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kathylynn626

Apr 28, 2012, 1:39 AM

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Where to stay?

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Greetings!

My husband, 9 year old daughter and I are heading to DF in May. I will be presenting at a conference at Banamex Centro. The conference organizers recommend the Sheraton Maria Isabel (or is it Isabel Maria?). I checked out the hotel and it looks like any hotel in the US. We prefer Bed and Breakfasts, local flair, with owners interested in helping their guests find interesting places to visit, not exploiting the tourist. I would like to spend no more than 100 bucks per night, though less would obviously be even better. I think we are renting a car - good idea in DF?

We are also planning a trip to the pyramids and the basillica, possibly head to Guanajuato, which is why the car is part of the plan.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Any recommendations?



Anonimo

Apr 28, 2012, 3:18 AM

Post #2 of 15 (9326 views)

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Re: [kathylynn626] Where to stay?

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I would assume that Banamex Centro is in the Centro Histórico? The María Isabel Sheraton is a good ways from Centro.

I was going to suggest localy owned, family operated Casa Gonzales, (on the basis of what others have said, although we haven't stayed there), but when I read "Banamex Centro", I realized that Casa Gonzales is a little far also. The Hotel María Cristina has gotten good reviews in general, but it, too, is in the same general area.

These are the hotels in Centro in which we've stayed: Hotel Montecarlo, Calle Rep. de Uruguay: definitely characterful but quirky and not that comfortable. Cheap.

Hotel Isabel, Calle Isabel La Católica: ditto, but may have been renovated since our last visit in 1993. Cheap

Hotel Canadá, Av. 5 de Mayo: compact, small rooms, somewhat noisy, very central location.

Hotel Gillow, Calle Isabel La Católica near 5 de Mayo: large hotel in Art Deco style, large rooms, some can be noisy. Ours was a bit worn, but renovations were taking place at the time of stay (2008 or '09).

Hotel Catedral, Calle Donceles: large, modern hotel, (our favorite of the hotels in Centro in which we've stayed.). Good services. Restaurant is fair. When booking, be sure to indicate whether or not to include breakfast, which is extra.) About $720 pesos)

Our present hotel choices are outside of the heart of Centro, most in Colonia Roma Norte. We are not fans of B&Bs and prefer "soulless, modern" hotels, but with friendly personnel.

Our current choices, in descending order of price and services, are:
Hotel Stanza, Av. Alvaro Obregon, Col. Roma Nte. Very nice, mid-level business hotel, about $720 pesos.

Hotel Milán, Av. Alvaro Obregon, Col. Roma Nte. Smaller rooms, well kept hotel, about $500 pesos for 1 king or 2 matrimonial beds

Hotel Embassy, Av Puebla, Col. Roma Nte. (NOT to be confused with the Embassy Suites, located elsewhere and MUCH more expensive.) Metro station 2 blocks away.

Our most recent stay was in the sleek, modern, Hotel y Villas Pal, Av. Arcos de Belen, Colonia Centro bordering Col. Doctores. (Near the corner of Av. Balderas. Good public transportation close by.)

The latter two offer excellent value for the price (approximately $350 pesos for a double bed for two. Other larger rooms "suites" available.) The Hotel Embassy is in a "nicer" neighborhood. The Hotel Pal might not be suitable for children, due to "adult" programming on a couple of tv channels.

Now, about renting a car: just IMHO, I would never drive in Mexico City. There are restrictions on the day you are allowed to drive, the traffic is horrendous, it's not hard to get lost, and by reputation, the tránsito cops are avaricious, especially toward rented cars.

IMO, if you take some time to study the public transportation options, they are readily available and manageable, if you travel at off peak times. Taxis are another option, and generally cheap. Over a 4 day weekend last week, we took taxis nearly everywhere. Our highest fare was charged from a taxi ticket booth at Terminal de Autobuses Poniente. It was $98 to the Hotel Pal. Another couple of fares, to and from Restaurante El Bajío, in Azcapotzalco (pretty far out) were less than $50 pesos.

Although we haven't been to Teotihuacan in years, the trip, via inexpensive Metro and/or buses is an often discussed topic on the LonelyPlanet.com Thorn Tree Mexico Branch. Similarly, to the Basilica.

Mexico's intercity bus system is first rate. You can get a comfortable seat on a delujo or ejecutivo bus for less than what it will cost to rent and operate a car. The most modern buses come equipped with restrooms, individual video, Internet as wll as a snack bag and drink (the less said about the latter, the better!)

Lineas Primera Plus shows 10 runs from Mexico Central del Norte for $360 pesos.
ETN delujo service, $480, has 12 runs per day. There's a stopover and probable change of buses in Irapuato.

Returning to the theme of bed and breakfast, of which we have no experience in Mexico City, I suggest that you read TripAdvisor.com for reviews and recommendations.

EDIT: I Googled "Banamex Centro" and found that it's nowhere near the Centro Histórico, but way out in the west of the metropolitan area, at Av. Conscripto 311
Col. Lomas de Sotelo
Del. Miguel Hidalgo
C.P.11200
México D.F.
http://www.centrobanamex.com/ubicacion/

That puts an entirely new face on my response to your question, and I'm afraid that I don't have any answers in regard to that area. Depending on the time of the conferences, perhaps Casa Gonzáles would be an optimal place to stay.

"En Boca Cerrada No Entran Moscas."

Saludos,
Anonimo

(This post was edited by Anonimo on Apr 28, 2012, 3:26 AM)


esperanza

Apr 28, 2012, 6:16 AM

Post #3 of 15 (9315 views)

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Re: [kathylynn626] Where to stay?

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The hands-down best bed and breakfast in Mexico City is The Red Tree House, in Colonia La Condesa. It's not far from the Centro Histórico, with easy access to the MetroBus. Everyone I know who has stayed there (including me) sings its praises to the rooftops. Look on TripAdvisor for reviews.

Website: http://theredtreehouse.com

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Anonimo

Apr 28, 2012, 8:38 AM

Post #4 of 15 (9305 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Where to stay?

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How could I have forgotten The Red Tree House?

"En Boca Cerrada No Entran Moscas."

Saludos,
Anonimo


La Isla


Apr 28, 2012, 9:00 AM

Post #5 of 15 (9299 views)

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Re: [kathylynn626] Where to stay?

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I can recommend the Casa Gonzalez, just a block off Reforma. Several friends visiting me have stayed there over the last few years, and they all enjoyed their stay. And I enjoyed visiting them there and hanging out in the delightful gardens of this small family-run hotel.


chinagringo


Apr 28, 2012, 9:57 AM

Post #6 of 15 (9290 views)

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Re: [kathylynn626] Where to stay?

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You have already received advice as to driving or not driving in Mexico City. Assuming that you would still like to drive to Guanajuato, I would recommend really doing your research re: renting a car since procedures in Mexico are very different! Whether you go to a travel website or to the individual company websites, the great mystery is what they charge for the absolutely essential insurances. Unlike other countries, the Mexico Rental Car Cartels(my term) will generally not allow you to fall back on your credit card provided coverages for theft, collision, etc. Sure they will let you decline certain coverages but the hook is that they will charge your card for anywhere from 10% to 100% of the value of the car you are renting. In our case, we carry the American Express Premium Rental Car Insurance that provides $100,000USD in coverage and last August, I could not find a single company in Guadalajara that would accept this coverage as a replacement for the required deposit. YMMV
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



fordmexico

Apr 28, 2012, 10:16 AM

Post #7 of 15 (9287 views)

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Re: [kathylynn626] Where to stay?

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Centro Banamex is the name of the huge convention center located off Conscripto in the Colonia Lomas de Sotelo in the Delegación Miguel Hidalgo ( a political subdivision of Mexico City similar to a borough). It is in an area where several high traffic roads converge (the Periférico, Industria Militar/Legaria and Conscripto. Due to the extremely heavy traffic and a lot of ongoing construction driving in this area should be avoided unless you are very familiar with the area.

The area is a good distance and quite a bit of travel time from el Centro or Condesa. The area around the Sheraton would be much more convenient. The Sheraton is where I stayed during my initial relocation. Although comfortable you will not find rates under $100/night or even close. Try Isla's suggestion.

You will find public transportation (taxis, the Metro and the Metro buses) very convenient, economical and safe. Taxis can be arranged to take you to the pyramids as well. You might consider an inter city bus to areas outside of the DF such as Guanajuato. These buses are nothing like a Greyhound.

If you do rent a car consider that driving in Mexico City is very hectic. Parking can be scarce and expensive. It is certainly a city that you do not want to get lost in while driving. Make sure you add on extensive insurance coverage to protect you from theft, collision and vandalism. Your USA insurance or credit card coverage may not be adequate or even in force here. Driving here can be compared to a combination of Boston and New York City at rush hour with a patch over one eye!

Otherwise, enjoy your trip. Mexico City is a safe. world class city!


tashby


Apr 28, 2012, 12:26 PM

Post #8 of 15 (9278 views)

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Re: [fordmexico] Where to stay?

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Quote
Driving here can be compared to a combination of Boston and New York City at rush hour with a patch over one eye!


I've lived in NYC and driven in both it and (even worse) Boston, and I gotta say, that's a great description!


sandykayak


Apr 30, 2012, 10:59 AM

Post #9 of 15 (9210 views)

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Re: [kathylynn626] Where to stay?

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You might want to see about going by luxury bus to GTO etc.
Sandy Kramer
Miami, Fla & El Parque


jemssmith29

Jul 20, 2012, 11:40 PM

Post #10 of 15 (8426 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Where to stay?

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Hello all,

I am jems.Please tell me what is the best places to stay in Mexico.

Thanx


kathylynn626

Nov 24, 2012, 9:41 AM

Post #11 of 15 (7207 views)

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Re: [kathylynn626] Where to stay?

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Hello, All!

Thank you for the wonderful suggestions!

My family and I did stay at Casa Gonzalez - for one night only. We left as soon as possible, in spite of fears that we would be charged for additional nights, because of one of the desk employees. She was incredibly rude and callus. We picked up a cab in front of the hotel and I found out from the driver that this particular woman has an awful reputation even with the taxi drivers who work in the area. Her treatment of hotel "guests" - at least in our experience - was way beyond the pale. I feel sorry for her husband, if she has one.

The accommodations were not particularly good, as well. Our room had three lumpy beds and a bathroom that had windows in the shower overlooking a courtyard. Do yourself a favor and steer clear of this place.

We ended up staying, for less money, at a nice hotel about a half mile away. It was in the middle of Zona Rosa, which has a large gay population, which in my book, is a very good thing. Lots of good places to eat for not a lot of money, and the hotel was right off the metro line. The hotel is called NH Mexico. They have an outstanding breakfast buffet, which is about 20 a plate - pricey - but very much worth the cost. We were very very happy with this location, though the big hotel scene is generally not to our liking.

I can't imagine staying anywhere else in DF than NH Mexico - the zocalo was 15 minutes by metro. Xochicalco was about an hour away - the area was very safe, people were helpful, the hotel staff was helpful, though of course they wanted to sell us package tours, etc. But no one was overly pushy, and the beds were good, the room was clean and modern, and there was plenty of hot water. Also, there was a 7 - 11 just a couple doors down so munchies were easily acquired.

I did encounter the gringa treatment - being charged more than a resident of Mexico City - around the area, because the vendors assumed I didn't speak Spanish. Be prepared, if you are gringo, for this and have boundaries in place around what you are willing to make a stink over and what you are willing to let go. That said, in Xochimilco, we overpaid a family selling amazing quesadillas and freshly squeezed orange juice on the street, and they promptly pointed out my mistake and returned the overcharge. The embarcaderos there really worked over a group of Asian tourists - charging them 60 dollars a person for an hour of float time (the "Chino" treatment?). We paid 60 for three of us, and found out that this was too much as well. Ask a Mexican family what they pay for the boat services and negotiate a similar price.

I have done a lot of travel in Mexico, mostly south of Mexico City, and have found most people to be incredibly patient, compassionate, wiling to share culture, food, and laughter. It is unfortunate that the behaviors of a very small percentage of folks act otherwise and muddy the waters for everyone else.

We found the bus transportation to San Miguel very easy to navigate, though we had never taken the system before. I am certain on our next trip to Oaxaca, we will be flying to DF, then heading to Oaxaca by bus, to save money, which we will then spend on amazing folk art and tuna (prickly pear fruit) sorbet sold by some little old lady who knows how to make frozen delights outside of the ruins at Mitla. I dream of her sorbet... never had anything so wonderful in my life... can't wait for my next trip down south.

I have been all over the world, and Mexico is, hands down, my favorite place to be. Hope to retire there.


Anonimo

Nov 24, 2012, 9:51 AM

Post #12 of 15 (7202 views)

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Re: [kathylynn626] Where to stay?

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Thanks, Kathy Lynn, for the feedback

"En Boca Cerrada No Entran Moscas."

Saludos,
Anonimo


La Isla


Nov 24, 2012, 9:58 AM

Post #13 of 15 (7200 views)

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Re: [kathylynn626] Where to stay?

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In Reply To

My family and I did stay at Casa Gonzalez - for one night only. We left as soon as possible, in spite of fears that we would be charged for additional nights, because of one of the desk employees. She was incredibly rude and callus. We picked up a cab in front of the hotel and I found out from the driver that this particular woman has an awful reputation even with the taxi drivers who work in the area. Her treatment of hotel "guests" - at least in our experience - was way beyond the pale. I feel sorry for her husband, if she has one.

The accommodations were not particularly good, as well. Our room had three lumpy beds and a bathroom that had windows in the shower overlooking a courtyard. Do yourself a favor and steer clear of this place.


I´m sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your abbreviated stay at the Casa Gonzalez. This must be the first negative review I´ve heard of the place, and all of my friends who've stayed there over the last few years had a lovely time. No one said anything about a rude woman working at the desk or lumpy beds. They felt the staff was friendly and helpful and they liked the quiet neighborhood where it's located along with the lovely gardens on the hotel grounds. Anyway, I´m glad you found a place more to your liking in the Zona Rosa.


Bear12345

Feb 4, 2013, 10:54 AM

Post #14 of 15 (6391 views)

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Re: [kathylynn626] Where to stay?

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consider this hotel with hookups for your pc and refreshing pool near all the good safe places


http://www.cancunsteve.com/...ocity/lemeridien.htm


Anonimo

Feb 4, 2013, 12:59 PM

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Re: [Bear12345] Where to stay?

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WOW! That's a serious ad for Le Meridien. Can I get Spam with my breakfast eggs?

"En Boca Cerrada No Entran Moscas."

Saludos,
Anonimo
 
 
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