Habita centro

You may have read about the new Downtown Mexico hotel somewhere when it was in the planning stages, but Luxury Latin America is probably the first place you’ll read a detailed review (in English anyway) from someone who stayed there and checked it out thoroughly. One of our contributors, Jim Johnston, is an expat writer living in D.F., so he got it right after opening day to give us the scoop.

The Habita Group is one of Mexico’s most interesting and dynamic hospitality companies, with a portfolio of design hotels scattered around the country—plus now one in New York City. They’re known for interesting aesthetics, playful public areas, and bars that never fail to turn into local hotspots. Not all of them are upscale enough to appeal to our readers, but when they are we’re usually thrilled with what we find. See our previous reviews of Habita and Condesa df in Mexico City, plus Purificadora in Puebla.

Downtown Mexico is the first hotel in the historic center of the city that really appeals to discerning guests and the local scenesters—both key to the long-term success. Not all of the property is right for luxury guests as there’s a budget section (with its own entrance) and as the decor is minimalist rather than plush. Here’s what our reviewer had to say:

Downtown is more than just a hotel—its 17 rooms occupy only a portion of the massive palace. Its spacious rooftop terrace has become the hot place to meet for a drink in Mexico City. There are two restaurants on the ground floor, both in greenery filled open courtyards (with retractable covers for the rainy season), and you’ll find more than a dozen small shops on the mezzanine. The restaurant Azul Histórico is the creation of noted Mexican culinary star Ricardo Muñoz Zurita; the stores feature young Mexican designers, an art gallery, several gourmet food outlets, and shops offering traditional crafts.

So if you’re looking for a quiet spot where you’ll be pampered in seclusion, this is not the place. If you want to feel like you’re taking part in a real renaissance, however, book a room in this milestone marking a turning point in the central historic district of Mexico City.

See our full review of Downtown Mexico Hotel.