Posted 09 January 2008 - 01:12 AM
Being as I just got back from Mexico City (my 3rd trip this year because FI's family lives there)... I (mostly through my FI) can offer some opinions about this.
On the hotels list that Ann posted:
#1 is a total hole according to my FI
#2 is an American equivalent of a low-level Radisson
#3, the Four Seasons is the best hotel in Mexico City but is for business travelers and not whatsoever a resort
#4 is not a bad hotel but is located near the oil company and is a bad neighborhood nowadays. my FI's mom grew up in this neighborhood and back then it was a nice middle class neighborhood. he says he wouldnt exactly call it a slum now, but it isnt a nice place.
#5 Gran Melia is a Spanish chain and FI says they are generally OK - they are the European equiv. of a Hilton.
#6 NH is downtown in a not-fantastic location, plain hotel with minimum amenities mostly for business travelers.
#7 the Presidente InterContinental - in the 60s when it was built, designed by a famous Mexican architect, had a great lobby with beautiful art, all heads of state have stayed there and many celebrities. It's a old (and not in the charming sense of the word) hotel - right next door, the Nikko hotel, a modern Japanese chain hotel and the JW Marriott and the W hotel are just down the block, both world class hotels.
#8 The Sheraton is mostly a business hotel frequented by government and business travelers because it is located directly across the street from the American Embassy.
I would really like to stress however, that none of these hotels should be considered "resorts" and that Mexico City is not a "resort" kind of city that I would recommend to tourists under most circumstances. I don't want to scare you, and don't get me wrong, I love Mexico City and spending time there, BUT... it IS a dangerous place if you are not familiar with it or don't have someone familiar with it to show you around. Especially in the downtown area where you'd likely be interested in going as a tourist, you need to be very careful. I would *especially* not wear an engagement ring there in public, IMHO. I have always been accompanied everywhere by FI or his family or his mother's driver, so I have never felt in danger there per se, but FI got pretty ticked at me a few times on this recent visit when i forgot to either take off my ring when we were going out somewhere in the public way, or turn it around so the stone was facing inward.
I would absolutely tell you to not take the subway system or the buses, as it is not safe. Taxis are honestly not that much safer either. FI knows a number of people who have been "taxi kidnapped" where they basically hold you hostage and take you to an ATM to withdraw money, sometimes late at night and then keep you until the morning so you can take the maximum amount out that night and in the morning.
It is not a place I would recommend visiting if you don't have a local guide. And don't be deceived into thinking that everyone there speaks English - they def. don't.
I would be happy to answer any questions anyone has about Mexico City.
**Additionally, if you are coming from the states or Canada and you have a connecting flight in Mexico City, let me say also that it has one of the highest landing fees in the world and is a confusing airport if you have never been there. The lines to go thru immigration and customs are generally very slow (quicker if you have a Mexican passport), so theres a big chance of missing a connecting flight if you don't have multiple hours in between flights.
PaulaV might also be a good person to chime in on this discussion.
Not to say there are not positive aspects to Mexico City - I have always had a wonderful time when visiting. But it is not a place for naiive tourists by any means. Especially no walking around with a guide book! That is just asking for it.