Review: Rosewood San Miguel De Allende, Mexico

Review: Rosewood San Miguel De Allende, Mexico

NAME: Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
LOCATION: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
DATE: November 2021
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: While the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende is a beautiful hotel, there's just too much that went wrong on our stay for us to want to return.
54

Ford and I recently spent a night at the 67-room Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I was excited about this hotel, as it looked charming. I’ve also been wanting to try more Rosewood properties, as the brand is generally well regarded and growing fast, and is probably the closest major competitor to Four Seasons.

Unfortunately our one night stay didn’t exactly go great. Too many things went wrong for me to recommend this place, or to have the desire to return, especially given the rate we were paying.

Why we traveled to San Miguel de Allende

We traveled to San Miguel de Allende for a long weekend to celebrate a family friend’s “round” birthday. She was renting a house there, though we all arrived a day early, and decided to check out the Rosewood. This is generally regarded as one of the two best hotels in San Miguel de Allende, along with Casa de Sierra Nevada, which is a Belmond.

I’ll share my thoughts on San Miguel de Allende in a separate post, since it seems to be a very “in” destination right now.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

How we booked the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende

We booked our one night stay at the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende through the Rosewood Elite program, which is Rosewood’s program for select travel agents, and is also the best way to book any Rosewood stay. This offers a room upgrade subject to availability, a $100 food & beverage credit once per stay, complimentary daily breakfast for two, and more.

The rate for our one night stay was $590, not including Mexico’s 30% tax and service charge. A few things to note:

  • The rest of our group was also spending the night at the hotel, so this seemed like the best option, to make things easy
  • We decided to outright book a Rooftop Colonial King room, since that sounded cool; this is a premium room option, and about $90 more than the entry level room
  • We had initially booked the hotel at a cheaper rate, but there’s a seven day cancelation policy; we had something come up the week before our trip and weren’t sure we’d be able to make it, so we canceled our reservation and rebooked last minute, and the rate ended up being higher
  • Rates here sometimes start as low as $300 or so per night, not including the 30% tax and service charge

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende location

The Rosewood has a pretty good location within San Miguel de Allende, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the oldest town in central Mexico. The hotel is within walking distance of most of the places you’d want to visit (though make sure you have proper footwear, since the city almost exclusively has cobblestone streets).

As far as getting to San Miguel de Allende goes, the city is roughly equidistant from Leon Airport (BJX) and Querétaro Airport (QRO), and both can be reached within 60-90 minutes. Alternatively, you can fly into Mexico City Airport (MEX), which is a roughly 150 minute drive away.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende lobby & check-in

We arrived at the Rosewood mid-afternoon, and upon arrival we first had our temperatures taken, and had to sanitize our shoes. This a random tangent that has nothing to do with Rosewood, but can someone explain to me why virtually all hotels in Mexico require you to disinfect your shoes prior to entering as part of a coronavirus protocol? I asked a tour guide about this, and his explanation was that it’s in case people spit on the street and then you step into it. Unless you have a shoe-licking fetish, I still don’t think that’s how coronavirus spreads. Can someone enlighten me?

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende coronavirus theater

Anyway… reception was inside the entrance and to the right. There were two tables for sit down check-in, and then there was a larger lobby area with plenty of indoor seating.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende lobby
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende lobby

While the front desk agent was friendly, she wasn’t very good about recognizing Rosewood Elite perks. She never mentioned the $100 food & beverage credit or an upgrade, and for that matter there was no welcome note in the room recognizing it either.

Our room was ready soon after arriving, and we were escorted there. The Rosewood maximizes outdoor space, with most hallways being outdoors. For the most part I love the hotel’s architecture, and it blends nicely into the area.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende lobby
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende stairs
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende stairs
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende stairs

The center of the hotel is a courtyard, though I wish they’d do more to use this space, because it’s pretty.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende courtyard
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende courtyard

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende Rooftop Colonial King Room

We were assigned room 323, a Rooftop Colonial King Room on the third floor (the hotel has four floors). It can be a bit confusing to get around the hotel, since not all areas of a particular floor connect, so you have to be strategic about which elevator you use. The area where our room was had an exterior hallway facing the interior of the property.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende hallway
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende exterior

The Rooftop Colonial King Room was marketed as being 675 square feet, so the rooms here are a generous size, especially since standard rooms are basically the same size. The room featured an entryway with most of the room straight ahead, the closet to the right, and the minibar to the left.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende room entryway
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende room closet

The minibar had a Nespresso coffee machine, plus all kinds of drinks and snacks for purchase.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende in-room minibar
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende in-room coffee machine
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende in-room minibar

I’d describe the room as being a junior suite, in the sense that it had a dedicated sitting area, but there was no real separation between the living and sleeping areas.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende room

Inside the entrance was a couch with a chair and coffee table, plus a desk with two chairs closer to the door.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende room
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende in-room desk

The living area featured a wall-mounted TV, plus a fireplace. I sure do love a room with a fireplace, especially at a destination that experiences as much temperature variation as San Miguel de Allende (the town is at an altitude of over 6,200 feet, so it gets hot during the day and cold at night).

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende in-room fireplace

Waiting on the table was a welcome amenity consisting of a couple of beers, plus some fresh guacamole and chips.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende welcome amenity

The king size bed was on the firm side, though had comfortable pillows.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende room

There was a heavy sliding door separating the bedroom from the bathroom. The bathroom had double sinks, a soaking tub, a walk-in shower, and a toilet.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende bathroom
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende bathtub
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende toilet

It seems like the hotel could invest in higher end shower heads, especially as the one in our room was spraying water in all directions.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende shower

Toiletries were in reusable containers, and featured products from Ohne, a brand I’ve never used before.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende toiletries

The main thing differentiating our room from others was the rooftop terrace. The terrace featured a table with four chairs, plus two sun loungers. The terrace didn’t have much in the way of views of town, as it faced the interior of the property, plus some hills in the background. Furthermore, it lacked sunlight, given the high walls on three sides of the terrace.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende rooftop terrace
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende rooftop terrace
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende rooftop terrace view

All-in-all I thought the room was spacious and had a great sense of place. I will say that I think the room almost photographs better than it looks in real life. The room was starting to feel slightly past its prime, but I’m not sure that’s captured in the pictures. The hotel opened in 2011, and I’m guessing it hasn’t been renovated since then, so many things felt a bit worn.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende room categories make no sense

I wouldn’t recommend booking a Rooftop Colonial King at the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende. Why? Because the lower room category is better. Ford’s mom was also staying at the hotel, and she booked a standard Colonial King Room, and was upgraded one category to a Deluxe Colonial King Room, on account of having booked through Rosewood Elite. Her room was immediately beneath our room, and the interior was identical.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende Deluxe Colonial King Room

You know that beautiful rooftop terrace we paid extra for? Well, the Deluxe Colonial King Room has a way bigger terrace — probably 3x as big as the terrace our room had — and it had a lot more natural light.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende Deluxe Colonial King Room
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende Deluxe Colonial King Room

I mean, I suppose some might like being one floor up and getting a slightly more panoramic view, but I’d pay extra for the Deluxe Colonial King over the Rooftop Colonial King any day, even though that’s the inverse of how rooms here are priced. Am I the only one?

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar

The Rosewood San Miguel de Allende has several food & beverage outlets, the most popular of which is Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar. As the name suggests, this is located on the rooftop, which is the fourth floor. Luna is open from the early afternoon until late at night, and serves lunch, dinner, snacks, and cocktails. There’s even in a DJ in the evenings.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende rooftop

This is an undeniably beautiful setting, especially with the views of the town.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar seating
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar seating
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar seating
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar seating
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar view
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende rooftop

You can find the Luna lunch & dinner menu here, and you can find the Luna cocktail list here. In general everything was pretty reasonably priced, at least compared to what you’d expect at a luxury hotel frequented by Americans. For example, cocktails were $10-15, and many of the tapas options were in a similar price range.

We had a long day of flying when we arrived, so we came here for some iced cappuccinos and chips & guac shortly after checking in.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar snack
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar snack
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar drink

Later in the evening we returned for cocktails, which were tasty.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar drinks

Even if you’re not staying at the Rosewood, it could be worth coming to Luna for the views and music, especially at sunset.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende 1826 Tequila Bar

On the ground floor, the Rosewood has 1826 Tequila Bar, open daily from the early afternoon until at night. In addition to having cocktails (and tequila), the bar also serves sushi. You can find the 1826 Tequila bar drink list here, and you can find the 1826 Tequila Bar sushi menu here.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende Tequila Bar
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende Tequila Bar

We had some cocktails here in the evening, and they were beautifully presented.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende Tequila Bar drinks

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende 1826 Restaurant

1826 Restaurant is the Rosewood’s all-day dining restaurant, so it’s where you can have breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The indoor area of the restaurant isn’t particularly exciting, though there is beautiful outdoor seating.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende 1826 Restaurant indoor seating
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende 1826 Restaurant outdoor seating
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende 1826 Restaurant outdoor seating
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende 1826 Restaurant outdoor seating

Breakfast is served at the restaurant daily from 7AM until 1PM, and was included with our Rosewood Elite booking. You can find the breakfast menu below.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende breakfast menu

To start I had filtered coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice, while Ford had an iced cappuccino and a green juice. All four drinks were very good.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende breakfast
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende breakfast

We were then brought a basket with delicious pastries, followed by a fruit plate.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende breakfast
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende breakfast

For the main course, I had the huevos guanajuato, while Ford had the huevos motuleños.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende breakfast
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende breakfast

The food was delicious — in fairness, I could eat nothing but Mexican food for the rest of my life and be a very happy man.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende pools

While we didn’t use the pools during our short stay, the hotel does have a pretty nice pool setup. The pools are located in the lush gardens behind the hotel, and the pathway leading to the pools is pretty, with plenty of seating.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende pool view
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende walkway to pool
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende walkway to pool
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende seating
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende seating
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende garden

The main pool is an 82-foot lap pool, allegedly the only lap pool in San Miguel de Allende.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende pool
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende pool
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende pool
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende pool

There are a couple more small pools one level down, plus a jacuzzi and a pool for kids.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende pool
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende pool
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende pool

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende spa & gym

The Rosewood San Miguel de Allende has a massive gym, much bigger than I would have expected for a hotel this size. I guess the hotel sells gym memberships to locals (there’s a big expat population), which explains why it’s so big.

While the equipment was great, the room itself was depressing — there was little natural light, the lighting was way too bright, and the room was bland.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende gym
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende gym
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende gym
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende gym
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende gym
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende gym
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende gym

The Rosewood’s spa, Sense, was located right next to the gym, though we also didn’t use that during our stay.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende spa

My issues with the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende

You might be thinking to yourself that the hotel looks great (or at least pretty nice), and are wondering why I’m rating this hotel 3.5 stars (and just to clarify, that doesn’t mean I’m suggesting this is a 3.5 star hotel, but rather that this reflects my overall feelings about the property, compared to my expectations).

It’s entirely possible we were unlucky, but too many things went wrong on our one night stay for me to want to return (or at least to get me to stay here again over trying the Belmond). For one, while the hotel has 67 rooms, it seems heavily geared towards conferences and conventions.

Hosting huge conferences (especially with non-guests) at a boutique hotel really changes the vibe, and I’ll go out of my way to avoid properties like this. For example, across from Luna there was a huge banquet setup for an HSBC event that was going on.

This created quite a bit of noise, not to mention you had dozens and dozens of people in suits with lanyards walking around the property. This wouldn’t be a huge issue at a 400+ room hotel, but for a hotel with just 67 rooms, having a conference for well over 100 people impacts the experience.

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende conference
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende conference

Furthermore, the hotel has no issues closing facilities for conferences. For example, we went to the Tequila Bar at 5:10PM for a drink, and were told we’d have to leave by 5:30PM, because the bar was being closed down for the private HSBC event. It’s the hotel’s prerogative to be conference-focused, and it’s my prerogative to avoid hotels like this, which don’t mind watering down the guest experience for these kinds of events. I should also mention that we weren’t informed in advance that this would be closed, or else we could have timed our bar visit differently.

My other major issue with the Rosewood was the service. I absolutely love Mexico, and find it has some of the best service in the world, especially in high-end hospitality. While most staff at this hotel were well intentioned, service simply wasn’t polished or detail-oriented:

  • When we went to Luna, we were asked if we had any dietary restrictions, and I said I don’t eat pork; when we ordered guacamole, it was served with those fried pork chip things, and only after I asked did they realize the mistake they made
  • We were waiting for Ford’s mom at breakfast, and we told them from the moment that we sat down that we got to the restaurant that there would be three of us, and we were waiting for a third person; on three separate occasions servers came by to attempt to remove the cutlery for the third person before she arrived, so there’s clearly not very good communication and organization between staff here
  • Late at night five of us ordered room service, including food and two bottles of wine, and we asked for the wine to be brought up soon, and the food to be brought up when it’s ready (they said it would take 45 minutes); that shouldn’t be a big ask when we’re talking about fairly pricey bottles of wine and a luxury hotel, and they acknowledged that they’d do it and it wouldn’t be an issue, but then they didn’t end up doing it

The biggest issue was when we tried to leave the hotel on the morning of departure, as we were going to the house we were renting. Taxis are plentiful in San Miguel de Allende, and we asked the bellmen to order a taxi for us. Long story short, we had to ask five different times for a taxi, and were completely ignored by the bell staff. The issue wasn’t that it was taking so long, but rather that every time we asked, they acted surprising that we wanted a taxi, as if we hadn’t asked for one before.

To be clear, individually none of these things are big problems, and for that matter it’s possible we were just unlucky. However, I can only share my experience based on our (admittedly) short stay, and it just wasn’t great. For what it’s worth, Ford had a friend who had stayed at the property a while back. During our stay Ford asked him what he thought of the hotel, and he said he had a not-great experience as well.

For the record, I shared all of this feedback with the hotel at check-out (I think that’s important, rather than pretending everything is great and then leaving constructive feedback online). The front desk agent documented much of it, but there was no attempt at service recovery otherwise.

Bottom line

The Rosewood is one of the top luxury hotels in San Miguel de Allende. Physically the hotel is nice, with large rooms that have a good sense of place. Unfortunately the soft product at the hotel leaves a bit to be desired, and would prevent me from returning.

The Rosewood seems to be heavily conference-oriented, which takes some of the charm out of staying at a boutique property. Furthermore, we had several service issues — while mostly minor, I expect better at a luxury property. Hopefully we just had a bad experience, and this doesn’t reflect how the hotel usually operates, though unfortunately I’m not convinced that’s the case…

If I returned to San Miguel de Allende, I’d probably try the Belmond next time (or somewhere else, but I wouldn’t return to the Rosewood).

If you’ve stayed at the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, what was your experience like? How forgiving are you of consistent minor issues like these?

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  1. Fed UP Guest

    might as well stay in the USA... this isn't Mexico, its fantasy land, staying at a hotel like this means you don't experience anything truly Mexican whatsoever

  2. Jeff Guest

    Rosewood San Miguel looks like gorgeous place! Definitely I'll put it down on my list for my next visit to Mexico.

  3. Mark O'Neill Guest

    Next time, check out LiveAqua.
    Definitely the best hotel in SMA.
    Puts the Rosewood to shame.
    And is priced accordingly.
    Mark

  4. rich Guest

    Stay here instead http://casaschuck.com/

    Go to the Rosewood for a drink at the out side bar

  5. Oscar Garza Guest

    In answering your question regarding shoe disinfection, CDC has recommended that coughing or sneezing droplets fall thru the air to the ground. Since children or pets touch the floor, it can be transferred to you.

  6. PG-SFO Guest

    Several time traveler to SMA, and we find the Rosewood and Belmond out of position for their price point, and the Rosewood in particular an "Epcot Style" version of an older Mexican hotel, given its newer construction and use of fake Mexican handicrafts throughout.

    There are terrific boutique hotels in SMA - Casa1810, L'Otel, Hotel Nena as examples - that have beautifully restored buildings, excellent concierge services, and outstanding dining on rooftops and terraces. They...

    Several time traveler to SMA, and we find the Rosewood and Belmond out of position for their price point, and the Rosewood in particular an "Epcot Style" version of an older Mexican hotel, given its newer construction and use of fake Mexican handicrafts throughout.

    There are terrific boutique hotels in SMA - Casa1810, L'Otel, Hotel Nena as examples - that have beautifully restored buildings, excellent concierge services, and outstanding dining on rooftops and terraces. They are all more centrally located and lend themselves to a more immersive experience.

    Rosewood for a drink at Luna and Belmond for the cooking class (Hi Chef Tony!), but not the places to stay.

  7. jetset Member

    The conference issue is not really acceptable for a property like this.

    We stayed at the Four Seasons Cabo recently and they had a large wedding taking place. We almost never noticed as they did such a good job limiting the impact of the wedding on other guests. We weren't inconvenienced for a single dining experience (breakfast, lunch or dinner) and never had issues with any of the facilities being taken over by wedding guests....

    The conference issue is not really acceptable for a property like this.

    We stayed at the Four Seasons Cabo recently and they had a large wedding taking place. We almost never noticed as they did such a good job limiting the impact of the wedding on other guests. We weren't inconvenienced for a single dining experience (breakfast, lunch or dinner) and never had issues with any of the facilities being taken over by wedding guests. That is how you deliver hospitality in my opinion - it seemed everyone had a great time and non-wedding guests weren't treated as second-class citizens.

  8. BenjaminNYC Guest

    Thanks for the review, Ben. My family has lived in SMA for 30+ years, and your review rang true in many ways. A few comments:

    * The shoe sanitation thing is hilarious and all throughout Mexico. To a degree, it actually existed before COVID, but it's been stepped up since the pandemic to be close to 100% of all places. Everyone has their own explanation. I've heard the spitting on the street one, among others....

    Thanks for the review, Ben. My family has lived in SMA for 30+ years, and your review rang true in many ways. A few comments:

    * The shoe sanitation thing is hilarious and all throughout Mexico. To a degree, it actually existed before COVID, but it's been stepped up since the pandemic to be close to 100% of all places. Everyone has their own explanation. I've heard the spitting on the street one, among others. It's comical hygiene theater. I just walk around them. At least you & your luggage didn't get sprayed with disinfectant head to toe, as has been going on sporadically.

    * The shower head thing is a real problem in SMA. The water base there is extremely "hard" (I think that's the right word; means it has a TON of minerals in it). Shower heads and faucets spray all over the place because they get clogged. What it means is that while Rosewood water is for sure purified, they didn't splurge on the special system that takes out the minerals. That's no excuse, of course, they should use CLR on the shower heads more often, but that's why. My mom uses a Brita for water in her fancy coffee maker for instance, even though her house water is purified.

    * Service lapses are common in SMA. It's only been the "it" place for a little while now, and so service isn't fully up to CDMX or major destination standards. I'm sure when a Four Seasons opens up eventually, everyone will rise to their level.

    Rosewood is quite focused on conferences, you're right. It's also somewhat annoying far from El Centro. Great view at Luna though. Next time, as you suggest, I recommend Sierra Nevada, or one of the other 5* boutiques right in town. There are quite a lot now.

  9. TJ Guest

    I live above the Rosewood and find them very annoying with there loud events and lack of consideration for the community. I have walked past the hotel in the evening and music blasting out so loud I could not talk with the person I was with for 2 blocks.

  10. jennifer rose Guest

    Your review is right on point -- except for one thing.

    "This a random tangent that has nothing to do with Rosewood, but can someone explain to me why virtually all hotels in Mexico require you to disinfect your shoes prior to entering as part of a coronavirus protocol? "

    It's not just a hotel thing. The disinfecting mat is one of the sanitation protocols the government has imposed since the beginning of the...

    Your review is right on point -- except for one thing.

    "This a random tangent that has nothing to do with Rosewood, but can someone explain to me why virtually all hotels in Mexico require you to disinfect your shoes prior to entering as part of a coronavirus protocol? "

    It's not just a hotel thing. The disinfecting mat is one of the sanitation protocols the government has imposed since the beginning of the pandemic. All businesses, ranging from organic grocery stores, beauty salons, dentist's offices, and banks to Costco, Walmart, and Liverpool, government offices, and just about anywhere that people walk in off the street are required to have that mat. You may go to a shopping center and find yourself having to go through the temperature check, shoe mat, and offering of hand sanitizer at each store you enter. Establishments which don't follow that protocol risk being summarily closed and/or fined.

  11. Henri C Guest

    Mistakes were made indeed but you should stick to hotel chains with loyalty programs and not hotel groups. Staying one night only leaves little room for making up to you any sort of faux-pas. Also, your questioning of the sanitization of shoes process was unnecessary and felt culturally-insensitive.

    Based on ulterior reviews, I'm thinking that if you had stayed at a Ritz or else and received suite upgrades due to your status (which seems to...

    Mistakes were made indeed but you should stick to hotel chains with loyalty programs and not hotel groups. Staying one night only leaves little room for making up to you any sort of faux-pas. Also, your questioning of the sanitization of shoes process was unnecessary and felt culturally-insensitive.

    Based on ulterior reviews, I'm thinking that if you had stayed at a Ritz or else and received suite upgrades due to your status (which seems to be the way for a good review from you), your review would have been far less loaded, even with a business group in-house.

    Your airlines reviews feel way more accurate, stick to that.

    1. DCA Will Always Be "National" Guest

      "culturally insensitive"...I don't think you know what that actually means. If anything, it would be hotel-insensitive since Lucky was asking in relation to the hotel, not to Mexico. I'm as blue as they typically come, but get a grip. You must be offended literally *all* the time if this is the sort of thing you focus on.

    2. Super Guest

      Did you leave the same accusation of being culturally-insensitive when Lucky reviewed the Four Seasons Cabo and reviewed it 5 stars? Did you also read the part where he glowed about Mexican food, and Mexican service standards?

      Sounds like you're the one that's being culturally insensitive (or a shill for the Rosewood SMA).

  12. Mary Guest

    The Belmond in San Miguel is lovely and service was perfect. If you aren’t staying there I agree that the rooftop bar at Rosewood is a must do.

  13. Jk Guest

    Ben, pls visit the rosewood in Tuscany, you will be in for a treat!

  14. Boyd Stewart Guest

    This review is excellent and thorough. Seems fair and changed my mind about trying a stay there.

  15. MEM Guest

    I recently visited SMA and have heard a lot on the new Live Aqua hotel being ranked as one of the best in the city and it definitely blew my mind as it is an amazing hotel, definitely competing for the best hotel in town; it is on the opposite side of the town but still walking distance. Best of all, rooms are incredibly decorated and restaurant options are very nice with top notch food…also the tequila bar is a must go.

  16. Omar Guest

    Stayed here last year and did not have any of the issues you mentioned. I've also read the Belmond is not very nice and the Rosewood is by far the top property in the city.

    1. Andrew Guest

      Very well played getting that comment in first.

  17. Alain Guest

    It is such a shame that the service here is, at best inconsistent. A hotel that brands itself as 5* should be impeccable.
    I know this property very well and have stayed here a few times and felt disappointed! I also stayed in San Miguel 5 months and joined the gym which gave me access to the spa area and pool. The Spa staff were great but the pool...oh my! I recall having ordered...

    It is such a shame that the service here is, at best inconsistent. A hotel that brands itself as 5* should be impeccable.
    I know this property very well and have stayed here a few times and felt disappointed! I also stayed in San Miguel 5 months and joined the gym which gave me access to the spa area and pool. The Spa staff were great but the pool...oh my! I recall having ordered a mezcal on ice and it took the waitress 33 minutes to bring it to me! At 15 minute mark I reminded her of my order and she replied it was coming . Note this was at the height of the pandemic and there were about 15 guests at the pool , if that! When presented the bill I told her it was unacceptable to wait 33 minutes for a simple mezcal on ice at a Rosewood. She replied "Ok I will tell the barman to hurry next time". Oh. O.K. not even an apology or attempt at service recovery!
    Somehow that reply got me furious and I went to complain to the manager on duty. No attempt again for service recovery but he did apologise and provided me with his business card. Incredible.
    I visited and stayed at many local hotels and I would never recommend this Rosewood. The Belmond is far better and the service is consistently excellent. In speaking with many of the hotel staff at different properties, I noticed many of them "used to" work at the Rosewood and had left. It seems there is a problem here with staff retention and they do not necessarily hire the best qualified candidates any more since no one wants to work there from what I have gathered.

    Outside the gorgeous views at Luna bar, I really dont think it is worth spending a penny at this property unless they lower their rates . You were right to rate them 3.5 stars and again I think thats generous!

  18. Rodrigo Becerra Guest

    This hotel has a beautiful setting, but the service and management suck. I stayed there once and never again. There is little transparency as to which room category is which, so you may pay a lot and end up in a shitty room, etc. Also service as you well point out is lacking in every way, especially for this price point. On our departure they charged me arbitrarily 40 dollars for hangers...they said we stole...

    This hotel has a beautiful setting, but the service and management suck. I stayed there once and never again. There is little transparency as to which room category is which, so you may pay a lot and end up in a shitty room, etc. Also service as you well point out is lacking in every way, especially for this price point. On our departure they charged me arbitrarily 40 dollars for hangers...they said we stole 2 hangers...I told them to check the cameras as we were not even carrying suit cases that could fit those range sizes.
    In all be weary of this place.

  19. Bill Boeddiker Guest

    Must say that this is one of my favorite hotels in Mexico. The architecture is so authentic and original, the rooms are great, the roof top bar can not be beat and the outdoor pool is super glam. Food, booze and service were all great too the two times my partner and I have stayed there. Can't wait to go back.

  20. jdawg Guest

    I've stayed at two Rosewood's now (London and Abu Dhabi), my sense is these are beautifully designed hotels but way overpriced for what they are.
    They are pricing at Mandarin or Four Seasons levels but offering service that at best is on par with say a Ritz Carlton.
    If they priced the same as Ritz Carlton's then this wouldn't be an issue but alas they don't...

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      You think the best Ritz-Carltons are inferior to a Mandarin Oriental? I agree that the Four Seasons is the best luxury chain, although I would put them in a tie with The Peninsula.

    2. jdawg Guest

      I think in terms of service and price yes
      I don't think Ritz Carlton is a bad brand but there's a difference between a BMW 7 series and a Bentley
      Rosewood prices like a Bentley when it's a BMW 7 Series in terms of service
      Ritz Carlton prices appropriately for the experience and service
      Rosewood does not

  21. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    It always amazes me how a hotel room built or renovated in say 2011 can feel outdated in 2021. And I don't mean just an old TV, but like wear and tear. I think most hotel owners are cheap and do not buy quality furnishings or decor because private residences have furniture that are antiques and look amazing. Sure, lower end hotels may get more wear-and-tear because of luggage, etc. but hotel furniture just seems cheap and not made to last more than 5-7 years.

    1. Alonzo Gold

      Has nothing to do with the hotel. It's guests beating the shit out of the decor. Why buy quality when 99% of guests don't know how to treat a room that has $10,000 worth of furniture in it? Most people don't even know the hotel bed they're sleeping on costs a few grand.

  22. Luis Guest

    Shame was service wasn't up to par. The hotel itself looks beautiful.

  23. Lee mulcahy Guest

    First I love your columns because even when I think you are being too fussy, you’re such a great storyteller that you’re forgiven!!! We just got back from A month in San Miguel de Allende. We ate at Rosewood a bunch with the local ex-pats but you are so right about it being corporate. Same with Aqua…. Uber works great there as long as you’re not too American on timing-what a magical city! Renting a house is the way to go!!!!!!

  24. Alonzo Gold

    To complain about conferences and the hotel cutting off services? Come on, that could happen anywhere including a Ritz or Four Seasons. They're paying way more than your little $600 lol. It sucks but when it comes down to it, HSBC is paying a ton more than you. They're spending more at the hotel, more for food and drinks. Don't want to deal with it? Book a airbnb like others have said, or buyout the hotel for a few nights like royalty haha.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Alonzo -- You don't think it would be polite for the hotel to at least inform guests in advance what time outlets are closed for private functions, so that we can plan around it?

    2. Alonzo Gold

      Nope. Do they inform guests when weddings or other events are happening and when things will be closed? That's never happened in my experience at any level of hotel. Like I said, indicating otherwise would suggest you're the only person at the hotel. Or that you matter more than a large group or event.

    3. pstm91 Diamond

      @Alonzo yes, they absolutely do. I have a booking at Dorado Beach in late January and they just sent me an email informing me of a wedding that will interfere with a fun small dinner we were planning. They've already re-accommodated us elsewhere. I had a similar thing happen with Rosewood Mayakoba in the past. Ben is completely right here to say it should have been acknowledged prior to the stay, or at the very...

      @Alonzo yes, they absolutely do. I have a booking at Dorado Beach in late January and they just sent me an email informing me of a wedding that will interfere with a fun small dinner we were planning. They've already re-accommodated us elsewhere. I had a similar thing happen with Rosewood Mayakoba in the past. Ben is completely right here to say it should have been acknowledged prior to the stay, or at the very least give them some sort of F&B credit to make up for not being able to use facilities. That's what you're paying for after all, so to not be able to use them looks bad.

    4. Alonzo Gold

      You're talking about something you booked/made reservations for. Not a impromptu sit down at a restaurant or pool. People need to stop acting like use of amenities is guaranteed. You paid for a room rate. Use of the amenities is never a guarantee for whatever reason. I was just at the Conrad in Punta Mita and they had a large wedding. Was I told about it? No. The hotel doesn't have to. Would it be...

      You're talking about something you booked/made reservations for. Not a impromptu sit down at a restaurant or pool. People need to stop acting like use of amenities is guaranteed. You paid for a room rate. Use of the amenities is never a guarantee for whatever reason. I was just at the Conrad in Punta Mita and they had a large wedding. Was I told about it? No. The hotel doesn't have to. Would it be nice? Sure. But you are a guest, a low paying one at that. Weddings/events take priority my man. Big bank take little bank.

    5. pstm91 Diamond

      My Mayakoba reservation was not. They reached out to me about a month beforehand to let me know a wedding would be taking place. They asked if I wanted to change rooms to a quieter part of the hotel and advised that some of the F&B outlets would be limited because of it. It made a huge difference in my stay there as we knew what to expect, versus finding out on the spot that...

      My Mayakoba reservation was not. They reached out to me about a month beforehand to let me know a wedding would be taking place. They asked if I wanted to change rooms to a quieter part of the hotel and advised that some of the F&B outlets would be limited because of it. It made a huge difference in my stay there as we knew what to expect, versus finding out on the spot that you can't go to XYZ bar/restaurant. I do agree with you that the use of amenities/outlets is not guaranteed, though many luxury hotels specifically list them as "complimentary" inclusions/amenities on your reservation confirmation. This is why people expect them and get ticked off.

  25. Fernando Hernandez Guest

    I went to the Rosewood a couple months ago, and also had a couple bad experiences. My card was cloned at the taps bar; I realized that because I kept getting charges coming from there. I had to cancel my card, AMEX didn’t recognize the charges, but still is annoying to lose a card in the middle of a trip.
    The tequila bar made the same charge 3 times. By the time I realized...

    I went to the Rosewood a couple months ago, and also had a couple bad experiences. My card was cloned at the taps bar; I realized that because I kept getting charges coming from there. I had to cancel my card, AMEX didn’t recognize the charges, but still is annoying to lose a card in the middle of a trip.
    The tequila bar made the same charge 3 times. By the time I realized that, the charges had already gone through and approved by chase. I had to swallow those charges since I didn’t wanted to get my card cancelled by Chase during my 2 months trip.

  26. DLPTATL Guest

    I think the biggest benefit of a "rooftop" balcony isn't that the views are inherently better or that it gets more sun (that's obviously a function of the orientation of the hotel and time of year), it's that no one at the hotel is looking down on your balcony affording a much higher level of privacy.

  27. 1987 Guest

    I studied my spanish at SMA. Rented a house in Centro designed by architect and was amazing. It was 20 years ago with music from Cafe Costes in the courtyard of nearby hotel which may be the other hotel of which you speak. Lots of Texans and Oregonians (gringos) retired living there. Your hotel prices seem very high but once is enough in SMA - as its very difficult to fly into Leon and car service to SMA. Interesting read though.

  28. Jerry Gold

    Any reason you didn't just take an Uber? They appear to be running in San Miguel. Did you encounter problems with them otherwise?

    1. Sel, D. Guest

      Ubers can be unavailable or very far away in SMA, or even right down the street - it’s all over the place.

    2. Alain Guest

      During my 5 months there Uber was not available 2/3 times! Not very reliable especially if you need to catch a plane or a bus to other destinations!

  29. Greg Guest

    What an extortionate rate

    So many better opportunities in Mexico or San Miguel

  30. Dustin Guest

    Lol I just spent almost a month in Mexico. Staying at decent hotels and airbnbs utilizing points where it made sense. Two peiple remind you. Spent about 2100usd. Including flights and car rentals. Don't need to spend 500$ a night in Mexico to have a great time. That's almost to the point of being moronic. Then to top it off..... The hotel is not that great.

  31. Ryan Guest

    Looks nice, but I'm waiting for Hyatt's Unbound Collection hotel to open up for my visit to the area.

    1. Teresa Guest

      May be awhile, as construction as been SUSPENDIDO by the city for over a month due to height and other violations.

  32. Sel, D. Guest

    I went to the Rosewood a couple of months ago, but just for the Covid test. The airbnb’s in SMA can be stunning and come with staff, almost like a private bed and bath. I hope your rental was a much better experience. Also, for hotel options, the Live Aqua is gorgeous - but similarly is going to be a conference and wedding hotel.

  33. pstm91 Diamond

    I do love Rosewood and generally speaking, their properties are fantastic. I have been hearing similar complaints about service though at several properties, most notably Little Dix. It does make you wonder how much of it can be blamed on the pandemic and a lack of staffing/hiring new staff...

  34. Peter Jordan Travel Guest

    I stayed at the Rosewood last year also in a rooftop colonial king and I think you just kind of got screwed on that particular room. Ours had an enormous terrace with great views but was otherwise identical. Fortunately we didn't have the issue with any conferences or events you had, but we had other service issues as well that ended up getting us upgraded to a very nice suite our last night. The air...

    I stayed at the Rosewood last year also in a rooftop colonial king and I think you just kind of got screwed on that particular room. Ours had an enormous terrace with great views but was otherwise identical. Fortunately we didn't have the issue with any conferences or events you had, but we had other service issues as well that ended up getting us upgraded to a very nice suite our last night. The air conditioning made crazy noises all night and it took about four attempts to get anyone to acknowledge, understand, and deal with it.

    I also just stayed at the Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada a few weeks ago and it has a completely different vibe. Much smaller property with I think 37 rooms spread over a handful of old houses/mansions. Much more intimate and cozy in every aspect. The rooms I toured had a more unique feel due to the layout. They had a similar issue you experienced at check-in though where they did not acknowledge the virtuoso benefits for the booking, so I didn't learn the property credit only applied to the spa until check-out.

    I think you were just unlucky on your short visit and both are great but not perfect hotels in a very neat city.

  35. stogieguy7 Gold

    There are a number of things that Latin American countries are doing under the guise of COVID that make little or no sense. The shoe disinfection bit is absurd - it will do nothing at all. Costa Rica is an example I'm familiar with: they've had lockdowns for 2 years, absurd curfews (as if COVID comes out after 6 pm), requirements to wear masks AND face shields, etc - and their case rates are appalling....

    There are a number of things that Latin American countries are doing under the guise of COVID that make little or no sense. The shoe disinfection bit is absurd - it will do nothing at all. Costa Rica is an example I'm familiar with: they've had lockdowns for 2 years, absurd curfews (as if COVID comes out after 6 pm), requirements to wear masks AND face shields, etc - and their case rates are appalling. I can't recommend going there right now, btw. Their current government is a disaster.

    Back to Mexico: this was another well-written and enjoyable review. The hotel appears to be gorgeous, but I can relate to Lucky's service frustrations. One or two of them can be easily overlooked, but this appears to be a pattern, which is not good for a hotel that charges this much for a room and for services. I also would expect a lot more. Seems to be an abuse, IMO.

  36. Aaron Guest

    "but can someone explain to me why virtually all hotels in Mexico require you to disinfect your shoes prior to entering as part of a coronavirus protocol? I asked a tour guide about this, and his explanation was that it’s in case people spit on the street and then you step into it. Unless you have a shoe-licking fetish, I still don’t think that’s how coronavirus spreads."

    Hahaha. Mexico has the worst COVID theater of...

    "but can someone explain to me why virtually all hotels in Mexico require you to disinfect your shoes prior to entering as part of a coronavirus protocol? I asked a tour guide about this, and his explanation was that it’s in case people spit on the street and then you step into it. Unless you have a shoe-licking fetish, I still don’t think that’s how coronavirus spreads."

    Hahaha. Mexico has the worst COVID theater of anywhere I've been during the pandemic. I don't actually think there's any rhyme or reason to it, it just has become a thing. You have to walk through those special "foot disinfecting" mats, sanitize your hand, and have your temperature taken by some random spot on your arm (highly inaccurate) before you can enter anywhere.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      The place we stayed in Medellin this summer had those shoe mat things as well. Never had seen them before!

    2. mdande7 Member

      I was in the country of Georgia this fall and they had them too. No one used them, I mean everyone stepped over it. Pretty funny.

    3. Alain Guest

      During my 5 months there Uber was not available 2/3 times! Not very reliable especially if you need to catch a plane or a bus to other destinations!

    4. Timo Gold

      I was in SMA last month but stated at Hotel Matilda (voted best Hotel in Mexico for 2021). It is a small boutique hotel and we'll appointed with good service. It's just around the corner from Rosewood so we wanted to have sunset drinks on rooftop. Just getting past the hordes of SUVs full of conference attendees into the lobby was enough. Then upon entering the rooftop you are greeted by a woman with a...

      I was in SMA last month but stated at Hotel Matilda (voted best Hotel in Mexico for 2021). It is a small boutique hotel and we'll appointed with good service. It's just around the corner from Rosewood so we wanted to have sunset drinks on rooftop. Just getting past the hordes of SUVs full of conference attendees into the lobby was enough. Then upon entering the rooftop you are greeted by a woman with a clipboard at a cheap folding table taking names for waitlist. After 30 minutes of her not seating anyone, we gave up...I'm sure my name is still on the list, ha! I guess I should have told her we wanted sunset that day and not three weeks later. It was a zoo. The Rosewood in Santa Fe is much nicer with understated elegance. Ubers are feast or famine in SMA. But my partner speaks Spanish so we got the personal info of the first driver and called him privately throughout the week. Fir a treat go to Santisima Trinidad north of town. Beautiful vineyard with Hotel and restaurants...had the perfect 3 hour lunch there.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ Alonzo -- You don't think it would be polite for the hotel to at least inform guests in advance what time outlets are closed for private functions, so that we can plan around it?

4
pstm91 Diamond

@Alonzo yes, they absolutely do. I have a booking at Dorado Beach in late January and they just sent me an email informing me of a wedding that will interfere with a fun small dinner we were planning. They've already re-accommodated us elsewhere. I had a similar thing happen with Rosewood Mayakoba in the past. Ben is completely right here to say it should have been acknowledged prior to the stay, or at the very least give them some sort of F&B credit to make up for not being able to use facilities. That's what you're paying for after all, so to not be able to use them looks bad.

3
DCA Will Always Be "National" Guest

"culturally insensitive"...I don't think you know what that actually means. If anything, it would be hotel-insensitive since Lucky was asking in relation to the hotel, not to Mexico. I'm as blue as they typically come, but get a grip. You must be offended literally *all* the time if this is the sort of thing you focus on.

2
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