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“Design cannot compensate for lack in service”

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Hotel Downtown Mexico
Ranked #131 of 305 Hotels in Mexico City
Milan
Level Contributor
27 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Design cannot compensate for lack in service”
Reviewed May 20, 2013

We stayed at this hotel for three nights in May, and were really excited about our visit. Especially knowing that they are member of Design Hotels and Small Luxury Hotels, we were particularly curious about our stay.

What we liked:
The hotel is very small (17 rooms) and located inside a 17th century colonial building. Beautiful architecture and beautiful design. There is an amazing roof terrace with pool and bar overlooking the city.
The location is very good: Two streets away from Zocalo (main square) and close to some of the city's main attractions (Bellas Artes, Cathedral, Mercado de Artesania, Templo Mayor)


What we didn't like:
The staff at the front desk has no knowledge about the city, and we had to consult our guide book and the internet for EVERYTHING.
The staff in general is not very friendly or helpful except for one of the bartenders at the roof bar - a young gentleman with a moustache - he was welcoming and very nice with us.
On one day there was a huge pool party on the terrace. If you choose to stay at a hotel of 17 rooms the last thing you want is to find a party with hundreds of people at the pool. We found this unacceptable and a sign of not showing respect towards the hotel guests.
The hotel is quite noisy in general since there is a restaurant in every patio of the building.
Our room had no window, and thus no fresh air (especially difficult at night).
On top of all that, there was an important mistake on our bill at check out confirming me yet again that the service level is not up to the category standards.

We hope this hotel will improve. They have great potential but seriously have to work on their service standards.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Gian L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adalberto R, Director General at Hotel Downtown Mexico, responded to this review, May 21, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing Downtown Mexico as your destination hotel and thank you for your review. Downtown Mexico takes very seriously all reviews. I regret that the room design (no windows) did not suit your needs. We are working on finding a solution to this issue you mention. I apologize for the bill mistake but I believe your bill was corrected the moment the error was noted. I invite you to come back and give us an oportunity to change your previous experience for a completely satisfactory one.

Best regards,
Adalberto Reiter
areiter@downtownmexico.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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226 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2013

Very stylish and central to the Centro Historico of Mexico City, it was just a short walk to many points of interest. The rooms were comfy (especially after a along flight) but a little noisy. Has a great roof top bar where the bar food is good and generous, and the restaurant in the central courtyard, Azul Historico, is excellent and well priced.
The only down side was that we didn't think the pool looked clean enough for a dip. Maybe that was due to the poolside party the night we arrived.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sarah M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adalberto R, Director General at Hotel Downtown Mexico, responded to this review, May 20, 2013
Dear Guest,

On behalf of the Downtown México team, it was a pleasure having you stay with us. Thank you for taking your time and writing a review. Please let me know if you come back to Mexico City.

Best regards,

Adalberto Reiter
areiter@downtownmexico.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2013

I have to say out of all the Grupo Habita hotels I've been too, this is my favorite. It really has it all, an amazing hotel in a historic building, two great restaurants below, a world of little shops, cafes and bars all within the hotel grounds. We only left the hotel once to see the Torre Latino Americana and Cafe La Opera, but it's really nice to have everything right there. I was there for three days and it started to feel like home, the warmth of the history in the building is really great when combined with modern design.

The staff is very friendly and accessible to all your needs. There were three things I would have maybe changed but other than that it's still my favorite. 1/ The sheets were kind of hard, not soft at all but we did mention it to them and hopefully they can work something out. 2/ No windows in the room to let natural sunlight in, there was an option to make the door into a window but people walked by and could see in. 3/ The bathroom door was a sliding door, and it wasn't really private since it was open on top. But these are only observations I made, they would never stop me from coming back.

I can give you my top three favorite observations now so you see how amazing this place is. 1/ The openness of the whole hotel was so inspiring and pleasant. There were two open patios with the restaurants below that the rooms surrounded. There was always sunlight coming in and when it rained they simply covered the open area. Two/ The brick material within the hotel gave it a true antique Mexican feel. Three/ The pool area is exquisite, with the view of Mexico's core, bright sun to warm you up and cold beers to relax next to the industrial pool. I could keep going with these details that make the hotel worth visiting, but I recommend going and discovering all these elements yourself.

Thanks Downtown!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank coordinatesdlt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adalberto R, Director General at Hotel Downtown Mexico, responded to this review, April 17, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review. It was a pleasure having stay in Downtown Mexico. All your comments have been taken into consideration. I know we will be seeing you soon. Please let me know when you plan to come back and visit us.

Best regards,
Adalberto Reiter
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
57 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2013

DOWNTOWN HABITA:

LOCATION:

Any more “central” and you would be the center of the DF universe, if you count the Zocalo as the center of DF. The area is much more commercial than residential, compared to Roma, Condesa, or Polanco. It is, however, very close to many sights and points of interest for travelers. On the downside, it can be very noisy, especially suites that face the street. On the other hand, those rooms facing the courtyard are more tranquil. It is very close to Metro Zocalo, which definitely is a plus.


COMMON AREAS/FACILITIES

There is not a lobby per se. However, the restaurant functions as such and offers sitting areas. The design is super in terms of color and style. There is a pool and bar on the rooftop. The pool is small and more appropriate for dipping than actual swimming. Lots of locals come by for drinks and see the place.

ROOM:
I got a Revolution suite, which is the largest of the bunch. More space than what I know what to do with it. The only reason I wanted it was to have a window that can be opened to the outside. Even then, it is still very dark in the room. The bathroom is very large and open. It is not for traveling friends or for people who are modest. More appropriate for a couple. Toiletries work well and are well stocked.

Minibar is well stocked and expensive like most other places. A bottle of water costs about US$7.

There are many disappointments, however. The design is great but the actual execution is poor and disappointing. The bathroom screams out hostel and kitsch. Everywhere I look, it screams “cheap” from the bathroom curtain to the fixtures. The bathtub has a huge chip at the bottom. It is kind of bad for an 8-month old establishment. Towels were all frayed at the sides. It is hard to believe that this place belongs to “Small Luxury Hotels of World” organization.

Sofa fabric and bed sheets feel cheap. It is probably worse than some stuff from IKEA. They really need to improve on that. Lighting is also very poor. Even if all the lights are turned on, it is still very dark. None of the lamps have shades, and therefore the light is very harsh to the eyes.

Because it is an old building, there is no air conditioning. There is a fan and they can provide more if needed.

SERVICE:

Checking in was quick. They expected my arrival. But as I came in, the front desk person just stared at me. Then the bellboy asked if I am “such and such.” He brought the bag to the room and showed me various things in the room and how to use them etc.

I also had breakfast and dinner on two different days. The breakfast tastes great and different than most of places I have been too. The service is reasonable. I sit down at around 8:30 AM but it seems like too early for them. I had to wait a while for anyone to come. Finally someone (a cook or a kitchen helper?) emerges from the kitchen. And it was a sight for sore eyes. I saw many white stains on his black shirt. Really? Finally the server brings out the food and service is decent. Food at dinner is disappointing but service is better. Cost is on the higher side, about US$60 per person with a cocktail if I recall correctly.

RECOMMENDATION:
The location is great and the design is gorgeous but the actual execution is very poor. I am willing to accept the noise and the lack of A/C, but the kitsch bathroom fixtures, cheap sheets, and poor light don’t cut it for me. I would not recommend this to friends.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SDWanderlust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adalberto R, Director General at Hotel Downtown Mexico, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
Dear SDWanderlust,

Thank you for your review. It is very important for Downtown Mexico to get feedback. Our rooms are designed to have few light but we do count with extra lamps that can be added to your room just by requesting it. The bath tub has been repainted. About the quality of the linnen we have checked with our laundry in order to solve this situation.
Regarding breakfast, this should not have happened.
Thank you again for your review and I hope you come back and notice the improvements. Please let me know if you visit Mexico City again.

Best regards,
Adalberto Reiter
areiter@downtownmexico.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 2, 2013

I recently stayed at Downtown while visiting friends over easter break, I was quite pleasantly surprised. The hotel is laid back in style but not in service, which is perfect and still casual and friendly. The rooms are well appointed, interesting mix of old and new. Bathroom amenities are
good quality, which is always a big plus for me considering those ridiculous travel restrictions. Beds, sheets and towels are all first class and the room was very very clean. The staff is working hard and it shows.

Now for the fun part, the upstairs terrace is the best location in Centro Historico, easter week is holiday for mexicans so the place seemed to be the place to see and be seen. Super chill place to have some beers after walking around the downtown area. Days of "danger" are long gone and Mexico City is a fun place to visit, and Downtown is the perfect place to stay.

Grupo Habita does it again! Make this a must if you're in Mexico for business, stay the weekend and stay in Downtown.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GustavoAc77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adalberto R, Director General at Hotel Downtown Mexico, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
Dear Gustavo,

Thank you for your review. It was a pleasure having you stay with us. I hope to see you soon. Please let me know when you plan to comeback.

Best regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monterrey, Mexico
1 review
Reviewed March 4, 2013

The best service and attention I've ever received!
Cozy room, relaxing bed, and excellent light!
All the restaurants inside the hotel are great, mixing tradition in an international way.
The rooftop is wonderful, great view, and pretty chic.
Walking distance to historical locations and accesible to all tourist attractions inside the city.
No doubt, I will return soon.

By the way, don't forget to check out the hostel inside the hotel!!! Excellent option if travelling on a tight budget. Two worlds under the same roof!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Soniquillo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adalberto R, Director General at Hotel Downtown Mexico, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Dear Soniquillo,
Thank you for your review. It was a pleasure having you around. I hope we have you around soon. Please let me know when you are coming back.

Best regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 28, 2013

Hotel Downtown DF was hands down outstanding, I felt like I was among family and close friends while in a stunningly beautiful building and comfortable room.I’ve been all over the world and this place by far stands far above many of the luxury hotels I've been to. Attention to design and comfort is highly detailed as well as cuisine and service. People are wonderful, location, assistance for guided events and recommendations all on point . Priced very reasonably not to mention the hostel for the economical traveler. The mixed use concept in the building offers a cool dynamic, shops and all the amenities one may need along with a variety of dining. Look forward to returning soon... and to those who have poor things to say are missing out on the culture of Mexico and the way life should be lived. I highly recommend to all types of travelers, you will be satisfied !

Dear Hotel Downtown:

"su hospitalidad y el servicio eran de la más alta calidad, nos sentimos muy bien acogidos en su hogar. Sigan con los chicos de trabajo excelentes. Nos sentimos en familia. Cuide bien, con ganas de la próxima visita. Salud y Muchas Gracias ¡"

Room Tip: all rooms of good quality, stayed with several couples. each unique in there own way.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jonathan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adalberto R, Director General at Hotel Downtown Mexico, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Dear Jonathan,
It was a pleasure having you with us. It pleases me to have been able to have caused such a great impression on you. Don't hesitate on letting me know when you wish to come back. On behalf of all our staff we would love to have you back.

Best regards,
Adalberto Reiter
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Downtown Mexico

Property: Hotel Downtown Mexico
Address: Isabel la Catolica 30, Mexico City 06010, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Central Mexico and Gulf Coast > Mexico City > Centro Historico
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #131 of 305 Hotels in Mexico City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Downtown Mexico 3*
Number of rooms: 17
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Also Known As:
Hotel Downtown Mexico Mexico City

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