San Cristobal de las Casas was one of my favorite destinations in Mexico! This city in Chiapas, in the South of Mexico, oozes charm, culture, and tradition. While in town, I stayed at Casa Lum Boutique Hotel, which turned out to be the perfect base for our adventures. Discover why I absolutely loved Casa Lum in San Cristobal de las Casas.
CASA LUM: AN OVERVIEW
Don’t you love when a hotel manages to combine a thoughtful design, where each detail has been meticulously cared for, with a sustainable management and policies? But more on that later!
The location of Casa Lum couldn’t be any better: located on Calle Real de Guadalupe, the main pedestrian street lined with cute cafes and fair-trade boutique shops, it’s also just one block from the main square and walking distance to all the major attractions.
• I don’t paint dreams or nightmares, I paint my own reality • [Frida Kahlo] •
What was your favorite hotel of 2017? •
This long trip to Mexico has been incredible – I’ve learnt so much, seen so much, experienced so much more than I expected. One of my favorite places was San Cristobal de las Casas, in Chiapas, a city that oozes charm, culture and tradition. • I also found the perfect boutique hotel to stay at, @casa_lum – the rooms are so colorful and it’s a hotel that truly care about sustainability and supporting the local indigenous communities. Love it 💞
The building is colorful and as soon as you step you are welcomed by the staff who was always extremely helpful and polite throughout our stay. When I twisted my finger, they even offered to go to the pharmacy and buy something for me!
I loved my room at Casa Lum. I stayed in the Suite Ipil, a double bedroom with a queen-sized bed and beautiful textiles (made from indigenous artists) to decorate the wall. The room features a desk, useful if like me you need to get some work done, a couch, and a little balcony.
The vibe is very stylish but there’s also a homey, very warm feeling, and I loved the little details such as the nightstands made out of a tree trunk. There’s also a rooftop terrace from which we had a blast flying a drone over the city!
If you are looking for some extra space, check out the Chulel, Lekil, and Ko’ Ol Suites, which are on two floors.
IT’S BREAKFAST TIME!
Inside Casa Lum you’ll also find a restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. The interiors are beautiful, and the vibe is definitely on the fancy side.
Our breakfast was beautifully presented and the fruit salad with granola was a really healthy option that I was happy to find on the menu after many breakfasts made of eggs and chilaquiles.
The cuisine of the restaurant is particular: the chef merges the traditional Mexican dishes with more contemporary touches, creating plates that are beautiful to look at and equally full in flavor.
The cooler thing about the restaurant, in my opinion, is that the chef uses vegetables and aromatic herbs that grow in the small garden inside the hotel. Talk about locally grown! All the other ingredients used in the food preparation are local and organic grown whenever possible.
I’ve never eaten at the restaurant for lunch or dinner so I can’t give a personal opinion on the quality of the food, but on Tripadvisor the restaurant is rated 12th in all of San Cristobal de las Casas at the time of writing. Previous customers really appreciated the reinterpretation of the traditional Mexican dishes!
WHY CASA LUM IS TRULY GREEN
When we talk about sustainability, though, we don’t simply mean environmental sustainability. The hotel is committed to corporate social responsibility at 360 degrees. These are the main areas the hotel is committed to:
A Truly Eco-Friendly Building
The building was renovated with eco awareness in mind. 95% of the wood used was FSC-certified. Not everything was replaced: 25 doors and windows were reused and reconditioned from the former building, as well as 9,000 tiles actaully comes from demolished building in the area. Recycling is the key!
Casa Lum is committed to limit the consumption of water and energy (for example, with the use of key cards that automatically shut off the lights when guests leave the room). Solid waste is properly disposed and when possible recycled.
Casa Lum has been assessed as meeting a silver EarthCheck certification.
Casa Lum supports local project for the development of local communities. At the same time, it provides opportunities for development to its own employees. The hotel also supports fair trade.
THINGS TO DO IN SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS
Visit the City Center
While there’s plenty to see and do around San Cristobal de la Casas, the city is truly beautiful in itself, so make sure you make time to wander through the streets and take it all in for yourself (and to take so many Instagram pictures!)
As you walk, you’ll feel yourself transported back to Colonial times, as many of the buildings still retain that distinctive red-tile roof look. Most of the streets are still cobblestoned, and colorful buildings surround you at every turn. It reminded me of the streets in Oaxaca! You could easily spend a day just soaking up the atmosphere here, and there are plenty of trees and park benches in the central zocalo, or town square, if you want to take a break.
See the City From the Top
Should you ever get lost while exploring the city, then there’s an easy way to get your bearings. Just look up, and you should be able to spot one of two steep hills rising up above you. Being set within a valley, there are two places where you can take in the entirety of San Cristobal de las Casas in one amazing view- although it’s a little bit of a trek to reach the top!
The first viewpoint, Cerro de San Cristobal, is reached by climbing a set of stone steps, and gives you a great view of the town stretching out below you. The other, Cerro de Guadalupe, offers a more widescreen view of San Cristobal, and it’s topped by a quaint church that’s certainly worth a look once you’re done admiring the view.
Museums Not To Miss
San Cristobal de las Casas has a rich history that stretches back to the Colonial period, and the people here are proud of that history. You’ll therefore find plenty of museums on offer, to give you a better appreciation of the local culture.
Your first port of call should definitely be Templo de Santo Domingo, a 16th-Century church which is by far the most beautiful building in town. You’ll be blown away from the moment you arrive by the Baroque-style façade, and the interior is lavishly adorned with gold everywhere you turn. The museum itself is located inside a former monastery which was attached to the church, and provides some valuable insight into the history of the region. It even includes a section on Mayan textiles!
Chiapas has a history that stretches back even further than the Mayans, though. Millions of years ago, huge amounts of pine resin fossilized into beautiful amber, and the region north of the town is a particular hotspot for amber. It’s still mined there to this day, and the Museo del Ambar de Chiapas will teach you all about this beautiful substance, and the uses it has been put to over the centuries. There are numerous intricately carved pieces of amber jewelry on offer in the gift shop, and some even contain ancient insects frozen forever- very Jurassic Park!
READ ALSO: What To Do in Chiapas, Mexico
Would you stay at Casa Lum? Let me know in the comments!
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary stay by Casa Lum, but all the opinions are exclusively my own.