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AnticaVilla Hotel & Spa — Cuernavaca, Mexico

Río Amacuzac 10, Colonia Vista Hermosa

AnticaVilla hotel and spa fuses the modern and the traditional to create clean decorative lines that blend with ancient convent stone construction, larger than life artwork and the reflection of a thousand mirrored surfaces.

AnticaVilla Hotel and Spa

AnticaVilla's Italian owners have taken old world Mexico and imbued it with a modern, European flair. The main house where all but two suites are located was built as a stately Mexican manor complete with architectural elements from the property's original construction, a 17th–century Jesuit convent. The arched passageways are populated with sleek, white chaise lounges and space–age white and red pedestal seats.

Looking down from the upper veranda of the main house, the view is a mod–style restaurant and bar below, with high ceilings, lounge music, and enough waiters in white jackets, mirrored walls, and sleek bar stools to make you feel like you're in a James Bond movie.

Each of the hotel's 12 suites is dedicated to a famous 20th or 21st century Italian painter. So guests sleep facing one of Modigliani's nudes or Michele Cascella's "Cuernavaca." Rooms combine the open–air, weightless designs of architect Bernardo Gómez Pimienta and the minimalist interior decorating of general director Bartolomea Bazzardi. The presidential suite, which has an adjoining junior suite for large parties, has a fireplace and spa tub. The two master suites include — what else? — Italian espresso machines along with stand–alone glass bathtubs and private patios. All suites have a stocked mini–fridge, a pillow menu, a free Blu–ray selection, and dozens of other modern amenities delivered along with traditional Mexican–style hospitality.

AnticaVilla entrywayVista Hermosa, the Cuernavaca neighborhood where the hotel is located, is residential and made for peace and serenity. The streets are quiet and far from the business of downtown. Restaurants and bars are located along a few main avenues and trips in and around the area are easiest by car.

The hotel and spa is a weekend haven for Mexico City residents looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and during the week visitors will find they have the place virtually to themselves. Cuernavaca is where many residents from Mexico's capital moved after the 1985 earthquake that shook the city and it has a large permanent foreign community. Streams of hungry locals and out–of–towners flood the hotel's restaurant Verdesalvia every week.

AnticaVilla Verdesalvia Restaurant

Besides its sweeping, open space alongside the garden that makes you feel at once inside and out, Verdesalvia has an irresistible menu of homemade pastas that are a convincing reason never to leave the grounds. Cocoa fettuccine with Gorgonzola sauce, classic spaghetti with wide, razor–thin slices of fresh Parmesan cheese and basil–infused risotto with mushrooms are a few of the menu's tantalizing options. All the pasta and bread is made in–house and the hotel's owners are particularly dedicated to maintaining the authenticity of their national cuisine, for which they were recently recognized by the Academia Italiana de la Cocina.

The staff is diligent about accommodating your every need — from sending someone out in the rain to get you an aspirin if you have a headache to turning on the lights in your room in the evening while you are out so you can find your way when returning in the dark. The hotel is small, but privacy is easy to find, whether poolside, tucked beneath a palm tree, or sitting on your suite's private terrace for two.

AnticaVilla infinity pool

An intricate solar water heating structure and a rainwater catchment and filtration system supplies water to the bathrooms and the swimming pool in one corner of the property. There is also a small Natura Bissé Spa which offers a variety of skin and beauty treatments and by–appointment massages. With Mexico City only an hour away and "Pueblo Mágico" Tepoztlán close by, Cuernavaca is a great mid–point to get your bearings. Seclude yourself in AnticaVilla Hotel and Spa for a little gastronomic pampering and some serious R and R.

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Total Number of Rooms: 12
Published rates: $284 to $617

Review by Lydia Carey; photos courtesy of AnticaVilla Hotel.

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