|(c) Hacienda el Santuario|
ACAPULCO, Mexico - Isabela Castro Vera has no affiliation with Rosewood Resorts. She is the general manager of Hacienda El Santuario, a small, little known, 11-room boutique resort in San Miguel de Allende, the same destination where Rosewood San Miguel del Allende just opened in February.
So, why is she still welcoming the opening of the 67-room luxury resort in the same destination where she competes for guests? Travel Agent got the answer during our coverage of the 36th annual Tianguis Turistico.
"Everyone knows the names Rosewood and Orient Express, which are both in San Miguel now," she says. "So, people will hear those names and then stay at those properties. But while they are in San Miguel, people usually start to find a lot of smaller, boutique hotels hidden like mine and realize the destination has so much more to offer than they thought."
Now, most agent are pretty familiar with San Miguel de Allende, but tourists really haven't been taken advantage of the destination perhaps as much as they should have in the last few years. Maybe this could be a story of a big name company putting a somewhat forgotten destination back on the map and, in turn, helping hoteliers like Castro Vera to entice guests and show them the colonial joys of the cobblestone, San Miguel de Allende streets.
"This is not just your fun in the sun destination," says Oscar Molina, director of sales for the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende. "This is a place to get a real feel for the authentic colonial Mexico. And that's why Rosewood chose this property. We wanted to give someone a little something different when visiting Mexico."
The new Rosewood property saw a 35-percent occupancy in its first month of operation, a very impressive number for a new hotel. The resort offers three restaurants, a spa with six treatment rooms and a separate couple treatment room and much more.
The location of both the new Rosewood property and Hacienda El Santuario is a fit mostly for couples retreats and girls getaways, offering tons of restaurants; shopping, specifically everything and anything leather; historic churches and colonial homes just a short walk away.
San Miguel de Allende is perhaps not a good pitch for someone who has never been to Mexico as first-timers to the country are usually looking to get their feet wet by, well, getting their feet wet. Mexico rookies need to soak up the sun and the beaches before truly appreciating the hidden history and local vibe that can be find in some of the country's most culture chalked hot spots.
Pitch either of these properties to your seasoned Mexico clients who are looking to uncover a hidden gem in the roughly 10-year-old Hacienda El Santuario or something brand new in the luxurious Rosewood San Miguel del Allende.
"We didn't expect our success to rocket so quickly," says Molina. "I guess it has to do with the love for the destination."