As promised, here is the exquisite Hacienda de los Santos in Alamos, Mexico, where we visited during New Year’s. In case you missed, here is Thursday’s Mexico Part 1. We did not stay at the Hacienda but the lovely owners are friends and we ate there every night.
It does not hurt that playing at dinner is a very handsome guitarist who I am sure prays that people like me do not sing along with him to Guantanamero. But people like me sing anyway because with enough margueritas they become Beyoncé.
The Hacienda was glowingly featured in Architectural Digest a few years back in a piece by Patricia Leigh Brown with a passle of great photos by David O. Marlowe. See all in the January 2005 article here and read the story of Jim and Nancy Swickard, who came to Alamos 20-some years ago thinking they were retiring. Ha.
Instead they bought and restored a 17th-century, 12-bedroom hacienda. As happens, one casa led to another over, namely two adjoining properties and a sugar mill. The result is one of the most charmingly assembled group of buildings and gardens I’ve ever seen. And that is saying something. Many more photos are on the Hacienda de los Santos website. Do take a look.
There are several pools, three restaurants, many places to lounge and laze, and a wonderful spa. Oh, and two putting greens. Really no reason to leave… and always a member of the family around to make you feel welcome — three generations now, including two beautiful daughters, one of whom is married to the handsome guitarist. In case you were getting any ideas.
I am fascinated by the Hacienda’s famous banyon tree that obviously has a thing for palm trees, one in particular, giving new meaning to the term “growing old together.”
This tree was planted by Cortés himself.
But it is said to have been planted in 1548, and whoever planted had definitely heard of Cortés, who died the previous year. In case you had forgotten.
Every room and cranny is decorated with Spanish and Latin American antiques and memorabilia the Swickard family has devotedly collected over the years.
The bar features more than 400 kinds of tequila, and the walls are hung with all manner of branding irons, spurs, hats, guns and other vaquero essentials.
I highly recommend the cheeseburger — and the margueritas of course.
Coming up next… the lovely, private Casa de la Plata, where we stayed, just down the street from the Hacienda.
Hasta la vista, baby.
I’ve been dying to say that.