At the end of a fern-lined track off the main road to San Sebastian del Oeste, Hacienda Jalisco has quiet grounds and the noble, dignified air of Mexico's post-colonial rural constructions. Now a guesthouse, the hacienda was built in the mid-19th century to guard gold and silver before it was shipped to Spain.

Two-foot-thick adobe walls make interiors cool during the summer and help retain heat in the winter. Exterior walls are white-washed, the red tile roofs over the years have attained a beautiful patina. Massive wooden shutters and doors and high ceilings maintain an air of prestige and dignity. Wide, arcaded verandahs are typical of the era and facilitate indoor/outdoor living; wraparound balconies provide excellent views of the gardens and surrounding pine-oak forest.

The individual bedrooms have raised corner fireplaces, exposed ceiling beams, and wide plank floors. They contain antique furnishings which are simple and functional. There is no electricity; guest rooms and shared spaces are lit by candles and hurricane lamps.

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