Overview: Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada
In 2016 San Miguel de Allende came third in Travel & Leisure’s annual World’s Best City awards. It’s easy to see why: from its pink neo-gothic cathedral of La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel unfurl steep cobbled streets lined with stucco houses in vibrant shades of ochre, mustard and vermillion, garlanded with bougainvillea. A jumble of eclectic shops, gourmet restaurants, pavement cafés and organic delis open onto pretty squares lined with jacaranda trees and bathed in a luminous mountain light.
Set in Mexico’s central highlands, 265 km northeast of Mexico City, San Miguel was founded in 1542 by Fray Juan de San Miguel, a Spanish Franciscan monk. In 1810, thanks largely to the valiant efforts of local hero and Spanish army captain Ignacio de Allende y Unzaga, San Miguel declared independence from Spain and in 1826 the town was elevated to city status with Allende’s name coupled to its own.
Since then, the colourful colonial city has been ‘discovered’ many times: by artists and writers in the early 20th century; by WW2 veterans taking advantage of the GI bill to enroll in local art schools; by the beat generation in the early Sixties, by hippies in the late Sixties, and more recently by Texas oil billionaires, second-home owners and culture-loving holidaymakers. The result is a kind of vibrant, well-heeled Bohemia; an authentic slice of Mexico, certainly, but one without the neon signs, the fast food restaurants or, crucially, the hassle. Even the city-centre Starbucks is beautiful, set in a historic building.
In 2008, the city’s historic centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site and at its heart, steeped in more than 400 years of history, is Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada. Download Press Kit
The hotel is made up of six historic casonas, or residences. The casonas are all individually decorated in styles that reflect the hotel’s historic location and feature shady colonnaded courtyards, filled with fragrant bougainvillea and jasmine, and lit by lanterns as night falls. Hummingbirds hover above the flowering shrubs, while fountains sparkle under brilliant blue skies. It’s a luxurious sanctuary from the world, certainly, but not a sanctuary from San Miguel itself: the vibrant city is just as present inside the hotel as outside, allowing guests to feel a deep connection with their surroundings, whether they’re watching the sunset from their terrace or lying by the pool.
Divided between the casonas are the hotel’s 37 rooms and suites. Each is unique, filled with Mexican art, antiques and exquisite local fabrics, while traditional features include carved stone fireplaces and wood-beamed ceilings. The beds are dressed with fine linens and soft pillows; traditional Mexican Talavera tiles in the bathrooms lend an air of rustic charm. Many of the suites have balconies which not only provide great views of the city and the casa courtyards, but are fantastic vantage points from which to watch the spectacular sunrises and sunsets.
The standout suite is, without doubt, the Presidential Suite, a sympathetic marriage of contemporary comfort and colonial charm. Located in Casa Palma, a former 18th-century mansion, it features two furnished terraces, one of which offers unparalleled views of the city, and a private plunge pool. Download Factsheet