Av. Campos Eliseos 252, Polanco, Mexico City, Mexico
If your business trips consist of visiting boardrooms by day and club hopping at night, then the sleek W Mexico City has what you're looking for.
Standing alongside the stalwart veterans of Mexico City's hotel zone, the glossy and glam W Hotel offers a younger generation of business travelers the same benefits as its traditional counterparts — a strategic location, myriad services, extensive meeting space — without the conventional trappings.
A freshman–looking front desk staff dresses in what could be described as casual Monday: dark suits over white dress shirts that are unbuttoned at the top, neckties conspicuous in their absence. Their professional demeanor, and somber slacks and jackets say "Let's get down to business," while the open collars suggest, conspiratorially, "There's a party in back."
All work and no play, the W believes, makes Jack a dull guest, so everything about the hotel, from its mood lighting to the rubber duck available in the gift shop, is designed as a counterbalance to business. Nowhere is this work/play duality more noticeable than in the bipolar entry, which houses an intimate, dimly lit reception area to the left, its walls almost all black. To the right, is the lobby, or Living Room in Wonderland parlance, a multilevel oasis of off–white leather divans, ottomans, sofas and settees that glows red in the evenings with special effects lighting. As different as night and day, their one unifying element is the groovy–funky background music that pulsates through both.
The red, black and white color scheme continues throughout the hotel, where ruby glass partitions add a sense of mystery to the tables they veil in the second–floor restaurant, Solea. There, you can dine alfresco on a sunny adjoining terrace or in a private glass–enclosed dining room that seats 18. Semi private, I should say — your party will be seen, but not heard.
Crimson walls add warmth to the otherwise mostly white, modern, super spacious guestrooms, the second largest in the city at more than 450 square feet. In addition to oodles of luxurious space, rooms offer spectacular cityscapes, especially the 19 Cool Corner Suites with views of Chapultepec Park on one side and the Polanco district on the other; eight Loft Suites have a balcony. All are equipped with a huge flat–screen TV, DVD player, stereo, and a dock for your iPod. In keeping with one of the brand's signature slogans, "Wow Me," each has a startling architectural or design detail and it usually involves the bath. The open rain showers in standard rooms are by the window, so guests can take in the view (all night if they wish, it's fitted with a hammock). Corner Suites have inviting round tubs, again minus the enclosures. The Loft shower is enclosed…behind lustrous emerald walls smack dab in the middle of the room. And the Presidential Suite has a tub evocative of a stretch limo and a vertical spa shower with as many as 16 jets.
The fourth–floor fitness center is open 24 hours, with a resident personal trainer available till 11 p.m. Next door, the minty fresh Away Spa features a jet stream pool, couples massage cabins and, improbably, an igloo–shaped temazcal, or Aztec–style sweat lodge. You can sign up for a shaman–led cleansing session.
Not your father's hotel, the W Mexico City presents itself as the natural alternative for thirty–something business travelers seeking first–rate service without the straight–laced lifestyle.
Web Address: www.whotels.com/mexicocity
Total Number of Rooms: 237
Published rates: $229 to $849; Presidential Suite $4,000
Review by Shooka Shemirani, photos courtesy of W Mexico City.