In the last few months, a number of your friends in the Cedar Canyon Community have asked whether I would be holding art workshops and/or retreats here in Chapala. The answer is yes, once I have a chance to get settled. For now, I want to tell you about the the QQ Inn, which is situated in the same compound as our new home. It’s the logical place to stay if you are coming for a workshop – and the best place to stay in Chapala in my not-so-humble opinion!
Jack and I have been coming to Chapala for 7 or 8 years. (I really don’t remember which year was our first visit.) On our very first visit, my friend Victoria recommended that we stay at the QQ, and we literally fell in love with the place.
For the record, QQ stands for Quinta Quetzalcoatl, Inn of the Plumed Serpent. Author D.H. Lawrence lived here for a time while he wrote at least one of his books, and a number of the suites are named after his books.
When you walk in from the street, you’ll find yourself entering an oasis in the middle of town. It may be dusty and dry outside, but the QQ gardens are always green and welcoming.
There is a lovely swimming pool in front of the hotel – but stick your toes in before jumping in. It feels great on a really hot day, but it’s not a heated pool.
Rob Cracknell and his lovely wife Lorri are the owners of the QQ Inn. Originally from Australia, they purchased the hotel about 13 years ago after spending a couple of years in Guadalajara. Rob makes a bountiful breakfast for those who add that as a part of their reservation – then he heads out to play tennis. (A pretty tough life, if you ask me!)
The gardens are packed with roses, hibiscus, and countless other plants, flowers and trees. Most are decorative, but you’ll find a banana tree and a few avocado trees mixed in.
There is a large palapa – a thatched roof shelter – on the grounds that is a perfect place to get out of the sun or to gather for afternoon libations. Workshop space? I’ll have to see.
The Inn has seven suites created from different rooms in the original hacienda. Four are at ground level and three are upstairs. Like most of the old buildings and gardens in Mexico, the QQ grounds and suites are not particularly handicap accessible. A wheelchair would be a definite challenge, and I would encourage anyone with mobility issues to book a ground level suite.
If you want to spoil yourself rotten, I suggest that you consider the DH Lawrence Library suite or the newest addition, the Garden suite. The Garden suite is my personal favorite, but all of the suites have a distinct personality.
The QQ Inn is a short block from the Malecon. It’s perfect for morning or evening strolls, people watching, and sports a number of restaurants. The view from the end of the pier is fantastic.
I love having dinner at the Cozumel seafood restaurant at one end of the malecon. It’s the perfect place to watch the sun go down – and the bottomless margaritas are a great match for the friendly waiters and good food.
QQ Inn, future home of Cedar Canyon Workshops
Whether you come to Chapala for a Cedar Canyon Workshop or a visit on your own, I encourage you to check out the QQ Inn. The prices are very reasonable by US standards, the suites are unique, and the grounds are nothing short of magnificent. Plus, the Inn is so centrally located that you can skip the car and explore with your own two feet!
For complete information about the hotel and the suites, visit the QQ website at www.chapalabandb.com. You can make reservations through the website, but I have always contacted Rob directly using the form on the Contact page.
As for workshops, you’ll have to stay tuned for further information. In the meantime, you can add your name to a special Cedar Canyon Workshops mailing list by clicking the button below.
Speaking of workshops, what would be tempting enough to bring YOU to Chapala? A Paintstik Intensive 3-5 day workshop? A Silhouette for Fabric Art workshop? Workshops plus a couple of outings for shopping and inspiration? Leave your wish list below. I’ll use your comments as a starting point for planning the workshops.