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Camino Real Polanco Mexico
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Reviews (1,307)
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486 - 491 of 1,307 reviews
Reviewed 16 April 2012

There are so many problems with this hotel that I hardly know where to start. I agree with the other reviewers that this hotel thinks it is better than it is, and therefore they really don’t try to provide service. The manager Alma, is rude, not interested in serving the public and doesn’t listen. When there was confusion about my room upon check in, she was not helpful at all and wanted to just talk over me. If you are thinking about getting a junior suite, don’t. They are all very different, so ask to look at different suites and pick the one you want. The junior suites have no view and no balcony. See the photo I have posted of the bright yellow wall that was my only view! Another junior suite I saw had a view of a red wall, no joke, and another one was just one long room, not two separate spaces. Also room 5638 is directly above where they prepare the dishes for the outside restaurants (under tents) and it is very noisy all throughout the day. The bedroom has no window so it is like a tomb. I asked for 2 extra up lamps and they brought them promptly. Without these lamps, I would not have been able to even read in the bedroom. The water in the shower never really got hot, and the shower head is so high up, that I had to stand on the side of the tub to reposition it. Also, from that height, the water was even chillier by the time it reached me. The amenities in the bathroom are good though, and they provide enough towels. The robe and slippers are fine. The bedding is fine and all things worked in my room.

I asked for the Club Level amenities for my junior suite and got them. I accessed the Club Lounge regularly and I found the snacks there to be minimal. Jesus, the waiter, was friendly but the check in people there was not very helpful. Since this is the only place where I had a view of the pool, I can say that it looked dirty, although there were 2 or 3 people in it.

Room service was very efficient, and I think it was the best part of my stay. They got my order right each time (breakfast and dinner) and were very prompt. Right on time for breakfast as requested and easily within 30 minutes for dinner. Lovely. The elevators are exceptionally fast. Housekeeping staff were also fine. Not overly helpful, but also not incompetent. Other staff were not helpful. I asked Jorge at the Concierge desk about printing out my boarding pass and he said he would do it (this was 36 hours before my flight) and I gave him all the information he needed. Later that day he told me they had tried but it was too early to check me in, so it would be ready upon my check out the next day. Ok, no problem. However, as I was leaving the hotel on my way to the airport, there was no boarding pass. In fact, the man at the Concierge desk didn’t know what I was talking about. A dropped ball for sure that real “leading hotels of the world” would not have tolerated.

This hotel is so retro that I wanted to say enough! There are little stairways and ramps and hallways all over the place. I could hardly orient myself during my stay. The hallways are dark with no wall art. The room doors are concealed in a long area of wooden slats that are just plain odd. I don’t really go to a hotel for the architecture but rather for the service, and this hotel is not about service and will not get my money again. I will never stay here again as it is not worth the money and not worth the aggravation. There are many better options in Mexico City.

Room Tip: Ask to see several rooms, as they are different. Room 5638 is very noisy.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled on business
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Thank Christmas2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2012

I found this hotel to be very large, impersonal and expensive.  I know this hotel was built by a famous Mexican architect but I found it to be straight out of the 70s and totally outdated.    The hallways were full of loud people at late hours of the night.  The courtesy breakfast was lame and the restaurant had zero ambience.  On a positive note, the room was large, clean, the bed was comfy and the inner garden was nice and quiet.  It is also well-situated in Polanco. I would not return here again though.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Dakini68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2012

The hotel is perfectly located in pPolanco at a very centric spot of the city, the only complain I have its that it is a little old Oder than that is Exelent

  • Stayed: February 2012
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Thank gferraez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2012

First time I stay at this hotel, booked through their website and chosen because of location and reasonable rates. Absolutely the worst mistake we could have made. Although check-in was quick, both of our rooms had huge problems due to the run-down state of the accomodations; sure enough, the lobby and public areas are reasonably kept so one has no idea what horror awaits at the rooms. Our shower had either no cold water (first 2 days of our stay), clogged drains (all of our stay), or no hot water (any time between midnight and 5am). Some windows in the rooms have newspapers stuck around the frames instead or sealing gaskets or insulation, resulting in noise all the time. Housekeeping staff congregated outside our rooms to chat in the early mornings, waking us up every time. Lamps in the rooms were broken or hanging from the walls, TV cable service and remote controls dated and non-functioning, and to top it off absolutely no way to get through to top management so they can fix the issues or at least apologize. We were moved to a different "better" room on our last night but by then the damage to our holiday had been done. This is the last time we stay at this hotel or any Camino Real in Mexico; since it is a local Mexican chain and the hotels are not franchised, apparently there is no pressure to update or maintain the buildings properly as with supervised franchisees all over the world.
I strongly recommend not to stay in this hotel if you want to enjoy your stay in Mexico City and do not have the time or patience to keep arguing with uninterested staff.

Room Tip: Rooms at any other hotel are best.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank RobertBlau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2012

On my first visit to Mexico City in 1998, the Camino Real was beyond the expense accounts of mere international bureaucrats, but I have fond memories of a dinner there, comprising Mexican specialties and the world’s best Margharita. In fact two of the latter, which may have been one more than optimal.

Thus, I was pleased to be booked in there for my latest trip: it turns out that while not exactly cheap, the Camino is no longer (it appears) quite in the top rank of Mexican hotels price-wise. Rooms start at around US$130 plus 18.5% taxes on the weekends. The Camino’s key draw is it’s architecture: opened in 1968, it was designed by one of Mexico’s most prominent architects and features a sort of earthy take on modernism with clear indigenous elements. As design, it has stood up well. The semi-enclosed courtyard entry with its round “wave pool” fountain at centre, its pink latticed screen dividing it from the street and the supersized, stone-framed chairs alongside the driveway provides an arresting entrance. These are followed by an entry through an ancient pair of church doors to a sculpture-laden lobby from which open bars, the reception area and a broad stairway to the upstairs restaurants and bars. There are several of the latter, serving a range of cuisines and, on limited acquaintance, they reach a pretty good standard: Excellent guacamole and traditional duck mole on the first night and, more surprisingly perhaps, an ability to produce European standards properly - a fine eye fillet in green peppercorn sauce, cooked rare as ordered and accompanied by a very good Faustino Reserva Rioja.
The rooms themselves are arranged around a pretty internal garden, with a pool and terrace at one end. Tip: spend an extra $25 a night for a garden view room, which will give you the aforesaid view and be a lot quieter - the hotel is located on a main street.

Those on the ground floor open to the garden – but this means that you may not want to leave your sliding door open to the cool night air. This is a problem, because the airconditioning system seems to be a case of much sound and fury, signifying nothing. In fact, I moved rooms after the second night as, not only did my aircon seem to be impervious to human commands, half of the (barely adequate) lighting in my room was non-functional. Unfortunately, while the lights in the new room initially all worked (one blew a couple of days later, as had one in the first room) the aircon situation was unimproved.

This brings me to the key point about the Camino: as the price drop suggests, it is in the latter phase of the cycle through which major hotels pass between renovations. It’s a little hard to tell how long it has been since the last, but the pink slate bathrooms show evidence of neglect, in that the slate in the showers hasn’t been resealed and has taken on milky white staining as a consequence, giving them a grimy appearance. The tapware is worn, with flaking chrome and just about functioning sink plugs, and so on. The rooms lack modern conveniences such as IPod docks or broader IPod connectivity. Wifi is available, but costs almost $15/day, reducible to only (?) $10/day by taking a weekly package, and suffers from poor speed and – in some rooms at least – poor signal strength. I gather that the latter is not quite as cynical as it seems, as Mexico suffers from the expensive and poor quality telecoms services that are the result of a poorly regulated quasi-monopoly.

Service is generally good, although my initial requests for lightbulbs to be replaced went unanswered. The rooms are of a good size, with desk and armchair, large beds and wardrobs/drawers. Pleasingly, ironing facilities are provided, though – annoyingly – tea and coffee making facilities are not.

On the subject of beds – the mattresses appear to be old-style feather ones (as are the pillows) and have a fair bit of “give” in them. The second I slept in was OK, but the first caused some problems for my middle-aged and not entirely healthy back.

Of course, renovating a hotel like the Camino – which must be something of a national treasure – presents some issues and needs to be done sensitively. Personally, I wonder if some research aimed at recreating original features in areas such as the bathrooms and the room furnishings might not be the best idea: i.e sell the hotel as something which is a complete time capsule and is as true as possible to the original architect’s vision. Even though that implies retaining the purple carpet in the rooms. But whichever way this is done, modernising the failing electrical and airconditioning systems is a must if the sort of consumer comfort that people want, even at this mid/high price point, is going to be delivered.

Bottom line? If you have any interest in architecture, or even just want to stay in a hotel that gives you a sense of place, rather than the anonymous 5 star standard where you don't know what country you're in - you shouldn’t miss the Camino. Just be prepared for a few compromises along the way.

Postscript: If you go to their website, you’ll find that this hotel has spawned a chain, as have other famous hotels around the world (eg the Raffles). So make sure it is the Camino Real Polanco you book. Unfortunately, you will get no sense of the architecture from the pictures on offer on the website. But believe me on this score.

Room Tip: As mentioned, the garden view rooms are quieter and have a nice view. However, you want to be AWAY from the elevator area - as this is the corner of the garden that contains the pool and a terrace/bar, which can be quite noisy. There is also a "club" floor, with various benefits, but costs somewhat more. If you'll be staying in a bit, this could be worthwhile. Given the poor aircon I'd also avoid the ground floor rooms - if upstairs, you can let the night air in while you sleep.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled on business
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Thank RexDS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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