Jody Schmal who has worked for the Houston Chronicle since 2012, edits the newspaper’s travel, food and restaurant stories, and was the paper’s Style Editor until 2014. A Houston native, Jody graduated from the London College of Fashion in England, and previously worked as the Deputy Editor at Houston magazine. She recently came up with a superb editorial on Hotel Amparo in SMA:
Mariana Barran Goodall is a bit of a nomad. As the founder of Houston-based Hibiscus Linens, she’s often jetting off to various locales to teach the art of embroidery, something she learned from private-school nuns growing up in Monterrey, Mexico. And for the past two years she’s worked on her most personal project yet: opening a hotel in the colonial Mexican city of San Miguel de Allende.
Hotel Amparo — amparo is shelter in Spanish — is the type of place that makes even the most itinerant guests feel at home. That’s by design; Goodall worked with Houston designer Aaron Rambo on creating a hand-picked vibe for the hotel’s five rooms and common areas that pays respect to the Mexico setting, yet would fit right in within any of the stylish cities she frequents.
Furnishings and décor are a worldly mix of antique and contemporary, sourced from purveyors including Houston’s Lewis & Maese auction house, the Guild Shop, Circa Lighting and the artisan mercado a few blocks away. Art may hail from San Miguel’s Fabrica La Aurora — or Etsy. The striking mural on the coffee shop ceiling? A special commission by Argentinian artist Lucas Rise.
“Lots of soul, lots of hours of people’s time went into this place,” Goodall says, noting her Hibiscus hand-stitched napkins and an Otomi-wrapped leather chair in the guest lounge. “It’s what was in my mind.”
The room rate, starting at $250 per night, includes breakfast (hello, chilaquiles!) and cocktail hour, during which a skilled bartender will whip you up a drink based on your tastes; hotelamparo.com.
Source: Houston Chronicle