Tag Archives: Hotel

Condesa-DF_022 Hotel Condesa DF  -  Mexico City, Mexico Mexico Mexico DF  Polanco Mexico City Mexico Hotel DF Design Condesa boutique

Hotel Condesa DF – Mexico City, Mexico

Condesa-DF_027 Hotel Condesa DF  -  Mexico City, Mexico Mexico Mexico DF  Polanco Mexico City Mexico Hotel DF Design Condesa boutique

Condesa-DF_002 Hotel Condesa DF  -  Mexico City, Mexico Mexico Mexico DF  Polanco Mexico City Mexico Hotel DF Design Condesa boutique

Hotel Condesa DF

52 55 5282 2199
V. Veracruz N.102
Condesa, 06700
Mexico DF, Mexico

www.condesadf.com

The much hyped and reviewed Condesa DF in Mexico City (DF) easily lives up to its reputation as a top design hotel. From its prime location, adjacent to a lovely art & tree filled park, in the chic Condesa district – think NYC’s West Village – to its distinctive triangular form, everything about the Condesa DF sets it apart.

The main interior is an open triangular courtyard looking up 5 flights to the happening roof-top bar and the sky above. White shutters line the interior catwalks, creating an openness during the day and a protective barrier when closed at night. Dangling down the center is a vine of silver horns, splaying out like the bells of a foxglove, emitting a low murmuring of ticking and tocking – with a grandfather clock’s steady comfort rather then an alarm clock’s annoying reminder of time passing. The restaurant’s elegant white tables fall within this surrounding whiteness with a few protected rooms along the sides for enclosed dining.  One of these contains an excellent shop filled with some of the choicest jewelry seen in all of DF – at surprisingly good prices. A second side room is a library filled with photo & design books dedicated to Mexico’s deep cultural and art scene.

 

Condesa-DF_003 Hotel Condesa DF  -  Mexico City, Mexico Mexico Mexico DF  Polanco Mexico City Mexico Hotel DF Design Condesa boutique

Condesa-DF_010 Hotel Condesa DF  -  Mexico City, Mexico Mexico Mexico DF  Polanco Mexico City Mexico Hotel DF Design Condesa boutique

Condesa-DF_005 Hotel Condesa DF  -  Mexico City, Mexico Mexico Mexico DF  Polanco Mexico City Mexico Hotel DF Design Condesa boutique

We stayed in a Balcony-View Room. It was small, but well appointed with a very comfortable bed and excellent pillows (something often lacking!). The balcony turned out to be a window overlooking the tree’s that filled the street below. It was quite lovely to wake up, throw the curtains and gaze upon the flowing leaves while gathering in the fresh air and listening to DF’s ever-present songbirds.

The shower was like standing under an 80 foot water-fall – pressure that would give a Japanese Onsen competition. Fantastic!  Interestingly the toilet was the only ‘industrial’ item to be found in the entire hotel.  It could have come from a high-school or hospital.  Once again the bathroom was on the smallish side, but nicely laid out and cleverly hidden behind folding partitions.

If there was anything to pick on at the Condesa DF, it was that the room seemed designed more for a single person then a couple. There was only a single key that combined as an electrical shut-off and the safe-box was locked via credit-card over code. This made it hard to be on separate schedules. One night I ventured out to meet a friend at a local night-club. We wound up having to take apart the key ring so the room had power and I need not wake anyone on returning home. But these were small inconveniences and easily managed.

 

Condesa-DF_029 Hotel Condesa DF  -  Mexico City, Mexico Mexico Mexico DF  Polanco Mexico City Mexico Hotel DF Design Condesa boutique

Condesa-DF_030 Hotel Condesa DF  -  Mexico City, Mexico Mexico Mexico DF  Polanco Mexico City Mexico Hotel DF Design Condesa boutique

The staff was pleasant and consistently polite and helpful. Our night’s stay included one of the more expansive  and impressive continental breakfasts seen to date; containing a self serve bar of home-made granola, cereals, fruits, yogurts, along with honey, milk and cottage cheese. The was also an excellent selection of breads, alongside quality portions of smoked salmon, prosciutto, salami, white and hard cheeses, tomatoes, compotes, hard eggs, butter and creamed cheese.  Decanters of fresh orange, carrot & grapefruit juice offered a vibrant start to the day. The coffee was as good as anywhere we found in Mexico – which means not great, but drinkable (There seems to be a tendency to dilute and over-boi)l. There is also an a-la-carte menu with huevos rancheros and other delightful Mexican dishes.  Be sure to take a substantial breakfast to start your day, as you need the calories for the never ending activity that is sure to follow in the wonderful city of Mexico DF.

 

Condesa-DF_039 Hotel Condesa DF  -  Mexico City, Mexico Mexico Mexico DF  Polanco Mexico City Mexico Hotel DF Design Condesa boutique

Condesa-DF_020 Hotel Condesa DF  -  Mexico City, Mexico Mexico Mexico DF  Polanco Mexico City Mexico Hotel DF Design Condesa boutique

The steam room and “spa area” are the weak point of the Condesa DF.   They seem an after-thought,  a requirement tossed in to earn an extra star rating.   Luckily, the tempest-like shower more then makes an adequate “spa experience” and is conveniently located right in your room!

A quick note on taxis:
We have never encountered a city where the rates and hustling in taxis is so widespread.  This is something that should really be better regulated.  So if this is the kind of thing that annoys you, please keep in mind to specify you want a ‘taxi-meter taxi’ when you order a car service AND to specify to the driver to use the meter.  Otherwise the hotel (and every business in town apparently) will order what they term ‘a more elegant car’ – which is really the same car without the taaxi paint – and the rates can be up to 7 times the taximeter rate.  We paid between 20 & 120 pesos for the same ride, until we got our head around the costs.  Do not be put off by this, just know it.

Mexico City (DF) is a safe and amazing city, full of grand architecture, strong design and culinary artistry.  The Condesa DF is a lovely home-away-from-home to base yourself.  Centrally located on a quiet block in a leafy section of town; each evening we were happy to return, get cleaned up and every morning we awoke excited and energized!

 

Condesa-DF_013 Hotel Condesa DF  -  Mexico City, Mexico Mexico Mexico DF  Polanco Mexico City Mexico Hotel DF Design Condesa boutique

Condesa-DF_022 Hotel Condesa DF  -  Mexico City, Mexico Mexico Mexico DF  Polanco Mexico City Mexico Hotel DF Design Condesa boutique

Condesa-DF_016 Hotel Condesa DF  -  Mexico City, Mexico Mexico Mexico DF  Polanco Mexico City Mexico Hotel DF Design Condesa boutique

Condesa-DF_048 Hotel Condesa DF  -  Mexico City, Mexico Mexico Mexico DF  Polanco Mexico City Mexico Hotel DF Design Condesa boutique

Condesa-DF_049 Hotel Condesa DF  -  Mexico City, Mexico Mexico Mexico DF  Polanco Mexico City Mexico Hotel DF Design Condesa boutique

Condesa-DF_043 Hotel Condesa DF  -  Mexico City, Mexico Mexico Mexico DF  Polanco Mexico City Mexico Hotel DF Design Condesa boutique

Condesa-DF_044 Hotel Condesa DF  -  Mexico City, Mexico Mexico Mexico DF  Polanco Mexico City Mexico Hotel DF Design Condesa boutique

Condesa-DF_036 Hotel Condesa DF  -  Mexico City, Mexico Mexico Mexico DF  Polanco Mexico City Mexico Hotel DF Design Condesa boutique

 

Piedra-de-Agua-002 Piedra De Agua  -  Merida, Mexico Mexico Rivera Maya  Yucatan Mexico Merida Hotel

Piedra De Agua – Merida, Mexico

Piedra-de-Agua-001 Piedra De Agua  -  Merida, Mexico Mexico Rivera Maya  Yucatan Mexico Merida Hotel

Piedra De Agua Hotel

(52) 01 999 924 2300
Calle 60 N° 498
(Between 59 y 61)
Merida Centro CP 97000, Mexico

www.piedradeagua.com

The Piedre de Agua Hotel in Merida has cute little rooms with the tiniest bathrooms ever!  If you find yourself in Merida and need a well priced, central located and comfortable bed look no further.  The staff was kind and helpful, as they are pretty much every where in Mexico.  The Piedre de Agua is conveniently located a half block from the main square and is surrounded by colonial churches and is an easy walk to the hand crafts market.

There is courtyard dining area, as well as a lovely back patio with swimming pool and bar.  Most importantly Piedre de Agua is around the corner from Las Quekas!

Piedra-de-Agua-002 Piedra De Agua  -  Merida, Mexico Mexico Rivera Maya  Yucatan Mexico Merida Hotel

Be_Tulum_007 Be Tulum Hotel  -  Tulum, Mexico Mexico Rivera Maya  Tulum Riviera Mexico Hotel

Be Tulum Hotel – Tulum, Mexico

Be_Tulum_000 Be Tulum Hotel  -  Tulum, Mexico Mexico Rivera Maya  Tulum Riviera Mexico Hotel

Be Tulum Hotel

(52) 01 800 231 46 83
Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila  Km. 10
Zona Hotelera
77780 Tulum (Quintana Roo), Mexico

www.betulum.com

Tulum itself is a much chiller place then we expected after hearing it’s name for years in travel circles.  It is the essence of hippy-chic with a lovely variety of hotels and restaurants; none of which cross into pretension or put you off.  We stopped into many for a look at the rooms, grounds and menu.

Be Tulum is one of the more boutique of the hotels along the jungle road that is the main drag of Tulum.  An impressive gateway led through to a luxurious garden, full of green palms and hanging candles.  A winding footpath crawled its way towards the ocean, past a series of two story bungalows, each room with a very small private pool.

Here one runs into the only problem with Tulum.  As it is prime vacation territory, the ocean-front lots can be a bit small, and in the case of Be Tulum a bit overbuilt. A few less bungalows and a even just 2 meters more buffer between the path and the rooms would give the privacy one wants for the price-tag.

At the end of the path, lies the main pool, bar and dining area.  Definitely among the the most stylish of all the hotel bars in the area, it was well adorned with design furniture and a fashionable crown of good-looking adults.  The menu looked tasty, if not overwhelmingly Mexican, being mostly sushi and ceviches; but with El Tábano up the street your not far from your gastronomic fix .  The beach as always in Tulum is of wonderfully fine sand and blue water, if a bit narrow and public.

If you are looking for a place that is out of the bikini-catalog, I think Be Tulum could be it.

Be_Tulum_007 Be Tulum Hotel  -  Tulum, Mexico Mexico Rivera Maya  Tulum Riviera Mexico Hotel

Be_Tulum_010 Be Tulum Hotel  -  Tulum, Mexico Mexico Rivera Maya  Tulum Riviera Mexico Hotel

Be_Tulum_012 Be Tulum Hotel  -  Tulum, Mexico Mexico Rivera Maya  Tulum Riviera Mexico Hotel

Be_Tulum_011 Be Tulum Hotel  -  Tulum, Mexico Mexico Rivera Maya  Tulum Riviera Mexico Hotel

Viceroy_Riviera_Maya_023 Hotel Viceroy Riviera Maya  -  Playa del Carmen, Mexico Mexico Rivera Maya  Vegetarian Spa Playa Del Carmen Molcajete Mexico Hotel

Hotel Viceroy Riviera Maya – Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Viceroy_Riviera_Maya_010 Hotel Viceroy Riviera Maya  -  Playa del Carmen, Mexico Mexico Rivera Maya  Vegetarian Spa Playa Del Carmen Molcajete Mexico Hotel

Viceroy Riviera Maya

Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo Mexico
(52) 984 877 3000

www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com

After a slightly elongated trip, we rented a Smart Cabriolet (TINY!) and made a sun drenched bee-line to Playa del Carmen and the Hotel Viceroy to check out its design and have a quick lunch.  After so many months of eating in Bogota with its fear based cuisine, what a complete joy to arrive in Mexico, where the chefs are not afraid of flavor!!

The Viceroy hotel is quite fab, nestled within a lush garden and paths describing circuitous routes between palms and flowers. As we navigated our way, guided by the lovely Fernando, to the beach-front dining area, we saw a mid-size iguana and a basilisk (water-walking lizard) – though only very very briefly before it flicked out of existence! Each room is a private cabaña with a garden whirlpool, luxurious bed, and a quite ample bathroom, including both an indoor and outdoor showers.  The design is clean and poignant without being overbearing.  It allowed for a relaxing atmosphere;  you are the star of the show, not the hotel.  The spa is extremely organic and well appointed, complete with energy capturing spiral ha-mam and a brazier of copal, a highly fragrant per-coloumbian incense used by the Mayas.  The patio restaurant used for breakfast and lunch, is about twenty meters off the sea.  This was the perfect introduction to the fabled Mayan Riviera as we gazed into the blue blue waters and at the attractive clientele.

We started our first meal with two Michelada’s.  A Mexican favorite of beer poured with a house mix that always includes lemon juice and a salted rim.  Every bar-tender also makes their own special blend, with many being sort of a beer bloody-mary.  At the Viceroy, it was a mix of Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, Tabasco and a local condiment called Magi (though I’m still not exactly sure what Magi is!).  The Michelada is the perfect drink for hot weather, cool and refreshing; comforting and exotic!  Our rapidly condensing chilled mugs were accompanied by an order of Guacamole & lightly fried Totopos (Chips).  The guac had a bit of the soft white fresh cheese and the strong herb epazote.  It was mashed to a perfect consistently; creamy while maintaining some chunkiness and body.  Top place at the table was given to the picante: a beautiful roasted green tomatillo salsa that put the perfect tart-pepper touch onto the tongue.

We were then presented with 3 absolutely perfect fire-grilled fish tacos.  The fish, common to the Caribbean, was Robalo (Sea Bass) and felt very, very fresh.  Combined with mango, shallot and cabbage , while being served with habanero aioli,  the tacos proved perfect vessels for the other salsas.  Now, along with the fired tomatillo, we had a smooth non-spicy tomato based salsa along with another based on a chili called Xcatic.

Viceroy_Riviera_Maya_024 Hotel Viceroy Riviera Maya  -  Playa del Carmen, Mexico Mexico Rivera Maya  Vegetarian Spa Playa Del Carmen Molcajete Mexico Hotel   Fish Taco
Viceroy_Riviera_Maya_027 Hotel Viceroy Riviera Maya  -  Playa del Carmen, Mexico Mexico Rivera Maya  Vegetarian Spa Playa Del Carmen Molcajete Mexico Hotel   Fish Taco

Next came a true first in life:  Molcajete, a volcanic mortar that had been baked in the fiery wood burning oven in which is a stew is served.  We ordered the vegetarian version of this classic meat dish, and the translation was flawless, substituting a creamy, white panela cheese for the beef. The cheese was baked along with red, yellow & green bell peppers, cambray onion (that was first roasted over an open flame), tomatoes, carrot, zucchini, eggplant and once again the hearty nopal cactus. All of this was roasted in a tomato Gaujillo chili base that just made the flavors explode.

What a welcome to Mexico!!!

 

Viceroy_Riviera_Maya_023 Hotel Viceroy Riviera Maya  -  Playa del Carmen, Mexico Mexico Rivera Maya  Vegetarian Spa Playa Del Carmen Molcajete Mexico Hotel   Molcajete

Viceroy_Riviera_Maya_009 Hotel Viceroy Riviera Maya  -  Playa del Carmen, Mexico Mexico Rivera Maya  Vegetarian Spa Playa Del Carmen Molcajete Mexico Hotel

Viceroy_Riviera_Maya_004-1 Hotel Viceroy Riviera Maya  -  Playa del Carmen, Mexico Mexico Rivera Maya  Vegetarian Spa Playa Del Carmen Molcajete Mexico Hotel   SPA
Viceroy_Riviera_Maya_005 Hotel Viceroy Riviera Maya  -  Playa del Carmen, Mexico Mexico Rivera Maya  Vegetarian Spa Playa Del Carmen Molcajete Mexico Hotel   SPA

Viceroy_Riviera_Maya_013 Hotel Viceroy Riviera Maya  -  Playa del Carmen, Mexico Mexico Rivera Maya  Vegetarian Spa Playa Del Carmen Molcajete Mexico Hotel

Hotel Agua Baru – Baru – Cartagena, Colombia

Agua-Baru-015 Hotel Agua Baru - Baru - Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena Colombia  Hotel Colombia Cartagena Baru

Hotel Agua Baru

57 (5) 664 9479
57 (5) 660 1552
Km 2 via  Las Pisinas
Baru – Cartagena, , Colombia

www.hotelagua.com.co

Entering the Suite #1 at the Hotel Agua Baru is crossing into a separate reality.  Your world shrinks and its horizons expand.  Cross the threshold and let your clothes fall to the floor, you will not need them again till you leave.  The entire Hotel was created by interior designer Gustavo Pinto four years ago.

Reaching the island brings you out the bay of Cartagena, past the old Spanish guard towers with their ancient chain winches, and past miles of mangroves.  You can take a public boat to the town of Baru and then local transport, or you can spring for James Bond Speed Boat.  There is nothing quite like relaxing on the padded bow and speeding across the blue waters with the sun shining high, the wind in your hair, and the world slipping past.  At 250,000 per person, it is not in-expensive; but then if you are heading here saving money is not your priority.

Agua-Baru-003 Hotel Agua Baru - Baru - Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena Colombia  Hotel Colombia Cartagena Baru

Yes you can leave the room … but why?  The bedroom and veranda give stunning views to the Caribbean down the long slope leading up to the top of the island where the cabaña is located.  It is a good 10 min walk up a wooden staircase that winds through a garden.  The private infinity pool is constantly refreshing and totally secluded from view.  As the sun bakes your naked body, you find yourself plunging in many times a day.

If you wish to put on clothes and dunk in salt-water, Agua Baru offers free boat trips to a private, but not exclusive, beach across the bay.  There you can play in the crystalline waters, but you will have bathers from other hotels and the ever-present beach vendors to share it with.  You can also hire the hotel boat for a tour of the islands or a visit to the town of Baru.

If there is a weak point in the whole experience, it is the restaurant.  It is pretty much your only option, you have to set your menu prior to arrival (as your ingredients travel via the same boat) and the quality is not the finest.  The breakfast is a nice continental spread, and then the suggestion is to stick to local fare: Seafood, Ceviches, etc.    Have all your meals brought up to the room, while the dining room is stunningly designed in bamboo and decorated by the owner of the Hotel, interior designer XXXX Pinto; you can marvel at it on your way in and out of the hotel.  Dining on the veranda overlooking the sea in your robe is a much nicer experience!

 

Agua-Baru-023 Hotel Agua Baru - Baru - Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena Colombia  Hotel Colombia Cartagena Baru

We highly recommend the suite #1 due to its superior privacy and high altitude views (a seating area is built on the top of the room to give you a 360º view at the highest point on the surround isles).  This just may be the best hotel room in the entire country of Colombia!

Agua-Baru-004 Hotel Agua Baru - Baru - Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena Colombia  Hotel Colombia Cartagena Baru
Agua-Baru-026 Hotel Agua Baru - Baru - Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena Colombia  Hotel Colombia Cartagena Baru
Agua-Baru-014 Hotel Agua Baru - Baru - Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena Colombia  Hotel Colombia Cartagena Baru
Agua-Baru-012 Hotel Agua Baru - Baru - Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena Colombia  Hotel Colombia Cartagena Baru
Agua-Baru-030 Hotel Agua Baru - Baru - Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena Colombia  Hotel Colombia Cartagena Baru
Agua-Baru-034 Hotel Agua Baru - Baru - Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena Colombia  Hotel Colombia Cartagena Baru
Agua-Baru-037 Hotel Agua Baru - Baru - Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena Colombia  Hotel Colombia Cartagena Baru