Bond, James Bond
Spectre, opening scene. Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City, masked people, dance, and music. Mexico at its best. James Bond walking with a girl and entering the most stunning hotel in the city. If you saw the latest James Bond movie, you must have noticed Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico as well. If you did not, maybe you would like to watch the video first.
So, do you believe in love at first sight? I do. There is no better way to describe my feelings for Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico. Long before James Bond, first time I visited Mexico City in 2014, I planned to walk into the hotel and check it. I saw its pictures in some guide or booking site and I was instantly amazed by it. Somehow, I managed to miss it and I did not pay it a visit.
A year later, we decided to spend a night in one of the city’s hotels before heading to Europe. I already booked another hotel in Roma neighborhood, but my mind kept coming back to this wonderful hotel. I was telling myself it would be better to save the money and stay in some hotel with prefix *budget*, but I could not resist it. We were absolutely sure in our plans so I made a nonrefundable reservation for 84€ + taxes (for September 2015). I could not ignore the fact this year prices for the same period are almost 50% higher.
Luxury with style
As soon as we entered the hotel for the first time, I knew we made a good choice. The hotel is located just off Zocalo. In one moment you are surrounded by the hustle of Mexican streets, but the first step to Gran Hotel takes you centuries back. The Majestic lobby was under preparation for the wedding and, even we did not see the final setup, we could imagine how romantic it was.
As we found out from their web page, the building dates from 1899 since when it was home to one of the first department stores in Mexico City. It was transformed into a hotel in 1968. Back in days travel was glamorous so the hotel needed to be as well. Designed in attractive art deco style it kept a recognizable touch of elegance up to this days. Even today they offer many up-to-date services to satisfy modern travelers, many classical details can be noticed in the hotel. The staff is wearing classical uniforms with cute hats. Grand stairway, antique elevators, and golden birdcages make this place even more impressive.
Room on a second floor
We arrived at the hotel around 5 pm, did smooth check in, picked up our luggage which we stored a week before and got few useful tips from hotel staff. Before I forget, I just want to mention the staff is nice and helpful – they helped us with luggage and allowed to keep the room a bit longer. Almost year after, we still remember some of their names (which we never do!) so you can imagine how happy we were.
We were offered a glass of sparkling wine upon the arrival and Javier, the bellman, escorted us to our room, located on the second floor. With suitcase in one hand and wine glass in other, we followed Javier to old, antique elevator. He said all the guests experience this drive upon check-in, but he suggested us to use modern elevators during our stay.
As soon we stepped into the room, we were amazed. We were on the second floor only, but the views were amazing! Our room was facing Zocalo and we could check the happenings on the main square just with one look. However, we were lucky enough they closed square for traffic that night so we had perfectly calm and quiet night (until army started to rise the flag in the morning, but I was happy to get woken up by that). For the quieter room, ask for ones facing the patio.
Art deco perfection
As you can see, Gran Hotel offers the perfect combination of luxury, style, and comfort. All of its 60 rooms are decorated in classical style, with beds covered with canopy and bath tubs with classy curtains. Every detail is planned in order to provide you a memorable stay. Room are wonderful and spacious, decorated with taste and it is very hard not to fall in love with the hotel instantly.
We had big king size bed covered with baldachin and decorated with comfy pillows. There was also a sofa and working table where you could get some blogging work done if you need. On the table, a welcome amenity waiting for us, few sweet treats with my maiden last name written in chocolate (as it was a name under which reservation was made). Jaime ate a cookie before I could take a photo, of course!
It was our last night in Mexico and we decided not to go out. We spent last three months exploring the city and we just wanted to enjoy this beautiful hotel. We ordered something to eat (unfortunately we did not try room service, but I heard the restaurant is amazing as rest of the hotel) and rest.
WI-FI was working well and depending on your needs and wishes you could use business center for various printouts or spend some time in the gym, which could be easily accessed just using your key card. While Jaime was talking a bath in that huge bathroom, I went to explore the hotel and just peeked into the gym. It was not big, but more than enough to make your holidays bit more active.
To begin with, there is only one thing I can say – the glass ceiling is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. To be honest, it was the main reason why I wanted to stay here. On a bright day, the sun shines through and creates a beautiful environment. You can notice many tourists coming in just to take photos of that beautiful scenery.
I’ve been following hotel’s Facebook page pretty much since I learned about its existence. I found it very interesting because they are posting many interesting facts about the building and hotel in general.
The Bar & the View
As the sun came down, we went up. La Terazza restaurant and bar is located on the highest floor and offers wonderful views on Zocalo, Mexico City’s main square. Zocalo is second biggest square in the world (after Moscow’s Red Square) and it is home to monumental buildings like Cathedral, National Palace, and others.
We set down just for drinks. Jaime had michelada, beer with salsas, and I went for a margarita. This restaurant serves huge margaritas, seriously – almost big as my head! My brain got frozen several times while I was enjoying this wonderful mango margarita. What an excellent way to finish a perfect day, right?
To conclude this post, I am going to use a quote from their web which describes just perfectly everything this hotel is about. We could not like it more and we could not find a better place to stay before starting our European adventure. “With stunning architecture, beautifully appointed rooms and all the services and amenities expected from a luxury hotel, Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico is the ideal location for enjoying all that Mexico City has to offer.”
What is your favorite hotel you ever stayed in?
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