A $6.25 Million Gem Shines In Architecture Rich San Miguel De Allende, Mexico

Real Estate

To live in the Mexican town of San Miguel de Allende is to live close to the past as well as the very vibrant present. Authentic Spanish-Colonial buildings — brightly painted along picturesque cobblestone streets — and period churches have forged the town’s reputation as a must-see destination for world travelers. The 64-block city center earned a United Nations World Heritage Site designation in 2008 for its “outstanding” buildings.

Casa Palikao is one of them.

The romantic allure of the $6.25-million property at Hidalgo #32, Centro, starts at the arched entry. “You see the grandeur of the property, you see the scale, you feel like you’re going back to a different era,” listing agent Ann Dolan of CDR San Miguel says.

It’s a couple of hundred steps away from El Jardin, the main plaza and heart of San Miguel. The plaza is home to the landmark pinkish neo-Gothic-style church, La Parroquia, easily one of the most photographed churches in Mexico.

Casa Palikao (named by one of the owners for her ancestral home in Algeria) holds two buildings: a period hacienda meticulously updated with Mexican accents and antiques and a smaller house made using 18th-century materials. After renovating the main house, the owners bought an adjacent property and built a cozier home that matches the original design. They lived in the casita and entertained in the hacienda.

At the main house, star lanterns dangle in arches amid 18th-century colonnades that define the courtyard-turned-swimming pool. The pool inserts a bit of present-day luxury into the period setting. On one side of the courtyard is an outdoor living room with a large stone fireplace; on another, a casual outdoor dining area. Authentic carved double doors lead from the pool into the high-ceiling dining room. The walls are painted deep red ochre, accented by wooden beams and a dark wood dining set. There’s also a metal chandelier and fireplace original to the home.

Toward the back of the house is a living room with two fireplaces and period columns. The main bedroom on the same level also has a fireplace and French doors that open to an interior courtyard. The wow factor here is the extravagant en-suite bathroom covered in blue and white tiles made in the town of Dolores Hidalgo. Different patterns of tiles that cover everything — the vanity, walls and basin — create a dazzling effect.

The second floor has two large bedrooms with tiled bathrooms and fireplaces, a guest room and loggia that overlooks the pool. Interior pieces, such as intricate metal-worked mirrors and headboards, reflect the talent of San Miguel’s artisans. The fifth bedroom, likely built as a staff member’s quarters, has been used as an office.

The second house has a more livable, homey feel. “In the casita, there’s a small little kitchen with a table in the middle, very French, a small little living room and a main bedroom” that opens to a garden courtyard with a fountain, Dolan says. The room has spacious adjoining his-and-her bathrooms and a metalwork design over the bed that resembles a jeweled crown. There’s also a guest bedroom and loft bedroom that could be turned into a media room or a kid’s room.

Upstairs an open roof-top garden planted with different types of cacti overlooks the Baroque church tops of San Miguel. Carved concrete benches offer the perfect place to lounge or reflect. The casita has a private entry and garage; a garden path separates the two buildings.

During years-long renovations, the owners worked with interior designer Anne-Marie Midy, who specializes in blending contemporary design with traditionally made items, landscape artist Timoteo Wachter, who created the cactus garden, and local artisans. San Miguel for centuries has been a magnet for artists, a place “where the gallery-to-resident ratio might exceed that of Santa Fe, New Mexico,” a recent Travel + Leisure story says.

Style, architectural history and location make Casa Palikao a rare find, a skillful blend of past and present in a town that values both.

Ann Dolan and Nancy Howze of CDR San Miguel are the listing agents.

CDR San Miguel is an exclusive member of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and membership network of elite brokerages selling the world’s most luxurious homes

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