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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Beautiful converted Forge on the Rio Guanajuato

Bedrooms 3
Space 2,640 sq ft
Property type house
Minimum Stay 4 nights


About the property

Light spacious house in large lush garden just 3 miles from Centro

Built as a forge in the 1970's the original building was converted to an airy spacious home with large windows bringing in the beauty of the mature garden. Minutes from town by bus or taxi, or a couple of miles walk along the river, the house is the perfect combination of tranquility and access to the city of Guanajuato. Ideal for those already familiar with Guanajuato or who have time to relax and enjoy the City and its environs.

Located along the Rio Guanajuato, where traditionally the silver processing haciendas were, the house is on an unusually large lot. Hence our beautiful garden. The house is very welcoming and very unique due to its two enormous boveda ceilings. Each one 25 feet across! Everywhere you look there is the outside coming in due to the massive windows. Having said that the house is very private from the road, being completely walled in. Three miles out of the center of town, it costs 40 pesos ($3) to hop into town or 5 pesos to take the bus to Alhondiga.

We have a fantastic family who have been caring for the house as long as we have owned it. Carmen, our maid, is a tiny, salt of the earth kind of woman who is always happy and singing. She is a joy to have around and an excellent cook! Rachel, her daughter, takes care of the garden and caretakes the property.

The living/dining/kitchen areas have an open plan feel due to the 30 feet ceiling, whilst the upstairs and master suite have a cosy, more intimate feel. Perfect for reading or enjoying a movie. Each bed is complete with a down duvet comforter and the beds upstairs have memory foam toppers, as comfortable as you would have in your own home! We love to cook and entertain so you should find most things you need in the kitchen. Feel free to use anything that is still in the pantry.

We just love this house and we hope you will too!

More Details

Property Manager
Michele De Simone
Member since: 2014
Speaks: english, spanish
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
August 10, 2018

About Michele De Simone

We are originally from England and moved to Arizona in 1998. We originally visited Guanajuato for a wedding. We fell in love with the city and within a year had bought our home along the river in Marfil. Rather a crazy idea actually as it was the first house we ever owned... and we couldn't live in it... We remodeled the home, walled in the garden and started planting. 20 years later we are still coming back to Guanajuato and spend our summers there with our three children.

Michele De Simone purchased this house in 1993

Why Michele De Simone chose Marfil

Guanajuato is really an amazing City. I call it a small big town as it has the life and vibrancy you would associate with a much larger city yet it is a small town with only a few hundred thousand people. Anything of cultural importance flows through Guanajuato whether the Pope or the Rally of Mexico. We keep returning to soak in the diversity of culture and activity from theatre, music, bars and restuarants to street tacos and colorful local festivals. Camino Antiguo is the Old road to Guanajuato and runs along the Rio Guanajuato. The area is lush with centuries old pepper trees as well as Mesquite and Jacaranda. The home is very light and airy with large windows looking out into the walled garden. Two huge Boveda domes 30ft across form the roof making the architecture of the home very unique yet comfortable. The combination between space, tranquility and easy access to centro. made this the perfect home for us. Though only an easy cab ride or pleasant walk from Guanajuato the home is located in Marfil, its own vibrant Mexican community with local restaurants, bakery and essentials. The people are very friendly and we love being part of their community and enjoying participating in their festivals.

What makes this house unique

a very large swing. The best house in Guanajuato... but we're biased.


Marfil House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2640 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • pets considered ...
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 10 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower , En-suite master bath, double vanity
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , combination tub/shower , downstairs, double vanity
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Bedroom 2 - 2 queen , Two queens upstairs under boveda dome
    Bedroom 3 - 1 queen , Upstairs under boveda, separated from bedroom1 by glass
    Master - 1 king , Suite with Salon and Patio, En suite bathroom/shower. Safe.
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible ...
Onsite Services:
  • Staff
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • live theater
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • ruins
Leisure Activities:
  • eco tourism
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • rock climbing
House keeping by our maid Carmen included once per week. You can arrange additional cleaning, washing, cooking with Carmen directly if you wish.


Excellent! 4.3/5 -
(12 traveler reviews)

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Beautiful converted Forge on the Rio Guanajuato
average rating of 4.3333335 based on 12 reviews

Lovely well appointed house

  • 4 of 5

The interior of the house is lovely, comfortable, and well appointed. There are a number of spaces where a family or two couples could relax and enjoy their time within easy access of Guanajuato. Getting into the city is easy and safe by public bus for $5 pesos. There are a couple of decent restaurants in Marfil with the more “local” restaurants providing the best value.

The property manager was very helpful and kind. She greeted us with fresh flowers, local coffee, and chocolates. She has a number of good suggestions and is very knowledgeable about the area.

While appearing safe, the location of the house has a few drawbacks, at least at the time of year we stayed (three weeks bridging February to mid-March). It is located on a dusty road, beside a small, slow moving river. Both the road and river are littered with trash. Walking along the road is often unpleasant because of the dust created by passing cars. There is no other "green area" within walking distance of the house so each of several daily walks along the road with our dogs was a chore. Most local dogs are not friendly.

The other side of the property is bordered by a major road (on the other side of a tall stone wall) so most times of the day the street noise is quite muted and at night the property is quiet.

Depending on your disposition, the near constant presence of one or two caretakers/gardeners on the property may be seen as off-putting or not. This has nothing at all to do with the friendly and helpful nature of these long-term employees – more whether you are comfortable with the presence of others for six or so hours on most days, with somewhat unpredictable hours.

Given the positives of the house we would likely stay there again but would try to understand and negotiate in advance more limited hours that the caretakers would be on site.

  • Submitted: Apr 2, 2018
  • Stayed: February 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Bright, comfortable, spacious inside and out.

  • 4 of 5

We invited friends for dinner and it was an ideal entertaining space. Short walk to 2 excellent museums and a short taxi ride into Historical Centre. Dust from the road and smell from river in the evening took a bit away from the experience but overall we would recommend this house. Well equipped, well cared for by the delightful Carmen and comfortably furnished.

  • Submitted: Jan 23, 2018
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Couldn't be a better place to enjoy Guanajuanto.

  • 5 of 5

Just wanted to tell you we've really enjoyed our first week in your beautiful house.  We're so pleased with Marfil, the lovely lawn and gardens here at your house; we made the right choice.  Love your house, the space, the boveda arched ceilings, the windows and all the light, everything.  We've driven a few places, San Gabriel hacienda, the mummy museum and we've taken the bus into el centro twice.  What an interesting town it is and very friendly.  As we rode home on the bus one afternoon, we passed the Museo de Momias, and everyone on the bus was worried that we had missed our stop, and pointed it out to us, and wondered if this wasn't where we wanted to go.

We love Carmen.  She's a gem.  She cooked Chicken Mole one evening for us. As many times as I've had that dish in Tucson, Denver, and San Miguel and elsewhere, I've never tasted better Mole sauce.  Better than any restaurant.  Carmen and Raquel seem to get along pretty well with our critter, Fergus and it's just great we can leave him out in the yard while we're gone and not worry about him.

  • Submitted: Sep 14, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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We enjoyed our stay tremendously.

  • 5 of 5

We three elderly women spent the month of February in this beautiful house and had a great time. The staff (Julie, Carmen and Raquel) were very friendly, welcoming and always ready to help if we encountered a problem. Once a week, Carmen cooked us a delicious meal and showed us how to wash the vegetables and fruit from the market with “gotas para desinfectar”. Raquel taught us the art to open and close the lock of the front gate with the antique key. Evenings and mornings were still cold in February, so the two gas heaters came in handy. It was wonderful to sit on the terrace looking at the magnificent garden. We ate our meals there under the two umbrellas and lounged on the double day-bed in the sun.

We enjoyed the local Marfil scene: buying bread in la Panaderia, fresh vegetables and roast chicken in the small stores that line the main street. We walked along Camino Antiguo by the river to the beautiful Ex-Haziendas, Casa Museo Gene Byron and San Gabriel de Barrera. Unfortunately the path can be dusty and the river tends to smell during the dry season.

It was easy to get to the center of Guanajuato by taxi, or by bus for only 5 pesos. We made excursions to St Miguel and Dolores Hidalgo taking a bus from the “Central des Autobuses” which is only a few minutes taxi drive away from the house.

We have some issues: It was not always possible to get a connection from the landline telephone. So we relied on our cellphone. We found that the doorbell was not working well and missed a visit from a friend because we could not hear the bell. Although Julie had sent us a plumber who fixed one of the taps in the main bathroom, half a day later it started dripping again. We could not prevent that the bathroom floor flooded while taking a shower.

Looking back at our stay, we found it a pleasant experience and would recommend the property to others. The photos in the ad give the correct information.

  • Submitted: Mar 11, 2017
  • Stayed: January 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Dalton Gardens, ID

Nice Funky Place, Some Issues Though

  • 3 of 5

The people running this house are very nice and accommodating. The house is in a good location for access to Guanajuato, either driving, bus, or taxi. Note the taxi fare has gone up, now about $50 pesos. It has a nice outdoors space with comfortable furniture, both inside and out.

Prospective renters should note that although this house is advertised as three bedrooms, it really isn't. There is a large room upstairs with a low dividing wall that has three beds in it, no privacy like one would expect in a "bedroom," i.e., no door or walls. Also, the downstairs bedroom has no curtains on the large glass door that opens into the house, nor curtains for the large window overlooking the property. So, basically, no real privacy for any of the bedrooms.

The "beautiful gardens" could be that, except they are unkempt and largely overgrown. I find this is often the case here in Mexico when there is no real gardener tending the gardens.

Our real issue, besides the lack of privacy, was the situation with the keys. There is only one key for the front gate. The caretaker kindly gave us hers so we had two keys for three couples. Also, it is not possible to lock the gate from the inside so that it can be opened by the key from the outside. There is a latch that is not key operated. So, if one couple is home and latches the gate, the couple that is not home cannot open the gate. The bell was not able to be heard in the house. Also, there is one different key for every door. This was inconvenient but workable. Mostly, the problem was being locked out of the property until we were able to get the attention of the people in the house to come let us in.

Overall, we would not stay here again. The property was clean and beds comfortable. But the lack of privacy was a deal breaker. For one couple, it wouldn't be a problem though.

  • Submitted: Sep 22, 2016
  • Stayed: September 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for your comments! We try to be as clear as possible about the open floor plan, so I´m sorry it was not clear before your arrival. We do take all our guest´s comments seriously, and will certainly address the obstacles you encountered with us. Thank you, again. I hope you enjoyed Guanajuato!
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Lovely, spacious home within minutes of the center of town

  • 5 of 5

We loved staying in the Forge on Camino Antinguo in Marfil. The grounds were lovely with beautiful plants and flowers, and the house was filled with an abundance of light. The house is clearly well-loved and taken care of by Carmen and Raquel who have worked for the family for many years, and who shared lots of joy with us during our stay. Julie, the property manager, has a wealth of information at her fingertips and all of her recommendations were terrific. We usually took a cab into town, or the bus which is only a short hop down the road. This would be a terrific rental for a family with children as the yard is spacious with great play space. We shared the house with another couple and found lots of space for privacy and gathering together. If you appreciate being out of the fray of El Centro, but love being close enough to pop in on a moment's notice this place could not be more highly recommended.

El Calendario restaurant is a jewel up the road a bit, and you're within walking distance of the ex-Hacienda Gene Barry which has wonderful Sunday afternoon concerts. There's plenty of little tiendas along the main throroughfare. If you hope to study Spanish while in Guanajuato, which we highly recommend, we can't speak more highly than classes at Escuela Mexicana. We visited several schools before choosing Escuela Mexicana and know that we made the right decision. Guanajuato is a beautiful city, made more accessible with some knowledge of Spanish. This isn't San Miguel de Allende with the majority of shop keepers and restaurant owners in command of the English language. This is the heart of Mexico, an incredible city, with a major university and lots of Mexican nationals visiting to appreciate their own culture. We love it here, and will come back again and again.

  • Submitted: Mar 6, 2016
  • Stayed: January 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
16 Miles
León BJX
Nearest Beach
325 Miles
Car: not necessary

Located a few miles from Guanajuato Centro, Marfil sits along the Rio Guanajuato in an area of old haciendas. Our neighbor, the Club Campestre Nepomuceno (country club) is built in the ruins of one of these. The area was devastated in the great flood of 1905 and was bought and renovated by the Italian architect Giorgio Beloli. Many of the houses in this area were built by him and many contain windows created at our house when it was a forge. By now you've probably read plenty about the great city of Guanajuato, The vibrancy and culture of the city is what keeps bringing us back. If you're visiting the city for only a couple of days and want to be part of the bustle and noise, our house is probably not for you, but if you're coming to enjoy the city for a little longer you'll likely appreciate the tranquility of Marfil as a place to return and rest after a day or night on the town!.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $50
Pet Fee $50

Please note that a 2000 pesos refundable damage deposit is required upon arrival.

For rentals longer than 2 months the rate can be reduced, depending on number of guests, and with guests paying their own utilities.

Manager's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.

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