The roosters began their crowing around 8:30 in the morning. I
threw open the wood shutters to the French doors and gazed out over
the Juliet balcony to the nearby paddock, where a couple of horses
were nibbling grass.
A tiny bell kept ringing, and when I opened the door to my room, a
waitress wearing a beautiful long skirt and rebozo told me coffee,
tea and juice were set up in the common sitting area on the second
floor. The moment I showed interest, however, she insisted on
serving me. So I sat on the couch by the open doors and drank my
first cup of coffee watching a hawk trail across the sky.
Hacienda Sepulveda has been a working ranch for 360 years. The
present owners, the Serranos, have had the property for three
generations, using the house as a weekend getaway from their home
in Leon, a half-hour away. Now guests of the 11-room hotel quickly
find themselves feeling at home, assuming that home is filled with
One of the hacienda’s greatest attributes is its proximity to some
of Mexico’s most beautiful colonial cities your clients will find
daytrips to Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende and Querretero are
quite doable, and the international airport at Leon-Bajio is a mere
30-45 minutes away. It’s a three-hour drive north to Zacatecas, the
original silver city, and just under three hours to Guadalajara,
Mexico’s second largest city, which is the mother lode for interior
decorators. The toll freeways are excellent, and the drive is
But it’s tempting never to leave the hacienda.
Each room in the hacienda has its own personality, and all have
either a fireplace or antique wood-burning stove for those nippy
winter nights. Many of the rooms have arched brick ceilings, and
each has its own unique chandelier. Since a number of the rooms
have separate full beds, clients should specify if they prefer a
single or king-sized bed. But whatever they choose, they’ll enjoy
elaborately carved furniture and fantastic details.
The spa, which uses only fresh local products made to fit each
guest’s needs, is as beautiful as they come, built within the thick
stone walls of the former hay storage barn. Inside there are three
small pools for use in hydrotherapy, plus steam rooms and a
temazcal, the ancient Mexican sweat lodge.
One of the hacienda’s four courtyards surrounds a swimming pool,
from which the next-door stables can be seen but not inhaled
through a heavy glass wall. All the activities, except for the spa
and the bar, are included.
Mariquita, who has cooked for the Serrano family for 30 years,
provides the traditional cuisine for which the hotel is known. Your
clients may find a starter empanada is filled with jamaica (a jam
made from hibiscus), or they can try nopale cactus and huitlacoche
(the mushroom-like fungus from corn) topped with cheese.
Offbeat or standard fare, it’s all delicious.
In the nearby town of Lagos de Moreno, clients can visit the
Serrano’s original family home, an elegant mansion that’s now an
antique shop. Or they can drive to the hilltop convent for a
gorgeous sunset and a chance to buy rum pope (pronounced po-pay),
an egg-nog-like liqueur made by the nuns.
Rooms range $160-$198, plus 17 percent tax. The full meal plan is
$60 per person. Book through Mexico Boutique Hotels. Agents get 10
In Guadalajara, your clients can’t beat the Villa Ganz for an
intimate, boutique hotel in the Zona Rosa, where most of the city’s
best restaurants are within walking distance, and the historic
Centro is a short, 10-minute drive away.
Villa Ganz can also arrange for guests to have a VIP tour of Mundo
Cuervo, the Cuervo company’s distillery in nearby Tequila, which is
surrounded with beautiful fields of blue agave.
Each room is unique, antiques abound and meals can be had either
in the lush garden or on the terrace next to a roaring fireplace.
Room service is also available.
Rooms range $200-$260, plus 17 percent tax. Book through Mexico
Boutique Hotels. Agents get 10 percent commission.