Explore Colonial Puebla

written by | Posted on February 19th, 2013

Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.
(Photo courtesy of the Mexico Tourism Board)

One of the oldest cities in Mexico and a UNESCO World Heritage site, Puebla is welcoming travelers and the Tiangus Turistico Mexico—taking place March 17-20—with its delicious cuisine (think mole and chalupas), Talavera pottery and colonial buildings, all surrounded by volcanoes, rivers and archaeological zones.

Travelers heading to Puebla, located in the state of the same name, incidentally, can look forward to experiencing the architecture of its palaces, churches, mansions and convents. One landmark, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, was built in the late-1500s, and its towers are among the highest in the country. Here, recommend clients stop for a minute to take in its marble floors, gold leaf interior and main altar. Another site to take in Mexican art is the Museo Amparo, which showcases Mexican art from the pre-Hispanic period to the present, set in two colonial buildings—a mansion and former hospital.

Set in a colonial building with Spanish terraces and heavy wooden doors, Meson Sacristia de la Compañia, part of the Mexico Boutique Hotels, incorporates part of the city into its design. Talavera pottery is used in the gold-leaf detailing around the door frames, and the antiques in the guestrooms are all for sale, since the family who owns the hotel sells antiques downtown in the Los Sapos neighborhood. The hotel features eight accommodations and is located near the El Parian market. It also offers painting and Talavera classes, traditional Mexican cuisine at La Compania, and live music in The Confessionary Bar.

Rates start at $160 per night and include a welcome platter of regional sweets, daily a la carte breakfast for two, and daily newspaper. For more information, call (855) 223-6061 or visit hotelesboutique.com/en/hotel/meson-sacristia-de-la-compania.

Located 10 minutes from the entertainment district in the heart of the city’s business district is Marriott Real Puebla. The 192-room hotel is set in a Mexican-style building with a  renovated lobby; two heated pools; La Fonda restaurant, which offers Mexican and international cuisine; and the new steakhouse Factory Steak & Lobster. All of the rooms look out to views of the garden and offer high-speed Internet, marble bathrooms and a balcony option.

Call for rates. For more information, visit marriott.com/hotels/travel/pbcmc-puebla-marriott-real.

Meanwhile, Presidente Puebla, an InterContinental hotel, is located three miles from the Great Pyramid of Cholula, which is near the city of Puebla. The town of Cholula, incidentally, is known for its 365 churches, one for every day of the year. The pet-friendly hotel features an outdoor pool; the Sensacionelle Spa; a 24-hour health and fitness center; a lobby bar; and two restaurants. The hotel is five minutes from the main entertainment street and features volcano views, a free shuttle to Volkswagen Finsa and Bralemex parks, and suites with a balcony or terrace.

Call for rates. For more information, call (888) 424-6835 or visit ichotelsgroup.com.

For traditional Puebla cuisine, Restaurante La Matraca is the place to visit. Set in a 16th century mansion in the historic center of Puebla, this restaurant offers meals throughout the day and is known for its all-you-can-eat buffet. Call (222) 242 60 89 for more information. At the modern-style Restaurante Kampai, the menu features Japanese cuisine such as sashimi, tempura dishes and rolls. Visit kampai.mx for more information.

For more information on Puebla, visit visitmexico.com.