A couple of hours west of Mexico City, Cinco Rodavento is a boutique bolthole for travellers in the know. The Mexican government has gone around deciding which of its towns is magical, and the cobblestoned, lakeside town of Valle de Bravo has had that honour bestowed. There’s a rooftop restaurant, petite pool and crowd-drawing cantina west, along with stylish bedrooms and slick staff helping to make your stay mágico. Cocktails and ceviche are the order of the day – and in a fishing community, that’s never a bad idea.
Get this when you book through us:
$70 credit to spend on food or drinks at the hotel
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 4pm, also flexible.
Double rooms from $152.03 (MXN2,920), excluding tax at 16 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of 4% per booking on check-out.
Rates don’t usually include breakfast (from 300 pesos a person).
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout, valet parking. In rooms: free bottled water, tea and a kettle, Nespresso coffee machine, flatscreen TV, hair straighteners, beach bag, sun hat, wellies, air-conditioning, speakers.
Our favourite rooms
Some of the rooms have an above-average amount of beds – handy if you’re travelling en masse (or just like a different bed every night). We loved the King Studios for their four-poster beds and private balconies, but, predictably, the Master Suite’s terrace wins the outdoor-space competition hands down. For the best views, opt for a room higher up the hotel.
There’s a small heated pool up on the roof, with a full-circle view of the lake, town and mountains.
Cinco Rodavento doesn’t have its own spa, but you’re are welcome to use the one at sister property Hotel Rodavento. Gym classes are held on the rooftop.
Valle de Bravo is a cobblestoned town popular with quad-bikers – don’t forget to bring suitable clothing if you’re planning to climb onto one, and slip-proof shoes.
The restaurant and garden are accessible for wheelchair users, but the rooftop pool and bar aren’t; one room has been adapted.
Out on a squashy blue seat in the garden at Cinco or admiring the lake from the edge of Rüf.
Make yourself up, Frida Kahlo style.
Cinco is a contemporary-cantina restaurant by the garden. Since Valle de Bravo is a fishing community, you’d be a fool to skimp on the ceviche. And it’s not just the fish that won’t have travelled far – much of the produce is local. Breakfast will be healthy and homemade, but there are plenty of more indulgent Mexican options on offer, too; chicken tacos at 9am, anyone? Food is also available up on the Rüf.
Even if language wasn’t your strong point at school, you can probably guess what Rüf means – yes, the buzzy bar is on the roof, with a petite pool and views of the town thrown in. Snacks (all manner of tostadas and tacos) are served all day. There’s also a bar at Cinco.
The restaurant and bar are open from 7am until 11pm; midnight from Thursday to Sunday.
Anything from the menu can be delivered to your room.
Cinco Rodavento is in Valle de Bravo, a lakeside town west of Mexico City.
The capital’s international airport is 93 miles away; the drive should take a couple of hours. The airport in Toluca is 50 miles away.
If you’re up to navigating Mexico City and the winding, cobbled streets of Valle, valet parking (150 pesos or $9 a day) awaits at Cinco Rodavento.
Private jets can land at Toluca. There’s also an aerodrome in Valle de Bravo.
Worth getting out of bed for
Rüf and Cinco will keep you well fed and watered, but there’s a pueblo mágico to get out and explore. This one’s got the largest Buddhist stupa in the west and a craft market. Head over to sister property Hotel Rodavento to plan your programme for exploring the he Monte Alto reserve. The concierge can arrange hiking, biking, paragliding, watersports, zip-lining, kayaking on Lake Avándaro and archery. It’s a good idea, especially if you don’t speak Spanish, to leave the activity arranging to the hotel, who will guide you to the best vendors.If you can see its towers from your room and want a closer look, wander down to the Parroquia de San Francisco de Asís church in town.
This may be Mexico, but there are a lot of Italian restaurants in town – though the edible highlights here are the street food; the hotel will guide you to the best carts. Try Italik Cafe for brunch, or hit up one of Valle de Bravo’s bakeries. Soleado, Cocina del Mundo on Avenida Joaquín Arcadio Pagaza offers assorted international dishes but with a Mexican twist. And for delicious tapas, don’t miss VE Cocina Espanolaon Avenida Rosales.
The locals of Valle are a lively bunch – join the fun at La Mezca de Valle on Avenida Joaquín Arcadio Pagaza.
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 boutique hotel in Mexico and unpacked their coffee and chocolate, a full account of their lakeside break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Cinco Rodavento in Valle de Bravo…
If your vision of Mexico is somewhere full of spring-breakers, Valle de Bravo probably isn’t the town for you. For those looking to get off that track, listen carefully. This close-knit fishing community just a couple of hours’ west of Mexico City is one of the country’s best-kept secrets. Set on the shores of Lake Avándaro, the pueblo mágico has winding cobblestoned streets, pretty villas and lots of lively eating and drinking establishments – though you’ll be hard pushed to find somewhere cooler to hang out than at Cinco Rodavento’s rooftop pool, restaurant and bar. Back at ground level, Cinco offers a garden setting to enjoy its posh-cantina fare. The staff will treat you like family, guiding you to the best street-food carts and activity arrangers in town, and listening out for special ways with which to surprise you. Leave the sombrero at home.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Cinco Rodavento’s Guestbook below.
The style. The pool. The location. The service - the staff went above and beyond to make sure everything was just so. A very impressive place.
Loads of things to do, Valle De Bravo is small (but perfecty formed). Vegan options - we struggled with this.