Unlike most casas in San Miguel, you don't have to go to the roof for fabulous views of downtown, the lake and the mountains beyond. Climb up cobble-stoned Homobono/Cuesta de San Jose [or take a taxi] to our callejon from Centro to access the spectacular views from the bedroom level, the main living room/dining room patio, AND our landscaped rooftop deck, which has incredible 360 degree views. The shaded living room terrace, with unobstructed views of downtown San Miguel, has a dining table with 4 cushioned chairs, fountain, fan, gas grill and a kitchen herb garden.
The house is beautifully decorated with art work & crafts and completely furnished with a well-equipped kitchen (including a whole house water purification system), a Den on the lower level, and an Office with desk and comfortable chair, a printer (just bring your laptop or tablet with USB port), library, free internet, free calls to the US and Canada, and a local Mexican telephone. Use the WIFI throughout the house and on the terraces.
The rooftop (azotea) terrace is landscaped with olive and citrus trees, lavender, cactus and birds of paradise. Two comfortable padded chaise lounges afford a private place to read, relax or catch an afternoon siesta under the canvas umbrella. The rooftop outdoor kitchen with charcoal grill, mini frig and a sink makes entertaining easy day or night. A custom glass and iron dining table seats 6 with matching cushioned armchairs under the Ramada, keeping you out of the weather, if you desire. You may never leave the roof!
The inviting living room has a gas fireplace, as does the dining room. A half-bath between the dining and living rooms is also convenient to the kitchen.
The master bedroom suite has a custom gas fireplace with a king-size bed, flat screen TV, walk-in closet, a private terrace and a large bathroom with twin copper sinks, large tub (for two!) and shower. The guest bedroom suite has a king bed, (or 2 twin beds, if you prefer), gas heater, its own bathroom with copper sink, large shower and walk-in closet. The house is decorated with high quality, comfortable furnishings including ceiling fans with lights, LED lighting, beds with down comforters and good linens. Twice a week maid service includes doing your laundry and twice a week our gardener tends the plants and our housekeeper comes once additionally to water the plants -- all included.
Welcome to our house, nestled in the heart of a close-knit diverse Mexican neighborhood, with local families, couples, ex-pats, dogs, kids, roosters, construction, church bells: the sights and sounds of life here in San Miguel.
You may hear the peanut vendor hawking his wares on a cart door-to-door; buy food or drink from the smallest of tiendas just down the way; notice a seraped señor leading his burro with bags of rice slung over its back; smile at three generations of women talking among themselves as you pass by or watch their kids running and playing and kicking the soccer ball. The children delight in this safe and secure getaway themselves, filling it with their footsteps, squeals and laughter, as well as the report of the soccer ball resounding off the high, close walls.
You won’t hear the sound of traffic on our pedestrian-only callejon, but you WILL hear the squawking of roosters, the barking of dogs, the bang of fireworks, the nearby band practicing for the next fiesta, children from the local school singing in the morning and the peals of church bells. Be forewarned, sometimes it can even get quite loud, as life goes on into the late evening, but that's Mexico... If it's too loud too late at night, we go outside & say 'mas tranquilo, por favor'.
Our modern house was built in 2006, and is located in Centro Historico, on the way up the hill from the main Plaza (called El Jardin), the main zocalo and epicenter of life in San Miguel. A top-rated B&B is our neighbor (Antigua Capilla). With our shortcut, it’s about a 7-minute downhill walk to the Ramirez Food Mercado, with another 4 minute walk to El Jardin. We generally walk back, but catch one of the plentiful taxis when we have lots of packages, which costs just 45-50 pesos or $2 - $2.50 USD.
Our home is suitable for adults; no pets or children under 16. We do not have a garage; on-street parking is available about one block away and please, no smoking.
From either the nearby Leon or Queretaro airports or the Mexico City airport, van service or private car can pick you up and bring you to the house. (Let us know if you need assistance with this).
We have a property manager on-site in San Miguel to solve any problems quickly and answer any questions and of course, we welcome any emails with any questions you may have.
A few tips about what to bring to San Miguel (abridged from our friends at Cinco Flores):
1 - Shoes
Almost everything here is within walking distance, which is a good thing. But streets are mostly cobblestones and sidewalks are narrow. Comfortable shoes are a MUST! They don’t have to be sneakers, although that works, but could be anything with some support and a good rubber sole. P.S. Women from all over the world purchase the unique “San Miguel shoe” which is great for the street. So maybe you'll leave with a pair or two.
2 - Money
Bring a few pesos when you come. It is easy to get pesos as you need them. The best exchange rate is with one of the ATM machines in town; check with your bank to see with which Mexican bank they have an association (Bank of America has one with Scotia Bank) and get a better rate. Note: Many places take credit cards, but smaller restaurants and shops may not. This is a cash society. On the other hand, carrying lots of cash is probably not a good idea. A reasonable strategy is to bring some dollars (you can pay for airport transport ahead by credit card) and then take out money as you need it. Also, be careful where you carry money. We do not have violent crime here (contrary to what you hear about Mexico) but this is a tourist area and you will want to watch your purse/wallet. Carry a fanny pack or leather strap bag that goes across the body, and I never carry a purse on my shoulder nor carry a lot of money at any one time. Keep your passport in our house safe and the copy in your suitcase. Same advice for any international travel location.
3 - A jacket, sweater or shawl
Here is the thing that is hard for everyone to understand – it is NOT all that hot here in the summer and NOT really cold in the winter. Late April/May are usually our hottest months (but dry), December/January are usually our coldest months (it could be 40 degrees in the morning). When it's hot during the day, it's cool in the morning and evening; when it's cold in the morning, it's pleasantly warm in mid-day. We are at 6,500 feet of altitude, so think high desert - no humidity. Dress in layers. I might start out with a sweater/shawl in the morning, a tank top or tee shirt underneath, and then ditch the sweater. In the breezy evening, a shawl or light sweater or jacket is normally the most you'll need.
4 - Sunscreen and/or a hat
At 6,500 feet, we are closer to the sun and most days are bright. Don't make the mistake of thinking that, because it's a little cool, you will not burn.
5 - Umbrella
We have 4 full-sized umbrellas and light ponchos for your use at the house. The rainy season is generally from mid-June through mid-September, but it's unpredictable; and on hot days it sometimes helps to have protection from the bright sun.
6 - Bathing suit
There are hot springs & swimming pools around that are fun if you have time and are so inclined. We provide large, red beach towels for your use.
7 - A few words
Gracias (thank you), Por favor (please), and buenos dias (good morning), buenas tardes (afternoon) and buenas noches (evening). Some Mexicans speak English, particularly in hotels, shops and restaurants, but these phrases go a long way in getting what you need. Mexican culture is very formal, especially in language. Our friend Carol wrote an article on using greetings in Mexico – it is called 'How it goes in Mexico: Where we work on saving our breath.'
8 - School /Art supplies
Or lightly used women's clothing , for Divas on a Budget. It is not possible to be here and turn away from the poverty that exists. There are a wide number of worthy causes and a number of spontaneous situations, so every opportunity that we have to encourage people to BRING SOMETHING DOWN, we do so. If you do not have used clothing to bring, you might go to CVS or Walgreen’s and shop for pencils, crayons, notebooks, school scissors, watercolors, erasers, toothbrushes, toothpaste, small toys – you name it, we need it. Here is the very good part of this: you will get a tremendous feeling of satisfaction for sharing what you might be wasted AND (here is the icing on the cake) you will have room in your suitcase to fill with Mexican crafts like pottery, silver jewelry, and any number of wonderful and handmade goods on your trip home.
9 - Sense of adventure
It has been said that there are no 2 countries in the world which share a border, yet are as unalike as the US and Mexico. Language, culture, there is so much here that is different from El Norte. So, it’s good to remember that you are coming to a foreign country. If you have never been to Mexico (or if you have only been to the “beach resorts”) you are in for a surprise. Try things – food, language, experiences; you will find it fun and interesting!
10 - Open heart and open mind
Mexico is a warm, wonderful country. Most of us have not had an opportunity, while in the US or Canada, to get a glimpse of Mexico’s elegance and culture, particularly given some bad news, much erroneous. We may do things a little differently down here (yes, it is true, we do NOT throw toilet paper in the toilet, among other little idiosyncrasies...) But, if you bring an open heart and an open mind, all of the other nine things will fall into place.