San Miguel de Allende remains largely unknown to British travellers. Which is surprising, really. This Mexican city, in the Guanajuato region, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and designated Pueblo Magico; in 2019, it was even named American Capital of Culture. The whole city is buzzing, from its diverse arts community to its thriving food scene.
The Casa de Sierra Nevada, A Belmond Hotel is spread over six Spanish colonial mansions (casas), including a 17th-century fort and the 16th-century residence of the Archbishop of San Miguel. Located on the cobbled and sometimes noisy Calle Hospicio, it’s a short walk from the city’s main square with its neo-Gothic Parroquia cathedral and numerous mariachi bands, which perform there every night.
There are 37 suites and rooms at Casa de Sierra Nevada and each exudes historic character. Paintings by local artists stand alongside antique furniture and handmade linens. there are stucco walls, spacious tiled baths, high curved ceilings, and windows that overlook lush gardens, patios, or the beautiful city itself. The hotel’s public spaces feature tranquil courtyards, fountains, tropical foliage, period furniture, and traditional architectural details such as stone arches and hand-carved wooden doors. Sometimes it feels like stepping onto the set of a vintage telenovela.
The hotel’s Sazón Cooking School is housed in a beautiful 18th-century casa. Here you can study the bold flavors and rich history of regional Mexican cuisine; you can also learn to master classics like sizzling fajitas. If you’d rather have an expert chef feed you, reserve a table at Andanza, which serves exquisite Mexican dishes including tacos and guacamole with jicama or grasshoppers. Wash down your meal with the property’s signature Belmond Paloma (a luscious blend of tequila, lemon, and grapefruit juice) at the Blue Bar, either on the terrace or comfortably seated within its hand-painted antique walls.
San Miguel is known, especially among its largely American visitor base, for its arts and crafts; Frida Kahlo has hosted many salons here. Today, dozens of high-end galleries and workshops dot the historic center. La Casa de Sierra Nevada offers fascinating art tours through the city streets as well as a variety of hands-on workshops, many of which are led by the hotel’s resident artist. You can experiment yourself by capturing the spirit of the place in oil, watercolor or acrylic.
The Casa de Sierra Nevada, A Belmond Hotel makes an ideal base for exploring this historic city with its brilliant sunsets, kaleidoscopic markets and blooming jacaranda trees. And as the hotel’s ever-smiling staff says, “Our casas are your casas!”
Rates from £290 per night. Learn more at belmond.com