Iconic Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta has made a new contribution to the national patrimony: the 26-room La Purificadora (802 Callejón de la 10 Norte; 52-222/309-1920;; doubles from $169) is a thrilling shot of big-city flair in small-town Puebla. The arrival experience is dramatic, with a three-story open-air lobby that soars over the surrounding colonial-era buildings. Inside, bold purple furnishings are cast into striking relief by whitewashed walls and gunmetal-gray custom floor tiles. The hotel's name is a nod to the water purification plant that once stood on the site—a portion of the original façade has even been incorporated into the design.

—John Newton