San Miguel de Allende is a destination that’s defined by its old-world charm, from cobblestone streets lined with artisanal shops to the commanding presence of Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, a limestone church with neo-gothic spires and tiered towers. When you witness it, you’ll understand why locals refer to this architectural centerpiece as the “pink wedding cake”.  


San Miguel de Allende


Founded in the 16th century, San Miguel de Allende, in recent years, has emerged as a hot destination with travelers and meeting groups. In 2023 alone, bookings to this colonial city in the heart of Mexico shot up 400%, according to a report from Mexico News Daily. 



What’s driving the trend? 


San Miguel de Allende has long romanced wedding couples and honeymooners. But in recent years it’s been intriguing meeting planners, too, who are seeking an alternative to fast-paced Mexico City, or to the popular beach destinations that fringe the coastlines. With nearly 10,000 square feet of event space, Live Aqua San Miguel de Allende has the largest amount of meeting space in the mid-sized city and is ready to meet the demand. 


San Miguel de Allende


With chef-driven restaurants and tucked away mom-and-pop cafes, San Miguel de Allende is also on the cusp of becoming the next big epicurean city, complemented by revived winemaking traditions and the hometown presence of Casa Dragones, a local, small-batch tequila producer that’s been gaining attention.  


The 150-room luxury resort is an ideal stay for meeting attendees to immerse in the city’s rich cultural and culinary traditions, starting with the smell of fresh baked bread wafting from the resort’s on-site bakery and continuing on with group tequila tastings led by a sommelier that features expressions from Casa Dragones. 


Surrounded by nature and the Presa del Obraje dam, Live Aqua San Miguel de Allende is also in a perfect location for exploring, just four blocks from the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel and within walking distance of artisan markets. 



San Miguel’s Rise in Popularity 


San Miguel de Allende


A visit to San Miguel de Allende will make you feel as though you’re walking around an architectural museum, filled with Mexican Baroque and neoclassical masterpieces. The unique architecture helped San Miguel de Allende earn its UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in 2008.  


The mid-sized city has all that small-to-mid-sized groups could ask for, says Franchesca Hervella Soberani, with the San Miguel de Allende Tourism Office. 

“It’s a great destination to explore your senses, from the diverse gastronomy offerings to adventure, to wine tastings, to visiting thermal waters,” she says. 

Meeting groups don’t have to venture far to get a taste of the culinary scene as Live Aqua San Miguel de Allende has a collection of great restaurants, including Zibu Allende and Spice Market that feature flavors from South Asia to Mexico. The Cigar - Bar Casa Dragones is a chic spot for pairing tequila or mezcal with cigars.  


“Another must-try is the resort’s charming bakery that offers freshly made treats daily,” says Eva Lopez, Director of Sales for the hotel. 


Some popular activities for groups just outside of town include ATV tours, horseback riding, bike tours, hot air balloon rides, and visiting archaeological sites, Hervella Soberani says. She recommends a visit to Fabrica la Aurora, an artistic center that’s set in a historic textile factory where some of the original machinery remains.  


Visitors also love to visit the art galleries and markets, where they can find heritage arts and crafts, with skills that have been passed down between makers over generations, she says. 



Live Aqua San Miguel de Allende’s Cultural Offerings 


San Miguel de Allende

A stay at Live Aqua San Miguel de Allende puts meeting guests just 15 minutes from the main plaza, but those staying here will get an authentic introduction to this magical city all throughout the resort’s grounds.  


The hotel is a winner of the UNESCO Prix Versailles Awards for the Best Hotel Design and Architecture in North America. Live Aqua San Miguel de Allende’s design is a combination of subtle Brutalist architecture and old Spanish Colonial style, Lopez says. 


Meetings and incentive groups can take part in cooking competitions, too, like a taco and wine session where attendees are pitted against one another to come up with tasty, creative sauces before learning how to pair tacos with local wines. The region, in recent years, has been reviving its winemaking, a tradition that dates to the 1500s when the Spanish colonial government planted vines around Mexico. 


Another unique on-property for groups is the “Tequila Sensory Tasting,” in which participants can smell tequilas with their eyes covered to pick up the differences between young blancos and añejos before going through a complete tequila tasting that also includes reposado and cristalino, a growing tequila category that involves aging and filtering the spirit so that it’s clear. 


San Miguel de Allende


There’s also a strong case for extending a stay beyond the meeting, too, to relax in a pool with a mandala floor or enjoy ancestral rituals at the hotel’s award-winning Feel Urban Spa. One of the most ancient rituals on the Earth, the temazcal means “house where you sweat,” and it’s an experience that leaves guests feeling renewed.