The Art Hotel

by Rona Berg
Hotel Matilda

The pool at Hotel Matilda.

In historic San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, an artfully modern hotel and spa

When the stylish Hotel Matilda opened on a quiet street just a few blocks from the historic main square in San Miguel de Allende, it was the only modern hotel in the 500-year-old colonial city.

San Miguel, a Unesco World Heritage Site in central Mexico, is a magnet for global expats, and the sleek, 32-room hotel attracts an international crowd. But at its heart and soul—and it has plenty of both—Hotel Matilda celebrates the art, cuisine and culture of Mexico.

The talented chef at Moxi showcases an innovative Mexican menu that changes seasonally. The hotel’s owner, a collector of Latin American art, has filled the interiors with a revolving exhibition of contemporary Mexican artists including photographers Eduardo Zaylan and Luis González Palma, as well as sculptors who rely on recycled materials. (The hotel’s namesake, Matilda, was the owner’s mother, and she was painted by Diego Rivera in 1942; the painting hangs in the hotel lobby.)

Matilda’s lively Mui Bar is a hot spot where guests unwind with delicious mezcal or chile ancho cocktails at the end of an event-filled day. A relaxing Herbal Poultice treatment at the chic holistic spa (featuring the first hammam in the area), where apothecary blends are hand-mixed, is another lovely coda. And a dip in the beautiful pool, against the backdrop of a striking mural by Claudio Limón, will float your cares away.

The commitment to sustainability runs deep. Solar panels heat water for guest rooms and the pool. Plastic and paper are recycled, and organic waste is composted. In fact, there is a thriving organic community in San Miguel, and it’s worth a jaunt to Mercado Sano, a large organic market in the center of town, or Via Organica, a nonprofit organic farm and educational center on the outskirts. San Miguel features over 750 restaurants, and a visit to Bovine, an elegant French brasserie owned by Hotel Matilda management, is a very special high-end dining experience.

With its charming cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, lavender jacaranda trees, galleries and natural hot springs, it is no surprise that many fall in love with San Miguel, and never leave. But even if you do, you will surely come back. And Hotel Matilda will become your new home away from home. hotelmatilda.com

Left: sculpture by Javier;  Right: Moxi Restaurant


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