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txp

Mar 2, 2014, 8:01 AM

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Where to stay in DF: Polanco, Reforma/Rosa, or Santa Fe?

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Hi everyone, I intend to spend about 4-5 days in Mexico city this summer with family as part of a longer vacation in Mexico, and I need your advice with choosing the neighborhood for my hotel. In particular, I am interested in your views about the Santa Fe area.

While in DF, we would do the usual destinations within the city but also travel to nearby places such as Teotihuacan and Cuernavaca. My plan is to rent a car and drive to all these destinations (including in town). I have driven there before and I'm quite familiar with the city.

For the hotel choice, I am debating between three areas: (i) Polanco, (ii) Reforma, across from the zona Rosa, and (iii) Santa Fe. I am familiar with the first two. The latter would have been out of consideration until a year ago, but now with the autopista/supervia poniente open for traffic, the Santa Fe area opens up as a possibility.

The Santa Fe area is also connected to the Autopista Constituente-La Venta, which in turn connects with 57D, the LaVenta Chamapa toll road that connects with Circuito exterior on the north side of the city. The circuito exterior is now open all the way to Ixtapaluca on the east side of town, where it connects with 150D, the toll road to Puebla. The combination of the roads I just described forms a nice toll-road (half) ring around town that should be, in theory, traffic free, and should provide easy access to places such as Teotihuacan, Puebla, Teptozotlan and other nearby places I intend to visit.

Moreover, the combination of supervia poniente, autopista urbana sur, viaducto miguel aleman, and Tlalplan/San Antonio Abad should provide an express route to the zocalo without any traffic lights. For Cuernavaca, I would take supervia poniente, urbana sur, viaducto tlaplan and 57D.

I would appreciate your advice in helping me chose between these three areas. Thanks very much for your kind assistance!


(This post was edited by txp on Mar 2, 2014, 8:04 AM)



Aaron+

Mar 2, 2014, 10:01 AM

Post #2 of 9 (3045 views)

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Re: [txp] Where to stay in DF: Polanco, Reforma/Rosa, or Santa Fe?

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What do you and your family intend to do whilst in the DF?

Santa Fe in the DF has greatly changed since I left DF in 1990. While it has residential areas, I understand it is primarily an area of sky scrapers and malls.

Polanco and Roma/Condesa are both very walkable. I believe you will still find some good, less expensive hotels in the latter 2 areas as compared to Polanco or the Zona Rosa. Condesa and Roma I still find quite attractive, perhaps more so now than two decades ago. For the most part they also offer ample connections with public transport. From Santa Fe, there is the EcoBus -- Route 34A -- that can take you to the Metro or center of town. (I prefer the limited access buses to the metro, can be less crowded while fast.)

As for highways, surely you jest? For all its highways, my impression -- and I could be quite wrong -- is that congestion rules. Also, unless you are a veteran of Mexico City, the bad skill and recklessness of other drivers, and your unfamliarity with the cut-offs you want to take, make venturing forth an adventure perhaps best avoided. Then of course you need to be able to park at your destination...

I look forward to a reply from a DF resident...

(This post was edited by Aaron+ on Mar 2, 2014, 3:37 PM)


txp

Mar 2, 2014, 10:34 AM

Post #3 of 9 (3041 views)

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Re: [Aaron+] Where to stay in DF: Polanco, Reforma/Rosa, or Santa Fe?

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In Reply To
What do you and your family intend to do whilst in the DF?

Santa Fe in the DF has greatly changed since I left DF in 1990. While it has residential areas, I understand it is primarily an area of sky scrapers and malls.

Polanco and Roma/Condesa are both very walkable. I believe you will still find some good hotels in the latter 2 areas as compared to Polanco or the Zona Rosa. Condesa and Roma I still find quite attractive, perhaps more so now than two decades ago. For the most part they also offer ample connections with public transport. From Santa Fe, there is the EcoBus -- Route 34A -- that can take you to the Metro or center of town. (I prefer the limited access buses to the metro, can be less crowded while fast.)

As for highways, surely you jest? For all its highways, my impression -- and I could be quite wrong -- is that congestion rules. Also, unless you are a veteran of Mexico City, the bad skill and recklessness of other drivers, and your unfamliarity with the cut-offs you want to take, make venturing forth an adventure perhaps best avoided. Then of course you need to be able to park at your destination...

I look forward to a reply from a DF resident...


Of the five days, I would say that we would spend about two in the town proper. Enough to see the anthropology museum, the area around the zocalo & Templo Mayor, go to a show at Bella Artes (maybe the Balet Folklorico) and maybe spend some time in Coyocan/San Agnel. As for the remaining days, I would say one day at Teotihuacan, with a stop in Tepotzotlan to see the church, maybe one day in Cuernavaca, and a day in Puebla with a stop along the way in Paso de cortes to take a look at the Popo,

So the key here is that I need to trade off Santa Fe's ease of access to the out-of-town road network (which I will need about half the time, maybe more), against the difficulty of travelling to town from Santa Fe.

My goal continues to be to drive to all these destinations; again, I've done it before I am a pretty good navigator. Between guia roji, google maps & google earth I can find my way around, even with the short cuts.


(This post was edited by txp on Mar 2, 2014, 10:39 AM)


esperanza

Mar 2, 2014, 11:23 AM

Post #4 of 9 (3028 views)

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Re: [txp] Where to stay in DF: Polanco, Reforma/Rosa, or Santa Fe?

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I live in the DF and highly recommend The Red Tree House, Mexico City's #1 B&B. This B&B is in Col. La Condesa, which appears not to be on your radar. This beautiful colonia surrounds two lovely parks, is very accessible to the highways you want to travel, is safe for walking around with your family, and is full of great restaurants. The colonia is also close to several forms of public transportation--ask me about a secure cab service in the city--including the Metro, the Metrobús, and taxis.

Here's a link to The Red Tree House:
http://theredtreehouse.com/

PS: I am in no way affiliated with this B&B. But I guarantee you that they're the best!

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









(This post was edited by esperanza on Mar 2, 2014, 11:25 AM)


fordmexico

Mar 2, 2014, 10:36 PM

Post #5 of 9 (3003 views)

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Re: [txp] Where to stay in DF: Polanco, Reforma/Rosa, or Santa Fe?

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No such thing as traffic free in the Mexico City metropolitan area. Toll roads will have less traffic but still can be quite crowded during the AM and PM rush periods.

SanteFe is a shopping and business center. Many companies have moved their offices from the Reforma/Polanco area out to SanteFe. Hotels in the area cater to the business traveler and can be quite expensive. Not much as far as evening entertainment or restaurants except for the Sante Fe mall. Although you would likely be going against the rush hour flows you will still find the traffic to be heavy, especially as you approach the Periferico and along the Paseo de la Reforma.

Polanco is still quite attractive as far as places to go in the evening for meals/shopping. Hotels are plentiful in the Reforma/Polanco area but like SanteFe, can be quite expensive. Access to the Periferico and Circuito Interior is good, but traffic can be quite heavy during the rush periods.

The Reforma area has a better selection of hotels at different prices levels. You may find yourself leaving the Reforma area in the evening for meals. The Zona Rosa has had several transformations over the years and is now in a period of decline as far as eating out goes. Many of the traditional restaurants that were there have left or just closed to be replaced by the typical USA fast food joints.

As mentioned by others, another consideration might be the Condesa area. What you might lose in access you will more than gain in atmosphere and especially places to go to eat.

Several apps for your smartphone are quite useful in Mexico City: Waze has many users here, Urban 360 also includes warning for earthquakes, Google maps/Traffic.

Here is a link to the IAVE website for information about their electronic passes.

https://www.iave.mx/iave/TramiteFaqs.aspx

Places to Eat

Here is a link to the Eater Mexico City Heat Map

http://eater.com/...t-right-now.php#more

Culinary Back Streets - Mexico City also has articles about eating in Mexico City

http://www.culinarybackstreets.com/category/mexico-city/






(This post was edited by RickS on Mar 3, 2014, 7:08 AM)


AlanMexicali


Mar 3, 2014, 3:03 AM

Post #6 of 9 (2994 views)

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Re: [fordmexico] Where to stay in DF: Polanco, Reforma/Rosa, or Santa Fe?

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I just got back from Mexico City tonight and stayed at a nice hotel at the Monumento de la Revolución and we walked all over the place but wanted to recommend this place we spent Fri. night at and had a wonderful time in Zona Rosa, a real party with many acts and great food and not overpriced.

One of the managers took us under his wing as the couple I was with spoke zero Spanish and it was their first time in DF. [Snowbirds from Puerto Vallarta] They were very impressed with everything they saw and did and especially the 2 tours we took with a very good tour company.

http://www.ellugardelmariachi.com.mx/


(This post was edited by AlanMexicali on Mar 3, 2014, 3:04 AM)


esperanza

Mar 3, 2014, 5:58 AM

Post #7 of 9 (2981 views)

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Re: [fordmexico] Where to stay in DF: Polanco, Reforma/Rosa, or Santa Fe?

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The Eater suggestions of where to eat in Mexico City are bizarre at best.

1. Ñham Ñham is a food truck that travels around the city and is difficult to find unless you subscribe to their FB page.

2. Guzina Oaxaca is brand new and extremely high-end. It will cost you an arm and a leg.

For reasonably-priced excellent eating recommendations, PM me (I live in the DF and am a food writer) or PM Anónimo here on Mexconnect. He doesn't live here, but he often travels here and is quite an eater.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Aaron+

Mar 4, 2014, 10:02 AM

Post #8 of 9 (2936 views)

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Re: [fordmexico] Where to stay in DF: Polanco, Reforma/Rosa, or Santa Fe?

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I recall relatives who, many years ago, took those 5 European countries in 10 days package tours. My impression was that each country quickly became a blur for them, with many photos of places they could not identify (except in an Eiffel tower was in the photo), although they had the advantage of the guides spoon feeding and hand holding them.

Perhaps we are taking the original poster's queries a bit too seriously. Each to their own, but 4-5 days in Mexico City we learn actually melts down to 2 days in the D.F., with mad dashes in three directions from the D.F. (What does one really expect to see in a one day visit to Cuernavaca, which, incidentally, is about 50% of the time dedicated to the D.F.?) Thus, while it is possible, for example, to "see" the Anthropological Museum, let's say, in 30 minutes if one is a track star, I find that an appreciation of the treasures therein requires many days of thoughtful visits. As I said, to each their own.


twelveoaks

Mar 5, 2014, 5:53 AM

Post #9 of 9 (2907 views)

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Re: [Aaron+] Where to stay in DF: Polanco, Reforma/Rosa, or Santa Fe?

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Just got back from Mexico City and stayed at the Sheraton Maria Isabela. Great location by Independence monument on La reforma and across from the Zona Rosa within easy walking distance of several very good restaurants. Hotel itself was very nice.
 
 
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