Why we love it: all the comforts of a super-chic home amid the creative bustle and cobblestones of central Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende
- Close to the city’s historic Zona Centro
- High design and haute handicrafts like papier-mâché art
- A bright, cozy five-bedroom boutique hotel with an extraordinary happy hour and rooftop patio
The review: Steps away from the lively Jardín Principal and the handicraft haven of Mercado de Artesanías, this cozy sanctuary inhabits the former mayor’s residence. Owners Taylor Goodall and Mariana Barran de Goodall have graciously married its Spanish colonial-style architecture with elegant mid-century furnishings from France, India and Denmark. Playful touches — reflecting the sparky spirit of San Miguel de Allende, abound at every turn. The five-room guesthouse features a wealth of Oaxacan textiles, papier-mâché art and hand-carved four-poster beds. The bright, boldly graphic custom tiles in the bathrooms especially shine. In the mood for extravagance? Select room number 2, Amparo, which has a desk, king bed, sitting area and full-sized fireplaced, backed by a bathroom with Carrara marble and a pedestal soaking tub.
True to its name, meaning “shelter,” the historic home feels more like staying at a chic artist friend’s pied-à-terre than booking into a hotel on the doorstep of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not only do the staff host a cocktail hour on the terrace, but they follow it with a wave of free desserts. Leave room for dinner, though! Chef Kenten Marin grew up in Peru and draws on his heritage when designing dishes, as well as influences from the U.S. Southeast and Mexico’s Gulf Coast. While Bar Margaret’s wine program emphasizes European small producers with low-intervention techniques, Mixologist Gabriel Avila turns to more local flavors for his craft cocktails, which often feature herb-infused mezcal and tequila.