There are countless places to settle, in our wide and wonderful world. How is it that sophisticated readers of Travel + Leisure magazine last year selected San Miguel Allende, a charming colonial town in the Mexican state of Guanajuato, as the world’s best city?
Could it be the scent of citrus and spice, flowers and wood that float through the air? Maybe it’s the pastel hues of the architecture, the cobblestone streets, the pleasant mile-high desert climate or the cosmopolitan art gallery vibe. Perhaps it’s the tequila. Whatever the allure, San Miguel Allende is the destination cited by world travelers looking for a beautiful, affordable, expat-friendly place with a high standard of living as a spot to visit and put down roots.
Among options for those seeking to buy is the five-bedroom, five-bathroom Casa Ladrillera. Designed by renowned architect Nicole Bisgaard, it seamlessly blends superb artisan craftsmanship with modern luxury. The location is near the center of town, but tucked away on a quiet street.
Entry is through ornately carved double doors leading to a double-height hallway that opens to a waterfall in the lower courtyard and a wide staircase to a second-floor landing and terrace. From the very beginning, it is smashing.
Exquisite marble, granite and tilework line the kitchen, which is designed with a Wolf double range and Sub-Zero refrigerator, a huge island and butler’s pantry. The kitchen opens to a breakfast room with a fireplace – one of nine in the home.
The expansive living room features a grand fireplace and a wall of glass doors that open onto the lower courtyard. From that level, gracefully curved stairs lead to the upper courtyard and an inviting, blue-tiled swimming pool and covered loggia, with a fireplace for entertaining.
The primary bedroom and two others are located around the pool courtyard. All five of the bedrooms have gas fireplaces and the primary bedroom fireplace also burns wood. Bathrooms have radiant heating in the marble floors. The primary bedroom bath has a freestanding bathtub looking out on a private garden.
Two other generous bedrooms are located on the second floor. Between them lies an elegant terrace with a view of the garden and pool. Steps lead up to an additional private sunbathing terrace.
Other luxury amenities include tile floors, high ceilings throughout, a temperature-controlled wine cellar, an office area, a garage, solar panels to power the house and pool, a high-end water purification system, air conditioning and electric blinds.
With more than a million expats, Mexico is the most popular destination for North Americans looking to move abroad, and San Miguel de Allende, with a population of 170,000, is among the most popular towns.
The 64-block historic core remains a colonial jewel box, protected by UNESCO World Heritage status. Restaurants, galleries and murals line the streets. San Miguel de Allende is 58 miles (93 kilometers) from Del Bajio International Airport.
Casa Ladrillera sits on an 8,200-square-foot (762-square-meter) plot. The home is 6,300 square feet (587 square meters) and is move-in ready.