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The Mexican town of San Miguel de Allende charms visitors with its colonial atmosphere as well as top restaurants and shopping. Here's a look at the latest reasons to visit

San Miguel de Allende has emerged in recent years as one of Mexico’s most popular destinations. Roughly four hours by car from Mexico City, the town’s cobblestone streets are lined with restaurants helmed by leading chefs and top art galleries. Now Live Aqua, known for its hotels and resorts that combine Mexican style with a contemporary attitude, provides another reason to visit with one of the most anticipated new hotels to debut in Mexico this year.

 The 153-room Live Aqua Urban Resort San Miguel de Allende, which opens this fall in the hotel’s historic center, celebrates the flavors and colors of the destination. Architect Jihei Aoki of AoMa Studio, based in Mexico City, found his inspiration in the colonial architecture of San Miguel, echoed in beamed ceilings, hardwood floors, and furnishings that reflect the city’s heritage of artisanal craftsmanship. At the same time, with their clean lines, elegantly simple fixtures, and muted palette of grays and tans, the rooms have the feel of urban lofts. Much like San Miguel, they are a stylish mix of old and new.

Casa Dragones has similarly brought a new take to one of Mexico’s signature spirits, tequila, with its small-batch approach to distilling and its collaborations with leading artists like Gabriel Orozco and Danh Vo. At the Casa Dragones Cigar Bar, inside Live Aqua San Miguel de Allende, guests can taste the world-renowned Tequila Casa Dragones paired with the best Cuban cigars. The most celebrated tequila in the world, earning 96 points in the Wine Enthusiast rating, is inspired by the legendary Dragones of San Miguel, an elite cavalry unit in colonial 18th-century Mexico.

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General Ignacio Allende, the leader of the Dragones, worked closely with Father Hidalgo to spark Mexico’s Independence movement. On September 16, 1810, Father Hidalgo delivered his speech encouraging Mexicans to rally around the cause of independence. Known as “El Grito,” the speech is commemorated in towns and cities throughout Mexico every year. Casa Dragones tequila recognizes this important date in Mexican history with a “16” on its label and a “16” inscribed on the bottom of every bottle.

At Live Aqua San Miguel de Allende, diners can also visit the second location of one of Mexico’s most celebrated restaurants, Zibu. The original location in Acapulco has taken Mexican gastronomy in surprising new directions, elevating it by incorporating Asian flavors and preparations. Chef Eduardo Palazuelos uses the best local ingredients available, from seafood to produce, while using fish sauce, Thai chilis, and Asian spices to create his own unique cuisine.

Live Aqua Urban Resort San Miguel de Allende is designed to introduce its guests to the flavors, textures, and aromas of this captivating town. The new hotel is a perfect base, from its rooms to its restaurants, for a sensory adventure there.