Checking In: Viva Mexico City

These four new boutique hotels provide a stylish base to 
explore the capital’s museums.

By Julia Schwietert

From the September issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine.

El Patio 77 › San Rafael

Billed as the city’s first green B&B, El Patio 77 is an ambitious addition to the neighborhood. Partners Alan Vargas and Diego Le Provost renovated their 19th-century casona (big house) for 21st-century eco-sensibilities, installing a rainwater catchment system and solar heaters. The inn’s furniture is refurbished, and each of the eight guest rooms is named for a Mexican state, decorated with representative art from that region: butterfly mobiles in the Michoacán suite, black ceramic pots in the Oaxacan room. A traditional breakfast is served with fair-trade coffee from Chiapas. The renovated El Chopo University Museum, specializing in experimental work by young artists, and the Monument to the Revolution are both a short walk away. From $75.

Las Alcobas Polanco

What’s striking as you enter the calm, cocoon-like rooms of the Yabu Pushelberg–designed Las Alcobas: Though it sits on the busiest avenue of the upscale neighborhood of Polanco, you can’t hear the traffic. The double-paned windows are one example of the hotel’s spare-no-
expense details. Each of the 35 rooms features hand-knotted rugs and original artwork; locally made toiletries include the nopal soap derived from cactus. Nearby, visit the Soumaya Museum, which houses the vast European and Mexican art collection of billionaire and native son Carlos Slim in a curvaceous new building. From $275.

Distrito Capital Santa Fe

Don’t be fooled by its exterior; Though Distrito Capital occupies a sleek, soaring high-rise in the nouveau riche neighborhood of Santa Fé, it’s still classified as a boutique hotel, occupying just a few floors of the skyscraper. Rooms boast a minimalist design, a black-and-white color scheme, and generous views of the surrounding foothills of two volcanoes. Enjoy the sunset from your bathtub, then head down to the 
on-site restaurant and its terrace bar founded by 
Enrique Olvera, considered one of Mexico City’s best young chefs. The menu is ideal for seafood lovers; the four-chile octopus skewers and tuna tacos are especially delicious. From $125.

Hotel Brick Roma Norte

Once a brothel and then a locksmith’s storefront, the property that Hotel Brick occupies now welcomes guests with modernist rooms stocked with 
Assouline coffee-table books, espresso machines, and Kiehl’s toiletries. 
Brasserie La Moderna—headed by native James Beard–awarded chef 
Richard Sandoval—features raw bar specialties and grilled seafood. The surrounding neighborhood is charming, with several 
design boutiques, cafés, and contemporary art galleries such as OMR and El 52. Pick up a souvenir in the shop at the year-old Museo del Objeto, a design museum with 30,000 
objects—from housewares to toys, some more than 200 years old. From $210.

Do you have a favorite hotel in Mexico City? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

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  1. Julie
    New York
    September 17, 2011, 12:49 pm


    I’m the author of this piece and I adore CondesaDF! It’s just that the focus of this article was boutique hotels that had opened in the past two years or so. Still, CondesaDF is a favorite of mine!
    Thanks for your comment- perhaps we’ll run across each other there. :)

  2. Daisy Perez Esparza
    September 16, 2011, 2:55 pm

    I would include CondesaDF, an old building transformed into a hotel. It has all the amenities you will need, every space is smartly used. You can have a nice dinner in their open patio, or some drinks in their top floor terrace.