Nestled a four hour drive north-west of Mexico City, the UNESCO World Heritage Site city of San Miguel de Allende showcases the majesty of Mexico’s inland. Voted the Best Small City in the World for 2020 by Condé
Nast Traveller magazine, this highland village is a hub for expat artists and local food talents.
The city’s charm shines through its famed Spanish Colonial architecture, multicoloured porticos and cobbled streets, and with its non-existent billboards and lack of glaring city streetlights, it provides a reprieve from typical hurried metropolis life. From gallery viewings to pop-up shopping, wine tasting, epicurean experiences and plush pads, this city is an inimitable adventure waiting to happen.
If you’re on a quest for the ultimate in indulgence, then Casa Adela is the place to stay. This eight-acre natural estate is perched on a hill overlooking the mountain valley of San Miguel de Allende, and flaunts the free-spirted nature of the artists who originally created it.
Presenting a wholly transformative escape to the Sierra Nevada mountains to the north, the property is home to an array of spacious suites, a mineral-rich outdoor pool fed by a natural hot spring, a rooftop terrace, citrus orchard, a Guanajuatean kitchen and a sublime spa. From curated art-studio tours to hot-air balloon flights, horseback rides through the canyons and spa treatments on the terrace, Casa Adela tailors each and every experience for its guests so they can enjoy everything the region has to offer.
The property’s aesthetic embodies the ultimate rustic countryside leisure. The spaces are simple yet artfully designed, and offer guests a moment to pause and reflect. In the rooms, luxury comes in the form of Belgian linens, floor-to-ceiling windows and endless scenic views. Don’t miss out on executive chef Vanessa Nava’s contemporary interpretation of Mexican cuisine, which overflows with the flavours of the fruits, herbs and cactuses picked from the hacienda’s private gardens.
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende
An opulent, Colonial-style hotel located in the historical city centre, Rosewood San Miguel de Allende boasts all the luxuries associated with the Rosewood brand, underpinned by the area’s definitive charisma. Lauded as a top hotel in Mexico on multiple occasions, the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende offers a quiet and refined respite that won’t disappoint.
The five-acre property has 67 rooms and suites, each of which is outfitted with sumptuous amenities including a fireplace and balcony or private outdoor terrace. For those wanting more privacy, there are also a selection of beautiful and authentic hacienda-style Rosewood Residences. The townhouses range from two to five bedrooms and come complete with a private garage, lifts, fully equipped kitchen and furnished garden patios. Combined with five- star Rosewood service, the residences offer the highest levels of comfort and solitude.
Overlooking the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel parish church, the resort’s perfectly manicured gardens and grand lawn are idyllic settings for a margarita at sunset. For those looking for an experience-led getaway, Rosewood offers a host of exciting customisable activities, including cooking classes in the outdoor kitchen and an art concierge that arranges tours and painting classes in the city. The resort also features Sense, A Rosewood Spa, beautiful indoor and outdoor restaurants and a rooftop lounge with remarkable views of the vivid cityscape.
Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada
Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada is one of the city’s most exclusive and exquisite heritage hotels. Comprised of a cluster of traditional mansions encircled by blooming flowerpots and trickling water fountains, and with 37 rooms and suites, this property is an opulent oasis in the Mexican heartland.
At its centre lies an azure pool, fringed by flourishing foliage and surrounded by the beautiful stone arches and arcades of the resort’s enchanting 17th- and 18th-century buildings. History is etched into every stucco wall, tiled bath and curved ceiling of the property, which is perfectly balanced with contemporary luxuries.
There are also two restaurants and two bars within the hotel, as well as a renowned cooking school, Sazón. Here, guests can learn the secrets of Mexico’s cuisine and harness the bold flavours, traditional techniques and contemporary twists that make the country’s dishes so delectable. For a pampering treat, visit the hotel’s Laja Spa, which specialises in indulgent treatments inspired by the Laja River.
EAT & DRINK HERE
Serving a delightful array of Mediterranean cuisine, Casa Nostra has become one of the city’s top restaurants. Run by chef-owner Marco Massarotti, the restaurant’s philosophy is to highlight the beauty of the culinary arts through top- class gourmet cuisine accompanied by a fantastic selection of wines and cocktails.
The restaurant boasts a small indoor dining room and two outdoor terraces. The top terrace provides a breathtaking vantage point from which to enjoy stunning sunsets over the mountains and views of San Miguel’s famed churches.
The menu features an array of tapas, salads and pasta creations, as well as various meat-centred dishes including rib- eye steak from a local cattle ranch and juicy lamb chops from the state of Sonora. Globally inspired dishes come in the form of flammenkuechen with raclette cheese and ‘black and gold’ pasta with thyme butter and Italian black summer truffles.
A discreet entrance gives way to Tostévere, the city’s favourite tostada haunt. Using time-honoured, traditional Mexican cooking techniques and blending them with innovative taste combinations, the restaurant serves up in impressive array of delicious dishes perfectly catering for travellers’ varied palates. The menu spotlights seafood- based tacos made with fish sourced from both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
With inspiration coming from anywhere and everywhere, the menu is fresh, flavourful and changes regularly. Crowd favourites include the soups, beef short rib flatbread, grilled octopus tostada, softshell crab wraps, shrimp quesadilla and pistachio ice cream. The ambiance is equally as important at Tostévere, which aims to create a space where diners can feel at ease while savouring their high-quality dishes.
If you’re after a fun night out, then head to Quince, one of the city’s hottest venues. A globally revered rooftop, top- class drinks and a refined food menu make this restaurant a must-visit when in the city.
Seafood plays a big role on the internationally inspired menu, with tasty crowd-pleasers such as ceviche, sushi and seared tuna on offer. The restaurant’s rooftop setting is one of its biggest draws, and it’s previously been named the top Rooftop Destination in the World by the Robb Report. The place comes to life after sunset: with a resident DJ and an impressive drinks menu, there is much fun to be had here.
With views overlooking the Parroquia church, it’s an idyllic venue from which to soak up the city’s beauty. It’s also the only restaurant in San Miguel de Allende to serve all- day Sunday brunch, and is home to Boulangerie Bleu, an in-house French bakery that serves up delicious pastries.
Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel
San Miguel de Allende’s most famous sight is its parish church, the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel. Characterised by its soaring pink-hued towers that are visible from almost anywhere in the city, this beautiful building has an intriguing history. Designed by bricklayer and self-taught architect Zeferino Gutiérrez in the late 19th century, the neo-Gothic pinnacles of its façade are reimaginations of those seen on postcards and lithographs of European churches. The rest of the traditional Mexican- style structure dates back to the 17th century.
In front of the church complex is the Plaza Allende, which is home to a striking landscaped garden. Designed in a French style, it has wrought-iron benches and is planted with a host of Indian laurel trees. A tranquil place to sit and relax, the Jardín Allende also often hosts bands on weekends.
Fabrica La Aurora
The Fabrica La Aurora is a former textile factory turned vibrant arts space that’s home to galleries, boutiques and cafes. From fine art to antiques, photography, textiles, pottery, paintings and sculptures, this fascinating venue is a haven for art-lovers. Spend the day here shopping and admiring the artworks, and pop by one of the cafés for a tasty snack.
With the perfect combination of hot days and cool nights, Mexico’s climate produces world-class wines. If you’re looking to spend a day out in the countryside, sampling some native wine and enjoying rustic fare, then visit one of San Miguel de Allende’s handful of wine farms, such as Viñedo Dos Búhos.
Recognised as one of the best wineries in Mexico, Viñedo Dos Búhos is an organic, family run winery that produces artisanal wines at its vineyards. With its unique location in the Mexican Altiplano region and with views of the mountains, the winery makes beautiful wines that reflect the region’s distinctive terroir using a winemaking philosophy that values quality.