|Subject: San Miguel Allende|
I wanted to give you a more detailed answer to your questions about San Miguel. Easter is a wonderful time in Mexico. We have not been here for Easter, but we were in Taxco a few years ago and it was spectacular. Besdies all of teh local festivities, the art school (Instituto Allende) always has day and overnight tours, so you will have plenty to do and see.
I don't think San Miguel will be that busy during Easter. By April the Canadians are gone (it is busiest in February) and the Texans are not here yet (July is also very busy). So, there will be the permanent residents and Mexican visitors.
You have several choices for lodging, depending on how long you want to stay and how many of you there are. I don't know what your budget is, so I will give an array of choices. In general, you can pick from hotels, Bed &Breakfasts and short term vacation rentals.
We have stayed at: Villa Jacaranda -- great location, easy walking to Jardin (the zocalo in most other Mexican cities) and right next to the city park, Parqeu Juarez. We paid somethng like $125 a night. The rooms were OK, but we loved the outdoors breakfast area. They have movie night once a week. Tel 152-10-15 or US 800-310-9688. jacarand http://www.villajacaranda.com.
Villa Mirasol -- I think the rooms are about $80 a night, although we had to pay more because our 2 children were in our rooms (I think $20 each a night). Nicely decorated, although the rooms are small. Breakfast included. They have 2 locations, one on Pila Seca and the other near the market. Tel 152-66-85. http://www.REDMEX.COM/MIRASOL.
Quinta Loreto -- a quiet garden location next to the artisans' market. Our room was not so great (dark), but we saw another, newer room and liked it a lot. We paid $38 a night. They have a good restaurant there for breakfast and lunch. Tel 152-00-42. Very popular with artists and students who are on extended stays.
Posada La Aldea -- On one of the main streets (Ancha San Antonio), 10- 15 minute walk to everywhere. We paid $50 a night and liked it a lot. Large rooms, colonial style. OK dining area for breakfast, but charmless. They have tennis courts and host a weekly duplicate bridge tournament. Tel 152-10-22.
There are many of these in San Miguel. We have been in Casa de la Cuesta (http://www.casadelacuesta.com) and it was beautiful. Spectacular views of San Miguel. The owners are Heidi and Bill LeVasseur. they have 5 rooms and I think they cost about $100 a night. Breakfast is included. Others are Casa Luna (owner is Dianne Kushner), Casa Liza, Casa Shuck, etc. I don't kinow much about any of them, but I can get you information if you would like.
This is a big business in San Miguel, as visitors want to reduce their costs of ownership. The two I know best are Los Ensuenos (http://www.ensuenos.com) and Casas de San Miguel (http://www.casasdesanmiguel.com). Los Ensuenos is run by Curtis Harrison and has about 50 properties. Casas de San Miguel is the oldest sales and management company in San Miguel. It was sold about a year ago and I don't know much about them, but they have lots of inventory. These properties 2-3 bedroom houses, and larger, and come with a maid and usually a gardener. Ask how often the maid comes -- can be daily or 3 times a week. The companies rent by the week, month or longer.
You don't need a car in San Miguel and it is a hassle driving. Manyh streets are one way and can be very narrow. So, you will walk to most places. This means you should consider where your hotel or rental is (most B&B's are in easy walking distance). The most convenient places are Centro (several blocks around the Jardin), San Antonio, maybe Guadiana. Atascadero has great views and larger houses, but it is a steep walk home. For what it is worth, it is also very Americanized and does not have enough of a feel of neighborhood for me. Balcones is further out and up the hill. No neighborhood. My personal view is that Balcones has the most garish examples of the combination of too much money and bad taste.
The easiest ways to get to San Miguel are to fly to Leon (BJX) and take a taxi (about 1 1/4 hours, $50). You can also fly to Mexico City. From there you can go to the Central Bus Terminal and take a bus to San Miguel or you can take a bus from the airport to Queretaro, then take a taxi from Queretaro (about 45 minutes).
Sarah's parents and our children's nanny and her husband are coming to visit for Easter, so I will let you know how it is. If you have any questions, feel free to ask, either through Travelzine or privately. I can also help you make arrangements here.
Ed and Sarah in San Miguel