The exceptional weather of Comala in the Mexican state of Colima can easily be described as an eternal spring. This is the starting point of a wonderful visit to a beautiful town where the crown jewel is Hacienda de San Antonio, one of the most acclaimed boutique hotels in the entire country. Its colonial architecture and tasteful remodeling make it a captivating option for those looking for relaxed luxury.
Guests arrive at the magnificent estate after a long journey through the mountainous landscapes of the region. Superb metal doors, heavy and imposing, separate the mundane from the divine. Behind them lies the road to paradise, sheltered by the shade of the abundant bougainvillea. Another pair of colossal ancient wooden doors marks the beginning of a sojourn through time featuring the history of Mexico.
Don Arnoldo Vogel, a German businessman who immigrated to Colima, where he found a heavenly oasis, finished the complex in 1890. Dubbed Hacienda de San Antonio in 1913, it was not until the 1980s that Sir James Goldsmith, a Franco-British billionaire entrepreneur and politician, acquired the property. Unfortunately, by the time the estate came into his hands, its magic had faded. His daughter, Alix Marcaccini and designer Robert Couturier, brought a group of experts to return the building and surrounding areas to their original splendor.
With a total of 25 suites, this former hacienda (Spanish for estate) keeps, within its walls, rich Mexican traditions, which are reflected in the decoration and the spirit of the house. All rooms have been individually conceived, and each space—luminous and full of splendor—tells a fascinating story. The ceilings are nearly 8 feet high, and the décor has been carefully planned to the last detail. As a result, the rooms of this boutique hotel are simply splendid. The hotel has been furnished with 18th century antiques, including colorful rugs and accents to welcome and delight the most discerning travelers.
The unique architectural layout, as well as the recent renovations, harmonizes with the surrounding landscape. The main pool is subtly flanked by lush gardens creating a feast of natural geometry. A few steps away, an imposing stone staircase gracefully descends into a second ornamental pool.
In this serene environment, the sunsets add a touch of otherworldly magic to the entire place. The decor, mostly composed of exquisite Mexican handicrafts, acquires a mysterious air and reminds us of times past. The torches that light up exterior walkways and paths bring an atmosphere of romance to every corner of the property.
The Hacienda de San Antonio is also an ideal place to try the highlights of Mexican cuisine infused with international influences. Each dish served at the restaurant is prepared with organic ingredients grown in house. Do not miss the handmade ice cream, a specialty of the house.
Tennis courts, a relaxing spa, guided tours of adjacent coffee plantations, bird watching and wine tastings complete the remarkable amenities and leisure activities visitors find in this hidden corner of rural Mexico. And for lovers of equestrian sports, a short ride to the nearby lakes is one of the most enchanting experiences in this side of the world. ■