Mexico City, Mexico

Downtown Mexico

Rates per night from$126.00

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 (USD126.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Industrial revolución

Setting

The gleaming jewellery quarter

Spread across the top two floors of a 17th-century palace, Downtown Mexico is an artful combination of colonial-era architecture and modernist design. Once owned by the powerful Earls of Miravalle, the palace is in the cobbled heart of the Centro Histórico, minutes from landmarks like the Catedral Metropolitana and Palacio des Bellas Artes. Walk through the iron-studded doors, and your first impressions are equally historic: ornate stonework, a wrought-iron staircase and a charming courtyard garden are the first things you’ll see. Reach the rooms, however, and things take a modernist turn, with geometric patterns, minimalist furniture and industrial lighting taking pride of place. Up on the terracotta roof terrace, the sleek concrete pool will delight modern design fiends, but the domes and spires visible across the rooftops ensure you never feel far from Centro’s stately past.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A bottle of house mezcal and a welcome cocktail each

Facilities

Photos Downtown Mexico facilities

Need to know

Rooms

17, including six suites.

Check–Out

Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $126.00, excluding tax at 19 per cent.

More details

Rates don’t usually include breakfast. The buffet (US$10 a head) includes homemade bread, cured meats, fresh fruit, cereals and juices. On the à la carte menu, you’ll find hot dishes like the chia omelette and sweat treats like churros with Baileys dip.

Also

The hotel is on the top two floors of the palace. The courtyard on the ground floor is given over to restaurant Azul Histórico, a local favourite. The tables are set beneath trees that are wreathed in lights, making it a popular and atmospheric spot for dinners.

At the hotel

Rooftop pool, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV; minibar; iPod dock; air-conditioning; organic bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Suites excepted, most rooms don’t have windows, but their vaulted ceilings, minimalist furnishings and clever design touches – such as the lattice-like partitions between bedroom and bathroom – ensure they still feel spacious. If you’re after a city view, lots of legroom and a bath tub, book the 70sq m Revolution Suite.

Poolside

The concrete infinity pool is on the terracotta roof terrace. Bright yellow sunloungers, parasols and sofas run along one side, add a playful shot of colour. There’s a stylish poolside bar at one end, a palm-ringed hot tub at the other, and a small changing cabin off to the side.

Packing tips

Bring your boldest, brightest swimwear – it’ll create a photo-worthy contrast with the concrete pool.

Also

Apart from the pool, all the common areas are wheelchair accessible. There are no specially adapted rooms, but rooms don’t have any stairs or obstacles to deal with.

Pet‐friendly

Pets can stay for US$50 (plus tax) a night. There’s a maximum of two pets to a room, and they can’t be left alone. Dogs need to be kept on a lead in the common areas. See more pet-friendly hotels in Mexico City.

Children

All ages are welcome, but the hotel’s best suited to adults. Under-18s aren’t allowed in the pool or the bar, and there aren’t any family rooms or facilities.

Food and Drink

Photos Downtown Mexico food and drink

Top Table

Whichever takes your fancy: they’re pretty equal in both restaurants.

Dress Code

There’s no need for formality – the design-led interiors tend to attract guests who dress with an artistic edge.

Hotel restaurant

There are two, both serving modern Mexican cuisine. The first restaurant (often referred to as the Lobby) is under the covered terrace on the first floor, with tables set between the decorative archways. Try the octopus tostados to start, followed by the amaranth and pistachio-crusted bass or the Azteca skirt steak, served with a skewered vegetables, grilled cactus, house-style guacamole, refried beans and molcajete sauce. The hotel’s second eatery is on the roof terrace, overlooking the historic façades and domed roofs of the surrounding buildings. It’s first and foremost a bar, but it also serves an all-day menu of classics like shrimp tacos, quesadillas and sea bass ceviche, which is marinated in green ají sauce, avocado, strawberry ash and tomato drops. If you’ve got room for dessert, don’t miss the guava flan.

Hotel bar

The bar shares the same space as the rooftop restaurant, ensuring it gets the best of the sunset. After a long day pounding the streets, hit refresh with a cucumber mezcal, or add a touch of spice with their Red Special, a medley of gin, red berries, spearmint, tonic water and cardamom.

Last orders

In the Lobby, breakfast is served from 7am to noon; the all-day menu is available from noon to 11pm. The terrace opens at noon and stays open until midnight (the kitchen closes at 11pm, though).

Room service

Light bites like sandwiches and tacos can be served in-room.

Location

Photos Downtown Mexico location
Address
Downtown Mexico
Isabel la Catolica 30
Mexico City
06002
Mexico

Planes

International flights land at Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juárez, which can be reached directly from London and most European hubs. It’s a 30-minute drive from the airport to the hotel, but traffic can add another 30 minutes in some cases. The hotel can arrange transfers for up to four people for US$50 each way. They only have one car of their own, so if it’s unavailable, they’ll arrange a taxi with a reputable firm instead.

Trains

Unless you’ve packed light, we’d probably give the Metro a miss on your way to the hotel. You’ll likely have a hard time getting on with a suitcase.

Automobiles

You won’t need a car if you’re staying in the city: taxis are relatively inexpensive and the fast, wallet-friendly Metro system has you covered elsewhere. Prospective drivers should be aware that the roads can be congested and chaotic at times. If you do want to hire, the Smith24 team can arrange it. Valet parking is US$15 a night.

Worth getting out of bed for

Tired of sightseeing for the day? The hotel’s sun-trapping roof terrace is the place to escape the frenetic energy of the streets – and the pool bar makes it easy to keep those cooling cocktails coming. Down on the ground floor, you’ll find a host of independent businesses including cafés, bakeries, jewellery boutiques and a restaurant. Most of the Centro Histórico’s sights are within walking distance, not least the Zócalo, Mexico City’s principal square, home to Alameda park, the Catedral Metropolitana and Palacio des Bellas Artes. If that isn’t enough space for your liking, decamp to the sprawling Bosque de Chapultepec, one of the largest urban parks in the world. Crowned by colonial-era Chapultepec castle, this 1,695-acre space is crossed by trails, carpeted with trees and studded with museums – nine, to be exact. If you’re looking to get out of the city altogether, have the hotel book you a car to Xochimilco, the Unesco-protected remnants of what was once a key Aztec waterway. Today, colourful gondolas ply the tree-lined canals, which they share with floating food vendors and mariachi bands. If you’ve got time to kill, don’t pass up a trip to the Unesco-protected city of Teotihuacán, standing since around 100 BC. It’s about an hour’s drive but well worth the effort – the immense Pyramids of the Sun and Moon are a sight to behold.

Local restaurants

Housed in a beautiful French-style mansion with stained glass windows and ornate stonework, El Cardenal is the place for a really traditional Mexican meal. Its breakfasts are legendary among locals, so it’s worth booking ahead. For lunch, try Jacinta, where chef Edgar Nuñez revisits the cuisine from his childhood, bringing several generations of family-style cooking to the table. The decor matches his back-to-basics approach, celebrating traditional, earthy materials with terracotta tiles, a wood-beam ceiling and hand-woven chairs. In the nearby Roma district, bistro Máximo has the dishes and fashionable clientele of a high-end Parisian restaurant, but the atmosphere is as unpretentious as a family-run taqueria, making this one a firm favourite with in-the-know locals. Housed in the shell of a 1950s bungalow in upmarket Polanca, chef Enrique Olvera’s Pujol is regularly voted Mexico City’s best restaurant, if not one of the best in the world. Recalling an era of visionary design, the mid-century interiors are the perfect pairing for his culinary creations, which celebrate all things Mexican in ways you’d never expect – think edible ants and a ‘living’ mole that’s been aging for more than 1,000 days. It’s not cheap, but Mexican dining doesn’t really get any better than this.

Local bars

The hip districts of Roma and Condesa are where you’ll find many of the best cocktail bars – Licorería Limantour, Baltra and Xaman are some of the standout offerings – but no trip to the city is complete without a visit to a proper mezcal bar. Busy, noisy and just as popular with locals as it is with tourists, Centro dive bar Bósforo Mezcalería makes an excellent introduction to the scene. There are over 45 different varieties of the agave-based tipple on offer, including many sourced directly from suppliers in oft-overlooked regions.

Reviews

Photos Downtown Mexico reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this design-led hotel in Mexico and unpacked their jewellery from the boutique downstairs, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Downtown Mexico in Mexico City…

Standing on the cobbled street outside Downtown Mexico, it’s easy to believe that it was once owned by the Earls of Miravalle, who ruled vast tracts of land throughout New Spain. La Condesa, a younger district southwest of Centro, is even named after one of their descendants. Stepping inside, you’ll find interiors that are almost equally old-school – and we mean that in the best way possible. Beyond the stone archways and forked staircase, the decor’s changed a little from the days when an earl was in residence, but the vaulted ceilings and original stonework ensure there’s still a courtly – and at times almost monastic – feel to the place. Geometric brickwork and minimalist wooden furniture has now given the rooms an eye-catching industrial edge, but they also introduce a warm and earthy colour scheme that’s been a mainstay in Mexican building for generations. Up on the roof, modernist design reigns supreme but, again, the thin slices of terracotta used on the terrace have their roots in a craft tradition altogether more ancient.

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