As Chico drives us to the stables he mentions that this is his home, literally. That he was born in one of the homes on the private estate and that for four generations his family have worked for the families of Hacienda de San Antonio. He mentions it was built by a German fellow in 1870 who then passed it onto a Bolivian family. Today, and for the past forty years, the Hacienda belongs to the famed Goldsmith family (twenty of those it has been open to the public as a luxury hotel).
The history of the Hacienda runs like a Hollywood script which is exactly how you feel when you arrive. Instantly, you are transported back in time to the early 1900’s, to what life might have been like if you had lived in this time in a place such as this. When doing a little background check on the Goldsmith family, words such as tycoon, aristocrat, magnate and Rothschild are on high rotation. The story has all the right ingredients for my imaginative Hollywood movie with scandal, rivalry, politics and mistresses (Celebrity oops - Jemima Khan is Jimmy Goldsmiths daughter to his third wife)
Sheree wears vintage blouse, CATGK creation skirt
Lets get back to the hotel, shall we? To the coral pink washed walls and elegant arches that frame what still feels like a private family home. Already, we were taken with the landscape, which included a coffee plantation, orchards and lush pastures but nothing could prepare us for the awe inspiring backdrop of the Colimo volcano that frames the Hacienda and her grounds. The whole place was so quiet and peaceful, not a person in sight except a gardener or two tending the the meticulously manicured estate gardens which again transport me into a dreamlike state where I am the heroine and this is my home.
Hacienda de San Antonio resides in Mexico’s small highland state, Colima. The nearest town to the Hacienda is Colima and a good point of reference when trying to locate where you will be heading to. The town is very quaint with a strong colonial reference and worth a wonder around the square. I wish we had had more time to explore this state and the capital city Colima.
We were driving this trip and had headed from Costalegre on the south coast of Jalisco which took about 2.5 hrs.
From Australia you can get to this part of the world via LA or Mexico City. I would suggest flying with QANTAS which links you via a One World Partner to Guadalajara Airport. You can easily hire a car from the airport and The Hacienda is only about a two hour drive from here.
Sugar wears One Teaspoon denim, CATGK vintage top
The thing I love the most about this as a destination is the pace. Everything here, from the food, to the hotel, the people that work there, the activities on offer, are all about connection. Everything is built from tradition and ceremony and I only wish we had had more time to really fall into this more. From our brief visit I would make these top on your list of experiences.
RANCH | The Hacienda has an on-site cattle ranch, ‘El Jabali’, where you can meet and ride their horses on amazing expeditions through the local landscape. Other ranch activities include biking, a coffee and cheese tour and even cow milking!
HIKING | There are Hacienda experts on hand to take you hiking, and there are a number of different (and breathtaking!) hikes in the area including the up the Colimo volcano.
PICNIC | The Hacienda can set you up with a basket picnic for you to take along to the edge of the river on the grounds and just enjoy the surrounds in complete wilderness…bliss.
POOL | The poolside possibilities… read a book, drink, eat…..pretend you are in that Hollywood film.
COLIMA | Make a day trip into Colima. There’s so much local culture and produce to sample and even bring home with you.
Sheree wears vintage top and overalls
Captain wears One Teaspoon denim, Stella McCartney jacket
What a relief it is to find somewhere as special as this welcoming children. In fact under 5’s stay free, under 11’s are $75 a night and dine for half adult rate. The kids LOVED it here and also wished to have more time. It did feel like their home as they were free to roam the gardens, make tea in the yellow room (where one can also get a mean margarita) and make friends with the people that lived and worked there. The pool is always a highlight but the stables were somewhere they completely fell in love with. Beautiful horses running in the fields, if only we had had time to ride them…
Ranch life meets the rich cultural elegance and colour of Mexico. At moments it felt like old Hollywood Greta Garbo and others more traditional. This is the perfect time to embrace the Spanish influence of ruffles and frills. A little like if Johanna Ortiz and Ralph Lauren had a fashion love child. There is a boutique in the Hacienda which has local designer and artisan finds and worth a little wander.
Sheree wears Bassike shirt, Raey pants
Hacienda de San Antonio is a working organic ranch farming coffee, fruit, vegetables, meats, cheese and other food. All of which you eat fresh that day at the Hacienda. As a biodynamic farm they supply 90% of the food you will eat during your stay which was DELICIOUS. The coffee is also a standout and worth taking home as gifts.
As mentioned above the produce is fresh from the estate and curated daily into a Mexican-European menu. Every evening the dining experience is different as is the location. We dined in the incredibly elegant Red Room, just us, under the halo of candelabras and the fire aglow. The food was exquisite, traditional Mexican recipes with an international influence. In the morning, breakfast was served through the french doors of our garden suite and out on the patio overlooking the grounds. A view only matched to what lay behind us, blush walls of creeping ivy and a volcano no less.
Time, this place is about taking time. Stopping and really feeling the magic of Mexico. It’s people and the culture. This part of the world is incredibly special and should only be visited if you are wanting to connect on every level. It felt like a rare gift to have made it to this place. Worth the travel.
In this area of Mexico, it’s pretty much Spring all year round. The average temps don’t vary too much so picture warm weather no matter when you book. Their Summer begins in June, so these are the hottest months, getting up to 38 degrees celsius.
If you want to beat any sort of crowds, avoid January through March as these are the busiest to travel in this part of the world.
HOW TO BOOK
You can book online direct with the Hacienda HERE.
Rates don’t include food but there are arranged meal plans to cater to your needs.
FLY WITH QANTAS HERE
Photography by Sam Elsom