Hacienda de los Santos in Alamos is a legend. Over the course of 18 years owners Jim and Nancy Swickard seamlessly connected three 17th century haciendas plus an old sugar factory, lovingly restoring and converting them into a 25 room luxury hotel where mod-cons mingle with museum-worthy antiques and religious art that took 40 years to amass.
In less skilled hands Hacienda de los Santos, located in the Mexican state of Sonora, could have easily ended up looking and feeling like a patchwork quilt of fancy storage areas cobbled together willy-nilly to house a stranger’s massive collection. Instead, the Swickards have infused the place (a AAA four-diamond award winning hotel) with meticulous attention to detail and ample personal passion to create an environment in which visitors feel instantly at home. Even after the architectural gymnastics that were required to marry the formerly separate buildings are pointed out, you still can’t shake the feeling that Hacienda de los Santos was always the stately gem-filled haven that it is today.
The town of Alamos is easy to slip into as well. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an official Pueblo Magico (an honor requiring a town to possess an extraordinary amount of restored and protected historical architecture), Alamos has a relaxed and natural mix of local families and a growing but low-key population of expats from the United States. It boasts the kind of small-town Mexico pace that visitors dream of finding when they cross the border.
There was just one problem. With the collection of high-caliber treasures housed in Hacienda de los Santos, the Swickards had little choice but to decide not to allow pets or children under the age of 16 at the property. They’ve got nothing against kids—their daughter Jamie charmingly helps them run the hotel. It’s just that the consequences of Fido’s little “accident” on a rug or the clumsiness of a rambunctious five-year-old are just too great.
When the Swickards noticed that an increasing number of people wanted to enjoy Alamos with their young children and pets, they didn’t waste much time coming up with a solution. They turned part of the existing hotel into gracious and spacious spa rooms while a neighboring building became an elegant seven room kid and pet friendly bed and breakfast.
The result is Posada Tacubaya Bed & Breakfast, which I hesitate to call a B&B at all. Yes, there are beds and, yes, there’s breakfast but in typical Swickard style the place goes way above and beyond what’s expected. Each room is oversized and features plenty of furniture, sculpture and painting to ooh and ah over plus a working fireplace (but no TV). The Posada has its own kitchen where pastries will be baked fresh daily for the (included) gourmet continental breakfast (this is also where fresh baked cookies are planned to be introduced as afternoon snacks).
There’s a lovely plunge pool and fountain in the lavishly landscaped and peaceful inner courtyard. And on-site babysitting is also available should mom and dad want to enjoy a romantic dinner at the Hacienda (perhaps followed by a movie in the Hacienda’s private theater).
Posada Tacubaya is accepting reservations now and expects to open in December or January. After a recent pre-opening tour of Posada Tacubaya, I tend to agree with Nancy who recently exclaimed that they were making the B&B too nice. Those Swickards just can’t help it.
At $99 a night (and that’s NOT just an introductory teaser rate) Posada Tacubaya is a classy steal that everyone in the family will love. My advice? Use this as an excuse to book yourself an adults-only “scouting” trip to Hacienda de los Santos (book through the Mexico Boutique Hotels and you’ll get the guaranteed best rate plus a $20 spa voucher), then bring the whole family to Posada Tacubaya.
Hacienda de Los Santos
Calle Molina # 8
Our review of this hotel was originally published by iTraveliShop
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