In Mexico City, a Beacon of Luxury Shines Brighter


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A renovation, completed in late 2015, with updates this spring and summer to some of its signature restaurants, adds a new burnish to the InterContinental Presidente.

Rates

From $127

Basics

At a towering 42 stories, the InterContinental Presidente has long been a Mexico City beacon. A renovation, completed in late 2015, with updates this spring and summer to some of its signature restaurants, adds a new burnish to this destination, just as Mexico City itself is becoming a must-go spot, especially for the international jet set. (The city’s first Ritz-Carlton is scheduled to open in 2019, which makes the timing of the InterContinental’s redo either smart or lucky.)

Location

Situated in Polanco, an upscale enclave, the hotel is a five-minute walk from a lively stretch of international restaurants and designer shops, popular with locals and expats alike, and bordered by pleasant greenways. Better still, it’s adjacent to Bosque de Chapultepec, the sprawling Central Park of the city, home to attractions like the National Museum of Anthropology, pre-Columbian ruins and Chapultepec Castle. A metro stop is also a five- to 10-minute walk away; buses run frequently along the neighboring Paseo de la Reforma, a main thoroughfare, and cabs are plentiful.

The Room

The view, the view, the view. Our 25th-floor “Classic room,” the lowest tier available, offered a sweeping vista of the sprawling city, extending all the way to — on a clear day — the mountain ranges that ring the metropolis. Watching the sunset over the colorful rooftops was mesmerizing and tranquil, offsetting the bustling streets below. (Park-view rooms are also available, and blackout blinds are standard.) Otherwise, the gray and dark-wood room was plushly functional, with a king-size bed, a desk, a small L-shape sofa under the picture window and ample storage space, including a useful if utilitarian coat tree. A single, bland black-and-white photo, of a hand painting a plate, hung on the wall; the décor could have used more local flourish. (Viva México, but not with this look.) A Melita coffee maker, a 42-inch television and a somewhat outdated iPod dock were among the tech touches.

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The Bathroom

Two muy importante words: rain shower. In Mexico City, where water management is often an issue, the shower’s water pressure and temperature control were unflagging here. There were lemon verbena-scented toiletries from Agraria, a San Francisco company (why not a Mexican one?), and the room’s vestibule contained a separate, brightly lit sink.

Amenities

We didn’t get to sample the spa, which offers hydrotherapy and body wraps, but the well-appointed gym, with more than a dozen cross-training and weight machines, free weights and ample room to stretch (and, of course, a killer view), beckoned. Best of all, the hotel lends gym clothes and sneakers free of charge; simply call the front desk and return the items when you’ve sweated through.

Dining

Our stay included a free breakfast buffet with the room rate, and it was leagues above the standard chain hotel fare: chilaquiles — think soft breakfast nachos — tamales and fresh mamey juice, from the tropical fruit native to Mexico, along with made-to-order eggs and an array of pastries. There are six other restaurants on the premises, including an outpost of the Palm, the American steakhouse, which reopened last month with a new look; the stylish Chapulín, highlighting Mexican cuisine, design and culture; and the 24-hour Au Pied de Cochon, a replica of the Parisian bistro. The trattoria Alfredo di Roma is getting a refresh too, with a new outdoor terrace due in summer 2017.

Bottom Line

Offering the efficiency and crisp service of a chain with some only-in-Mexico food and views, the Presidente provides a comfortable stay for those unfamiliar with the city.

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