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FEELING AT HOME

On a bright afternoon in late summer, I left the Colima airport in the highlands of Western Mexico and drove through a labyrinth of fields and farmland. Sunlight swathed the landscape in gilded ribbons as I arrived at Hacienda de San Antonio, a nineteenth-century coffee plantation-turned-hotel painted pink as a lily flower.

From the moment I set foot on the property’s grass-covered plaza, I felt as if I’d landed in a magical Mexican wonderland. Towering above the hacienda is the Volcán de Fuego, a 12,500-foot volcano haloed with clouds. Surrounding it is Rancho Jabalí, a 5,000-acre working ranch and organic farm that’s steeped in heritage and history.

The story of the property began in 1890, when a German immigrant named Don Arnoldo Vogel built the hacienda and transformed the estate into a thriving coffee plantation. Coffee from the property was served at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City and favorited by the German Imperial Family, among other notable clientele. Over the years, the estate changed hands, withstanding both wars and volcanic eruptions, until it was acquired in 1985 by Sir James Goldsmith, a French-British financier and politician, whose family still owns it today.

 

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WRITTEN BY SALLIE LEWIS

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVIS GERBER

 

This story appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of MILIEU