While Mexico’s capital is jammed with luxury hotels to choose from these days, upscale places to stay have been scarce in the next largest cities, including Puebla. We’re happy to see signs of change, including the opening of modern Hotel Cartesiano near the historic center of Puebla.
Habita jumped into this city first around a decade ago with La Purificadora and there were a couple other small contenders, but it wasn’t until the Rosewood Puebla rolled into town last year that we got a true luxury hotel for discerning travelers. This despite Puebla’s proximity to Mexico City, its reputation as a foodie haven, and the wealth of Pueblos Magicos in the region.
This new Cartesiano Hotel is a design-centric, artsy property that incorporates elements of the city, such as talavera tile, but is firmly set in the modern age. It highlights bold Mexican art and dramatic lighting in some public areas, but knows when to get muted and tone things down in the rooms and by the pool.
The hotel embraces both the building’s past and the city’s vibrant culture. Constructed on the site of an abandoned parking lot and two former mansions (a house for nuns and an old ceramic tile factory), architect Julio Blanco has created unique spaces, including suites with exposed walls that still show the faded paint from 400 years ago. A botanical garden, the work of engineer Pedro Pablo, also features exposed brick in the antique arches, alongside colorful tiles that decorate the walls.
It is located about a ten-minute walk from the main attractions of the historic center, on the edge of what was the original industrial area that’s now being repurposed.
The infinity pool with a view is on the top floor, a “see and be seen” spot where you can also order food or a cocktail. The main Centena Quatro restaurant, a full spa, and a gym are on this top level as well. The spa has another pool indoors.
On the main level there’s a courtyard, bar, and library lounge filled with coffee table books.
Rooms are quiet and relaxing, while also winning the local prize for the most amenities. Smart lighting joins a coffee machine, complimentary minibar with sodas and local beers, a smart TV, Bose sound system, and baths with double vanities and rain showers. Turndown service comes with a sweet surprise.
Service, in a city that hasn’t had much of it, is still on its way to luxury expectations level, but the Cartesenio has the seasoned owners of two Chablé resorts and spas in the Yucatan Peninsula behind it, so we expect this to keep improving.
See more photos and our full review of Cartesiano Hotel in Puebla, Mexico.