There's simply too much to say about our stay at Hacienda Las Trancas. It was highly recommended by friends who had stayed there before, so we checked out the Web site and immediately started making plans to visit. After further research, checking TripAdvisor, talking to Kelley (the owner, with husband Stephen), etc., we were still amazed when we arrived. As Kelley showed our group around, we were all giggling like kids as we toured the property that would be ours for the week.
Arriving in Léon, our transportation (a driver with large van prearranged by Kelley) met us in the airport lobby and had us in Trancas in less than an hour. Although the town of Dolores Hidalgo is only another 15 minutes away, Trancas is definitely a small village in the Mexican desert, but being right off of a major highway makes it easily accessible. A single road runs through the village from the highway to the dusty (you're in the desert) village plaza where the 400+ year old hacienda stands.
The outside of this old fort is massive and was a bit imposing as we drove up to the relatively small entrance. Tired and not sure of what awaited us, we were warmly greeted by Kelley, then stunned at the garden and central courtyard waiting just inside the doors – a true oasis. (The hacienda recycles its gray water to use in the gardens.) Kelley gave us a tour so we would know our way around, which takes a little while in a place this size. Each bedroom was unique, all large and beautiful, with some of the suites bordering on huge. The kitchen/dining, back courtyard/stables and pool areas were just as nice. Like the first day in a new school, I felt like I needed a map or I'd never get to class on time!
As the week progressed, we enjoyed our wake-up calls from neighboring burros and roosters, attention from the hacienda's dogs and cats, exploring Trancas by foot, horse and bike, day trips to San Miguel and Gaunajuato, pitchers of margueritas, time relaxing (in the pool, hot tub, hammocks, on the rooftop patio, on the sofas along the portales, etc. – it's a big place), and jockeying for both time in the saddle and time on the massage tables. But time in the dining room topped it all. The cuisine prepared by Yolanda and her staff is Mexican as few Americans have experienced. Light, fresh and delicious.
Although day trips with a group of 12 was challenging, that many people staying at the hacienda almost seemed small, even in the dining room.
All that said, be assured this is not a resort or luxury hotel. This is Kelley and Stephen's home, which they offer as a rental property – albeit with additional great services. Kelley mentioned several times that she tries to be as available to her guests as they need her to be and always checks in at least a couple of times a day, but there is no concierge. Guests should be organized, yet flexible, and a bit adventurous and self-sufficient. Most of the staff speaks little English, so knowing some Spanish is helpful, as well as polite.
Like staying in any ancient fort or castle turned accomodation, the hacienda has a few drafts, leaks, architectural oddities, etc. That's a very large part of its charm. Its present owners have done an unbelievable job restoring and renovating it so far, but it is also a work in progress. In addition to a sizable staff that tends to the day-to-day, there are also craftsmen about, taking care of ongoing renovations. By employing so many locals, Kelley and Stephen have not only brought a magnificent building back to life, they are doing their best to keep the village alive by giving back.
Hacienda Las Trancas is a great destination for a group of family and/or friends. The memories of the hacienda, our new friends there and the quality time we spent with people we care about will last the rest of our days.
Note: There was a particularly negative review of Hacienda Las Trancas recently posted on TripAdvisor. Based on those comments and complaints, I can only assume that this person had unrealistic expectations. This is a very old building and a rental property located in a rural Mexican village. Considering all that, it surpassed my expectations in every way.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hacienda Las Trancas is the perfect setting for romantic getaways, destination weddings, family reunions, workshops, birthdays, special events, or vacation with friends. Book a single suite for a night or a week. Or rent the whole place. Why rent a house when you can rent an entire hacienda? Step back in time and experience the elegance of another era, to a place filled with romance, tranquility and laughter. Authentic, romantic 450 year old ex-hacienda located in a friendly village outside of San Miguel de Allende. Horseback riding is available twice a day from our stables. The solar heated pool, jacuzzi, fitness center with full circuit Cybex equipment, mountain bikes, satellite TV, 10 Mbps internet throughout the hacienda, ping pong, and PickleBall court are available to your guests throughout the day. Hot springs nearby. Luxury Linens, down bedding, fireplaces, private terraces, purified water, beautiful gardens, robes, chocolates, fresh flowers in all rooms. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Hacienda Las Trancas Hotel San Miguel De Allende