Fodor's Expert Review Gran Hotel de la Ciudad de México
Av. 16 de Septiembre 82, at 5 de Febrero, Mexico City, Quintana Roo, 06000, Mexico See on Map
Ensconced in a former 19th-century Art Nouveau department store, this hotel is in one of the most beautiful buildings surrounding the Zócalo. Unlike many of the downtown hotels in grand old buildings, the charm continues into the spectacular lobby through to the homey rooms. A terrace restaurant has unbeatable Zócalo views.
Rooms are furnished in a traditional style with floral bedspreads, some antique furnishings, and modern striped wall coverings. Clean and crisp, they manage old-fashioned charm without being stodgy.
Besides having two smaller beds, the Double rooms are a full 130 sq. ft. larger than the King rooms, and often at a lower price.
Marble counters, rain showers, and robes and slippers. And they don't seem to have the water heat and pressure issues that plague many Zócalo-adjacent hotels.
The distinctive lobby--with a striking Parisian stained-glass dome from Jacque Graber's workshop, chandeliers, gilded birdcages, and 19th-century wrought-iron elevators--is worth a visit in its own right.
La Terraza restaurant has an unobstructed view of the Zócalo and Metropolitan Cathedral, with a popular brunch on weekends until 6 p.m. Room service is available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
La Terraza is also a beautiful place for a drink with a view.
YOU SHOULD KNOW They sometimes don't allow drinks-only during busy times.
The best way to get around Mexico City is via Uber or similar ride-share services, like Cabify and the by-women for-women Laúdrive. For the intrepid (or those wanting to avoid traffic), the Zócalo subway stop is practically at your doorstep.
Miralto (10-minute walk), almost atop Torre Latinoamerica, has panoramic views from 120 meters in the sky. 120 meters in the sky. A soaring "living wall" covered in plants (and an old bicycle) lords over Puntarena (3-minute walk), where seafood, both raw and cooked, is the specialty.
At the edge of Chinatown, El Tío Pepe (11-minute walk) dates to 1902 and is one of the oldest continually-operating cantinas in the Centro. Hilaria Gastrobar (3-minute walk) is a hotspot for the burgeoning Mexican craft beer scene.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Location and (updated) historic charm without feeling grandmotherly.