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