The city of Queretaro, the capital of the state of the same name, is on the list of Mexico’s 10 largest cities. It’s an industrial powerhouse with a relatively wealthy population and even has an airline based in the city. If you are a luxury traveler headed there for leisure, however, you will find that it’s a rather short list for luxury Queretaro hotels.
For quite a while we didn’t have a single entry for this city of 1.4 million people, then in early 2020 we added what is the best full-service hotel in Queretaro: Hacienda Jurica. This member of Preferred Hotels has lovely grounds, a large swimming pool, a good restaurant, and an attractive bar and courtyard.
There’s only one drawback to Jurica: it’s about 20 minutes from the historic center when there’s no traffic. That’s not a deal-breaker since taxi/Uber rides are quite inexpensive here, but you don’t get the chance to stroll around the UNESCO World Heritage historic district when you walk out the door.
So we recently added a top choice in the original section of the colonial city: Casa del Atrio Hotel.
Casa del Atrio Hotel and Spa
Have you ever stayed at a hotel where you had to walk through an antique shop to get there? Call it the lodging equivalent of a speakeasy, with an iron gate at the back of the store leading to a series of courtyards, fountains, sitting areas, and a spa.
When it’s time for breakfast, you pick a spot and have it there, in a surprisingly peaceful setting that’s nevertheless in the heart of Queretaro.
All the rooms are different and full of personality. The top choices are the master suites numbered 15 through 18, which provide more space and some kind of sitting area. These are all different as well, especially when it comes to decorations, but benefit from more space. All of the rooms demonstrate the collecting spirit of the owners who also founded the antique shop, however, so you can expect objects ranging from a Buddha sculpture to an antique French lamp to an original contemporary painting from a Mexican artist. The effect is never one of crowded knick-knacks or overdone kitsch, however, each item clearly chosen with care.
Take tour of Casa del Atrio and see what it’s like to step inside this interesting place to stay in Queretaro.
Hacienda Jurica Hotel
There are parts of the original hacienda left at what is now Jurica hotel, mostly stone arches and walls from when this area was all farmland instead of suburbs with housing developments. It’s a modern hotel overall, with most of it being newer construction, albeit with plenty of colonial touches in the expansive lobby and restaurant facing the pool.
This is likely the biggest swimming pool in the city, an attractive free-form heated one with lots of lounge chairs on flagstone deck stones. It features a waterfall in the form of an aqueduct–a reminder of the real hacienda aqueduct remnants still on the grounds. Beside the pool is a large playground, so the kids can stay occupied while you’re enjoying a cocktail.
Most of the rooms are spacious and well-equipped. The owners were already renovating them before the pandemic hit and then had an even easier time. So you should find fresh sleeping quarters when you arrive.
The property is big enough for a stroll and they have stables with horses if you want to go horseback riding. The bar here is one of the nicest you could wish for in a hotel that retains a sense of history.
The Calandrias (carriages) Bar once hosted animals when this was a working hacienda, but now it’s a rustic space with stone walls and leather equipales chairs. The chairs and tables spill out into the main courtyard, which is a magical space at night, a fountain in the center and star-shaped punched metal lights hanging over the space that’s open to the sky. Order a cocktail, a glass of local wine, or a craft beer from the region to enjoy.
See our detailed review of Hotel Hacienda Jurica.
So for now anyway, your choice for luxury hotels in Queretaro is between a sprawling property on the outskirts or a compact city hotel (with lots of courtyards and gardens though) in the historic center. We will keep an eye out for new openings that may be up to the standards or our readers and add to this post later if we find something suitable.