Originally created by artists, Casa Adela is a tranquil Mexican countryside retreat, available for exclusive use only, that’s designed to be a multi-sensory feast: there are fragrant desert gardens, hot-stone massages, farm-fresh fare from the kitchen, Sierra Nevada sunsets and blissful silence… except for the gurgle of the courtyard fountain. You set the tempo here – you can ride horseback through the canyons, take to the skies in a hot air balloon or venture into buzzing San Miguel de Allende for cultural tours. But if you prefer a snail’s pace, you can inch from the hot-spring-fed pool to a yoga session and right to the rooftop for cocktail hour.
Check-in is from 3pm and check-out is before 11am – both can be flexible, subject to availability. There’s also a shower for guests who need to wait a while.
Double rooms from £1329.24 ($1,734), including tax at 16 per cent.
Rates include cooked-to-order daily breakfasts using ingredients from the gardens, like orange-blossom yoghurt with organic granola or farm-fresh eggs.
The hotel was once the home of American artist John Houshmand. After a while, you’ll start to notice the influence of his exacting eye ‒ there’s an artful touch in the simplicity of the spaces and the countryside vistas are thoughtfully framed, as though in a painting.
At the hotel
Pool, spa treatments, yoga sessions on request, free on-site parking, free WiFi throughout, free daily shuttle to San Miguel de Allende city center. In rooms: free bottled water, tea and coffee, Argan Meadows bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Squabble over the Panoramic Suites, which really live up to their name – framing the views of the mountain-range through floor-to-ceiling windows, so you can watch the sunset from the soaking bath tubs big enough for two.
The unheated, family-friendly pool is fed by a natural hotspring so it’s rich in minerals.
You can have your spa treatment either in your room or by the pool – there are hot stone, deep tissue and Swedish massages, reflexology, facials, watsu (aquatic bodywork that takes place in the pool), manicures and pedicures. Private yoga sessions are led by the in-house yogi and take place in the studio or on the roof terrace.
There’s a sun hat provided on every sunlounger, so no need to awkwardly crush one in your carry on.
The public areas are all accessible but the hotel doesn’t have any adapted rooms for wheelchair users.
Opt for the table next to the fountain in the courtyard for views of the Cypress-dotted countryside.
We suggest billowing kaftans, architectural jewellery and pressed linens to suggest you’re a visiting artist studying the light of the desert plains (even if you’re just showing off your tan).
Chef Vanessa Nava runs the show at Adela’s traditional cocina, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner either fountainside in the courtyard or fireside in the living room. Her modern take on Mexican cuisine is light and healthful, using fresh, organic herbs and fruit from the hacienda’s gardens. The fixed menu takes inspiration from the Guanajuato region – we loved the cactavian salad, which uses (surprisingly tasty) homegrown cactus from the estate, the chimichurri beef fillet and the spiced apple cake. You’ll need to give 24 hours notice if you’d like to have lunch or dinner at the hotel – the feeling here is more like a relaxed dinner party at your most artistic friend’s house than a hotel restaurant.
There’s no bar as such, but drinks can be served to the pool, gardens, rooftop or lounge on request.
Breakfast is served 8.30am–10.30am; dinner is 6pm–9pm.
There’s no room service, but after Vanessa’s home-cooked suppers (and warm cookies), you won’t have late-night pangs.
Casa Adela is in the countryside, a 15-minute drive from San Miguel de Allende’s centro histórico. The hotel runs a free shuttle to the city center.
León (Guanajuato) airport is the one to aim for, a two-hour drive from the hotel. You can fly there directly from Mexico City, Atlanta, Dallas, LA, Chicago and Houston. The hotel can organise your transfers – it’s $100 one way for a sedan (up to three people) or $130 for an SUV (up to six people). Mexico City airport is a three-hour drive – hotel-organised transfers from there are $300 one way for a sedan and $380 for an SUV.
You won’t need a car while you’re here, but there is free parking on-site. The hotel runs a free shuttle to San Miguel de Allende, which has a very walkable city center.
There’s an on-site helipad, too – the hotel can arrange helicopter transfers from León airport for $1,000 per person.
Worth getting out of bed for
Start the morning with a private yoga lesson on the roof terrace – Casa Adela’s in-house yogi can adapt the session to suit any skill level. Spend the morning lazing by the hot-spring-fed pool, topping up your tan and reading under the parasols. In the afternoons, head out and explore the countryside, desert plains or the nearby San Miguel de Allende - the hotel specialises in curated tours of every kind of variety: you can take a bird’s eye view of the many Unesco world heritage sites in your radius on a hot air balloon ride that departs right from Casa Adela’s back door, explore the desert on horseback or go hiking and mountain biking. If the culture-rich city center of San Miguel de Allende beckons, see the soaking pink spires of Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel on a ruins, pyramids and churches architectural tour, find treasures to take home on the Artisans of San Miguel walking tour or get down to grass roots on a culinary and street art tour. Back at the casa, you’re spoiled for artfully landscaped gardens, courtyards and terraces to take in the Sierra Nevada sunsets before gathering for chef Vanessa’s modern Mexican dishes at the cocina.
Garambullo Fonda Gourmet is a casual café serving coffee, smoothies and eggs. Just off the main square is enigmatically named The Restaurant, where chef Donnie Masterson serves high-end comfort food in a sun-dappled courtyard that’s big, welcoming and perfect for large groups. Jacinto 1930, the in-house restaurant at Smith spot L'Otel at Dôce 18 Concept House, serves colourful and creative dishes based around Mexico’s most prized ingredients. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the boutique, where you’ll find everything from tequila to homegrown fashion. For upscale seafood and a refined atmosphere, book ahead at Aperi.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this minimal, modernist retreat in the Mexican countryside and unpacked their hand-made boutique finds, a full account of their rustic break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Casa Adela in San Miguel de Allende…
The tranquil Casa Adela is just 15 minutes from the hustle and bustle of San Miguel de Allende via the Guanajuato wine route, but this lavender-scented countryside retreat feels miles away from anywhere. Its bougainvillea-draped courtyards, fragrant citrus orchards and hot-spring-fed pool will let you know you’ve arrived somewhere worth savouring. Inside, the decor is all rustic elegance – the natural textures, polished concrete and hand-woven Mexican rugs are in total harmony with their surroundings, letting the views of the countryside and mountain ranges take center stage. Speaking of the views, you’re spoiled for vantage points to take in those vast skies and O’Keefe landscapes: on the roof terrace with wine glass in hand, by the fireplace in the lounge or perhaps from your soaking bath tub? When you’ve had your fill of Adela’s adagio tempo, there’s plenty of adventure on offer, too. The hotel specialises in adventurous and cultural tours, so you can live out your Sundance Kid fantasies while riding horseback through the canyons or get a bird’s eye view of the countryside on a hot air balloon ride that departs right from the property. In town, local experts can point you to the best artisans for hand-crafted treasures or take you to explore pre-Hispanic ruins, pyramids and colonial churches. Back at the casa, you’ll be greeted by fresh, home-cooked dishes from the cocina and the finest Belgian bed linens. La buena vida, indeed.