There is a saying in Mexico that you never know what hides behind the walls. The blank faces of the high walls sur­rounding the elegant hotel-restaurant Las Mañanitas in Cuernavaca give no hint of the oasis on the other side, like this interior patio. With only fifteen rooms/suites, Las Mañanitas is an intimate, people-sized place. Our favorite experi­ence here is the first meal of the day, served with the special care in keeping with the hotel’s name, which means “little mornings.” You can take breakfast by the pond with the flamingos or in the individual gardens nestled into one of the five patio suites. Before dinner, enjoy a cocktail in the salon, with its massive wooden armchairs and sofas. For evening meals a semi-outdoor din­ing room looks out over the large tropi­cal garden where the hotel’s menagerie of cockatoos, peacocks, monkeys, and other unlikely pets gather. With its hand­made Mexican tiles and furniture throughout and its gracious service, Las Mañanitas is the next best thing to visit­ing a hacienda of prerevolutionary Mexi­co. Once you step inside its walls, you may never come out into the world again.