February 18

Hacienda Matel Revew: a Weekend in an a Traditional Mexican Hacienda:

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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.

hacienda matel entrance
Main entrance to Hacienda Matel
hacienda matel valley
If it’s peace and quiet you’re after, you will certainly find it here.

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.

patio hacienda matel
The patio at the Hacienda really takes you to some distant place, both in time and distance.

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.

dining room hacienda Matel
The splendid dining room

 

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.

breakfast hacienda matel
Breakfast is eaten here. What a treat to the eye!

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.

bar and lounge hacienda matel
The bar and lounge area

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.

lounge hacienda matel
The splendid lounge are at the hacienda. Imagine yourself reading there!

The Rooms

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.

hacienda matel suite
The suite at Hacienda Matel

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.

room hacienda matel
Our room
room hacienda matel view
Another view of our room at Hacienda Matel

 

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.

breakfast hacienda matel
How’s this for a breakfast?

Conclusion

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.

Resources

Hacienda Matel website: www.haciendamatel.com

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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.

 


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  1. Looks like a great place to spend a night or two! Mexico is very dear to us, so it won’t surprise us at all if we end up here at some point in our future 🙂 Oh, and by the way, the doughnut with cinnamon is a traditional dessert called “churros” and our mouths water for them!

    1. Hey Mindy, you will certainly enjoy the area! As for the doughnut, I’m actually quite familiar with churros as I’m from Spain 🙂 Churros are about 20 cm long, have kind of an “accordion” outer pattern and normally don’t have cinnamon but sugar, though you can add it as well as chocolate and other good stuff 🙂 Hey, how about we get some right now?

  2. What a quaint and charming place. I love the little details like the pottery, rustic furnishings and that amazing view!! I’m definitely adding this place to my Mexican bucket list.

  3. I can definitely relate to living on the beach and then wanting to vacation anywhere but another one… city, mountains, just something different 🙂 This looks like a great choice!

  4. Hi, I liked the hacienda. What did you do there? did you ride horses?
    I want to know if you have gone to Campeche in Mexico.I saw it is a historical place, but is there a lot of tourism? And is it a safe place, as usual, being a lone tourist am concerned always about safety.

    1. Hola Julieta! I didn’t ride horses, but decided to walk around the sleepy town and check some nearby cabins too, and indulge in some cheap yet delicious local food. The area is very safe, nothing to worry about, really. It’s a fantastic hacienda where to get away from it all. As from Campeche, I haven’t really been there as I feel there are other many interesting places that are not as difficult to reach, with much more to see along the way. Hope this helps and sorry for the delay in the response!

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