Hotel Review: Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, a rich blend of old and new

March 2, 2014
Lower level of the hotel that houses a museum

There is no setting in the city more picturesque than the rooftop Luna Bar at Rosewood San Miguel de Allende. The dazzling sunlight, which for more than a century has attracted artists to this colonial city in central Mexico, transforms the muted colors of the cityscape minute by minute.

VIew of San Miguel de Allende from the rooftop Luna Bar

The magnificent view of San Miguel de Allende from the rooftop Luna Bar

After a busy day of meandering through streets and alleys of 
the historic district, it is 4:00PM and it seems like we have
 opened the bar. We sip on margaritas with a few locals and hotel guests, and decide that the tasty plates of tapas we have ordered will have to wait—at least until after dusk. Transfixed by the views, we have no choice but to relax and gaze. A young couple asks us to snap their photo as they pose at the rooftop’s edge that offers picture postcard views.

The Gothic-style Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, the tallest building in the city, dominates the panorama. Lavender jacaranda trees accent its pink limestone façade. The same vibrant blossoms are interspersed between the old buildings with paled orange and ochre exteriors that line the maze of twisted, cobblestone streets.

Jacaranda trees starting to bloom

Jacaranda trees starting to bloom 

Musicians and flamenco dancers entertain at the Luna bar

Musicians and flamenco dancers entertain at the Luna Bar


Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the town of San Miguel de Allende is steeped in history, tradition, and culture. Most guest lodgings in the town of about 70,000 persons are a mix of small bed and breakfasts, rental properties, and boutique hotels. That’s why the opening of a new luxury resort in 2011 must have raised quite a few eyebrows.

But the developers of Rosewood San Miguel de Allende were careful to create a property that would seamlessly fit in, respecting the history and culture of its setting. Built on open land that once housed the gardens of the wealthy and powerful Canal family, the three adjoining stucco structures resemble an old-style hacienda with a fountain at their center. Pink stones from the local riverbeds were used for the cobblestone driveways.

Elegant entranceway to the courtyard

Elegant entranceway to the courtyard

The courtyard

The courtyard

Lower level of the hotel that houses a museum

Lower level of the hotel that houses a museum

Refined Luxury

The 67 oversized rooms and suites at the three-story Rosewood San Miguel de Allende are among the most spacious hotel accommodations in the city. We stayed in Room 227.

Sleeping area of our room

Sleeping area in our room

View from our room

The view

The room’s large floor-to-ceiling glass doors open to a private terrace that overlooks a long, trough-like fountain lined with beds of fragrant lavender. A bit further in the distance are two gracious pools, each surrounded by wide decks, palm trees, and beautiful plantings.

The king-bedded room with hardwood floors is tastefully furnished with colonial-style furniture crafted of rich mahogany woods. There is a desk, a comfortable living area with leather seating, and a gas fireplace for chilly evenings. Plush bedding and scented candles lit along the fireplace mantle and bathtub ledge cast a romantic ambiance at night. With double sinks, a full bath, and a separate stall shower, the large bathroom is functional as well as elegant.


Executive Chef Victor Palma (who previously cooked at Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort in Los Cabos) oversees the resort’s three restaurants. His eclectic menu includes many authentic Mexican dishes, using fresh local products, all served with a sophisticated, contemporary flair. We enjoyed sampling his cooking poolside, in-room, and on our balcony, always beautifully presented on boldly colored Mexican dinnerware.

1826, the restaurant

1826, the restaurant

Breakfast on our terrace

Breakfast on our balcony

The resort’s signature restaurant, 1826, commemorates the year the town adopted its name from revolutionary war hero Ignacio de Allende. The beautiful dining room (which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner) has an open kitchen, vaulted ceiling, and large arched French doorways. There and throughout the property are museum-quality installations of art pieces from prominent Mexican painters and sculptors, like Jorge Marin.

One of the sculptures in the courtyard

One of the sculptures in the courtyard

The warm and relaxing wood trimmed tequila bar across the way has a double-sided stone fireplace so guests can enjoy beer or cocktails inside, or have their drinks al fresco beside citrus trees in the courtyard.

Service and Amenities

The hotel offers all the amenities and warm, attentive personal service one might expect from a five-star luxury resort branded by Rosewood. When we sat beside the pool after a long day of sightseeing, a manager named Cynthia came over to make sure we felt comfortable and suggested we sit in one of the shaded cabanas. In the dining room, Cesar was truly concerned that we enjoyed our meal. In just a few days, everyone knew our name.

Cabanas at the pool

Cabanas at the pool

Tuna ceviche at the pool

Ceviche at the pool

In addition to the full fitness center located on the top floor of the resort, the Sense spa offers an extensive menu of indulgent treatments, massages, and skin care services, including age-appropriate spa services for kids. The beautifully landscaped grounds, lined with indigenous trees, plants and herbs, make for lovely walks outdoors.

One of the walking paths

One of the walking paths

Stairway leading to the resort's outdoor theater

Stairway leading to the resort’s outdoor theater

For families with children or grandchildren, Rose Buds, the designated on-property kids’ club located next to the family pool, offers classes from painting to pottery to dance and Mexican history so young people, too, can soak up their share of Mexican culture.


Although private, the sprawling 13-acre property is only steps away from Benito Juarez Park where, much like New York’s Central Park, there is a stream of neighborhood activity: walkers, joggers, basketball players, and young parents with strollers.

One of the nicest things about San Miguel de Allende is that it is an eminently walkable city. While the resort is nestled in its own relaxing corner, it is only a few blocks away from Le Jardin, the principal square in the historic center of the town, and many museums, galleries, markets, cafes, shops and trendy restaurants.

Downtown San Miguel de Allende

Downtown San Miguel de Allende

It isn’t surprising that, in November 2012, Rosewood San Miguel de Allende was named the best hotel in Mexico in Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards. Sitting at the Luna Bar, you can’t help but feel that you have ascended. You are truly immersed in the culture and customs of a bustling, historic city while staying in a one-of-a-kind setting that offers every luxury, comfort and convenience.


Rosewood San Miguel de Allende

Nemesio Diez 11, Colonia Centro, San Miguel de Allende, GTO 37700 Mexico

Reservations and information: 1-888-ROSEWOOD

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende is a one-hour drive from Leon International Airport.

Disclosure: Our stay at Rosewood San Miguel de Allende was hosted by the property but any opinions expressed in this post are our own.

This post is part of a linkup on Noel Morata’s Travel Photo Mondays.

Also on More Time To Travel:

10 Reasons Why People Fall in Love with San Miguel de Allende

  • Reply
    Marilyn Jones
    March 2, 2014 at 9:20 am

    You always do such a fantastic job of reviewing hotels. This one is simply stunning! The photos are breathtaking!

    • Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      March 2, 2014 at 9:22 am

      Thanks, Marilyn. I love visiting new hotels (and returning to my favorites). They are one of my favorite things to write about!

  • Reply
    March 2, 2014 at 11:27 am

    This sounds absolutely fabulous. I live vicariously through you 🙂

  • Reply
    Suzanne Fluhr
    March 2, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    This is a great “you are there” hotel review. We lived in San Miguel for a year when I was nine (i.e. a looong time ago). However, I think I remember Benito Juarez park as being one that had public stone wash basins and scrub boards with running water where women would gather to wash clothes. Back in those days, it was not an uncommon sight to see them washing clothes on rocks in rivers, so the park was a step up.

    • Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      March 2, 2014 at 7:45 pm

      As you might suspect, the character of the park has changed but the city remains as wonderful as ever! How lucky you were to spend some time living there.

  • Reply
    Patti Morrow
    March 3, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    I absolutely love walking around Mexico’s colonial cities. I haven’t been to San Miguel de Allende yet, but it’s on my bucket list for this year or next. The photos are very enticing.

  • Reply
    Doreen Pendgracs
    March 3, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Like Patti, I love Mexico’s colonial cities, but haven’t yet made it to San Miguel de Allende. Your post has made me want to go even more. And I’ve heard there’s some pretty good chocolate in the area …

    • Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      March 3, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      We went to a hot chocolate shop in San Miguel de Allende that you would love, Doreen!

  • Reply
    Nancy Thompson
    March 3, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    I adore San Miguel. I’ve been there a few times, the last was a six week stay and working vacation. We were there over Christmas. If you love a parade, San Miguel is the place to stay. Actually, anywhere in Mexico. It’s a wonderful country with warm, friendly, hardworking people who are quite welcoming to gringos. This hotel is gorgeous! Lucky you.

  • Reply
    Jackie Smith
    March 3, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Another wonderful look at Mexico, Irene! You’ve captured its spirit in your photos and prompted desires to return there!!

    • Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      March 3, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      I’ll look forward to reading about your travels in Mexico, Jackie~

  • Reply
    March 3, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Oh yes, I’m pretty sure I could be quite happy staying at this lovely resort and visiting San Miquel!

  • Reply
    Donna Hull
    March 3, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    I haven’t been to San Miguel but it’s certainly on my list after reading your post. And a hotel where everyone knows your name is a special treat. Putting the Rosewood on my list.

  • Reply
    March 4, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Both the town and the property are jaw dropping stunning. I could do with a breakfast like that every morning.

  • Reply
    Neva @ Retire for the Fun of it
    March 4, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    All I can say is wow! The lavender jacaranda trees against the colorful buildings just blew me away. Loved how you described the area.

    • Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      March 5, 2014 at 9:42 am

      I fell in love with the jacaranda. They were just starting to bloom! Hope I can return and see them when they are all in blossom~

  • Reply
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders}
    March 5, 2014 at 1:36 am

    What a fantastic hotel set inside a wonderful city. I would love to visit San Miguel de Allende some day, and this would definitely be a top consideration for where to stay. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  • Reply
    Sand In My Suitcase
    March 12, 2014 at 11:57 am

    This looks like another fabulous hotel in San Miguel de Allende, which as you know, is a fairy-tale colonial town. We never saw the Rosewood (except from the outside), as we stayed at Casa de Sierra Nevada, so it’s great read all about it here (now we don’t feel like we missed out too much).

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