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“An unforgettable holiday!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of La Villa Bonita Culinary Vacation

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La Villa Bonita Culinary Vacation
Antwerp, Belgium
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“An unforgettable holiday!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 11, 2013

We stayed in La Villa Bonita for 5 nights in September 2013. When we arrived, Ana the host brought us first to our room, one of the 5 rooms Villa Bonita has, and we loved it instantly. The rooms are very nicely decorated; they have a lot of character, there is extra seating and they have a perfected sized bathroom. We immediately felt like home .

In terms of the location: Perfect - it is located in a quiet street just a 10 minutes walk from the city center where we on regular basis went to the local market. In the city center you also find a lot of very nice bars and restaurants. If you have any doubts about which one to go to, Ana is always prepared to give you advice on that.

The cooking classes were very interested. We learned a lot about the Mexican cuisine since we made typical Mexican dishes such as Mole. Ana is a brilliant cook who explains everything very carefully and give a lot of information about all the products she works with in her classes. We went to the local market of Tepoztlan and Cuernavaca to buy the ingredients for the cooking classes.

The open kitchen, were Ana gives her cooking classes, has an awesome view. It was very nice to sit there every morning during breakfast and during the cooking classes.

From the very first moment we arrived in Villa Bonita, Ana and her family immediately made us feel like home. It was an unexpected holiday, but it turned out to be one of the best I ever had. Thank you again for the awesome 5 days!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Chloe V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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87 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    72
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    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Rochester, Minnesota
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2013

I stumbled on this with Jetsetter way back in April not long after returning from the Yucatan and had always wanted to see more of the 'authentic' side of Mexico away from the tourist spots and beaches as well as learn how to make real Mexican food and this fit it perfectly. We arrived and Robb was waiting for us and had a chance to meet some of the people we'd be with during our stay. We started our journey at 3 am so by the time we arrived we were exhausted but had a delicious margarita and fresh chips with guacamole and woke up immediately. This was followed by the chef's dinner and it didn't disappoint, it was so unique and tasty. The next three days Chef Ana took us to the markets, explained the culture and history of the area and of course taught us invaluable techniques when preparing Mexican food. The program says that what you will make us for lunch but there was so much food and by the time we sat down to eat I couldn't think of having more (except for maybe some more wine of course).

Tepoztlan: Beautiful unique city. There's no waterways but the closest I can describe it was like Venice, it was so quiet and relaxing, and just had that vibe. I loved walking around and just exploring the city. The people are so friendly and nice, by the third day we knew we were going to miss the place when we left. It's very hilly but not tiring to walk.

La Villa Bonita grounds: Beautiful as well! It's up on top of the hill so you can see the whole city. The rooms were great, each one was unique and the room service cleaned everyday. Wifi was excellent which was helpful since I needed to keep in touch with work while away. It's all very open with common areas to sit and chat after a day of cooking, playing with their dog Mojo, and if you want its easy to escape to your room and just relax and unwind. A lot of reviews said it was noisy at night but I never heard a thing.

The lessons: Excelente! I learned so much and when I returned I immediately put it to use. I can finally make tortillas and beans that are light years beyond anything available locally. There are recipes Chef Ana teaches at all levels from complex to the simple. I learned great techniques with each one.

Safety: I only bring this up because it seems to be on everyone's mind but there wasn't anytime I was there that I felt unsafe, it even felt ridiculous that I was even slightly worried before arriving.

Misc: Robb and Ana, along with everyone really were very helpful the whole time. I had lots of questions beyond cooking and they always had great insight and were helpful. The people who were with us were great and became friends quickly. It's amazing how much one week can change your perspective and what you can learn.

Things to do besides cook: We were on a slightly different package then the rest of the people with us so we had more downtime which was no problem. The church and monastery is beautiful and has a wonderful museum. If you are adventurous you can hike up 1.5 miles to the Tepozteco pyramid and see the most amazing view of the city. Cuernavaca is close by as well and heard you can get a cab ride for $5-$10. In the end we didn't have enough time to do everything we wanted so you won't be bored for sure.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Chebyrashka74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2013

Ana Garcia was noted to us, prior to our week long culinary adventure as the "Rachel Ray of Mexico". Very appropriate in every way. Ana and staff are more than accomodating and eager to inform all who attend and actively participate in each section of each meal preparation and service. My wife has prepared a full three course dinner for her office staff to enjoy the fruits of our absolutely wonderful trip. The accomodations within the villa are great. The culinary "field trips" to the local markets are an education in and of themselves with all the benefits of Ana's expertise and knowledge. We found Ana very adaptable to both the ingredents available and those we actually came back with or without. If "food" is your thing, this must be a consideratrion for your next adventure or first, as was our case.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank chefizzix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walnut Creek, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 19, 2013

A great vacation get-away. The culinary experience was wonderful, unique, and an unforgettable experience. The accommodations were awesome, and blended perfectly with the Mexico get-away. Tepoztlian is a hidden secret south of Mexico City and accessible by taxi to many vacation spots in nearby cities. Ana Garcia is a chef using only natural organic ingredients, she is not the chef who uses canned products. I returned home knowing much more about the every day foods of Mexico, not the beans and rice food we normally think of as being Mexican Food. The classes are small and easy to get you hand selected group for a wonderful unforgettable vacation. The trip also works with a single, newlyweds, friends, husband and wife. This can also be a very romantic spot.

Room Tip: There are only 6 rooms, some have king beds, and ours had twin bed because I met long time friend, I...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rslarve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Occoquan, Virginia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2013

My friends can tell you that if I could switch lives with one person on this earth, it would be Anthony Bourdain. I love to travel, taste foods from around the world, learn about different cultures, and work on my humble culinary skills. Going on a culinary vacation seemed like the package that contained all those ingredients.

When I discovered La Villa Bonita during my research, I thought it was too good to be true, but the reviews were accurate; it is as good as everyone says. When I arrived at the hotel with my friend Renee, Ana and Mojo (their sweet Golden Retriever) escorted us to our rooms - we were immediately wowed with their adobe-chic beauty – white adobe walls with dark wood trim and windows that opened to a view of the surrounding mountains only obstructed by a leaning vine of a blooming bougainvillea.

About 20 minutes later Ana called us up to the open air kitchen and dining area where she made us an amazing welcome margarita! Just what we needed after a day of travel.

Guests began to arrive and we did the meet and greet before being served a 5-star meal from soup to dessert.

The days that followed included walks to the market in the center of Tepoztlan where Ana taught us about the various fresh foods we used to prepare our meals. We would return to the villa and spend the day preparing meals that included, chile nogada, tamales, adobo, and mole. We socialized and enjoyed a glass of Mexican wine (or two) as we wrapped tamales, peeled walnuts (yes!), and roasted chiles – I learned so much and ate so much. When we were done we were always surprised by the table setting on the rooftop - I didn't think the view could get better!

We also had free time, always taking the time to walk off our meal with a little walk into town or stopping off at a nearby restaurant bar for a nightcap. During our free days we had a menu of options. Renee and I took a taxi into Cuernavaca (10 to 15 dollars) where we toured the Cathedral, did a little – no - a lot of shopping, and enjoyed the restaurants.

For our last night in Tepoztlan, we went out to a salsa club recommended by Ana. “El Telon” is a beautiful restaurant and club where we could dance off the days calories.

Now I am home and have this wonderful memory and reminders throughout my house - a sarape folded over my chair, glass jars of Mexican vanilla beans soaking in vodka, and my tortilla press that seems to keep saying "Come on Tracy, give me a try, you can do it!"

Thank you Ana, Rob, Mari, Lady, Blanca, Miguel, and your families for making our vacation something extra special.

Room Tip: We had the end room and I could not have been happier! The views were beautiful.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TracyKaye2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Possendorf
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2013

In the beginning we didn't really know what to expect...in the end it was the best time in Mexico we could have had...

La Villa Bonita, located in this cute town Tepoztlan, is a wonderful and cosy place to stay.
With only a few rooms it's a small but even more beautiful hotel with a familiar atmosphere. The rooms are very comfortable and always clean.

Thanks to Ana, a brilliant cook and caring hostess, we had an awesome and unforgettable time!! The cooking classes were really interesting since we learned how to cook real mexican food, like Mole, filled chilis, chilequilas and lots of other delicious plates.

Besides the cooking we also visited some markets in Tepoztlan and Cuernavaca where we learned a lot about (for me) unknown fruit, vegetables, beans and other typical regional food. In the end we gained the knowledge of how to buy the right ingredients and how to cook super nice meals.

For the sportive people: there's also the possibility to do repelling through waterfalls, which is a great experience or to climb the mountain to the pyramide, from where you've got a breathtaking view.

During the week with Ana and her lovely family I felt like home since everyone was so welcoming and super friendly.

Thanks again for this awesome time in La Villa Bonita!!! :)

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Maria P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 28, 2013

My friends in Brooklyn must think Ana and Rob have me on retainer due to the number of people I have recommended La Villa Bonita to in the past few weeks. Talk about a culinary adventure!! Staying at La Villa Bonita was like spending a week with your favorite friends who happen to be great in the kitchen and have a full staff who catered to your every need. I went in thinking I was going to learn a few Mexican dishes to add to my extensive food repertoire but got that and so much more. Tepoztlan is just simply lovely. I can see why it's considered a "magical" town because there is simply no other way to describe it. The rooms at La Bonita are delightful and tranquil. The kitchen space and rooftop deck are.....you need to see these for yourself. But my two favorite experiences - "hanging out" with Ana and the food. I normally hate breakfast food but I looked forward to breakfast every morning and lunch. Going to the different markets was probably my favorite experience by far - all the fresh food, the colors, the people, the wonderful smells. My brother who hates shopping throughly enjoyed it. And Ana - amazing hostess, knowledgeable chef/tour guide and great teacher. In summary, I had a good time!!

Oh and don't bother bringing snacks - you won't need it. I am still trying to get rid of the 3 pounds I gained.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BeeLovely22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Villa Bonita Culinary Vacation

Property: 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 39 Specialty Lodging in Tepoztlan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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