Ave. Desierto de los Leones No. 4058
An award-winning luxury boutique hotel, Stara San Angel Inn has the unusual position of serving mostly business travelers in a historic, yet peripheral residential neighborhood outside of the center of Mexico City.
With rooms designed to be more like apartments than simply hotel rooms, Stara San Angel attracts a certain clientele that come to work in Mexico City and live in style. Many of their reservations are for long-term stays (up to 6 months at a time) for film industry types and other artistic executives.
The hotel is in the heart of historic Colonia San Angel, Coyoacan's artsy next door neighborhood, and about 40 minutes from the heart of Mexico City. San Angel is famous for its weekend outdoor art fair (about 20 minutes by cab from the hotel), its quaint main plaza, and its colonial architecture. Stara Inn is located outside of the neighborhood's central zone and requires a car or taxi to get you to most places for eating or shopping.
If you want to stick around the neighborhood, the Hotel's Luna Bistrot has a great, modest-sized menu to choose from with specialties like their velvety Tarasca soup with citron chutney and foie gras or salmon with asparagus and epazote sauce. Its location, facing a residential, but very transited street, does take away a bit from the ambiance, but the food and wine make up for it.
Rooms center around a lovely fountain-clad main patio enclosed by a green wall of hanging plants and herbs grown for the hotel's restaurants. There are no great differences between the hotel's different suite categories (48-58 square meters depending), but each feels ample, has one or two queen-size beds, and has a bedroom area separated by a partial wall. It is decorated and laid out in the same style as the downtown Stara location, Stara Hamburgo. Some of the junior suites have two terraces, one facing the street and one the central patio.
The living room areas of these rooms feel more spacious than those of the downtown sister and each has a coffee table that converts into a good-sized kitchen table with seats for two. There are also kitchenettes in each suite with coffeemakers, two stovetop burners, a tiny dishwasher, and all the pots, pans and utensils you would need to make a decent meal. Real glasses, a wine opener, and mini fridge are all benefits for anyone staying long-term or looking to hunker down in their hotel room and just relax. The hotel currently offers 22 suites, but has plans in the next 3-4 years to expand the property to include 82 rooms, a spa and a business center.
The room décor is minimalist and classic, with touches of bright color here and there against neutral backgrounds, and warm wooden floors and accents. Water, snacks and soda are provided for sale and there is a long list of items that you can order from the 24-room service. The black or white tiled bathrooms include L'Occitane products and bathrobes and there is an iron with ironing board built into every closet.
The hotel has a small gym open 24 hours a day (elliptical, stationary bike, weights, etc), and a heavenly rooftop library with some of the greenest views that you might possibly see in this sprawling city. Their rooftop garden restaurant is where breakfast is served and they have an international menu throughout the day. It's another place to enjoy that exceptionally green vista.
If you are looking for an out-of-the-way escape (or something long-term and luxurious) in Mexico City that will put you close to Coyoacan and downtown but feel like a million miles away, Stara San Angel Inn will suit you perfectly. For travelers looking to be more in the center of the action, the downtown Stara location or a hotel in the Roma or Condesa might be more to your liking.
Web Address: www.starahotels.com
Total Number of Rooms: 22
Published rates: $195-290 plus taxes
Review and photos by Lydia Carey