Step off the plane at La Paz airport and you’re in the hot heart of a dusty western… the surrounding landscape is desert and in summer the streets of the town are deserted and the sun beats mercilessly down on the cowering buildings. But just off the Avenida Independencia is a heavenly haven from this scorching setting: El Angel Azul (The Blue Angel). Discernible only by a blue sign and door set in bleached white walls, this stylish B&B was a former courthouse that had lain empty for 20 years.
Scrupulously restored by the current owner, Swiss-born Esther Ammann, the atmosphere is tranquil and relaxed, with rooms facing the cacti-filled courtyard under shaded colonnades. With shrines, sculptures, paintings, even an ensenada(clay ‘day of the dead’ skeleton) dotted about the garden, it feels more like staying in the villa of an arty friend. Esther has turned a shell into a local landmark and is definitely a cool host who know hows to stay cool in a hot town.
The heavy door to El Ángel Azul opens into a cool, quiet room with a soaring ceiling and thick plaster walls that shut out the sights and sounds of modern-day La Paz.
Entering is like stepping back to the 1800s, when this historic building served as the courthouse for southern Baja California.
Careful restoration and enlargement retained the building's old-world ambience with rough white walls, wooden beams and other architectural details, creating a bed and breakfast that feels like the home of a friend — if your friend had a Mexican country hacienda in a previous century.
Nine rooms and an upstairs suite surround a lush courtyard garden, best contemplated from a comfortable lounge chair under the shade. There are no phones or televisions.
Our days began with a leisurely breakfast served on outdoor tables, weather permitting (and it usually does). The hotel cat provided company for an afternoon siesta, and in the evenings, the tiny bar served up excellent margaritas.
By Melissa Gaskill
SPECIAL TO THE AMERICAN-STATESMAN.com
The Angel Azul has earned a place in the recently published edition of “Best Places” for Baja California Sur – the editors of which visit places anonymously and they assess the establishment from a variety of perspectives. After having stayed here a number of days, I can understand why it has earned a place in this coveted guide.
Mi casa, su casa is the feeling you will get at El Angel Azul Bed & Breakfast. Full gourmet breakfasts are served in an exquisite garden and the friendly service is above and beyond expectations. Despite being in the middle of the city you are relaxed within the high white washed walls of El Angel Azul.
What a lovely stay with such a gracious hostess!I have so loved your artistic sensibility and what you have created here.We will be back!
Edna Cole and Bill Hilton from Los Osos,CA, USA
Visitors to La Paz will be delighted to find El Angel Azul, a quaint property nestled in the heart of the historical downtown area of the city. The eleven rooms are arranged around a beautiful and serene gardened courtyard, where guests can relax amidst flowers, fountains and palm trees.
El Angel Azul lies within two blocks of the Cathedral, yet once within its doors the residents feel miles away from any traffic noise and city bustle.
The restoration of this landmark monument (once the city courthouse) is the work of the Swiss owner Esther Ammann. Esther has created a haven for tourists, who can enjoy delicious breakfasts and lazy siestas within the ancient walls.
Having fallen in love with the area many years ago, Esther is also a great source of local information and can recommend the best restaurants and sightseeing opportunities. A helpful city map with tips and suggestions is provided in each room.
The guest rooms are fully air-conditioned and have pretty tiled bathrooms. They are decorated with local handicrafts and brightly colored Mexican blankets, and many feature high ceilings. The hotel's Suite is on the second floor and boasts a large terrace.
In order to maintain the tranquil atmosphere at El Angel Azul, only children aged twelve and over are accepted.
If you're looking for a beautiful, luxury but Mexican style hotel (bed and breakfast), this is "THE PLACE "! El Angel Azul is one of the most gorgeous place in La Paz.
A small historic B&B Hotel in the middle of La Paz. Find out why the guests call el angel azul the most beautiful hotel in La Paz.
A wonderful mix of "swiss precision" and " latin taste".
Family Corrado from Milano, Italy
By Away Travel Expert : Liza Prado
Beach Expert Tips & Helpful Hints
Like most homes of its era, the building doesn't look like much from the outside, but behind the thick walls and heavy door is a large courtyard garden with an open-air corridor and guest rooms along the sides.
Spacious and comfortable rooms are decorated with Mexican folk art and painted in cheerful—make that giddy—colors. All have air conditioning and there's free wireless Internet throughout. Breakfast may be included in your rate.
The bar and dining area are a good place to meet other travelers, while the garden has a number of nooks and crannies where guests can enjoy some alone time.
This charming posada occupies a historic colonial building several blocks inland from the malecon (waterfront promenade), not far from the Cathedral. What it lacks in luxury, El Angel Azul makes up for with charm and low-key ambiance.
The walls of this intimate and peaceful hotel echo with the history of La Paz and the Baja peninsula. El ángel azul is housed in a registered historical building that is over 140 years old and that once served as the court house for the South Baja capital.
The 10 cozy, modernized and fully equipped guestrooms surround a spacious courtyard that gives the impression of an old Mexican Hacienda. The rooms are all nonsmoking, air-conditioned and painted with nontoxic paint.
Old Hacienda style Bed & Breakfast in the heart of town with privacy and excellent service.
This is the nicest place to stay in La Paz. It is quiet, clean and there is an amazing garden to relax in. All the people who work at the B & B are very friendly and helpful. Esther is a wonderful host and has excellent recommendations for places to eat. After visiting for La Paz for over twenty years and staying in different hotels, El Angel Azul has been our only hotel for the past six years.
Mark Hilton from New York, USA
"El Angel Azul" is a charming Bed & Breakfast Inn housed in the historical State Courthouse building. This beautifully restored landmark is centrally located in the colonial quarter of La Paz. Its lush central court yard, known for its hummingbirds and local cacti, is a small sanctuary where you can experience a quiet and peaceful day in the middle of downtown, blocks from the Malecon, the old cathedral, shops and restaurants. All nine double rooms and the second floor suite, are hand decorated with pigments from Queretaro, and mosaics from Puebla. (Wireless works faithfully and free throughout the patio.) This comfortable and friendly B&B offers a very private and truly Mexican experience in one of the most unforgettable cities in the Baja peninsula.
El Angel Azul or The Blue Angel is a landmark house with rich 140-year old history in the center of La Paz. Nowadays El Angel Azul has been restored to offer superb bed and breakfast accommodation. You will be amazed by the lush green garden with various plants and the vivid ambiance of your room, featuring air conditioner and private bathroom. If you need a soothing or refreshing drink, you can have it in the B&B bar. For help getting around La Paz, you may turn to your hostess Esther - with time you will discover that she is very well informed and it is her lovely personality that has turned an old house into a paradise.
This is a fantastic place! I felt very welcome and became very attached to coming back to my room.Thanks very much to a lovely stay in La Paz. The Margaritas were exellent!
Elliot Roberts, London GB
Owner Esther Ammann converted La Paz's historic courthouse into a bed-and-breakfast that's a comfortable retreat in the center of the city. Rooms frame a central courtyard filled with palms and bougainvillea. Walls throughout are painted vivid yellow, coral, and blue and rooms are decorated with original art and Mexican textiles. The rooftop suite overlooks the city.
El Angel Azul is a fascinating place that recaptures the spirit and culture of old La Paz. Located in the heart of La Paz, the building was formerly the town’s courthouse. Completely renovated and redesigned as a B&B inn, it is an historic landmark.