The story goes back to May 15th, 1888, when the railroad started working in the city of Guadalajara. The station used to open its doors just behind the temple of San Francisco; the nineteenth-century inns were “homes” for carriers and visitors; these inns began to disappear to become into buildings more synchronized with the golden era of Porfirio Diaz.
Some wealthy families transformed their houses to receive visitors (first guest houses, then hotels). So is the case of this construction. It was originally the “House Verea”, owned by Mr. Luis Verea. At first, it was a 2 floor-house, which garden used to be open and had a view the temple of San Francisco. At the end of the Nineteenth century, the Morales´ Sisters (they were original from San Luis Potosi) bought it and opened the “Assistance house of the Morales´ sisters”; later on they would leave this house to his nephew, Luis Morales who decided to extend it to build a luxury hotel: The Hotel Morales.
In 1930 he began to remodel the house: building two floors, with the help of Mr. Enrique Gonzalez Madrid and covered it with volcanic rock façade to give it a neocolonial look. Mr. Luis married Ana Maria Orendain Cuervo and had one daughter, Carmelita. Due Mr. Morales’s passion for “toros”, the hotel opened its doors to all people connected with the bullfighting world. At that time the bullring “El Progreso” stood proudly in front of the Cabanas Hospice, so when the show was over, the appreciative audience brought on litters the bullfighter from the gates of the plaza to the doors of Morales. In the hotel bar, the people gathered in together to have a party that lasted until dawn; this magical and festive atmosphere got many personalities to stay at the hotel, from writers to politicians, from singers to the major figures of the “Golden Era” of the Mexican films, as Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete ad of course our biggest diva: Maria Felix.
Don Luis died in 1964 and his wife Anita took care of the hotel, but with the demolition of the bullring and the deterioration of the Guadalajara’s downtown in 1974, she sold the property to some investors, whom left the building abandoned until better times. In 2004 (30 years of silence and neglect) a group of visionary Spanish bought the building and its annex the Virreinal with the intention to redeem the property.
After two years of remodeling they managed to regain its architectural gem and heritage of the city for pleasure and enjoyment of tapatios and tourist. Nowadays, Hotel Morales is without any doubt, the best hotel in the historic center of Guadalajara.