From a chic city pad to uber-contemporary architecture by the beach and a boutique escape in the ‘city of eternal spring’, modern Mexico offers countless experiences with amazing hotels to match. The Resident checks out three cool new openings…
STARA Hamburgo, Mexico City
STARA* Hamburgo is a sleek, sassy centrally located hotel with spacious, modern rooms, an enviable art collection, spa services and three on-site restaurants. Originally a Colonial Spanish townhouse, you’re greeted by the charming original architecture before the contemporary additions unfurl to reveal a central atrium that creates a great sense of space. The cool, open-plan rooms have soundproof windows and acoustic screens for a good night’s sleep.
Eat: The Luna Bistro is my favourite of the hotel’s three restaurants – a mozzarella balloon with grilled peach salad antipasto had me sold in a second. But on sunny day, my loyalties would likely shift to the The Roof Garden, which uses its own organic orchard in its dishes. Venture out to Fonda Fina, a 15-minute Uber ride away, which serves outstanding tamales, tostadas and grills.
Visit: Head right out of the hotel and amble the streets of Londres, Berlin and Roma, where you’ll find coffee shops, craft beer bars and the Mucho Chocolate Museum. Further afield, the Frida Kahlo Museum is a must, as is the San Ángel Saturday Market, brimming with arts, crafts, music and margaritas.
Mar Adentro, Los Cabos
Mar Adentro in Los Cabos, a two-hour flight from Mexico City, is the most jaw-dropping hotel I’ve ever seen. A passion project for Mexican architect Miguel Ángel Aragonés, this modernist paradise is a monument to the sea with uninterrupted views of the horizon (the central hub of the hotel has only three walls) and pools that lead the water right into the hotel. All you see is stark white and endless blue. The rooms are futuristic with huge windows, a secluded terrace, coloured lighting schemes and an integrated sound system that even plays in the deluxe twin showers.
Eat: The modern Mexican cuisine served at the hotel’s waterside restaurant is decadent. Nearby, the super-cool Acre sources many of its ingredients from the farm it’s located on. La Lupita serves killer tacos.
Visit: Day trip to Todos Santos, a ‘magical town’ with quaint boutiques and the Hotel California, where the music is loud and the beer is cold.
Known as the City of Eternal Spring, Cuernavaca is the retreat of Mexico City’s wealthy residents. Lush, lovely and safe (the Governor of the city lives in the neighbourhood), it’s a wonderful antidote to the rush of the capital. Anticavilla Restaurant, Hotel & SPA, a new Small Luxury Hotels of the World boutique property, is just beautiful. From the outside, the original Colonial hacienda appears as it was – a grand stone-arch entrance, cobbled courtyard with central fountain, white walls and flower boxes.
At the rear of the hotel, however, the scene shifts to something altogether more modern. Architect Bernado Gómez-Pimienta has created an impressive new extension, where a cement canopy roof shelters the open-air restaurant and the clever use of mirrors invites the tropical gardens in, blurring the boundaries between the building and nature. The essence of the rooms remain Colonial, with stone arches, porthole windows and murals taking up whole walls, while the bathrooms are modern and elegant.
Eat: VerdeSalvia at the hotel serves Italian cuisine with Mexican influences – delicate homemade pasta dishes and chicken with thick, dark, mole sauce.
Visit: Cuernavaca is one of Mexico’s best-known Colonial cities, so hire a guide and take in the cathedral, the Palacio de Cortés and the Jardin Borda.
AeroMexico flies direct from London Heathrow to Mexico City six times a week (daily from April 2017). Fly Business Class and enjoy a complimentary chauffeur service to and from the airport. Prices from £2,129 (£636 Economy).