Tag Archives: mexico

Le Meridien Mexico City Hotel Review

The Le Meridien Mexico City is relatively brand new and just opened last year after a major conversion from an Hilton Embassy Suites hotel. Most taxi drivers still don’t know how to get to the Le Meridien Mexico City, so be sure to have the address “Paseo de La Reforma 69” or refer the hotel as the Embassy Suites. I try to avoid taxis as much as possible since they are a complete ripoff and I often choose hotel locations where many of the local sights can be found within walking distance and close by a metro subway/light rail station.

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As I approached the Le Meridien, I was greeted with a grand modern lobby that had large shining balls hanging from the ceiling. I was advised the front desk check-in area would be one floor above the lobby. I checked in around 2pm and I was upgraded to a Premier Suite from a Classic Suite, but the room wasn’t ready yet. The hotel only has classic suites, superior suites, and premier suites available so I felt lucky to have scored a 2 room upgrade. Since I had an early flight the morning after, I decided to choose the 500 Starpoints as my Platinum Welcome Amenity instead of breakfast.

IMG_1529 IMG_1530 IMG_1531In addition  the front desk agent offered me a drink voucher at the nearby bar while I waited for my suite to be ready. Apparently, you can only use the drink voucher on a Sour Apple Martini, which is one of their signature drinks.

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As I entered the room, I was welcomed with a large living room area which consisted of a round dining room table that can seat six people.

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The living room area was huge and the sofa can double as a queen pull out bed as well.

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There was a wet-bar, coffee maker, and minibar in the living room area as well.

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There was a sink and mirror outside the hallway that leads into the bedroom.

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The bathroom contained Le Meridien bath amenities and features a large bathtub with robes and slippers.

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The bedroom area also contained slippers with a large executive work desk and a beautiful view of the famous Paseo de La Reforma street.

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There is so much to do around the Le Meridien Mexico City which is only a 30 minute walk to the Centro Historico or a 30 minute walk the other direction to Zona Rosa. If you like to take taxis, there are plenty of taxi stands around the hotel which can shuttle you anywhere you’d like, but be aware there is an extra surchage at night. During the evening, I found myself taking a taxi to Zona Rosa because I was tired since I was walking all day. I just wanted to relax on my last night in Mexico City and not have to think about walking some more.

Overall, I would recommend this hotel if you can get a great deal on cash & points since it’s definitely not worth paying over $200 for this hotel. I would rather stay at the Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel & Towers since it’s pretty close to a metro and within walking distance to shops and restaurants in Zona Rosa. I recommend this hotel if you wish to hotel hop Starwood properties in Mexico City since it is only a 20 minute walk between properties and if you like to be closer to the Centro Historic district.

Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel & Towers Review

I decided to stay at the Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel & Towers because it was closer to the Zona Rosa neighborhood which is a touristy destination packed with restaurants, bars, and nightlife. It’s considered the gay area of Mexico City, but there are plenty of straight things to do. I took a regular cab from the W Mexico City to the Sheraton Maria Isabel hotel which was 70 pesos and a 10 minute ride through the famous Avenida Paseo de La Reforma. Beware of taking the hotel cab because the fares are usually 2-3 times more than the regular taxis. I scored an awesome rate of $88+ tax using Starwood’s Best Rate Guarantee and I will have an upcoming post on how to search for those great BRG rates.

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From the exterior, the hotel looks like any standard Sheraton in North America. Once you step inside the Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel and Towers, it feels very ornate and historic. I checked my SPG app prior to checking in and saw that there were many suites available at this hotel. There is a regular room section with suites and also a towers section which also includes suite availability. I booked a standard room and inquired at check-in about the possibility of a suite upgrade. The agent said there is a junior suite available, but it has two queen beds. I asked him to check the towers, but he said the tower suites are off limits to the hotel in terms of upgrades. He claimed that the towers section is a whole different part of the hotel and acted like another company ran it. I was happy to have been upgraded to something better than a standard room, so I accepted the junior suite. As a Platinum member, I chose the 500 Starpoints since this hotel has a lounge for evening hors d’oeurves and breakfast in the morning. Ironically, the lounge is located in the towers section of the hotel.

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As I entered the room, I was ecstatic on how spacious the junior suite was. I checked on spg.com and saw that the junior suite with two queen beds is actually larger than the tower suite rooms! There was so much space that you can literally put a dry wall in between the living room and the bedroom TV area and call it a 1 bedroom suite.

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There is also a breakfast bar area with two chairs.

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There were a ton of standard Sheraton amenities that can be found in the bathroom area.

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As I settled into the room, I received a phone call from the butler offering me a welcome drink. I opted for a mimosa and he brought up fresh fruits, water, champagne, and orange juice. He also asked if I needed anything items of clothing pressed, which I politely declined. I didn’t know I had a butler included in my rate, but that is usually reserved for the towers section of the Sheraton Maria Isabel.

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I was advised the hotel lounge for the evening hors d’oeuvers was closed but was moved to the Lobby Bar. The lobby bar area of the Sheraton is very exquisite. It feels like a W Living Room, but with standard Sheraton furniture.

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There was a small selection of small bites to choose from including dessert.

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As I sat down, I was approached by a waiter who asked what I would like to drink and I chose a coca-cola.

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After finishing my light meal, I was handed a bill which was the cost of the small coke. I inquired about this charge and he said it was complimentary, but that I needed to sign for it any way. Needless to say, the charges never ended up on the final bill and I guess they need to take inventory of everything consumed.

There is so much to do around the Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel & Towers! First of all, I always try to avoid taxis if there is nearby public transportation. In this case, there is a close by subway metro stop called Insurgentes. Within walking distance, there are a ton of shopping and restaurants. Across the street and a 4 minute walk from the hotel, you can find the famous Zona Rosa neighborhood where you can find cheap Mexican food and do plenty of shopping. Within a 10 minute walk from the hotel, you can reach a large shopping mall which also has dining called Reforma 222. I felt really safe walking around Mexico City at all times, even during the seedy midnight hours.

I decided to have breakfast at the lounge which was open on Monday morning. The lounge has an extensive hot and cold breakfast buffet option.

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I was super hungry, so I decided to try to have a big breakfast and I selected the following:

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Overall, I delighted with my stay at the Sheraton Maria Isabel. The platinum recognition was excellent and I was constantly greeted by the gracious staff at the Sheraton Maria Isabel. I would definitely make this hotel my first choice the next time I stay in Mexico City since I hardly literally spent more than a quarter on public transportation. The close by metro also makes the Sheraton Maria Isabel a great choice if you like to sight see.

W Mexico City Hotel Review

I chose to stay at the W Mexico City because I wanted to stay at the best Starwood hotel in Mexico City. The W Mexico City is located in the Polanco area, which is also known as the Mexican Beverly Hills. It’s located 25 minutes from the Mexico City Airport and costed $20 USD from a radio taxi company called Sitio 300. When my taxi pulled up to the W Mexico City, you don’t get a sense that you are in Mexico City. The hotel is situated next to the Intercontinental and Marriott surrounded by nice luxury high rise apartments and condos.

As I entered the lobby area, I was greeted with an spacious lobby with an extensive hotel bar. The living room area was right next to the bar which is the signature “W Hotels” hang out spot to mingle and meet your friends or perhaps make new friends. There seemed to be a red theme going on with the hotel which was encountered when you go up through the spiral staircase to the second floor where the restaurants are located.

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During check-in, I was notified that I had been upgraded to a Fantastic Suite. I booked this hotel on a Starwood BRG (Best Rate Guarantee) rate of $171 + tax which was a bargain. Almost all of my Starwood stays are either BRG, 3rd party, AAA, Corp, C+P, and full point redemptions. I will show you how I search for Starwood BRG rates in a future post. I was tweeting with @WMexicoCity before my arrival so that could have factored into the suite upgrade along with my Platinum status. I asked the agent what kind of breakfast the hotel offered if I had chose the continental breakfast as my Platinum welcome amenity. She said that it was a continental breakfast buffet in the restaurant and I asked if a buy-up offer was available to the full breakfast buffet with hot items. She said there was no buy up offer so I declined the continental breakfast and chose the 500 Starpoints as my Platinum welcome amenity. She advised me that Internet was free for Platinum guests and that you just charge it to the room which will be taken care of during the time of check-out.

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When I arrived to my Fantastic suite, I was jawdropped. The room looked more amazing in person than in the pictures on the W Mexico City Starwood website. I was floored when I saw the round bathtub with the rainforest showerhead overlooking Mexico City. I made a video tour of my Fantastic suite which can be found below.

Here are some pictures of the Fantastic Suite:

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The Fantastic Suite boasted multiple Bliss Spa amenities in the bathtub and sink areas.

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There were also four complimentary bottles of water near the sink area of the bathroom next to the feng shui, plant, and vanity mirror.

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The step-out balcony in the bathroom area has amazing views of Mexico City.

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The room also had a iPhone 4/4S dock which you do need to bring your own converter if you have an iPhone 5.

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There is a minibar area available if you need to imbibe.

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After settling into the room, I wanted to get some work done so I went to the desk and I was surprised by a bottle of champagne, Mexican dolls, postcards, and chocolate covered strawberries. On the greeting card, I was graciously welcomed to the W Mexico City by the W Insider and told me to not hesitate to use the Whenever, Whatever service. Needless to say, I didn’t have a use for it during this stay.

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I had dinner at Casa Regia later on that evening, which was a fine dining restaurant within walking distance near the W Mexico City. I will review this restaurant in a later post called Various Eats in Mexico City. The W Mexico City is very close and within a 7 minute walk to the Auditorio Subway Metro Station which only costs 3 pesos (~$0.23 USD). The hotel is also within a 5-10 minute walk to high end shopping on President Masaryk street and there are a ton of restaurants to choose from which is also within walking distance around the Parque Lincoln area.

Overall, the level of service and attentiveness at this hotel has exceeded my expectations and I highly recommend the W Mexico City if you plan on visiting. I didn’t want to stay in Polanco the whole time, so I booked the Sheraton Maria Isabel and the new Le Meridien Mexico City which will be in the upcoming series of posts.

Trip Report: Everything You Need To Know About Mexico City

After hearing news about the Delta Skymiles devaluation, I decided to blow the last of my Skymiles balance which was sitting below 39k. I was looking for possible last minute trips and you know how hard it is to use 25,000 Skymiles for a roundtrip anywhere in North America. So, I expanded my horizons and decided to search for roundtrips from LAX to South of the border. I decided to use 35,000 Skymiles to MEX on coach operated by Alaska Airlines. I quickly ticketed the award and proceeded to call Delta so I could get my Alaska Airlines confirmation number.

Once I had my Alaska Airlines confirmation number, I can then add my American Airlines Executive Platinum number to the reservation. One advantage of that is so that I could choose the coveted bulkhead and exit row seating. I chose an exit seat for the outbound and a bulkhead aisle for the return flight.

I’m not reviewing my coach flights from LAX-MEX on Alaska Airlines, but I will have to say that their chicken tamales served onboard with salsa are pretty delicious!