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Gerry

When a Motel is not a "Motel"!

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Outside of Mexico motels can be convenient, low cost, no frills accommodation for travelers. Traditionally that is not the case in Mexico. Sometimes the name says it all. For instance the "Motel" just before the airport at Guadalajara called "Motel Viena"! is not a misspelling. Think in French! There are other clues such as: roll down doors not to provide security, but to prevent anyone seeing your car and licence plate, no room key, no closets to hang clothes in, no drawers for clothes, carefully placed mirrors around the bed, overly generous bathrooms, Room Service Menus which include lubricants, condoms and champagne! This is not to say these rooms are not good value for money, but you need to know what you are getting into - pun intended!

 

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Most anything labeled a "motel" is a no-tell motel.  They are cheap, clean and secure for you and your car.  A hotel is a traditional establishment that houses people overnight for a lot more money.  "Motels" are good for travelers.  I've used them for a long time.

 

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You forgot to mention the very limited selection of offerings on the TV.

Really? You don't know what "motels" mean in Mexico? We were told over 20 years ago what their purpose was... think large families with very limited privacy and space. They serve a purpose and it's not just for gringos cheap overnight accommodation and secure parking.

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I've used a few of them while travelling throughout Mexico. I usually travelled with dogs and they never said no to the dogs but we did get strange looks. Usually they are quite clean but no news on the TV-just porno. The major problem was we usually didn't get a key so it was problem to go out and eat. In some they serve food (and other things) via a lazy susan in the wall so your privacy wasn't compromised. Some only allowed you stay for a set number of hours-like maybe 6.

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3 hours ago, Gerry said:

Outside of Mexico motels can be convenient, low cost, no frills accommodation for travelers. Traditionally that is not the case in Mexico. Sometimes the name says it all. For instance the "Motel" just before the airport at Guadalajara called "Motel Viena"! is not a misspelling. Think in French! There are other clues such as: roll down doors not to provide security, but to prevent anyone seeing your car and licence plate, no room key, no closets to hang clothes in, no drawers for clothes, carefully placed mirrors around the bed, overly generous bathrooms, Room Service Menus which include lubricants, condoms and champagne! This is not to say these rooms are not good value for money, but you need to know what you are getting into - pun intended!

Welcome, Newb. Enjoy!

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Hardly a "Newb" having owned a home here for 20 years! No that time spent necessarily means anything. Many people have been here for years and apparently learn nothing. Including the pleasures of civil discourse. I do know what a Mexican "Motel" is, but having booked, was is described as a 4 star Boutique Hotel online, I id not expect to arrive at a motel so it may be useful to other travellers to know what indicators to look for. 

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Why do you assume I was slighting you? Perhaps take a step back. Two of us commented on the fact that it seems one of the first things we discover (after the whole mordida schtick with transitos) is the notell montel. If you had at least mentioned that you "booked a 4-star boutique hotel online", and it turned out to be this, then we would have had a different response. And in fact under your name here it says "Newbie", with a limited number of posts, so I assumed you were relatively new.

Again, the comment was meant to welcome you, nothing more. "Newb" is only negative if you take it that way.

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It was a well-told story and a good heads up for the unsuspecting. The story becomes more entertaining for all with the left out detail that you had booked online what was advertised as a four-star boutique hotel. 

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When it took two days to drive here from McAllen we would stop at a Notel on the south side of San Luis Potosi.  No problem booking for a full night and no problem going out to eat but we traveled on days when they would most likely have plenty of vacancies.  Always clean, comfortable and the garage provided security for our usual car load of stuff.

Now I can drive from the Pharr bridge to here in less than 10.5 hours so we just skip the overnight stop.

These places are generally the busiest on weekend and holiday nights.

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This same custom is to be found in Japan. They are called "Love Hotels" and it is very obvious what they are. It is possible to book a room for the night, but too many other real hotels are available. I was always tempted to spend the night in one and see what it was like. Never did.

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12 hours ago, Yo1 said:

If I want to go eat at a restaurant I just ask for a key.  They are always available. 

I have asked for a key at several and they said no.

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I guess there are just different rules at different places. One NoTel near Monterrey wouldn't let me in with my brother, assuming we were gay.

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15 minutes ago, ComputerGuy said:

I guess there are just different rules at different places. One NoTel near Monterrey wouldn't let me in with my brother, assuming we were gay.

Maybe it was part of the Roman Catholic chain

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13 minutes ago, Gerry said:

FYI. The place in question is Le Boutique by COBOS in Zacatecas.

This is interesting.  This place is on Booking Com, and Expedia, not usual for these to carry notels.  Outside of Mexico City I stayed at a place that was both a regular hotel and a notel, each in their own section.

As it is perfectly located when I am riding north to NM could you expand a little on what you found there?  

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It is also on TripAdvisor. Problems locating it if you use GPS. All that comes up is the street and it keeps asking you to make a Uturn. Eventually we used GPS and Google maps on the cell and found it. It is discreet and you really don't se it even though it is right on the highway. There are not many rooms based on the number of garages (12). There is no restaurant or bar despite what the internet listing says and none nearby. Reception is a linen room/office.  The room itself was large with a tile floor, up a flight of stairs from the garage. It had minimal furniture: no curtains, no closets, no drawers, no bedside lamps. It did include  WIFI and television (basic Mexican package with a couple of porn channels), a couple of towels, lots of bubble bath, frosted windows. Also there were sheets and pillows, but no blankets or bedcover for the king sized bed. Quiet. We never saw anyone else though 3 garage doors were closed when we left in the morning. Cleanliness: OK. Whether it is up to the standard necessary given the usually activity in the rooms - who knows? Cost, $1300 pesos for the night. Hope this gives you a better idea of what you would be getting into.

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4 hours ago, Gerry said:

It is also on TripAdvisor. Problems locating it if you use GPS. All that comes up is the street and it keeps asking you to make a Uturn. Eventually we used GPS and Google maps on the cell and found it. It is discreet and you really don't se it even though it is right on the highway. There are not many rooms based on the number of garages (12). There is no restaurant or bar despite what the internet listing says and none nearby. Reception is a linen room/office.  The room itself was large with a tile floor, up a flight of stairs from the garage. It had minimal furniture: no curtains, no closets, no drawers, no bedside lamps. It did include  WIFI and television (basic Mexican package with a couple of porn channels), a couple of towels, lots of bubble bath, frosted windows. Also there were sheets and pillows, but no blankets or bedcover for the king sized bed. Quiet. We never saw anyone else though 3 garage doors were closed when we left in the morning. Cleanliness: OK. Whether it is up to the standard necessary given the usually activity in the rooms - who knows? Cost, $1300 pesos for the night. Hope this gives you a better idea of what you would be getting into.

THIRTEEN HUNDRED PESOS!!!  Te vieron la cara, amigo.

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6 hours ago, Gerry said:

It is also on TripAdvisor. Problems locating it if you use GPS. All that comes up is the street and it keeps asking you to make a Uturn. Eventually we used GPS and Google maps on the cell and found it. It is discreet and you really don't se it even though it is right on the highway. There are not many rooms based on the number of garages (12). There is no restaurant or bar despite what the internet listing says and none nearby. Reception is a linen room/office.  The room itself was large with a tile floor, up a flight of stairs from the garage. It had minimal furniture: no curtains, no closets, no drawers, no bedside lamps. It did include  WIFI and television (basic Mexican package with a couple of porn channels), a couple of towels, lots of bubble bath, frosted windows. Also there were sheets and pillows, but no blankets or bedcover for the king sized bed. Quiet. We never saw anyone else though 3 garage doors were closed when we left in the morning. Cleanliness: OK. Whether it is up to the standard necessary given the usually activity in the rooms - who knows? Cost, $1300 pesos for the night. Hope this gives you a better idea of what you would be getting into.

Thanks.  I think I'll pass.

 

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Hence the alert. Booking a 4 star, boutique hotel for 1300 pesos online is one thing,  but for the type of establishment this one turned out to be it is a rip off.

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The alert is appreciated. I had difficulty with your OP because it sounded like ALL motels were the same. They're not. We stayed in some spectacular Mexican motels in our travelling days. Marble bathrooms with towels and soap and shampoo, kingsize bed with beautiful linens, comfortable furniture (including dressers/ clothes bureau and lamps)...for about 300 pesos a night (a while ago) Great food delivered to your "inbox". The only problem we had was with the limited "tv"... and we wore ourselves out.

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On 8/15/2018 at 1:15 PM, Gerry said:

It is also on TripAdvisor. Problems locating it if you use GPS. All that comes up is the street and it keeps asking you to make a Uturn. Eventually we used GPS and Google maps on the cell and found it. It is discreet and you really don't se it even though it is right on the highway. There are not many rooms based on the number of garages (12). There is no restaurant or bar despite what the internet listing says and none nearby. Reception is a linen room/office.  The room itself was large with a tile floor, up a flight of stairs from the garage. It had minimal furniture: no curtains, no closets, no drawers, no bedside lamps. It did include  WIFI and television (basic Mexican package with a couple of porn channels), a couple of towels, lots of bubble bath, frosted windows. Also there were sheets and pillows, but no blankets or bedcover for the king sized bed. Quiet. We never saw anyone else though 3 garage doors were closed when we left in the morning. Cleanliness: OK. Whether it is up to the standard necessary given the usually activity in the rooms - who knows? Cost, $1300 pesos for the night. Hope this gives you a better idea of what you would be getting into.

I suggest you contact the booking platforms where this place is advertised and priced as a "Boutique Hotel" to let them know that this is a total scam, not in any way as advertised.

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