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A Celebration of Light & Color in El Centro, Cook, Garden, 2 July wks open

Bedrooms 5
Property type house
Minimum Stay 7 nights


About the property

House, 5 Bedrooms + Sunroom, 2 Baths, (Sleeps 8)

'PARADISE IN MEXICO!' or so says our daughter and only a 3 easy block walk downhill to the Jardin . This home works for 2 persons who love the space, light, the different areas outside to relax in, up to 8 people who will also have enough personal space within our home. Our easily large accessible roof is great in the mornings and evenings, the garden with the bountiful lime tree is wonderful all day long, and sitting on a bench outside your bedroom just enjoying flowers is lovely.

From the moment I open the door to our house which I share with my husband and family, I feel centered. Our home is about joy, light, and color. It is located just 3 blocks from the center of San Miguel, uphill from the cathedral, jardin and market with wonderful views of the city.

We have 5 bedrooms on the entry level floor, 4 with queen size beds and 1 with 2 twins, sometimes used as an extra living room. The bedrooms open directly to the patio (no corridors) in the true Mexican tradition and thus provide privacy for each room.

Between the master bedroom and another bedroom there is a split bathroom, one room with a toilet and lavatory, the other a tub shower and lavatory. The second bathroom, quite large, has its access from the courtyard and contains a large shower along with toilet and lavatory.

The stars at night are huge and an added treat if you go to the bathroom in the night. When looking at the entry photo, note that the bedrooms and bathrooms are all to the left while the living room, dining room, kitchen, and pantry are to the right.

Twenty eight years ago when we first saw this house, occupied by the refrigerator repairman, there was a giant sow nursing her piglets in what is now our laundry space. Fortunately we also saw that the plan and light orientation were perfect. When we came back for the closing several months later, the ceilings that had been propped up by wood poles at the corners, were now on the floor of each room. A year later, with a lot of rubble removed, our house was somewhat ready.

My husband, an architect who built schools in Columbia during his Peace Corps years, along with myself, put the house back together, nurtured the existing trees, planted more bougainvillea and a garden, added skylights to each colorful room and decorated with simple furniture and textiles from Mexico.

After our first vacation where I had to cook, we hired Juana, who is a fabulous cook of typical Mexican comidas, a wonderful vegetarian cook (our proclivities), keeper of the house and a wonderful spirit who will listen patiently to bad Spanish (mine) or anybody willing to try.

There is a fountain, a large and venerable olive tree, table and chairs for eating in the patio. From there stairs lead up half a level to a garden with a fruitful lime tree, a patch of grass for sunbathing or reading, as well as a table and chairs. You may also get to the garden by a meandering garden ramp for anyone who doesn't do stairs.

From the garden there are a few more stairs and a ramp to an upstairs bedroom/sitting room and a very large flat roof. Our daughter when younger, would roller skate there but not before 9 a.m.

Here is a good view of the street activity and over the roof tops of town and at dusk, the birds fly in overhead to find their evening rest. Then about margarita sipping time come the brilliant sunsets and night sky. Often the cathedral is lighted at night as well as a number of the many other churches of San Miguel.

My favorite thing to do is watch the light in the morning which first freshens and warms, flattens at midday, intensifies in the afternoon, and backlights toward dusk. This house is just wonderful. It is only three blocks to the Jardin in the center of town, or to the main market, an easy walk.

One of our renters recently wrote' We loved your house. You are so right that it is full of soul. Guests who arrived at night just gasped at the sight of the lanterns illuminating the courtyard..then we would take them up to the roof deck to see that glorious unfolding of the night sky. It is wonderful the way every room has folk art and fabrics..very much a loved home, rather than a 'rental'.' Marion F. of Sarasota, Fla.

While shopping is fun, looking at the old buildings the shops are housed in is also fascinating. Many of these buildings are 400 years old. There is a lot of musical events to choose from with the Chamber Music Festival the first 10 days of August, The Cervantes Festival in nearby Guanajuato in the Fall and jazz and jazz guitar performances at restaurants and the Angela Peralta theater one block from the Jardin. You can also find local theater and flamenco performances.

San Miguel has many new cultural festivals. Check the website Portal San Miguel for information.

I am writing this now in San Miguel year 2016 and as I look at our home, the folk art that we have collected, I realize our home now reflects artist craftsmen whose work is no longer available but for many,the traditions have been passed down to their children who of course have put their own artistry into their work. We hope our renters enjoy this part of the experience in our home which is OUR HOME, which we share/rent to people who enjoy the arts.

Keywords: Traditional Mexican home with the touches of an architect and colorist.

More Details

Margaret Larcade
Member since: 2001
Speaks: english, spanish
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
April 27, 2017

About Margaret Larcade

We fell in love with San Miguel on our honeymoon and returned to study at the Instituto. We returned regularly and John was part of the architecture and planning team for Los Balcones. We are happy that many years later burros still come by our street with their owners carrying wood and garden manure for sale. The fountain at the end of our street seems to be a good resting spot for the burrors and their owners.

Margaret Larcade purchased this house in 1988

Why Margaret Larcade chose San Miguel de Allende

When we first were looking for property, we wanted to be in the el centro area, an easy wish at the time as San Miguel had not grown so very much. We also did not want to go any higher on a street than we could push a wheelchair as our son was born with cerebral palsy. So when people ask us about the walk up 3 blocks, I tell them that up until our son turned 24, we pushed a wheelchair up to the house.

My husband, an architect, first looked at the direction of the light and visited the house at different times during the day to see how the light played in the house and garden. The light is wonderful!

What makes this house unique

For us, the benefit is just being there in the heart of San Miguel and in our home which is so visually pleasing to us. Whether we are just sitting around on the black and white tiled entry benches with a geranium on either side having a coffee, or in the garden with our lime tree and flowers intertwined in trees, or up on the roof, we just seem to be happy there. I feel centered. The house also flows with the early morning light to nightfall; being outside in the house is what the house is about. At night, the roof is an incredible place to overlook the sparkle of San Miguel, and the stars. Then we all go into the dining room and living room... all connected space to talk or play Scrabble or other games. Then it feels cozy. The kitchen for Margaritas and leftovers from the usual wonderful lunch prepared by Juana, our cook, is adjacent. We have a wonderful cook who comes with the rental of the house, which is a real vacation from cooking for us and watching her all so many lessons in Mexican cooking.

San Miguel is just outside our doors, 5 minutes downhill is el centro with restaurants and just sitting in the Jardin watching San Miguel go by.


Centro Historico House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Included
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome ...
Location Type:
  • Downtown ...
  • Mountain View
  • Historic
  • Broadband Access ...
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet ...
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 -
    Bathroom 2 -
  • Bathroom # 1 has a tub shower BAthroom # 2 has a large shower
  • 5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 1 - 2 twin/ single
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 3 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 4 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 5 - 1 queen
    Sunroom - 1 twin/ single , 1 child bed
  • Queen size Beds (4), Twin or Single Beds (2)
  • Books ...
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Television ...
  • VCR
  • Balcony
  • Deck / Patio
  • Golf ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • wheelchair accessible ...
Onsite Services:
  • Staff
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • festivals
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • restaurants
  • ruins
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • horseback riding
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • fitness center
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • golf
  • hot air ballooning
  • swimming
  • tennis
Our cook Juana Chavez, cooks the mid day comida meal for you. the renter shops for the groceries at the markets. You can pay her extra if you wish her to cook for a party.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(21 traveler reviews)

A Celebration of Light & Color in El Centro, Cook, Garden, 2 July wks open
average rating of 4.952381 based on 21 reviews

Magical Stay in the Heart of San Miguel de Allende

  • 5 of 5

The images do not do this rental justice...this place is truly magical.

My family stayed here for a week, and this is our second time in San Miguel de Allende. The housekeeper and gardener were amazing and made sure we were well cared for and could truly enjoy our travels.

The beds were comfortable and the art, colors, and beautiful gardens were a treat for the senses. The views of sunset on the rooftop terrace and morning meals in the garden were lovely. We missed it as soon as we left.

  • Submitted: Dec 6, 2016
  • Stayed: Nov 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you Stephanie for your review. The reasons you loved the house are the reasons we love it too. But you were the first to say that the mattresses were comfortable. Those are the unsung details that are major to anybody's happiness in a rental. This is our family home and we are glad we could share our home with your family. Our staff also loves to know about the reviews of their work, as they love the house too. Margaret
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Breathtaking from the moment you walk in the door, best vacation rental ever!

  • 5 of 5

The pictures are very modest & discreet; they really cannot capture the overall feeling of this charming, beautiful, home. The location is also very safe, I know this from previous stays in SMA, & information locals have provided. My friends and I had many late night walks to get tacos, & they said they felt safer than they do back home in San Diego. We never had a bad meal in SMA however the highlight was eating at home; Juana (the housekeeper), really spoiled us rotten. My friends are still talking about her wonderful cooking. The fresh salsas & stuffed large peppers with cheese were out of this world. Needless to say the home was also extremely well kept. The gardener, Jose, ensures your heavenly patios are always gorgeous. As a traveling afficionado, I have stayed in several fantastic vacation homes...this one is truly my favorite.

  • Submitted: Nov 17, 2016
  • Stayed: Oct 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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infusion of gorgeous character for your senses

  • 5 of 5

This was our third time at this property, the first in too many years. It's not new -- it's full of character and that's what makes it so special. Flowers of all colors are everywhere, the rooms are painted in the Mexican tradition -- with lime wash and lots of colors -- and filled with interesting folk art. The patios - one on the main floor, one near the lime tree that supplies your limonadas and margaritas and the one on the rooftop overlooking the churches and colors of the city and then the soft, rolling hills of the countryside - all offer respite from the bustling mercado and walks up and down cobblestones streets which are literally right outside your door. The rooms are also quite nice for siestas! (My favorite is the blue room across the patio from the kitchen).

Juana makes you feel at home, especially if you can speak a little Spanish. She is not only an amazing cook, she'll patiently correct your Spanish in her kitchen or at the market shopping with her at her favorite stalls for the ingredients for a special meal. Meals include chicken mole, all kinds of enchiladas (Juana tells you that the best tortillas for enchiladas are from the lady with the basket right inside the main market entrance), potato pancakes with homemade salsa (especially popular with teens and kids), guacamole, chiles rellanos, etc.

San Miguel itself is a feast for the senses. Church bells, seemingly random parades celebrating numerous saints, film festivals, lectures, art galleries and museums, archeological tours, day trips to Guanajuato or Querataro or beautiful natural springs at La Gruta (or the natural spring fed Xote water park for the kids). Spanish classes, opportunities to volunteer and give back, and art classes, too.

You won't regret your stay here -- will make a lifelong connection with this place.

  • Submitted: Jul 21, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Traditional Mexican Graciousness in San Miguel de Allende

  • 5 of 5

San Miguel de Allende is a magical place, yes, it sounds cliche... yet it is none the less true.

The wonderful property at Centro San Miguel was the perfect compliment to such a great city.

Each of the photos are very realistic of the property and its key ingredients.

Those ingredients are:

a beautiful traditional plaza in the center of the home.

magnificent gardens and plant life throughout the property,

great Mexican folk art comfortably displayed withing the home,

incredibly spacious accommodations and numerous bedrooms to adequately and comfortably sleep even a very large family or group.

The maid and her son are the caretakers and cooks that accompany this unique property.

She is a marvelous cook, warm and friendly and spoils you every day with her washing and cleaning of clothing. She also happily helped me with corrections to my fledgling Spanish.

When you stay in El Centro, it is a different type of luxury, It is the luxury of being in a beautiful, secluded, romantic and private retreat. It is the feel of Mexico from decades ago. If your ideal of luxury is a hotel room at a 5 star resort this is probably not the property for you, but if you wish to be transported to the gracious warmth and art of Mexico 30 years ago of more, you will fall in love here.

Logistically speaking, the location is great, A few moments walk from the Jardin, The Parroquioa, and the most famous sights of San Miguel and central to everything in the old town. I was here for a month of school and it was a pleasant walk each day to and from my Spanish school of about 15 minutes. By the end of the 2nd week here I had Mexican neighbors on the same walk each day, smiling and greeting me with buenos dias. It is easy to become a part of the life here.

The owners are very kind and accommodating, easy to reach and very responsive in communication.

Choosing El Centro may be one of the great adventures of life. I will say simply, as we closed the front door to this home, we were filled with tears of joy from the experience of being here and in San Miguel de Allende.

  • Submitted: Jul 1, 2016
  • Stayed: May 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you Ric for such an incisive description of our home .My husband John and I each came to Mexico in our teens with parents, he from Texas, myself from Michigan. We fell in love with Mexico separately and then again traveling as young adults, married and found ourselves back in Mexico on our honeymoon. Then John along with his architectural partner were hired to plan Los Balcones and build a few homes there. Although we are both moderists, that was never the idea behind this home. We bought it in shambles and put it together as closely as possible to the original. We both love color relationships and wanted to decorate the house just in color. Then we added pieces we loved, plants as well and over the years our home became the old Mexico as we became older ourselves. We loved that you loved the house and staff. We hope you can return one day. Margaret Larcade July 2016
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College Station, TX 77845

Perfect location; excellent cook

  • 5 of 5

I have returned to Casa Larcade twice and hope to go again. The casa itself gives a strong sense of Mexico and the folk tradition that's so well preserved in San Miguel. It's not a luxurious house, but it feels fresh, vivid, and Mexican. The patio full of flowering plants and trees is my favorite location along with the large dining room. Juana, the cook and housekeeper, does an especially good job of listening to what guests want to eat and changing her usual repertoire to accommodate. We wanted lots of fresh vegetables, and she found a way to bring them into every meal. She also cooked traditional Mexican food and offered a fish dish that's traditional on Ash Wednesday. She doesn't speak much English but she understands a great deal and was willing to work with my beginning Spanish. This casa is perfect for a few couples or singles who want to eat together but go their separate ways during the day. Its location in walking distance of centro makes it very easy to get around by foot or by cab. Wear comfortable walking shoes--the cobblestone pavement requires steady footing. I can't recommend this house more highly. If you want a flavor of Mexico and if you value Mexican folk art, you won't find a better rental.

  • Submitted: Mar 4, 2016
  • Stayed: Feb 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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West Virginia

Takes your breath away

  • 5 of 5

Casa Larcade is a find. We've stayed there with friends twice, both times in February. First, it's a really beautiful and tranquil home showing off Mexican tiles and well-cared for gardens. Second, it comes with a cook, Juana, who provides basic cleaning and laundry services, but is primarily known for her excellent authentic Mexican family style meals served in mid-afternoon. Juana does most of the grocery shopping, with your meal preferences in mind, and with your grocery money of course. We planned our daily activities around her don't-miss meal. There were always left-overs for evening snacks or self-serve meals on her day off. The house is located within easy walking distance of many of San Miguel's historic features, restaurants, and small shops. We often enjoyed a morning of activities, then reading in the beautiful sunlit courtyard after the mid-afternoon meal, with concerts or other planned outing for evening entertainment. If you plan to visit in the winter months, you may want to bring extra sweaters, especially for the mornings and evenings. The house depends on sunlight to warm the adobe, and it can get chilly in winter mountain temperatures if there are a series of cloudy days. Also, the cook speaks Spanish, so bring your dictionary if you are not a Spanish speaker. But Juana is used to English speakers who are doing their best to communicate.

  • Submitted: Mar 2, 2016
  • Stayed: Feb 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
60 Miles
Leon or Queretaro
Car: not necessary


Rates & Availability

Centro Historico House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
Month of May
May 1 2017 - May 31 2017
7 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $20 per night, per additional guest
Dec 16 2017 - Mar 31 2018
7 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $20 per night, per additional guest
My Standard Rate
7 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 4 guests; add $20 per night, per additional guest

Additional information about rental rates

Property Damage Protection $59
Pet Fee $100
week with Christmas $200

Tipping is necessary in Mexico. Please ask us about tipping.
Additional guests over 4 guests are $20.00/night up to 8 guests maximum.
There are no refunds if cancelled less than 90 in advance in Low season and 120 days in advance in High season.

Please ;note there is an additional $200.00 over a week with Christmas

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • Canceled bookings will not receive a refund

Enter dates for accurate pricing


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