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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Get Your Art Fix in San Miguel de Allende

A spate of new boutiques, a burgeoning wine scene, and edgy modern artists are transforming this formerly sleepy UNESCO World Heritage City.

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1. Where to Stay

Rooms at Rosewood San Miguel look out onto fragrant lavender gardens.  

Explore the heart of San Miguel at La Puertecita (from $185), an ecofriendly boutique property tucked away on a quiet residential street just steps from the main square. The traditional, quintessentially Mexican décor in the 24 rooms here gets a local spin from hand-carved windows, wrought-iron furniture, and jewel-toned, hand-sewn bedding, all by area artisans. At night, down a warming shot of one of the rare tequilas at the in-house lounge or dip into the bubbling outdoor Jacuzzi.

Experience a contemporary take on the colonial hacienda at the five-star, two-year-old Rosewood San Miguel (from $295/night). The sprawling grounds feature fragrant lavender gardens and a three-tier outdoor pool perfect for leisurely midday laps (or a nap in a poolside chaise). Locals love the hotel’s Sense Spa for chill-out treatments like the Lavender de Allende (a full-body exfoliation using wild lavender followed by a warm quartz pressure-point massage) but the rooms are also designed with maximum relaxation in mind: All 67 have airy patios and candlelit soaking tub alcoves. Post-soak, stroll along the hotel’s central al fresco corridor, home to a collection of Pop-surreal prints by Pedro Friedeberg. Stop by the hotel’s darkly opulent 1826 Tequila Bar before heading out for dinner: the in-house tequilier will help you parse the over 120 tequilas and over twenty mezcals on the menu.

Enter a world of art at Hotel Matilda (from $327/night), which boasts an indoor-outdoor lobby filled with avant garde paintings and prints by emerging and seasoned artists alike (look out for a portrait of the hotel’s namesake by Diego Rivera). Even the hotel bar’s bathroom has become a destination thanks to its Instagram-ready Spencer Tunick photograph of 18,000 nude models. Rooms are outfitted with local materials, like Mexican calcutta marble floors, with luxe touches like oversizedMalin & Goetz bath products, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a patio or terrace overlooking the central, well-manicured courtyard and heated infinity pool.

Published on Jan 9, 2014 as a web exclusive.

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