Mexico (Formerly La Villa Bonita Culinary Hotel)
Location: Mexico > Central Mexico and Gulf Coast > Morelos > Tepoztlan
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 50 Specialty Lodging in Tepoztlan
Price Range: $175 - $350 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — La Villa Bonita Culinary Vacation 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chef Ana Garcia invites you join her in a unique culinary experience created for true food lovers. Chef Ana's 6 bedroom boutique culinary home boasts an enormous open air kitchen with a spectacular view, pool carved out of a volcanic rock, and an organic citrus and vegetable garden. Enjoy a gourmet chef's table with Chef Ana made from local ingredients or try your own hand at cooking traditional Mexican delicacies with our famous culinary vacation packages or build your own package. Make tortillas from scratch, build a mole with your own hands, enjoy the best tamales you have ever had on our elevated terrace. Don't stay in a regular hotel - have a culinary adventure at La Villa Bonita. ... more   less 
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