With enough glossy woodwork and carpentry to make Geppetto proud, Taller de Juan is a stylish studio in Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas. As with much of the architecture of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, the low-slung building is centred around a courtyard, with a new storey added to really showcase Juan’s skills (and house the Master Suite). A local artist was enlisted to create the paintings and even the rooms keys are miniature works of art.
Get this when you book through us:
A welcome drink and a 50 per cent discount on a massage. GoldSmiths will receive a bottle of the hotel’s wine, too
Double rooms from £134.64 (MXN2,900), including tax at 16 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional room tax of 2% per room per night prior to arrival.
Rates don’t usually include breakfast.
In keeping with the studio theme, all of the artworks are for sale – even the unique ones, since the artist will gladly craft you a second edition.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout. In rooms: adaptor plugs, Le Creuset French press plus Chiapas coffee, yoga mats, vinyl record player and Loredana bath products.
Our favourite rooms
In the traditional local style, most of the rooms at Taller de Juan are in a single storey around the courtyard – but there is one new part to the house, containing the Presidential Suite (which, small-screen addicts take note, is the only room with a television). From this lofty perch, you’ll be able to admire the local rooftops, as well as the tan headboard and dark concrete walls.
The hotel’s spa is as serene as everywhere else, with treatments ensuring a continued sense of wellbeing (or just manicured nails).
The atelier will have you wanting to tinker with something – pack some suitable hobby material.
The entrance has a ramp for wheelchair access and most of the rooms are on the ground floor.
All ages are welcome. Babysitting can be arranged with 12 hours’ notice; it’s 750 pesos an hour, with a minimum booking of five hours.
Keep cosy on cooler days in the green conservatory, or head out to the patio if the sun is shining.
Lose the tool belt.
Guests feel at home at Corazón de Luna (which means 'Moonheart'), which is designed to be like your own laid-back lounge, only one where someone else will make you mushroom ceviche, tiraditos, tacos and poke bowls. Healthy breakfasts are served here to set you up for a day exploring San Cristóbal de las Casas, with especially good (and reviving) coffees.
There’s no separate bar, but you’ll be able to order drinks at Moonheart.
The restaurant is open all day, from 7.30am up until 11pm.
Breakfast and other meals can be delivered to your room during the restaurant’s opening hours.
Taller de Juan is in the town of San Cristóbal de Las Casas in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, close to the Guatemala border.
The region’s main airport is Tuxtla Gutiérrez – international arrivals will have to connect in Mexico City or Cancún. The airport is just over an hour away from the hilltop town of San Cristóbal; hotel transfers start from 1,200 pesos.
If you’ve hired a car at the airport, you’ll be able to stow it away close to the hotel for 150 pesos a night. The hotel is a couple of blocks from the Guadalupe walkway, so a car won’t be necessary to get around town – the cathedral is within walking distance, too.
Worth getting out of bed for
Taller de Juan is in Chiapas, Mexico’s southernmost state, with Mayan ruins and colonial cities to explore, toucans and tapirs to track, and the Agua Azul waterfalls offering some much-needed temperature regulation. After you’ve strolled the cobblestoned, colonial and officially magical streets of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, a certified Pueblo Mágico, further-afield options for day trips include the pre-Columbian Toniná temples.
Tierra y Cielo is one of the most authentic restaurants in town (with the original ceiling beams to prove it), but also offering traditional tostadas and tequila are Casa Dugelay and Xut, which throws burgers and cheese fondues into the mix, too. And for a mole-free meal, order some Lebanese delights at Malaak al Horno on Avenida Diego Dugelay.
Gracefully garnished cocktails await at Blom Bar on Avenida Diego Dugelay in San Cristóbal de Las Casas (where there will be no licking of salt off the back of your hand).
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel in Mexico and unpacked their tools and textiles, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Taller de Juan Casa-Hotel in San Cristóbal de Las Casas…
This is no ordinary workshop. There are no misplaced tools, not a solitary speck of sawdust and no general dankness – it’s a meticulously glossy garret, just the way Juan likes it. The artistic atelier is two blocks away from the main drag in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. A local artist was hired to create various artworks and installations for the house, with reclaimed and salvaged pieces from the previous owners put to use, too. The team also put to work a local soapmaker, stonemasons in Puebla, carpenters from Chiapas and women weavers for the runners, mats and doilies. Most of the labour has been completed – the most effort you’ll have to expend is helping yourself to some water in the restaurant, since formal service is replaced with feeling like one of the family. It may be modelled on a workshop, but all work and no play makes Juan a very dull boy – down tools and join the fun on the patio instead.