Where to Stay in Mexico City: The Best Neighborhoods and Hotels for Every Type of Traveler
Mexico City is a highly versatile city, its streets filled with contrasts that make every visit a completely different one. To get to know a place of 573 square miles and a population over 21 million — the 7th-most populated city in the world according to the UN — one single trip is not enough. Instead, the best way to see all of this metropolis is conquer it in zones, discovering its richness one neighborhood at a time.
Indulge yourself in Mexico City's world-renowned gastronomy, explore its many museums, stroll its historic streets, be amazed by its modern architecture, and peruse the little luxuries in its numerous shopping malls. Ahead, find the best neighborhoods for every type of traveler and where to stay in them.
For Jet Setters: Polanco
A small stroll through this buzzing neighborhood is enough to fall in love with its vibrant spirit. In Polanco, office buildings sit side-by-side with luxury apartments and colossal antique residences. The eclectic combination has turned the area into a hub of premier restaurants, international brands, acclaimed museums and galleries, and, of course, some of the best hotels in the city. What to do? Take a walk along Presidente Masaryk Avenue where you’ll find all the upscale boutiques; visit Museo Soumaya with its impressive Rodin collection; eat at Quintonil, considered one of the best restaurants in the world; and enjoy a drink at Limantour, arguably the best bar in Latin America.
As one of the top hotels in the area, the Hyatt Regency has an extraordinary location: it’s within walking distance to the major attractions in the district. All 755 rooms overlook either the buildings in Polanco or Chapultepec Park, guaranteeing an inspiring morning. Rulfo, its signature restaurant, has one of the best weekend brunches in the city, to boot.
Campos Eliseos 204, Polanco, +(52 55) 5083 1234, hyatt.com
W Mexico City
Trendy and colorful, W Hotel offers 237 guest rooms with modern design and fashionable furniture. Its youthful vibe is tangible, with bright colored lights, extra large pictures on the walls, and fun design – like checkered bathroom walls, or beds set up in front of floor-to-ceiling windows. With a pet friendly philosophy, their PAW program includes dog walking, feeding and bathing services.
Campos Eliseos 252, Chapultepec, Polanco, (52)(55) 91381800, wmexicocity.com
With exquisite design features, Las Alcobas is a boutique hotel in the heart of Polanco that belongs to Starwood’s Luxury Collection. It offers only 35 rooms – four of which are suites. Amenities include airport transportation, complementary wake-up smoothies, and in-room laptops. If that weren't enough, two of the best restaurants in the city are found on the property: Dulce Patria, by the famous chef Marta Ortiz, which highlights traditional Mexican cooking; and Anatol, which offers an avant-garde approach to gastronomy.
Av. Presidente Masaryk 390, (52)(55) 3300 3900, starwoodhotels.com
For Culture Seekers: Coyoacán
The word Coyoacán refers to “the place of coyotes” in Nahuatl, an Aztec language. It's the first clue to the historic and cultural immersion you'll experience in this southern district. Coyoacán used to be considered the outskirts of the city, which explains its vast amount of mansions and large country houses, many of which still function as residences. The feeling of being out of the urban buzz is still palpable when walking through its narrow streets lined with leafy trees. A stroll through Jardín Centenario is mandatory — the square has an iconic coyote fountain in the center, and it’s within walking distance to numerous cafés, markets, local stores, and restaurants, such as Corazón de Maguey and Los Danzantes. Some of the most important places to visit here are the Frida Kahlo Museum, formerly the home the artist shared with Diego Rivera; and León Trotsky’s Museum.
A grand colonial mansion-turned-bed and breakfast welcomes guests to three exclusive suites, each with opulent furniture that resembles the age of classic authors such as Jaime Sabines. The estate has a big pool house with an indoor pool and gym, an impressively large garden that can accommodate events, and a classic bar with a wine cellar that houses 200 labels, not to mention a delicious breakfast menu.
Calle 5 de Febrero 28, Col. Villa Coyoacán, (52) (55) 1739 0055
To book: Airbnb.com
This boutique hotel with five suites wants to become your home away from home. The staff’s friendly service gifts visitors authentic Mexican hospitality with a side of coziness. Beyond its well-appointed suites, the hotel has a common living area and a kitchen for guests. The place is also conveniently located within walking distance to the main drag.
Presidente Carranza 220, Barrio Santa Catarina, Coyoacán, (52 55) 5554-0655, hospedajecoyoacan.com
For Bleisure Travelers: Santa Fe
Santa Fe is one of the newest neighborhoods in Mexico City, famed for its big-box headquarters and shiny new apartment buildings. The hip district is visited mostly by business travelers, though there’s plenty to discover among its skyscrapers and highways. Here, you can find the largest shopping mall in Mexico, Centro Santa Fe, with over 500 stores, two food courts, a luxury wing, and an ice rink within its more than six million square feet. Foodies will also find this neighborhood appealing with top restaurants like Toro Latin Kitchen & Bar, Nobu, and Central Central, to name a few.
The most luxurious and sophisticated brand of the Mexican hotelier group Grupo Posadas, Live Aqua sits 10 minutes away from the traffic and the buzz of Santa Fe, offering guests a relaxed stay. Upon entering, a tranquil environment embraces visitors. The untraditional hotel eschews a front desk in the lobby for fountains, vegetation, and walls covered with books. The elegant guest rooms – 135 all together — come with aromatherapy options, a pillow menu, and customizable lighting.
Paseo de Los Tamarindos 98, Bosques de las Lomas, 01 (52) (55) 9177 8400, liveaqua.com
This one's a classic for travelers looking for comfort and prime accommodations. The hotel is located right in the middle of the neighborhood's busiest spot, for one. Secondly, it provides programs to travelers who need to unwind from their business meetings. There's a state-of-the-art spa that offers a sleep-well massage, a gear-lending program in the fitness studio, and an on-site farm-to-table restaurant.
Av. Javier Barros Sierra 540, Santa Fe, Zedec Sta Fé, 01 (52) (55) 5089 8000, westinsantafemexicocity.com
With a fresh and modern disposition, Distrito Capital appeals to those looking for an innovative hotel concept. Design is key here, which is why the guest rooms feature double-height ceilings, bath tubs overlooking the city, and minimalist décor. The rooftop pool is not to be missed, along with the 52-foot long terrace. It's the best place to enjoy a breathtaking view while having a cocktail.
Av. Juan Salvador Agraz 37, Santa Fe, + 52 (55) 5257 1300, hoteldistritocapital.com
For Urbanites: Condesa and Roma
Condesa and Roma are two adjacent neighborhoods that have grown almost as twins, sharing an urban and bohemian blend. Popular for their independent boutiques, exquisite restaurants, art galleries, and exciting nightlife, these districts have found the perfect balance between modern lifestyle and heritage. The past comes alive in this area with 100-year-old buildings, traditional street markets, and historical parks, like Parque México. Plus, some of the neighborhood's trendiest places, like Azul Condesa, Huset, and Maximo Bistro attract locals and tourists alike.
Located in a remodeled building dating back to 1928, Condesa DF manages to combine its heritage with a contemporary feel. Simple elegance, retro throwbacks, and a sleek environment rule the guest rooms. On the other hand, the restaurants have a hip energy appealing not only to hotel guests, but to locals who crave an early dinner at El Patio restaurant, or a drink and sushi at the terrace on the fourth floor.
Av. Veracruz 102 Col. Condesa, + 52 (55) 5241 2600, condesadf.com
Ignacia Guest House
Roma is known for its big mansions. This boutique hotel, however, underwent an interesting remodel that kept the classic style on the outside, but transformed the inside into five modern suites. Each room has a different personality dictated by the color of its walls. Breakfast is a must, especially when served in the garden.
Jalapa 208, house B, Colonia Roma, +52 (55) 5584 2681, ignacia.mx
For History Buffs: Reforma
This lengthy avenue deserves a special mention, since it encompasses some of the most important attractions in the city. It features exclusive hotels, high-class restaurants, concert venues, recognized museums, and historic landmarks.
Starting in the Polanco area, you’ll find the entrance to Chapultepec, the largest park in the city — it's home to the city’s zoo, two large artificial lakes, and the superb Castillo de Chapultepec (Chapultepec’s Castle). If you continue along the beautiful street flanked by flower beds, you’ll find the impressive Anthropology Museum, a few modern art museums, and two iconic monuments: Diana the Huntress Fountain and the Angel of Independence. Once you’ve reached this emblematic memorial, you’re only 2.5 miles away from Mexico City’s Historic Centre, El Zócalo, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Recently refreshed, this hotel has been a favorite of celebrities and select business travelers looking for comfort and exclusivity. The building has an intimate garden in the center, providing a peaceful environment in the middle of one of the busiest avenues in Mexico City. Around the garden is the recently opened restaurant Zanaya, where dishes from the Mexican Pacific Coast are served. There's also the prestigious Fifty Mills bar led by Mica Rousseau, considered a leading mixologist in Mexico.
Paseo de la Reforma 500, Col. Juarez, +52 (55) 5230-1818, fourseasons.com
The luxurious hotel situated in a 31-story building offers a unique view of the Diana the Huntress Fountain. Additional to the luxe amenities and top-tier service that define St. Regis hotels across the globe, this particular hotel has an extensive culinary offer: the J&G Grill and its famous avocado pizza. There's also the King Cole Bar for late night drinks, and La Table Krug, an intimate dinning room with only 12 seats that serves an 11-course wine pairing dinner.
Paseo de la Reforma 439, Colonia Cuauhtémoc, (52)(55) 5228 1818, stregismexicocity.com
Sheraton Maria Isabel
Overlooking the Angel of Independence, this hotel is proud to show off its marvelous view. With stately flair, it's long been the choice lodging for historical figures such as President John F. Kennedy. Nowadays, the property's 755 rooms and five penthouse suites are committed to comfort, featuring the brand's signature (and ultra-comfortable) Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Bed.
Paseo de la Reforma 325, Cuauhtémoc, 01 (52) (55) 5242 5555, sheratonmexicocitymariaisabel.com