La Casa de los Milagros

Centro, Oaxaca, Mexico Book from US$90

Reviewed by Lisa Young
An intimate and homely 3-bedroom colonial house in the heart of Oaxaca, available on a B&B or villa basis
The ‘House of Miracles’ has earned its name. Built in the 1900s as a colonial home, it has come unscathed through several major earthquakes and floods, and now survives as one of the older and more elegant buildings in central Oaxaca. The latest miracle was performed by local architect Jorge Quintanar, who remodelled the house into a stylish 3-bedroom guesthouse with all the mod cons and a bright, colourful décor.

At its heart is a peaceful stone patio, around which are arranged the bedrooms, the dining room and the living room, topped by a sunny cactus-filled terrace. Many traditional features are preserved - beamed ceilings, brass chandeliers, wrought-iron and ivy-covered walls - as well as some whimsical touches, like the cherub wall hangings and vintage dolls.

The reception provided by the Cabrera family is as warm as the ochre walls - you may even become privy to the secrets of Oaxacan cooking in their welcoming, well-equipped kitchen, which is always open to guests and makes the perfect place for a mezcal nightcap. Otherwise, the restaurants and markets of downtown Oaxaca are just a short walk away.

Highs

  • This is a private, privileged place to stay
  • The décor is a lovely blend of modern and traditional Mexican
  • Staff are friendly and attentive
  • It’s close to restaurants, shops and markets

Lows

  • There’s a minimum stay of 2 nights and restrictions regarding when children can be accommodated
  • The central location means there’s some traffic noise, especially from passing buses
  • No telephones in the rooms
  • Street parking only

Best time to go

Oaxaca is ideal at any time of the year - it has a temperate climate, though there's some rain from May to October. There are festivals throughout the year, including Semana Santa (Easter), Guelaguetza (a dance festival held during the last 2 weeks of July), Day of the Dead (1-2 November), and the intriguingly-named Noche de Rábanos ('Night of Radishes'!) on 23 December.

Our top tips

We loved the breakfasts and made sure we had plenty of room for a morning feast, but if you want a less indulgent start to the day you're welcome to bring your own food to the table.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 3
  • Breakfast (+ restaurants nearby)
  • Over 2s welcome (restrictions apply)
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room: Cielo Room

Rooms

The 3 bedrooms are kept pristine by the daily housekeeping staff, and all have crisp white walls, beamed ceilings, tiled floors and beautiful furniture specially designed by local woodworkers Mobili Piave.

We stayed in the only ground-floor room, Angeles, which is set off the interior courtyard and takes its name from the angel sculptures dotted about inside. There’s even a full-length pewter mirror decorated with wings, but we thought the tiny garden and stone fountain were particularly heavenly. The fountain runs with recycled water, so we had no qualms about falling asleep to the romantic sound of trickling water (the room is a favourite with honeymooners).

El Cielo, on the upper floor, is the largest room - like Angeles, it has twin beds pushed together to make a kingsize. It also comes with its own balcony overlooking the patio. The smallest room, La Gloria, has a queensize bed and views onto the roof terrace.

All rooms have air-conditioning, ceiling fans, reading lamps, cable TV, wardrobes and marble bathrooms with power showers.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Cots Available
  • Fan
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

A full breakfast is served in the dining room, offering traditional egg and tortilla dishes - huevos rancheros, chilaquiles de huajillo, omelets de queso con salsa de espinacas - alongside breads, pastries, juices, coffee and tea.

Guests have free-run of the kitchen facilities to prepare their own food for other meals. You’ll find all the mod cons and equipment you need: a 4-ring stove, a fridge, a microwave, a toaster, a coffee maker, purified water, a blender, dishes and utensils. There’s even an iron and ironing board if you want to look freshly pressed for dinner. There’s a supermarket nearby for stocking up on provisions, but if you book the whole house you can hire a cook to do the hard work for you.

Oaxaca has become somewhat of a Mecca for foodies and there’s a list of recommended restaurants at the house if you want to eat out. A favourite of ours was La Biznaga - we visited twice to enjoy La Enredosa - a delicious soup of spaghetti strips, chorizo, fresh cream and chillies.

For tasty Oaxacan dishes try La Olla, part of sister guesthouse Las Bugambilias. And don’t be shy about signing up for a cooking class with La Olla’s head chef Pilar Cabrera, held in La Casa’s cheery yellow kitchen. It’s a fun half-day of shopping (she’ll take you round the local market), chopping (you’ll be hands-on assembling the food) and, of course, cooking. Best of all is the class lunch, when you sit down and tuck into tamales and tortillas alongside delicious dishes made from Pilar’s original recipes (she’s writing a cookery book). You'll even get instructions to take home with you afterwards.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Chef on request
  • Cooking classes
  • Meal delivery service
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Take a walking tour of Oaxaca, visiting the Graphic Arts Institute, the Contemporary Art Museum, the beautiful churches of Santo Domingo de Guzmán and Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, the regional museum and the cathedral

  • Go shopping in the markets for rugs, pottery, Panama hats, guayabera shirts, basketry, hammocks, masks, embroidered textiles, toys, blown glass, bark paper paintings, filigree silver, leather goods, sombreros, wrought iron, wooden figurines, tinwork, pewter, stone carvings and guitars

  • Sit in one of the many cafés around the Zócalo (Oaxaca’s main square) and soak up the local atmosphere

  • Or go on a guided tour of local villages, including stops at craft stalls, the oldest tree in the Americas at Santa María del Tule, and the Zapotec sites of Monte Albán, Mitla and Yagul

  • Mountain bikes and horse-riding can be arranged through local agencies if you want to see the area on 2 wheels or 4 legs

  • Sign up for one Pilar Cabrera’s fun, and tasty, Oaxacan cooking classes (located off site)

  • Relax on the roof terrace with a good book and a cold beer

  • Treat yourself to a revitalising temazcal (steam bath) treatment at Las Bugambilias

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Traditional cultures

Kids

Children 2 years and over are welcome at La Casa de los Milagros, when the rest of the property is empty or when guests are booking all 3 rooms for exclusive use - enquire when booking. The kitchen can come in useful for preparing kids' meals and snacks. Reduced rates are available for children in their own room, and extra children's beds/cots can be provided in Angeles and El Cielo on request.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available by arrangement.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots/children's beds are available on request and in accordance with the children's policy.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
9/
Food
10/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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