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SONG OF THE WORLD
In the collective imagination of a world avid for exoticism, Mexico is probably the source of more clichéd imagery than any other Latin American country. Under the languorous palm trees of Veracruz, between the colonial palaces and the blue of the Caribbean, it’s impossible to resist a plunge into history. Cortés burning his ships, the Aztecs and their customs ranging from ball games to human sacrifice, the mysterious disappearance of the Maya, leaving nothing but temples engulfed by vines… And, in more recent times, the short-lived Emperor Maximilian, immortalized by Édouard Manet and a victim of his own reckless ambition, Frida Kahlo, an international symbol of the woman artist, or the pistoleros in wide-brimmed sombreros attacking armored trains for the noble cause of the Revolution.
Cuernavaca, Tampico, Sierra Madre, Yucatán… All eternally mythicized and yet all very real places. Once the demesne of D. H. Lawrence, Graham Greene and Malcolm Lowry, all writers of heightened perceptiveness, today Mexico is a favored destination for travelers in search of beauty and cultural variety. Here they find a unique and multi-layered mix: thousand-year old masks made of gold and jade, Totonaca acrobats defying death atop tall poles, mariachi musicians marking all of life’s events with chords from their guitars… “So close to the United States, so far from God,” lamented Porfirio Díaz. Whether or not we agree with the dictator’s bon mot, it must be admitted that Mexico occupies a unique position. Bathed by the waters of two oceans, broadening out immensely to the north, where the Río Grande flows, and narrowing sharply to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in the south (home of a matriarchal Zapotec society that has endured for centuries), its terrain ranges from never-melting snows to arid plateaus dotted with long-forgotten silver mines to lush tropical jungle. Mexico is the bond that unites the two Americas, the country that gave the world tomatoes, corn, cocoa, beans and tobacco, and yet more than that: the essence of an entire hemisphere.
Hotel and restaurant in town. Agave fields at the foot of a volcano, a colourful little town, you are in the cradle of the most famous Mexican beverage, in Tequila. The entire soul of Mexico is present here, in the vast architecture inspired by the colonial estates of El Solar de Las Ánimas, its arcades, corridors, ceramics and patios; in the fresh and organic produce of a fine local cuisine; in the paintings of Chucho Reyes which adorn the bar. Go for a visit to the distillery, the pre-Hispanic site of Guachimontones, ride a horse or do abseiling in the canyons … the bells of Santiago Apostol will ring when the sun goes down, for a cocktail on the terrace, of course based on tequila. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant on the seafront. Bahía de Banderas and the lively town of Puerto Vallarta are close at hand. Yet behind the Punta de Mita mountains, nestling in the rainforest, Imanta offers intimate contact with nature. Its rough stone buildings, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, are beautiful and at the same time respectful of this unspoiled environment. In this idyllic setting with its lush vegetation and ocean swarming with fish, guests can unwind at their own pace, take advantage of spa treatments, explore the surrounding wilderness, or indulge in the seclusion of the private beach. In winter, guests can watch from their room humpback whales and their young at play in the water. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in town. This sumptuous, authentic Mexican hacienda is located in the center of Cuernavaca, the “city of eternal spring.” In the exotic gardens, among the sculptures by Francisco Zúñiga and lush flowers, elegant peacocks strut about and blue parrots perch in the trees. The colonial suites, in their tiled-roof villas, are decorated with beautiful antiques and artworks, including paintings by José Luis Cuevas, Leonardo Nierman and Carlos Mérida. In addition to generous servings of traditional cuisine, Las Mañanitas offers a choice of excursions on the Aztec trail, with visits to the Palace of Cortés and the ruined cities of Xochicalco and Taxco, famous for its silversmiths. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in town. Located on the most elegant boulevard in Guanajuato, this delightful 19th-century neoclassical French townhouse offers splendid views of the imposing La Bufa Hill. The suites boast high ceilings, marble bathrooms and large windows to admit plenty of natural light. The terracotta-colored walls, floors inlaid with mosaics and beautiful paintings and murals by local artists Jesús Gallardo and Gorky González create a warm atmosphere and a sense of space. The restaurant, bar and wine cellar are superb and there is an exceptional spa with a Roman-style sunken pool. The Villa María Cristina is a veritable jewel in the heart of Mexico. ... Learn moreless