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4 Bedroom & baths, Centro, Large & Cozy & Comfy & Light-Filled, Leafy, Roof

Bedrooms 4
Half Baths1
Space 3,500 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 nights


About the property

Beautiful, Garden & Decks, 4 Bedrooms + Attached Unit(s) (Sleeps 8-14)

This wonderful house designed by Eduardo Obregon Pêna incorporates classical Mexican design with free flowing lines. The 25 by 7 foot skylight lets in the almost always sunny Mexican sky. It warms the house in winter and the specially designed shade cover keeps it cool in summer. Four bedrooms and four full baths accommodate 8 guests in perfect comfort. A guest lavatory is off the front entrance and a service lavatory is available for the staff. The kitchen is placed behind the center fireplace, affording privacy when needed or company when desired. Indoor and outdoor dining areas each accommodate 8 to 10 people. The downstairs master bedroom also has a fireplace to add charm and heat to the chillier winter nights.

The living room is the center of activity. Off it flow the reading nook, the den, the kitchen, the indoor dining area as well as the master bedroom. Just through the French doors is the downstairs garden terrace complete with gurgling fountain. On the downstairs terrace, you can sit and have cocktails while looking at the adjoining wall, covered with Bougainvilleas, Durantas, Bamboo and Jasmine, visited often by hummingbirds. The protected terrace also invites dining outside, with a charcoal BBQ adding just the right outdoorsy touch.

The adjoining Casita, can provide 1 extra bedroom, in the case of a slightly larger gathering.

On the second floor is the second king master bedroom, with its own bathroom, and cozy little private terrace. Also on the second floor are the two twin bedrooms, one with an adjoining shower and the other with a Jacuzzi, loved by all. One of the twin bedrooms is also equipped as an office, with the Internet router, a laser printer and a scanner; An office away from the office.

There are so many things to do of interest in San Miguel; one doesn't have time to watch much television. However there are four televisions provided with cable service, with the basic American programs, also equipped with DVD players, for those who want to stay home and quietly watch a movie.

No need to pack your hairdryer. Each bathroom is equipped with one, as well as body cream, soap, and shampoo.

Terraces abound with the roof serving as a comfortable seating area to view the sunset, the rooftops of the town and the beautiful Gothic Parroquia, that marks the center of town, only a few minutes walk away. (3 easy blocks)

Full time excellent bi-lingual staff to care for you; to do the laundry, cleaning, shopping for meals, buying an arranging flowers for the house, cooking. The staff cook can also be hired for special cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and dinners. Just relax and enjoy your vacation.

Through the laundry room is the garage, a welcome addition for those who want to make excursions to the intriguing historic landmarks and nearby towns, in their own vehicle. It is in use by the owner but sometimes in the summer and early fall, it is available for visitor use. There is a parking lot conveniently located just 500 feet away from the house. Normally one doesn't need a vehicle, for in town visits, just a few minutes by foot and you are anywhere you may want to go.

For smokers, we prefer that you do not smoke in the house but there are oodles of outdoor spaces where you can puff away. Ashtrays provided.

This house is for use by adults and unfortunately not for groups of young twenty year-olds who want to come to San Miguel to party.

I would be pleased to rent my house for the 3 month period of mid-June through Mid-September for a nice discount. Do contact me if you are interested.

More Details

Elizabeth Downer
Member since: 2011
Speaks: english, french, spanish
Response time:
Within 2 days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
April 26, 2017

About Elizabeth Downer

I started my life in Boston, loving all the seasons, the colorful fall, the dry delicious snowy winters, the exuberance of spring and the tranquil months of temperate summer. In 1980, life brought me and my family to Paris where we have lived on peniches, houseboats, for the last 30 years. Besides enjoying living in one of the world's more beautiful cities, I was busy making documentary films. My children grew and went on to their lives, living also in exotic places around the world, my son an ecologist, working at saving the planet, and my daughter, a filmmaker and painter. We were not often in the same place at the same time. I knew if I was to enjoy life as a grandmother, it would be necessary to find a house, welcoming to all, in a spot that all could enjoy, to spend memorable times together.

So, as described below, I bought this house, purposefully ignoring the vacant lot next door that could eventually present a problem. When eventually the lot did come up for sale, it was obvious that I was the one who had to buy it, to keep someone from building a house that would block my side light. Looking toward the future and a large extended family, I built an annex in that lot, and shared the garden with the present house. There is a one bedroom casita, as well as a two bedroom residence, both of which can be added on to the main house, or in fact rented on their own. The complex is built so that each dwelling is separate and private or that they can easily share the common spaces.

I find I spend more and more time here, in the two bedroom dwelling, and rent out the others or put my guests in them. I go horseback riding, act in plays, enjoy the lectures, films, and music. I am really not a country person, except for romantic weekends, so love being in a city, large or small, where there are interesting things going on. The combination of Paris and San Miguel, both fascinating, though on entirely different scales, is just about perfect for me.

Elizabeth Downer purchased this house in 2004

Why Elizabeth Downer chose San Miguel de Allende

In 2004, at dinner at my daughter's house, the discussion turned to San Miguel. A friend of hers had just returned to NY from his first visit to this town. During the entire dinner, he raved about the beauty, the interesting people, the variety of creative things to do, and to learn in this town. By the end of dinner, it was obvious to me, and my daughter, that this is where I should buy the house I referred to as, 'my grandmother house'; A place for the whole family to come together for fun filled vacations.

I had been looking for five years for a place that would satisfy the desires of the entire family in the years to come as I expected the family to expand. I had looked in the East, the West and the South to find the perfect place. Coming from the North I wanted to find a place free of very cold winters, also free of very hot summers. San Miguel at 6,000 feet promised to provide a temperate climate, year round.

After a quick examination of the town, I started looking for a good vacation house. I wanted to be in Centro and near Juarez Park, for the playground and the wonderful walking/jogging paths. I saw many typically Mexican houses, with their lovely interior courtyards, but found them rather dark inside under the side roofs. The moment I walked into this house, I knew this was it. Totally contemporary, however it retains a charming Mexican quality, and the large center skylight floods it with energizing light. So with very little time to get it ready, the whole extended family decided to come for the first Christmas.

The house lived up to its expectations, and everyone had a wonderful time. Off we all went to our various lives, leaving the house to guests who would enjoy all that we had experienced. Our guests have found it a wonderful temporary home away from home. It's proximity to the center of town makes enjoying the variety of activities simple, and insures that your time here is spent doing all that you wish.

What makes this house unique

I was totally unprepared for the charms of San Miguel. When I bought here, it was mainly as a place for family vacations, which has worked out extremely well for us all. However in coming down to furnish and decorate the house, I spent big chunks of time during which I was more or less forced to get to know the town. Bit by bit I discovered why everyone raves about this place.

Daily I made friends with new people, discovered new fun restaurants, music venues, theater productions, fun interesting people. I realized that that very ordinary looking person wandering down the street actually is a famous artist who has just finished a large mural in the City Hall of Munich, Germany, or has just had a show at the MOMA in NY... Unassuming, lovely people, living their lives in this charming town. No fuss, no celebrity, just interesting people, open, creative, getting on with their lives, in a most comfortable, friendly way.

I found my house a very easy 'flat walk' from the center, so a 3 to 5 minute walk and you are almost everywhere you want to be. No need to plan far ahead. If you forget something in the house, it is not a big deal to go back and get it. The simplicity of living in 'Centro' makes your time here all very well spent.

Being one-half block from Juarez Park, with a playground and wonderful walking and jogging paths, also makes life easy. The park is on a slight rise so a few times around each morning and your exercise is mostly accomplished. The Candelaria, flower and plant sale weeks, are held here as well. Its proximity is definitely a plus.

I am still enjoying all these aspects of San Miguel, and each day discover more new and interesting people and places. Once you come here, chances are you will return. San Miguel is a Unesco World Heritage site, the safest, most welcoming, town in Mexico.


Zona Centro House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Included
Floor Area:
  • 3500 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 10
  • smoking allowed ...
  • pets not allowed
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
Location Type:
  • Downtown
  • Monument View
  • Mountain
  • Mountain View
  • Village
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Basic Soaps
  • Broadband Access ...
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fireplace
  • Garage ...
  • Gas Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Shampoo
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet ...
  • Catering Available ...
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 5 Bathrooms
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 4 - toilet , combination tub/shower , jetted tub
    Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower
    Bathroom 3 - toilet , shower
    Bathroom 5 - toilet , shower , Casita bathroom
    Bathroom 6 - toilet
  • 4.5+
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 king
    Bedroom 2 - 1 king
    Bedroom 3 - 2 twin/ single
    Bedroom 4 - 2 twin/ single
    Attached Unit - 2 twin/ single
  • The twin beds in bedrooms 3 and 4 can be pushed together and made up as kings. the twin beds in the Casita can aslo be made into a king.
  • Books ...
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • VCR
  • Video Library
  • Balcony
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Gazebo ...
  • Golf ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Patio
  • Porch / Veranda
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • jetted tub ...
Onsite Services:
  • Staff
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • water parks
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • horseback riding
  • outlet shopping
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hot air ballooning
  • mountain biking
  • sailing
  • swimming
  • tennis
Hairdryers, other basic bathroom necessities, bi-lingual staff who can do your housekeeping; laundry, food shopping, cook your meals, buy an arrange flowers for the house. The staff works 9 to 3 on weekdays and can work Saturday morning as well. Any other extra time is to be paid directly by the renter, The hourly wage for extra hours is 50 pesos. Any work performed before 9:00am or after 12:30pm, on Saturdays, or on Sundays or holidays will have to be paid double. (100 pesos per hour).


Excellent! 4.6/5 -
(11 traveler reviews)

4 Bedroom & baths, Centro, Large & Cozy & Comfy & Light-Filled, Leafy, Roof
average rating of 4.6363635 based on 11 reviews
Los Angeles / NYC

Wonderful home in the heart of San Miguel

  • 5 of 5

My Family stayed at Casa Harriette for 6 weeks this year. The house is GREAT. 4 large bedrooms, 4.5 Bathrooms. % minuets to the Jardin and 2 minutes to Rosewood and Juarez Park.. So many new restaurants now on the Ancho, which is also 2-3 minute walk. The house is private, secure and has all amenities of home.. Maria the houskeeper is nurturing and simply put AWESOME... Highly recommended and we will plan to return...

  • Submitted: May 10, 2016
  • Stayed: Mar 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0
The Woodlands, Texas

Absolutely perfect!

  • 5 of 5

I spent two weeks in this beautiful home along with my two sisters and it was a magical experience. First of all, the house is just stunning. It is flooded with natural light and at every turn, there is another beautiful piece of art or native artifact to enjoy. All our beds were super comfy, the linens and towels are luxury quality. The owner (who is delightful by the way) seems to have anticipated your every need with hair dryers and robes in every bathroom, a fully stocked kitchen, maps and informational materials, a great library -- even a bucket of umbrellas at the door. I told her next time, I won't bother to pack! It was all there!

The location is perfect -- steps away from the 5-star Rosewood and Matilda hotels/restaurants, the most beautiful park in town and just a few blocks from the Jardin. There are three levels of flowered patios and terraces with the top ones yielding breath-taking views in all directions. I watched a full lunar eclipse from the top terrace. Magic!

We hosted a dinner for friends on the patio one evening, all authentic local cuisine prepared by Maria, the housekeeper/chef. I have saved the best for last; that's the staff. Jose keeps the gardens in pristine condition, every flower pot is watered, every fallen leaf removed. He even fixed my broken eye glasses. And there is a good reason everyone tries to steal Maria. That woman can cook and seems to love doing it. She just couldn't do enough for us -- laundry, grocery shopping, making beds and keeping the house clean with fresh flower bouquets everywhere. I've rented homes in SMA for nearly 35 years. This was the best one by far. Can't wait to go back and next time it will be for more than two weeks.

  • Submitted: Apr 19, 2015
  • Stayed: Mar 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: It was a delight to have this family in my house for two weeks. They seemed to appreciate everything about San Miguel and about the house. The staff appreciated them a lot as well. Such a joy to have this kind of guest. We all look forward to their return visit.
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  • 5 of 5

We just left Casa Harriette after a glorious week in San Miguel. The large house is beautifully decorated and very well maintained. The bedrooms are all spacious and comfortable (each with their own good sized bath), the kitchen is well equipped and there is lots of room to relax in the main living areas. And then there's the fantastic rooftop garden with gorgeous views of the entire city. The homes central location is ideal and a short, easy walk to the center of town and many restaurants, shops, parks and attractions. The staff, Maria and Jose, were wonderful and took such good care of us (and Maria is a fantastic cook!). Our only regret is that we couldn't stay another week.

We can't wait to return to Casa Harriette.

  • Submitted: Feb 2, 2015
  • Stayed: Jan 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: These guests were an absolute joy. They really got out about and about. They just seemed to enjoy everything; the restaurants, the thermal baths, the whole feel of the house and the town, and the nearby towns, each with their own specialties. They were lovely guests and we hope to be able to welcome them back sooner than later.
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1 0

Great House. Difficult Ownwer!

  • 1 of 5

I rented this house for a reunion of cousins. We rented the house and the casita for four nights and paid a staggering fee equivalent to a US mortgage payment. There were nine of us ( two people per room and one in the casita) and our other cousin and her husband and two older children (ages 12 and 16) stayed at a nearby hotel. The house was large enough for all of us to cook together and enjoy our time getting re-acquainted. We were all impressed by the beauty of the house and it was large enough for our family of cousins to enjoy being together. We are all in our 40's and 50's and are not partiers or drinkers. We are responsible and respectful of other's property as we are all homeowners and several of us own rental properties. On our last night, our cousin and her family stayed with us rather than walking back to the hotel late at night. This information was somehow relayed back to Harriette the owner and she came to the house on our last morning to inspect the place while we were still there. We were making breakfast when she let herself into the house to confront us about "people sleeping on the couch".

I too am a VRBO home owner and I would never barge in on my renters privacy! I consider my rental house to be their space until their rental time is up. Apparently this is not so for Harriette! Our beautiful reunion was marred by her confrontation during our paid rental time! Furthermore, the owner knew that I had purchased the Property Protection Plan from VRBO, in case of damage or accidents. She should have rested easy knowing the insurance would pay for any unforeseen damages! Be advised that Harriette will charge you for ANYTHING that breaks or no longer functions: For example, we used the blender to make salsa and it ceased to function. She informed me that she would file a claim with the insurance company. So renters insurance because this owner has no tolerance for everyday mishaps or accidents. In short, enjoy the magic of San Miguel de Allende; enjoy this beautiful, expensive house; but know that you are under scrutiny since Harriette the owner lives in the complex. She has no tolerance for any unforeseen mishaps or change of plans with roster of guests. Your privacy will be invaded if she does not like something or if her staff reports anything to her. You will be watched!

  • Submitted: Jan 9, 2015
  • Stayed: Dec 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Oh dear, it is always upsetting when someone is malcontent. It is difficult to know where to start my response to this diatribe. The price of the house is posted and very clear. I would not want someone to rent my house if it was going to impact their finances in a damaging way. So there is no response to that, except, do not rent something that will cause you financial difficulties. Keeping a house like mine in perfect shape is a constant and costly job. The price is absolutely in line with other houses of the same caliber, and is, in fact, less expensive than many, so I have no apologies there. As for the intrusion on the last day: I try to stay out of the way of my renters but if I am at home I like to greet them and I try to make a visit before they leave to find out if everything has been all right and if they had any problems that I can fix for the next visitors. When I entered the house just before check out time, I saw the bedding on the couches. It was apparent that someone had been sleeping there. I inquired, calmly, and was told by the person who wrote the review, that her cousins had stayed late and did not want to walk home at that time, so slept on the couches. I did not make a fuss about it, nor did I charge her the US$50 per person, per night, the contract states is the charge for extra guests. So the '"confrontation" is in her own mind. After the fact, the staff told me there had been 14 people for many meals, and they thought people had slept on the couches at least 2 nights not one. As for the insurance. Yes, I do ask that people take out the $49 VRBO insurance to protect them and me from accidental damage. I was told by the staff that the blender was broken, and I informed the renter not to worry it was covered by the insurance. Good for her and good for me. At no time was I upset or confrontational. I hope the family had a lovely visit to San Miguel de Allende, and that the negativity expressed by the writer was confined to herself and did not infect the others.
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8 0


  • 5 of 5

Mi familia y un servidor estuvimos muy cómodos y contentos. La casa tiene una decoración maravillosa, vistas increíbles a la catedral, terrazas encantadoras, la casa es muy grande y espaciosa.

Ademas esta muy bien ubicada y lo mas importante, es muy segura. Tiene un encanto único, sin duda volveríamos a quedarnos en esta maravillosa casa.

La casa es muy amplia, nosotros éramos 8 personas y estuvimos encantados.

  • Submitted: Sep 19, 2014
  • Stayed: Sep 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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2 0
Alabama, USA

Wonderful home away from home!

  • 5 of 5

Our recent stay at Casa Harriette was fabulous. We enjoyed the variety of attractive and comfortable living spaces throughout the house and outdoors in the lovely gardens that were pictured online. The rooftop garden was everyone’s favorite spot to enjoy the beautiful views and San Miguel sunsets. We appreciated the many amenities that Harriette provided for us to make our stay even more pleasant. The convenient Centro location is a real plus, providing easy access for the many things to see and do in San Miguel.

The staff was outstanding and treated us royally, and Harriette went out of her way to see that our experience was the best it could be. I was not ready to return to reality after our stay at Casa Harriette!

  • Submitted: Apr 1, 2014
  • Stayed: Mar 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Barpub
400 Metres
Nearest Golf
4 Miles
Car: not necessary

music festivals, film festival, art galleries, art expos, art courses available, live theater, art house movies


Rates & Availability

Zona Centro House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 8 guests; add $50 per night, per additional guest

Additional information about rental rates

Property Damage Protection $59

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
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