If you’re like most people good idea about getting away from it all for a break means traveling to a nice beach somewhere (or even the closest beach to you), enjoying the sunshine for a few days while chilling out on beach bed sipping a Margarita. But see, that’s not my idea as I actually live on the beach, and have been doing so for many years. Sure, I’m all about traveling to a remote island in the Pacific or heading to the Maldives some day, but as of now my idea of a break means traveling to the mountains, hopefully not too far away, and enjoying cold temperatures. And while finding cold temperatures might not be easy when based in Mexico’s Pacific coast there are quite a few getaways no matter where you are.
On this particular weekend I returned to a quaint little town about an hour inland from Puerto Vallarta: San Sebastian del Oeste, where I had last been three years ago and had not returned– I’m not sure why. I was again looking for a place that would not mean another adventure along one of Mexico’s challenging roads, and San Sebastian came to my mind again. This time ,with just a few minutes of planning, I found a place to stay that has character, is comfortable and is ideal for anyone traveling with a special someone: Hacienda Matel.
In case you’re not sure about what an hacienda is, these are traditional large houses that belonged (some still do) to wealthy Mexicans, are in the countryside and in many cases have stables and animals nearby , though this time it was not the case. Hacienda Matel is located right before San Sebastian, down a narrow winding cobbled stone road that ends where the property starts.
Hacienda Matel: the Property
Hacienda Matel is quite new by any standard, just 14 months old, but you’d be easily fooled to think that it is more than 1oo years old. It has been carefully decorated to mimic the style of what they used to look like more than 50 years ago and in the process the hacienda is now home to a small museums of decorations that have a lot of history to them; among the many items you’ll find are a chandelier that once belonged to a former president and the travel case used by Mexico’s first parachutist back in 1946.
Following traditional hacienda architecture there is a main patio surrounded by the building, this time the patio boasting a fantastic Jacuzzi (can you believe I forgot my trunks?). Facing west are the dining room and lounge, both overlooking the valley through a large window pane, tastefully decorated with vintage furniture.
There’s a small wine cellar under the dining room and a fantastic rooftop terrace above it, with a pool table and all. Look behind you and you’ll see a small chapel, as well as the house where the caretakers live.
You can only expect large, stylish and comfortable rooms in a place like this, and hacienda Matel does not disappoint here either. In fact this was one of the reasons I had chosen to come here in the first place, as I wanted to spend a couple of nights in a hotel that looked nothing like what I’m used to reminding me at all times that I’m in the kind place where I don’t get to spend too much time in.
The large king sized bed faced the gas chimney (which we did turn on), the paintings were a perfect match to the room, the couch in the corner was a great place where to spend quality reading time and the bathroom was big enough for two, with the sink outside. The hacienda has eight bedrooms, one of them a suite, the others splitting between king size and double bed rooms, attending to all kinds of guests.
Food and Service
We only had breakfast here, but it is plentiful and tasty. Traditionaly Mexican, we were given chilaquiles with beans and scrambled eggs, coffee with milk, orange juice, yoghurt and some delicious rosquillas con canela, kind of a small doughnut with cinnamon. The personal service was immaculate, making us comfortable and welcome at all times.
If you’re looking for a place to stay that has character, history and is comfortable in San Sebastian del Oeste or away from Puerto Vallarta Hacienda Matel is sure to offer what you need- in fact one of the largest local tourism companies in the area offers day tours to it, which in itself says a lot. We had a fantastic stay during which we were able to pretend, if for a couple of days, we had traveled in time are were indulging in full traditional Mexican flare. And tell you what: it felt good, really good.
Have you ever stayed in a Mexican hacienda? Where at? What did you like about it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below and this post too if you think other might find it useful!
I was a guest of Hacienda Matel, however all pictures and opinions in this post are entirely my own.