When figuring out where to stay in Oaxaca City, you need to decide what kind of hotel you want and where you really want to be. If you’re not in a car and want to be right in the action of the historic center, we’ve got two fresh reviews of luxury Oaxaca boutique hotels to consider.

Casa Cid de Leon Oaxaca boutique hotel

Our associate editor Lydia lives in the capital of Mexico and recently took a road trip back to what is, in many ways, the country’s cultural heart. Oaxaca is the birthplace of mezcal, a great culinary capital at any price point, and one of the best places to go shopping for handicrafts. In the past we’ve covered different draws of the city, so check out previous articles on Oaxaca cooking, the Guelaguetza Festival, and learning Spanish.

If you’re planning a trip to this fascinating place in the future, know that figuring out the Oaxaca accommodation options can be kind of tricky, so it’s good to have some filtering from a publication where someone didn’t just drop in once and leave. Our writers have been regular visitors there, so we know which properties are standouts. Here are two of the hotels our associate editor checked into and checked out while she was there this time.

Hotel Sin Nombre

Sin Nombre means “without name” in Spanish, a playful moniker that belies the beauty and personality within. Inside it’s a mix of colonial and Arabesque elements, which sounds strange until you start noticing how much influence the Moors had on Spanish architecture and design.

best boutique hotels Oaxaca - Sin Nombre

The common courtyard would be at home in Morocco as easily as Mexico, but you probably wouldn’t find as many cacti or Sin Nombre’s vegan menu in the former. This is a progressive hotel beyond the food too. “Praise goes to Sin Nombre for their reusable glass soap, shampoo and lotion dispensers, and refillable glass bottles of water with real drinking glasses.”

This is a modern, spare design hotel with clean lines and rooms that don’t have a lot of extra space. There’s no suite to upgrade to in order to go beyond the max of 270 feet. The rooms are inviting and comfortable though. “Simple, well-made wooden furniture is matched with fluffy duvets, sheep skin rugs, and cool stone and wood flooring in rooms and bathrooms. Most of the rooms have floor-to-ceiling mirrors somewhere along their walls, which helps to create a feeling of expansion in some of the smaller ones.” Some have an additional loft bed for a child or additional guest.

Breakfast is not included, but it’s worth staying put for, plus you can order other meals and cocktails. There’s a small pool and bar with sitting area on the roof.

This boutique hotel was the newest opening in town during our last visit, with the unfortunate timing of being ready in mid-2020. On the plus side, that’s given them a long “soft opening” time to work out most of the new hotel kinks. See our new review of Hotel Sin Nombre in the historic district of Oaxaca.

Casa Cid de León Boutique Hotel in Oaxaca

We reviewed Casa Cid de Leon many years ago–this is one of the original Oaxaca luxury hotels. This is one of those timeless boutique hotels where you’re kind of glad nothing has changed when coming back a decade later. A few more outlets and faster Wi-Fi are always welcome, but when the hotel is a reflection of the owner’s personality and travels, return guests want tweaks, not overhauls.

Casa Cid de Leon suite

The big draw here is the seven suites, some of the roomiest places to stay in the city, despite the central location. Each is unique and full of personality, while “Thoughtful details, such as towels and bathrobes wrapped with silk ribbons and bouquets of fresh flowers, invite you to feel both pampered and right at home.”

That’s the Dominica suite above, more classic and less adorned than some of the others. On the top floor, the Jardin de Carmelo is notable for its small outdoor patio with views of the city, plus it has an extra daybed for an additional guest. (Several of the suites would work for more than two people.)

The top splurge is the Belle Epoca suite, which is meant to harken back to the peak of colonial times. “This is by far the largest and most luxurious of all the suites and is the choice for someone who wants to stretch out and fully live the experience of this colonial mansion.” There’s a gas fireplace in the bedroom,   an additional outer sitting room, and an antique writing desk.

You really feel the historic ambiance of Oaxaca City here, especially from the rooftop terrace pictured at the top of this post. “The towering domes of neighboring Carmen Bajo Temple provide a dramatic backdrop to the daily breakfast service.” Or you can sit with a cool drink after a day of sightseeing around the city.

See our detailed review and more photos of Casa Cid de Leon Boutique Hotel in Oaxaca, Mexico.