Mexico City is one of the world’s best tourist destinations, so is understandably overrun with some great options for those who want to stay a few nights. However, if you’re tired of slumming it in shared hostel rooms and want something a little more luxurious, we’ve got the essential guide to the Mexican capital’s most unforgettable boutique hotels and B&Bs.
Gran Hotel de la Ciudad de México
The illuminated Tiffany stained glass ceiling was designed and assembled in France. | Courtesy Gran Hotel Ciudad De Mexico / Hotels.com
The perennial recommendation for travelers looking for stylish accommodation in Mexico City is the Gran Hotel de la Ciudad de México, and it’s easy to see why this hotel has such power. Each of the 60 rooms combines all the mod-cons with antique décor and style seamlessly, leaving you feeling like you’ve stepped back in time with a twist. In addition to its centric location, the major architectural selling point here is the stunning glass-ceilinged atrium.
Situated in the fancy and ever popular Condesa-Roma area of Mexico City, Hotel La Casona is a spectacularly decorated destination if you want a break from the recent trend of ultra-modern interior design. This historic building only has 29 rooms, although each offer something a little different from the last and the small-scale of the place makes the experience just that bit more personal.
A regularly recommended Mexico City accommodation option, Condesa DF is one of those rare, unforgettable hotels that’ll have you coming back for more. Known for hosting plenty of quirky cultural events like Ambulante Festival parties, its design retains echoes of the neighbourhood’s art deco past in the façade, yet reinvents everything with a modern twist once inside. A collaboration between Mexican architect Javier Sanchez and French designer India Mahdavi, there are 40 rooms spread over three floors and a spectacular roof terrace ideal for late afternoon drinks and cultural conversation. Condesa DF has been growing rapidly in popularity in the last few years and not least for its excellent location in the Condesa district of Mexico City, right opposite Parque España. While many people are aware of Condesa DF for its famed rooftop bar that which offers jaw-dropping night-time views and an even better atmosphere, it is also a fantastic hotel; it’s modern, sleek and contemporary with some colorful twists and a gorgeous interior courtyard.
One of the Grupo Habita chain’s Mexico City destinations, Distrito Capital in Santa Fe is a sprawling, majestic hotel option if you want to break away from the classic Roma-Condesa area, although it is principally marketed at business travelers. Across the 30 rooms, you truly begin to appreciate the understated cool of Distrito Capital, and the terraces and fifth-floor pool only add to the modernist charm. However, the possibly overwhelming modernity is broken by the choice addition of quirky seventies furniture.
Despite calling itself a B&B, Chaya is most definitely one of the capital’s spectacular accommodation options, but you should move quickly to get a reservation as it only has eleven rooms. Despite being smack bang in the center of Mexico City, the vibe at this boutique B&B is impressive and surprisingly laidback. For the traveler who doesn’t want to slum it in hostel dorms, we highly recommend this spacious and beautifully decorated spot.
Designed by famed architect Ricardo Legorreta, the aesthetic at Camino Real Polanco is a mixture of historical authenticity and vibrant colour that evokes the modernist Mexican style of well-known architect Luis Barragán. In fact, the design is so highly regarded, it’s considered a hybrid hotel-museum. Despite having been originally built for the Mexico City Olympics of 1968, this destination still feels as fresh as ever, while still giving clever nods to the country’s Mesoamerican past. If you love history, art and architecture, staying at this sensational boutique hotel is a must. It was about time a Polanco hotel made it on to the list, given that as one of Mexico City’s most upscale and swanky neighborhoods, it’s positively overflowing with outstanding hotels. Designed by architect Ricardo Legorreta, Camino Real Polanco is famed for its vibrant color pops and central fountain; in fact, its architecture is so highly regarded it’s considered a hybrid hotel-museum. If you fancy sleeping in a slice of history, this is the spot for you. Camino Real Polanco is perhaps one of the most regularly recommended Mexico City hotels, simply because it’s one of the best all-round accommodation options. It comes as no surprise that it’s also ideal for families, as they have babysitting services, spacious rooms (some with kitchenettes) and lots of outdoor spaces. What’s more, it’s in prime kid-friendly activity territory, a mere stone’s throw from the Bosque de Chapu (Chapu Forest) and the Papalote Museo del Niño(Papalote Children’s Museum).
Mexico City’s modern accommodation option pioneer, Hotel Habita has an icy exterior appearance – literally! It looks like a giant ice cube, sweltering in the Mexico City heat and this metaphorical cool also pervades the interior too, which has a stylish boutique vibe throughout, due to the presence of modern art pieces and lush lighting. If you’re into minimalist modernism, the all-white design of this Polanco hotel will be right up your street and the decadent rooftop pool is also to die for. Many reviewers have commented on Habita’s ice cube-like exterior, and that’s a description that pretty much sums up the full-wall, frosted glass exterior of the place. Let’s just say you’re unlikely to walk past Habita, hemmed in as it is on all sides by an eclectic mixture of both old and new edifices. The hotel’s interior is unsurprisingly flooded with light from all angles and features notable works of modern art that make for genuine must-sees.
Room Mate Valentina is one of Mexico City’s most regularly recommended accommodation options, not just for gay travelers, but for anyone who’s looking for a quirky stay in the Mexican capital. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s ideally located for the LGBTQ traveler in particular, as its right at the heart of popular gay district, the Zona Rosa. Every room at this modern hotel is fantastic, but for an extra colorful stay, try and snag the vibrant room with the pink bed canopy.
Right in the heart of Mexico City’s historic centre is the aptly named Downtown Mexico, another of the top hotel options for travellers in the capital. However, we especially recommend it for foodies, not just because you’re smack bang in the middle of the culinary hub that is Mexico City, but because the building is also home to the brainchild restaurant of top chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, Azul Histórico. Situated on the ground floor, here you’ll find gourmet takes on Mexican staples. Another of Grupo Habita’s excellent Mexico City destinations, Downtown Mexico boasts an impressively intimidating studded door, which opens onto a surprisingly spacious and well-lit foyer. Housed in what was once an Aztec palace, Downtown Mexico also has some of Mexico’s most famed restaurants hidden away in its depths, notably Azul Histórico. As well as restaurants, there are mezcalerías, chocolate shops and a rooftop bar, so it’s worth a visit even if you aren’t staying there!
La Valise, situated in the aptly upscale yet quirky Colonia Roma, is a small-scale, highly exclusive hotel that boasts just three guest rooms. Each room has its own individual, luxury charm as they were designed by French-born Roma resident Emmanuel Picault. Despite this, the Mesoamerican influence is evident. As you can imagine, this 1920s town house makes for anything but a cheap Mexico City option, but it’s certainly one you’ll be talking about for years afterwards and while there you can enjoy personalised service from nearby restaurant, Rosetta. Small pets are welcome. The critical darling of Mexico City’s boutique, luxury hotel scene in recent years, La Valise was once a 1920s townhouse that has been converted into a tiny but perfectly formed guesthouse. With only three rooms, you need to plan ahead if you fancy staying here; however, if you do get reservations, the stay is exceptional and room service comes courtesy of the nearby restaurant Rosetta. For true decadence, book the penthouse suite where you can sleep beneath the stars.
Custom-designed furniture, unique pieces of artwork and a selection of excellently curated antique pieces make Hotel Carlota the exceptional example of interior décor and design that it is, with unique and singular touches throughout. The strangely concrete-centric construction is beautiful rather than austere, and the central pool lounge area, complete with bar and restaurants, is to die for. Plus, they’re pet-friendly. All in all, a stay at Hotel Carlota is unforgettable.
Finally, we round off our guide to Mexico City’s most spectacular hotels with a boutique Coyoacán B&B (although there is a branch in Polanco too). If prizes were given for names alone, Pug Seal Boutique would win hands down, although the spectacular mansion house in which it’s located would probably also be a factor in the victory. Only eight eclectic rooms make up this teeny spot, with its old-school charm and modern touches, so plan ahead if you want to visit.