Downtown Mexico City
begins to sparkle at twilight.
The coastal resort areas of Mexico have long
been magnets for leisure and incentive travelers, but the country’s
capital has a rapidly growing appeal in its own right. With nearly
20,000 four-star guest rooms and no fewer than three convention
centers, Mexico City provides a full battery of meeting
accommodations. Along the bustling city streets, ancient castles
butt against new hangouts, rounding out the area as a historic yet
Only last month, Mexico City completed a $125 million
renovation to Paseo de la Reforma Avenue, a downtown strip lined
with hotels and historic attractions. New paving, gardening and
heavy policing have transformed the central avenue into a
legitimate hotbed. Accordingly, numerous properties are dusting
Among them: The 240-room Four Seasons Mexico
City is gearing up for a $4 million renovation. By
September, every guest room will have been renovated in the first
brush-up since the hotel opened 10 years ago. Reforma 500, the
property’s restaurant, was renovated last year.
October 2003 marked the opening of a new spa at the 208-room
Marquis Reforma. Purported to be the largest in
the city, the 16,000-square-foot facility offers all the
aromatherapy, hydrotherapy, et al, an attendee could desire.
The 457-room Sheraton Centro Historico Hotel and
Convention Center, already the object of citywide buzz
since its 27-story debut in late 2002, will welcome the arrival of
a new spa this March.
By 2007, NH Hoteles will open a 107-room
property in the downtown historic district as well. Other NH
projects include a 135-room hotel in upscale Santa Fé, also
expected by 2007, as well as a recently completed $6 million
renovation on the 302-room NH Mexico City in the
Zona Rosa area.
The nearby Polanco district, northeast of Reforma’s hotel cluster,
features some of the city’s trendier, more boutique-leaning
properties, including the 237-room W Mexico City,
whose daring design has been boosting area cachet since it opened
one year ago.
The 744-room Hotel Nikko Mexico, another
Polanco mainstay, last year put $700,000 into renovating its El
Jardin restaurant and outfitting public areas with wireless
Internet. This year, the hotel will spend $5 million on renovating
executive rooms and suites and has earmarked $25 million for
renovations of all guest rooms by 2008.
The Expo Santa Fe Mexico opened in one of
the city’s most modern business districts in mid-2003, offering
nearly 485,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space.
The Centro Internacional de Exposiciones y Convenciones World
Trade Center, right in the heart of Mexico City, will have a new
headquarters hotel, the Crowne Plaza MexicoWTC, by
June 2005. The 319-room property will offer four meeting rooms for
up to 800 attendees. Next door to the Crowne Plaza and linked by
interior corridor will be the 224-room Holiday Inn Express
MexicoWorld Trade Center, with an as yet undetermined
The historic district’s Centro Banamex, which
already offers 75,000 square feet of meeting space and 366,000
square feet of trade show floor, has plans to add a hotel and
concert hall as well.
Mexicana Airlines has traded in its Newark (N.J.)
Airport berth for one in New York at JFK’s new Terminal Four. The
airline has added daily nonstop flights to Mexico City from JFK and
Miami International Airport.