With a front door you can easily miss, Hotel Boutique Valeriana is so discreet as to not even be there, but its location at the centre of San Miguel de Allende, a popular tourist town in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico (pronounced wanahwato), makes it the perfect hotel.
Through the door, a green edged entry that is easy to miss wedged as it is between a furniture shop and the brown double doors of the next house, you head up a set of stairs to the nicely decorated, almost hipster reception. It is a small hotel with few rooms but immaculate and well laid out. In the reception is water, coffee and snacks for the guests. The staff are friendly and available at all times of day and night. Not all of them speak English but all are willing to go out of their way to be accommodating. If you return after eleven pm you will have to ring the doorbell to be let in.
The room is similarly small but clean and decorated in the same cozy theme. All the rooms are en-suite and many offer a view of the city. The shower is nice and big, as is the bed and there is a television with local and some American channels if you want it. You are provided with bottled water, soap and towels daily. And if you should run out of water there is drinking water in the reception, not far from any of the rooms.
If you can, book room number 1; it is worth it for the access to the terrace. If you stand to look out over the wall you can see down across the rooftops dropping down the hillside. Rooftops are always nice in Mexico, colourful and peppered with church spires and washing and deckchairs and often occupied by dogs. Otherwise you can just sit in one of the chairs and enjoy the sunshine.
Just across the street from the hotel is a small plaza where you can relax under the shade of the trees or buy trinkets or elotes and tamales and various other Mexican street snacks. Beyond, down narrow colonial streets, you are a block away from the central plaza, which is full of restaurants, from the typical Mexican style selling tacos to Italian and French style bistros. You’ll also find bands playing traditional music, a cathedral and various shops and the city museum.
I would recommend the museum, if more for the building and the possibility to see someone using a loom to make Mexican rugs than for any of the installations. And for breakfast, the ‘Restaurant Bar Donovans’ has churros, chilaquiles and any kind of breakfast you could ask for. Restaurant Bar Donovans can be found on Hildago 15 in central San Miguel de Allende. Otherwise, there is always something going on in the plaza, be it Independence Day celebrations or memorials of some long dead Mexican singer.
If you choose to drive to San Miguel de Allende, there is easily accessible parking in the centre around the corner from the hotel, though the hotel does not provide parking itself. The public parking costs around 200 MXN (10 USD) per day, depending on who you ask.
1 room (with double bed) for 1 night cost 1,312.75 MXN (66.35 USD). This includes the 200 MXN (10.11 USD) tax, which is not listed on the websites in the price. However, this was also on a deal. The website says prices range from 893 MXN (45.14 USD) but it is more likely, everything included, to be closer to 2,000 MXN (101.09 USD).
San Miguel de Allende is most easily accessible from Querétaro, which is around an hour and a half away by car. As a popular destination for tourists, buses to San Miguel de Allende are regular at 103.50 MXN (5 USD). If you’re a budget traveler, avoid taking a taxi which would burn a hole through one’s pocket. Querétaro also has an international airport.