Luxury visit to south of the border destination is easily within reach
Photos courtesy of St Regis Mexico City & Las Alcobas
Within the first few hours of arrival, it’s easy to fall in love with Mexico City — the colorful streets bathed in sun, the trendy neighborhoods, and the bustling sidewalk food stalls and markets.
The capital city of Mexico, now officially abbreviated as CDMX, is hotter than ever, topping many publications’ “must-see” travel lists. The cosmopolitan metropolis will surprise you with its posh districts and luxe offerings. Amidst the bustle — it’s Mexico’s largest city and one of the most populated in the world, hovering around 21 million people — you will find many charming neighborhoods and tranquil, gardenlike parks.
Mexico City is the oldest capital in the Americas. Founded by the Aztecs and later colonized by Spain, there is a rich culture here seen in the art, music and food. At 7,350 feet, it has a higher elevation than Denver, so temperatures stay comfortable much of the year.
Aeromexico flies directly from Las Vegas to Mexico’s capital. Plus, with the strong dollar against the peso, a luxury visit here is very much within reach.
WHERE TO STAY
Las Alcobas, a luxury boutique hotel in the upscale Polanco neighborhood, is the perfect home base for shopping and eating around the swanky area. With your stay, the modern 35-room hotel offers a butler to tend to any needs. Contemporary rooms come with hardwood floors, floor to ceiling windows, handmade soaps, and a fancy touchscreen “command center” from which you can control climate, music, lighting and the curtains. But it’s the warm and approachable service that really sets it apart.
The top-rated five-star St. Regis Mexico City towers above Paseo de la Reforma, the European-style wide thoroughfare that cuts through the heart of the city. The plush hotel is the perfect place to recharge from the humming city outside. It delivers on all points: highly appointed rooms, a large spa and pool, huge gym with great views and multiple restaurants. Enjoy the bountiful breakfast buffet on the delightful, sunny outdoor patio.
WHERE TO EAT
Mexico City is in the midst of a huge culinary boom. From street-side taquerias, to some of the world’s best restaurants, the array of quality food is mind-boggling.
Make reservations at Quintonil to sample some of the city’s most inventive cooking. Chef Jorge Vallejo creates an often-changing tasting menu with innovative dishes like the Jaiba Azul tostada, a pretty crab starter that looks like an underwater, moss-covered shell. Warm and cozy
Guzina Oaxaca feels like the perfect, welcoming neighborhood spot. With rich mole and fresh fish dishes, it totally hits the mark.
For something tasty and informative, take a street food tour with Club Tengo Hambre, a self-described roving supper club. For adventurous foodies, the tour is full of markets, mom and pop taquerias, and new foods you might not discover on your own.
WHERE TO SHOP
Stroll along Polanco’s chic Avenida Presidente Masaryk, the Rodeo Drive of Mexico City (but much longer) and home to designer boutiques — from Hermès, to Porsche.
For a more authentic, and slightly overwhelming experience head to Mercado La Merced, the largest public market in the city. Check out the huge halls where you can buy anything from fruits, to tools, to clothing.
On Saturdays, head south to the lovely upscale community of San Angel to enjoy the market and the charming, cobblestoned neighborhood.
WHAT NOT TO MISS
Don’t miss the historical center of the city, the Zocalo (main square), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It encompasses the sprawling Constitution Plaza, where you’ll find the palace and massive cathedral. Discover the ruins of the cradle of the Aztec empire at Templo Mayor. Down the street is the stunning Art Nouveau Palacio de Bellas Artes, the main music, theater and opera hall.
For a great overview, take a Mexico Bike Tour on a Sunday, when the Paseo de la Reforma closes to traffic, and masses of families and locals come out to enjoy a car-free ride on a sunny day. Spend some time in Chapultepec, the city’s enormous park, which is twice the size of New York’s Central Park. Inside you’ll find the colonial castle, the zoo, museums, and tons of gardens, forests and ecological reserves.
Enjoy an afternoon strolling around the more bohemian neighborhoods of Roma and Condesa. Grab lunch at the trendy Mercado Roma, a food hall with numerous counters to tempt your taste buds. Watch the sunset with a mezcal cocktail atop the nearby chic Condesa DF hotel.