Advertisement

This year's World's Best Awards survey was open for voting January 11 through May 10, 2021, as destinations around the world were lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Survey rules have always allowed readers to reflect on their travel experiences over a three year period. We hope that this year's honorees will inspire your own travels as you get back out into the world.

In the world's most compelling destination cities, it's often tempting to go through vacation in a frenzy, tearing through all the top sights and best restaurants and collapsing exhausted at the end of each day. With so much to see beyond the doors of your hotel — and, for most American travelers, so few vacation days to make the most of — lingering over breakfast or going for a leisurely swim can seem like frittering away precious time.

So for urban hotels to set themselves apart, these places must turn the focus outward and help their guests experience the city in new and captivating ways. The properties on this year's list of the best city hotels in Mexico excel at doing just that. 

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.

Even as American travelers are diving deeper into Mexico's off-the-beaten-path corners, Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende haven't lost their luster — a fact evidenced by the properties Travel + Leisure readers chose as their favorite city hotels. All five honorees on this year's list can be found in those two much-loved destinations. Each one brings a unique point of view, ensuring guests get far more from a stay than merely a place to sleep.

At Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City, ranked No. 5 on this year's list, a quiet central courtyard makes the energy of CDMX feel a million miles away. But while you may awaken to birds singing outside your window, step out the front door and you'll find yourself immersed in the action on the grand boulevard of Paseo de la Reforma. The concierge team can tailor city experiences to your preferences, be it boutique-hopping in Condesa or meeting with artists in their studios. Coming in fourth is JW Marriott Hotel Mexico City, where a prime location in Polanco puts travelers in easy reach of cultural highlights such as the National Anthropology Museum, National Auditorium, and Chapultepec Castle.

St. Regis Mexico City
Credit: Courtesy of Marriott Luxury Hotels

In San Miguel de Allende, the hacienda feel at No. 2 Casa de Sierra Nevada, a Belmond Hotel, comes through in each of the 37 uniquely decorated rooms and suites, many brimming with local artworks and antiques. Travelers can experience the city's creative spirit firsthand with an alfresco painting class that doubles as a primer on the artists who have shaped — and been shaped by — San Miguel over the years, or pay a visit to Fábrica la Aurora, a former textile factory that's now at the heart of the local contemporary art and design scene. Rosewood San Miguel de Allende (No. 3), meanwhile, gives the regular old guided tour an equine update: guests can saddle up and explore the city on horseback, channeling the vaqueros of old. For families, a private artist-led workshop introduces the traditions and craftsmanship behind mojigangas, Mexico's enormous papier-mâché puppets, and adults and kids alike can create a pint-size version of their own to take home.

But despite all these hotels' charms, it was the St. Regis Mexico City that readers voted this year's first-place winner. Read on to find out why it tops the  list.

1. The St. Regis Mexico City

St. Regis Mexico City
Credit: Courtesy of Marriott Luxury Hotels

The old real-estate adage holds just as true for choosing a hotel: Location, location, location. And it's hard to beat the location of the St. Regis Mexico City, a collection of 189 rooms and suites in a gleaming tower on Paseo de la Reforma, just a short stroll from the expansive Bosque de Chapultepec park. The hotel is an ideal home base for exploring the breadth of the sprawling city, particularly must-visit neighborhoods like Condesa, Polanco, and Roma, all of which are within easy reach. The signature offerings that have made St. Regis so beloved — the King Cole Bar, champagne sabrage and tea rituals, and house Bloody Marys — are all here, each with a little local flair. (The house Bloody Mary, for example, is the Sangrita María, made with pasilla chiles and mezcal and served in an agave-salt-rimmed glass.) Travel + Leisure's readers noted the property's many rituals as a highlight, along with the private butler service, which ensures your every whim is indulged on demand. One T+L reader called the property their favorite in Mexico City; another went even further, proclaiming it "the best hotel in Mexico." And anyone who has watched the cotton-candy sky as the sun sets over the city's rooftops from the terrace of the King Cole Bar would be inclined to agree.

Score: 96.53
More information: marriott.com

2. Casa de Sierra Nevada, a Belmond Hotel, San Miguel de Allende

Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada
Credit: Courtesy of Belmond

Score: 96.14
More information: belmond.com

3. Rosewood San Miguel de Allende

Rosewood San Miguel de Allende
Credit: Courtesy of Rosewood Hotels

Score: 96.08
More information: rosewoodhotels.com

4. JW Marriott Hotel Mexico City

JW Marriott Mexico City
Credit: Courtesy of Marriott

Score: 92.89
More information: marriott.com

5. Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City

Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City
Credit: Courtesy of Four Seasons

Score: 92.05
More information: fourseasons.com

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2021.