Calle Hamburgo 32, Colonia Juárez, Mexico City
Center stage in an overflowing metropolis, Stara Hamburgo combines intelligent design with old world charm for one of the most urban stays in Mexico City.
Walking into Stara Hamburgo you are greeted by both sides of the hotel and the city where it resides – luxurious antiquity and ultra-urban modernity. The Luna Bistro restaurant (open to the public) is set in a Profirian-era mansion just to the right of the lobby, which is filled with modern-minimalist ambiance and contemporary art.
This long, narrow hotel clusters around a central lobby filled with richly simple art objects, surrounding couches and seats for hanging out, having a drink, or flipping through one of their many coffee table books. The hotel's main building is working towards becoming eco-friendly certified and is intelligently designed with automated lighting, purposeful airflow, to make up for no air conditioning (not that necessary in Mexico City), and energy-saving LED lights.
Each floor has common spaces where guests can sit and talk outside their rooms and each is a little bit different. The executive floor has a large, conference-style wooden table and library for business meetings. The top floor has another working library off of their rooftop dining area. There are several open-air patios for both eating and drinking on the top floor and a few chaise lounges for guests to take in a little sun—but no pool. The hotel also has a small gym with a handful of the usual subject machines: elliptical, treadmill, stair stepper, and various sizes of weights.
Rooms don't vary much in style or size, but each is tastefully minimalist with a few interesting contemporary art pieces. Each has a living room with TV separated by a partial wall from the bedroom. All bathrooms are stocked with L'Occitane shampoos and body washes. One of my favorite features was the electronic do not disturb sign connected to the room entrance pad. When you set it for your room, it won't let anyone else enter. The bottom floor rooms top the list as far as choices go because each has ample patio draped in greenery with comfortable couches and chairs for sitting with a book or entertaining friends. Despite being right in the center of the city, rooms and patios are like tiny oases with almost no noise from the outside.
Stara Hamburgo is a draw for the business class and so is often busier during the week than on the weekends, although with only 60 rooms, their occupancy is consistently high. They have one of the nicest business centers I've seen in Mexico City, more of a cozy shared work space than the normal plain-Jane conference room with table and chairs. The center offers guests free Wi-Fi access (or a desktop computer if they need it), coffee and tea, snacks, a copy machine, and scanner. There are also small private rooms available for rent just off the main working area.
The hotel's three restaurants are open to the public, but Luna Bistrot on the first floor is by far the most popular. Run by chef Luis Valencia, the menu is international cuisine that leans toward Italian and the stripped-down industrial-antique dining room has great ambiance. The hotel is located in one of the city's most up-and-coming neighborhoods, Colonia Juarez, with lots of new offerings for food and drink, with more popping up every day. A stay at Stara Hamburgo means you will be minutes away from everything: the Art Deco-clad neighborhoods of La Roma and La Condesa, Mexico City's historic downtown, the sites and sounds of Paseo de la Reforma. You’re a short taxi ride away from most of the best museums.
A modern, urban stay with the surprising quiet of the countryside, Stara is great base from which to explore the Mexico City and a welcome new addition to one of the city's oldest and most historic neighborhoods.
Web Address: www.starahotels.com
Total Number of Rooms: 60
Published rates: $220-400 with breakfast but not including taxes
Review and photos by Lydia Carey