I don't know about you, but i like old hotels with big, thick walls, clean rooms, and a bit of history behind them. Forget the "Accidental Tourist;" when I am in a place, I want to be in an environment that reflects that place. And I want that place to be right outside my door, within walking distance to everything. Forget "views," forget valet parking, forget fawning staff who try to greet you in English and mispronounce your name, but remember the Hotel Los Arcos in Taxco, Mexico, "The Silver Capitol of the World."
This hotel is a perfect base from which to wander up and down the cobblestone streets of a town devoted to art, music, food, and tequila (especially the delightfully smoky mezcal, the small batch artesanal form of tequila with such a bad rep. outside Mexico.) Here's what you do: Get up late. Have a coffee and pan dulce in the courtyard. Wait for the midday meal. "La Comida." Eat a little, drink a little Victoria beer or Don Julio tequila, have a flan for dessert. Then head over to the ATM on the zocalo (plaza), fill your wallet with pesos so you can get the cash discount, and go buy silver! Forget the little stalls or shops filled with cheap machine made crap (some even imported from Asia or India!) Go to the shops with a big name out front that still carry the prestige and quality associated the maestro who designed for them. Ask about designs based on old originals from the 30s and 40s by people like Spratling, Castillo, Brillante, Margot, Pineda, or their family members. The originals are priced accordingly and now beyond the reach of anyone but collectors, but you still see many of the same designs executed by people who worked for them. And you might even discover the work of a modern silversmith you like. Go for simple and heavy. Sure, there are price tags on most things, but make them an offer. Start by knocking them down 25%. When they get done telling you that won't even cover the price of the silver itself, add 5% and tell them you'll pay cash. Not only will you get something you love, but something made by hand and not stamped out by some machine. Overspend your budget. I guarantee when you get back home, and your friends and relatives drool over your purchases, you will wish you bought more.
And when they ask where they should stay in Taxco, tell them "Los Arcos". One street off the zocalo. A quiet retreat to which you can return with your little silver treasures and admire them one by one over a margarita, or better yet, a shot of mezcal or anejo tequila. Then head back out into the night, follow the light like a moth to flame, and buy more silver!
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- Also Known As:
- Los Arcos Taxco
- Los Arcos Hotel