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At most hotels, one of the first things you notice upon entering is the reception desk. Not so at Live Aqua Urban Resort San Miguel de Allende. The long, marble desk on the left side of the entryway is, in fact, a bakery. And the smell of fresh sweet bread is one of the first sensory experiences found at the property. It’s a perfect example of how the luxury hotel offers a unique experience for upscale travelers looking to experience San Miguel de Allende in a new way.
Opened last November, Live Aqua Urban Resort earns its name. It is truly a resort — an oasis of calm in one of Mexico’s most-loved cities. Located a few blocks from the main square, on the edge of the city center, the hotel invites guests to relax, indulge and retreat when they’re not out exploring the destination.
The property attractively blends traditional and contemporary elements. Arched columns and roomy courtyards recall historical haciendas, while large-scale modern art and the latest amenities provide a current spin. A giant sculpture outside the front entrance greets guests upon arrival, and the reception area feels more like a sumptuous VIP lounge. (You won’t see any guests standing up during check-in.)
My best friend and I stayed in a Deluxe Room, which was bathed in hues of light chocolate, brown and tan, with decor that continued the theme of mixing old with new. The most eye-catching element for me, by far, was the beautiful bathtub in the glass-enclosed bathroom, complete with the trademark Live Aqua little yellow ducky. High ceilings with wood beams complement the wooden headboards, and the well-planned lighting system allows guests to create the ambiance they desire.
And speaking of the perfect atmosphere: Guestrooms are equipped with Bluetooth speakers, as well as record players and records — ours had albums with music from ABBA, Billy Joel, Jimi Hendrix, Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven. When I didn’t want to watch the giant wall-mounted television, I could cover it with a sliding glass door that revealed a phrase by famed Mexican author Octavio Paz: “La mucha luz es como la mucha sombra, no deja ver.” (This translates to “Too much light, just like too much shade, won’t allow you to see.”)
Live Aqua Urban Resort offers plenty of space to relax, including a row of hammocks along the reflecting pool, and a heated, year-round outdoor pool that sits near the fortress-like walls of a beautiful and historic reservoir and the gentle hills of San Miguel de Allende. The outdoor bar and cigar bar are two of the attractive venues to stop by for a drink. We especially enjoyed a dinner at Zibu, an elegant yet casual restaurant where we sipped towering tamarind margaritas while savoring mouthwatering shrimp and almond fish. Spice Market, an upscale indoor-outdoor venue, opened earlier this year and features Pan-Asian cuisine such as glazed ribs, wok-charred mushrooms and black cod soaked in miso.
Unlike most hotels in San Miguel de Allende, Live Aqua Urban Resort has a kids’ club, as well as an impressive array of meeting and event space, with a flexible 1,000-person ballroom and even a car elevator that corporate clients can use to exhibit vehicles.
One of my most memorable experiences at the resort was the afternoon that I spent at the on-site Feel Urban Day Spa, where sleek Italian marble walls and indigenous wood provide the backdrop for relaxation. The attractive facility also has a hydro-therapy area and an adjacent fitness center. Sinking into an expertly performed massage treatment, it was there that I truly understood the meaning of “urban resort.”
The DetailsLive Aqua Urban Resort San Miguel de Allendewww.liveaqua.com