Hacienda El Carmen Hotel & Spa3.5 out of 5.0
Recent guest reviews
Hacienda El Carmen has a long, fascinating history. One fine spring day, my wife Susy and I sat down inside a majestic arched portico with the owner and manager of the place, Mónica Baeza, who kindly took the time to tell us about it. To be honest with you, we were frequently distracted by the grackles, robins and great kiskadees singing in the huge rubber tree shading the courtyard in front of us. But here, to the best of my recollection, is the story, as told to us by Ms. Baeza: “Would you believe that this hacienda was built by monks? It dates back to the 16th century and was donated to the Carmelite monks in 1705. and, in fact, they are the ones who made this beautiful courtyard. Back in those days, this finca was huge. It had 22,000 hectares on which they produced corn, wheat, oats, sugar cane, mezcal and sorghum, just to name a few things. “Then, along came Benito Juárez and the Reforma. As a result, the Carmelites were expelled around 1856. The Ley Juárez relieved the Catholic Church of all its properties. So our hacienda fell into the hands of people who were rich and powerful back in those days. After that, it had many owners until it suffered from neglect and was auctioned off. “In 1964 my mother fell in love with the old place and our family bought it and developed it as a country house. So this is where I grew up, where I played with my friends. Then, in 1996, when my father became ill, we held a family meeting to decide what to do about the hacienda. Well, I ended up in charge of the place, because I raised my hand and said, ‘I’ll do it’.” Today Hacienda el Carmen has only 160 hectares of farmland where they raise sugar cane and corn and specialize in growing large, beautiful bell peppers for exportation. In order to help keep the farm financially afloat, Baeza decided to transform the place into a first-class hotel, spa and restaurant without detracting from its colonial charm. What can you do at the hacienda? Plenty. Just start wandering and you’ll come across cool, shady courtyards with bubbling fountains, wide, wide, stretches of green (including a six-hole golf course), the remains of a long, graceful aqueduct and a small lake where you can go swimming and bathing with the ducks or try sneaking up on the iguanas sunning themselves along the shore. Wherever you go, whatever corner you turn, you’ll run into relics of the hacienda’s long history, now tastefully transformed into objets d’art, whether old wagon wheels, brightly colored ceramics, ancient paintings or even a life-size wooden statue of St. Francis of Assisi, dating back to the days when brown-robed monks glided along the corridors. Big attractions, of course are the massages, Jacuzzis, facials, etc. for which the hacienda’s spa is now famous. There are also all kinds of “little attractions” everywhere you turn: monogrammed towels, bathrobes and slippers, a shower as plentiful as Niagara Falls, chirping crickets under a huge night sky with unimaginably bright stars, the kind of sky you can only find far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. And then there’s the food. It is simply perfect. Even if you can’t stay overnight, it would be well worth it just to come for one of these gourmet meals. On top of that, they even have their own “house tequila” called Alebrijes, which is aged right on the grounds. While the Hacienda is truly a jewel, those who think "There's nothing else to see in the area but the Guachimontones" are sorely mistaken. This is one of the richest areas in Jalisco for places of natural beauty and archaeology. Just check the (bilingual) book "A Guide to West Mexico's Guachimontones and Surrounding Area" by John Pint.
We wanted to go to Tequila, and booked this hotel, not knowing its not too close to the town of Tequila, when we got there, we forgot all about going to the town, the place its beautiful and full of history, the spa is the best we've ever seen, we didn't wanted to leave!
this hotel IS the destination. There's nothing to see in the area, really, other than the Guachimontones ruins. Or just use it as a stop on the way to Tequila. Amazing place! Upon check-in you are greeted with a shot of tequila fortaleza. The best ever! The place is beautifully landscaped. It even has a little pond where you can pedal boat. There is a pen with horses. We were lucky to see a newborn pony enjoying his first hours of life, walking side by side with his mother. There was also a peacock and ducks and geese. A great place to enjoy with family and friends. The rooms are decorated with genuine antique, and are quiet and very comfortable. The breakfasts there were good. The French toast is a must!!! Dinner was nothing to write home about.
Wow! Hacienda del carmen is absolutely stunning. The grounds are spectacular and immaculately kept. There is a lovely pond and free roaming animals all around. The rooms are quaint and it feels like you're stepping back in time. As it's an older place (which is all of its charm) it has certain quirks like older beds and the rooms don't have many windows but you hardly notice these things when you stay there.
My husband and I stayed here twice in the last 10 days. We stayed first on our way South from San Miguel de Allende and then returned on our way North from Costa Careyes. Each time we discovered more things to like about it. We stayed first in the Master Suite, Dona Martha and second in the Master Suite, Don Joaquin. Each was elegant and well appointed with furniture you could expect to find in a Hacienda. We had dinner once each stay. The first time we ordered too much as one course was large enough to be a meal. The second time we knew this and ordered less and had room for dessert. The dinner was very nice but the service seemed to lack interest Everything else was 5 star all the way!
I stayed here and it was great!!!! Beautiful hacienda near Guachimontones ruins. Also a great honeymoon spot if you ask for the special honeymoon suite or anniversary. My wife and I fell in love with this secluded spa spot. Give it a try and you will simply enjoy the hacienda.
If you want a hotel that you are used too, and has all the comforts of your home DONT stay here. This "hacienda" will give you a one of a kind experience. The service is excellant. The food, authentic mexican-jalisco. The spa is luxurious. There are no TVs, or phones in the rooms. WiFi coverage is spotty. You willl be taken away, and transformed into "old-world" Mexico. Dont miss it.
The physical hotel and rooms could not be better. Extremely well preserved / recuperated historic hacienda. The service could be a better for the price and the elegance of the environment. My only real complaint was that there were two small children running roughshod around the pool and that pretty much ruined the relaxing environment.
Wonderful place to visit off the beaten track, plan to spend 3 days, not expensive, friendly service and good food. Free horse riding and small gold course. Well worth a visit, just stay indoors at night, not the safest area at night.
Hacienda El Carmen is a magical place that takes you back in time. Only a short drive from Guadalajara, it is a must see and stay place! The gardens are breathtaking, the rooms are tastefully decorated with time pieces, all amenities are nailed to perfection. My girlfriends and I went to the hacienda for a one night stay, and loved it! The atmosphere was perfect for some good catching up, laughs and reminiscing. Everyone at the Hacienda is very courteous and willing to go that extra mile to please their guests. Service top notch. The experience at the spa was professional and outstanding. Highly recommend it!
Reviews from Trip Advisor
91% of guests recommend this hotelTotal of 165 reviews