Review by Spa & Wellness MexiCaribe
Sagrada Wellness, true to the meaning of the word “sagrada”, is a sacred retreat perched high above the Rio Laja Valley on 16 acres of naturally pristine botanical gardens, just outside the World Heritage City of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico.
“Sagrada” is the perfect term for this place of beauty and healing energy, where guests can enjoy yoga, pilates, spa treatments and fabulous local, healthy Mexican cuisine, as well as nearby golf and thermal water springs.
San Miguel de Allende, founded in 1542, was an important supply center for the mines and a stopover from the other big mining cities. Sagrada Wellness is located along the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, the Royal Inland Highway, one of the most important routes of colonial America, joining Mexico City to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
At the entrance to Sagrada is a 400-year-old pozo, or well, still in use by the locals. As you wind your way through the gates and picturesque desert landscape with lovely stone pathways lined everywhere with beautiful, native plants and trees, you come upon the main property which consists of beautifully designed adobe style buildings that blend in perfectly with the surrounding landscape, the pride of new owners, Blair Shurtleff and Shane Hayward.
Blair Shurtleff, an accomplished landscape architect, comes to Sagrada with more than 27 years in the hospitality business. Blair is the owner of several other properties including the luxurious, beachfront Casa Pericos in Yelapa (Puerto Vallarta), Jalisco and one in Hana, Maui. Shane, his partner, works miracles with his aromatherapy massage and other body treatments which incorporate local products and indigenous rituals.
In a most outstanding pavilion overlooking this amazing valley, Katherine Fisher, a certified E-RYT (experienced registered yoga teacher)conducts Vinyasa, power yoga, gentle yoga, restorative yoga, body sculpt and core flow classes. Katherine is the founder of Destination: PEACE, a company devoted to voluntourism which combines luxury tour and travel with doing good for local communities. As director of the wellness program at Sagrada, she has also created a new boot camp program for guests who want a more vigorous workout vacation.
The kitchen is presided over by local resident, Beatriz, whose healthy cooking is light and delicious with an emphasis on fresh produce, herbs (from the retreat’s own organic garden), poultry and fish. Meals are prepared using local ingredients to create a unique blend of Mexican and world recipes.
Guests stay in 5 charming, adobe cabañas with modern amenities. Strategically positioned to take advantage of the majestic views, each cabaña offers complete privacy and tranquility in a refined indoor-outdoor living environment. Accommodations have private sitting areas for lounging and sunbathing and come equipped with modern amenities like luxurious spa robes and iPod docks.
The entire property is “green architecture,” designed with a respect for maintaining the integrity of the local environment. Local, sustainable materials such as sun-baked adobes, reclaimed wood and terra-cotta tiles from abandoned haciendas are combined with modern amenities for ultimate comfort. Landscaping consists of native drought-resistant cacti and plants and dry-stacked stone walls. A gray water system and solar panels are also integrated to minimize resource consumption.
Blair, Shane, and Katherine have far-reaching future plans for Sagrada Wellness, including upgrading to accommodate 16 guests with three more new private casitas, a lounge library, a wet Hamman built into the ancient sauna area, and a soaking pool for Watsu.
Sagrada Wellness offers luxurious, restorative all-inclusive (and non-inclusive) Yoga and Pilates retreats and vacations, as well as “Daycations” and community classes for local residents.