Mexico Boutique Hotels’ SHOPShot: La Boutique @ Las Alamandas

July 22, 2009
Glass and tin stands showcase beaded Huichol jewelry.

Glass and tin stands showcase beaded Huichol jewelry.

When owner Isabel Goldsmith-Patiño conceived of Las Alamandas, she wanted Mexico to permeate every corner of her exclusive retreat—its aromas, its colors, its ancestral and organic foods, its architecture and, of course, its magnificent landscapes. Visitors to this upscale Costalegre hotel will confirm that got her desire, even down to the objects in the hotel boutique.

Here, guests looking to shop the best of Mexico will find on exhibit a selection of handicrafts, paper products, artwork and jewelry culled from states such as Michoacán, Jalisco, Yucatán and Oaxaca. Think hand-carved wooden figures, exquisitely beaded in the Huichol tradition; papier maché creatures; and colorful embroidered pictures, hand sewn with over a million stitches…

This is Mexico shopping at its best—seasoned with a healthy dash of international souvenirs. Mixed in amongst the Mexican treasures, browsers will also find a variety of articles from such far flung places as Morocco, Brazil, France, India and more.

Boutique at Las Alamandas

Brightly colored displays echo the shades of Mexico.


Mexico Boutique Hotels’ SHOPShot: La Galería @ Hacienda de los Santos

July 6, 2009
La Galería @ Hacienda de los Santos

La Galería @ Hacienda de los Santos

Wonderful things happen to those who stray from the beaten path. Case in point: Hacienda de los Santos, an exquisitely restored hacienda tucked away in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains in the town of Alamos. Should you be so lucky as to find yourself walking down one of its gorgeous hallways, you might find yourself on the way to coffee at the Agave Restaurant. Apart from the beautiful murals of, yes, agaves, on the walls, you’ll also find an entire wall dedicated to built-in cases filled with sterling silver jewelry. This is La Galería, The Gallery, a display of some of the finest silver in all the land—with a sprinkling of oil paintings thrown in for good measure.

A large section is devoted to the “Vintage Collection”, in which we sell Mexican jewelry from the 30’s and 40’s. The cabinets also hold a

Julio Pagliani Cross

Julio Pagliani Cross

treasure-trove of hand-picked pieces from hand-picked artists such as Julio Pagliani, Lacey Waddell and the divine Emilia Castillo, the most famous Mexican silversmith living today. A blend of the traditional and the very avant garde, it is said that if you own a piece of her jewelry, you own a treasure of Mexico.

Emilia Castillo Alabaster & Silver Bowl

Emilia Castillo Alabaster & Silver Bowl

La Galería, though, isn’t limited to the Agave. Throughout the hacienda you’ll find strategically placed cabinets showcasing Emilia and her contemporaries, more in a small room off of the reception area and along the walls of the tunnel joining two of the mansions. Like everything else about Hacienda de los Santos, it’s all a reflection of its sense of place: Alamos has been a silver village since the 1680’s.  In fact, the Pan American Silver Mines have reopened here and are a boost to the economy.

Information about the silversmiths, as well as prices, are presented along with the pieces, so you can see the pedigree of your favorite new necklace before you buy it. All you have to do is check in with the concierge or the reception desk, and they will open the cabinet of your choice.

Lacey Frida Pendant

Lacey Frida Pendant

Emilia Castillo Bird Bath

Emilia Castillo Bird Bath

Lacey Colossal Muertos Cross

Lacey Colossal Muertos Cross

Mexico Boutique Hotels’ SHOPShot: TheShop@CONDESAdf

June 26, 2009

Mexico City’s Condesa neighborhood stays high on trendsetter’s lists with its collection of hip eateries and cafés (insiders sometimes call it la Fondesa, referring to its many small restaurants)—and there’s no doubt the urbane CONDESAdf hotel has heavily contributed to the resident chic.

Tucked away in the hotel’s stylish aqua and white interior, TheShop@CONDESAdf lays out a carefully edited selection of unique objets such as Converse tennis shoes hand-painted by artisans from Oaxaca, ceramic and silver jewelry by Provartemex, and crystal rings by Oshi.

Stop in before rooftop cocktails—you’ll need all of your willpower to walk away with just one bag!


Isabella Camil and Dominika Paleta check out the bling.

Romantic Hideaways for weddings, honeymoons, and other passionate interludes

June 21, 2009

Romantic tradition smiles on flowers and chocolates. But when you are fortunate enough to have found a special someone, why not celebrate it in a country renowned for its warmth? Mexico Boutique Hotels offers novel experiences meant to be shared, along with the intimacy you crave.

Catch a Movie of Your Lives Together
The historic Hacienda de los Santos in the world heritage site of Alamos has a comfy private theater where you can set up her favorite movie, plan a romantic snack, and kick back together on butter-soft leather sofas. If married, you might surprise your bride by screening your wedding video, or perhaps the first movie you saw as a couple, while hotel staff wait on you hand and foot.

Romance in Alamos, Sonora

Romance in Alamos, Sonora

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Mexico Boutique Hotels: Story Lines

January 31, 2009


Mexico Boutique Hotel members offer top-notch service and fabulous accommodations in amazing destinations, and the many writers who have visited them have found they also serve as inspiration for some really terrific articles. Here’s a list of ideas:

With 46 hotels in 26 destinations, it’s easy for us to help travelers create a unique itinerary that spans different cities and different hotels. Focus on a tour through Mexico’s colonial gems (Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Morelia, Pátzcuaro, San Miguel de Allende, Guadalajara, Querétaro) with stays at historic mansions and architectural treasures. Or highlight a trip down the wonders of the Pacific Coast (Riviera Nayarit, Puerto Vallarta and Costalegre) on a luxurious beachside adventure.

This is a story of service raised to a whole new level. While concierge service isn’t a new concept, what’s novel about MBH’s approach is the fact that the company offers assistance across separate hotels in multiple destinations with only one point of contact for the guest. Our concierge does it all, from weather reports to recommended packing lists to special requests sent via Blackberry from a guest’s hotel room (true story.) If you’re doing research for an article on the definition of true five-star service, look no further.

Say you’re writing about accommodations representing the best of Mexico: the sights, the sounds, the aromas that swirl together in a soul-stirring fusion. You’ve come to the right place: MBH members have been thoroughly inspected inside and out to ensure they offer their guests a “sense of place,” which means you need look no further than our list of hotels to find the highlight of your piece.

With a narrow street named Callejón del Beso (Alley of the Kiss, in Guanajuato) where you can stand on one balcony and get bussed from the one across the way, “Mexico” and “romance” are nearly synonymous. And we’re not even counting the ultra-private picnics on the beach by starlight (fully attended by a personal butler, of course), the delectable massages à deux, the “no-need-to-leave-your-room” service and more. We also take special requests for truly unforgettable proposals, honeymoons, renewals… You get the idea.

Mexico’s cuisine is a savory blend that mixes ancient cultures, European influences and modern global flavors. Sweet, spicy, salty, exciting, surprising—never boring. There are plenty of stories here, whether you’re tracing Mayan ingredients as they pop up in award-winning modern dishes, watching fresh local ingredients transformed into mouth-watering delicacies or learning the ropes during one of our famous cooking lessons.

Mexico is one of the premiere golfing destinations on the planet and no less than 14 of our hotels are attached to—or minutes away from—world-class greens. El Tamarindo on the Pacific Coast, for example, boasts a signature 18-hole golf course by David Fleming with spectacular views and challenges for the advanced and novice golfer alike. From one coast to the other—and the colonial heart in between—you’ll be able to recommend championship games with après-green stays in exceptional accommodations with spa services, gourmet dining, superior service and more.

This is a country that lives and breathes history, from the ancient Aztec, Olmec and Mayan civilizations to the conquering Spaniards to the über modern sophistication of the 21st century—and it’s all captured in Mexico’s myriad architectural expressions. Trace a story of colonial Mexico through a stay in a gorgeously restored hacienda. Write a study of gardens as living spaces. Follow the steps of cutting-edge design in the big city. Or entrance your readers with a look at how a thoroughly modern interior can be brought to life within the walls of a historic colonial building. We’ve got them all in our collection.

Mexico has been on the green wagon for years and many of our members have been right in the driver’s seat. Whether it’s a penchant for slow food, using only natural products in spa treatments and in-room or introducing guests first-hand to the bounties of nature (leaving only footprints and taking only pictures, of course), there’s plenty to write about on environmental subjects. In fact, one of our hotels has the recycling market cornered—and it’s anything but basic!

MBH as a company happens to have a high ratio of women to men—and between all of us we’ve visited every single hotel on our list. So we can say with confidence: “Ladies, you will feel right at home!” You can recommend cooking classes or antique shopping excursions with a best friend. Suggest a complete beach hotel take-over by a group of friends (easy to do with a tiny property!) or let us give you ideas on the best solo trips ever. Sometimes, we all just really need to get away from it all.

Four words: specials, rates, concierge and commissions. We constantly offer fantastic specials—just check our site! Agents are invited to visit any of our member hotels at great agent rates (or through individual agent FAM trips). We offer both agents and their clients amazing concierge assistance across separate hotels in multiple destinations. And we guarantee their commission. Let us set up an interview for you with our owner or the director. We make it easy for you to talk with the top brass and find out what’s new for agents. It makes for a great industry story every time.