hidden gem in magical san miguel de allende...

Sprinkled across the lush Sierra Madre Mountains, San Miguel de Allende glistens as one of Mexico’s most precious colonial towns. Narrow cobblestone streets pave the way to a magical destination that you will remember forever. Nestled amid the bougainvillea-studded facades, flower laden gardens and intimate courtyards is one of our favorite hidden gems: the Casa de Sierra Nevada.

Made up of six Spanish-colonial mansions that date back to the 1500's, this enchanting Orient-Express hotel exudes luxury in a laid-back and charming setting. A visit to this property is truly like stepping back in time. Each of it's rooms is uniquely decorated, blending historic furnishings with modern touches. Individual fireplaces, hand-stenciled walls, hand-painted tiled bathrooms and oversized copper bathtubs are just a few of the distinct elements guests can enjoy.

The hotel features two restaurants, both top-notch dining establishments in San Miguel. Casa del Parque features a relaxed atmosphere and is my recommendation for a leisurely, late lunch. Situated across the street from Parque Benito Juarez, Casa del Parque is known for its Mexican specialities and exotic flavors. Make sure to try the sopa azteca or mole de marilu! Their other restaurant, Andanza, is the only restaurant in San Miguel to be awarded the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award (among several others). A great option for a more upscale dining experience, Andanza's cuisine combines regional flavors with traditional favorites. Whether dining in the restaurant's courtyard, wine room or private dining room-- guests will enjoy their meal while listening to a pianist or live trio. For a culinary treat- I highly recommend the Pan Seared Red Snapper with Pea-Lime Risotto! 

And speaking of culinary delights, the hotel also has its own cooking school! Housed in an 18th century casa, Sazon, offers a number of classes ranging from regional specialities to traditional favorites. Classes are taught by a team of in-house chefs and the experience can include a trip to the local "mercado" to hand pick fresh produce and ingredients.

Laja Spa is the perfect way to unwind after a hard day of cooking or sightseeing in San Miguel. Named after the Laja River that flows through the surrounding mountains, the spa offers a variety of healing therapies and treatments. Set in a colonial and intimate setting, guests are pampered in style while enjoying signature features such as the “Prehispanic Experience”. To really engage in the culture, guests can experience the spiritual allure of one of Mexico's most honored ceremonies-- the Temazcal. The Temazcal is similar to a North American Indian sweat lodge where heated lava rocks are doused with herb-infused water, creating an aromatic, healing steam. The use of medicinal herbs and detoxifying minerals help eliminate accumulated toxins in the body. With a combination of Maya chants and meditation-- guests leave the experience feeling rejuvenated, purified and forever changed.

From romantic settings nestled in the gardens of their colonial mansions to rooftop terraces boasting breathtaking views of San Miguel, Casa de Sierra Nevada is also an ideal spot for a memorable and unique destination wedding. With full onsite catering, an experienced staff and a variety of venues- they can accommodate wedding parties of up to 300 guests and will help you every step of the way.

In short, the Casa de Sierra Nevada has it all. It's combination of understated elegance, superb service and old-world charm-- makes it one of our top picks in San Miguel de Allende.