The Best Budget Hotels in Guadalajara, Mexico

Guadalajara Cathedral, Mexico
Guadalajara Cathedral, Mexico | © Jorge Garrido / Alamy Stock Photo
Stephen Woodman

Tequila and mariachi music run through the veins of Guadalajara, the vivacious capital of Jalisco state – so expect a fun time. Mexico’s second-largest city gave rise to sombreros and charreadas (rodeos) and today mixes colonial-era architecture with keen cosmopolitan flair. For peso-watching travellers, there are also affordable hotels and hostels, where character doesn’t come at a cost.

1. Casa Vilasanta

Hotel

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Courtesy of Casa VilaSanta / Expedia
Casa Vilasanta has a supremely spooky legend: some visitors have felt the presence of “La Perfumada” – a scented spirit. Luckily, the brightly hued colonial building is anything but a haunted house. Casa Vilasanta has a cheerful, laid-back atmosphere and is perfectly positioned between the city’s historic centre and party hotspot Chapultepec Avenue. Free breakfast is included, plus the central patio is a great place to meet fellow travellers.

2. Hotel Casino Plaza

Hotel

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Courtesy of Hotel Casino Plaza / Expedia
Ok, so this hotel may not be an eye-catching colonial-era manse, but it does have all the bells and whistles at an appealing price tag. There are 65 rooms, a gym, and the Los Alcatraces restaurant has hearty Mexican breakfasts plus tacos, quesadillas, burritas and more served during the day. It’s just a few blocks from Guadalajara Cathedral, too, so you get a prime Centro Histórico location.

3. Hotel Posada San Pablo

Hotel

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Courtesy of Hotel Posada San Pablo / Expedia
If you’re simply looking for a base, then Hotel Posada San Pablo may be for you. It’s clean and well located in the heart of Guadalajara, with welcoming staff who’ll point you to the best places. The outdoor garden is a nice place to relax and the hotel has a communal kitchen and cable TV. Tiled-floor rooms are simple and slightly sparse, but do the job for budget travellers. Some on the upper floor have balconies.

4. Hotel Francés

Hotel

A sound night’s sleep with a side serving of history lies between the sheets of Hotel Francés. Dating back to 1610, rooms come with glazed terracotta floors, wood-shuttered windows and gilt-framed paintings. Some also have beamed ceilings, whirlpool tubs and balconies that gaze across Calle Maestranza to a characterful building across the street. You can buzz down for room service and there’s also a bar and the Molino Rojo restaurant. The centrepiece is the grand stone-columned courtyard, which speaks to the hotel’s 400-year history, and the roof terrace that spies the cathedral’s spires.

5. Del Carmen Concept Hotel

Hotel

A celebration of Mexican surrealism in a central location, Del Carmen Concept Hotel’s white neoclassical building is striking and stylish. The intriguing interior design is themed around Generación de la Ruptura, a group of Mexican artists who were labeled the “Breakaway Generation” in the 1950s for their disruptive approach. Accordingly, rooms have eccentric furnishings and unconventional colour schemes, and each differs from the next. There’s also a casual restaurant and spa services. Part-art gallery, part-hotel, it’s an ideal base for bohemians on a budget.

6. Hotel Roma

Hotel

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Courtesy of Hotel Roma Guadalajara / Expedia
In the historic centre on Avenida Juárez, Hotel Roma is a straight-forward hotel for families and business travellers seeking clean, comfortable digs. It’s a few hundred yards south of Parque Morelos, known for its ebullient Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations, and a stone’s throw from the attractions of Americana and La Perla. Some rooms are spacious, others boast impressive views of the city. The hotel also has an excellent restaurant on the top floor and there’s a gym and outdoor pool on the roof terrace.

7. Casa Fayette

Hotel, Villa

This classy number from Mexico’s own Grupo Habita hits all the hotel high notes but manages to keep costs low. There’s a small courtyard pool with chic daybeds and parasols, breakfast served each morning on a sunny terrace and interiors accented with mid-century modern pieces, palm-printed textiles and tactile velvet touches. Up top, there’s a skyline-surveying roof terrace and spa. Best of all, is the location in residential Lafayette: loaded with good restaurants and bars that only the locals know. A full-service hotel at a fraction of the price.

8. Blue Pepper Hostel

Hostel

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Courtesy of Blue Pepper Hostel & Bar / Expedia

The Blue Pepper Hostel is a friendly favourite in Guadalajara. The cobalt blue-painted building, designed by renowned architect Miguel Aldana Mijares, has graphic art, neon signs and hanging plants in the communal areas. There are outdoor courtyards with pub-style benches and table football, and a bar that sells burgers, buffalo wings and Mexican morsels. Try the hostel’s tequila tour or jump onto one of the electric scooters parked outside to explore the city (though, probably don’t combine the two).

9. Perla Central Hotel

Budget Hotel

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Courtesy of Perla Central Hotel / Expedia

One of the best budget hotels in the city, the Perla Central has suites and rooms spread out over seven floors, with corridors that showcase murals (wall-mounted bikes; lace-hung trainers) and illustrations by young local creative Gibran Julian. The set up is slick: a book-lined lobby; an industrial-style restaurant; a gym with an adjoining outdoor terrace; and even branded bath products.

10. Hotel De Mendoza

Hotel

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Courtesy of Hotel De Mendoza / Expedia
Built in 1968 on one side of the Temple of Santa Maria de Gracia (the first cathedral of the city), Hotel De Mendoza stands with much of its original façade still intact. Over the years it’s passed from convent to barracks to gardens. Now, it’s a hotel with hand-painted furniture by Alejandro Rangel Hidalgo – the Colima-born pioneer of “Rangeliano” style – and Baroque paintings by Mexican artist Agustín Parra, who supplied works to the Vatican under Pope John Paul II. There’s also a mural by the artist Michoacano José Maria Servin. The best part? All this grandeur comes at a not-so-grand price. We especially love the roof terrace for wine tastings and meals set against a dome-dotted backdrop.

11. FCH Hotel Expo

Budget Hotel

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Courtesy of FCH Hotel Expo / Expedia

This adults-only hotel puts an emphasis on relaxing rooms, designed by local artists, that deliver for an over-18 crowd.The décor is sleek and minimal, with a few creative touches from the likes of Alvaro Cuevas, Patricia Fornos and more. The mural-lined pool is kept at a balmy 28-30 degrees, there’s a colourful terrace and Restaurant Ananás serves food from desayuno to dinner.

12. Hospedarte

Budget Hotel

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Courtesy of Hostel Hospedarte Centro / Expedia

This two-stop hostel brand has two destinations in town that are a clear hit with guests: Centro and Chapultepec. It’s even been voted “Best hostel in Mexico”, don’t you know… In Chapultepec, a leafy area known for the Chapultepec Forest and Jardín Botánico, there’s a garden kitted out with a grill, hammocks and table football. At Centro, the building is a 1910 colonial-era beauty daubed in ochre-paint, with high ceilings and characterful common areas lined with arched columns and strung with hammocks for lazy afternoon siestas. Both have dorms and doubles, plus free bikes and walking tours to further keep costs down.

Additional reporting by Joe Varley.

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