Having lived in Mexico City for 5 years I would like to say that I am an expert on the city. But I believe no one can claim that. Mexico City is a big, dirty, eclectic, fun, historic city where you can lose yourself in. History is all around, and the people are warm and welcoming. Citywide and local neighborhood celebrations are incredible, and the street food is wonderful. A world-class destination for sports and concerts as well as a fun excursion for nearby Americans looking to get away. When traveling to Mexico City you have to decide on accommodations. In a city this large, there is a great variety and price ranges.
Considering it is the largest city in North America, Mexico City has a myriad of options when it comes to looking for a place to stay. With a population of over 20 million people in the metro area, the city spans over 16 boroughs and districts each with its own unique flavor and atmosphere, so choosing where to stay is a matter of what you’re looking for. The city itself is roughly shaped like an oval with mountains and volcanoes surrounding it on three sides. So while the city does have a dense urban sprawl, the natural surroundings and borders of the city are also a beautiful sight to behold. Moreover, the city itself is located 2,200m above sea level, so some visitors may experience headaches or nausea if they’re not prepared for it.
Being a capital city of major size, there is no shortage of places to stay in the city. Almost any type of accommodation is available for any type of traveler. On business and looking for a place in Zona Rosa? You’re in luck. Backpacker looking to see the sights and meet some other travelers? There are plenty of hostels to cater to your needs. The Zona Rosa is great for mid-range tourist spots, while the Centro Historico offers more affordable options. If you’re looking to splurge, the high-end Polanco district might be more for you. Check out some of these best places to stay in Mexico City.
Hostel Home: Hostel Home is the home of the cool. The space is located in the hip and trendy Roma neighborhood. A place in the city that’s been historically neglected is now being reinvigorated into cool bars, trendy restaurants, and chic galleries. The space is as authentic as you can get while staying in a hostel because the property is located within a large house, so it really does feel like you’re staying with friends. More than that, Hostel Home tries to bring inclusiveness, art, and promotion of Mexican identity to everyone who stays here. Free breakfasts are offered in the morning and tea or coffee is offered in the shared lounge space too. Hostel Home encourages hanging out with your fellow guests but it’s less party place and more casual hangout.
Suites DF Hostel: For the solo traveler or the social butterfly, Suites DF Hostel is a great place to make friends, hang out, party a bit, and make some memories. The place is centrally located along the Avenida Reforma so if you’re looking to head out into the city and see the sights, you won’t have to go very far. Despite its central location, the property is still in a quiet spot so you won’t have to deal with large crowds outside. Public transport is located two blocks away and with free storage, WiFi, and morning breakfast, you’ll always be connected and well-fed. Grab a beer on the terrace and mingle with your fellow travelers or join one of the hotel’s “Lucha libre” tours for a fun night out.
Metro Hostal Boutique: If you’re traveling with a loved one and you’re looking for a place easy on the wallet, Metro Hostal Boutique offers all the perks of a hotel for the price of a hostel. Situated in the Colonia Roma, guests here can rent private rooms or opt for the cheaper “shared room” option. Metro Hostal Boutique is also pet-friendly so if you’re traveling with a furry friend, they are welcome here. The area is close to many landmarks as well as cafes, restaurants, and museums but if you’re looking to mingle with other guests, there are common areas where you can hang out, grab a snack or a coffee, and enjoy a chit chat. Metro Hostal Boutique also organizes lots of activities including free meditation and walking tours, as well as bike tours, and guided food tours.
Casa Pepe: Casa Pepe is a boutique spot with a great atmosphere and even better prices. Located right in the city center, the hotel acts as a cultural hub of everything you’ll want to experience while you’re here. The bedrooms at Casa Pepe are surprisingly spacious and come with private en suite bathrooms as well as lots of storage space, plenty of outlets, and USB plugs for all your devices. Public transport is right out the door so exploring the greater Mexico City area is at your doorstep. Wake up in the morning to a breakfast buffet full of Mexican staples and plenty of fresh fruit or hang out in the evenings with free concerts, attend a Lucha fight, or indulge in a tequila or mezcal tasting with your fellow guests.
Downtown Mexico: The name might be a little odd but the space is full of young and hip people and it is located only a five-minute walk from Mexico City’s main square. The design of the space is amazing with the hotel sitting in a redone 17th-century manor house. The large mural when you walk in is juxtaposed by the old brick walls and modern-yet-classy decor.
There are only 17 rooms here but they are spacious with large windows that allow plenty of natural sunlight and high ceilings that give a very airy feeling. Earthy tones and soft hues give the rooms and building almost a resort-like vibe, and speaking of which, the rooftop pool and bar are definitely a selling point here.
The Red Tree House: With people walking about, the classic piano in the corner being played, and rooms full of art and comfy sofas, staying at The Red Tree House is more akin to staying at a friend’s place than staying in a hotel. The atmosphere here is calm and relaxing with a wide range of guests staying here. Older tourists mingle with young backpackers while business professionals enjoy a cocktail in large leather chairs.
Rooms here encircle a tree-filled courtyard and while the courtyard is not particularly spacious, it’s a great place to unwind with a drink in the evening or feel some sun in the morning while you enjoy your coffee. Rooms have amazingly soft beds and tiled bathrooms as well as room heaters if you’re visiting during the cooler months.
Grab breakfast in the morning by the bar or enjoy the nightly cocktail hour and mingle with some guests and locals.
Hotel Carlota: The Hotel Carlota is a 36-room designer hotel located right in the heart of the city. Located off the Paseo de Reforma, the hotel is a modern and cool spot typically attracting younger crowds and couples. While some other hotels have a lot of communal space, Hotel Carlota is a spot for relaxing in the city. Guestrooms are modernly designed, if you’re looking to spring on a better room, upgrades include bigger windows and higher ceilings. Guests can also enjoy the plethora of complimentary goodies in their rooms such as Mexican candies, cigarettes, gum, chocolate, and mezcal. And speaking of complimentary, the bathrooms come with L’Occitane toiletries.
For foodies, you’re in luck because the room service here is stellar. Available until 11 p.m, guests can enjoy a wide range of snacks and dishes from Chef Joaquin Cardoso with plates focused on organic and locally-sourced ingredients.
Condesa Haus: Located in Colonia Condesa, one of the city’s nicest neighborhoods, Condesa Haus is a gorgeous place to stay that is also one of the most unique places. The building was built in the 1920s with plenty of architectural features from the period still included.
Guest rooms here are unique and are designed to reflect something from Mexico’s history or culture. For example in the Porfirio room, the metal vintage bed frame reflects the building’s 1920s history while the Puebla room features intricately designed tiled decor. Even the beds, comforters, and pillows add to each room’s aesthetic. Clawfoot bathtub or rainfall showerhead? When you check in you’ll be asked for the type of experience you’re looking for.
Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City: Despite sitting on one of Mexico City’s busiest streets, the Paseo de la Reforma, the Four Seasons Hotel offers a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city streets. For those on business or big spenders on vacation looking for a luxury retreat, the Four Seasons is a staple when it comes to high-end hotels. Guest rooms are spacious with rooms facing an interior courtyard space so you can look out onto the fountain, trees, and greenery, instead of the cars and people going along the Paseo de la Reforma.
Rooms are bright and airy with color accents and lighting fixtures that add to the space’s overall classy aesthetic. Enjoy a selection of Nespresso products while you melt into your hypoallergenic bed or if you’re looking to relax, the stunning centerpiece of every bathroom is the deep claw-foot tub.
Room service is available 24/7 with a varied menu offering everything from simple snackable dishes like tacos or burgers to more elaborate rib-eye steaks and sauteé seabass. The rooftop bar and pool offer a resort-like lounge space even in the middle of the city while the gym and spa are there for people looking to take some care of their bodies while they stay here.
Condesa DF: When it comes to luxury boutique hotels, a stay at the Condesa DF is a must in Mexico City. It’s the original cool and hip boutique hotel in the city, mixing a bunch of design aesthetics to create a truly unique experience. The hotel is set in an original 1920s neoclassical setting and redesigned and redone complete with French balconettes, arched windows, and sleek metal shades. All of it looks distinctively 1920s while still feeling like everything is chic and contemporary. The property is surrounded by palm trees and across the street from the Parque Espana so, despite the central location, the property still feels like it’s a little secluded.
For the foodies out there, you’re in luck because Condesa DF offers some amazing fusion cuisine on the lobby level French-Mexican restaurant or the rooftop Japanese-Mexican which offers great food and even better views.
The Ritz-Carlton: When it comes to luxury and high-end hotels, The Ritz-Carlton name is number one. So it should come as no surprise that The Ritz-Carlton – Mexico City delivers some of the best rooms in the city. Sitting right on the corner of Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City’s grandest boulevard, and the Bosque de Chapultepec, the hotel occupies 13 floors all of which are filled with plenty of glam.
While the building the hotel is located in doesn’t necessarily have the grandeur of some of the older hotels in the city, The Ritz-Carlton is located in one of the biggest buildings in the city. As a result, the views in some of the rooms here are spectacular. Aside from the view, rooms are spacious and calming while still making sure guests know you’re somewhere high-end. Marble-clad bathrooms and panoramic private balconies are all well and good but the on-site restaurant Samos and the art-deco-inspired bar will give you an excuse to leave your room.
The on-site spa offers a respite for those looking to relax. The chic and modern spa setup is intimate and small but offers airy and bright setups. Swim in the lap pool surrounded by marvel and graphite or grab a massage in lustrous wood-paneled rooms and feel like you’ve been transported to a rainforest.
Our Final Word
What can I say. I love Mexico and Mexico City. The city will always have a warm place in my heart and the friends and people that I met and got to know are some of the best friends that I have ever had. The city can be overwhelming, but give it a day or two. Ask the bell boys at the hotel or hostel where you are staying where the best tacos are or where you can go for a great meal. Soak up the history and the architecture of the city. You will want to go back time and time again. Mexico City is truly a great North American city that is unmatched and certainly equal to anything in Europe. Most of all, have fun.