Tag Archives: San Miguel de Allende

Sagrada Wellness Mexico, San Miguel de Allende Welcomes New Owners

Boutique Retreat New Hot Spot for Celebrities, Artists, Writers

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – August 1, 2011 –Sagrada Wellness Mexico, located in the picturesque mountains overlooking the city of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico is changing hands and welcoming new owners, Blair Shurtleff and Shane Hayward. An all-inclusive, luxury boutique resort and spa, Sagrada Wellness specializes in yoga and Pilates retreats plus restorative and wellness vacations in Mexico.

“We are very excited about this new venture,” said Blair Shurtleff who has more than 27 years in the hospitality business and also owns several other properties including the luxurious, beachfront Casa Pericos in Yelapa (Puerto Vallarta), Jalisco.

Co-owner Shane Hayward is a certified massage therapist and will manage day-to-day spa and wellness treatment operations for the resort.

“Guests can expect to be treated like family here, while relaxing in one of the most peaceful and sacred places in the world,” said Shurtleff.  “They’ll enjoy soothing sounds of nature, high desert refreshing atmosphere and expansive vistas just above the world famous, UNESCO city of San Miguel de Allende.”

Exciting upgrades are being planned such as three new private casitas, a lounge library and a soaking pool for watsu, a soothing type of massage that takes place in warm, waist-deep water. New retreats and workshops will also include “voluntourism” opportunities, writer and actor retreats, gal or guy getaways, corporate retreats, weddings, honeymoons and more. The picturesque yoga pavilion, with breathtaking views, will be used for special events and activities.

With consistently stellar ratings on Trip Advisor, Sagrada Wellness Mexico was ranked among the top 10 Best Bed & Breakfasts in San Miguel de Allende. New owners Shurtleff and Hayward are excited to take the service up to new levels by introducing a new ‘Daycation’ VIP program which invites locals to visit for the day to enjoy meals, participate in yoga and take advantage of the facilities.

Guests will enjoy three gourmet meals per day, along with daily yoga class, time in the mesquite fired sauna, WiFi and the option to visit nearby hot springs or the charming town of San Miguel de Allende.

Sagrada Wellness Mexico will be offering specials including complimentary spa services, massages and other perks with each booking, now until the end of August.

For rates, reservations or more information, visit us on Facebook, Twitter or at http://www.sagradawellnessmexico.com.

Guest Blogger Carolyn Patten: Drug dealers, beware! And other musings…

Kudos to Carolyn for telling the dealers to stuff it where the sol don’t shine. For more Carolyn, visit her at www.thetravelwench.com; for more Jackie’s, visit her Facebook page and make a friend!

If you are a drug dealer and you are thinking of visiting Mexico, watch out! It can be very dangerous. If you are a tourist/traveler in search of an experience that includes delicious food, warm and welcoming people, glorious art, spicy music, centuries-old architecture and modern bus transport all over the country, well, smart money will have you booking a trip to the heart of Mexico today.

And, as a not-inconsiderable bonus, you will be taking advantage of truly bargain prices – all because the drug dealers who are bumping one another off in the border towns have gotten 99% of the international press. True. Google Mexico and you’ll find dozens of stories, virtually all of them negative.

This is a view of Jackie's San Antonio. Yes, this picture is worth a thousand words.
This is a view of Jackie's San Antonio. Yes, this picture is worth a thousand words.

We were discussing this at dinner last night in Jackie’s San Antonio, one of San Miguel de Allende’s most upscale restaurants. The evening was cool after a brief downpour that made the streets and the lush garden glisten. Across the street, the church of San Antonio was glowing in the early evening sun and farther down towards Centro, the glorious Parroquia cathedral looked freshly gilded.

The table included a coup le from San Francisco who have been coming here for years and another San Francisco couple making their first trip. The “old-timers” were relaxing on this visit, as they’d spent the better part of a year remodeling and furnishing a beautiful home not far from the restaurant. I’d met the newcomers shortly after they arrived, three days before, and in that short time they seemed to have grown a few years younger.

They had discovered San Miguel time, a luxurious place where we walk everywhere, sit for hours with friends over meals and coffee, and do our shopping in  tidy little tiendas where we know the owners. Some of us have cars, but we don’t really need them because the taxis are so cheap. For a trip to Guanajuato or Queretaro, both of which I made this last week, first choice is the immaculate Primera Plus bus line, with plush seats, air conditioning and top movies. It’s cheap and always on time. The four San Francisco friends are in Guanajuato today, staying at a boutique B&B in the best residential section. When they booked, they had their choice of rooms at a discounted rate. That is unusual, because July is traditionally the start of the “second high season” here, the time when visitors from the U.S. border states come for a break from the heat. But, bookings are not materializing and the restaurants and hotels are beginning to suffer.

Jackie told us that she is worried about keeping her highly trained staff if the usual tourist flow doesn’t materialize. “When you start using your broom to clean, of course there is some dirt that’s going to be stirred up,” is how she put it when we talked about the Calderon drug war.  Nobody here wants that war to ease up. But the media’s focus on that to the exclusion of the rest of Mexico is making the economy take a big hit.

Can you imagine yourself here? I can. I did. I was there. We  missed you!
Can you imagine yourself here? I can. I did. I was there. We missed you!

So what can we do? Those of us at the table decided to do what we would normally do, and then take it up a notch. The ones who checked TripAdvisor before coming down are now posting their reviews of different Mexican destinations, restaurants and hotels on that site. I’m writing a blog post.

And we’re all telling our friends ‘’ If you’re a drug dealer, it’s dangerous in Mexico right now. If you’re a tourist, it is a fabulous destination and will probably never be less expensive!”

Transportation choices in San Miguel. Being in a hurry isn't high on anyone's list, whew!
Transportation choices in San Miguel. Being in a hurry isn't high on anyone's list, whew!
A view of my (very quiet) street.
A view of my (very quiet) street.

Thanks, Carolyn! We look forward to hearing from you again soon – and maybe indulging in a little something something at Jackie’s… – Lola

Another view: Writer Carolyn Patten joins MP as guest blogger!

By Lola

Hear ye, hear ye! Let’s give a big MexicoPremiere welcome to Ms. Carolyn Patten, lovely human, Mexico fan and writer extraordinaire. Before I let you take a peek into the wonderful world of Ms. Carolyn, here’s a little background:

Carolyn got her taste for traveling at a young age, living in seven different states before she started fifth grade. Her love of the written word began early as well — by the time she was 15 she was writing headlines for her small town newspaper. With a journalism degree in hand at 21, she began a career that has encompassed fascinating jobs in writing, public relations and tourism promotion for clients throughout the U.S. and Mexico.

Based in San Miguel de Allende and Portland, Oregon, she enjoys wide-ranging freelance writing career and a teaching position on the faculty at Marylhurst University. Her website is http://www.thetravelwench.com

On that very happy note (we love the name of her website, by the way), here’s a look at Mexico through Carolyn-goggles:

Really, if I could put five bucks in the bank for every time someone in the U.S. has asked me about the “danger” in Mexico, I could probably create a nice bunch of scholarships for Mexican students to keep going to school past ninth grade.  Maybe earmark those scholarships for out-of-country schools where the teachers’ unions don’t have a death grip on the government dollars and where quality education is a priority…but I digress!

Here’s a typical question, which popped into my email this afternoon:


I just read your article about Mazatlan.  I’m planning a trip there with girlfriends in September.  Do we need to worry about the drug cartels and all the nasty things we see and hear about on TV?  Are there areas to avoid?  We are staying at the Torres Mazatlan.

In response, I gently suggested that the woman do some reading about Mexico itself – not just the border cities where the nasty things are so common – and apply common sense to the question, rather than asking a complete stranger who wrote an article about Mazatlan two years ago. I also told her that the Torres Mazatlan is a nice place, with a lovely quiet beach, far from the Zona Dorada and all the loud discos where noreteamericanos typically hang out.

I did not recommend that she forget about the beach and come to San Miguel de Allende, because I live here now and I am becoming very selfish, wanting to do my small bit to cherish this magical town and keep its secret.

San Miguel is its own world. It is not a tourist town, though there are several thousand English-speakers who live here, both full time and for months at a time. There is no beach and no pumping disco music. There is a botanic garden, the Jardin where everyone hangs out, the Biblioteca with the largest collection of both Spanish and English books outside of Mexico City, a chamber music festival and parades and religious festivals most weekends.

Safety? Local nortes often grouse about how it’s changed, and how purse-snatchings or home robberies were unheard of ten years ago, but that is old news all over the world

Yes, San Miguel de Allende is safe, not to mention unbelievably sweet and savory, with its welcoming families who have lived here for generations, its gorgeous old buildings and cobblestone streets, its perfect weather, achingly blue skies and delightful obsession with fireworks.

Here are a few shots of this delight-full town…

by Parque Juarez
A shady home by Parque Juarez.

Vikings in SMA
Vikings in San Miguel de Allende (not the usual attire lol, scroll down for the reason...)
hot parade watchers
Hot parade watchers...
Dia de los Locos
It was the Día de los Locos parade - Crazy People Day!
Dia de los Locos more
More locos!