After many failed attempts I finally made the trip from CDMX to SMA as we drew the curtain to what was a fabulous summer holiday. We “borrowed” our car from Tatiana and drove from CDMX to San Miguel de Allende, which took about 3 ½ hours and went very smoothly. San Miguel de Allende is a small, vibrant town with colonial Spanish architecture, cobblestone streets (don’t even think about trying to take your rolly suitcase down the block), artisan markets, Indigenous traditions and beauty, a lot of boutique hotels (it’s a weekend playground for people living within driving distance), expats, hills, and churches. A portion of it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 


We spent the first night celebrating Mexico “El Grito “ at the Rosewood dining with the GM and a ex Hyatt Colleague and friend Alfredo Renteria who has been running this beautiful hotel for over 9 years now. Alson sharing the table a ex St Regis Punta Mita colleague and now his Director of Sales July. Apart from getting a lot of insider tips for a 4 day stay we could also experience the quality and world class hospitality of the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende which from my listening and learning was a game changer in the destination when it opened over a decade ago now.

We spent a couple of nights at another pioneering SMA Hotel Matilda (my grandmother name was Matilda ) she would have loved the spacious and comfortable rooms and the simple yet delicious continental breakfast ( brioche toast to die for), the taste & style in detail all around this 30 room hotel.  I particularly liked the pool, bar and restaurant area which created a magnetic centre to the hotel while the location is A+. Lounging near the waterfall end, in front of a colorful mural by artist Claudio Limon the hotel is clean and eclectic with a playful collection of art, particularly contemporary Latin art.

Being the avid golfer I am I had to visit Las Ventanas Golf Course – by chance Alfredo was playing in an Annual tournament there so I popped to visit and catch up with him for a cold beer after his round. I was very pleasantly surprised by the course layout and conditions which he duly confirmed. On the occasion of my next visit I will surely get out ……………on this occasion I was on a 2 week no golf mode ………which is a record for me !!!

Next we moved to L’Otel which belongs to Roy & Sally Azar – Roy decorated the St Regis Punta Mita and has 2 boutique hotels in SMA. The concept behind this hotel is fantastic – apart from a decorators angle with spacious , modern , detail orientated while functional rooms all in a renovated seventeenth century building the public commercial areas are what makes this hotel so special : art galleries, chocolatier, boulangerie, tequila tasting room , cooking school, spice store, restaurant , bar , shops and more is unique and captivating. A concept hotel that encourages just hanging around in the different “spots “ and enjoying stories of daily strolls around SMA. The staff was incredibly knowledgeable about the property and the area—and just so nice.


As always we take a laid-back approach to touristing as we wandered aimlessly, went into whatever shop piqued our interest, and allowed for some coffee cocktail & pastry detours.

Mercado Sano is a treasure trove of organic fruits and vegetables, gluten-free snacks, and the kind of groceries one aspires to buy. For sure go to the farmers’ market there on Saturday, which brings in more crafts (jewelry, knives, ceramic table sets, blankets, etc.) and prepared foods (oh, the slice of quiche that got away).

Rooftop bars galore & fireworks abound is SMA !!! . The bars center around the prime landmark Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel. We visited “Quince” which has one of the clearest views and great people-watching while the service was friendly and efficient. We also visited “Trazo 1810” – another rooftop bar-resto …….also worth the visit and the price. On our last night we dined at ATRIO which proved to be the best of them all – impeccable service, tasty & creative cocktails, front row view of the “the Catedral “ – Sabine claims to have experienced the best Sushi Roll she has ever

Sally our host at “O´tel” recommended a lunch in the vineyards !! I said what ? Vineyards in SMA !!! Well well off we went to Santisima Trinidad – Winery, Boutique Hotel , Real estate development much on the lines of Tupungato Winelands & The Vines in Mendoza. It turned out to be a fantastic option a touch of Mendoza or Tuscany in SMA …………we love sitting and dining overlooking the vines and reflecting on those memorable moments in Mendoza. Later the day we visited our friends Goerge & Whitneys new home at San Lucas Vineyards a similar yet newer project and we were amazed with the beautiful homes and settings – so for the wine, outdoor, equestrian , foodie lover this is a spot to be discovered.

Many of the restaurants are set in grand courtyards and go heavy on the farm-to-table copy. For example, The Restaurant, in an eighteenth-century Moroccan-style courtyard. The chef’s focus here is on local, sustainable, and organic ingredients.  Other restaurants that remain on our list for future visits include : Bovine ( an Aussie Chef ) , La Parada – a crowd favourite featuring Peruvian Cuisine & Aperi .

Sabine was in heaven spending hours in the amazing array of Design shops and Galleries   Tips : Casa R, Doce 18, ReCreo , Fabricas Aurora , Sofi’s Home, Casa Armida – I am sure there are more to be discovered which is one of the reasons we will be returning to SMA !!!

For a coffee be sure to pop in at  Ki’bok, Buen Día, and  Lavanda : a must on your list. And as our 21 holidays draw to a close in this beautiful destination that is San Miguel de Allende I recall a phrase from Anthony Bourdain : “Travel is not reward for working – it’s education for living “