The Oasis, San Miguel de Allende
Several years ago In the colonial town of San Miguel de Allende, expat Nancy Lane Hooper stumbled upon a collapsed 17th-century mansion with original cantera-stone lintels and two-foot-thick walls. She envisioned a tiny East-meets-West retreat, and has turned the ruin into a refuge. Gleaming circular mirrors in chrome frames hang from leather straps, and ogee arches and ornately patterned pillows call to mind a Turkish harem. The four suites have huge beds with 1,000-thread-count sheets, towels as thick as Berber carpets, and sweet little details, such as terra-cotta exfoliants in the bathrooms. The biggest draw is the rooftop terrace, which overlooks the city’s pastel domes and filigreed spires; it’s a perfect setting for a breakfast of traditional chilaquiles (salsa-drenched tortillas and cheese), whipped up by Nellie, the inn’s affable cook.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.