Charming, folk art-filled Casa Duende has 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and a casita art studio. Its quirky shapes, vibrant colors and jungle-like garden are designed to inspire creativity. Located in Colonia Guadalupe, a flat 10-minute walk to Centro.
MAY 2015 SPECIAL DEAL: The discounted May rate of $150 per night/$950 per week/$3500 per month is for the Casa Grande only, as the Casita will be occupied by a visiting artist. The Casa Grande has 3 bedrooms and 1 1/2 baths. 4 people maximum occupancy.
“Duende” is a Spanish word that loosely translates to mean the transcendent emotional-physical-spiritual state achieved by flamenco dancers and musicians at the peak of artistic expression; it also refers to a fairy or goblin-like creature in Latin American mythology. Casa Duende, with its quirky shapes, vibrant colors and jungle-like garden is designed to inspire creativity.
The casa grande has richly hued walls, colorful polished cement floors, artful Talavera tile in the kitchen and one and a half bathrooms, and lots of whimsical Mexican folk art. One bedroom has a brick dome ceiling, another is situated in a tower room and the third has a watery blue floor.
The casita has a sky blue bedroom, bright Talavera tile-filled bathroom, simple kitchen, and light-drenched painting studio. It contains an extensive library of art books.
There’s a brick patio between the buildings and a roof terrace on top of the casita. Both houses have Wi-Fi and access to a washer and dryer. In addition, there’s a small painting-writing studio at the front of the property.
Casa Duende is located in the Colonia Guadalupe neighborhood, a flat 10-minute walk to the Centro or to the Fabrica la Aurora art and design center.
One wakes up to the sound of church bells, chirping birds, crowing roosters, barking dogs and often fireworks (exploded in honor of all manner of saints). Please note: this is the soundtrack of Mexico. If you are especially sensitive to noise and these things make you cranky, ours is not the rental for you.
We have a one-week minimum stay policy, but if there is last-minute availability, we may consider three-day rentals.
Also, in general, we do not rent the houses separately, but may do so if there’s last-minute availability.
Interaction with Guests
The rent includes housekeeping three times per week by Delia (who you can also hire to bake amazing pastel de tres leches cakes if you like), gardener Faustino two times per week (he sweeps the bougainvillea blossoms off the terrace and keeps the plantings lush), and on-call assistance from our charming, handy, and helpful bilingual property manager, José. I am also available via email or phone from the States to help with anything that comes up.
The Colonia Guadalupe neighborhood is wonderful. It's artsy, tranquil, and an easy 10-minute walk to the historic Centro. Unlike some San Miguel neighborhoods that feel like suburbs of the United States, Colonia Guadalupe is still full of Mexican families. During the past few years, it's also become foodie central with the establishment of Via Organica (an organic market and café), as well as a fish market and natural meat butcher. There's an art supply store near the house and more than a dozen street murals now adorn the neighborhood thanks to the new Guadalupe Art District organization.
The casa is super convenient. You can walk most anywhere and taxies are inexpensive and plentiful.
Other Things to Note
We built Casa Duende in 2000 to serve as a creative family compound. It took a year and half to build. Gina's husband Dave oversaw the jazz-like process -- the builders drew the outlines of the rooms with sticks in the dirt and no power tools were used to construct the buildings. Even the ladders were made by hand, so the house is full of soul and personality.
We're new to Airbnb, so here are some reviews from previous renters to give you more perspective on our property:
"This is not just a house, it's an art museum and inspiring studio all rolled into one. Beautiful, GORGEOUS rooms painted in bright juicy colors, every detail beautiful and whimsical. The casita (art studio) was seriously inspiring, and my daughters and I painted and wrote into the wee hours. The care taking family, Delia and Jose and Faustino, are kind and attentive to one's every need. They really go above and beyond!! The neighborhood is quiet and close enough to the Jardin (center of town) to easily walk, and yet not in the MIDST of it all. Wonderful natural food grocer/cafe just around the corner (Via Organica). Wonderful fresh hot tortillas down the street. Fish market (we made the best meal from fresh caught fish!) a few blocks down. I can't wait to return and am going to bring all of my writer and artist buddies with me!" – Susan I.
“We loved our visit to SMA and our choice of lodging – Casa Duende! Gina was great arranging everything, always quick to answer with very helpful information. Jose, the house manager, was there to greet us when we arrived. He was helpful should we need anything throughout our stay. The Casa and Casita are beautiful inside and out. There are large water dispensers so no one got sick from the water. All our needs were met. Great location, too, just a 10 minute walk to El Jardin (the center of town). We had a great time!” – Lisa E.
“First time in San Miguel de Allende and got lucky! First, the area, Colonia Guadalupe is close to everything and exudes charm as well as feeling. The casita and artist’s studio quaint, comfortable, safe, has a fully equipped kitchen and lovely surroundings including a garden and roof deck. It’s a haven from the hustle and bustle of the Centro and a cozy spot to call home. You’ll find the staff to be rays of sunshine with smiles and charm. Writers, artists, those who like privacy will enjoy this precious spot.” – Addison “Buz” O.
“I, along with two friends, recently experienced an little bit of magic when we spent a week at Casa Duende in San Miguel Allende. Just by chance we found this property and it was perfect for our needs not to mention beautiful. It is central located and an easy walk to all of our “must sees” as well as a short taxi ride to those when are feet were rebelling!! Our hostess, and her staff at the casa, had all in order to include little details such as enough hangers for three women!! Concerning activities….just put on walking shoes and go. The area will create your time spent in this magical location. We have already reserved Casa Duende next year!” — Judy
“Case Duende is a quiet jewel of a place. The casa grande and the casita are behind a safe, enclosed gate that separates the two houses and grounds from a peaceful street. Once inside, one passes through a lovely jungle-like garden before reaching the houses. There is a very pleasant and light roof terrace with chaise lounges, a hammock and table and chairs. There are two studio spaces, one in the casita and another small, separate one. I have just spent a month and a half in the casita, and have appreciated the solitude that it affords, as well as an atmosphere that is conducive to creative work. The property is cared for by a lovely family, which consists of a gardener, a housekeeper and a property manager (who is fluent in English). They have all been helpful and friendly, and have been sensitive to any of my needs. Casa Duende is about a ten minute walk to the center of town. It is a flat walk through a family-oriented neighborhood, which is populated enough at all hours for one to feel safe at all times. I would highly recommend this rental. It has been very pleasant staying here, and a pleasure working with the owners, who have made life in Casa Duende very comfortable and inviting.” — C.R.
Casa Duende is absolutely the most amazing dwelling I have ever been in! As I sit up on the rooftop terrace quietly soaking up the sounds and spirit of this place, I feel so very grateful to have been here. I painted 26 paintings and lots of other art as well. I was up at 5:30am many days for my morning chanting and meditation practice up on the rooftop. The whole town was chanting for me and with me! Church hymns, bell ringers, marching bands, fireworks, dogs singing, roosters crowing, hot air balloons overhead…amazing!” – Paula F.
No smoking inside.
Sorry, no pets.
Maximum six people.
The house isn't recommended for young children as the concrete stairs don't have railings and there's a lot of fragile folk art.
This is our home and it's full of family treasures. We ask that you treat everything with care and respect, and hope you fill the house with your own creativity and adventures to keep the lively spirit of the place flowing.
Casa Duende was a great place to stay, it is very colorful, comfortable and very clean!! Every detail Gina put on her house make that you feel at home. I recommend this place 100%. We and our family spent a great time in San miguel de allende.
José and Delia were very kind and nice people!
We loved casita studio too its a beautiful place and we enjoy to drink coffee and read a book at the terrace!!
Its a safe place and everything Gina puts on the manual help you to have a nice stay.
Of course we think we can stay at Casa duende and Casita once again.
Our family's San Miguel de Allende roots stretch back to the late 1950s, when my mother, Leigh, who was a well-known artist, earned her MFA in painting from the Instituto Allende. My husband Dave and I currently divide our time between the Berkshires of western Massachusetts and San Miguel de Allende. We lived in Mexico for four years when our now college-aged daughter was little and built Casa Duende with my mom. I am a writer and editor and Dave is a musician and arts administrator. We love the color, music, cultural traditions, and humane pace of life in Mexico.