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“Best Kept Secret for a Weekend Getaway - Morelia, Mexico”

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Villa Montana Hotel & Spa
Ranked #8 of 67 Hotels in Morelia
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
48 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Best Kept Secret for a Weekend Getaway - Morelia, Mexico”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 June 2008

Continental Airlines has really great last minute trips (as do most airlines) if you are flexible enough to take advantage of them. Typically you have to depart on a Saturday and return on a Monday or Tuesday. Last week I noticed a destination I was not familiar with…Morelia, Mexico. After some quick research I decided it would be an interesting place to travel so I cashed in 15,000 frequent flyer miles and paid $36 for the round trip ticket.

Morelia is the capital city of the Mexican state of Michoacan. It’s located in Central Mexico about 150 miles West of Mexico City and is about 3,000 feet above sea level. Currently, from what I read in some local documents, the population is more than 800,000 and is growing rapidly. The city center is about 150 city blocks of businesses, restaurants, markets and other attractions. The city is sometimes referred too as, “The Pink City” because of the reddish sandstone that was used to build many of the structures in the city.

After I booked my flight, I did some research on some of the nicer hotels. I was in the mood to splurge and since my partner couldn’t go with me on this particular trip, I spent a little extra on myself. It didn’t take me long to figure out that “The Villa Montana” was the place I’d be staying. All the reviews I read on several websites gave it very high marks. They offered a “Stay Two Night, Get The Third Free” package. I decided to really do it up and booked a 1 bedroom suite for $590.00 a night with the third night free. This package included two spa treatments, an escorted city tour, breakfasts, fruit basket in the suite, drinks upon arrival, and several other really nice things to enhance the experience at the villa. I booked the package with the hotel because I had a few questions, but, you can actually book it online with several of the leading travel websites. Before I even left home, the hotel had called me back to discuss the times for my spa treatments and the city tour. Additionally, I had them book a car to pick me up at the airport upon my arrival which would take me directly to the villa.

The flight from Houston Intercontinental Airport to Morelia was right about 2 hours nonstop. Upon my arrival everyone goes through customs as you would in any foreign country. It was quick and easy with no issues. I grabbed my suitcase and immediately went out to the receiving area where I noticed a small, Mexican man with a sign that had my name on it. He introduced himself as Pepe’ and spoke very good English. He escorted me to his large SUV and we were off for the hour drive across town to the villa. Pepe’ was fantastic and we had a really nice chat. He pointed out several places of interest and passed on some interesting information about the city. Once we arrived the villa, I paid him the 35 Peso’s as arranged by the hotel. 35 Peso’s is about $3.50 USD. In fact, Pepe’ told me that no taxi in town should be charging anymore than 35 Peso’s for a trip in town.

Check-in at The Villa Montana was excellent. My breath had already been taken away when we pulled up because the villa was absolutely beautiful from the outside. The bellman took my bag to my suite for me and as we approached, I couldn’t BELIEVE my eyes. My suite was actually an apartment. It was huge and practically the size of my own house at home. It was AMAZING!! The back views off the huge, open patio looked down on the city (the villa is located high on a hill). My apartment was impeccably cleaned and smelled really fresh. I can’t even convey how nice it was.

I immediately unpacked from my trip and took a quick shower, changed and had the concierge call me a taxi for a trip to the center for a night out. Being gay, I had been looking for a nice place to checkout the local gay life. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult finding information about gay hangouts in Morelia. It’s still very covert and while there are gay people around, you will NOT walk down the street and visually see a lot of gay people walking around. No gay neighborhoods, gay coffeehouses, etc.

The one club that I had read about was called, “Con la Rojas” which is located at Clle. Aldama No 343. It was an easy cab ride (enough time for me to eat a fresh pair left in my fruit basket). Once I got to the club you could see it was getting busy which was pretty exciting. It was 150 peso’s which is about $15 USD. It was a REALLY nice place! I met a couple English-speaking guys who were a lot of fun so I decided to hangout with them. Before long, I realized I had a bit too much to drink. The drink prices are dirt cheap. I drink Bacardi and Coke which ran about $3.00 USD! After several hours I poured myself into a cab waiting outside and went back for a really nice sleep.

On Sunday I woke up with a bit of a hangover (which is unusual for me). However, the previous day I had arranged my spa treatments for Sunday so at 11AM I was scheduled for a full body massage and at Noon, a facial. The spa was in the back of the villa and well below ground. It was REALLY beautiful down there and spotless! The massage therapist was really great as was the woman who did my facial. I walked away feeling even more tired than when I arrived so I decided that a nice nap was in order since it had started raining.

Later in the day I took advantage of the wireless internet connectivity in my apartment. It was a really great signal and I didn’t have any problems getting hooked up for my entire stay.

By the time I looked at the clock it was nearly dinner so I decided to order room service and had a beautiful dinner sent up. The food was more than adequate and well cooked. Food prices were less than what you’d pay in the U.S. which meant you could order more! I had all courses.

I spent the rest of Sunday evening watching some really fun shows on TV, relaxing, and really just enjoying the breeze blowing into my apartment from the stormy weather outside. I rested better that night than I had in quite sometime.

On Monday morning I woke up for my schedule city tour at 10AM. Originally I thought the tour would be a group tour but when I showed up in the lobby, I learned it was a personal tour with my personal driver named, “Octavio”. We spent nearly 3 hours driving around town. He took me to the highest point of Morelia to capture the breathtaking views, ran me into the center to visit several cathedrals and universities, and dropped me by the public library (which was fantastic). He left me in the center by my request so I could shop for some shoes and a couple other items. I sat by the main cathedral and had a nice coffee while watching the locals scurry to and from their places of business. I ended up tipping Octavio about 300 peso’s ($30 USD) for such a great time. After a bit of time shopping, I caught a cab back to the villa for the night.

Incidentally, cab rides around the city should never cost more than 30 peco’s ($3 USD). If you are paying more, something is up. I ran this by several cab drivers to verify as well as my personal driver.

My flight back to Houston was to depart at 6:30 AM on Tuesday morning. This meant my driver would be picking me up at 4:15AM. When I got up and went to the lobby to checkout, there was an American couple there who wanted to follow my driver back to the airport. Once my driver arrived I realized it was Octavio again!! It was really fun to see him again and he agreed to allow the other couple to follow us. So, we immediately left for the airport with the other couple behind us. About three quarters of the way to the airport (which is an hour drive), Octavio’s van died right in the middle of a very dark and wet road (it was pouring rain again). Thank goodness the other couple was behind us or I would not have made my flight. He threw my bags in their car and directed us the rest of the way to the airport.

Checking in was a breeze at the Morelia airport but be warned…they are a bit old-school there as they open all baggage and whisk through them so be prepared to show your underwear!!

Overall the trip was fantastic and I can’t wait to go back. I told my partner it would have been even better with him there with me as it seemed like a great place for a couple to hangout together. Was very romantic. And after years of not really having an interest in Mexico…Morelia has really changed my mind!

You can view more of the pictures I took in Morelia but visiting the following website: [-]

Helpful?
3 Thank scottyhouston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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124 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2007

Having read many glowing reviews, we were anticipating a stellar property with outstanding service and facilities. While the setting and views--overlooking the city of Morelia--were indeed lovely, we found the property to be somewhat outdated, and the service ordinary but not very personable.
The grounds were disappointing, in that there was no grass and few flowers. The pool was nice, again with the lovely view, but was not always set up--cushions and towels had to be fetched--and we couldn't get the phone to work to order drinks or food. The bar and restaurant were almost funereal, they were so quiet. Service was attentive, but not consistent, and the place lacked personality and life. Also, room service, while fast, yielded things like condiments in packets--not something one would expect at this type of property.
We were upgraded to a master suite, consisting of living room, bedroom, bath and terrace, but this, too, was disappointing. None of the windows had been opened, and the rooms were musty for the first day. There were large windows, but only small screened areas could be opened. The terrace was large and had a great view, beckoning from outside the bedroom, but could only be accessed from a solid wooden door in the far corner of the living room. It was furnished only with two small chairs (one lacking a cushion), so it was not a place to spend any time. Fresh fruit had been placed in the room, but was never replenished, and the fruit knife and plate never reappeared after first use. Laundry came back promptly, but the laundry bag and order slip were not replaced. Lighting was horrible in the living room, so we couldn't use it in the evening. Everything could have used updating and refining.
In summary, this hotel could be used as a base for exploring Morelia and surrounding area, but do not go expecting a refined luxury hotel.

  • Liked — size of rooms
  • Disliked — furnishings, outdoor access
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank mlux633
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
49 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2007

Very nice hotel. Big rooms, well furnished with great views of the city.

Food at restaurant was good and although steady stream of customers it never seemd busy and the service/staff was friendly, gracious, and attentive

Although away from the city center, did not find it difficult to get downtown and explore

Also used it as a base to tour the buttefly sanctuary and must have been lucky because we saw MILLIONS of butterflies

Will stay here again and recommend highly

  • Liked — Rooms, view, staff, food
  • Disliked — Does not apply
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank jameslfoley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston
Level Contributor
98 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 January 2007

My familty of four stayed at the Villa Montana recently over a long weekend. Our intent was to use it as our hotel to see the butterfly sanctuary near by. Our overall impression of the facility was above average. We had a full two bedroom suite with a living room and two baths and the price was very reasonable. The room was a combination of Spanish/Mexican influenced furniture. The room could have used a freshening up. The couch looked a bit old and the lamps, etc were pretty poor. Do not expect any US television but that did not bother us. We ate in the restaurant at dinner and breakfast. It was very good. We were not disappointed. Very dependable with very good service. I would not call it gourmet but clearly above average. Prices were reasonable.

The grounds are outstanding...absolutely beautiful and the view over the downtown of Morelia is spectacular.

Service in all phases was above average.
We used a tour service recommended by the hotel which was good but not great....a bit more like a driver than a tour service. Not too steeped in the history of the area...at least not as much as we typically like. We went to see the butterflies (three hour drive) and the event was a little disappointing. Long drive for lots of butterflies...but not millions...Best recommendation is not build your hopes too high. The area around Morelia is wonderful...well worth the trip.

  • Liked — View and restaurant
  • Disliked — Room needs to be freshened up.
  • Stayed January 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Fandangophil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hampshire, UK
Level Contributor
385 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 169 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 December 2006

The rooms are spacious and set in very pleasant grounds, with a good view over the city.
However, it is a long way to the city centre and if you are someone who likes to explore on foot, it might be better to consider a more central hotel.
Breakfasts are excellent, but our (1) dinner was disappointing in relation to its high price. We did not find any appealing places to eat near to the hotel.

  • Liked — The peaceful, large rooms
  • Disliked — Too far from city centre
  • Stayed November 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank grafran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bay Area, CA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2006

We had a very nice stay at Villa Montana. We were on our honeymoon and found it to be very relaxing. The hotel was almost completely empty when we were there and because of this there were few people in the dining room - which was both nice (great service), but a little strange (the service was so nice that we felt like the staff was waiting for us to put down our fork). The spa was excellent and the food recommendations were very good (we especially liked San Miguelito). We spent two days with Giovanni, the tour guide that the hotel recommends. We found him to be very knowledgeable about the area and just an interesting guy. We really enjoyed our time with him. I wasn't as blown away by this hotel as I was expecting (the reviews were incredible that I read), but it was very nice and I would recommend it.

Stayed September 2006
Helpful?
5 Thank BayAreaJen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 September 2006

Traveling from very far away and with over 50 guests from all over the world, I was a bit dissappointed with the way we were treated during my wedding celebration. Although the views are amazing, the concierge staff failed to communicate with adjacent hotel to follow thru on wedding preparations, I was misinformed on times I could use facilites and therefore the music was suddenly shut down and we were rudely thrown out. With the caliber of this hotel, I would have expected a lot more. I chose a buffet style set up as an opportunity to showcase to my guests the variety of Mexican foods but the presentation was unadequate and there were no descriptions of what people were eating (desserts were mixed between main dishes) people without any knowledge of the Spanish language were not informed of what was sweet and what was salty (available staff hardly spoke English) in so many words do not plan a wedding at this hotel.

  • Disliked — they way we were te\reated
  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank morelia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa Montana Hotel & Spa

Property: Villa Montana Hotel & Spa
Address: Patzimba 201 | Colonia Vista Bella, Morelia 58090, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Central Mexico and Gulf Coast > Michoacan > Morelia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Morelia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Villa Montana Hotel & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 36
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Villa Montana Hotel Morelia
Montana Hotel Morelia

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