OaxacaWe’ve been busy posting new luxury hotel reviews for a few destinations we had not covered yet, including Oaxaca City in Mexico. We now have detailed first-person reviews up from Paige Penland, who is finishing up a guidebook on the area. (She covered Nicaragua and part of Costa Rica for us before.)

The Camino Real Oaxaca is the hotel that shows up in every magazine article about the city, and for good reasons. Parts of the historic structure date back to the 1500s and many of the rooms are as evocative as the public spaces and flower-filled courtyards.

We also provide a look around nearby Casa Cid de Leon, a former mansion that has been transformed into an inviting boutique hotel with very personalized service.

The best room in the hotel, and arguably the city, is la Bella Época. The home’s original architects took full advantage of the sweeping suite’s second-floor location with three delightful balconies, perfect for enjoying the street scene below. Light streams through large windows across the unabashedly opulent furnishings, all designed to recreate the turn of the 19th century.

The last hotel of note, Hacienda Los Laureles Hotel & Petit Spa, is situated outside the city. It takes you out of the thick of things into a peaceful restored hacienda with 23 rooms. Nice views, one of the best restaurants in town, well-tended gardens, and a pool make this a great retreat.