Located on Mexico City’s primary thoroughfare Paseo de la Reforma, in front of the Diana the Hunter fountain, Reforma district, The St. Regis Mexico City is also a less than fifteen minute walk from the Sevilla metro station. The 31-story hotel boasts 189 guest rooms and suites; moreover, all rooms are smoke-free. The immediate neighborhood doesn’t have much to offer, save for the excellent Chapultepec Park nearby.
Generally, when I check-in to a hotel, I like to be able to do so right away at the main entrance. However, at this hotel, you have to first ascend to the 3rd floor, from where there is a separate elevator bank to the rooms. In this case, it wasn’t a problem, as elevators were efficient (they only stop at a few floors).
Check-in was fast and courteous; when it was completed, I was introduced to my butler, Mario, who would also help in taking bags up to the room and unpacking them, pressing clothes, and preparing tea/coffee. Omar, a room manager, was there to supervise Mario, and chatted with me about Lebanese/Syrian immigration to Mexico.
A common theme at The St. Regis Mexico City seemed to be cleanliness. The hallways, restaurant dining rooms, lobbies, and my guest room were all nearly spotless.
My Deluxe King room had, among other things, a well-stocked minibar, Nespresso machine, very comfortable robe, even more comfortable bed, and an umbrella. The shower unit had both a handheld and “rain” option, and the bathroom came with St. Regis-amenities by Laboratoire Remède. Right by the guestroom door, I didn’t find that it was well-soundproofed, but as soon as I hit the relaxing bed, I passed out, in spite of the weekend revelers.
There was also a master control panel by the bed, for air conditioning, lighting, and DND (do not disturb). However, it didn’t control the curtains, which I was slightly surprised about. Nevertheless, I didn’t spend much time in the room – i.e. when in Mexico, eat everything! – so it also wasn’t a big deal.
Soon after taking a peek at my room, I went up to the 15th floor to inspect the indoor pool, gym – which was divided into two sections, and spa. Coincidentally, there was also a children’s play area.
After visiting the pool/gym area I went down to the St. Regis-original King Cole Bar.
Being a New Yorker, I have certainly walked by the storied St. Regis hotel, located at 55th St and 5th Ave. However, until staying at The St. Regis Mexico City, I had no idea that the New York location might possibly have been the place where one of my favorite cocktails – the Bloody Mary (in Spanish, Sangrita Maria), fka Red Snapper – was created.
Another aspect of the hotel that I quickly noticed was that service on all fronts – food and beverage (f&b), room, guest help, concierge – was excellent. Hotel staff weren’t just there to help sort out a problem, but they also wanted to chat about life in the capital, their favorite foods, and where else they have worked. Service had a humanside, and I appreciated the chance to speak with a variety of employees about their life and the St. Regis.
Back at the bar, I was eager to sit outside and enjoy the cool Mexico City nighttime temperatures. However, a big no-no for me was that the outdoor terrace – which the King Cole Bar shares with Restaurant Diana- is that smoking was allowed. Isn’t it a smoke-free hotel? Consequently, I sat inside, which turned out to be fine.
In any event, let’s start checking out the food!
Above, we have a Sangrita Maria, guacamole with seasoned chapulines (grasshoppers), and a diverse set of totopos (tortilla chips). Locally-inspired bar snacks, with one of my favorite drinks? Count me in!
At one point in my conversation with one of the waiters, I mentioned that the next day, I would have to leave the hotel before lunch, since I was meeting friends. Just then, he suggested that I try one of the more famous The St. Regis Mexico City meals, an avocado pizza, baked at the Jean-Georges Vongerichten concept restaurant J&G Grill:
As for the J&G Grill, I was there the next morning from 06:30 until about 10:00, talking with Cesar, the f&b manager, Alberto, the head chef, and other restaurant staff. In fact, the J&G Grill isn’t generally open for breakfast (lunch and dinner, yes); though, since it was Mother’s Day, they had a special morning buffet. (Restaurant Diana is the standard breakfast buffet and Sunday brunch restaurant, that also offer lunch and dinner.)
While Cesar and I were talking about Mexico City, every once in a while Chef Alberto would stop by, suggesting various dishes to try. (It might be time to say that thus far, my three favorite countries for food – tied for first place – are Japan, Turkey, and Mexico. In other words, when I’m in Mexico, and a chef is asking me “what would you like to try next?,” I get that child in a candy store feeling.)
So, what’s next?
OK, I cheated a bit. Lately, I’ve been trying to recreate the classic New York breakfast – Novy (smoked salmon) with cream cheese on a bagel -wherever I go. To “localize” it a bit, I added avocadoes. Yep, I’m already sold.
Next up, refried pinto beans with cotija cheese, eggs with chorizo verde (hailing from the nearby city of Toluca), and chilaquiles, basically warmed-up tortilla chips doused in salsa roja (red chile sauce), topped with onion and crema. I could eat that green chorizo everyday, but then I’d have to…exercise.
One of the late-morning dishes was eggs with machaca (dried beef, popular in the north of the country), avocado, refried pinto beans again, and salsa roja. Just another in a long line of delicious Mexican meals, all due to the expertise of Alberto and his kitchen staff.
After becoming completely stuffed, I had to check-out, again at the 3rd floor lobby. The process was anything but, and after about thirty seconds, I was already in the elevator, awaiting the reunion with my friends. Overall, this was one of the better stays I have had in recent memory, with everything from staff hospitality and maintenance of public spaces and my room to quality and taste of food being on-point. Thank you again St. Regis Mexico City for such a pleasant stay!