Hotel Carlota Mexico review

Just off the popular boulevard Paseo de la Reforma, new boutique Hotel Carlota offers a central location plus a real sense of place in the Mexican capital.

The top luxury hotels in Mexico City are mostly chain affairs, but sometimes a bold independent hotel has the courage and backing to take on the big players. If run well it benefits from the desire of many upscale leisure travelers to seek out the quirky and interesting, the hotels that’s going to provide some surprises.

Hotel Carlota is not perfect and is not the kind of place that will dazzle you from start to finish (like Las Alcobas). It’s not really playing in that league. More akin to Downtown Mexico, part of Grupo Habita, this hotel aims to lure in the artsy and the connected, the new money young and the image-conscious. We’ve added it to our listings because there are those visiting the capital now who are stylish jetsetters of the world and the last place they want to stay is Daddy’s favorite, the Four Seasons.

Named after the ill-fated Empress of Mexico (memorably portrayed by Bette Davis in the 1939 movie ‘Juarez’), who reigned briefly in the mid-19th century, the hotel is anything but historical. The work of Mexican architect Javier Sanchez and designer Ignacio Cadena, it is a celebration of contemporary Mexican design, a setting for a non-stop party.

The owners kept very little of the original building: just a few bits of old concrete here, some charred wood there, have been left in strategic places among the modern glass, blonde wood and metal.

Carlota Hotel hallwayThe central courtyard is the main gathering place and nerve center, with open-air pool (enclosed by glass on two ends), a patio, restaurant, and bar area. Most hip hotels would have left it at that, but Carlota has a home decor boutique and an old-school library “decorated in comfortably upholstered chairs, antique tables, a huge globe, and portraits of Carlota and Maximilian.”

The restaurant snared a chef with the famed Pujol on his work history and this has become a hot spot on the local dining scene. Reserve ahead if you want a specific time.

The standard rooms here aren’t meant for luxury travelers. Bypass them for the terrace suite or master suite to get plenty of room to spread out an extra amenities. Just assume you’re lucky if it’s a quiet night, however: nearly all rooms face the courtyard and the hopping bar.

Suites are $270 to $320 before taxes. See our full review of Hotel Carlota in Mexico City with more photos.