Mexican hotelier Grupo Habita turned the shell of a French neoclassical mansion built in 1928 into a wholly contemporary property, CONDESAdf, which immediately became the standard for boutique hotels in Mexico City when it opened to rave reviews in 2005. Ten years on, it has plenty of competition, but it remains a favorite among travelers who appreciate clean, contemporary design and location, location, location. Named for its neighborhood, the hotel occupies a prime spot on the edge of Parque España, in trendy Condesa. The hotel's terrace bar has an elevated view of the city—which spreads out like a crazy quilt below—and is especially lovely at sunset, when the fading light paints the mountains ringing Mexico City a gentle gold. After a craft cocktail or dinner at the hotel's patio-level restaurant, guests can retire to rooms kitted out with technological bells and whistles such as flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and iPod docking stations.
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It doesn't get much cooler than Condesa and its adjoining colonia, Roma, which are perfect for exploring by foot or bike. Both are residential neighborhoods popular for their art galleries, bars, and numerous trendy restaurants, including Rosetta and Maximo Bistrot Local. It's worth checking to see if the Corredor Cultural Roma-Condesa (an artistic collaboration between the two neighborhoods) is hosting one of its art walk and open studio events. Condesa also has lovely parks, including Parque España—practically the back yard of CONDESAdf.
Need to Know
Rooms: 40 rooms; prices start at $200. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon Dining options: Japanese chef Keisuke Harada designed the “Jap-Mex” fusion menu at Restaurante Patio, the restaurant on the lobby level, as well as the menu for the fourth-floor terrace, an open-air sushi bar where food and drinks are accompanied by excellent views of the city. Room service is available 24 hours. Spa and gym details: The hotel offers massage and sauna services and has some cardio machines on-site. For guests who want to keep up their full exercise routine, CONDESAdf provides complimentary passes to a nearby gym.
Who's it for: Culture- and design-savvy travelers. Our favorite rooms: Go all out with the Top Suite, featuring a private living room, bathroom with large tub, and terrace with private breakfast nook. Getting around: The neighborhood is well served by public transportation and the city's bike-share program, EcoBici. The concierge or front desk can call a private car, and the car service Uber launched in Mexico City in late 2013.