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Sleeping Around in Huatulco

by John Williams
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I must confess that I've inherited a cheap streak. But it's paid off in some ways; even on the modest compensation I've earned as a bureaucrat, I've been able to do a fair share of traveling and vacationing. So I tend to check out the budget accommodations even when I'm staying in something better.

While in Huatulco in March of 2002, I dropped in on a new hotel on the main road into La Crucecita. The name of the place is the Vinni - Zza. It's on Boulevard Chahue, Lotte 1 Mza. 45, right across from the Pollo Bravo. A room for one to three people with a fan runs $250.00 pesos per night. For $300.00, you get air-conditioning. The rooms are completely adequate, though not plush. Some of the best tamales in town can be bought each morning from the venders in the street below. It's not on the beach, but it is an easy walk from the zócalo and right across from where the micros to Santa Maria and Pochutla depart. It's good basic accommodations at an affordable price.

I checked out another that I would recommend against. It's the Posada Michelle near the bus stations. The rooms seem acceptable. The prices are similar to the Vinni-Zza. But I encountered a local pimp who had set up shop in the hotel, and I really don't feel that to be an environment that I could possible recommend. Unless, of course, you're into that sort of thing...

But this trip, I went up-scale. My stay was in the gorgeous Villa Pacifico in residential Conejos. My traveling companion was my son, a senior at Georgetown High School. Ben tends to be a bit of an ascetic, but he found the architecture and appointments at the Pacifico to be enough to convert him, at least for this trip! Villa Pacifico offers four ultra-deluxe suites for rent. Each has two queen beds and a daybed. Each comes equipped with a small refrigerator, a microwave, and a coffee maker. The bathroom has more floor space than some apartments I've lived in! Double vanities. A huge shower room with two shower heads, one directed at a bench down one wall. The "throne room" is completely separate. The rooms also feature satellite TV, double air conditioners, and ceiling fans.

The community areas include a fully equipped kitchen; freezers as well as refrigerators; an exchange library; a modest library of video cassettes as well as a VCR and big TV; stereo; and a large formal dining room. There is also a split-level pool and an elevated hot-tub with a GRAND view of Tangolunda down below.

One of the draws of the "golden cage" hotels on Tangolunda is that they are the only places actually ON the water. But the accommodations in residential Conejos have exclusive access to Playa Tejoncito. In two stays in the neighborhood, I've had near total privacy on this beach. From Villa Pacifico, it's less than a two-minute walk. And it is a far better swimming beach than anything on Tangolunda, with the exception of the beaches at the now-closed Club Med.

And I would defy anyone to claim ANY hotel in the area offers better service than Villa Pacifico. The staff, headed by the incredible Rebecca, takes care of any reasonable need. I mean, even our LAUNDRY was done on a daily basis! And she is a superb cook; will do a couple of meals per day if you so desire.

The only real problem is that there are only four suites. If you are traveling with a large party, this may be an unacceptable limitation.

Which brings us to the other Conejos accommodation I've stayed in, the Agua Azul Bed and Breakfast. Brooke and Rick offer six suites available. The architectural style and the view are also excellent. And while the accommodations may not be quite so plush as Villa Pacifico, the price is a tad more reasonable. The Gazer's offer a continental breakfast daily and an entertainment center in the common area including TV and VCR. There is a nice fresh-water pool. There are no TV's in the individual rooms, but how much time do you spend in your room anyway? You have access to Playa Tejoncito for superb swimming and snorkeling. And the price is quite competitive with the Playa Tangolunda hotels.

There are more accommodations available in the residential Conejos and Balcones de Tangolunda area. Villa Paita is one. Wayne and his wife are about to drop a new ad on Tom for another; David Garcia of the Ventures enterprises says that it's going to be the nicest one yet. But I can't speak to these from personal experience yet. And Wayne's still needs a name! But there should almost always be something upscale available when you're ready to book.

In the past, I would have felt that the isolation in residential Conejos was a drawback. But with the loss of the microbus service throughout the Huatulco resort area, this is no longer nearly as much of an issue. After all, you'd have to use a cab to get from Tangolunda, so there's no additional burden having to use one to get from Residential Conejos. I won't say you couldn't walk into town, but it would be a considerable walk!

For those of you who are still wary of non-traditional accommodations, I can only urge you to check out some of these places during your next trip. I truly believe that you will find them head and shoulders above any hotel accommodation in the area.

And there are a number of condos under construction in Santa Cruz even as we speak.

Go. Travel. Shop. Enjoy!

John Williams

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