Review: Four Seasons Mexico City

The Four Seasons Mexico City got a much-needed refresh three years ago by the Parisian design house Gilles & Boissier. Although the hotel had been open only since 1994, the top-to-bottom renovation of this Spanish revival courtyard building felt long overdue.

The 240-room hotel has been dwarfed in recent years by an ever-growing forest of skyscrapers sprouting along Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico’s grandest old boulevard. Chapultepec Park is just one block away, and it’s a quick/cheap Uber ride to the surrounding neighborhoods of Condesa (also walkable), Roma and Polanco.

What really sets Four Seasons apart from every other luxury hotel in Mexico City is truly incredible service in every corner of the property. This is quintessential Four Seasons hospitality. And while that wasn’t always the case here, there’s no looking back now. This feels like an entirely new hotel.

The centerpiece of Four Seasons is its tranquil inner courtyard, an absolutely lush oasis framed by some of the best food and drink in the city. The indoor/outdoor Zanaya restaurant opened in conjunction with the remodel and has quickly become one of the city’s top power lunches, serving wood-fired Mexican seafood inspired by rising-star chef Tonatiuh Cuevas’s formative years cooking fish on the beach in Nayarit, near Puerto Vallarta. Dining might very well be the reason you’ve come to Mexico City, and you absolutely do not want to miss the chef’s beach-inspired Zarandeado fish tacos, served as an elaborate family-style spread. You won’t find better tacos at world-famous Pujol, nor on the street. This is not a jab at either of those options, both of which are musts; it is merely a fact of how extraordinary the food can be in this city.

The hotel’s de facto “other lobby” is Fifty Mils, a living-room style bar and lounge helmed by some of the best bartenders in the Americas (as evidenced by the growing list of awards they keep bringing home from national and international mixology competitions). Must order: spicy Bloody Maria.

The actual lobby spans a long hallway between the entrance and the courtyard and unfolds not as a singular communal space but rather as a series of semi-private salons outfitted with plush contemporary sofas, brutalist wooden chairs and museum-quality oil paintings that must surely date to the revolution. Attention collectors: Art is something this hotel does very, very well. There’s a superb little gallery on-site, too.

There’s an Italian restaurant just off the lobby that attracts the local elite. And an old-fashioned barber shop. Also a charming outdoor pool that’s well-hidden on the backside of the third floor.

Although everything is virtually new, building’s bones do feel quite old, especially in the bathrooms. But you will not lack any creature comforts. My favorite rooms are the premier terrace rooms, except there’s a catch: There are only two of these, which makes them very difficult to book because many of the hotel’s regular customers know about them and keep them fully booked. (They are only bookable via the hotel’s website or by phone.) The private terraces overlook the central courtyard, making room-service breakfast an absolute must — making you the envy of every other guest in the hotel.

Bottom line: This is a genuinely fabulous hotel — and a fairly incredible bargain for what you get in return.

Rates from $290.  Paseo de la Reforma 500, Colonia Juarez, Mexico City, 52 (55) 5230-1808, fourseasons.com/mexico

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