After making strong (artists’) impressions in Mexico City and Tulum, La Valise San Miguel de Allende completes the boutique-bolthole trilogy: a typically chic, bright-stuccoed hideaway on a charming cobblestoned street in the Mexican Highlands. Pass through its heavy wooden door and under its painted beams into an arty netherworld. The courtyard pool, columned walkways, zen garden and magically made-over guest rooms are dressed with locally made furniture and artisanal textiles, mingling colonial, ancient and fantastical themes. The overall effect is eccentric, laidback, personal – yet still in sync with the venerable Old-Mexico streets outside its walls.
There are just six suites here, individually designed with their own unique ensuite bathrooms.
12 noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £292.36 ($359), including tax at 20 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional government tax of $1.34 per room per night prior to arrival.
Rates include breakfast, which you can enjoy by the pool or in the comfort of your suite.
At the hotel
In rooms: free WiFi, Apple TV and Bluetooth speaker, individually controlled air conditioning, hair dryer, safe, minibar, free bottled water, free daily pastries, Nespresso machine, tea-making facilities, Loredana toiletries.
Our favourite rooms
All six suites are a treat, but we’ve got a soft spot for the space and comfort of suite 3, not to mention its spa-inspired Roman bathtub.
The private outdoor pool (open 9am to 9pm) is the focal point of the inner courtyard. Steps form a bridge over its centre, beneath which you can bob and soothe away the city heat. There is also a hot tub on the upper floor with a view of the open sky and neighbouring rooftops.
Leave a big gap in your case. You’ll need it to fold in your rainbow-bright Mexican finds from the artisan market.
You can book in-room facials and massages, including treatments for couples. The first-floor suites are not accessible to wheelchair users.
Children aged 12 and over are welcome to stay, but this is more of a grown-up getaway.
The charming guest suites and communal areas are lit with energy-saving lighting, and cleaned with eco-friendly products. Bathrooms offer eco-friendly shampoo, conditioner and soap from Loredana. There are no single-use plastics on site, and re-use of towels and bed linens to save energy is encouraged.
As you are, for in-room service, or your loudest kimono print for poolside breakfast.
There isn't a restaurant at La Valise San Miguel de Allende, but if you know anything about this city, you'll know that you’re well catered for all day long here. Having said that, breakfast is included in your room rate, and can be served in style around the courtyard pool or in the privacy of your elegant suite.
La Valise staff can point in you the direction of the city’s finest watering holes for punchy cocktails or wines from the local highlands.
La Valise San Miguel de Allende is in the historic city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
The closest airport is Guanajuato International, an hour and a half away by car. Mexico City International Airport is just over three hours’ drive away. You’ll need to organise your own transport to the hotel.
There is private valet parking on site for guests.
Worth getting out of bed for
The Unesco-rated centre of San Miguel de Allende is right on the doorstep. Its defining monument, La Parroquia, a Gothic-inspired church finished in pink limestone, is just a block away. This is a city of artists and art enthusiasts, so make your way to browse the gallery and shops of Fabrica Aurora, an old fabric factory. You’ll no doubt want to stuff your pockets with locally made treats from the Artisan Market, where you’ll find hundreds of stalls selling local textiles and gifts. You can taste your way through 13 varieties of grape at the San Miguel Vineyard or saddle up for horse riding canyon adventures. You can shop sustainable threads at Recreoand high-end fashion and design pieces at concept store and hospitality hub Dôce 18.
Segue neatly from shopping straight into lunch in the stylish Dôce 18 food court, or take a three-minute stroll to Restaurante Pueblo Viejo for the unmissable jicama tacos. For dinner, seek out Bovine Brasserie for cocktails and meaty mains, or The Restaurantfor dishes such as shrimp cakes with spicy avocado relish, or coffee and ancho-braised short ribs, to be enjoyed in the charming columned courtyard
Grab your morning coffee from Ki’bok, oven-baked eggs with green chili from Cumpanio or enchiladas from Café Rama.
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 extraordinary hotel in San Miguel de Allende and unpacked their artisan-crafted gifts, a full account of their colourful city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside La Valise in San Miguel de Allende…
The low-rise facade, painted a deep, sensual red that sizzles alongside neighbouring burnt orange and yellow stucco, is an apt welcome to colonial-era San Miguel de Allende. This unique member of the La Valise family offers a large dose of Old Mexico with a surrealist twist. Everything centres on the interior courtyard, where a split staircase bridges the pool then forks off along a wall studded with star motifs to each side of the upper level. Up here, you can recline on the terrace in sun-baked splendour and enjoy the views of the multi-coloured buildings of downtown San Miguel, before returning to your uniquely decorated suite complete with show-stopping bathroom. The absence of a restaurant only adds to the private appeal of the place. You can have your breakfast in peace by the pool or in-suite, but you’ll be enjoying the rest of your meals off site guided by excellent recommendations from in-the-know staff.
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