San Miguel de Allende – Guanajuato, Mexico
A Celebrated Artists’ Colony and a National Monument
Mexican and international artists and writers are drawn 6,200 feet above sea level to the mountaintop town of San Miguel de Allende by the glory of its Old Mexico charm and the purity of its seductive light. Among its many attributes are restored mansions of noble families, 18th-century churches, the always lively laurel tree-shaded El Jardin square, outdoor cafes, and excellent restaurants.
In addition, a still-active and centuries-old trade in traditional Mexican artisanship helps make San Miguel a vigorous cultural center. Founded in 1542 by wealthy Spanish cattle barons and retaining an aura of prosperity that came later from the Guanajuato region’s lucrative silver mines, this casual but sophisticated town draws a mix of well-heeled Mexico City weekenders, intelligentsia, international tourists, and a growing community of American residents.
Much of its fame has been secured by the long-term success of the Casa de Sierra Nevada, San Miguel’s most refined hotel (and one of Mexico’s finest inns). Built in 1580 and transformed into the sumptuous home of the Archbishop of Guanajuato in the late 1700s, it is comprised of seven colonial-era manor houses.
A welcoming staff gives new meaning to the expression “Mi casa es su casa.” Each distinctive suite has its own personality and decor: Some have wood burning fireplaces and their own courtyard patio or private garden, while many enjoy full views from the unique mountaintop vantage point for which San Miguel is known.