I"m a frequent guest of the Gran...in geological time.
I was here as a Newlywed in 1985 for 5 days, 6 months after the big earthquake. I passed through in 1995 on business. And I'm here again in 2011.
The cool thing is that the place has only gotten better with time. It has all the modern touches and has kept it's vintage character.
The same red velour oval settees are still in the loggy as in 1985. The canary's songs still echo off the stained glass atrium roof. The carpetting and furniture is elegant and both modern and era appropriate.
Yet the plumbing is modern, the internet, wired and wireless, works great with wireless channels for each floor, door card controlled room lighting for convenience and energy saving and there is efficient check-in service.
The terrace roof was unfortuneatly not available last night as there was a private function. The view of the Plaza from above is great at night and is away from the lingering street level smog.
I've read some of the reviews on Tripadvisor and dropped into the top rated Hampton Hotel and Suites two blocks away. It looks great. But it is a different animal entirely from the Gran. In my travels, I like to stay in character hotels that reflect the country or city. The stainless steel and glass elevators and trendy lighting of the Hampton is cool. But in my humble opinion, I'll stay in that style of hotel in LA or Vancouver or Denver. The Gran is a comfortable jacket that truly fits Mexico City.
In a way, I feel out of place in jeans. I cringe when I see gringos show up in safari shorts and T-shirts. I wish I had packed pants with sharp pleats, a leisure jacket, a white shirt with a starched collar. I don't own any of the aforementioned but would feel far more worthy of the history exuded by the place.
But there is something missing here. The spacious open floor of the lobby seems lonely. It needs some warmth and charm that you feel as soon as you climb the staircase to your room. The lobby longs for an era embracing, ambiance enhancing...something...for this space.
I'm hardly an interior designer. (Ocean MIst is not a colour okay? Light blue is.) But somewhere out there is a subdued, relaxing, quiet use of this space that would allow guests to absorb what is truely an era lost to stainless steel and led lighting. Maybe a circle of armchairs with shelves of good books where guest can mingle, a local acoustic guitar player or soft grand piano music with a coffee bar, Bogart leaning against the piano. I dunno. It needs something.
I'll be back. Hopefully sooner than in the past. In the meantime, I recommend this place. If you have a Dueseburg, park it out front. It belongs here.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover the Old World elegance of the Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico, an exquisite turn-of-the-century property perfectly located in downtown Mexico City. You can feel the history from the moment you step inside. From the Art Nouveau decor to the gilded open elevators and immaculate stained-glass ceiling in the lobby, every inch of the Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico pays tribute to the past while providing the comfort you expect from a fine luxury hotel. The palatial ambience continues in the guest rooms. Enjoy a unique blend of traditional and contemporary decor as you sink into a plush bed. Many rooms also feature stunning views of the vibrant Zocalo square just outside the hotel. You can also marvel at spectacular scenery from the Terraza Restaurant, which is perched on the fifth floor. When it's time to explore, ask our knowledgeable concierge for recommendations on the best shows, events and attractions in Mexico City. A 24-hour fitness area and well-equipped business center are among the other amenities you can enjoy. We also provide the perfect starting point for exploring everything Mexico City has to offer. Delve into Mexican culture at the Palacio de BellasArtes, explore Old Corpus Christi or embrace the charm of the Casino Espanol De Mexico. Stay at the Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico and savor a unique blend of comfort, service and style. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gran Hotel Ciudad De Mexico Mexico City