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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
IF YOU GO
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.
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