Published on July 25th, 2013 | by Mark Chesnut
New Hotels, Restaurants, Tours & “Tax Back” Make Mexico City More Alluring
More than three million international visitors will have visited Mexico City this year alone, and tourism officials are predicting numbers to increase. To keep up with the demand, an array of new hotels, restaurants and tours are available. Here’s some of the latest travel news from the world’s third-largest city and Mexico‘s capital.
Mexico City Tours
• Through the recently launched Disfruta Ciudad de Mexico (“Enjoy Mexico City”) program, visitors can explore the city through a variety of tours. Popular experiences include food tours through neighborhoods such as the emerging Roma Condesa, the high-end Polanco area, as well as the landmark-laden Centro Histórico. Other unique options include bike tours, mezcal tours and museum tours – which is especially appropriate, considering that Mexico City has more than 170 museums. (Check out more ideas for bicycle tours and bike rentals in Mexico City here.)
• The new new Tax Back program allows foreign visitors who shop at qualifying stores to claim a refund of up to 16% before their departure, right at the airport. Among the shopping centers that participate including Antara Polanco, Reforma 222, Paseo Interlomas, Alameda Park, Premium Outlets Punta Norte and Centro Santa Fe. (For more shopping ideas, check out my list of 7 Great Places to Shop at Mexico City Airport.)
Mexico City Hotels
• Hilton Hotels & Resorts has announced that it will open Hilton Santa Fe Mexico City in March 2014. The 260-room property — located in the Santa Fe district, which is especially popular with business travelers — will have 8,000 square feet of meeting space, a restaurant, lobby lounge, a rooftop pool, bar and fitness center. The Hilton Santa Fe Mexico City will be part of the 3.8-million-square-foot Samara complex, which also includes corporate offices and a shopping center.
• Recent hotel openings include the Le Méridien Mexico City, the 71st Starwood hotel in the region and the seventh in Mexico City, which opened in March 2013 along Paseo de la Reforma, and the Hotel Live Aqua Bosques Mexico City, which debuted in the posh neighborhood called Bosque de Las Lomas last October.
• In the upscale Polanco District, JW Marriott Mexico City recently began a $30 million renovation, which will upgrade areas including guest rooms, the lobby, bar, fitness center and spa. The property will also debut a new Mexican-inspired restaurant, Xanat. Renovations are to be completed this fall. Last June, the chain debuted a brand-new hotel, the JW Marriott Mexico City Santa Fe, in the Santa Fe district.
Mexico City Restaurants
• Among the newest restaurants in Mexico City is Limosneros, located in the Centro Histórico. The venue blends traditional Mexican cuisine with a chic vibe and modern touches. Popular items on the menu include deer tacos, tortilla soup with two chilis, as well as strawberries paired with authentic Mexican chocolate.
• Celebrated local chef Margarita Salinas has opened Turtux (“butterfly” in Maya), with an extensive, multi-regional menu. Must-try options include sliced octopus cilantro, dried noodles and creamy mushrooms. Located in San Angel, the restaurant’s inviting alfresco seating is highly recommended.
• Lincoln Polanco, a restaurant located in the Polanco district, showcases an international menu with influences from Spain. Its homemade dishes include foie gras, Lasagna Poblana and black rice. The venue’s main lounge overlooks the open kitchen, while the bar, garden lounge, piano bar and open-air terrace provide additional space for guests.
• Also in Polanco is Chef Daniel Ovadia’s new French restaurant, Mora Blanca. Its menu features French cuisine blended with Lebanese and Mexican flavors. Recommended dishes include pork sausage immersed in traditional brioche and red wine reduction, as well as oxtail presented with hazelnut paste and morel mushrooms.
• Still another restaurant joining Polanco’s growing ranks is Mar del Zur, which showcases Mex-Thai cuisine. Recommended dishes include octopus Carpaccio and coconut broth.
• The popular restaurant Porfirios opened a second location in San Angel this past April, following the success of its venue in Polanco. Specializing in Mexican cuisine with a contemporary touch, the venue stocks a wide selection of both Tequila and Mezcal, and the resident ‘tequilaiers’ – connoisseurs – can suggest the perfect food pairings.
MORE MEXICO CITY TRAVEL TIPS & INSPIRATION:
• “My Mexico City” — Travel Tips from Minister of Tourism Miguel Torruco
• City of Surprises: 5 Unexpected Things to do in Mexico City
• A Traveler’s Guide to Santa Fe, Mexico City’s Business Hub