The positives at this hotel far outweighed the negatives, but my first impression of the Don Quijote wasn't so great. We had made reservations via email because we were arriving late at night (after 11 pm). The staff were friendly and gracious when we arrived (and remained so throughout our 9 day stay) and showed us to a room on the 2nd floor. First problem, the room was extremely unpleasantly musty because the bathroom was black with mildew. San Cristobal is very damp so some mildew is unavoidable- I understand this- and I visit Mexico at least twice a year and always stay in budget accommodation, so my standards are not super high. But I don't mean the bathroom had just a little mildew- the ceiling was completely black, as was the grout between the floor tiles. Yikes. It was almost hard to breathe due to the mustiness of the air. Well, it was late and we were tired from traveling all day, so we just went to bed and thought we'd deal with it in the morning.
Morning came and we realized that there were bed bugs in one of the two beds in the room- there were telltale blood spots on the sheets, and I managed to find and kill one of the critters as evidence to show the management. I went to the front desk and explained the problem and asked to be given a new room. They were extremely nice and accommodating, and moved us to a room on the 1st floor. It looked great- there was minimal mildew in the bathroom, so it was much more pleasant. We had plans in the morning, so we basically dumped our suitcases and left without spending any time in the room. When we came back in the afternoon, we realized that the toilet did not work (we hadn't checked it before we left)- it had no water in it. So, I went to the front desk once again and explained the problem, and they moved us to yet another room on the 1st floor.
After being moved to our 3rd room, we had no problems, and we stayed in the hotel the full 9 days we had planned. Everything else about our stay was wonderful. The staff was without exception friendly and helpful; housekeeping was attentive (always refilling soap, toilet paper, etc) and the room was always kept tidy; the beds were comfortable and warm- San Cristobal gets chilly at night, so this is important; there was always plenty of hot water. The location of the hotel cannot be beat- it's literally steps from the pedestrian andador, and you can walk to the San Cristobal zocalo within minutes. And, after staying 9 nights, my credit card was charged something in the neighborhood of $240- an incredible bargain.
I know the circumstances I have described probably sound really awful and might scare off some potential guests, but I wanted to be honest. I have a feeling that what happened in my case was just bad luck. I don't have the overall impression that the hotel is poorly maintained- quite the contrary. I would recommend this hotel with the caveat that you have a close look at the room first, just to make sure it isn't excessively mildewy and the toilet works-- that kind of thing.
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