San Miguel de Allende -- the other Mexico


While the seaside resorts of Mexico present many fabulous vacation options, I ventured into the hills above Mexico City (3 hour drive away), into the colonial capital of this mountainous area, San Miguel de Allende. San Miguel de Allende has all the charm of walking in a European town with its cobbled, narrow streets, old churches opening onto green plazas, and historic museums.

From LA, it’s a three-hour flight to Leon.  My hotel sent a car for the 1 ½ hour ride to San Miguel. Being only 165 miles from Mexico City, San Miguel played a big role in Mexican independence. The town is walkable and intimate, making it easy to navigate. The architecture is distinctly Spanish, with its large wooden entry doors that open into courtyards. Staying here I felt like I was a guest in someone’s home.

My hotel, Casa de Sierra Nevada, was a collection of four haciendas on the same street. I had a suite with a king bed and a separate sitting room. The bathroom was lit by a skylight.  The suites here are spacious. The adjoining courtyard is shared by those staying at any one of the haciendas, and was a little outdoor corner of peacefulness.  Families with kids seem to be accommodated at one of the haciendas, so that those without enjoying a romantic getaway can have more quiet. And yes, I recommend the resort.

I enjoyed dinner as I watched the sunset’s unique color fill my courtyard. Like many mountainous regions, the colors are enchanting as the sun reflects off walls or on the greenery. The color here makes San Miguel an artistic mecca. The restaurant and bar was in the courtyard of the main hacienda. The menu featured local cuisine. 

The pool, a place to refresh, was located in an adjoining hacienda, surrounded by other suites, some with rooftop views of town.  There is plenty to do with the museums, artistic opportunities, a spa and cooking school, a wide array of restaurants, and a lovely climate at 6,200’.  

I enjoyed a walking tour of the town organized by the hotel, visiting the art school, library, churches and a convent, the cooking school. While San Miguel attracts many visitors, the shopping is unique, the pricing is posted, and the US dollar is strong! It is easy to get into the rhythm of San Miguel with its visitors from all over Mexico as well as the world.

Rosewood has opened a luxury property here, too, slightly on the edge of town. While lovely, it had a completely different vibe going on: much busier, with large multiple pools, kids program, huge rooftop bar.

Contact me to fill you in on this lovely mountain retreat in Mexico’s highlands. The Casa de Sierra Nevada is one of our preferred hotels & resorts, so that guests we book enjoy complimentary [large] breakfast and a spa credit!

Roxanne Morse