Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada
The grand dame of San Miguel's ever-expanding collection of luxury hotels, Casa de Sierra Nevada (made up of six Spanish-colonial mansions) exudes colonial charm and laid-back stylishness. All 37 unique, colorfully painted rooms blend historic and modern furnishings, with tables, rugs, and headboards from the 18th and 19th centuries alongside hand-stenciled walls, talavera-tiled bathrooms, and copper bathtubs all made by local artisans. Guests can join chef Felipe Ramirez (who joined the hotel in 2010) on a San Miguel Market tour to select fresh produce, then go back to the on-site cooking school Sazon to make lunch. For dinner, Ramirez turns out upscale Mexican fare; try the barbecue-style short rib with warm avocado ragout and petal salad. To experience the ancient purification ritual of temazcal, visit the newly constructed “sweat lodge” space in Laja Spa.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.