L'Otel San Miguel pool

Normally when you picture a hotel being on top of a retail complex, it evokes some high-rise in a big city, but new L’Otel in San Miguel de Allende is a very different story. Occupying the upper level of the Doce 18 Concept House, it looks down on an upscale collection of shops, gourmet food purveyors, and galleries. The best part is, it’s all just a couple blocks from the main plaza of this UNESCO World Heritage historic city in Mexico.

The whole building—part of which used to be a store selling hardware and cast iron door knockers—is the grand idea of a Mexico City architect with vision. The lower level reflects the capital’s modern cosmopolitan view. You can buy French macaroons or champagne, eat truffle mac and cheese, or buy an Italian handbag. You can also pick up a bottle of Casa Dragones Tequila, however, or sample wine from a vineyard that’s an easy excursion from San Miguel. The bar here is well-stocked with tastes of Mexico, including artisanal tequila and mezcal.

You check in next to the bar on the ground level, where they’ll serve you up a welcome cocktail if you so desire. Then a staffer accompanies you up the elevator to one of several room styles, all of them very white and impeccably decorated. The quarters are comfortable, and inviting however, with hand-painted wall designs and accent pillows softening the white and creams palatte.

There are only 10 rooms in this stylish boutique hotel but none of them will squeeze you in too tightly. The smallest is the Traditional King, but even this option has an outdoor shower (in addition to an indoor one), a balcony, and a fireplace. The Studio King and Deluxe Suite both have an outdoor bath, while the other categories get larger and have more furniture. The top choice is the Owner’s Suite, with a living room, office, and outdoor courtyard with a whirlpool tub. Amenities are some of the best in San Miguel de Allende, including 50-inch TVs loaded with Netflix and Nespresso coffee makers.

As compact as San Miguel is, there’s no hotel in town where guests have this much to choose from right at the bottom of their elevator. There’s one full restaurant, a big variety of options in the more casual gourmet food court section, several drinking spots. Whether you’re looking for farm-to-table fare, comfort food, or upscale Mexican options, they’re all under the same roof as L’Otel. Then there are 20+ other choices within two blocks.

There are two public areas for lounging on the L’Otel property plus a spacious roof deck with the swimming pool pictured at the top.

See our full detailed review of L’Otel Hotel in San Miguel de Allende.