As I mentioned in this earlier post on San Cristobal de Las Casas in Chiapas, this is a city on the rise, one just starting to get on the radar of travelers with money. So there’s really one luxury hotel in the city (added to plenty of nice comfortable ones with character): Parador San Juan de Dios.

This is a former hacienda complex about a five-minute taxi ride from the center. It was surely a country estate before, but as the city has expanded it’s now got neighbors just outside its walls. This is still the model of tranquility though, with butterflies flitting around fragrant gardens and buildings from centuries ago framed by the nearby mountains. It’s got “sense of place” in spades, with original oil paintings hanging on 3-foot-thick walls and beams that were put up back when this was the estate for a large farm.

Rooms here are a delight and have more natural light than many colonial buildings converted to hotels, thanks to the fact they’re not hemmed in by other buildings. Go for one of the ten suites when booking, preferably the master suite named after the original hacienda owner—that’s a photo of the bedroom at the top.

“It is on two levels, with a large living room, dining for eight, and a full kitchen on the first floor. A spiral staircase leads to a huge bedroom with another fireplace and lots of interesting lines: there is a sloping ceiling and a neat little cubby by the window for reading or writing. There’s another sitting area off to the side of the bed and the large bath with whirlpool and shower has a towel warmer.”

Go check out our detailed review of Parador San Juan de Dios hotel, where you can see some more enticing photos. Sure, it’s a bit of a sacrifice to not be able to just walk out your door and take a stroll in the center of town, but the grounds and architecture here make it worth the short jaunt.