Ignoring the warnings of impending doom from media and the State Department, I took my family down to Patzcuaro, Mexico in Michoacan state a few weeks ago. As expected, it was beautiful, lovely, magical, and…completely free from any signs of trouble.

What made it extra special was spending some time at Mansion de los Sueños, a lovingly restored luxury boutique hotel a half block off the main square. It dates back to the 17th century and also has some materials brought from France during the brief time the country was under siege from the French in the late 1800s.

This is a great base for exploring this interesting city, as well as the craft villages situated around the nearby lake. This is center for great food and great handicrafts and Mansion de los Sueños shows off both in fine style. The elegant restaurant is one of the best in the city and rooms feature hand-carved custom furniture and plenty of local artwork.

With a bilingual staff—not an easy thing to find in these parts—and all the luxe amenities you would expect in your room, this is the clear choice when it comes time to turn off the 24-hour news channels and explore colonial central Mexico.

See our full review of Mansion de los Sueños in Patzcuaro.