As you know, our super-secret hotel reviewers report back from the boutique hotel frontlines chronicling their jaunts as only they can, penning critical, witty and hilarious accounts for us to share with you, dear reader.
This month, we introduce you to another member of the Mr & Mrs Smith family, the whip-smart and worldly stylista Ashley Wick (also our New York-based content specialist), who visited Colima to review Hacienda de San Antonio (a frontrunner in our Top 10 hotels with views). Most recently, you may have spotted her looking summer-in-the-city perfect on Garance Doré’s blog.
Get to know more about Ashley with her bio below, and a sneak preview of her account of GPS-less triumph in Mexico…
As the daughter of a Peace Corps alum and a Travel + Leisure editor, Ashley was born with little hope of avoiding chronic wanderlust. She finds adventure in the rugged or pastoral – and rarely returns without a conversation-starting treasure. When she’s not sauntering barefoot in a kaftan in Ibiza, navigating Peru’s topography with a 4WD and a willing sibling, or scouring souks as a buyer for L–atitude, Ashley helms Wick and Co, a PR and marketing consultancy focused on luxury travel and fashion brands.
Hacienda de San Antonio is 15 minutes from the sleepy, cobblestoned streets of Comala. We pull up to iron gates worthy of a conquistador and descend through a dense grove of trees, finally emerging into a grass-covered plaza bordered by a grand hacienda dripping in bougainvillea and ivy. The irritability produced by a four-hour drive evaporates as we pass through the colossal wooden doors and the staff offer us chilled mint tonics (a fine tipple, I later discover, when paired with vodka).
The grounds behind the hotel are an imperial succession of gardens that exalt geometry: allées of boxwood splaying from a circular ornamental pool, the spaces between brimming with flowers; a cascade of semicircular stone steps descending to another decorative pool, this one of Moorish inspiration. Hidden benches and natural nooks and crannies scattered throughout the grounds induce the urge to strip and run wild over the lawns. Aside from the staff (gracious, knowledgeable and ever-aware of our comings and goings), there are only two other guests who would notice. I am game but Mr Smith says if he went along with it we’d have to get room service for the rest of our stay….
Visit the Smith site to read Ashley’s full review of Hacienda de San Antonio… You might also like to meet some of our other illustrious reviewers, including Howard Marks, Mary Portas, Stefano Manfredi and Immodesty Blaize…