Getting back with myself at Tepoztlán

Experience lived by: Elsie Méndez
Text by: Carlos Dragonné

Telling you about Tepoztlán without going back to my roots would be impossible, for this place has meant a lot in my life. In the first place, this destination has been named by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, which made it part of a personal and professional project as I traveled around the world with a photographic gallery in which promoted these national destinations and that, as years passed by, became one of the most satisfying moments I’ve experienced. Then, this place has this spirit and taste that fills me up and seduces me so much each time I visit one of the so called Magical Towns of Mexico. This place’s energy lived and breathed in its location, weather, people and every corner has something unique in here and, though indescribable, I know I’ll be able to get it through you at the end of this chronicle of my return to Tepoztlán.

The “Hostal de la Luz” entrance

In the previous occasions I was here, I was lucky enough to attend an invitation from a friend that owns a dream house that everyone of us have dreamt about having if opportunity arises and we have the chance of making Tepoztlán into something more than a weekend visiting place. Enjoying the amazing landscape of the Tepozteco Mountain from the garden, admiring the architecture and the impeccable taste in decoration and receiving the personal attention from his host that any guest from any luxury hotel in the world would envy – with amenities in the guest room from body Works or, if you get lucky enough, even from Bvlgari – is an amazing experience I’ve experienced fully only twice in my life.

Knowing this, you’ll understand when I tell you that it has been a long time since the last time Tepoztlan welcomed me as another tourist waling by its streets, looking, touching, breathing the scents, listening to the voices and beating of this town with the pleasure and surprise that it’s not relived as it goes, but reborn as a whole new experience and from which you don’t want to miss any detail.

And even when a place like this I rather enjoy it with as many people as possible so I can fully appreciate the magnificence of the main plaza, the history behind the town’s church, the market and the very streets, it is important to tell you that I hadn’t come by myself for considering Tepoztlán a perfect place to share with family or friends. I found out that I was wrong. The magic from Tepoztlán must be embraced to be alone and getting back in touch with one self. This is the reason behind the hotels, hostals and villas boom with the main objective of spiritual connection for their guests and that, between massages, Yoga, the extraordinary Temazcal bath and other focused activities, tend to search relaxation and cleansing of body and mind from everything we burden unnecessarily ourselves with day by day.

The estate of Morelos – where Tepoztlán is located – has been part of my life since the day I was born. The memories of those visits to my Aunt Pancha in Cuautla – a woman who fed us as if, back into the city, it would be months for the next time we had the chance to eat something –, is burned into my heart as a combination of funny moments amongst pools, laughter, experiences and, above all, a profound and immeasurable love from everyone in the family. Years later we would go to Oaxtepec instead and, even when time took us by different roads – some of my uncles or cousins end up owning major national firms and, maybe, they even already forgot those childhood days – those typical family trips in which, as its commonly said in México, we packed even the parrot, are memories that I save as some of the most beautiful ones so I can constantly search for them down in memory lane everytime a nostalgia conquering smile is needed.

Relaxation is the keyword in this venue

Life would drive me back to Morelos years later, when the father of my sons and daughter owning a house in Cuernavaca – the state capital –, allowed my children to live the same adventure of enjoying weekend after weekend of sun, water, great food and love between friends and family. That famous dried meat from Yecapixtla, the irresistible Morelos style beans, the corn dough for gorditas, sopes, quesadillas and tortillas have been, along with wild mushrooms, mole and pipian and the must have Pozole, part of the legacies and feelings that has been driving my family’s path for, at least, three generations.

Now, I had a new excuse for visiting Morelos and, more specific, Tepoztlán. I was invited to know Hostal de la Luz, a venue opened in 2001 for alternative tourism as its main market and, far isolated from town, located at the beautiful Amatlán zone, has an amazing view surrounded by the hills of the place. The 23 rooms are true spaces created for rest and relax, designed under Feng Shui standards and, as I entered my room filled with incense fragrance and the carefully selected soft music playing in the background, it’s clear that my concept of “peace haven” was about to change drastically.

The restaurant of this place, Shambhala is, itself, a unique experience. The door comes from the ancient Hindu temple of Pashaguati and the architectural style allows you to enjoy a 180 degrees view of the stillness and silence of the mountains as a first element in what will be a dinner created by local cooks that, obviously, is nutritional and detox inspired through flavors and ingredients from the region.

The place has an amazing landscape for you to enjoy

The Alternative Tourism has grow in the last few years, so in here you can find a series of activities that will get you into it that you won’t be able to find easily in other places. The Spa of Hostal de la Luz offers, among other thins, Temazcal baths, a prehispanic steam bath with aromatic herbs but preceded of a ceremony in which an authentic local Shaman will help us to connect with this millenary technique for purifying not just our body, but our minds too. Also, here you will find Yoga, meditation sessions and Chi-Kung classes, this being a very antique Chinese art through which it’s possible to balance the energy of our bodies. Another of this venue’s activities that is impossible ot miss is the walk through the Labyrinths of Hostal de la Luz where, depending of the inner work you want to do, you have two options to chose from.

Tepoztlán surprised me and seduced me once again. Hostal de la Luz, of course, played an important role at it. In the comforting silence of my room terrace, I got into touch with myself and those places and images in my mind that can put a smile in my face almost immediately. There, watching an amazing sunrise happening between the mountains on the day I was going back to the city, I remembered the path that brought me back to this place and, again, life showed me that nothing is casual. My return to Tepoztlán has legacy written al over it, paths from which I never go too far and that, everytime that is necessary – and occasionally without being really conscious about it – I get back to my origins and roots because of them. I get back to those long lost voices from my past that guided me in my childhood and that, today, with those memories of family reunions gathered around scents, flavors, moments and an endless list of anecdotes and stories lived not only by me, but relived and carried on by my children, and now, I can share those memories with these streets and places that welcomed me today as a woman blessed with happiness… as blessed with happiness as the little child these streets and places once knew.

For Reservations:

Flavors of Mexican Cuisine

Int’ (521) 5555028067

Nac (044) 5555028067

emendez@flavorsofmexicancuisine.com

About Los Sabores de Mexico

Company Overview: At Flavors of Mexican Cuisine, we believe that the best way to experiment Mexico is through its dishes, its people, and its history and live from the places of origin. We offer culinary advice for events, people or enterprises, as well as menu consulting and public relationships for the culinary industry. We also are online media with our platforms where experts all around the globe collaborate with us with their point of views, articles and editorials about the whole experience of the culinary world.. Mission: As truly passionate people as we are of our country and its gastronomy, we want to share with the entire world the unforgettable experience on what Mexico becomes through experimenting the culture and the flavors. Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/flavorsofmexicancuisine
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