Hacienda Jalisco, San Sebastian del OesteSlide thumbnail

Hacienda Jalisco

San Sebastian del Oeste

Hacienda Jalisco, San Sebastian del OesteSlide thumbnail

Hacienda Jalisco

San Sebastian del Oeste

Hacienda Jalisco, San Sebastian del OesteSlide thumbnail

Hacienda Jalisco

San Sebastian del Oeste

Hacienda Jalisco, San Sebastian del OesteSlide thumbnail

Hacienda Jalisco

San Sebastian del Oeste

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Tags:  Experience, historic, sightseeing, romantic

In a nutshell:
The perfect adventurous short break from Puerto Vallarta! Scenic drive into the mountains, cool temperatures even in the summer, rooms lit by oil lamps and with working fireplaces, former guests include Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.  Museum has documents and mementos of Vallarta’s Hollywood heydays.

Add some adventure to your vacation with a stay at this incredible hacienda hotel! A breathtaking drive of less than two hours (30 miles) from Puerto Vallarta takes you up through the hills to the old mining town of San Sebastian del Oeste.

 

The hacienda lies just outside San Sebastian and is surrounded by fields and gardens (almost all the fruits and vegetables served at the hacienda are grown organically on the estate). There’s no electricity here, so the hacienda is lit by oil lamps and each of the three guest rooms has a log fire.

 

It’s not a luxury property – the rooms have a faded grandeur enhanced by wonderful views of bougainvillea, antique furniture, huge bathrooms and big fluffy towels – but staying just one night here will add a new dimension to your vacation and leave you with lasting memories.

 

The cobble streets of San Sebastian are a delight to explore on foot, and there are some good restaurants there for lunch too. If you have more time, we recommend a drive to the summit of la Bufa mountain, from where you can see the coast (you can rent an ATV to make the trip if you prefer) and a visit to the organic coffee farm or the tequila distillery nearby.

 

You may visit for the sightseeing, but we guarantee that your lasting memories will be of the hacienda itself. The highlights of our stay were falling asleep to the crackling of a real fire, showering by the light of an oil lamp, and being amazed at the view of bougainvillea from the bathroom window. We also revelled in the discovery that previous occupants of our room included Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor (there are only three guest rooms at the hacienda and many famous guests, so you are sure to have similar stories to tell).

 

We recommend the meal plan with breakfast and dinner included as the meals are excellent and it’s a joy to dine outside by the firepit in the evenings.

 

If you can only stay one night then that will be sufficient to experience the hacienda and have a brief tour of San Sebastian too; it is certainly better than trying to visit San Sebastian on a day trip. Two nights will allow more time to explore the area and relax in the clear, cool mountain air. We recommend driving to the hotel for the thrill of heading off the beaten track at your own pace, but transfers from Puerto Vallarta are available at reasonable prices too.

 

Rooms

There are just three guest rooms at the Hacienda and they occupy the entire second floor of the building. They are accessed by a staircase leading up from the walled garden (there are no elevators of course). The wonderfully atmospheric rooms have thick walls and beautiful wooden floorboards, and are furnished with antiques.

 

There is no electricity at the hacienda, and the rooms and terraces are lit by oil lamps in the evening. Each guest room has a working fireplace too (we loved falling asleep with the fire crackling in the corner of the room, even though it wasn’t strictly cold enough for a fire.)

 

 

Children under twelve are not accepted at the Hacienda except as part of a group that books all the three rooms. Exceptions may be made for last minute bookings if there are no other guests at the hacienda for the duration of the requested stay.

 

Summary of room facilities

All rooms

Rooms do not have electricity! Lighting is provided by oil lamps and each room has a working fireplace.

Fire Suite

Two bedrooms (one with a queen bed and one with 2 double beds, 1 bathroom)

John Huston Suite

One king bed

Pamela Suite

Two bedrooms (one with a queen bed and one with 2 double beds, 1 bathroom)

This suite consists of two bedrooms plus a large bathroom and spans the entire width of the building. The main bedroom has a queen bed and opens out onto a lovely terrace overlooking the gardens of the hacienda. This bedroom has a working fireplace.

 

The entry to the suite is via the second bedroom; a large room with two double beds. The suite would be ideal for a family with older children, but it is often used just for one or two people.  A large terrace runs the full length of the building and is decked with hammocks and shaded by the ancient roof.

 

The bathroom is accessed via the master bedroom and is a large room with a large tiled shower. The bathroom has huge shuttered windows that open to the terrace, revealing a vista of vibrant purple bougainvillea.

It is a delight to shower in the evening by the light of the oil lamps. There are big fluffy towels and plenty of hot water.

Previous guests in this suite include Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.

The Huston Suite is the central of the three guest rooms. It has a large bedroom with a king bed, and a spacious bathroom with a tiled shower. It also has a working fireplace.  This suite does not run the full width of the building and opens onto the main terrace by the stairway.  The high beamed ceiling and original wooden floorboards are very impressive, and the suite is decorated with antiques.

The suite was named after one of its previous guests, the film director John Huston. Huston came to Vallarta in 1963 to make “The Night of the Iguana”, the film that brought Puerto Vallarta to prominence.  John Huston was a good friend of expatriate Bud Accord, who lovingly restored and maintained the hacienda. Many Hollywood stars and celebrities visited the hacienda during this era.

 

 

The Pamela Suite is the mirror image of the Fire Suite. It also has two bedrooms, one with a queen bed and one with two doubles beds. It has a working fireplace and a large bathroom with a tiled shower

 

The Pamela Suite shares with the Fire Suite the lovely terrace that overlooks the gardens. Opening the heavy shuttered windows in the bathroom reveals a delightful view of bougainvillea blossoms.

restaurant

Breakfasts and dinners are usually enjoyed in the walled garden terrace of the hacienda. In the evening, a fire is lit and the atmosphere is very romantic. There is a set menu for each meal, but dietary restrictions and preferences can be catered for with advance notice.

 

We recommend taking the meal plan that includes both breakfast and dinner. This allows you plenty of time for sightseeing in the daytime, and there are several nice places for lunch in town (the hacienda does not generally serve lunch). The restaurants in town are open in the evening too, but it’s nice just to relax at the hacienda and enjoy drinks by the fireside before a delicious meal.

 

The menu includes fresh organic produce from the estate. During our last stay we enjoyed a breakfast of scrambled eggs a la Mexicana, served with a fresh fruit plate, excellent coffee and freshly squeezed juice.

 

Dinner was a tasty salad featuring avocado and beetroot, followed by a wonderful chicken mole made freshly at the hacienda with eighteen different chillies and dozens of other ingredients. Wine, beers and other beverages are available too.

 

museum

The hacienda was built 170 years ago as the Spanish began to mine gold and silver in the area. It was loving restored and maintained by expatriate Bud Acord during the era of Puerto Vallarta’s emergence as a resort town.  Bud was great friends with such legends as John Huston, Shirley Booth and Loretta Young, and the hacienda museum holds many mementos of those days as well as artefacts and historical documents relating to the early years of the mining company.

 

It is a fascinating place to visit, especially as the memorabilia is displayed in the majestic reception rooms of this imposing building that has changed very little over the centuries. One can easily imagine the scenes of toil and celebration that took place in the mining era. Similarly, the photos and letters belonging to Bud Acord offer a glimpse of Puerto Vallarta’s heyday and one can feel the presence of the illustrious characters in the grand hallways.

 

The museum is usually open between 9am and 4pm from Monday through Saturday. For the best insight into the history of the hacienda, we highly recommend a stay of one or two nights in the atmospheric guest rooms. The hacienda still operates without electricity, and so the guest rooms are lit with oil lamps and warmed by real fireplaces (though they have conventional bathrooms and showers with hot water).

 

Previous guests include Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and John Huston himself, so you’ll certainly be in good company.

 

san sebastian

This picturesque colonial town is a world apart from the sultry coast, yet it is only two hours drive from Puerto Vallarta. It’s well worth the journey just to experience the crisp, cool mountain air and the magnificent scenery on the way, but there’s lots to see when you arrive too.

 

We recommend renting a car and driving to the hacienda, which lies just outside the town of San Sebastian. Allow plenty of time for the journey and you could stop off at the tequila and raicilla distillery on the way. If you don’t have a rental car, transportation and tours can be provided.

 

Explore the cobblestone streets on foot and you’ll feel that little has changed in the last century. The beautiful church is worth a stop, as is the organic coffee farm and store. There are a surprising number of great places for lunch too.

 

The mountain that dominates the backdrop to the main plaza is la Bufa. You can drive to the summit in a regular car and from there you can see the coast. A fun way to make the trip is to rent an ATV for a day or half day. If you’d prefer not to drive, a tour can be arranged at the hacienda to take in la Bufa and San Sebastian in a half day tour, followed by lunch at a restaurant in town.

 

Other activities that can be arranged at the hacienda include birdwatching tours and horseback riding (the latter is for experts only as there is no tuition or guide).

 

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How to get here

How to get here

The drive from Puerto Vallarta takes about 2 hours. On the way you will climb through the hills of the Sierre Madre, through rainforests and agricultural land. The roads are in good condition and passable with a regular car with care.

Parking is available at the hacienda. If you want to stop for lunch on the way, there are simple restaurants at la Estancia, and a good choice of dining options at San Sebastian itself. The hacienda is located just off the road into San Sebastian and before you reach the town.

Hacienda Jalisco

San Sebastian del Oeste

 

Jalisco

Mexico

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