San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Creativity | Culture | Adventure
October 29th to November 5th, 2020
Cost: $2350- $3400 USD depending on room accommodations*
We are extending the invitation for you to join us on this creative journey of a lifetime in beautiful San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
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*Does not include airfare
Join Michelle Guitard and Jane Thompson for a week of pure creativity and inspiration. Professionally crafted creative workshops, delicious locally-sourced meals, and the exploration of vibrant local streets will provide you with a truly luxurious cultural exploration of beautiful San Miguel, Mexico. This will be a time for nurturing one's whole self; to slow down and soak in the environment with all of your senses. Michelle will lead you through workshops capturing inspiration with acrylic paint, pastels and other mediums, providing you with the opportunity to express yourself through the projects, wherever you are in your creative journey, from first-timers to experienced artists. Michelle and Jane will guide you through a week of thoughtful, playful, and meaningful creative projects in beautiful San Miguel de Allende, where the culture and artistic history of the city align with their own passion and expertise, creating a beautiful blend of art and expression.
Located in Central Mexico with a temperate climate, interesting art scene and historic architecture, San Miguel de Allende is a favourite among expats looking for a low key and charming existence. Known for its "eternal springtime" weather, sunny skies and walls dripping with large colourful vinery, San Miguel is the ideal creative escape. Michelle and Jane have each traveled to San Miguel many times over the years, and have fallen completely in love with San Miguel's vibrant culture and colours. We can't wait to slow down and share the inspiration with a small group of kindred creative women. Nicknamed "El Corazon de Mexico" or the heart of Mexico, San Miguel is the perfect place to step out of our busy lives and refresh our spirits together. We will delight each of our senses with fresh food, walking tours, amazing shopping, field trips down secret alleys and so much more.
Nestled in its own private garden oasis, the private villa is a stylish, charming, and comfortably home-like retreat, located in the heart of San Miguel. The villa is in the perfect location to explore the beautiful city on foot. This luxurious private villa was built in true Mexican colonial style, weaving around a central garden fit with Spanish-arched column details and suites of refined architectural beauty, down to even the smallest details. It combines authentic charm and discrete luxury into one inspiring contemporary environment.
The villa offers many different relaxing spaces to enjoy and harness one's own creative energy. From the incredible roof-top terrace you will experience breath-taking views of the town and surrounding mountains.
The large central courtyard is equipped with a spectacular private pool, including lounge chairs and towels, granting you the option of unwinding in the sun, or under the shade of a parasol. In addition to the spacious lounge areas, all bedrooms include spacious en-suite tiled bathrooms.
The roof-top and other common areas will act as our central meeting space for eating, art making, relaxing, or gathering. The carved stucco and numerous balconies create a beautifully exotic atmosphere within the internal courtyard, overlooking the pool. On the ground floor, be swept off your feet in the extravagant formal dining and living rooms, well equipped with traditional Mexican fireplaces and lounges.
Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos)
Day of the Dead is an Aztec spiritual holiday that is celebrated every year from October 31 to November 2. It is believed that the deceased awake from their eternal resting place and speak with their loved ones giving everyone the chance to reconnect. Alters are built to honour the deceased and families cook all of their loved one’s favourite foods for a celebratory feast. Ornate Mexican cemeteries are a sight to see no matter the time of year, however, there is no better time to visit than while graves and headstones are adorned with marigolds and decorations in honor of Día de los Muertos.
Anonymous | November 2019
"...I feel very privileged to have been apart of this retreat. Michelle & Jane have a very close, respectful relationship. I feel because of this they excelled at giving us an understanding of the culture & tradition of the people of San Miguel de Allende.
There is so much more to learn about Mexico. It will always be a trip to remember."
What to Expect | 8-Day Itinerary
Day 1: Thursday, October 29, 2020 - Arrival & Orientation
Arrive in Mexico. Group transportation will be provided from Querétaro International Airport to our villa. You will be greeted by house staff with freshly made margaritas, guacamole and chips. You will have a chance to refresh yourself, and settle into your beautiful home away from home. Take a dip in the pool, get to know your fellow retreaters, or explore the neighbourhood. We will take a short walk to a nearby restaurant for our first dinner together.
Day 2: Friday, October 30, 2020 - Art Workshop & Walking Tour of San Miguel
Delicious breakfast at the villa, followed by our first painting workshop. A light lunch will be provided at the villa, followed by a guided walking tour of San Miguel. Following the tour, dinner will be enjoyed on your own at a delicious selection of restaurants in town that we recommend.
Day 3: Saturday, October 31, 2020 - Art Workshop & Halloween Festivities
Breakfast at the villa, followed by an Art Workshop. After the Workshop, lunch will be provided at the villa. You will then have the afternoon for free time, to enjoy the remarkable landscape and environment of San Miguel. Enjoy an early evening dinner at a local restaurant, and halloween celebrations in the local city square.
Day 4: Sunday, November 1, 2020 - Catrina Gala & Day of the Dead Parade
Breakfast at the villa, followed by the Catrina Gala at the beautiful Rosewood Hotel, throughout the afternoon and evening, where a spectacular day of the dead parade will begin.
Day 5: Monday, November 2, 2020 - Cooking Class & Dinner with Local Chef
Breakfast at the villa, followed by free time in the early morning. After a beautiful lunch prepared in the villa, there will be a shuttle pick up to take us on an afternoon adventure with local chef, cooking class and dinner at their private home.
Day 6: Tuesday, November 3, 2020 - Art Workshop and Trip to Fabrica la Aurora
Breakfast at the villa, and another inspiring art workshop. After lunch is provided at the villa, we will head to Fabrica la Aurora: a renovated textile mill housing cafes, shops and galleries. After our trip, we will have a pizza and margaritas at the villa.
Day 7: Wednesday, November 4, 2020 - Art Workshop & Farewell Dinner
Breakfast at the villa, our last art workshop of the week, and free time, before we meet back at the villa for a beautiful farewell dinner.
Day 8: Thursday, November 5, 2020 - Farewell & Departure
Breakfast at the villa, followed by 10:30am check-out and group shuttle to the airport.
Please Note: This is our prospective itinerary. Small changes may be made due to weather, desires of the group, or unexpected opportunities. All cabs and shuttles (not including to/from airport and to/from cooking class) are your own expenses and are not included.
Anonymous | November 2019
"...I couldn't have asked for anyone or anything better! Michelle and Jane were absolutely fabulous.
They couldn't have done more to please us, and to accommodate our individual needs.
Thank you so much!!"
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Do You Offer Payment Plans?
Yes! Upon receipt of your $1000 USD non-refundable, non-transferable deposit, you may divide your remaining total into up to 2 separate payments. Total balance is due before July 30th, 2020.
What Does The Cost Cover?
7 nights stay at our own private luxury villa with private pool
Intimate group of women including Jane and Michelle
Group Airport Transfer and transportation to the villa in San Miguel
Guided walking tour of San Miguel
Harnessing Local Inspiration: 4 Art Workshops with Michelle Guitard, each two and a half hours in length
Cooking class and dinner with local chef
Delicious fresh, local, organic meals catered by a private chef! 6 Breakfasts, 6 lunches, and a farewell dinner on our last night.
What is Not Covered in the Cost?
Your airfare is not included in the cost. Any meals eaten off of the Villa grounds, or alcoholic beverages.
Expect to pay $30-$60 USD (depending on the restaurant) per dinner. Anything you buy in the markets or on various trips will not be covered, as well as any extra tours or excursions that you choose during your free time if you choose to go.
Do I Need Travellers Insurance?
We highly recommend it.
How Much Money Should I Bring For Spending?
That is totally personal and depends on how much shopping you plan to do. ATM's are available to you and credit cards are taken at some major retailers. In our experience, very little US dollars are used in the city and can be difficult to exchange. You will use mainly pesos and there are ATMs around San Miguel making it very easy to access pesos, however usage of ATMs comes with a service charge.
Do I Have to Share a Room?
Our private villa offers the feel of an intimate vacation home. Some pricing options do involve sharing rooms, however in our experience the sharing of rooms has led to closer bonds, and contributed to a sense of community that adds value to the experience.
What Kind of Food Will be Served?
The chef at the villa never uses processed foods and all meals are prepared from scratch. Breakfast every day will be fresh and delicious. They provide a fixed daily menu that relies on local ingredients. Vegetarian options are available if we inform the chef before hand.
How Do I Get To an From the Airport and Villa?
We will book your group transportation to and from Quetetaro International Airport.
What Airport Do I Fly Into?
When booking your flight please fly into Quetetaro International Airport, which is an hour and 15 minutes drive from San Miguel. We recommend booking your flights at least 90 days before the beginning of the retreat. We recommend booking your flight with Michelle Campbell at Vision Travel, in Ancaster, ON. It is imperative that our group arrives and departs from the airport at the same time, for the purpose of shuttle scheduling.
What Will the Weather be Like?
San Miguel is known for having eternal spring-like weather, averaging around 25 degrees C. In the evenings expect temperatures to drop to around 15 degrees C.
How Should I Dress in San Miguel?
When planning what to wear in San Miguel think "casual city chic" with light layers for the changing mountain weather. The city is best explored on foot, so opt for comfortable shoes, sneakers or sandals. Plan outfits that will work for exploring but will also be nice enough for a relaxed dinner in town.
Do I Need to Bring Anything Special?
We recommend that you bring an extra bag (a collapsible duffel) to bring home your goodies you have collected on our shopping trips. San Miguel is known for its artisan markets and handcrafts, which creates an exciting shopping environment. The temperatures will vary, so don't forget layers, pack a bathing suit, sweater and a light jacket!
Sounds Fun but I Am Not An Artist, Is the Retreat Still For Me?
Absolutely! This retreat is primarily focused on adventure and inspiration. Painting is just one aspect of the creative portion of your retreat. It will be a mix of creativity, exploration, discovery and stepping into the inspiring culture of San Miguel
Do You Offer Refunds?
There will be no refunds for this Retreat due to the planning and logistics involved.
What Are the "Retreats" and What Can I Expect to Gain from my Experience as a Participant?
The beauty of our retreats lies in the balance of structured creative workshops, and scheduled free time, where participants can continue on their creative journey however they see fit. For those looking to improve their painting skills, explore painting for the first time, build a portfolio, or just unwind with friends in a creative environment, the opportunity to learn from us is there. We will work closely with you during our painting workshops to foster your creativity spirit in a way which resonates in Mexico, and at home. Whether you've been painting since childhood, or see the value in a supportive escape from day to day life, our retreat caters to anyone, no matter how far along your creative journey you may be.
Who Usually Comes on These Retreats?
Our Retreats are offered for women only; Women from all walks of life, all nationalities, and a wide spectrum of ages & life experience come. The value of our retreat lies in the collaboration of like-minded women who bond over their love of art, travel, and food.
I Really Want to Learn Painting During the Retreat, How Can I Best Prepare?
There is absolutely no prior art experience necessary. An open mind and a willingness to learn are the only prerequisites.
I Have a Dietary Restriction, Will There be Something For Me to Eat?
Yes, we can accommodate most dietary restrictions. Prior communication is helpful depending on the severity of your needs.