One of the largest and most vibrant metropolitan centers in the world, Mexico City is brimming with culture (it’s home to more than 150 museums), beauty (both extraordinary architecture and exquisite parks), a thrilling culinary scene, great shopping, and unfailing hospitality. During my five days in Mexico City, on a trip for meetings press hosted by Marriott International, I fell in love with the city, enthralled by its wide boulevards, public art at every turn, and lively restaurants with terraces the size of small plazas; its patchwork of diverse neighborhoods, and the unfailing graciousness of everyone I encountered.
Accessible by direct flights from most major U. S. cities, Mexico City has a temperate climate, with daytime temperatures in the 70s throughout the year. There is no end of activities for groups here, from a private tour of museums or the home built by Luis Barragán, the Pritzker Prize-winning architect, taking a hot air balloon over the pyramids in the ancient Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan, getting a hands-on lesson in tortilla making at a tortilla factory, and so much more. It is no surprise that the city is drawing international meetings and conferences, notably in the tech, pharmaceutical, financial, and entertainment sectors.
During my visit, I experienced five Marriott properties. Here’s an overview of each.
Located in the heart of the Polanco neighborhood, with luxury shops, scores of restaurants, parks, art galleries, the Chapultepec Castle on Chapultepec Hill, the National Auditorium, Teotihuacan and Xochimilco Floating Gardens, all easily accessible, this luxury hotel has 314 recently renovated rooms, including 47 suites. Eight event spaces can accommodate from 30 to 350 guests. Between meetings, attendees can enjoy a dip in the heated outdoor pool or quiet conversation on the Serenity Terrace Deck.
This 189-room elegant hotel soars 31 stories above the bustling tree-lined Paseo de la Reforma and offers well-heeled attendees amenities like the signature St. Regis Butler Service, treatments at Remède Spa, perhaps followed by a dip in the indoor pool with views of the Mexico City skyline, and the use of a private helipad. Our group was welcomed with the sabrage experience, where a bottle of champagne is opened with a deft swing of a saber. We also enjoyed a tequila tasting in the King Cole Bar and an extraordinary dinner at the hotel’s Diana Restaurant, relishing pairings of Mexican wine and panoramic vistas of The Castle of Chapultepec and The Angel of Independence. For an elevated events, consider one of the property’s three ballrooms—the Astor, Diamond or Madeline.
“The W guest wants to be surprised, and we’re known for hosting the best events,” says Carlos Fájer Cárdenas, director of marketing for the 237-room hotel in Polanco. The W’s ten meeting spaces offer almost 11,000 square feet of event space, from studios for breakout sessions to the light-filled Great Room that can host gatherings of up to 400. We enjoyed a spectacular dinner on the new Trivvu Terrace, complete with raw seafood and ceviche presented in an enormous boat-like serving platter that emitted billows of liquid smoke. A neon display in the lobby flashed a message that’s worth remembering: “Your Vibe Attractions Your Tribe.”
The Westin Santa Fe, Mexico City
With 259 rooms offering the Westin signature Heavenly Bed, and amenities that include WestinWORKOUT fitness studio and Heavenly SPA, this property, located in a bustling business district, is an ideal place for groups to relax and recharge. The Expo Santa Fe Convention Center is a quick walk away, while the hotel, with 12 event rooms, can host groups from just a few attendees to over 1,000.
Sheraton Mexico City Maria Isabel
Built in 1962, Sheraton Mexico City Maria Isabel is one of the oldest hotels in the city. It is also one of the largest—with 756 guest rooms (including 72 suites). And the property can boast the best views of the majestic Angel of Independence; the monument, located on a roundabout on Paseo de la Reforma, is one of the most recognized landmarks in all of Mexico City. Sheraton Mexico City Maria Isabel has nearly 35,000 square feet of meeting space, accommodating groups from 10 to over 800 attendees. We enjoyed a guided tasting of the artisan mescal TR3S CHICON as a prelude to a spectacular dinner in the equally spectacular three-level Marco Polo Penthouse Presidential Suite; JFK and Jackie Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, and Michelle Obama are among the guests who have stayed here.