Mexico City’s 5 Sharpest Design Hotels

By María José Bricio,

Looking to inject extra character into your stay in the Distrito Federal? Check into one of these 5 original hotels in Mexico City, a must-see destination this year! With incredible décor and ambiance, these deluxe boutique hotels are rolling out the welcome mat with perks like pillow menus, bicycle loans, daily coffee on the house and unforgettable rooms. Let us know which one is your favorite!

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Hotel AR 218

COLONIA CONDESA

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Scale AR 218’s spiral staircase up to the terrace. Photo courtesy of AR 218

Nodding to its address within the bohemian Colonia Condesa, AR 218 (Alfonso Reyes 218) is at the heart of this vibrant neighborhood which boasts some of the city’s most remarkable cafés, bookshops and boutiques. Nightlife is legendary in this area and having a place to crash nearby after a night on Calle Ámsterdam and Calle Tamaulipas is key.

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From the moment you step into the lobby, guests can feel the conscious harmony of the hotel’s design and architecture. The marriage of building materials is captivating, pulling on a mix of wood, marble and old mosaic tiles all framed by floor-to-ceiling windows. The spiral staircase leading to the terrace is definitely worth adding to your Instagram story for friends back home!

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All rooms include a kitchenette, perfect for long-term visitors. Photos courtesy of AR 218.

Vámonos to Hotel AR 218

In AR 218’s guestrooms, particular attention is given to the color palettes with the help of soothing neutrals and crisp cotton Ralph Lauren linens. Design-loving sleepyheads will thank the blackout curtains for their extra Zs of uninterrupted sleep — as long as their schedule permits of course!

The hotel’s Master Rooms may just look like the apartment of your dreams, all of which include a living room, dining room and updated kitchenette in addition to laundry center access. In the hotel’s Gadget Center, help yourself to all of the tech accessories you may need, be it everything from Bluetooth speakers to Apple TV for an optimally comfy stay. Considering all of the amenities on hand, AR 218 is a befitting home base for long-term visitors – and fret not, pets are welcome too!

How you’ll be spoiled:

  • Convenience of an in-room kitchenette
  • Grabbing a cup of Starbucks downstairs on your way out the door
  • Easy connection to the metro and bus lines

Downtown México

CENTRO HISTÓRICO

Poolside Downtown MÉXICO

Cool off poolside in the middle of the Centro Histórico. Photo captured by Undine Pröhl, courtesy of Downtown México

Downtown México shines apart from the rest of the pack for its central location on Calle Isabel la Católica in the Centro Histórico of Mexico City. The hotel is housed within the former Palacio de los Condes de Miravalle, built in the 17th century. Preservation of the grey volcanic rock façade among other historical elements of the hotel was championed by leading architects Cherrem – Serrano. Employing a balance of the building’s colonial style with industrial architecture, guests can expect brutalist concrete softened by highlights of exposed brick and beams.

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Guestrooms juxtapose old and new materials. Photo captured by Undine Pröhl, courtesy of Downtown México

Meanwhile, the lobby and breakfast patio are the true heart of the hotel: perfect for starting your day or spending an afternoon catching up on emails and lazily paging a stack of Mexican design magazines. Linking both common areas is Manuel Rodríguez Lozano’s “El Holocausto” mural, a marvel of the hotel dating back to 1944.

Downtown MÉXICO patio mural

Follow the grandeur of “El Holocausto” up to the breakfast patio. Photo captured by Undine Pröhl, courtesy of Downtown México

The individually-designed guestrooms at Downtown México were conceived for complete serenity and to help visitors to clear their mind. Simplistic custom wood furniture goes retro while the spacious bathrooms take on a rougher vibe with exposed brick.

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Tucked into the inner courtyard, the hotel’s Living Wall is an oasis of green. Photo courtesy of Downtown México

Vámonos to Downtown Hotel

Looking to make some new amigos while in town? Check out Downtown Beds, the property’s hipster hostel-in-a-hotel concept. Solo travelers can opt for shared bedrooms and bathrooms while private rooms are offered at affordable rates. Meeting fellow travelers is easy in the hostel’s common spaces over a round of ping pong or foosball, screening a movie or using maps on hand to plot your next adventure.
The rooftop pool has impressive views of the Old City Center’s rooftops and domes as well as the DF’s skyline. The jacuzzi and bar don’t detract either from an idyllic sunny day above North America’s largest city.

Top picks from Downtown México:

  • Manuel Rodríguez Lozano’s mural opening onto the Hotel’s airy patio
  • Staying two blocks away from the Zócalo
  • The hotel’s budget-friendly sidekick Downtown Beds

Room Mate Valentina

ZONA ROSA

Room Mate Valentina Guestroom

Playful color choices give Room Mate Valentina’s rooms más pop. Photo courtesy of Room Mate Valentina

Originally conceived over a casual discussion between friends in Madrid, Room Mate Valentina is all about three things: location, location, and location. In a goliath of a metropolis like México City, it’s all the more important to be well-situated. Location, in the case of this design hotel, means being a hop away from Paseo de la Reforma, along charming Calle de Amberes in the Zona Rosa. Valentina, as you may wish to call her, is a member of a larger clique of funky properties spanning the globe including Óscar in Madrid, Grace in New York, Isabella in Florence and Aitana in Amsterdam. Tomás Alia, the brain behind Valentina’s interior design, brings contemporary touches to the hotel which rightfully suit the Zona’s effervescent atmosphere.

Room Mate Valentina Lobby

A bit of blue in the Zona Rosa. Photo courtesy of Room Mate Valentina

No room is identical with each donning a different palette of bright colors that will energize guests for a full day of exploring the capital’s sights.

The Penthouse Junior Suite is a favorite among regular guests. First thing when walking in, guests are greeted by a grid of punchy House Tequila Labels adorning the walls (Room Mate Valentina’s own take on Pop Art). Between the suite’s flair and different nooks, guests can easily find the space for rest, relaxation and even a little fiesta.

Room Mate Valentina Guestroom

Is it Tequila o’clock yet? Photo courtesy of Room Mate Valentina

Vámonos to Valentina

Bathrooms are spacious and sleek with fluffy towels and slippers to wrap yourself in post-bath. Further, the electric accent walls give a jolt of extra vivacity and sensuality. We won’t blame you if you prefer to lounge out on the flirty pink sombrero-shaped sofa after a busy day in Mexico City!

Why Valentina has stolen our hearts?

  • Breakfast is served until 12 noon (perfect for unexpected sleeping in)
  • Complimentary bike rental to scoot around the Zona Rosa’s dedicated bike lanes
  • Passing by the Ángel de la Independencia every morning on your way out of the hotel

Habita

POLANCO

Habita Common Spaces

Arriba to the 6th floor Open-Air Terrace and Bar. Photo courtesy of Habita

Lauded as Mexico’s first design hotel, Habita has taken the city and the entire Mexican hotel industry by storm. Starchitects Enrique Norten and Bernardo Gómez Pimienta were in charge of the complete remodeling and renovation of the 1950s Polanco building. The result? A contemporary hotel with a snappy grid of frosted glass floating above Avenida Masaryk, one of the country’s most fashion forward streets. On the ground floor, the Lobby Restaurant gets flooded with sunlight making its adjoining patio a very popular spot on sunny afternoons. The extensive menu offers dishes for any size of appetite from the refreshing Ceviche Acapulco through to their famous Pulled Duck and stuffed Hibiscus Chicken.

Habita Restaurant

Dig into a plate of Habita Shrimp Tacos or Squash Blossom Cream Soup in the smartly-decorated Lobby Restaurant. Photo courtesy of Habita

Loyal to the property’s minimalist DNA, guests will only find the essentials in their room: perfectly-appointed spaces with trim furniture and a crystal counter as a working desk. Habita embodies the adage that less is in fact more. Each detail shines on its own: from the literal modern lighting to luxurious bath linens through to the Malin + Goetz toiletries.

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Minimalist rooms at Habita. Photo courtesy of Habita

The open-air pool and patio at Habita have made quite the name for the hotel. Add in the nearby fitness center, sauna and Agua spa (with treatments for athletes and jetlagged travelers) and it’s no wondering why Habita is such a popular retreat for Chilangos. The rooftop terrace offers vistas of the city’s ever-changing skyline in addition to a 12-foot long fireplace and the occasional art flick screening.

Habita Pool

It’s not every day that your swimming pool is on one of the most expensive streets in Mexico. Photo courtesy of Habita

Vámonos to Habita

Habita’s claim to fame?

  • A forward-thinking player in Mexico’s design hotel scene
  • La Barbería Central, resuscitating the age-old ‘Trip to the Barber’
  • Penthouse patio and pool parties (also available for private events)

Maria Condesa

HIPÓDROMO CONDESA

Maria Condesa Guestroom

Basking in the soft afternoon sun. Photo courtesy of Maria Condesa

Standing on the former estate of Maria the Countess of Miravalle, the hotel named in her honor has carried on her spirit as a strong-willed aristocrat of Nueva España into the twenty-first century. The Maria Condesa, whose building dates back to the Fifties, retains some subtleties pointing to its Art Deco beginnings while boasting tastes of Mexican culture and its colorful aesthetic.

Breathe easy in one of the Spa Suite’s private cedar saunas which will transport you far away from Mexico City’s congestion — full steam ahead. Bath products from design house Pineda Covalín will leave you squeaky-clean and smelling great. Finally, set yourself up for the best sleep possible by reviewing the hotel’s pillow menu before settling into your King size bed.

Maria Condesa Bar

Savor Mexico’s best spirits. Photo courtesy of Maria Condesa

Vámonos to Maria Condesa

Maria Condesa’s Terré serves up Mexican haute cuisine reinterpreted through traditional French and Spanish techniques giving rise to dishes such as Pozole Asturiano and Huitlacoche (corn smut) & Spinach Crepes. The hotel’s best vibes are to be found in the boutique and Bar Maruka, which stocks an impressive collection of tequilas and other mezcals.

What Maria Condesa can do for you:

  • A welcoming lobby, perfect for sharing a tea or coffee
  • Aromatherapy pillows perfumed with lavender, mint and green tea
  • A concierge on top of the city’s best restaurants, shops and events

This article was originally published on Room5 Mexico

Where will you be spending your own buena noche?

Tell us below which Mexico City boutique hotel with personality is on your list.