As one of the first hotels to be built in Mexico’s Santa Fe financial district twenty years ago, Sheraton Santa Fe is a big fish in a sea of well-positioned brands trying to win over business travelers. To that end, its traditional, corporate look had a recent makeover that combines a modern take on mid-century style with the latest in co-working and business amenities.
Most drastically changed is the hotel restaurant and bar which has been transformed from what was described as a dark, depressing space to one that feels like a classy lounge where you can grab a drink, work for a bit, or step inside one of the hotel’s “Facetime cabins” for a private phone call or video chat.
A long family-style table is set up for mobile workers in the dining room, as well as several smaller tables with personal screens for groups of colleagues. All of these services are open to all guests, at any time, with no reservations required.
The hotel’s bright central patio area competes ever-so-slightly with the bar and restaurant space, but the latter offers more privacy to sit and work or just sit and talk. The view from the dining room shows off the hotel gardens, that while limited to a strip along the back of the property, are carefully designed with local cacti and other endemic species. The few outside restaurant tables are pleasant most of the year in Mexico City’s mild climate.
In normal times the hotel would offer a continental breakfast buffet, but right now everything is al a carte. Mini pastries, elaborately decorated oatmeal, chilaquiles, and eggs any style can be combined with various caffeine incarnations. There is 24-hour room service for late-night cravings, but no minibar or coffee machine in the rooms at the moment (they are considered “high contact” items and the hotel has removed them for now for hygiene measures).
The menu claims a combination of Mexico City and New York specialties and there are some surprisingly good and odd-ball options – a club sandwich made on two waffles, a portobello burger with goat cheese and avocado salsa and the classic Mexican street snack esquites – corn with mayo, chile, and cheese. There’s even a kids’ menu, though I doubt many kiddos are running through the halls of this business hotel.
There is no denying that this part of Mexico City is mainly a draw for business travelers and corporate executives. Instead of trying some kind of uncomfortable blend of tourist and business amenities, the Sheraton aims directly at pleasing the working crowd with meeting rooms both grand and small and a variety of amenities. All your audio and visual needs can be met by the hotel as well as snack service and a main meal for your team. These meeting rooms range from the largest which fits 750 people to the smallest for about half a dozen. Lots of businesses coming in from out of town take advantage of this service, holding meetings, events, and brainstorming sessions on the hotel’s 2nd floor. The hotel’s largest patio has even been rented during the pandemic by a U.S. fitness company so they can host their classes outside.
Rooms are divided into three categories, all of which are suites that guarantee a good deal of space. The Master suites are 914 square feet and include a separate sitting room with a small table and desk for working. These rooms have hydro-massage tubs and can be connected to the room next door through a shared door. Each has slippers, lockbox, a full toiletries set, and a large screen TV.
The standard suite, called Deluxe, is a single large room instead of two, around 700 sq feet. These rooms have a shower instead of a tub and all the previous amenities described. A revamp four years ago removed these rooms’ small kitchenettes once used by foreign executives in Mexico City for extended stays who wanted to cook for themselves. These spaces are now large walk-in closets.
If you want the maximum space, the Presidential suite is almost 1,200 square feet and has a living and dining room, an office with a desk and couch, and an ample king-size bedroom. The presidential suite has two bathrooms, one off of the suite’s common areas and one connected to the master bedroom with a full jacuzzi. Wall-long windows give you a good view of Santa Fe’s high rises from up on the 9th floor and there is a small balcony in the back with a less enchanting view of the highway below.
Visiting during the pandemic, the rooms feel a little sparse, with no pillows on the couch, magazines laid out or fresh flowers, touches that give more standardized hotels like this a little extra life. But all these things have been removed to improve the safety of guests during the pandemic so I guess it’s par for the course.
Rooms on the 8th and 9th floors have access to the Club Lounge, which unfortunately was closed due to Covid during my visit. When open, this lounge provides an alternative location for the breakfast buffet, as well as snacks and drinks throughout the day. It is only accessible to the hotel’s two top floors. There is a good-sized gym with over a dozen machines, weights, and a small yoga room to one side. During non-Covid times the locker rooms are open and each has a steam room and showers.
The Santa Fe neighborhood isn’t much on tourist attractions and the collection of tree-lined trees streets surrounding the hotel is home to corporate headquarters and chain restaurants almost exclusively. One of the area’s most famous attractions, an underground garden mall is just a few blocks away if you want a semi-interesting shopping experience. Just a few more blocks is the neighborhood’s La Mexicana park, a lovely place to spend the afternoon out in the sunshine.
The Sheraton Santa Fe has obviously thought long and hard about what amenities will make business travelers’ stays the most comfortable, and are crafting their hotel to serve them one by one. Work stations, meeting rooms, and comfortable common spaces give this corporate hotel a more convivial feeling than most. And the latest upgrades have given everything a refreshing new look. When choosing among Santa Fe hotels, this classic should be high on your list.
*The author was hosted by this hotel but her opinions are her own