Guest Author - Rachel Rome
Since 1997, I have spent a month every winter in San Miguel de Allende. The 6,000 feet high Spanish Colonial city in northern Mexico, boasts many thermal springs and spas.
During the past 10 years, I have traveled to San Miguele de Allende to paint and relax, savoring the vibrant art, local food, and Mexican culture in San Miguel de Allende. Locals and tourists alike visit spas and thermal baths, which dot the countryside and city center. My very favorite thermal springs with spa treatments are in the country.
Located just outside the center of San Miguel de Allende are many thermal hot springs and several spas. A favorite is La Gruta (The Grotto), Just 15 minutes away form San Miguel de Allende center, on the road to Dolores Hidalgo, visitors can take a city bus (for about five cents), drive or take a taxi (about $14 US round-trip). I prefer the taxi, but pay only on the return trip; that way, the driver always returns for you.
La Gruta is set amidst about a dozen hilly acres with trees, shrubs, bougainvillea, distant mountains and hills and a little creek running through the property. An outdoor restaurant affords patio dining; waiters also bring meals – chicken fajitas to cocktails – to spa-goers lounging in the grassy lawn. After paying the $7 US admission free, walk down a few steps to the changing room where lockers provide security. From there, it’s a short walk down to the pools, lawn, and spa area.
Three separate outdoor thermal pools offer warm to almost-hot waters for bathers to soak in before massage treatments (about $20 US), facials or wraps. A dome-topped thermal water passage leads into the warmest pool where a “waterfall” falls from one wall several times an hour. Standing under the mild downpour is a good way to loosen up before a spa treatment.
One day in March I had a massage on a massage table under a tree by the little stream. My friend, Devora, chose to have her massage by the pool as her husband, Jean, read a book. La Gruta offers enchanting ambience, with the rustling of the leaves, scented air from the flowers and splashing in the pool enveloping one's senses.