Valle de Bravo, Mexico
Valle is the Hamptons of Mexico City
- More about your oliver guide: Maggie Mack
- Trip type: Adult, Family, Group getaway, Beach, Mountains
- Activity level: moderate
- Ideal length of trip: 3-4 nights
to & from
Charming colonial town of Valle de Bravo is a 2+ hour drive from Mexico City. Most major US city airports have direct flights to Mexico City (we flew United). Assuming you’ll stay in Mexico City 1-2 nights before you head to Valle (highly recommend!), ask your Mexico City hotel concierge to book you a driver and car to take you to Valle. Once in Valle, you won’t need a car. You’ll walk around town, and your hotel’s car will take you where your local heart desires.
Where to Stay
La Casa Rodavento – chic artisan hotel nestled in the colonial lake-side town of Valle de Bravo. Built and designed by partners Mexico City native, Waldemar Franco, and Bay Area native, Tim Harmon (Auberge and Mosaic Hotels), it has only 7 luxe suites. Franco and Harmon are world class adventurers, connoisseurs of life and have an eye for haute design with a local flavor. If you’re into textiles like I am, you’ll be smitten! They also lured in top chef (Diego Isunza) and renouned mixologist (Omar) from Mexico City to whip up delicious meals and cocktails in the hotel garden or poolside. Ask Omar for his lavender tequila cocktails.. warning – hard to have just one! Rumor has it Harmon is opening another property in Mexico City.. stay tuned.
Hotel Rodavento – Sister property. Eco-Chic Lodge about 20 mins away from La Casa. Similar vibe and design, but in a forest.
Cinco Rodavento – We didn’t go but it’s a sister property of the two above, so it’s gotta be great too! It’s bigger, and located in the center of town. We’ll definitely check it out on our next trip! The Rodavento properties are gems.. go now before the rest of the world discovers them!
Where to Eat and Drink
- Casa Rodavento - the hotel's restaurant is considered the top restaurant in town. The food is delicious ... everything from granolas to tortillas and pastas are all made in house. But if somehow you've had your fill of haute Mexican cuisine, order the posole ... Word has it Harmon flew the chef to his home town to learn how to make it. Perfection. End your evening with a craft tequila cocktail in the rooftop hot tub overlooking the moonlit lake and the town's cathedral.
- Hotel Rodavento - lunch in the gorgeous open air tented restaurant/bar nestled on the lake shore. Lunch was followed by an archery competition .. yes, my aim improved after a margarita or two (wink)!
- Local flavor - There are lots of little bars and restaurants in town, which we didn't sample, but would be fun to try. I'd suggest checking out Cinco for a drink.
What to Do
After Mexico City for two nights, our six couple group was ready to be pampered and in need of some exercise! We headed to the Lake for some paddle boarding and wake boarding, followed by a massage at the near-by Hotel Rodavente.
- Spa - Hotel Rodavento
- Paddle boarding/ Wake Boarding on Lake Avándaro - access/ book through private beach clubs along shore
- Hiking - loads of good trails around the lake and hills (ask concierge). A friend described it as "Lake Tahoe meets Lake Como" in terms of the mountain lake beauty and available activities.
- Valle de Bravo - explore the cobblestone streets, architecture, artisan shops, and churches of old colonial Valle. Ask Concierge for edited list.
- Monarch Butterfly Reserve - place where millions of migratory butterflies land each year
Valle de Bravo is a local secret, and you’ll be the only Americans there.. sadly not for long as the rest of the world is finding about this colonial gem.
Grab another couple or two and head to Mexico City for 2 nights, then to Valle for 2 nights to soak up the local flavor. You’ll feel like an insider!
What to Pack