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Hotel Cielo Rojo

Hotel Cielo Rojo has been selected by Darn Good Digs as one of the best locally-owned hotels for budget-minded travelers!

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Darn Good Digs Review - Editors' Choice

Hotel Cielo Rojo, San Francisco/San Pancho, Nayarit, Mexico
Nominated By: Gary at Green Traveler Guides, July '10

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Price Range: US$85-$150 (breakfast included) # of Rooms: 8 Kid-Friendly: yes

What makes the Hotel Cielo Rojo so Darn Good? Cielo Rojo is a simple, yet stylish hotel decorated in mellow Mexican colors and folk art lovingly collected by the owners on their world journeys. The hotel's restaurant surely must rank among the best restaurants in the state of Nayarit. The chef uses organic, locally-sourced ingredients including fish caught that morning by village fisherman in small boats. What's more, this eco-friendly hotel uses biodegradable detergents, makes their own natural hand soaps, and has an active recycling program.

Location: The small pueblo of San Francisco, locally known as San Pancho, is thirty miles north of Puerto Vallarta on Mexico's central Pacific coast. The hotel is on a pleasant tree-shaded, cobblestone street near art galleries, restaurants, and shops, and just a few blocks away from a little beach. While surfers flock to the area for its great breaks, non-surfers can chill-out on the beach, explore nearby towns, or take a walk in the jungle.

Rooms: The eight scrupulously clean rooms at Cielo Rojo have shiny white walls and terra-cotta floors, and are artistically decorated in soothing colors with local crafts and antiques. A small, palm-shaded courtyard in the back has a dining area and rock waterfall edged by culinary herbs.

Food: Upon arrival at the hotel, guests are treated to a shot of artisanal tequila from the hospitality tray. In the morning, enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast of granola, fresh fruit, yogurt, and home-made breads, or spend a little more to order from the full menu. For lunch and dinner, the courtyard becomes Bistro Organico. In an open kitchen and with the most basic of tools, Chef Juan Diego Bernal turns out delicious, beautifully presented dishes like a smoked marlin-stuffed poblano pepper on a sesame-studded black bean sauce and salads like ensalada de toronja y miel - grapefruit, avocado and mixed greens in a cumin-yogurt-honey dressing. It's all part of the fun to watch Diego sneak out by the waterfall to twist off a sprig of basil or mint. Desserts are decadent and include an irresistible triple-layer cake of chocolate, mango, and carrot.

Vibe: Cielo Rojo is laid-back, hip, and friendly. The manager and most staff are English speakers and well-versed in hospitality. Even better, the hotel actively supports entreAmigos, a local non-profit aimed at providing educational opportunities for the children of San Pancho.

Keep in Mind: Some rooms do not have air conditioning but are equipped with ceiling fans.

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Our Hotel Cielo Rojo Online Bibliography

We spend hours and hours researching each new nomination before we decide to post a review on For those hotels that we call Darn Good Digs (our editors' choices), we post a bibliography of our online resources.

"Hotel Cielo Rojo" - Trip Advisor reviews

"Mexico's San Francisco: Green Nayarit" - Hotel Cielo Rojo review on Gary's Green Traveler Guides

"Destination Mexico: Staying Ahead of the Crowd on the Nayarit Coast" - 2007 San Francisco Chronicle article

"Virtual Gourmet: Up the Left Coast of Mexico" - blog post that mentions the Hotel Cielo Rojo

""Old" Puerto Vallarta Lives on at Three Small Villages" - another blog post that mentions the Hotel Cielo Rojo

"Top 20 Romantic Getaways (all under $250)" - 2009 Sunset Magazine article

"Exploring the Riviera Nayarit: A Low-Key Getaway from Puerto Vallarta" - 2008 Frommers article





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