Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Mexico City, Mexico

Centro Historico in Mexico City is a goldmine for the Romantic Gringo. Many hotels meet her exacting requirements. One of these is Hotel Zamora at 50 Avenida Cinqo de Mayo, ph. 5512-8245. (She had wanted to stay at the Hotel Canada across the street, because that's where Geoffrey and Yvonne Firmin stay in Under the Volcano. But she just couldn't. The decor was some kind of hideous '80s floral nightmare that she could not countenance, try as she might.) Very old and quite charming, Hotel Zamora stands about a block and a half northwest of the Zocalo. Doesn't have an elevator, so you have to be able to lug your luggage up at least one flight of stairs. Bathroom and shower in room, and as R.G. remembers it's basically like having a toilet in your shower. Lovely mattress. Spartan decor, just the way R.G. likes it, and wooden beams on the ceiling. R.G.'s room was small but servicable, and the crazy-high ceilings gave her a spiritual lift. Corner rooms may be larger, as is usually the case. Get a room on the little alleyway to ensure peace, when you open your big windows. There's a little balcony out there for smoking or for communicating with suitors, as the case may be. R.G. thinks she paid $14 or something for a double bed on the second floor, which is actually the third floor. Hotel Zamora is family-run, and they are good, leave-you-to your-own-business people. R.G. will be visiting them again.

Another excellent choice for the romantic traveler is Hotel Montecarlo, 69 Uruguay, ph. 5518-1418, two and a half blocks southeast of the Zocalo. A 400-yr-old converted monastery, Hotel Montecarlo was the hotel of choice for D.H. Lawrence when he was in Mexico writing The Plumed Serpent. Unfortunately, R.G. didn't take photos when she stayed there in July of '04, so you have to take her word for the ambience of faded grandeur. If memory serves, there is both a huge, sexy staircase and an elevator. Because she knew this discussion would be well beyond her Spanish, R.G. handed the concierge a note in Spanish that said something like, "If it is at all possible, may I have the room that D.H. Lawrence stayed in?", and he did not miss a beat in handing her the keys to a very large, charming room facing the street, on the second floor. R.G. would be interested to hear if similar requests result in the same room. But even if they don't, and it turns out that concierge was playing her like a fiddle, the big windows, high ceilings, private bathroom and shower, healthy double mattress and effortless Deco appointments were well worth the $18 she forked over.


Blogger julio said...

Hi, my name is Julio, its been 7 years since the last I ate at la fonda de la noche & I still have the taste of the diliciuos food. Its one of most romantic places in Guadalajara, the colors, the food & teh people makes this place like a tale from one of a good Mexican writter.

7:52 PM  
Blogger BemCath said...

Hey, thanks for the beautiful tips here!! On my way to Mexico city and I don't have a good guidebook. If I'll stay in one of these 2 hotels I'll let you know how it was!!

8:57 AM  

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