Mexico City: Condesa DF
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Address102 Avenida Veracruz 06700 Colonia Condesa , México df, México 800/337-4685 designhotels.com
Take a bike ride in one of the complementary vintage bike rentals offered by the hotel. A ride after lunch is the perfect way to discover one of the many great cafés in the area.
After a long night crawl to La Terraza for some Hammam (steam room) time, or spend some time in the Energy Room, a mini gym.
Watch an art film in the hotel basement (weekends only).
Take your ipad (Kindle, Nook) to La Biblioteca (The Library) and grab a real book for a change!
- La Terraza (Smart Sushi, Healthy Bar, Solarium)
- Spa (Hammam, Energy Room)
- Culture Room
- Dance Floor
- Wireless Internet
The inner patio is the heart of the building. Here is where you find the main restaurant—a place that evolves as the day progresses. At breakfast, you'll find classic Mexican fare such as chilaquiles with international dishes like eggs Benedict, and offers an array of teas, coffees and incredible smoothies. (I especially loved the "mango go" smoothie, a frothy concoction of mango, peach, orange juice, low-fat milk and honey, and the "papaya sunshine", where melon, papaya, coconut milk, almonds and honey equaled daily morning bliss.) Later in the day, the restaurant offers a menu designed by Enrique Olvera (chef at Mexico City's celebrated restaurant Pujol) that has been inspired by the food, and ingredients, of the city's markets. Rib eye and shrimp tacos are fantastic, but I couldn't resist the healthy snack of fresh carrots, cucumber and jicama splashed with lime and powder chile, that reminded me of my high school days, when I lived in this city. At night, chef Keisuke Harada takes control of the space and serves Mexican-Japanese fusion cuisine—salmon maki rolls with a spicy dill-jalapeno sauce, hearts of palm tempura—that works beautifully with cocktails like the smoky mojito of cucumber, mescal, mint and lime.
Condesa df offers 40 rooms (1 top suite; 3 corner, 6 balcony and 6 terrace suites; plus 18 balcony and 6 patio rooms) with equal level of comfort and sophistication. Each room comes with an iPod and a flat screen TV, but what make the quarters especially charming are high ceilings, spectacular walnut headboards and the hand-woven rugs from the state of Oaxaca. The sleek bathroom furniture with amenities from New York-based Malin + Goetz are a great complement to these quarters.
But my favorite place to pass the time was not in my room, but at La Terraza, the beautiful fourth floor terrace where, you can enjoy good sushi and drinks while looking at the Parque España across the Street, or the Chapultepec Castle a couple of miles away. —Mauricio Velázquez de León
In the Area
- Walk like a bohemian and sip espressos in one of the coffee bars in the area. Diversso or Il Fiorentino Café are two great options. Diversso: Chilpancingo 83-a, Hipódromo Condesa; tel: 5516-2636
Il Fiorentino Café: Campeche 294, Condesa; tel: 5564/7054
- Eat like a local in one of the many famed Taquerías. Start with tacos al pastor in El and don't forget to pay a visit to the competition El Farolito. El Tizoncito: Campeche 362, Condesa; tel: 5211/5139, 5286/5374. El Farolito: Tacámbaro 4, Hipódromo Condesa; tel: 5277/3052
- Try some contemporary Mexican fare in La Tecla or go for the real thing at Azul. in La Tecla: Durango 186; tel: 5525/4920. Azul Condesa: Nuevo León 68, Condesa; tel: 5286/6380.