The historic city of San Miguel de Allende has been showing up a lot in travel magazine reader polls and editor picks the past few years and quite a few new boutique hotels have opened up. Many of them are in restored homes or mansions and have a strong sense of place. A new one to hit the scene this year is lovely Casa Delphine.
This five-room boutique hotel has an ideal location for those who want to get a good night’s sleep. While it’s only about a 15-minute walk to the main plaza at a leisurely stroll’s pace, it’s removed from much of the traffic and noise you end up dealing with in some other properties that are right on a busy street. The cobblestone street Casa Delphine sits on has a few cafes and stores, but it’s in a mostly residential zone.
When American jewelry designer Amanda Keidan bought the property last year, it had already been converted from a house and run as a hotel. It was a rather cluttered space with an overgrown garden though that evoked southern France more than Mexico. She honored the old reservations until they ran out, then closed in January for six weeks for a period of “a lot of dust and construction work.” She ditched the tchotchkes, brightened the guest rooms up with new white paint, brought in new furniture, re-tiled the floors, and created a look with more of a local aesthetic.
The result is a very attractive and inviting hotel that feels a lot bigger than it is thanks to the large public areas. The lounge with sofas, gas fireplace, and wine glasses at the ready has a stone wall with an arch toward the front and a boveda arched brick ceiling above. This is separate from the check-in area, which is right by the front door.
Breakfast is included in the rates if you book direct, Otherwise it’s around $11 and either way you need to reserve in advance: the staffers only purchase what they need for the morning so there’s not a lot of waste. (Adhering to the commitment, there’s a filtered water dispenser to drink from and the Ablu Botanica toiletry bottles in the rooms are not throwaway ones.) My breakfast was more than ample, with coffee, juice, fresh fruit, a pastry, and avocado toast with tomatillas and peppers. Everyone sits together at a very long wood slab table that can seat up to 22.
Casa Delphine Hotel hosts special theme night dinners at that table to bring people together who are not staying here. They just started a monthly Tuesday night “Pop Up Guest Chef Dinner Series” showcasing guest chefs from San Miguel, Mexico City, New York, and Los Angeles. They are also hosting a Tarot Card night with a professional reader, historian, and author based in the area. Along with a reading for each guest, it includes a four-course dinner, two wine pairings, and a roster of rotating guest chefs curating the menu. A stay timed to coincide with one of these events would be ideal.
There’s no shortage of restaurants to choose from in San Miguel de Allende though, thanks to a constant flow of big-money visitors from Mexico City and abroad plus the large percentage of retirees from the USA and Canada making their home here. Besides all the ones you can walk to in the center down the hill, the full-service Live Aqua San Miguel Hotel that opened around the same time as this one is just a block away. There’s a carefully curated book of recommendations from the owner in each suite with suggestions for where to dine, drink, and do.
The five suites here are all a bit different in their layout, spread across three different levels. All have a gas fireplace, climate control, cable TV, Wi-Fi, bathrobes, and quality bath toiletries. Faux-wood light tile and rugs covers the floor, duvets grace very comfortable king beds, and all suites have some kind of outdoor seating to enjoy the temperate San Miguel weather. The decorations are intentionally few, letting the architectural details and the talavera tile in the baths be the stars of the show.
The top choice is the Rooftop Suite (#5), which has a private roof deck with lounge chairs, a jetted Jacuzzi tub for two, and great views of the city and morning hot air balloons. Down one level is Master Suite #4, pictured below, which is on the second floor. It has an armchair, desk, and a large bathroom with clawfoot tub that has a hand shower. Suite #3 also has an armchair and desk and opens to the courtyard. Suite #2 has a built-in sofa by the window and a brick boveda ceiling. The #1 unit is separate from the rest, above the dining room, and has a private courtyard area.
Staffers can help with dinner reservations or book activities in town and the owner is regularly setting up events and visits in this bustling small city.
Rates at Casa Delphine start at $235 in low season, $265 in high. This small inn is part of the Mr. & Mrs. Smith Hotels Group, but the best bet is to book direct here.
Review and photos by Guanajuato resident and editor Tim Leffel, who was hosted at the property for purposes of review.