Introducing Puebla

BY MARIBETH MELLIN  •  JUNE 20, 2017

Introducing Puebla

BY MARIBETH MELLIN  •  JUNE 20, 2017


A spicy chocolate sauce, colonial center, and the world’s largest pyramid: why Rosewood’s newest destination is a must visit.

Puebla is a photographer’s Eden, set in a high valley with exuberantly colorful buildings rising against a backdrop of blue sky and towering volcanoes. Rich in culture and history, Mexico’s fourth-largest city is a popular weekend getaway from Mexico City, and a growing magnet for sophisticated international travelers. It also happens to be the newest destination for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.

Here’s why we’re excited to introduce Rosewood guests to Puebla.

 

Colorful Architecture

Looking to beautify their new monasteries, sixteenth-century colonial monks imported Spanish artists to teach locals the techniques of glazed ceramic tiles. Named Talavera after the craftsmen’s Old World hometown, the popular pottery became a booming industry in Puebla. The result is one of Mexico’s most colorful cityscapes, all filigreed stone bell towers and cupola-crowned church domes. Along the narrow brick streets of the Centro Historico—a UNESCO World Heritage site—blue, yellow and white Talavera tiles cover the facades of storefronts, whose windows and shelves showcase even more Talavera—in the form of vibrant platters and pitchers.

Legendary Cuisine

Mexico’s national dish, chile en nogada, dates back to Colonial-era Puebla, when (legend has it) a group of nuns whipped up a masterpiece from supplies at hand for an impromptu visit from the bishop. The result? Green chili stuffed with ground beef and dried fruit, topped with a white walnut sauce and sprinkled with jewel-like pomegranate seeds, conveniently resembling the green, white and red of the Mexican flag. It’s a local delicacy, served only in September when all ingredients are in season, conveniently in time for Mexican Independence Day on the 15th.  Puebla is also home to the original mole poblano, a rich sauce of chili pepper and chocolate, and praiseworthy street food including deep fried empanadas called molotes, bulging cemita sandwiches and pasita, a raisin liqueur.

Cultural Masterpieces

The city’s colonial past left it with gorgeous cathedrals and smaller-scale churches. But its present is defined by two crowning cultural centers. For the Museo Amparo, Enrique Norten designed a glass superstructure over a former 17th-century hospital. Inside, the museum houses a massive collection of pre-conquest, Colonial and contemporary art and artifacts. Don’t miss the rooms designed to replicate the Colonial period with their invaluable Talavera treasures, or the rooftop bar and café—with views over the city. And last year, the Museo Internacional del Barroco opened south of the city center. Pritzker prize-winner Toyo Ito designed the undulating, white concrete building in stark contrast to the ornamental 17th- and 18th-century artworks on display in its galleries.

Photo by @cristofflara.

A hidden pyramid, and a volcanic backdrop

Just beyond Puebla in neighboring Cholula, there’s more to the scrub-covered hill with a pretty church on top than meets the eye. Look closely, and you’ll discern the underlying staircases and angular geometry of the Great Pyramid of Cholula, completed in the 9th century. The pyramid and surrounding compound of subterranean passageways were abandoned before the conquistadors arrived, but the pile of rocks and rubble was too massive—larger by volume than the pyramids of Giza—to destroy. Instead, the Spanish built a church at its summit. Today’s visitors can climb to the hilltop church and explore some of the five miles’ worth of tunnels that archeologists have excavated.

Looming even higher than the Great Pyramid is Popocatepetl, known by locals as Popo. Steam rises from the active volcano that announces its presence every few years. Recent activity means that visits are off limits, so for now it can only be admired from afar. That’s not a problem in Puebla, however. At 17,800 feet, it is one of the tallest mountains in the Americas, and dominates the skyline views from Puebla.  

A New Rosewood

Puebla’s many attributes come together in the stunning new Rosewood Puebla, beside the city’s main plaza. Four Colonial buildings, including a 300-year-old chapel, are linked to form the 78-room hotel, filled with intricate stonework, tiles and local artworks. Fittingly,talavera pottery pieces decorate the rooms and public spaces. The hotel’s three restaurants feature traditional and modern takes on classic poblano cuisine, and the rooftop bar commands idyllic views of this iconographic colonial city.

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  • by Connie Rudolph Ostrovsky
    June 24, 2017

    Into what airport do you fly and is it serviced by Delta ?


    • by Rosewood
      July 26, 2017

      Hi Connie, Delta flies direct to Mexico City. From there, it’s just 2.5 hours driving to Puebla. Aeromexico, a Delta partner, flies direct to Puebla on its shuttle carrier.


  • by Anna
    June 24, 2017

    What’s the best way to get there from NYC? Are there direct flights?


    • by Rosewood
      July 26, 2017

      Hi Anna, There are direct flights from NYC to Mexico City. From there, it’s just 2.5 hours to Puebla by car!

Written By: Maribeth Mellin

6.5.17

Locations: Puebla

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