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Entrance to Casita

"Casita Animas"

 (San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, MX)

Located near the Mercado Ignacio Ramirez (the artisans' market) and a leisurely 10 minute level walk from the Jardin, this small house ("casita") is well-appointed and close to most major attractions in San Miguel de Allende. When we first started looking for houses in this area, we found the designation "Centro" to be misleading, as it encompasses a large area -- and many of the houses are located at the very bottom of the rectangular-shaped Centro area on the maps, including the Parque Juarez and Guidiana. Casita Animas is much nearer to the action! It is located on a relatively quiet street, with most of the surrounding dwellings owned by an extended Mexican family, including the bakery and barber shop next door. Sandwiched between a bakery and the garage of the adjacent house, it is in the heart of a working Mexican neighborhhod.

View of living
          room from entryway--Click to enlargeSitting area of living
          room--Click to enlarge!Entrance to Casita Animas is at street level, through the green mesquite double doors shown in the photo above. The doors open onto a small entryway: The first thing you see is the coat rack and a wrought-iron divider separating this area from the living room (photo to the left). The living room features a built-in banquette and chair arrangement that is surprisingly comfortable. The seat cushions and pillows feature "Provencale" colors that complement the rug. (picture at lower right) We had the green tiled and wrought-iron table made up during our stay (our first!) in the house July 2005. There is a phone and CD player in the living area, and the wall above the couch features painted plates from nearby Dolores Hidalgo ("the" ceramics center, a short drive from San Miguel). The facing wall consists of two large arches (typical of Mexican architecture); the one closest to the door features a large brass candle box, while the one nearest the dining area is mirrored and houses a vase with dried silk flowers. Track lighting accentuates these decorative features. The shelves below the arches contain local figurines and reading material. The room is finished with textured masonry and hewn beams, and the two mirrors afford the room a spacious feel.

The living room as
            seen from the dining area. Click to enlarge!

Living Room

Dining room
            table with hutch Click to enlarge image!Bon Apetit! Click
            to enlarge!Passing through the archway at the far end of the living room brings you to the dining area. The square room features a wrought-iron dining table with four padded chairs and a hutch for extra dishes. The room is brightly lit by a copper chandelier, and the opposing walls feature a second copper-framed mirror, along with an embroidered textile from the Ignacio Ramirez market. The wall under the textile is reserved for a gas heater which will be installed early in November, before the onset of chilly weather. This room, too, features hewed beam ceilings.


Kitchen StoveKitchen wall fridge
            and storage--Click to enlarge!

The dining room opens to the kitchen through another large main archway. The kitchen is large and well-appointed, having both the space and the accoutrements to whip up wonderful dinners. We speak from experience, as we cooked some 6 meals there in the 12 days we spent in the house. It was important to us that people would have a positive cooking experience here, and so we are happy to provide new, heavy-duty cookware, along with possibly the only pot-holders in Mexico that work! There is a standard-sized sink next to a new six-burner stove with oven. The counter space is ample for food preparation, and there is plenty of storage space. Solid wood cabinets above and below the counter space (and a free-standing set of shelves opposite the sink) contain everything you'll need: heavy all-purpose flatware, plenty of knives, plates, bowls, mixing bowls, mugs, cups & saucers, glasses and a complete set of quality cookware. The kitchen is equally well-stocked in terms of appliances, with a blender, a juicer, a toaster, a toaster oven, a tea kettle and coffee maker. A full-size refrigerator and microwave and bottled water dispenser round out the kitchen equipment. The kitchen embraces the "pollo" (chicken) theme, with a colorful tiled "splash" wall and  terracotta birds.
Kitchen Arch

WashroomFree standing
            wrought-iron sink Click to enlarge!Behind the kitchen and through the double glass doors is an anteroom that houses an attractive powder room and the spiral wrought iron staircase that leads to the upper rooms and roof top terrace. The half bath is comprised of a free standing wrought iron sink with a colorful Mexican-tiled washbasin in the corner of the room, and the enclosed toilet area adjacent. The small bathroom has a wrought iron door with a frosted glass window. Above the powder room  is a flat surface which we found useful for to storing our luggage. This last downstairs room opens above to an atrium that extends two floors to the roof; therefore, it receives a great deal of sunlight. The walls are decorated with terracotta figures. The photo to the left gives an overview of this area, and was shot from the sun room above. It shows the location of the wash basin (also featured in the photo to the right) the open door leading to the toilet, as well as the two and one half story spiral staircase that leads to the next two levels.

The downstairs
            1/2 bath


A bird-eye view of the
            loft area. Click to enlarge!MezzanineProceeding up the spiral staircase brings you to the sun room, a loft. It receives plenty of sunlight from the skylight above, while its configuration also allows light to pass through to the lower level of the house. This room makes a great reading room as well as an excellent studio area for an artist. The rectangular room has a raised platform on one side (where the enclosed hot water heater is mounted) flanked by shelves containing a large Dolores Hidalgo vase and a painted hand-woven basket. On the floor is a thin rug, designed to keep your feet warm on a cool morning. The sunroom is an essentially open room, with two wrought leather chairs and a end table in the corner. On the wall is a single picture frame, featuring shots from in an around San Miguel de Allende. The room is lit by twin brass lamps, hanging above the hallway that leads to the bathroom and then the bedroom. The full story of open air above gives this room a spaciousness that belies its size, and it is a wonderful place to read, visit, or paint.

Mezzanine Doorway


The hallway connects the
            loft to the bedroom Click to enlarge!Bathroom SinkThe sun room opens to the second floor hallway which is decorated with a colorful runner and a hand-carved/painted half-table. Opposite this is the upstairs bathroom, which is decorated in maroon tiles extending from the sink to the shower. The shower itself is finished in a light beige tiling with seashell motif. There is a basin and cupboard in the center of the room, flanked by shelves (with lots of towels/washclothes & linens) on one side and the commode on the other. On the far end of the room is a 3/4 tub with shower. There is excellent lighting for the mirror.


The bedroom has comfy
            double bed. Click to enlarge!
Hand-carved closet and
            chairAt the end of the hall is the bedroom, which features a double bed. It is "muy' comfortable -- just firm enough to be supportive, but not "hard." Next to this is a small balcony which overlooks Animas and has a lovely view of bright foliage of indigenous trees and (usually!) blue sky behind it. The room has good storage, with a large hand-carved armoire (hanging closet w/ 2 drawers) and a 3-drawer dresser  next to the bed. On the other side of the bed is a night stand with a phone; both the dresser and the night stand have ceramic lamps, and the dresser is draped with a bright runner. Two accents found in the bedroom are the frosted glass and wrought iron skylight (making the room bright, even when the curtains are closed) and the large mirrored arch at the foot of the bed, which contributes to a more spacious feeling in the room. Further illumination is provided by a (bright!) ceiling light. Ventilation is provided by a ceiling fan with more light. There is a green hand-woven rug on the floor. A hand-carved chair which matches the hall table rounds out the furnishings. The bedroom is equipped with a cable television that features CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, and several English-speaking movie channels.  We counted in the area of 15 English-speaking stations at any given time. There is also a DVD player for watching videos and listening to CD's. By the way, if you have a way to burn your MP3's onto CD's, go ahead and do it -- both players in the house will play CD-R's with MP3's. Alternately, just bring your favorite CD's.

Bedroom Mirror




Spiral staircase
            leading to the terrace. Click to enlarge!The roof top terrace.
            Click to enlarge!

One level up the spiral staircase (from the sun room) is a roof top terrace. It is rectangular, surprisingly roomy, and features both an electric light and two electrical outlets, as well as a spigot and hose. The terrace offers views of the nearby hills and the surrounding buildings and trees, along with the spires of some of San Miguel's churches. The roof top has a table and four chairs. The circular table shown here has been replaced with a colorful ceramic one, and the skylight is now transparent. Changes can be seen in the virtual tours below. The ledges are lined with local desert plants. It is a wonderful place to enjoy a drink in the evening, or to watch the (very!) low-lying clouds   as a storm approaches.

If you are planning to visit San Miguel de Allende and are looking for a small one-bedroom house in the historico centro, Casita Animas is listed on AirBnB.


A Video Tour of Casita Animas

A 360 Degree Virtual Tour of Casita Animas

Using VR technology, we have assembled a 360 tour consisting of interlocking spherical photos. This allows you to see in all directions in each room, and provides a more immersive tour than the video above. There is no narration, and you may visit each room at your leisure. This is a more recent tour than the video above. If you own a Google Cardboard or similar VR headset, you scan the QR code below the tour for a headset-compatible version.

Living Room/EntranceSnap Content
QR CodeThere is also a version of this tour designed specifically for VR headsets such as Google Cardboard, and it works with both iPhone and Android devices. It may be access by scanning on the QR code to the left. If you are viewing this on a mobile phone, you may access the VR tour by following this link.

For iOS devices
: scan QR code with your device's camera app, tap on the prompt to open Safari. Select "Allow Device Motion" and the next prompt, "Allow Access to Motion Orientation." Turn the device to landscape mode and a split screen will appear. When the screen turns white, swipe up for fullscreen mode, and place in headset. Here is a video of how to do this--it is simpler than it sounds! [The video opens in a new window--close when done to return to this page]

For Android devices: Open the camera app and use the built-in scanner to scan the QR code above. Confirm that you want to open the website, and wait for it to load--it should load in stereo view. Select the fullscreen ("X" option) from the menu at the bottom. Turn the device to landscape mode and you are ready to go. Here is a video of how to do this--it is simpler than it sounds! [The video opens in a new window--close when done to return to this page

Views of San Miguel de Allende

It is hard to take a bad picture in San Miguel. Here are a few snapshots to whet your appetite!

[You may need to extend the browser to see the entire gallery]

Looking Down Mesones Clock Tower Cowboys Parroquia Jesus Templo de San Francisco

Looking  Down Mesones

Clock Tower Near Parque Benito Juarez

Cowboys on the bench, Plaza Civica

View of the Parroquia from
the Jardin

Calle de Jesus

Templo de San Francisco

 If you would like to learn more about the history and Culture of San Miguel del Allende, head on over to our San Miguel de Allende page, where there are three VR tours, offering both a desktop tour and VR tours with smartphones and headsets such as Google Cardboard. You don't want to miss it!

Return to Digital Photo Album

Return to Digital Photo Album