Inside Casa de Sierra Nevada, a historic hotel in Mexico

At the heart of one of Mexico’s most artistic towns, this historic hotel, spread across a handful of 16th to 18th century mansions, will whisk you back to bygone splendour...

2 mins

San Miguel de Allende remains largely unknown to British travellers. Which is surprising, really. This Mexican town, in the Guanajuato region, is UNESCO World Heritage-listed and a designated Pueblo Magico; in 2019 it was even named American Capital of Culture. The whole city is buzzing, from its diverse artistic community to its thriving food scene. 

The Casa de Sierra Nevada, A Belmond Hotel is spread over six Spanish-colonial mansions (casas), including a 17th-century fort and the 16th-century residence of the archbishop of San Miguel. Located on the cobbled, and sometimes noisy, Calle Hospicio, it’s a short walk from the city’s main square with its neo-Gothic Parroquia cathedral and many mariachi groups, which perform there each evening.  


The hotel is a short walk from the city's main sqaure (Belmond/Edgardo Contreras)

The hotel is a short walk from the city's main sqaure (Belmond/Edgardo Contreras)

There are 37 suites and rooms at the Casa de Sierra Nevada and each one exudes historic character. Paintings by local artists hang alongside antique furnishings and handloom bedding; there are stucco walls, spacious tiled baths, tall, curved ceilings and windows that look out onto lush gardens, patios or the handsome town itself. The hotel’s public areas feature tranquil courtyards, fountains, tropical foliage, period furnishings and traditional architectural details such as stone arches and hand-carved wooden doors. Sometimes it feels like you’ve walked onto the set of a period telenovela.

The hotel’s Sazón cooking school is housed in a magnificent 18th century casa. Here, you can study the bold flavours and rich history of regional Mexican cuisine; you can also learn to master classics such as sizzling fajitas. If you’d prefer an expert chef to feed you, book a table at Andanza, which serves exquisite Mexican dishes including tacos and guacamole with jicama or grasshoppers. Wash down your meal with the property’s signature Belmond Paloma (a luscious blend of tequila, lemon and grapefruit juice) at the Blue Bar, either out on the patio or cosy within its antique hand-stencilled walls.


(Each suite in the hotel exudes historic character (Belmond/Edgardo Contreras)

(Each suite in the hotel exudes historic character (Belmond/Edgardo Contreras)

San Miguel is known, particularly among its largely American visitor base, for its arts and crafts; Frida Kahlo hosted many salons here. Now, dozens of high-end galleries and workshops dot the historic centre. Casa de Sierra Nevada offers fascinating art tours around the city streets as well as a variety of hands-on workshops, many run by the hotel’s resident artist – you can experiment with capturing the spirit of the place in oils, watercolour or acrylic yourself.

The Casa de Sierra Nevada, A Belmond Hotel makes an ideal base from which to explore this historic city with its brilliant sunsets, kaleidoscopic markets and blooming jacarandas. And as the hotel’s always-smiley staff say: ‘Our casas are your casas!’

Rates from £290 per night. Find out more at

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