Part boutique hotel, part hostel, and all of-the-moment, Downtown Mexico extends the Midas touch of the Group Habita empire into Mexico City's previously neglected but gentrifying heart, the Centro Histórico. An immaculate renovation has turned a 17th-century aristocrat into a multi-use hub for creative jetsetters. Independently operated boutiques and several restaurants, including Azul Histórico and Padrinos—the latter showcasing an impressive vertical garden on its outdoor patio—share the stone building with the hotel/hostel.
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Downtown Mexico is the Ace Hotel of the Distrito Federal
Wood, brick, and other simple materials define the understated decor of the hotel's 17 private guest rooms, some with balconies overlooking bustling Isabel la Católica street below. The hostel half, through a separate entrance, is heavy on the budget-traveler basics but with style upgrades: 75 comfy bunks in rooms of eight, bathrooms with rain showers and vintage sinks, and common areas with a movie projector and beer bar. The rooftop pool is perfect for sunseekers, while the adjacent terrace bar is the party place of the moment. Be sure to bring earplugs.