León, located 400 miles northwest of Mexico City in the state of Guanajuato, is largely better known to visitors as a transport hub than as a tourist attraction, due both to its industrial character and its inland setting—its roughly as far from the Pacific as it is from the Caribbean. But today, the city’s resurgent attitude, its historical riches (the cathedral from 1765 is not to be missed), and now a forthcoming hotel that celebrates the Old World architecture of León, is putting this off-the-beaten-path locale on the map for in-the-know travelers.
Set in one of the oldest restored casonas in the area, Hotel Emiliano will showcase a rare Mexican colonial architectural style when it opens in December 2017. Its preservation of the building’s original elements—including an ancient “pergola” made of wood and clay—earned it recognition from the National Institute of Anthropology and History. Augmenting the three-story structure’s traditional look and feel will be a unique floating-steel core, as well as a striking copper façade that pays homage to León’s industrial and artisanal roots (the city is long renowned for its leather products) and introduces an innovative sense of elegance and beauty to the property.
Perhaps most intriguing for visitors will be Hotel Emiliano’s expansive rooftop terrace, featuring great views of the city’s historic buildings, including numerous church cupolas. It’s also an ideal locale for parties, art events, dinners that stretch into the night, and much more—all of which, taken together, are set to transform this three-suite, 21-room property into León’s new cultural hub.