One of the hippest hotel openings in recent years, Hotel Carlota is not a full-service luxury hotel but attracts an equally discerning crowd. The design bridges historic detail, mid-century Mexican modernism, and 21st century design elements by Mexican architect-designers Javier Sanchez and Ignacio Cadena, with custom furnishings from La Metropolitana. Raw concrete, tropical woods, and geometric lattice screening are both elegant and whimsical. There is a very good restaurant and bar.
36 rooms done in concrete and wood are chic and minimal, if a bit cold. King beds are only available in suites.
YOU SHOULD KNOW 1st floor rooms have very low ceilings and virtually no natural light.
Designed a bit more for style than functionality, but with plush towels and luxury bath amenities.
On entering the hotel, you immediately enter the courtyard with the long glass-enclosed pool at its center. The bar and restaurant is a scene from lunch to late night.
The glass-enclosed pool is gorgeous, but at the center of the very public courtyard, it feels more like a design element than a relaxing oasis.
Hotel can arrange in-room massages.
The on-site restaurant, by chef Joaquin Cardoso (who also has a terrific natural-wine bar in Roma called Loup Bar), is one of the city's best hotel restaurants.
There is another acclaimed restaurant in the city called Carlota, which is unrelated but also worth a visit.
The bar serves terrific cocktails, with a god mezcal selection as well. It's as popular with local workers and residents as with guests.
The best way to get around Mexico City is via Uber or similar ride-share services, like Cabify and the by-women for-women Laúdrive.
The jaiba suave (soft-shell crab) is a favorite at Amaya (12-minute walk), the latest from star chef Jaír Tellez. At the edge of the historic San Rafael neighborhood, Cantina La Castellana (10-minute walk) dates from 1892.
Choose coffee or beer at historic Café Habana (15-minute walk), said to be where Che Guevara and Fidel Castro met to plot the Cuban Revolution. Bar Milán (12-minute walk) was a pioneer in trendy speakeasy-style cocktail bars (note: you have to change your pesos into milagros [miracles]—the bar's own currency—to order drinks).
WHY WE LIKE IT
High style and prime people-watching at a good price.