The capital of the state Durango in Mexico is modestly sized and manageable on foot. Great news if you like ambling through plazas and parks. First, book one of the best places to stay (below) – it’s a cinch with Culture Trip.
In mountainous Northwest Mexico – part-desert, part-forest – Durango City is an architectural marvel, packed with splendid Spanish-colonial-era parks, temples, plazas and a cathedral. You may have seen it in the movies – the capital of Durango state once served as a backdrop for Westerns. A short stay here is a treat, ambling around, taking in the sights. As a bonus, you’ll encounter few crowds, as it’s off the beaten tourist track. Double bonus: the best hotels are often cheaper than they’d be elsewhere. We explore the best of the (wild) bunch.
In a charming colonial building, walled off from the busy streets, is this exquisite five-star hotel. The dimly lit historical interior with woody, earthy tones oozes luxury, and the 99 spacious rooms keep up that seductive charm, especially in the suites. The Gobernador has a lush garden with a pool and a casual outdoor restaurant and cafe; a further two restaurants indoors serve an array of international cuisine. It’s right on the edge of the Centro district, meaning the attractions and many restaurants and bars the city has to offer are just a few minutes away on foot.
This uncomplicated and affordable hotel, part of an upstart Mexican chain, is relatively new to the city and looks the business: cast your gaze over the wood-paneled smoke-free rooms with splashes of color, and get to know the particularly friendly and accommodating staff. Amenities include a gym and free parking, and rates typically include a free breakfast. The location, around 3.5mi (5km) out from Downtown Durango, might not be ideal for those looking to explore the city center, but you’re in close reach of Durango International Airport and major highways.
Slap-bang in Durango’s historical center, Rincon Real is a cozy, casual affair that comes with eminently affordable rates. The rooms are simple yet comfortable, with non-negotiable basics including TVs and air conditioning. The fancier suites also include kitchenettes. You’ll also find all the bare necessities – a gym, a restaurant and, crucially, a bar. It’s capped off with a lovely courtyard swimming pool – you’ll cool down fast in the hot months of spring and summer.
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Want to dodge the bustle of the big(gish) city? Hole up in this little boutique cutie, on a ranch in the mountains, about 40 minutes west of Durango. Its 26 rooms present an upscale version of a log cabin – picture farmhouse-style lodgings. Everything’s geared towards tranquil relaxation, and there’s a unique range of activities on offer. These include movies under the stars, guided nighttime hikes, artisanal bread making and Aztec-style temazcal spa treatments – or, more conventionally, cycling. Reassuringly, the in-house restaurant is committed to handmade local specialties.
Hampton Inn by Hilton Durango
Courtesy of Hampton Inn by Hilton Durango / Expedia
Know the name? That’s right – this is a big chain hotel that’s consistent, reliable and, essentially, ticks all the right boxes. It has up-to-date modern rooms in a range of configurations to suit solo travelers, couples and families. Prices are moderate, valet parking and breakfast are included, and there’s wifi, air conditioning and an in-house gym. Best of all, being a couple of kilometers (a few miles) east of the Centro Histórico, it’s pretty convenient for the varied museums and other attractions in Durango – take a short drive or a moderate walk.
There’s no arguing about the convenience of the location: Fiesta Inn is inside the large Paseo Durango shopping mall. Result: a kaleidoscope of shops, entertainment and places to scoff, without even heading out into the heat. Fiesta is a Mexican chain mostly geared towards business travelers, and its Durango outpost is no different: the hotel rooms are tidy and straightforward, and amenities lean in that direction, too, with a gym and meeting rooms available. Yes, it’s a little way – 0.5mi (0.8km) or so – from the attractions in the city – but it’s still very central, meaning easy hops to wherever you’re bound in Durango.
Here’s a bright and friendly three-star hotel, deep in the historical heart of Durango – most of the must-see attractions are just a short walk away from your front door. The simple, bright rooms eschew blandness with a splash of Pop art color. Our advice: couples and small families will love it, thanks to the reasonable prices, which can dip below $60 (£44) a night in off-peak season. The pièce de resistance? The hotel’s rooftop bar and terrace, overlooking Durango in all directions – the perfect place for a tequila sunset.