Oaxaca Mexico: Drink, Stay, Play

Grana BampB

Aside from the city, the Hierve el Agua calcified waterfall remains one of the most sought-after day trips. It can also be paired well with a trip to Teotitlan del Valle a town famous for its textiles. While in Teotitlan, check out the Vida Nueva Women’s Cooperative shop and the newly opened Fe y Lola showroom. To arrange a viewing, send an Instagram message. On the art track, the town of San Agustín Etla is home to the gorgeous Centro de las Artes de San Agustín (CASA), a former textile mill turned art school and contemporary museum.

You can get the most out your time in Oaxaca by hiring a local guide. Coyote Aventuras offers customizable and pre-planned tours that include hiking in the Sierra Sur forests and a bike tour through the city. Coyote offers multi-day biking and trekking expeditions that are off the beaten track for the adventure traveler. An expert travel specialist like Stephanie Schneider at Tia Stephanie Tours or Zachary Rabinor of Journey Mexico can also help you organize a guided tour or plan an itinerary.

Where to stay

Oaxaca was once a town known for its classic luxury like Quinta real, but it has seen a number of new design-driven hotels open in recent years. There’s Grana B&B, the bed and breakfast by the team behind Mexico City’s beloved but since-closed Chaya. Housed in a renovated 16th century building, Grana remains one of the most beautiful spaces in Oaxaca, skipping the en vogue brutalism favored by many top Mexican architects today and instead playing to the house’s historical past with quintessential Mexican tile work and cantera verde stone floors. 

Casa Antoineta, a newly renovated boutique hotel with nine rooms, offers a variety of amenities that make it a popular choice for both locals and tourists. There’s Muss Cafe, the hotel’s first floor specialty coffee shop, and Amá, the third-story bar and cafe located on one of the city’s most stunning rooftops—not to mention the chic rooms and wonderful staff. 

With its opening just before the pandemic, Pug Seal’s Oaxacan outpost marks the Mexico City–based hotel brand’s first foray beyond the nation’s capital. In paying homage to Oaxaca’s artistic past and present, Pug Seal tapped artist Rafael Urigias to paint the 20-room hotel’s signature fresco-painted murals, which take inspiration from the canon of Zapotec symbols and iconography.

For a minimalist escape in the vibrant city, look to Escondido Hotel by Mexico’s favorite boutique hotel group Grupo Habito. Mexico’s legendary architect Alberto Kalach renovated the 12-room hotel, which boasts elegant stonework, recessed concrete shelving, and a raw mineral palate. 

Casa Criollo, which is on the same land as the restaurant Criollo, remains a top choice for a home rental with its whitewashed walls adorned with artisanal details. Condé Nast Traveler Megan Spurrell, senior editor of the magazine, has stayed at the property to review it. She said that the property made her feel like a local and connected her to the city. On the other side of town in the idyllic neighborhood of Jalatlaco is Los Pilares, a budget-friendly pick with a rooftop plunge pool and the city’s best low-intervention wine list.

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