Tour the Casa de las Flores Property
in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, Mexico
the Folk Art Capital of Mexico
Casa de las Flores' restored turn-of-the-century home in the middle of a special working-class neighborhood may appear a bit bohemian by U.S. standards, but first-time visitors who look beyond the surface are soon rewarded by glimpses of Mexican culture that tourists rarely see.
The simple tiled front of the restored old adobe home embraces a hidden bouquet of lovely surprises waiting for you inside Casa de las Flores.
Surprises await you behind our unassuming adobe walls that greet you street-side at the front of the property. As you enter the front door into the turn-of-the-century adobe home of Casa de las Flores you pass into our colorful but elegantly restored receiving room where you can relax with books about local folk art and history.
Colorful folk art and your hosts will be waiting to greet you
The receiving room will be your first festive glimpse of your new home away from home. You will be greeted by your hosts and a multitude of smiling brightly painted paper-maiche dolls. This front room is filled with contemporary art and traditional folk art from our private collection.
You then pass alongside one of the kitchens where many tasty breakfasts and desserts have been prepared over the more than 13 years.
Casa de las Flores has been serving visitors from around the world.
Then past our small folk art shop where you can purchase one-of-a-kind pieces of some of the best examples of local folk art for your own collection.
One-of-a-kind folk art pieces are available at our folk art gallery
From there you turn past the gallery and into the great room where the ceiling soars two and a half stories above. This lovely room was once the open patio in the old house. It was enclosed in 2005 and is one of the many public areas for you to enjoy. We did not want to lose the openness or the fresh air and light of a traditional patio but we did want more public space for our guests on cool winter nights and a comfortable place to retreat to on stormy summer evenings. This salon is surrounded by a second story of sliding frosted glass walls that we can open and close to let in lovely breezes and spectacular diffused light, perfect for enjoying the fine art that lines the walls of this spectacular space in the heart of the old house. Giving a bit of a modern touch to a classical design while not losing the benefits of a traditional patio.
The big room is a breathtaking space filled with light, air, sofas, overstuffed chairs, contemporary art and folk art as well as Mexican color.
The great room is a perfect place to meet for a drink, filled with comfortable sofas in front of a spectacular two story fireplace. This salon is also one of our galleries for changing exhibits of local contemporary art and fine folk art for your enjoyment or to acquire for your personal collection. Off of this central meeting place you will find our bar that opens onto both the great room and the garden terrace on the other side. Keep walking through the great room and on one side you pass the office where we can assist you with making bus reservations, calling you taxis, arranging for tours and trips, as well as short courtesy calls in the evenings to the United States and Canada without charge. As you continue to walk you pass the tea room / gallery where a selection of teas is waiting for you to help yourself at any time of day or night.
The bright little tea room is waiting for private conversation with a cup of tea, a game of cards or to just enjoy the view of the garden.
This quiet bright little side room is also a gallery for more intimate paintings as well as the place where freshly brewed coffee will be waiting for our early risers every morning at 7:30 a.m. If you're up that early we will have coffee waiting for you. In this side room you will also find a laptop set up after breakfast for guests to consult their emails - that is, if they dare to do such a thing while on vacation. We advise against it!
Like stepping though the looking glass, you stroll through our lovely wonderland of gardens on the way to your rooms. The transformation from street-side to garden-side is delightfully surprising.
Past our tea room you enter a tiled hall that gives you the first glimpse of the spectacular cottage gardens of Casa de las Flores. Like Alice stepping through the looking glass you will see that we really are a petite oasis and a very special retreat. This hall opens onto the terrace and garden bar which in the evenings is lit by candles and colored fairly lights. On the terrace or in our gardens you will find a perfect spot to relax with a perfect margarita made to order. No mixes here!
Colored lights and candles are always festively twinkling in the evenings on the garden terrace awaiting your pleasure with a glass of wine, a margarita or a cup of tea.
Walking up the stone steps from the terrace bar to the split level gardens you pass another secluded sitting area, walk along the curved path past a central fountain, continue alongside another inviting patio with a gardenside fireplace and finally to your rooms at the end of this park-like setting. The suite of rooms, although new to the original property, have been built with hand hewn rock, individually painted tile and turn-of-the-century craftsmanship with the modern amenities that combine the best of the old and new.
From the terrace bar up the steps to the first level of the split garden on your way to your garden suites, you really feel as if the second largest city in Mexico is a million miles away.
These are just some of the views of the gardens. We won't show you all the patios and fountains to leave a few surprises for your visit. Our web page for almost 13 years had no photos, and guests had been admonishing me to put up a new web page so here it is. I know that this is more practical but I did enjoy keeping the surprises of what was hidden from view by the humble front of the old house. But not to worry, there are still plenty of pleasant surprises awaiting.
This stone and vine-covered structure with bright spots of colorful tile and elegant architectural detail houses 6 of the 7 guest rooms on the property. They overlook the gardens that are laboriously maintained for your pleasure.
By the time you reach your room after strolling through the gardens, terraces and patios you will truly feel worlds away from the small village of Tlaquepaque and the giant metropolis of Guadalajara and be ready to relax in an almost rural atmosphere of greenery and flowers.
From the fireplace patio to the side of the suite of 6 rooms, an elevated walkway meanders back through the side garden to the standard room that is our 7th room toward the front of the property but set back from the street by 10 feet of space next to the original house. More private and with the humble elegance of the original structure of the old house, it is completely restored and our most affordable room with two beds.
Public life in Mexico is very public and one's home life is very private. You will find that homes are secluded worlds that are embraced by high adobe walls and often hide unexpected treasures hidden from view from the street. These walled retreats and homes that are typical of classical Mexican architecture that keeps the busy village bustle of daily life at a peaceful distance and cradles families in their own private world.
Cradled in the boughss of blooming trees and set afloat on a sea of flowers your private world of comfort and hospitality await you.
Let us invite you to venture behind the adobe walls of Mexico and enter Casa de las Flores to enjoy our special hidden welcoming world of hospitality that await each of our guests. You are unlikely to find our service, charm and style except at much more costly properties. Let us offer you the best gift we can by introducing you to the pleasant surprises of Mexico. Pleasant surprises are what make for pleasant memories and that is the best gift of all to take home with you from your visit to Mexico and to Casa de las Flores.
FROM WHAT's IN THE GARDEN. . . .
A climate described as "eternal spring" is perfect for growing the profusion of blooms coloring the namesake gardens at Casa de las Flores (The House of Flowers). Even in January, winter temperatures average a sunny 72°F (23°C) during the day and frost is virtually unknown. Tlaquepaque's elevation of 5,292 feet (1,552 meters) offsets the warmth of the latitude, yielding pleasant year-round temperatures and an extended growing season - azaleas bloom for three months next to tropical anthuriums. Besides temperature, water is the key element here and simply by adding or subtracting it, master gardener and host Jose Gutierrez can produce seeming contradictions like bananas thriving next to cactus.
The garden is literally the central feature at Casa de las Flores, an oasis of greenery and colorful blossoms extending between high, vine-covered adobe walls from the patio of the main house to the two-storey guest wing at the back of the property. Curving paths lead guests from blooming potted plants on the patio, through the planting beds.
Large palms provide shade in some of the sitting areas and guava trees offer their own bonus - fresh juice for breakfast. The garden also provides edible flowers such as rose petals, chive and nasturtium blossoms used as garnishes on breakfast offerings as well as a pallet of herbs such as basil and rosemary.
True to the name Casa de las Flores, however, the quality guests find most charming in the garden is simply beauty. Unusual flowering trees like orange-flowered tabachine and the golden waterfall "cascada de oro" bloom in spring, while tropical and temperate flowers like frangipani, gardenias, camellias and roses lend both color and scent to the garden. Bougainvilleas provide their intensely vivid crepe-paper blooms throughout the year. Like a living canvas, the garden paints new colors from season to season and year to year.
A perfect spot to relax and reflect with bird songs, the buzz of hummingbirds and the lazy motion of butterflies, guests find a natural sanctuary that makes the metropolitan area of six million people seem that many miles away.
SEE MORE OF WHAT'S IN BLOOM IN OUR GARDEN