If any business could fully emulate the essence of San Pancho, Nayarit, Mexico, it’s the lovely Hotel Cielo Rojo. For the past 15 years, Hotel Cielo Rojo has been an integral part of the development and identity of San Pancho. With its location in the heart of town, its exquisite bistro, and formidable hospitality, it’s a long-time favorite accommodation for both visiting international and nationals.
When its founder, Gisela, curiously drove down the main avenue of Tercer Mundo in San Pancho in 2005, she immediately fell in love with the town’s humble and charming character. And the rest is history. Or so it would seem! Hotel Cielo Rojo quickly integrated into the local community and grew alongside it.
After getting to stay overnight in our homey room, and after experiencing (on several occasions) their gourmet, sustainable fare, I’m happy to share my honest thoughts about staying at Hotel Cielo Rojo.
Here is my full review + experience at Hotel Cielo Rojo in San Pancho, Nayarit, Mexico!
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As you turn into San Pancho and drive down Tercer Mundo, you’ll see Hotel Cielo Rojo with a white arrow on all the directional signs. It’s the only hotel featured of all the hotels in San Pancho. (If that’s not an indication for how long the hotel has been around!)
As for its prime location, Hotel Cielo Rojo proudly lies in the heart of San Pancho. Their slogan “where horses share the streets and sunsets are the main event” speaks to this pueblo’s charm. There is much to be said about the Mexican-inspired style of Hotel Cielo Rojo. Everything, from the exterior’s warm-yellow paint to the hotel rooms’ original artwork, is Mexican-inspired and carefully selected.
But Hotel Cielo Rojo is much more than a place to stay. Gisela and her business partner Calixto aim to create a “home away from home” atmosphere.
This positive energy can be deeply felt, and experienced, through the authentic daily interactions between staff and guests, between strangers and friends. More often than not, you’ll find Gisela and Calixto intermingling with their guests, some of whom are long-time Hotel Cielo Rojo visitors.
The Hotel Cielo Rojo definitely stands out among all the hotels in San Pancho. And it’s not because everything is spotless or perfect, but rather that everything is purposeful! From the rooms to the bistro, and the floors in between, everything is designed to promote Mexican artisanship and creativity. On top of their core values of sustainability!
The hotel features three open-air floors filled with Mexican art and plants. As you wind your way up to your room, you’re sure to stop and take a look around! It’s in these small moments of silence that you can experience Hotel Cielo Rojo’s warm and homey atmosphere.
There are approximately 10 rooms. (Doubles, suites, and triple rooms, designed to accommodate groups and families.) We stayed in the Bougainvillea room, a double room on the third floor with a view on the private courtyard below.
On our bedroom shelf was a welcome bottle of Hotel Cielo Rojo’s branded tequila. It’s plenty for at least 2 shots to celebrate with your travel partner! The courtesy tequila, artisanal soaps, and organic cotton bed sheets, all spoke to the essence of HCR’s down-to-earth, Mexican hospitality and sustainable philosophy.
The Organic Bistro
Speaking of HCR’s essence, you can’t have the hotel without its very special and inviting Bistro Organico! As you enter into the bistro, the open-air kitchen and private inner courtyard suddenly invite you in.
As one friend told me (who frequently dines for lunch at the bistro), it’s like walking into a lovely, intimate cafe somewhere in romantic Europe.
What sets the Bistro at Hotel Cielo Rojo apart from other San Pancho restaurants, is its dedication to organic, sustainable, wholesome food. They source healthy ingredients from local and regional farmers and hone in on their chefs’ expertise and creativity in order to create unique Mexican-inspired dishes.
I have eaten at the Bistro on a number of occasions (eventually ranking it as #1 for the top places to eat here), and can whole-heartedly recommend experiencing the Hotel Cielo Rojo Bistro.
Should you choose to stay as a guest in the hotel, you get a small yet sweet complimentary breakfast of granola, yogurt, and fruit. You can add on food from the menu for extra if you’d like (I highly recommend the banana pancakes, organic huevos rancheros, or the avocado toast!).
The Bistro is not just the site for good food, however. Because of its warm and inviting atmosphere, filled with plants, natural touches, and Mexican-style pillows and art, the Bistro hosts quite the number of events.
Valentine’s Dinner Evening 2020
On any given week, it’s likely you’ll find HCR hosting a book signing or art showing from a local artist, or welcoming special chefs from around the world, such as the Sioux Chef, who blesses the food and serves up delicious reinventions of Native American cuisine.
You can also expect to have gourmet dinners or luncheons at Hotel Cielo Rojo’s Bistro for special occasions, like for Valentine’s Day, Hotel Week, New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving, and so on!
We recently had the pleasure to share a special 4-course organic dinner at HCR for Valentine’s this year, and it made for the perfect evening with wholesome food, selected wine pairing, and live jazz music.
I love the vibe at Hotel Cielo Rojo, especially during those brunch hours where the sun is shining through the trees and the breeze is nice and cool.
There is also my favorite touch in the courtyard — the babbling rock fountain which brings a new sense of calm and tranquility to the air.
Hotel Cielo Rojo also sells local and regionally-sourced Mexican handmade clothes, jewelry, bags, oils, snacks, and more. Look for the small airy enclosure as you enter the hotel on your right.
As for things to do outside of the hotel, you’re mere steps away from a handful of local boutiques and restaurants.
To name a few, there’s Ikan, a delightful seafood restaurant. Then you have the Kiosko for all your convenience needs (it also has an ATM inside). And just one street over is where you can find two produce markets and a variety of popular restaurants.
Of course, don’t forget you’re only a 6-7 minute walk to the beach!
You can expect to have the following amenities during your stay at Hotel Cielo Rojo!
- Comfy double beds with organic cotton sheets
- Air conditioners in the rooms
- Artisanal soaps/shampoos
- Fresh linens and towels
- Complimentary breakfast
- On-site organic bistro
- Bicycles for guests
- Beach umbrellas and towels upon request
- Tequila tastings on Fridays
- …and more!
There is also wifi in all of the rooms. (FYI, the wifi booster doesn’t work as well on the third floor.) But the tables in the bistro downstairs double as a nice place to work on a laptop (if you need).
Staying at Hotel Cielo Rojo in San Pancho
With the warm and personable service, the organic Bistro, the central location, and the authentic Mexican-pueblo atmosphere, it’s easy to see why Hotel Cielo Rojo has been a long-time favorite place to stay for visitors to San Pancho!
All in all, what I appreciate most about Hotel Cielo Rojo is its sustainable values and dedication to preserving and promoting Mexican artisanship!
You can follow along on Hotel Cielo Rojo’s Instagram page for event updates and more right here.
If you want an authentic experience in San Pancho, a stay at Hotel Cielo Rojo is a must!
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Finally, a special thanks to Hotel Cielo Rojo for sponsoring and hosting me to stay at the hotel. As always, all opinions expressed here are my own! I love HCR and think you will too.