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Where to stay in Mexico City?

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Blackpool, England
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Where to stay in Mexico City?

We are rounding off a trip to Oaxaca to see family at Christmas 2006 with a 4 night stay in Mexico City.

We are a family of 4 (parents & 2 kids 13 & 5) & would like to stay in a luxury hotel (min of 4*) suitable for kids.

We want to be able to see the sights & have a pool for the kids . (Will it be suitable for outdoor swimming at this time of year?)

Originally we were advised to stay in the historic centre but after reading a few reviews I'm not sure this is the best area.

Any suggestions about which area we should stay in ? And which hotel ?

Also can you recommend things to do with children in Mexico City.

Thanks in advance

Acapulco, Gro.
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1. Re: Where to stay in Mexico City?

I live in Acapulco and almost always stay in the History Center which, after all, is a World Heritage Site. I don't think you'll find a pool in that area, but I don't know. If you do decide to stay there, look into the Gran Hotel de la Ciudad de México, or the Hotel Majestic, both of which are right on the Zócalo in the Historic Center.

The Camino Real, which is much more modern and luxurious, might suit your needs, and it has a pool. (Did you see "El Matador" with Pierce Brosnan?) The Camino Real is close to Chapultepec Park , the Anthropology Museum, the Moliere Restaurant Zone and luxury shopping along Presidente Masaryk .

Near-by are the Bosque de Chapultepec and zoo and several museums that most children enjoy, including the Natural History Museum, the Technology Museum and especially the Papalote Children’s Museum which is "hands-on". All of this is on the Turibus circuit, which runs close to the Camino Real (ask the concierge to point out the stop).

I think you'd enjoy the Turibus on your first day. It operates on a circular route from Chapultepec Park to the Historic Center You can board at any stop, get off and re-board any time on the same day so long as you have your ticket and bracelet.

The tour takes a little less than 3-hours to complete and operates between 9am and 9pm. Tickets cost 100 pesos for adults (115 holidays) are available only on board the bus. The web site for Turibus, which includes a map, is:

http://64.78.37.75/turibus/recorrido_turistico_df.html

Boston...
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2. Re: Where to stay in Mexico City?

Tinkerbellingham - We spent 3 nights in Mexico City with our kids (11 and 14) last Christmas, and wrote a trip report about it that you may find useful (posted January 14, 2006). If you can't find it, post a question and I'll post a link to the trip report. In that trip, we stayed at the Hotel CasaBlanca, which we found to be convenient, but not very luxurious and its pool is tiny and unappealing, In a short stay in April (see a separate, more recently posted trip report) we stayed at the Camino Real, and that may be more to your liking - very comfortable, certainly more luxurious than the CasaBlanca and a very nice pool (although we didn't use it). During December its probably warm enough for the kids to swim during the day, but it definitely gets cool at night.

In terms of things to do, I would definitely go to the zocalo, as there is always lots of activity and color that is interesting to kids - just remember that nothing gets going until around noor. We also enjoyed Templo Mayor and its accompanying museum (just off the zocalo), but it may be a bit boring for a 5 year old. Lastly, although its a bit of a trip, we really loved Xochimilco and the kids should enjoy it. We made our way there by subway and light rail (which may be a bit daunting with a five year old), but regardless of how you get there, its a worthwhile trip.

Blackpool, England
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3. Re: Where to stay in Mexico City?

Thankyou both for your advice, it really is appreciated.

You both recommend the Camino Real. The hotel seems to have had mixed reviews , but the later ones look good. I've tried to book (on-line) and it doesn't seem to allow you to have all 4 of us in one room. I'm just a little wary of allowing the 13 year old to be in a separate room which may be quite a way from ours.

Goldmanm - I assume your kids were in a separate room?

I have emailed the hotel to check if it is possible.

Many thanks for taking the time & trouble to respond.

Blackpool, England
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4. Re: Where to stay in Mexico City?

Goldmanm

I've read both of your reports & found them interesting & very useful. I have tried to look at the photos of Xochimilio but have not had any luck . It won't accept my email address. Any chance you could post a link?

Many thanks

Boston...
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5. Re: Where to stay in Mexico City?

Tinkerbellingham - I posted our photos of Xochimilco (as well as other parts of our Mexico City trip) on a new site that hopefully will be easier to access: http://community.webshots.com/user/goldmanm

With regards to the Camino Real, we did have our kids in a separate room (actually on a totally separate floor), but our kids are a bit older - you probably would not want to do that with a 5-yr old. However, you may want to call the Camino Real directly, as I suspect you could get adjoining rooms or maybe even connecting rooms. We tried to do that when we arrived at the Camino Real, but there were none available (and since we made our reservations through Expedia at a very low rate, I don't think they went out of their way to help us).

Hope that helps.

Lewiston, California
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6. Re: Where to stay in Mexico City?

Good chance it will be cool. Forget about swimming. In fact I would pass on the Floating Gardens also as not much flowering & it can be down right Cold! I love the Majestic Hotel on the Zocalo. Great location. Excellent roof top bar & restaurant. A most friendly staff. Rooms are adequate & clean with in room safes. Be sure & get a outside room for a fab view!

Clearwater, Florida
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7. Re: Where to stay in Mexico City?

I think Xochimilco will be fine - temperature wise - during your visit. Of course, if there's a freak weather condition that drops temperatures below what's typically seen for that time of year then the situation changes. Centro Historico - the Zocalo - is not a location I recomment for overnight stays. Most of what there is to see/do in Mexico City is not located in that part of town (unless you're a student of Colonial period architecture), and it's considered one of the more crime-ridden sections of the city, particularly after dark. The Casa Blanca Hotel has a roof-top pool, and the hotel is nice, and it's reasonably priced, even for Mexico City - so maybe you can check on that place.

Whittier, California
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8. Re: Where to stay in Mexico City?

Tinkerbellingham,

You are going to Mexico City in winter and considering its altitude of 2,200 meters (7,340 feet+/-) the swimming pool conditions might not be the "perferct ones". But I know kids don't care if it's hot or cold.

For that reason let me put in to your consideration the Gran Meliá Reforma hotel because they have indoor pool which might be convenient also for you and the adults in your group (I didn't like the Canino Real; Hotel Riazor is a budget hotel with indoor pool, kind of far from the Historic Centre but close to a "metro" station; the Hotel Galeria Plaza also has a pool and more centric). The Gran Melia is located in the Reforma-Centro Histórico Touristic Corridor, well communicated and also close to a Turibus bus stop.

With your kids, another interesting experience to share together, besides the Museo del Papalote, is La Ciudad de Los Niños located in the Santa Fe Mall.

Since 1987 Mexico City HIstoric Centre (or Center) and Xochimilco have been considered Mexico's World Heritage Sites... enjoy them!!

I hope one day the author of "Most of what there is to see/do in Mexico City is not located in that part of town" could upload to the internet a comparative table/list of places supporting his/her asseveration.

Enjoy your planning

KM

Blackpool, England
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9. Re: Where to stay in Mexico City?

Thankyou everyone for your advice.

I'm still struggling to find a hotel. My mother in law, who lives in Oaxaca, is going to come to Mexico City with us and she always stays at the Gillow Hotel. She thinks we should stay there as she thinks it is a good base for exploring the city, but I am not so sure. It looks a bit on the basic side & I was hoping for something more like a 4* or 5*. Also I'm not sure if it is a good place for kids.

In addition it is in the centre which I understand isn't such a good place to stay (Gomexico - you have confirmed this- thankyou).

Do any of you have any experience of this hotel?

I am having difficulty in persuading her that we should stay anywhere else. So if any of you can suggest a good hotel ( I have read the reviews of Casa Blanca & Galeria Plaza and some are not great) I would be extremely grateful. She likes being able to walk about from the hotel & also be near the metro.

Thankyou

Acapulco, Gro.
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10. Re: Where to stay in Mexico City?

The Gillow is a nice place, but for luxury, try the Camino Real, rated by some as one of the best 20 hotels in the world.

Don’t write off the Historic Center. “(Don’t) Go Mexico” is just an occasional, highly nervous visitor from Chicago who probably hasn’t once in the past five years spent a full day in the Center.

Take a look at the Majestic ( reservamajestic@prodigy.net.mx ) the Gran Hotel de la Ciudad de México, the Holiday Inn ( hiz@holidayinzocalo.com.mx ) or the bargain-priced Catedral, all of which are within two blocks of the Zócalo Metro station as well as the Turibus stop at the west door of the Cathetral Metropolitana. ( www.turibus.com.mx )