Boutique bolthole Hotel Amparo is a home-like hideaway on the colourful, cobblestoned streets of San Miguel de Allende in central Mexico. There’s a rooftop restaurant, pretty patio and connected concierge who’ll treat you like one of the family. And every day, the staff host a cocktail hour on the terrace, which is soon followed by another happy 60 minutes, this time filled with free desserts. The central location means that it’s a short stroll to artisan markets, colonial churches and the pink-hued cathedral, but you’ll soon realise there’s no place like home.
Get this when you book through us:
A bottle of sparkling wine and basket of local fruit
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm, also flexible.
Double rooms from $235.00, excluding tax at 18 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional service charge of 10% per room per night on check-out.
Rates usually include breakfast.
Hotel Amparo regularly hosts workshops to immerse guests in the San Miguel experience, ranging from salsa-making classes that start at the market to craft courses with artisans, and tequila and mezcal tastings.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout. In rooms: Bang & Olufsen Bluetooth radio, air-conditioning, minibar, free bottled water and Le Labo bath products.
Our favourite rooms
There are just five to choose from and each has its perks, whether it’s the view of the rooftops from Cielo or the four-poster bed in Rey. The show-stealer, though, is Amparo, for its supersize bathroom (which squares up to the same dimensions as all of the other bedrooms) and freestanding tub.
There’s no spa, but in-room treatments can be arranged (massages, mani-pedis, hairstyling), as can Pilates and yoga classes.
Bring cobblestone-friendly footwear and an eye for colonial Spanish architecture.
Choose a spot out enjoying the courtyard for breakfast or up on the roof at Bar Margaret.
You’ll feel right at home, but slippers and smoking jackets are optional.
Bar Margaret, arriving on the rooftop in February, will serve seasonal small plates and more sizeable mains inspired by the cuisines of Spain, Peru and the southern US, with an expertly edited wine list. A breakfast of French toast with berries, house-made sausages, granola or huevos is served in the courtyard, on the roof, at the coffee shop or in the lounge. Amp coffee shop has one of only a handful of La Marzocco coffee machines in Mexico, so don’t miss a small-batch roast from this Ferrari of beverage gadgets (or a pastry).
There’s a well-stocked honesty bar in the lounge, where you can help yourself to a rotating selection of local beers and imported wines. Mixologists magically appear in time for happy hour every day, when guests can enjoy a complimentary cocktail and Mexican-flavoured light bite (tacos, quesadillas, chips and salsa).
Lunch is served between 11am and 2pm. Dinner hours are 5pm to 9.30pm. Amp is open from 7.30am to 5pm.
Hotel Amparo is the town of San Miguel de Allende, in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato.
The closest airport is Querétaro, an hour’s drive away; you can also fly in to Del Bajío airport, 90 minutes by car from the hotel. Hotel transfers are available from both, for a fee.
Hotel Amparo is roughly a three-hour drive north of Mexico City. Valet parking is available for US$25 a night. You’ll be able to get around San Miguel de Allende on foot, but if you want to see more of Mexico, it’s worth hiring a wagon.
Worth getting out of bed for
Once you’ve done some sun salutations up on the rooftop, enjoyed happy hour with the visiting mixologists and lost yourself in a book in the lounge or courtyard, set off for a stroll around San Miguel de Allende. This charming colonial town is best explored this way, since you’ll serendipitously stumble upon galleries, fountains, shops and admirable architecture. Stock up on local arts and crafts to take home at the Mercado de Artesanías two blocks from the hotel. See the Sistine Chapel–rivalling murals at the Sanctuary of Atotonilco, a Unesco site that’s a 20-minute drive from the hotel. And if tequila’s your bag, head to La Casa Dragones for a private tasting in the 17th-century home. The concierge can also arrange vineyard tours, horse-riding, hikes and hot-air-balloon rides. Though a cooling dip will probably be preferable, La Gruta hot springs have a seriously cute grotto. Don’t miss the postcard-famous Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, the cathedral on the town’s main square, a five-minute walk from the hotel.
Take your pick of the various bars and food-court delights at Dôce 18 Concept House, a former factory in the middle of town. Just off the main square, The Restaurant serves up international favourites such as steak with portobello mushrooms and spaghetti with meatballs. The Luna Rooftop at the Rosewood outpost is the most romantic place in town for tapas, margaritas and cathedral views at sunset. You may be in Mexico, but the Peruvian fare on offer at La Parada is pretty darned good, as are the pisco cocktails. And for something smart, try the creative Mexican cuisine at Moxi.
Pat Butcher (and anyone who enjoys a good G&T) would love The Monocle Cocktail Club for its pleasing selection of juniper juice.
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 textiles and tequila, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Hotel Amparo in San Miguel de Allende…
The conquistadors weren’t exactly friendly invaders, but they left a lasting impression on San Miguel de Allende, a town a few hours’ drive north of Mexico City that regularly graces postcards for its colourful, cobblestoned streets. This colonial city – with its pristinely preserved Spanish structures, rosy-hued cathedral and buzzy arts scene – is home to lots of boutique guesthouses, but few are as stylish as Hotel Amparo. You’d miss the entrance to the homestay-style hotel were you not in on the secret; once you’re through those unmarked doors, though, you’re firmly part of the family. The glamorous private home is in the centre of San Miguel, a short stroll from the cathedral, markets and Unesco-listed streets that make this tiny town in Mexico’s central highlands so popular with second-home-owning Americans. The Texan interior designer is a deft hand at mixing family antiques and modern art (he also did a grand job at chandelier selecting for the main lounge). It’s a home from home you won’t want to leave.
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