I love Mexico City. Even though it takes my breath away (quite literally), like a moth to a flame I’ve been drawn to the raucous chaos of this bustling metropolis since I first visited in the 90’s. This was when Vochos taxis were everywhere, the Zocalo was a popular hangout for its flea market, Polanco wasn’t yet the foodie zone it is today, and the smog in the air was thicker than the smoke billowing from your bargain-priced Marlboro lights. One thing that hasn’t changed however, is the cornucopia of daily life that’s on display everywhere you turn. And I love it.
Never one to miss an opportunity, we squeezed-in a quick stay at the wonderful St. Regis Hotel Mexico City prior to an epic itinerary that would take in Cuba and Costa Rica. We wanted a refuge of luxury to cocoon ourselves, as we eased into the inevitable jet lag that comes with flying multiple time zones. We certainly found it, as this is a pretty special property that ticks all the right boxes as a stand-alone product of exceptional quality and taste. Located on the City’s main thoroughfare – the Paseo de la Reforma, in a futuristic glass and steel cylindrical building, the St. Regis shares the space with luxury residences and is central to many areas of local interest.
To get to the front desk requires passage through security into an airy lobby decked out in marble and bursts of flower arrangements. Lifts take you to the third floor, which open up into the communal areas; an Atrium, the King Cole bar and Diana restaurant, alongside the reception area tucked away by the guest lifts. All floors from here onwards require key access. The rooms are spacious and well equipped with the usual paraphernalia you get with a St. Regis experience; bedside lighting and sound control touch panel, exquisite bathrooms decked out in marble, all sorts of turndown service treats and the ubiquitous butler service. I have a thing for bathrooms, and this one didn’t disappoint with its rain shower featuring a multitude of gadgets and settings. Breakfast is monumental, and the spa areas are spotless and zen-like. One of our favourite experiences while here was to sip sundowners outside on the terrace, watching the world pass by with Diana the Huntress fountain bubbling away in the background.
My one and only bit of feedback is around service, which to me is what takes a hotel experience from great to exceptional. I’m a very self-sufficient traveller, don’t like to be mollycoddled and don’t expect to be greeted by name everywhere I turn. It’s a very subjective thing, and I know there are many experienced travellers out there that feel the opposite when it comes to how staff at a 5-star hotel should interact with guests. The team have clearly been trained in the ‘St. Regis’ way, but at times we felt overwhelmed by how overtly attentive everyone was. For me, the hallmark of superb service is being able to exercise discretion, picking up on cues as to whether the guest falls into the ‘chatty’ or ‘discreet’ category, and have your staff simply blend into the background until when called for.
The St. Regis Mexico City performs well on every aspect you would expect. It’s a refined, quality hotel product that delivers on the brand promise and there’s very little to critique here. There are of course other luxury hotels in Mexico City – Las Alcobas and the Four Seasons are two that immediately come to mind. But whether they like-for-like match the St. Regis on aesthetic, location, product and refinement, I’m not entirely convinced. I’d return again in a heartbeat.
Hotel – 9/10