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Trip report: Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende 4/15

Trip report: Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende 4/15

Old May 7th, 2015, 11:24 AM
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Trip report: Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende 4/15

My husband and I had a corporate trip to attend in Scottsdale, Arizona. The only place that our Travel Agent recommended that we hadn't been to and goes direct from Phoenix was Mexico City. So we planned 3 nights in Mexico City and 3 nights in San Miguel de Allende.

Day 1-

We flew in to Mexico City and arrived around 3:00 PM. We arranged with the Four Seasons to have a driver pick us up and take us to the hotel. On the way to the hotel we stopped at the Palace of Fine Arts to purchase tickets to that night's performance of Ballet Folkorico de Mexico. The driver helped my husband purchase the tickets and then drove us to the Four Seasons. The hotel is just beautiful. We had a beautiful room looking over the court yard. The service was impeccable and I would highly recommend the hotel. We had also looked at the St. Regis but after passing it I felt it might have been a little too glitzy?? We freshened up and had a quick dinner at the hotel in Reforma 500. We only had a few appetizers which were all good as I wasn't feeling too well. The driver picked us up at the hotel at 7:45 to take us back to the Palace for the show. It was OK. It was traditional Mexican dancing and costumes. It was a great way to spend the first night. The Palace was magnificent so it was worth seeing. The driver picked us up at 10:15 after the show was over. You might be wondering why we had a driver the entire time and had the same driver all 3 days we were there. I had gotten a lot of travel warnings from my company who booked my flights so I felt if we had a driver the entire time I would feel more comfortable. Not only was it a great idea as we got to see so much more but the city is very congested and the traffic is terrible so the driver certainly knew how to navigate better than we could have done with taxis. That night when we got back to the hotel the lobby was packed as there was a new restaurant that opened up that night in the lobby of the hotel called Il Becco. While we did not have a chance to eat there the restaurant looked great.

Day 2

We had breakfast every morning at the hotel. Our driver Tonatiuh Vazquez (011 521 5539016553 email [email protected]) who I would highly recommend, picked us up at 9:00 AM to go North to the Pyramids of Teotihuacan. They were amazing to see. After, Tona took us to El Mundo de la Obsidiana, which has a lot of sculptures made of the obsidian stone near the pyramids. They were very well made and we purchased a sculpture that had sterling silver and beautiful lapis stones. While it wasn't inexpensive Toma helped us negotiate and we ended up taking pictures with the artisans who actually made the piece- the stone guy, the silver guy and the polisher. They were so nice and then engraved a paperweight sized stone with our names on it as a gift. We then went to La Gruta for lunch which is a very cool place near the pyramids in a cave. The food was OK but the cave was very cool to eat in. I would highly recommend it. We then came back to town and Toma parked (not an easy task but he knew someone near the square and got a spot) and toured us around the Downtown area. We went to Zocala and went into the Palace, cathedral, Temple Mayor and the hotel in the square that has beautiful Tiffany ceilings. We got dropped off at 6:00 and rested a while. The hotel got us a driver to go to Pujol for dinner. The place is beautiful and the set menu is given to you in a sealed envelope. There were many courses to the meal and it was all delicious. I would highly recommend it. While they were fairly small plates there was so many of them that we were so full at the end. The restaurant got us a taxi back to the Four Seasons.

Day 3

Toma picked us up at 9:00 and we went directly to the Anthropologie Museum which is not to be missed. Quite impressive!!! We then drove South to Coyoacan and we went to the Frida Kahlo Museum. Very interesting as it was Frida's home "The Blue House". We then drove to San Angel and looked around there and had an ice cream at Café del Barro Viejo which is apparently famous for their ice cream. It was delicious. We drove around a bit and then had lunch (at Toma's suggestion) at San Angel Inn which was an old monastery. We ate outside in the gardens and the food was great. Again, I would highly recommend it. We then walked around and looked at some galleries and then drove on to the Museo Dolores Olmedo which was quite fascinating and had beautiful peacocks running around. There were many works of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. We were going to go to the Floating Gardens but I think it was a bit touristy and we really didn't have time. Toma dropped us off at 6:00 and again we rested and dressed for dinner. The hotel got us a driver to Biko in the Palanco area. We were a few minutes early so we robo shopped at UTERQUE MAZARIK and bought a few things. Great stores around there. Unfortunately we never got the chance to go shopping around there although I wish we had!! The food was great and the place was beautiful but they did not have an English menu and the waiters really did not speak English so it was a little challenging. They got us a taxi back to the hotel.

Day 4

Our travel agent arranged for the Rosewood Hotel in San Miguel to pick us up in Mexico City at 9:30 and drive us 3 hours to San Miguel de Allende. We had a great driver, Luis Enrique, who works with Angelica Tours. Their office number is 415 152.6305 and their email is [email protected]. They were a great company. We got to San Miguel around 1:00 PM. The hotel is spectacular. Since our room was not ready we went to Cumpanio for lunch which was pretty good. We walked around a bit but had to get back to the hotel for our 3:30 massages. We got into the room which was a deluxe suite and had an amazing patio. The massages were well needed. After, we went to the pool and sat for a while. It was so relaxing and beautiful. Just a few notes about the hotel that I have never experienced. Every night they replaced the flap of our books that were holding our pages with a Rosewood bookmark and every night they coiled our cell phone cords and tied them with a twisty. I have never seen that before!! The weather seems to always be perfect which is another major observation!! We got dressed and had drinks at the rooftop of the hotel, Lunar Bar, which has the most amazing views of the city. The drinks were great and so were the appetizers. After we walked to "The Restaurant" Sollano 16. It was very good and charming.

Day 5

We had our continental breakfast at the hotel restaurant 1826 which was great. We arranged with the hotel to have a private walking tour of San Miguel. It was just OK. The guide also came from the same agency as the driver that took us to San Miguel. We saw the famous church in the square and other significant homes/buildings and the 2 art institutes/schools in San Miguel and we ended the walking tour at Fabrica la Aurora. It was one gallery after another in a large building that was once a cotton factory. Art overload!!! We walked back to town and had lunch at Posadita. One of the gallery owners recommended we have lunch there as opposed to dinner. He was right. It was a charming rooftop restaurant that had great views of the church. We then went to Casa Diana at Recreo 48 and bought a bronze sculpture and a painting. The owner Carmen Gutierez was lovely and she also had work from her ex-husband Pedro Fridberg as well as works from Deborah Tuberville. We also checked out the other hotel our travel agent recommended Casa de Sierra Nevada a Belmond property. It looked beautiful but it is spread around a few buildings on one street. I really think the Rosewood is way nicer!! We got back to the hotel and dressed for dinner. We went to La Parada for dinner. It is a Peruvian restaurant which was really great. They only take cash so make sure you have that. We ended up talking to a couple from Vail who had rented a home near the Rosewood for 3 weeks. They invited us back to their home and it was really nice for $95 per a night!! No pool but 2 terraces. We walked back to our hotel after as it was pretty late.

Day 6

Today we went to Posada Coarazon for breakfast at a B&B near our hotel. You need to knock on the door to be let in. The grounds were beautiful and it was a very good breakfast. After we met Angelica, who owns the agency that the driver came from, at our hotel at 10:00 to take us to Santuario Atotonilco. On the way since she was given the heads up that we enjoyed shopping for art on our trips she first took us to a Ceramics place called San Gabriel. She walked us around and we watched the workers actually making the pieces. From there we went to Santa Rosa Candles and glassware. It is owned and operated by all special needs people. In fact one woman had no hands and was molding glass with her feet on a machine. Fascinating!! We then went on to the Atotonilco Church which is definately worth seeing. Beautiful murals on the ceilings. It is not that far out of San Miguel so you could take a taxi. She then took us to Atotonilco Gallery. They had beautiful things and their property was amazing. The man who owns it is American and has various artists's work there. We bought quite a few things including a large urn, glass blown bowl and some other small knick knacks. Angelica told us not to worry as she would take us to a very reputable place that would pack and ship all our purchases including the one we bought in Mexico City. We then went Namhu on Recreo which had fun things and a Crafts market that had a bunch of stalls to purchase things from. She then found us a bronze place that we had stumbled upon the day before and helped us purchase a fountain to be shipped home as well. We went back to the hotel to quickly pick up the sculpture that we had purchased in Mexico City and we took all the purchases to the Packing and Shipping Place, La Union on Zacateros 37. They were very careful and efficient with all the items we shipped home. After that was all done we went back to the Rosewood for my husband to have another massage. I invited the couple we met the previous night to sit at the pool with me. It wasn't sunny so we sat on our patio and chatted. After my husband came back we all went to the roof for drinks and appetizers. They left and we ate at the hotel's restaurant 1826 for our last dinner. It was delicious and the service was amazing. We were told to try a dessert place at a small hotel across the street called neXtia on Nernesio Diaz #10. Very cool space and the dessert was great. We went back to the hotel to pack up!!

Day 7

At 9:45 the driver who drove us to San Miguel picked us up to take us to the Mexico City airport. We actually requested him as he was a really safe and good driver as well as being so nice and helpful with our itinerary for our stay at San Miguel on the ride to San Miguel. Prior to being picked up we had breakfast at the hotel. When we were done they presented us with 3 cheesecake lollipops and written was "Have a Safe Trip". Great hotel!! Great trip!! When we got to the airport we checked in and did our Duty Free shopping!!!
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Old May 7th, 2015, 02:19 PM
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