ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: After visiting Sayula’s beloved Jugo factory, a grass-roots cajeta de leche (think dulce de leche) candy-making factory — employing a majority of the town’s residents and pleasing milk candy lovers of Jalisco — I was ready to drop my bags and come down from my sugar rush at the hotel. Cornering half the market on tourist-ready accommodations in Sayula, Jalisco, the Gran Casa Sayula entrance welcomes guests with a splash of colorful tiles, rich paintings and heavy furniture.
My guide assisted with my check-in, filling in the many gaps my Spanish provided, and in a few minutes I had my key and an escort to my room. Walking through the open-air courtyard at the center of the two-story hotel, reminiscent of a European piazza, I passed a small pool and more incredible tile work on my way to my room on the second floor.
GUEST QUARTERS: Once upstairs, I discovered a small chapel, complete with a charming steeple, tiny pews and stained glass at one end of the rooftop hallway, with another small room, which I believed to be a spa, at the other. My room was just a couple of doors away from the chapel and a small grouping of benches by the rooftop ledge — I made a mental note to get some work done there later, with a view.
The guestrooms are quite modest. I placed my bag on the (super) firm mattress and noted the TV from a bygone era, décor of the same time period and, in a surprising twist, L’Occitane soaps and shampoo in the bathroom. The rooms offer quaint comforts and actually reminded me of my great-grandmother’s house when I used to visit as a kid. The space will definitely do the trick for a night or two in town.
SERVICES/AMENITIES: The hotel’s on-site restaurant, pool and uniquely traditional touches offer a quintessential small-town stay in the heart of this tiny city, with some comforts of home. Easily one of the best perks of the stay is its proximity to everything. Just steps away from the town square, a historic cathedral and La Casa de los Patios (the only other tourist-ready hotel in town), Gran Casa is well-positioned for exploring the city on foot.
Try the tortilla soup at the on-site restaurant!
WiFi was available, but I found my personal hotspot a bit faster.
Head to the hotel’s second-floor rooftop area for city views.
First-floor guestrooms open right into the courtyard/dining room, so be prepared for diners to be within eye shot upon exit and entry.
The town is small, easily walkable and a great rest stop between Jalisco city visits.
Watch handmade tortillas come out of the oven on one corner of town, shop local goods on another or take a picture by the Sayula sign in the town square — all in the same day.
GRAN CASA SAYULA HOTEL GALERIA AND SPA
Ave. Gral. Manuel Ávila Camacho 73
Centro Histórico, 49300 Sayula
tel 52 342 421 1169
Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.
I had just taken off my sandals, stepping onto the white-sand beach for a late-morning walk to a secluded spot I heard about from a front desk clerk, when I glanced down and saw the time on my phone. It had just turned 11 a.m., which meant it was only 7 am back home, the perfect time to call and say good morning to by husband before he left for work. Not quite ready to head back to my room, I decided I’d test the WiFi signal and made the call as I continued walking toward the shoreline.
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