Real Estate

Estate In San Miguel De Allende Has Just The Right Amount Of Whimsy And Sophistication

The central Mexican hill town of San Miguel de Allende is known for its rich mix of historic architectural styles. The same could be said of a luxury complex in the inland town about 170 miles northwest of Mexico City.

Casa Opera, as the home is called, is located in the Frailes neighborhood. It was built over the past few decades to reflect the owners’ commitment to music and formal events as well as a love of all things European.

The property’s buildings and rooms play with different eras of design that shift from medieval to neoclassical to Roman and Spanish influences. “It’s whimsical in a certain way, and it’s sophisticated in another way,” says sales agent Joseph Lown of CDR San Miguel. “By combining the garden and big spaces and small spaces, it’s really a playful home.”

Agent Laura Rodríguez, also of CDR San Miguel, agrees, adding that spaces are designed not to overwhelm but to enchant. The owners “invite people to have different experiences in all these places that are perfectly set up for that.”

The one-of-a-kind complex with eight bedrooms and eight bathrooms spread over several buildings is selling for US $2.35 million.

The neoclassical music room, whose stand-alone facade was inspired by the Petit Trianon palace in Versailles, France, and a mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, takes up the largest space on the property. Formal concerts with up to 100 guests have been held here; a fully equipped commercial kitchen in the back makes hosting large events seamless.

The room’s interior features a hand-painted celestial scene overhead and “perfectly designed acoustics,” making it one of the best performance spaces in the area, Rodríguez says.

Next to the music space in a separate building is a solid-stone tower reminiscent of something you would find in a medieval British castle. The guest house on two levels comes with a wood-burning fireplace and kitchenette on the lower floor and a bedroom with bath on the second floor, delivering views of the gardens below.

Casa Opera’s other dramatic designs include Roman-style fountains set along winding garden paths and a private loggia on the second level of the main house inspired by the Roman Temple of Hercules, a perfect place to retreat, unwind and enjoy a sunset.

Why the heavy continental influence? One of the owners traces his family’s roots back 20 generations to various parts of Europe. “He’s very proud of history in his life and has put every single detail into this house,” Rodríguez says.

The main house on two levels features an ochre Spanish-style facade, with a mix of arches, columns and patios that underscore an indoor-outdoor and entertainment lifestyle. Inside, rooms with high ceilings and detailed craftsmanship take on a grand scale — and more style surprises.

A dark wood-paneled Tudor Room transports you to England, and a breakfast room with a brick vaulted ceiling whisks you to the Mediterranean. The formal dining hall with deep red walls and checkerboard flooring holds a replica of a frieze from a Roman temple on one wall and French-style rosette windows on another.

Who would potentially buy the estate? “Definitely someone who loves music and loves to entertain,” Rodríguez says. The property also could become an entertainment space, a boutique hotel, a restaurant with a private residence next door, or an artist’s space. “Above the music room is a working artist’s studio,” Lown says.

Other amenities include a billiard room (inside the music room), an in-ground hot tub in the garden, wine cellar, two garages and staff quarters, which may be used as an office or studio.

The official address is Calle Pajaros del Viento 2, Fraccionamiento El Mirador. It’s less than a 10-minute drive to the famed town center, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008 for its historic Colonial and Mexican Baroque architecture and culture.

Joseph Lown and Laura Rodríguez, both of CDR San Miguel, are the selling agents.


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