Located in the heart of the vibrant colonial Mexican city, San Miguel de Allende, Hotel Amparo is one of the finest boutique hotels in the world, having a vivacious character of a 3-century old residence. Artistically curated by Aaron Rambo creative, Amparo serves as an architectural masterpiece blending the essence of Spanish Baroque style with contemporary world architecture. The owners, Taylor Goodall and Mariana Barran de Goodall envisioned the place to have a homely aura for their visitors.
Image 2 – Hotel Amparo’s Interior _© http://hotelamparo.com/
The hotel is a refurbishment of a 300-year-old residence of the mayor in the colourful city of San Miguel de Allende. The town is known for its galleries and vibrant character with the richly painted hue of terracotta reds, dusky yellows, and blues. The hotel renders calm, romantic aesthetics with two courtyards in the heart of the revamped townhouse. The courtyard connects to the five suite rooms explicitly designed with paintings by mid-century celebrated artists and souvenirs from all over the world.
The design serves an intimate residential ambience with contemporary décor and bright white walls. The suites approached from one of the two courtyards reveal the original red tile flooring and beam. The bright interiors with accent colours like blue, red, yellow, and green are explored through dark wooden plank doors.
The private lounge sets the scene of a vintage movie with a lightly worn emerald green sofa at the focal point, while the rugs and the oversized crystal chandelier hold the space’s gravitas. Hotel Amparo is an amalgamation of Rambo’s discerning eyes and Goodall’s classic taste. It has a vast collection of antique pieces from all over the world; as Rambo quotes, “For the interiors, we thought globally.”
Among Goodall’s favourite pieces is an extensive collection of art and paintings, including a set of hand-drawn letters by contemporary Mexican artist Pedro Friedeberg. Alternatively, Barran de Goodall’s favourite piece is the pair of leather swivel barrel chairs bought in an auction and brought back to life with a citrus green Otomi fabric adorning the back.
The design is a simple residence plan, with two courtyards and five rooms converted into a modern-vintage hotel courtesy of Rambo’s artistic vision.
The Vivid Use of Materials
Rambo has created a mixed material palette combining the old rustic materials in the townhouse with the new-age materials like steel and metal. Starting with the logo on the entrance gate, Rambo designed it as a motif for the steel entrance gate, deconstructing it further as a pattern for new bespoke bathroom tiles.
He has kept the agrestic stone and red tile flooring in the courtyard and the rooms unchanged, complementing it with white plastered walls and bold art pieces. These hues mix with the eye-catching double-storeyed tiled fireplace in one of the two inviting courtyards done in cobalt blue. The same hue is found in the flagship suite’s bathroom with cobalt blue tiles divided by white, grey veined Italian marble doubled up as a room divider and used at the back of a pedestal soaking tub.
In addition to the classic wood panelled coffee shop, invigorated by Lucas Rise’s sunny yellow ceiling fresco work. Hotel Amparo also houses a rooftop restaurant lounge. The ambience of the restaurant is enhanced by the excellent use of stucco and terracotta works supplemented with the steelwork offering sightlines to the central market.
The five rooms contain artworks by different artists, one painted by Argentinian artist Lucas Rise, while another, the Presidential Suite, is adorned with an oil portrait of 19th-century Mexican president Porfirio Diaz as the featured artwork. The beds in the suites are also artworks with intricately carved headboards serving as backdrops for the soft and bright linen on the bed.
Hotel Amparo is a master artwork created by Aaron Rambo. The design uses an old residential structure without demolition, tittivated into a hospitality enterprise. The designer has offered excellent solutions to conserve the heritage structure of the city and has kept the authenticity of the place alive. The strategy to retain old materials and add the modern touch with new polishings speaks about the conservation master plan.
The spaces are revamped with bright coloured tiles and artworks, complementing the old stone flooring, and white walls, the structure of the townhouse is kept as it is, which gives Goodall, the economic space to work on the interiors. All the furniture and fittings, from Otomi-style chairs and modern art by Beatrice Cota, are a collection from around the world, some purchased in auctions, giving a sense of global exposure to the interiors, brought to the table by economic means.
Aaron Rambo, the project designer, has turned the project into an economically viable and ecologically sustainable work of genius.
Hotel Amparo stands out in the central neighbourhood of San Miguel de Allende. While all the buildings on the streets appear stuffy and robust, this tiny hotel is warm and inviting, taking us back to an era when artists travelled and stayed at each other’s homes. Rambo and the Goodall couple have managed to bring a global design to the table that makes people feel at home yet surprises them with its tongue-in-cheek artistic details.
The hotel has set a creative landmark in the hospitality design industry. The designers have pulled together pieces in a way people have never seen before and have crafted a gentle statement with controlled chaos.
Hospitality Design. 2021. Hotel Amparo | Hospitality Design. [online] Available at: <https://hospitalitydesign.com/projects/hotels-resorts/hotel-amparo/> [Accessed 3 September 2021].
Tatler. 2021. Hotel Amparo. [online] Available at: <https://www.tatler.com/article/hotel-amparo> [Accessed 2 September 2021].