≡ Menu

230 Dollar a Month Hotel Room in Mexico

SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico- My family and I took a private room at the Casa Madero in San Cristobal de las Casa, Mexico which meets all of our criteria for a travel room to rent by the month. Read Digital Nomad Family Criteria for Hotel Room We pay $230 for a private room [...]

Support VBJ’s writing on this blog:

SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico- My family and I took a private room at the Casa Madero in San Cristobal de las Casa, Mexico which meets all of our criteria for a travel room to rent by the month.

Read Digital Nomad Family Criteria for Hotel Room

We pay $230 for a private room in a truly upper end hostel with a private bath, hot water, cable TV, WIFI, fully equipped kitchen, huge common areas, daily room cleaning, free drinking water, complementary soap, balcony, and it is in a location that could not be closer to the center of San Cristobal de las Casas — not even a half block from the central park.

I have every luxury that I could even think of wanting in a hotel for 100 Mexican pesos — 7.5 US dollars — a day.

The Casa Madero is a true oddity in my experience of world travel. I do not know what this place is. They call it is a hostel — they dohave a dormitory — but it is far fancier and upper class than any hostel that I have ever stepped foot into before. Kenny G music emits from the intercom, office space paintings cover the walls. This place is set up like an upper end business hotel, it has a lobster restaurant inside of it, a bourgeois looking bar, it is spotlessly clean, well kept, well provisioned, and probably should be way out of my class. But it is just about the same price to stay here than at the rat hippy hostels that are spread all over the city. In fact, I pay less for a private room for a month here than I was quoted at backpacker hostels elsewhere.

What is better is that there is a little girl around one and a half years old who lives here for Petra to play with. This place filled all of our criteria in full.

Casa Madero hostel in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico

Casa Madero hostel in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico

I have previously boasted that I was going to shoot high and pay low when looking for my travel rooms from now on. I am done with living in backpacker slime, but I will not pay any more money for luxury — I will just take it for the same price.  We did just this here in San Cristobal. I live in vagabond luxury, I pay just about the same as if I wished to have less in a hippy hostel. I have everything that I need and more, at a price that is more than covered by the proceeds from this website.

Hotel in San Cristobal

Hotels for people who live there

A good travel room is not only defined by the parameters of the room itself but also by the rest of the hotel that surrounds it. As the days go on, it means little to have a nice room in a hotel if there is no place else to be than inside of it. Even the best hotel rooms can seem like cages after a few days. When staying places longer term — for a month or two — I want a home, I want to be able to leave my room and go sit and work someplace else in the hotel, I want common rooms, tables, chairs, kitchens, dining rooms, TV rooms, big empty spaces with couches. My daughter wants this too, she likes to run, play, explore new places, she is far happier in a hotel with a big winding staircases to practice walking up and down, wide open tile floors to crawl on, chairs and couches to climb up onto.

In this case, as I travel with my family, inside space is a commodity that we are willing to search for. We want lots of indoor space for our baby to roam, for me to work, and for my family to be able to stretch out our arms and relax a little. When you live in hotels around the world, it is often aggravating to have your living quarters refined down to a singe room, when you live in hotels around the world with a wife and baby, a single room becomes gruesome. Indoor space, common rooms, tables, chairs, benches, places to be in the hotel outside of our room was one of the prime criteria for our search for a place to live in San Cristobal, the Casa Madero provides this for us.

Guest dinning room at Casa Madero

As I write this, I am one floor, a restaurant dining room, and a hall way away from my family. I can hide here, I could not hear my wife if she was screaming for me. Peace. I am in a moderately sized dining room next to the guest kitchen. I am happy.

A lack of living space, in my opinion, is one of the major factors why couples or families fail to get along when traveling. In travel, you put together a succession of surrogate homes, making these homes livable is key. I get along with my wife far better in a large hostel with lots of places to go than in a single room that quickly becomes a cage.


It is my impression that the trick of perpetual travel is to take all of the beneficial things from the sedentary life and apply them to wandering. I would be hard pressed to purchase a single room house for my family to live in, and I surely do not want to do the same when I have the choice of any place on an entire planet to live. We live on the road, we are not momentarily travailing and eating bitter as we move from one place to another, we don’t want to have to suck it up and deal with being uncomfortable. No, we live in travel. We want to live well.

In the south of Mexico, in just about any country on the planet, a traveling webmaster with a family can live well on $230 a month rent — or less. Renting rooms out by the month is not only the key to living within the income that I bring in from VagabondJourney.com, but it is also the key to living and traveling with a family that stays happy.

More photos of our San Cristobal de las Casas hub


View from the balcony

Another common room

Casa Madero restaurant dining room

Related articles: Apartment in Dominican Republic | Apartment in El Salvador | Digital nomad criteria for travel room


The only way I can continue my travels and publishing this blog is by generous contributions from readers. If you can, please subscribe for just $5 per month:


If you like what you just read, please sign up for our newsletter!
* indicates required
Filed under: Accommodation, Mexico, North America, Travel Economics

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3717 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

Support VBJ’s writing on this blog:

VBJ is currently in: New York City

5 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

  • craig | travelvice.com September 11, 2010, 3:11 pm

    kudos if you’re doing better than $230/month with AdSense!

    Link Reply
    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com September 11, 2010, 6:02 pm

      Thanks, I appreciate it. We also get a surprising amount of money from reader donations and subscriptions as well as pocket change from a few affiliate programs as well as some private advertising. We are beginning to put it together, though when we finally need to go on a full dedicated server a lot of our profit margin is going to be lost haha. It is difficult to get ahead in this business.

      Link Reply
  • roy September 12, 2010, 2:36 pm

    Hi Wade
    I’d like to know how you actually found the place. Was it by word of mouth or did you walk around asking, or how? How long did it take? Grateful for this info for future travels. Thanks!

    Link Reply
    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com September 12, 2010, 2:51 pm

      I just published a post about this at How to rent rooms by the month.

      Link Reply
      • roy September 12, 2010, 4:46 pm

        Perfect. Thank you!

        Link Reply