Av. Insurgentes 12B, Tequisquiapan, Dolores Hidalgo, Gto
Used to be that if you wanted to sleep amongst the grape vines you either had to be working in them or camping in them. These days, a plethora of luxury hotels offer you the chance to sleep right in the heart of the vineyard, including new Tres Raices near San Miguel de Allende in the colonial center of the country.
If you haven't yet heard of Mexico's el Bajio wine region you will soon. This area of the country was home to the very first Spanish vines brought from the old country and has a long history of production. Around 40 vineyards now produce a wide range of varietals at 1,700 to 2,000 meters in altitude, with a tendency toward white wine grapes and reds such as Tempranillo, Grenache, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Tres Raices vineyard, up and running for three years, opened their 12 bungalow suites in 2020. They sit to the northeast edge of the property right in the heart of the Malbec. You can imagine them as the a more upscale version of the housing of some of those early wine-making monks of the New World, with easy access to pruning and grape picking.
Modern rectangular bungalows are framed by black volcanic stone with ceramic terrace floors and an outside facade in either classic Mexican burnt orange or yellow. Each has a wrap-around steel gray patio and outdoor sitting area to one side. The buildings sit low and seem to blend in to the gorgeous farmland that surrounds the vineyard inside this slight dip of valley. You'll most likely find yourself spending most of your time outside on the cushy deck furniture enjoying the vineyard view and catching some sun. This region is cool in the evenings and early mornings, even in the summer, so bring something to bundle up in and be prepared for the winds that sweep across the high desert right around sunset.
I had the honor of being the hotel's first guest, always good and bad at the same time. I got lots of personal attention (the staff were extremely accommodating of my every request) but also missed out on the swimming pool and spa, being built at the time. Our editor had better timing when visiting in August and was able to lounge around and take a dip on a sunny day, then watch a vivid sunset over the mountains. The pool is a great place to cool off from what can be a blazing sun in this area's warmest months (generally March through May). Otherwise, assume it will be a cool swim even though it's covered at night.
Rooms are comfortably furnished yet elegant, with warm, wooden desks and four-poster beds, simply upholstered chairs and benches, and tempered glass closet doors in quality wood wardrobes. Each room has a small fridge with complimentary sodas and water, as well as a bottles of house wine (for sale) and glasses—best enjoyed under the twinkling lights of the vineyard after dark. Bathrooms have grandiose rain showerhead showers, L'Occitane bath products, robes, hair dryers, slippers, and several bathroom kits like a toothbrush and paste or a mini manicure set. The beds are extremely comfortable (in either queen or king size) with quality linens and big puffy comforters to guarantee you're warm during cool nights. Oddly there are TVs mounted on the wall in each bungalow, but it would have been better if they just omitted them since they only pick up one channel and there's no DVD player or wireless signal. Heat, air-con, and amazingly effective wooden blackout shutters ensure a comfortable sleep.
All bungalows are either one king bed or two queens but the two bed rooms tend to feel a bit cramped, one bed is preferable for the extra space and furniture. For more people or just a splurge, the Master suite is most definitely worth the upgrade for the space. It's like a small house, with a full living and dining room, two large bedrooms (one with a king and the other with two queens) as well as large bathrooms with a soaking tub and a shower with a window wall to the outside that lets in plenty of light. The king bedroom has his-and-hers divans, while the other has a dedicated dressing room. This would be great for a family or two couples to share. One stands amidst the grape trellises, another is next to the pool.
The bungalows are set apart from the main property, about a ten-minute walk to get to the main reception or restaurant. This is fabulous in terms of noise—I was there during the grape harvest celebration and couldn't hear a thing from my room—but it also makes communicating with staff a little more complicated. Eventually there will be some kind of interfones that will allow you to communicate with the 24-hour reception, but for now you only have the option of using a WhatsApp number—in a location with spotty cell reception and no WiFi in the bungalows (only at the pool and restaurant). Guests have access to complimentary mountain bikes though, whether to use as transportation or to get some exercise pedaling around the extensive vineyard areas.
Unlike with some luxury hotels, the bungalows here don't come with all kinds of complicated gadgets and remotes, which a Luddite like me appreciates. Controls for lights, air conditioning and heat were all simple to work. That said, they do have these special German doors, supposedly the ultimate in safety, which I found ridiculously hard to get the hang of. Get a good tutorial from the person that takes you to your room, including of the two doors that lead out to the patio, which are slightly different.
It's worth renting a car to visit nearby San Miguel de Allende and Dolores Hidalgo for a few days, but if not the hotel offers a shuttle service and there are taxis as well. If you'd rather just stay on the property and enjoy country life, you can take a tour of the vineyard or participate in a wine tasting with or without a food pairing. A strong Spanish influence is laced throughout the menu of their restaurant Terruño, with dishes like Valencia-style paella, mushroom risotto, and Iberian ham. Breakfast choices are rather limited, but the dinner menu is inspired and consistently good, pairing well with the local wines you can order by the glass to get a second opinion on your tasting before buying a bottle. The views are divine as well from the tables that face the exterior.
The wine list is, of course, all house wine: Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, Malbec, Syrah, Tempranillo, a red blend, and Merlot, all by the glass and by the bottle. The extremely young and talented Alejandra Cordero has been their wine maker since 2016 and she has done incredible work bringing the vineyard into the forefront of this region. It's still young and grapes from the Tres Raices vines are just now getting into production, but people are starting to take notice and the Tres Raices wines have won several awards. The restaurant is only open to the public from Thursday to Sunday in some months but open for guests every day, with breakfast (but no wine tasting) included in the rates. There are also Nespresso coffee machines and filtered water in each room, plus staffers will bring room service orders to the bungalow or swimming pool via golf cart.
The setting here really can't be beat as long as you aren't looking for hustle and bustle (for that head to L'otel or Dos Casas in the heart of downtown San Miguel.) The beautiful views of both the vineyard and the surrounding countryside are soul-soothing and romantic, the service is top-notch, and you're close enough to several towns that you can still get out and explore if you want.
Web Address: tresraices.com.mx/
Total Number of Rooms: 12
Published rates: $333- 589 double including breakfast
Review by Lydia Carey, photos by Timothy Scott.