If you haven’t heard of San Miguel de Allende yet, allow this story to be your introduction. The small colonial city in eastern Mexico’s Guanajuato state has been thrust into the international spotlight in recent years. The city — designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008 — has consistently topped the travel industry’s lists of must-visit places, with both Condé Nast and Travel + Leisure readers recognizing it as the “Best City in the World.” It’s not difficult to see why. Between the authentic Spanish colonial-style architecture, gastronomy and vibrant cultural arts scene, the city possesses a magical, almost otherworldly spirit. Walking along the tiny cobblestone streets, past paprika-colored buildings and local artisans selling pottery, you fall easily under the 450-year-old city’s spell, transfixed and suspended in time. Few, if any, cities in the world offer such an enchanting mix of history and culture.
Grupo Espíritu, the developers behind Destination Viñedo San Miguel, not only hope to pay homage to this dynamic history and culture, but elevate the city’s standing in the world as an international luxury destination. The massive 540-acre mixed-use development takes you on a modern, ambitious journey through the worlds of wine, food, lifestyle and nature. There are four unique residential enclaves, a 36-room luxury boutique hotel to be flagged under the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World brand, a gourmet restaurant, two bars, a working winery with tasting room and restaurant, a resort spa, a convention center, two pools, fire pits and stargazing areas, a vineyard, and a central plaza called Vinotown. In some ways, Destination Viñedo San Miguel represents a vision for what San Miguel is, what it always was and what it could become.
“What began as a luxury residential development just 8.5 miles outside the historic district has now grown into a destination like no other,” says Daniel Ortiz of Coldwell Banker SMART, the premier broker in San Miguel. “You can choose between staying a few days at a luxury boutique hotel, celebrate your important event at the beautiful conference center, learn about the secrets of winemaking at the winery or choose a magical place to live right next to one of the most coveted historic cities in the Americas.”
One of the newest and most unique residential offerings to be unveiled in Destination Viñedo San Miguel is the Villas Gran Reserva, an exclusive collection of seven mansion-styled buildings, each containing four fully furnished villas and one penthouse. Set within the vineyard itself and adjacent to Viñedo San Miguel Hotel, Villas Gran Reserva offers “the best views in the entire community,” says Ortiz, who is currently marketing the mansions. There is a private lake, a private swimming pool, horse stables, tennis courts, and a watchtower where guests can look out over the entire landscape.
The concept combines elements of traditional residential ownership with a turnkey rental program operated by the hotel. Each mansion-styled building is separated into three levels, with elevator access to five separate residential units: two ground-floor villas, two top-floor villas and a sprawling third-level penthouse. In total, the seven mansions contain 28 three-bedroom villas and seven penthouse villas. The villas span up to approximately 3,293 square feet and are designed to accommodate up to 10 people with three bedrooms and three and a half baths. The penthouses span approximately 4,474 square feet each and can accommodate up to 14 people with four bedrooms and four and a half baths.
“When you arrive at one of the mansions, it looks like the front of a large single-family house,” describes Ortiz. “It does not look like a typical multi-family unit. The design reflects San Miguel’s friendly culture and lively social traditions, too, with communal spaces for dining, entertaining and gathering. These social areas are oriented toward views of the lavender fields and vineyards.”
All villas offer a “lock off” mode in two of the rooms, which helps facilitate their entry into the property’s rental program operated through the hotel and creates independent spaces in the bedroom areas, the main room and the social area. “The idea is that the villas will help generate investment return to the owner when they are not in residence,” notes Ortiz.
The interiors of Villas Gran Reserva are reflective of modern colonial style. All finishes and furnishings have been hand-selected by a team of professional designers to create a multisensory experience with organic elements such as wood beams, stone walls, marble floors, leather, wool, jute and other textures. Handcrafted pieces of art made by local Mexican artisans give the spaces a spirit of authenticity. Fine bathroom accessories, 500-thread sheets finished in 100% cotton, artisanal lamps, smart TV LED screens and outdoor textiles by Subraya are among the many thoughtful touches that have been incorporated into each villa.
Behind the visual beauty of the villas lies subtler features: a state-of-the-art wellness technologies from the experts at Delos. The solutions focus on light, air, water and the sleep environment. Circadian lighting by Delos creates an improved atmosphere for sleep. There is also an advanced air purification system that removes allergens, dust and other pollutants, as well as a state-of-the-art point of use water filtration system that reduces chlorine, organic contaminants and odor.
“We wanted to support the development of homes that are designed to promote physical well-being,” explains strategic alliance partner Alfredo Carvajal, executive vice president of Delos. “A combination of technology and design that helps create and maintain the right conditions to rest, relax and promote well-being are all part of our vision. The main objective is to develop a product that gives our clients peace of mind.”
Adds Ortiz: “Security, safety, quality and the health of the home were important considerations for the development team as they were creating the vision for how they wanted the Villas Gran Reserva to live and feel.”
To that end, the development team sought to remove any potential barriers for international residents who may be wary about making an investment in a foreign country. Through the property’s collaboration with Delos, for example, Villas Gran Reserva will be offering access to emergency medical evacuation services provided in affiliation with a world-class American medical institution.
“Every homeowner from the United States and Canada, their spouse or partner, and up to five of their dependents will have access to an included medical emergency evacuation service for four years under our program,” says Carvajal. “This means that if an unforeseen medical emergency calls for a med evac, the program operator will coordinate and provide transportation for the resident, which of course is a service not normally covered by insurance. Moreover, the coverage for the program not only includes San Miguel de Allende; it follows you and your registered dependents the moment you travel 150 miles away from your primary residence.”
Another example of Villas Gran Reserva’s commitment to providing North American investors with peace of mind? The development team has partnered with a well-known American underwriter so escrow and title insurance is done in the United States, using a U.S.-based bank.
Clearly, they have thought of everything. The idea of creating a place of residence for international visitors who have fallen under San Miguel’s spell is the driving force behind Villas Gran Reserva at Viñedo San Miguel.
“San Miguel is one of those magical places where you want to come back again and again,” explains Ortiz of the concept. “You don’t want to lose contact with it — so much so that perhaps you want to move here permanently or purchase a vacation home so you can regularly visit.”
“This offering is subject to errors, omissions, prior sales, change of price, or withdrawal without notice. Oral representation cannot be relied upon as correctly stating the representations of the developer. This is not an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to buy residential units in states where such offer or solicitation cannot be made. Prices, plans, and specifications are subject to change without notice. Renderings are artistic conceptual representations. Club Residencial Viñedos San Miguel believes all information to be correct but assumes no legal responsibility for accuracy.”
Villas Gran Reserva at Viñedo San Miguel
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico
Starting from $815,000
Daniel Ortiz, Broker, Coldwell Banker SMART
By Alyson Pitarre
This article originally appeared in Homes & Estates.