San Pancho town location is walkable to shops, restaurants, and the beach
Nine individually decorated rooms with tasteful Mexican decor
Organic bistro serves health conscious breakfast and lunch
Free Wi-Fi, breakfast, and weekly tequila tastings
Small boutique sells locally made artisanal products
Eclectic art collection gives the hotel a gallery-like feel
Hands-on owner cares deeply about the property
Bikes available to borrow
No pool or spa
No TVs in the rooms
Incessant rooster crows in the early morning (throughout San Pancho)
Eclectic artwork and artisanal Mexican decor make Hotel Cielo Rojo a standout mid-range option in San Pancho. The nine-room hotel is located on a leafy side street within walking distance of local shops, restaurants, and the beach. Guest rooms are nicely decorated with individual touches in a Mexican style. The hotel offers great freebies like Wi-Fi, breakfast, and weekly tequila tastings. The organic bistro serves excellent vegan and vegetarian options. The major downside is that there’s no pool. If a pool is a must, check out the nearby Hotel Casa San Pancho, which has equally intriguing decor and comparable nightly rates.
One of the best kept boutique secrets in San Pancho
On a leafy side street in downtown San Pancho, bougainvillea drenched flower boxes call attention to a yellow stucco building with a thatched roof entryway. A small sign reads “Hotel Cielo Rojo,” but the well worn welcome mat near the door conveys a deeper sentiment, it says “home sweet home.” With nine individually decorated rooms and a hands-on owner who clearly cares about every aspect of the property (much of the hotel’s artwork is from her own personal collection), Hotel Cielo Rojo feels homey, in the best sense of the word. There’s a book exchange, cozy Acapulco chairs in the hallways, and a warm communal atmosphere that embodies the friendliness of the Riviera Nayarit. Much like the hidden-gem town of San Pancho, Hotel Cielo Rojo feels like a treasure trove -- a thing of beauty only known by those who take the time to discover it.
Hotel Cielo Rojo is patronized by in-the-know Americans and Canadians. It’s an ideal spot for couples, friends, and solo travelers. Families are welcome, but rarely seen. Guests and locals enjoy the organic bistro, and gather for weekly tequila tastings at the lobby’s tiny bar.
In a charming beach town with an authentic Mexican feel
Hotel Cielo Rojo is located in San Francisco, a sleepy beach town about 30 miles north of Puerto Vallarta. Pancho is a common nickname for the Spanish name Francisco, so the town is affectionately called San Pancho -- a name you’ll hear more often than the official one. For many travelers, San Pancho offers the perfect balance of Mexican authenticity and tourist-friendly features. On the town’s main drag, Avenida Tercer Mundo, you’ll find humble taco stands next to upscale restaurants, open-air markets across from artisanal craft shops, and groups of locals and foreign tourists mingling with one another as they listen to sidewalk musicians. The town’s gorgeous beach stretches for miles, and provides good conditions for both swimming and surfing. San Pancho has an undiscovered, “Nayarit 20 years ago” feel. But, the secret’s out now, and the town is popping up on many travelers’ radars -- especially as nearby Sayulita becomes overrun with tourists.
Hotel Cielo Rojo is located on a residential side street in the middle of downtown. The hotel is within a 10-minute walk of everything San Pancho has to offer, including shops, bars, restaurants, and the beach. If you’re planning to stay in San Pancho for the entirety of your trip, a car isn’t necessary, but note that the hotel is a 50-minute drive from the nearest international airport in Puerto Vallarta.
Gorgeously curated rooms are Hotel Cielo Rojo’s claim to fame. Mexican accents and eclectic artwork create stylized rooms that feel equally comfortable and stylish. White stucco walls and terra-cotta tile floors give rooms an earthy palette, while handmade sarapes and embroidered pillows add vitality to the white-quilted beds. Tiny wall-mounted nightstands hold local postcards and tea light candles, along with ear plugs to block out the incessant early morning sounds of San Pancho’s large rooster population. Walls are decorated with vintage Mexican movie posters, framed maps, and pieces from the owner’s private collection. While most rooms are the same (one queen bed, large enough for two people), there are a few suites with additional twin-size beds. There are no TVs or other technology, but the hotel provides thoughtful in-room amenities like bottled water and free welcome shots of tequila. Rooms are also equipped with electronic safes. Bathrooms feature large stone-tile shower stalls and handmade soaps. Some rooms have stunning hand-painted ceramic sinks.
An organic bistro, free breakfast, a small boutique, and a handful of freebies
There aren’t many on-site features at Hotel Cielo Rojo -- there’s no pool, spa, or fitness center -- but the hotel has a few nice amenities and offers several freebies. The Bistro Organico is the hotel’s most notable feature. It serves breakfast (free for guests) and lunch in a casual open-air dining room. Its menu has lots of vegan and vegetarian options, as well as local seafood entrees. Though the restaurant isn’t open for dinner, there are lots of local restaurants within easy walking distance of the hotel. The hotel's lobby boutique sells a variety of upscale, locally made products, like handbags, blouses and sundresses, pottery, and jewelry. Across from the boutique is a tiny bar that hosts free weekly tequila tastings for guests. The hotel also offers free Wi-Fi. There are two bikes that guests can use on a first-come-first-served basis.