Mexico City, Mexico

Circulo Mexicano

Price per night from$206.25

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD206.25), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Inner circle

Setting

Cathedral city

On a pious pavement (there’s a cathedral on it) in Mexico City, Circulo Mexicano is less hotel, more hangout hub for Mexican movers and literal Shakers – who’ll especially appreciate the function-first design, clean-lined carpentry and simple lines inspired by the Protestant movement. The original, 19th-century vecindad format – where grand buildings were divided into individual apartments set around a central patio – is intact, only these days the tenement also has a rooftop terrace with a bar, pool and rotating restaurant pop-ups. The Centro Historico setting means mezcalerias, museums and mariachi bands (ie the dream Mexican day out) are right outside.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A cocktail each, plus a bottle of house wine

Facilities

Photos Circulo Mexicano facilities

Need to know

Rooms

25, including seven suites.

Check–Out

Noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Prices

Double rooms from £193.43 ($246), including tax at 19.5 per cent.

More details

Rates usually include breakfast.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout, Audi house car, workspace, barber shop and bicycles to borrow. In rooms: TV, minibar, wireless speakers, air-conditioning and organic bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Visiting votaries will enjoy having the dome of the cathedral looming right outside their window, so pick accordingly – and if a bath tub’s a dealbreaker, it has to be the Top Suite, which has a view and soak potential.

Poolside

There’s a small pool up on the roof, perfect for cooling off in between cocktails.

Packing tips

The hotel is on hand to see to any holiday-checklist fails – there’s a series of boutiques just off the courtyard, and a barber shop in case you didn’t make it to the salon in time.

Also

There are specially adapted rooms for wheelchair users.

Pet‐friendly

Furry friends can come along for US$50 a night. See more pet-friendly hotels in Mexico City.

Children

All ages are welcome, but the hotel is more suited to grown-up getaways.

Food and Drink

Photos Circulo Mexicano food and drink

Top Table

Up on the rooftop terrace for (even better) views of the cathedral.

Dress Code

Day of the living (your best life).

Hotel restaurant

We Are Ona on the rooftop hosts regular pop-ups by high-flying international chefs, stopping by to create six-course tasting menus mixing French dishes with Mexican ingredients (plus wine pairings) on a monthly rotation. There’s also Itacate del Mar down on the buzzy courtyard, for Mexican classics including tuna tostadas, ceviche and shrimp tacos.

Hotel bar

Natural wines, mezcal cocktails or just straight tequila slammers are available up on the terrace and out on the courtyard.

Last orders

The rooftop’s tasting menus are served from Wednesday to Saturday, from 7pm until 9pm. Sunday barbecues run from 3pm to 9pm. The bar serves drinks from 1pm until 11pm.

Location

Photos Circulo Mexicano location
Address
Circulo Mexicano
República de Guatemala 20, Centro Histórico, Ciudad de México
Cuauhtémoc
06000 CDMX
Mexico

The Centro Histórico setting means you’ll be staying in Mexico City’s most central sanctum, close to the biggest plaza in Latin America (and there’s some competition), with museums, cathedrals and pre-Hispanic ruins in every direction.

Planes

Mexico City’s main international airport is a 40-minute drive away – the hotel can arrange transfers on request.

Automobiles

The downtown location means almost everything is within walking distance, including the cathedral, which is on the actual doorstep. If you have come by car, valet parking is available for US$10 a day.

Worth getting out of bed for

 In case you haven’t figured out that Centro Historico means historic centre, you’re in for a treat: within walking distance are Zócalo, the biggest square in Latin America, the Metropolitan Cathedral (directly opposite), the Templo Mayor pre-Spanish ruins and Alameda park for a much-needed siesta. You’ll also be able to locate some mariachi music on Plaza Garibaldi and enjoy the museums, murals and architectural mash-up of the Palacio de Bellas Artas.  

Local restaurants

There are lots of lively restaurants and bars in the neighbourhood, including Azul Historico, for Mexican food (ie: at least three types of guacamole), Caracol de Mar and El Cardenal. Café de Tacuba is one of the oldest restaurants in town, with the beloved decades-old recipes to match. The former-convent setting means some elaborate decor, too. 

Local bars

The neighbourhood has lots of mezcalerias to get acquainted with agave at – ambitious drinkers will enjoy Bósforo, just off Avenida Independencia on Luis Moya, which has more than 45 types to try.

Reviews

Photos Circulo Mexicano reviews
Laura Houseley

Anonymous review

By Laura Houseley, Architecture enthusiast

Our tantalising first glimpses of Mexico City were caught, fleetingly, within the frame of a taxi window as we bounced along in a steady flow of evening traffic. It’s fair to say that we were hooked almost immediately. The anonymous architecture of the international airport quickly became a distant memory as Mr Smith and I were propelled through busy, colourful streets. Our car took one final left turn and completed its spiral into the heart of the city. Night had fallen. Mine and Mr Smith’s eyes, that had been locked on the bustling back-lit pavements, were now suddenly yanked skyward, first, to the looming Baroque presence of Mexico City Cathedral (or, the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven, if we are being proper about it) and then to the warm sandstone façade of Circulo Mexicano. Our taxi deposited us across the street and the temptation to explore was immediate. I caught Mr Smith giving the nearest food cart a longing look. But we didn't linger, tired as we were and keen to discover our hotel, we crossed the street to Circulo. 

Given the architectural roar of its neighbours, the Circulo’s façade whispers. The building’s 19th-century rendered exterior stands apart from the pointy black volcanic rock from which almost everything else in the city is built. The hotel’s name is spelt out in faint painted letters across its frontage, the architecture is preserved rather than polished. This leaning towards softness and subtlety, in a city not always associated with it, is no unconsidered thing, as Mr Smith and I quickly came to realise: nothing is by chance at Circulo.

As we walked through the stone archway into what would have once been an open atrium but is now a glass-topped courtyard, we were a little unsure of ourselves, exchanging glances and wondering ‘Where do we go?’ Because the reception desk of Circulo sits tucked away, discreetly, at the back of the space inhabited by (what we would later find out to be) charming chocolate shops and clothing boutiques and a restaurant. Once orientated, we were greeted warmly by our new hosts. A glass of mezcal was politely offered and less politely drunk as myself and Mr Smith giggled our way through our first sample of Mexico’s national drink – we would enjoy plenty more over the coming days. As we were led to our room, the full extent of Circulo’s quiet luxury began to reveal itself.

What was the warm scent that hung in the air? ‘Cedar?’ suggested Mr Smith. And the lighting, so low as to be instantly soothing. The brick walls were exposed and raw and tactile, an industrial steel staircase looked magnificent set against them. A single huge, hulking, timber table sat in the shadows. Our travel-weary and architecture-sensitive selves drank it all in. ‘It’s almost monastic,’ I breathed to Mr Smith, for Circulo felt like a place where one says things quietly. Mr Smith gave an appreciative nod and then, as I began to think him driven mute, he quietly muttered ‘spiritual’.

In truth, our experience of architects Ambrosi Etchegaray’s calming and exacting vision of a hotel had only just begun. Over the next few days we marvelled at the quality and subtlety of the building’s details. Every day we relished the little ritual of pushing open our pleasingly heavy wooden door and stepping into our own serene private terrace. Mr Smith explored every square inch of the hotel’s rooftop terrace with its hot tub and sauna and petite pool, while I took sanctuary in the exquisite bedroom with a bed so big there surely can be no name for it (triple king? Where do they find the sheets?). I imagined Circulo as a living collage, a bringing together of the best details from the international travels of an especially sophisticated and discerning travelling architect. We recognised the qualities of Shaker functionality in the bespoke furniture, the aesthetics of a contemporary Japanese interior in the minimal material palette, the edginess of a New York loft, the warming atmosphere of a Finnish sauna or a hammam. 

All of this relaxation and serenity is set against the vibrant pulsating heart of Mexico City. Preliminary research (hey Google) had informed us that Circulo was located within Mexico City’s historic epicentre – and wasn’t that the truth. Mr Smith and I marvelled at the stamina of the street performers whose drums, recreating ancient rituals, we could hear across the cathedral square from the Circulo rooftop. The floodlit ruins of the Aztec Templo Mayor were almost within touching distance. But Circulo reminded us that Mexico City is firstly a contemporary city. As we sipped our mezcal cocktails, ate our herb salad and fish tacos, high above the busy streets, and all the time surrounded by a fascinating ever-changing company of fellow travellers, Mr Smith and I confessed; we were entirely seduced by modern Mexico and Circulo Mexicano.

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Price per night from $206.25