Mexico Accommodation – Where Did We Sleep?

A recurring theme is emerging in our Mexico accommodation. If you rent from an American you can pretty much guarantee it will be big and plentiful in every way. Rent from a local and it will be adequate and quaint. Both are great experiences. In our 4 months in Mexico we found some pretty nice and reasonably priced self contained apartments.

First let me tell you what we like and look for in accommodation.  Most important for us is WIFI, not negotiable, we need fast reliable WIFI and somewhere to work that is half pie comfortable, like a table. Next we like to get a Queen bed that’s not just a piece of foam, and of course we want to cook, so we need a kitchen.

We usually stay a minimum of a week in a location to get best prices. Our budget is $250 USD a week or $35 a night.  All our prices quoted are USD. You’ll see that some are over this however we had a little housesitting during this time also and a month with family, all made up for the overspend.

Overall in 2014 our average cost of accommodation was $199.57 a week or $28.51 a night.

How do I know this down to the fifty one cents?… It’s thanks to a clever application called Trail Wallet which I highly recommend for all travellers.

Mexico Accommodation – Airbnb

Our first place to look for apartments is Airbnb and most of the time we find what we want – we are loving Airbnb most of the time. If you haven’t used Airbnb before check out our post here and if you sign up you’ll get $25 off your first booking on me!

Not only do we get great accommodation with Airbnb,  but we make friends with the hosts and get the feel for local life. Usually we end up having a wine or two at some stage of our stay – of course  –  we are kiwis!

There are no set standards with Airbnb as to what can be provided and no real rating system, you have to use your judgement from photos, descriptions and communications.  Usually we find there is a small supply of necessary items, then you purchase your own, but occasionally we have got to places that provide everything and that is really nice, as well as being great for the budget.

Mexico Accomodation – Flip Key

The second place we look is Flip Key, although usually a little more expensive and not so easy to book and pay.  I learned the hard way In Ecuador when our host by passed the Flip Key system telling me it was cheaper for me to pay directly.  I will never do this again. Our accommodation was lovely but her agents treated us like criminals when we left trying to find fault with everything when nothing was wrong.  We weren’t able to seek support from Flipkey. Plus we had cleaned the place top to bottom for which we got no thanks.

Our Mexico Accommodation

Tlaquepaque –  Olivia’s Apartments

Imagine my excitement when I found this place online for $125 a week. It was our first apartment for Mexico and I really didn’t know what to expect.  I thought it was pretty good, we had a great time here, but I realised we could have spent a little more for some comforts.

But let me tell you a bit more about Olivia’s –  there is 5 apartments, ours was the smallest, the other 4 being quite a bit larger, some with 2 bedrooms and outdoor decks. (translation fresh air)

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See those orange curtains – that is the road immediately behind

I do wish we had spent a little more for some outdoor space. Our apartment was very adequate, has a lounge kitchen and a separate bedroom,  although noisy, it’s right on the street.  For longer term I would book a larger apartment just because we like space.

What we liked the most:

  •  WIFI – 10/10
  • Location – 5 mins walk to main square
  • Kitchen – basic no staples
  • The price
  • Clean
What we didn’t like:
  • Bed – Foam not so comfortable
  • Not much of a table to work at
  • Noise – heaps of it
  • Ventilation – pretty much non existent
  • Stained Sheets – I hate that!
  • No hot water in the Kitchen
  • No Washing Machine – but excellent laundry service.
Find Olivia’s  – Olivia’s apartments
Cost – $125 a week

Guanajuato – Mike and Ana’s Apartment

mexico-accommodation

Typically Mexican Decor with all the western comforts, we loved this place and Guanajuato.

We were totally spoiled at Mike and Ana’s apartment, it was delightfully Mexican with every little detail taken care of for a great price.

What we liked the most:
  • WIFI – 10/10
  • 2 Tables to work at – no fighting – there’s one each
  • Super Comfortable Bed and nice cotton sheets
  • Location – 15-20 mins walk to main square
  • Kitchen – this kitchen had everything from paper towels to coffee; sauces and oils.
  • Lovely Roof Top Deck and View
  • Shared Washing Machine – Yay
  • Host Mike gave us loads of tips and advice
  • Clean
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    Picture Perfect – this is the view from our roof top deck at Mike and Ana’s in Guanajuato

What we didn’t like:

I can’t think of anything that wasn’t good here, it pretty much ticked every box.
This was our second apartment in Mexico and it really spoiled us, every convenience even a vase for flowers! – because you can buy gorgeous fresh flowers for a couple of dollars.

Guanajuato has been tagged as a place for an extended stay in the future.

Cost – $197 a week

Find Mike and Ana’s place on Airbnb.

Mexico City – Gaby’s Apartment

We didn’t really know what to expect of Mexico City and our host was the perfect person to introduce us to the basics.  On arrival she spent 10 mins giving us just enough information to go out exploring this city of 25 million people.

We loved being in a local neighbourhood rather than in the centre of the city.

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Beautifully furnished and clean but lacked some natural light.

What we liked the most:
  • WIFI – 10/10
  • Table to work at
  • Comfortable King Bed with lots of pillows and really really nice sheets.
  • Location – 15 easy minutes on the metro to city.
  • Kitchen – adequate kitchen.
  • Washing Machine – Yay
  • Host Gaby was great for tips and travel advice.
  • Clean.
What we didn’t like:
    • Not much natural light.
Cost – $415 a week – a bit spendee,  but this is a city and we expected this.
Find Gaby’s place on Airbnb

Puebla – Alba’s Apartment

Alba was a gracious host and went the extra mile for us, even took us to The Grand Pyramid of Cholula in her car.
What we liked the most:
  • WIFI – 10/10
  • Table to work at
  • Comfortable Bed with floral sheets
  • Location – Perfect – 10 minutes walk to the Zocolo
  • Kitchen – very basic only
  • Host Alba was great for tips and travel advice and even took us in her car to Cholula.
  • Clean and Old Fashioned in a Funky way
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    Old fashioned and funky – Nana’s sheets and cushions for sure!

What we didn’t like:
  • Minimum loo paper, dishwashing, really too expensive for what is provided.
  • Communication a bit hit and miss
  • Expensive
We had originally booked to stay in Cholula, which fell through because the host was not a nice person so we left. Ending up in Peubla  turned out to be the better option anyway, an architectural paradise.
Cost – $391 a week – again a bit spendee.
Find Alba’s place on Airbnb

Oaxaca – Mimi’s Apartment

We had a wonderful 2 weeks with Mimi in Oaxaca, her apartment was like a home away from home, owned by Americans the kitchen was fully equipped and had very comfortable furnishings and a lovely private courtyard.

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Large and well equipped – we turned out some good meals here in Oaxaca

What we liked the most:
  • WIFI – 6/10
  • Table to work at
  • Comfortable King Bed with nice sheets
  • Very spacious 900sqm.
  • Location – 10 minutes walk to the Zocolo
  • Kitchen – Fully Equipped American style
  • Laundry – Laundry nearby with delivery
  • Beautiful Private Courtyard
  • Host Mimi was great for tips and travel advice and we had some nice social time together as well.
What we didn’t like:
    • Bathroom was small and awkward
    • Internet was intermittent and slow at times

Cost – $300 a week

Find Mimi’s place on Flipkey

San Cristobal de las Casas – Rachel and Endric’s

Our place here was a teeny little cottage with a courtyard where the owners also lived, a very simple place.

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Our tiny cottage in San Cristobal complete with our canine friend.

What we liked the most:
  • WIFI – 10/10
  • Desk each
  • Location – Perfect – 5 minutes walk to centre of town
  • Close Laundry – No washing machine but laundry 2 doors down
  • Lovely Courtyard with canine, feline friends and neighbours
  • Host’s Rachel and Endric were warm, friendly and helpful
  • Clean
What we didn’t like:
  • Hot water and plumbing a bit of a challenge
  • Small Space
  • Kitchen – basic, no oven.
  • Bed jammed up against a wall.

Cost $158 a week

Find Rachel and Endric’s place on Airbnb

Tulum – Craig’s Place

It was hard to find reasonably priced place in Tulum, we were only there for a week.  I wouldn’t have liked any longer in this apartment, it was an awkward space.

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Small and satisfactory!

What we liked the most:
  • WIFI – 10/10
  • Good location
  • Host’s agent Manuel was warm, friendly and helpful
  • Clean
What we didn’t like:
  • No Desk or Dining Table
  • Small Space
  • Generally the place is shabby
  • Expensive for what is provided
  • Kitchen – very basic, no oven and very few utensils.

Cost $318 a week

Find Craig’s place on Airbnb

Merida – Maria’s Apartment

When we arrived here I was in space heaven plus there’s was loads of everything in Maria’s apartment.

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Loved having a couch – a rarity in most apartments

What we liked the most:
  • WIFI – 10/10
  • Great Location
  • Spacious and Clean
  • Amazingingly Comfortable Bed
  • Loads of Towels
  • Shared Washing Machine
  • Fully Equipped Kitchen with Large Stove and Oven
What we didn’t like:
  • Nothing! – we loved it.

Cost $357 a week

Find Maria’s place on Airbnb

All prices indicated here are USD and were for our living during 2014.  All in all Mexico provided some wonderful spots to live, we hope you’ll try some of these places on your travels and if you have any special ones, please share with us in the comments below.

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