Hotel Matilda, Contemporary Mexican Building Development, San Miguel de Allende Architecture, Photos
Hotel Matilda in San Miguel de Allende
Accommodation Development, Mexico – design by Marco Martinez Valle, Architect
8 Feb 2019
Architect: Marco Martinez Valle
Location: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
A hotel becomes a destination when it beckons the most discriminating travelers seeking sophisticated, one-of-a-kind lifestyle experiences in a stylish luxury atmosphere. And Mexico’s hottest destination today is…Hotel Matilda.
Hotel Matilda is set in the center of Mexico’s most celebrated colonial town, San Miguel de Allende – but the location in a nexus of the country’s history is the only aspect of the property that is traditional. Matilda is innovative, iconoclastic and forward thinking. It is a pioneer experimenting in the new hospitality of today. And international travelers have taken notice: The readers of Condé Nast Traveler recently rated Hotel Matilda the top hotel in Mexico, and #3 in the world, for 2016.
“Since the day we opened in fall 2010, we have been committed to offering a dynamic and exciting guest experience unlike at any other hotel in Mexico,” said Bruce James, Director of Hotel Matilda. “At Hotel Matilda, we believe that today’s savvy and successful hospitality is all about creating an aspirational lifestyle that resonates with our guests.”
It is the experiential ‘Matilda Lifestyle’ that sets the hotel apart. Stepping into the hotel, guests are instantly cocooned in an artsy world not unlike an avant-garde art gallery. They can participate in an extravagant culinary evening with a heralded chef, or join a cocktail party with a noted artist whose latest works are on display. At the spa, guests can immerse themselves in creating beauty- and body-care products designed specifically for them, or dive into the benefits of a Turkish-style Hammam with aromatherapy steam. They can sample mouth-watering dishes concocted by a world-renowned master chef and sip the latest bar trends courtesy of the creative mixologists.
The Matilda Experience begins with the ambience – the first, and often lasting, impression of the arriving guest. In 500-year-old San Miguel de Allende, colonial atmosphere and décor completely dominate the town, except at Hotel Matilda where guests step from the old cobblestone streets and adobe buildings into the 21st century. Matilda intentionally and purposely blazed its own path rather than follow a traditional route. The hotel’s interior is, in essence, a contemporary art gallery. The clean lines, smooth surfaces and neutral colors are the canvas for strategically placed works of art and installations. The hotel is filled with dramatic, colorful pieces by leading artists of Mexico, as well as several from Europe. Many of the works, including the larger installations, were specially commissioned for the hotel for specific interior locations, shaping the décor and look from the outset. The goal was to develop a uniquely art-centered hotel that would be a cultural hub of San Miguel. And undeniably, staying at Hotel Matilda today is a cultural experience from the moment you check in.
Cuisine is, arguably, the foundation of a hotel’s soul and spirit. Is there any other amenity more important? Forging a partnership with Mexico’s most acclaimed chef, Enrique Olvera, was the master stroke of the ‘Matilda Lifestyle’ concept, putting Matilda on the culinary map virtually overnight and within a short time enshrining the hotel as a culinary destination in Mexico.
Chef Olvera operates Moxi restaurant as well as Bar Müi at Matilda, infusing both with the panache and verve that have made him one of the most recognized chefs on the international food scene of today.
His menu at Moxi elevated culinary sophistication in San Miguel de Allende, for the first time, to world-class status, sparking a dining renaissance in the legendary town. Chef Olvera describes his food at Moxi, which emphasizes seasonal and locally procured ingredients, as having a Mexican soul but an international palate, with flavors, textures, combinations and presentations that are subtly familiar yet exuberantly original. Whether dining indoors in the elegant dining room with banquette seating, al fresco on the trellis-shaded patio or with family and friends in the intimate private dining room, each course at Moxi is an epicurean experience.
Laughter and gaiety resound in the evenings at Bar Müi. An international crowd fills the popular spot nightly, to sip delicious signature cocktails and chill out in the relaxed environment that spills out into a patio under the stars. Müi has earned a growing reputation for its prime-time mixology techniques featuring artisanal spirits, mixers made fresh with local fruits and herbs in season, and use of spices as accents. A special feature of the lounge is the bathroom where the revealing wallpaper is adapted from a famous work hanging in the hotel – of 18,000 nudes in the main square of Mexico City – by celebrated artist-photographer Spencer Tunick. The bar scene at Hotel Matilda is a hip experience from the very first sip.
Nestled in a tranquil garden ambience with quiet indoor and outdoor sitting areas, Spa Matilda is an intimate haven where guests embark on personalized journeys of renewal and well-being. The treatments and therapies are globally inspired but infused with local flavor, culture and context. The ingredients are natural and artisanal, with the extensive selection including everything from lavender, sage and sea salts to spirulina algae, juniper and white and green clays. It was the first hotel spa to offer an Apothecary Concierge where guests actively participate in designing and mixing up hand-made, natural beauty and care products individualized for them.
Among the facilities are a Couples Room, a Spa Suite, a Turkish-style Hammam, a wellness studio for yoga and Pilates, and a fitness facility highlighted by cardio- and strength-training equipment. It’s not a surprise that Condé Nast Traveler proclaimed Spa Matilda one of the world’s best new spas when it opened and Vogue Mexico counts it as one of its favorite spas in Mexico. The dramatic water feature at the entrance – a liquid wall gently flowing down from the infinity-edge pool above – sets the stage for the personalized lifestyle experience that awaits at Spa Matilda.
A vibrant lifestyle is filled with special events and occasions, and Hotel Matilda has made such unforgettable experiences a priority and a cornerstone of the Matilda Lifestyle. Matilda is renowned for its culinary showcases with leading chefs and art exhibits with famous artists. The gallery-like ambience is the ideal framework for art events, usually combined with a cocktail party and a gourmet dinner, that draw leading Mexican and international artists, collectors and VIPs of the art world.
The regular Supper Clubs are a fixture of the social scene at the hotel. Guests are immersed in extravagant evenings attended by foodies from across the country. The multi-course, original menus, which may be paired with wines, tequilas or champagnes, are prepared by chefs from the most highly rated restaurants in the country. The most recent Supper Club incorporated performance art by Spencer Tunick – a titillating video of nudes swimming underwater in the hotel’s bubbling infinity pool – with Moxi’s Chef de Cuisine Carlos Zamora, in collaboration with guest chef Jorge Ildefonso, the Executive Chef of Viceroy Riviera Maya resort in Playa del Carmen, creating extraordinary culinary art to complement Tunick’s unabashed visual.
An annual event at Matilda brings an international jet set crowd to the hotel for a grand feast celebrating British Polo Day in Mexico. Arguably the most spectacular event on the calendar each year at Matilda is the ‘Cena Negra’ – the hauntingly delicious and creative culinary extravaganza for The Day of the Dead orchestrated by international celebrities, from Chef Olvera to Chef Martha Ortiz, Mexico’s queen of epicurean theater and culinary mysticism. The 2016 Cena Negra even included a traditional ‘callejoneada’ procession through the streets to the hotel and was filmed by CNN. The event scene at Hotel Matilda inserts guests in the middle of transcendent, original experiences.
Channeling the contemporary art adorning the hotel’s walls and spaces, the modern and elegant rooms and suites are like canvasses that have been brushed with the same colors and artistic theme of the hotel, becoming works of art themselves. A white-and-graphite color scheme is juxtaposed by bold turquoise accents. The 400-thread-count linens are made in Mexico with fine materials from Europe. Floors are Mexican calcutta marble with white with gray veining. Bathrooms showcase artistic originality with slide-away custom vanities that double as both a mirror and a window treatment; baths have both a tub and shower. The white towels are soft long-staple Egyptian cotton. The rooms and suites at Hotel Matilda are a plush, inviting and comforting experience.
From the day it opened its doors, Hotel Matilda has followed its own eclectic and innovative path, shaping a stimulating, chic urban lifestyle for its guests not found anywhere else in San Miguel de Allende or Mexico. The Matilda Lifestyle continues to evolve, a grand experiment in luxury hospitality that is fulfilling the desires and needs of today’s travelers.
“Guests want to be part of the scene, an active participant in what is happening, not just observe it from the outside,” explained Mr. James. “This is the aspirational lifestyle that Hotel Matilda has positioned itself to tap and fulfill. It is always evolving, demanding that we continue to innovate and create new experiences that capture the hearts and minds of our guests.”
Mexican Materials & Décor: Most of the materials and components of the construction and décor are Mexican, from marble from Hidalgo and Puebla states and quarried rock from the state of Queretaro to upholstery and furniture hand-crafted by Mexican artisans
Green Profile: Hotel Matilda has a truly green profile with photo-voltaic panels producing up to 30% of the electricity needs; solar panels heating water for guest rooms, the pool, and
other uses; a lighting system that automatically dims and shuts off lights to reduce energy use; composting of organic waste and recycling of glass, plastic, paper and other inorganic waste; and sustainable bath amenities presented in large 32 oz. pump bottles that are refilled rather than small individual throwaway bottles.
Indigenous Landscaping: The landscaping echoes the local topography, and complements the green ecological profile, by only using plants indigenous to the region. The diverse plantings of common and rare species creates a natural array of colors and textures, both canopies and lower gardens, and varying scents through the seasons of the year.
Hotel Matilda, San Miguel de Allende – Building Information
Location: In the famed 500-year-old colonial city of San Miguel de Allende, in Mexico’s central highlands 700 miles south of Houston and 170 miles northwest of Mexico City.
Photography: Jorge Silva
Hotel Matilda in San Miguel de Allende images / information received 080219
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Hotel Matilda in San Miguel de Allende
Website: San Miguel de Allende