Not everyone that comes to Mexico is looking for quaint, colonial towns with the sound of church bells in the distance. Visitors to Mexico City are often committed urbanites, travelers that crave the chaos and sophistication of one of Latin America’s biggest metropolises. Here are five modern, urban hotels that will put you right in the middle of the action in the big city.
The ultra-modern Carlota is tucked into Mexico City’s Cuauhtemoc neighborhood right off of Reforma Avenue and steps from the Zona Rosa, Colonia Juarez and the Centro Histórico. The hotel is a center of action on its own, designed for the chic, hip and endlessly cool. A glassed-in pool that greets you as you walk into the hotel’s central patio and layers of rooms and the hotel’s bar and restaurant huddled around it.
The hotel’s chef, Joaquín Cardoso, formerly of Pujol, one of Mexico City’s top restaurants, has made Carlota a dining hotspot in the city. Rooms vary in design and décor but all are geared toward the architecture and design-discerning guests. Plus, the hotel is pet-friendly. While the neighborhood around the hotel is definitely livelier during the day when office workers and executives throw their ties over their shoulders to chow down on street tacos, the nighttime scene here is growing. Plus there are a variety of good restaurants within walking distance.
St. Regis Mexico City
A massive steel and glass structure on Mexico City’s most famous boulevard, the St. Regis also boasts a swanky cocktail bar and restaurant with views of Diana the Huntress striking a pose in the center of the Reforma Avenue roundabout. Staying on Reforma means quick access to some of the city’s largest and most popular museums, Mexico’s Central Park – Chapultepec – and a short distance to the Centro Histórico. Taxis, buses, the metro — everything is at your fingertips for getting around. St. Regis’ 184 rooms have a contemporary, modern design, and lots of gadgets and toys. You can arrange for a pedicure complete with champagne in their high-rise spa or take a few laps in the indoor pool once you’ve had your fill of the grit and motion of the city. For a luxury hotel in a major capital city, rates are surprisingly good here.
Want to be steps from Mexico City’s sweeping zocalo, the ruins of the Templo Mayor, a dozen or so museums, and the hustle and bustle of the city’s oldest neighborhoods? The Downtown hotel is the location for travelers looking to explore the Centro Histórico by day, and eat and drink in style by night. The hotel is a world unto itself with two levels of upscale shops in its interior, one of the city’s best upscale Mexican restaurants, Azul Histórico, in its central patio, and a sweeping rooftop bar (with swimming pool) that looks out over the ancient architecture of the city. They even have a hostel section on the property for budget travelers.
Colonia Juarez, the home of Stara Hamburgo hotel, is one of the city’s most up-and-coming neighborhoods, with new speakeasies, upscale casual dining, spa barbershops and mezcal bars popping up every month. Stara Hamburgo’s ultra-modern hotel accommodations provide a tiny oasis of peace and quiet in this non-stop commercial area of the city and they get a mingle of locals and guests at their streetside Luna Bistrot on Hamburgo street.
Rooms are sleek and simple, but spacious and well-appointed, each is designed almost as a mini-apartment with a separate living room and kitchenette. Views of the cityscape from the rooftop restaurant will make most metropolitan lovers happy and the hotel has one of the best business centers in the city, great if you are traveling for work and need an office away from home. See rates here.
Right on the edge of two of the city’s most interesting and eclectic neighborhoods – Colonia Roma and Colonia Condesa – Condesa DF is a mix of modern design and traditional comfort. The hotel sits inside a colonial facade on leafy Veracruz avenue, but inside its geometrical central atrium and Japanese-Mexican fusion restaurant give the hotel a less-than-conventional vibe.
The rooms retain a sense a tradition with worn wooden floors and silky smooth linens, with the best containing tiny balconies that overlook the street. The rooftop bar gives guests a wide view of Colonia Condesa below and more specifically Parque España, a leafy oasis in the center of neighborhood’s constant stream of bikers, dog walkers, runners, and vendors. Condesa DF makes a great base for exploring these two Art-Deco clad hoods which overflow with great restaurants, quirky shops, assorted galleries and impressive street art. Rates at Condesa DF often dip below $200 a night.