Mexico City is a metropolis that rose from the ruins of the Aztec capital where gold thirsty conquistadors built their churches and their houses on top of indigenous temples, where old worlds mixed with the new and where great artists and historic figures lived, loved and died.
Mexico City is fascinating, exhilarating and huge – it is estimated that as much as 25 million people reside in its metropolitan area.
Beautiful colonial architecture, great museums, art, fantastic food and an abundance of colours, sounds and smells – Mexico City has it all.
But sometimes it may get a bit too much for the foreign traveller, and an oasis of calm is all you need to recuperate. The Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City on Paseo de La Reforma, near the upscale Polanco, Condesa and Roma neighbourhoods, is exactly that.
Built in hacienda-style architecture with all rooms facing a beautiful, quiet garden courtyard, the hotel opened in 1994 and was one of the first luxury hotels in the country. Recently it has undergone a $14 million renovation.
French-based avant-garde designers Gilles & Boissier have revamped the 240 rooms and suites, lobby, corridors and meeting rooms as well as the courtyard that now boasts a fountain, lush flowers, fragrant citrus trees, coffee and banana plants as well as an al fresco dining and wining options.
British grooming brand Gentlemen’s Tonic has opened its first location in Latin America inside The Four Seasons. It offers a traditional barbershop with a variety of grooming services and a promise to provide Mexico City’s gentlemen with an escape from the stresses of the outside world.
The enticing smells and views of the luxury pastry shop Pan Dulce inside the hotel are hard to ignore. Mexican and French classics are combined with many recipes inspired by La Pâtisserie des Rêves in Paris.
The rooms are elegant, spacious and perfect for business visitors with wireless high-speed Internet access and flat-screen TVs. The Health Club has a fitness area, SPA, and a small pool on the rooftop.
My favourite place at The Four Seasons Mexico, however, was not the spa or the outside pool, but the finest cocktail bar in the city, Fifty Mils.
You could find me there sipping cocktails and tasting local delicacies, such as guacamole with grasshoppers, every single day of my visit. I simply couldn’t stay away and had to have that one last cocktail before flying back to London.
Headed by French mixologist Mica Rousseau, Fifty Mils is a true cocktail lover’s dream and draws in hotel guests and well-heeled Mexico City locals.
The classic drinks are reinvented here alongside Mexican street food prepared with a modern twist suitable for a 5-star hotel.
At Fifty Mils I was introduced to my new favourite cocktail in the world, Naked & Famous (Mezcal, Aperol, Yellow Chartreuse and fresh Lime Juice), as well as the Extraordinary Margarita (Don Julio 70, Aperol, Cointreau and Lime Juice), and the Daiquiri Gavito (Bacardi Superior, Yellow Chartreuse, Lemon Juice, Egg White, Powered Sugar & Honey).
I also sampled, for the first time, ‘chapulines’ or grasshoppers, Crab Churros and Octopus “Tacos al Pastor” served with Roasted Pineapple and fresh avocado salsa.
Axel, one of the lovely bartenders gave me a quick lesson in different Mezcals and how to drink them – first you have to sprinkle Sal de Chapulin (salt made of grasshoppers) or Sal de Gusano (salt made of worms) on a slice of orange, eat it and only then drink a shot of Mezcal.
Apart from Fifty Mils, my favourite thing about The Four Seasons Mexico was the staff members’ extraordinary service, friendliness and helpfulness.
The perfect-English speaking concierge booked my excursions and wrapped my presents, the doormen where incredibly helpful locating the lost Uber drivers and the maid did such a brilliant job in my room that even my cleanliness and tidiness obsessed mother would have been put to shame.
I left Mexico City loving every bit of my experience and ready to return at a moment’s notice.
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The Bon Vivant Journal
If you enjoyed this review of the Four Seasons Mexico City, you may also like to read our guide to the best hotels on the Riviera Maya.