San Miguel de Allende is the most popular location in central Mexico for expatriates and retirees from the U.S. and Canada. The small city has a long history as an arts center and has continually grown in popularity, with that influx of money leading to a tremendous amount of restoration and rebuilding. It's one of the prettiest cities in Mexico, with some of the best shopping for crafts, though some visitors come away with the nagging impression they have been visiting a movie set, especially in the gentrified center. What's not up for debate is that the high-end hotels and restaurants here are excellent, with the potential for plenty of pampering.
Nearby Guanajuato is also very pretty and has plenty of colonial architecture spilling down its hills dotted with colorful homes, but it feels more like a bustling city of Mexicans rather than a real estate market for expats. The two top places to stay in town are small luxury boutique hotels. Service is not where it should be, but the rates generally make up for it and the atmospheric city is a real gem.
Guanajuato Luxury Hotels
Hotel Quinta Las Acacias — Guanajuato, Mexico
Hotel Villa Maria Cristina — Guanajuato, Mexico
Lagos De Moreno Luxury Hotels
Hacienda Sepulveda — Lagos de Moreno, Mexico
San Miguel de Allende Luxury Hotels
Casa Linda — San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Dos Casas — San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Hotel Matilda — San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Hotel Casa de Sierra Nevada — San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Rosewood — San Miguel de Allende, Mexico