Benito Juárez No. 7, Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto., Mexico
San Miguel's newest luxury boutique hotel offers an inventive menu and beautifully curated spaces
When you want to convert an ancient Colonial house into a high-end luxury boutique hotel, sometimes it takes a little while. Three years in the case of highly anticipated Casablanca 7 in San Miguel de Allende.
Preserving the home's original structural elements (Moorish archways and classic Spanish Colonial layout) was important to both the owners of the property and their architect Jorge Olivares. They took things a step further by incorporating Moroccan interior décor pieces and a café and rooftop bar with a pan-Mediterranean menu.
Fatima 7, the rooftop bar and restaurant wasn't open yet when I visited, its grand reveal planned for January 2019, but the bar/restaurant will have a Mediterranean menu and a reach-out-and-touch-it view of the Templo de San Francisco next door. In fact, if you are one of those people that hate the peal of church bells, this might not be a good choice for a peaceful stay. The double-paned window glass blocks out some of the sound, but the bells ring out delightfully two or three times throughout the day and can be heard clearly from the rooms.
The hotel's central patio is the center of life there. Open to both locals and guests, there always seemed to be people floating in and out, sipping a cup of coffee, having a business meeting or enjoying the sunshine. White jasmine wraps itself around the patio's thick columns and flowering lavender plants ensure the place is abuzz with both human and insect life.
The hotel's 10 rooms comprise 4 categories that at this point have very little difference between them. All rooms are grand with high ceilings, airy, expansive bathrooms, and floor-to-ceiling windows. The master suites are slightly more spacious overall (a couple square feet), and the amenities for all rooms are the same including breakfast and the non-alcoholic mini bar included in your rate. All feature high-quality linens, bathrobes, slippers, smart TV, and lockboxs. The local bath products were a nice touch—lotions and soaps made in San Miguel, shampoo and conditioner from Baja California, and beautiful glass bottles of drinking water purified by Casa del Agua based out of Mexico City.
Since the hotel had just opened when I visited, there was some talk of creating additional complimentary services for higher-level room categories, but for now the luxury suites are just as nice as the masters, and the pricey upgrade on already high rates for the area doesn't seem worth it. The downstairs rooms do have a lovely shared outdoor patio away from the main area of the hotel. Also, if you are a fan of a luxurious soak, definitely opt for room 2 or room 7 that have beautiful brushed nickel, stand-alone bathtubs. History buffs should ask for the room with the tunnel.
There were a few kinks still being worked out when I was there, including spotty internet in the rooms and a constant flow of workers and visitors that made the hotel feel less private than I imagine it will be in a few months when construction for the restaurant has stopped and some of the initial buzz has calmed.
The same chef that will run Fatima 7, JJ Castenada, is in charge of the breakfast menu which includes some spot-on Med-Arab dishes like poached eggs over couscous or sweet potato pancakes with date jam and sour cream. The fragrant paprika potatoes and thick curried bacon added a touch of exoticism to the list and the excellent coffee saved my life more than once.
This hotel is one of the most centrally located luxury boutique hotels in San Miguel. Its location, the beauty of its spaces, and the inventive food in its café—and soon, its restaurant bar—will ensure that it claims a place in the upper echelons of luxury stays in San Miguel de Allende.
Web Address: www.casablanca7.com
Total Number of Rooms: 10
Published rates: $350-$1,020 plus taxes, breakfast included.
Review and photos by Lydia Carey.