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Review: The Ritz-Carlton, Mexico City

Book for the view of sprawling Mexico City from your private balcony 40 stories up.
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  • guest room at Ritz Carlton Mexico City with floor to ceiling windows
  • empty restaurant at the Ritz Carlton Mexico City
  • guest room at Ritz Carlton Mexico City with floor to ceiling windows and sitting area with couch
  • bar with orange couches. dim lighting


guest room at Ritz Carlton Mexico City with floor to ceiling windows empty restaurant at the Ritz Carlton Mexico Cityguest room at Ritz Carlton Mexico City with floor to ceiling windows and sitting area with couchbar with orange couches. dim lighting
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Why book? The view. This is the Ritz, which means amenities and luxuries are abundant, but ultimately the spectacle of the property comes down to its breathtaking—and totally singular—vantage point of Mexico City.

Set the scene: Chapultepec One: you couldn’t ask for a more iconic address. The Ritz occupies 13 floors of a 59-story tower that rises like a wedge of glass and steel at the point where the Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City’s grandest boulevard, meets the Bosque de Chapultepec, the city center’s green lung. Whether sipping a cocktail at the Deco-inspired bar or watching the sunset from your private balcony 40 stories up, you’ll feel the city as a constant presence—not just a backdrop, but a raison d’etre.

Backstory: Few names in hospitality are more evocative than Ritz-Carlton, which, for the last century, has been synonymous with old-world glamour. When the name appeared at the top of what was soon to be the second-tallest tower in Mexico City, the Ritz’s long absence from one of the largest cities in the Americas suddenly made sense: on an avenue already populated by some of the world’s most important hospitality brands, the Ritz couldn’t just open in any old building, it had to make a splash. In its Mexico City location, the Ritz shakes off its reputation for fusty, white-gloved luxury with the help of Toronto firm Chapi Chapo Design, in favor of a more streamlined opulence that combines clean geometries and floor-to-ceiling windows with reams of velvet and enough marble to pave all of Reforma.

The rooms: Where nearby competitors along Paseo de la Reforma like the Sofitel and Four Seasons turn away from the city outside, the 153 rooms at Ritz-Carlton open toward it. The rooms themselves, which start at $359 per night, are spacious and tranquil, with marble-clad bathrooms and a subdued color palette of dusty blues and grays that allows the cityscape to play protagonist. About 90 percent of the rooms have private balconies offering panoramic views over the Bosque de Chapultepec and the mountains that rise to the west (make sure to request one of these to avoid the handful of nondescript, east-facing rooms), while the corner suites offer what might be the best views in the city. On a clear day, the 180-degree panorama takes in everything from the distant landmarks of the historic center in the northeast, to the Bosque de Chapultepec in the west and the city’s central neighborhoods, or colonias, to the south, sprawled out over what was, just 500 years ago, a dazzling lake. 

Food and drink: The hotel’s on-site restaurant, Samos, serves a solid breakfast and, for lunch and dinner, unfussy Mediterranean food with a focus on local produce—think burrata from the nearby state of Guanajuato and brochettes of wagyu from a farm in Queretaro. By night, the black marble and brass fixtures in the Deco-inspired bar echo the view of the city below, with its pinpoints of light climbing the flanks of the surrounding hills. Cocktails like the Taxco update classics with local ingredients, in this an Old Fashioned dyed a rich, rusty red with a spice called axiote, and accompanied by a piece of cardamom- and pistachio-studded white chocolate painted with edible silver from its namesake town.

The spa: The only part of the Ritz-Carlton Reforma that turns inward, the chic spa is as intimate and introspective as the rooms are airy and bright. Marble, the color of graphite, encases an elevated lap pool, while labyrinthine halls paneled in lustrous woods connect the changing rooms and saunas to impeccably appointed treatment areas for a perfect massage.

The service: Staff was formal but friendly, if also, at times, a little scattered after only a week in operation.

The neighborhood: It doesn’t get much more central than this in Mexico City’s vast urban landscape. From the door, several of the city’s best museums, nestled in a superlative urban park, are a few minutes walk away, as are the vibrant neighborhoods of la Juarez, la Cuauhtemoc, la Roma, and la Condesa, where you’ll have access to many of the city’s coolest restaurants, bars, and galleries. The swankier district of Polanco is practically next door, with its parade of designer shops and high-end dining.

Anything left to mention?: The views are spectacular, but the thick glass panels that separate the balconies from the open air tend to magnify the afternoon sun while also blocking the mountain breezes that keep this high-altitude city cool, making them practically unusable through much of the day. Still, they’re a pleasant place for a morning coffee, when the sun is behind you, and an ideal lookout point for gorgeous mountain sunsets.

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