When I was given the opportunity to book a last minute, 2 night stay in Mexico City I did not hesitate! In the same day I was able to find a reasonably priced flight leaving in just 4 days. I never thought about visiting Mexico City. Not even once. Mexico, yes. But the city? Growing up with mostly Hispanic friends, I was warned by those whose parents used to live in Mexico City that it was so dangerous and that I would never survive if I ever went. Okay, that last one was harsh but someone really did say that.
But those warnings didn’t stop me. Besides that they haven’t even gone. It was all stories. The same stories my mom tells me about Manila and that I can’t go out alone which is completely embedded in my mind and I get paranoid in the city when I’m in the Philippines.
Let me tell you right now, Mexico City felt so safe! Safer than walking down a street in Manila. And if you’re looking for a safe, luxurious place to stay, Las Alcobas is it. This distinguished boutique hotel is located in the ritzy Polanco neighborhood. With the clean streets lined with high-end stores and lush trees. Next to most of the international embassies and these beautiful houses. Polanco is an extremely upscale neighborhood often compared to Rodeo Drive or Fifth Ave.
To be honest I didn’t spend much time there besides having to lay my head down for the night. I’m more into gritty streets. Or areas full of culture where I won’t find a Starbucks but instead a street cart serving Taco’s Al Pastor over an open fire. So why and how was I able to stay at this 5 star boutique hotel (check out the TripAdvisor reviews)? To be completely transparent my dad was sent over for a business trip. But I would be alone since he was busy working the entire time. I traveled solo but it felt good to know I had someone there in case an emergency went down. Plus, always good to find out I had family living down the street from the hotel although I hadn’t met them before.
Las Alcobas is widely known for its beautiful staircase pictured below. I didn’t dine in either of the 2 restaurants, Anatol and Dulce Patria, but in my research before my trip these two were highly recommended if you’re in the Polanco neighborhood. Aurora Spa, known for being one of the best spas in Mexico City, is also located within Las Alcobas and is open to locals as well. The small lobby of the hotel is nicely designed with calming colors and plenty modern luxury touches.
This is the most luxurious hotel I have ever had the chance to spend the night in all my 26 years of breathing – so far. I couldn’t understand how to work the personal iPads that each room has to control who knows what. The only thing I managed to figure out were the curtains and (some) of the lights. Opening the curtains I was greeted by huge, floor to ceiling windows overlooking Avenida Presidente Masaryk. It was perfect for a long day of walking and touring. I loved coming back and taking a little cat nap after my walks. With my busy back-to-back schedule of sightseeing and exploring, I couldn’t fit in the time to take advantage of the large jetted soaking tub. The bathroom was extremely modern with great lighting. And for the first time ever I stepped into a rain shower. It was love. The room was located on the 2nd floor right across from the spa and next to the breakfast dining area. I couldn’t hear any noise even though the busy street down below was almost in arms reach. Either that or I was just so tired I didn’t notice. Each of the guest rooms come with a in-room safe, mini-fridge and lots of storage space for clothes.
…was absolutely amazing! Probably one of their best features. I’m not used to the luxury I encountered. I didn’t feel comfortable taking advantage of the special services or amenities. I’m just your average traveler, I don’t need much. The other guests I encountered all seemed to be on a business trip. I was just tagging along on a business trip. But the staff never made me feel like I didn’t belong. Walking in and out in the most low-key outfit of leggings and a zip up as to not call any attention to myself, not once did they treat me any different from their guests in suits and ties. I made friends with Jose Luis, in charge of the comedor (dining room), who I saw every day for breakfast. He didn’t have to, but he spent close to 30 minutes talking with me about how to use the metro, not to be scared, and recommendations on what to see. I wasn’t aware of any special “dining times” but I had a feeling – as I randomly walked in at 2 in the afternoon for a meal – that this is only a breakfast spot. No one else was there. Makes sense now why he looked a little confused but he didn’t turn me down. Didn’t tell me it was closed. I would have understood if it was. Just sat down and he gave me a lunch menu (I think it was from the restaurant attached to the hotel). When I asked what was good he recommended a dish that wasn’t even on the menu. This salmon tartar ceviche that was so amazingly delicious! He told me he used to live in San Francisco as well before coming back to his hometown. Then the chef came out and I complimented him on his dish and he was telling me how he used to live in SF too. I’m telling you, the staff, the customer service this hotel provides is what sets it apart from the rest! Luxury without being too stuffy. The doorman was great, and they lend you an umbrella if it’s rainy (which it was when I arrived the first day).
Polanco is one of the richest, safest neighborhoods in Mexico City. The metro was close by. There were cops/guards on almost every block. But I found it a little boring. I wanna be, where the people are. And where the action is. And that meant taking an Uber to the other neighborhoods. For the Turibus, the first stop is the Auditorium which wasn’t located too far from Las Alcobas. I would say a 15 minute walk down Paseo de la Reforma. For dinners I stayed around the area. My favorite was La Chilanguita which was recommended not only by my Uber driver, but plenty of people in my dad’s office. I felt safe walking around Polanco after dark. But like I said, not too much action. There are beautiful parks close by with locals walking their dogs day and night. Parque Lincoln pictured above had a statue of President Lincoln which I walked past a couple of times.