The alluring central Mexican city of Guanajuato has seen a recent boom in luxury boutique hotels gracing the very heart of its historic downtown. It is a reasonable supposition that these latest welcome additions to the lodging scene in San Miguel de Allende’s picturesque neighbor were inspired by the grande dame of boutique properties in Guanajuato, Quinta Las Acacias.
The venerable Quinta Las Acacias is located in the scenic neighborhood of Presa de la Olla, a leafy section of Guanajuato whose main boulevard extends to a popular preserve containing an articial lake and is lined by stately foreign embassy buildings and other equally impressive edifices housing state government buildings. In 200, after only two years in operation, Quinta Las Acacias became the first AAA Four Diamond property in Guanajuato; for many years, it was the only hotel in the city in this coveted category. While it’s a long walk downhill from the center and any Guanajuato tours, it has the advantage of being quieter and near a leafy park.
The hotel itself is a 19th-century estate built into the side of a mountain. The owners have followed the natural contours of the slope in sculpting several newer levels of guest rooms fronted by gardens and a small swimming pool. The rooms in the main building have a definite European feel, while the more recent additions are — to use management’s own terms — Estilo Mexicano. The most distinctive — and colorful — of the latter was carved out of a former colonial-era kitchen.
The guest units comprise six standard rooms and 10 suites; five of the latter come equipped with private jacuzzis. The palatial Master and Presidential Suites offer stunning views of the city and its surroundings. The units in the main house are furnished with continental touches, while each of the Mexican-themed rooms is decorated with handicrafts representing different regions of the country (with the exception of the Frida Kahlo suite, which reflects the works of the famous artist). The hotel as a whole is pet-friendly, but not recommended for guests with mobility issues.
The restaurant, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serves up an ambitious menu, with modern takes on many Mexican classics, including local speeialties. There are some incredibly inventive dishes — such as three extremely creative variations of duck, as well combinations not likely encountered elsewhere (ribeye steak with mole sauce, for example). Guests may dine in settings ranging from elegant to casual: under chandeliers in the formal dining room, or al fresco at a table set up outdoors (upon request).
The appealing Mezcaleria Bar Atalaya is the ideal place to familiarize oneself with the best wines and spirits Mexico has to offer. In addition to a selection of 20 premier labels of tequila, there are no fewer than 50 labels of prime mezcal, and one of the largest Mexican wine cellars in the state of Guanajuato. Naturally, imported wines and champagne are also available.
Spa services are equally cosmopolitan, with the massages on the menu inspired by cultures from Sweden to India. The classy library is another fine place to relax: lots of books to read or borrow, and a computer to use without charge — even though, thankfully, there is free wi-fi throughout the premises.
Quinta Las Acacias
Number of rooms: 16
Text and photos by Buzzy Gordon, who was a guest of Quinta Las Acacias for purposes of review. Booking arrangements by Concierge Online, a Mexican company specializing in providing tourism services.